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  1. SEO Earthquake!
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    Talking New Article: SEO Primer


    This is an article I am going to post on my web site and thought you'd like to poke holes in it first. This article is intended for small-to-medium sized business owners and with that, stays pretty basic. Any suggestions? I don't want to mislead anyone. And I don't want to leave anything important out. Also, dont miss my article on Barriers to Entry at http://forums.seochat.com/t56769/s.html (the actual article is post #8). Thanks for your help!

    -RMc


    SEO Primer

    As a business owner or operator one of your many jobs is to get the most you can from your web site. In order to do that, Search Engine optimization is key to success. Here is a brief primer explaining what you need to know about SEO to make an informed decision:

    Common Use Acronyms and Abbreviations

    SE = Search Engine – The 3 biggest search engines are Google, Yahoo! and MSN respectively.

    SEO = Search Engine Optimization – The process of making a web site most receptive to what the search engines want to ensure a high position in the SERPs.

    SEM = Search Engine Marketing – Often includes SEO but also utilizes other tactics to promote a web site including PPC and other ad campaigns.

    SERP = Search Engine Results Page – The page(s) returned after a search query is made.

    Algo = Algorithm – The calculation search engines use to determine a site’s relevancy to a search query.

    PPC = Pay Per Click – An ad that is on web sites where the advertiser pays a fee each time the link is clicked.

    HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language – The code used to make up a web page. XHTML is eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language and is a more modern, cleaner and stricter version of HTML.

    CSS = Cascading Style Sheets – The code that determines the appearance of the web site including positioning, color, fonts, etc. Where HTML is the framework, CSS is what determines the appearance of that framework.

    DMOZ = Directory MOZilla – Also known as the ODP (Open Directory Project). The ODP is a human-edited listing of web sites.

    PR = PageRank – Google’s system of rating the strength of links going to a particular web page.

    BL = Back Link – Links that point from another web site to your page. Also known as IBL or InBound Link.

    KW = Keyword – The phrase the web pages are optimized for to attract traffic.

    BH = Black Hat – An SEO that uses tactics outside of the guidelines posted by the SEs.

    WH = White Hat – An SEO that uses tactics within the guidelines posted by the SEs.

    The 3 Biggest (and most important) SEs are Google, Yahoo! and MSN with Google taking almost 50% of the search market. Like it or not, Google is very important as it will deliver the most visitors to your site.

    Each SE has its own likes and dislikes which can cause some confusion when optimizing a site. It is tough to please everyone! However some factors are the same no matter what:

    Clean Code – Clean HTML means the site will function properly and the SEs will be able to spider the site without problems.

    Speed – The SEs don’t like to list slow sites. So load speed is important.

    Proper Choice and Use of KWs – Choosing the right KWs is critical to getting traffic and ensuring it is the “right” traffic. KW placement within a page is also critical for ranking well in the SERPs.

    Fresh, Unique, Quality Content – The content within a page is what determines a lot of the relevancy. The better you cover a given topic, the better you will rank for a KW. Content that is duplicated from other sites may be penalized. Stale content may lose ground to fresh content.

    BLs – Quality and quantity of backlinks has a huge influence on the SERPs. There are many factors that affect the value of BLs, but links to your site are always good and can never hurt you.

    How it Works

    To get ranked in a search engine you must first let the SE know the site exists. The first part of SEO is getting the site indexed. This means the SE has used a spider (a small program or bot) to crawl the pages of the web site and then indexed those pages within the SE’s database. This makes those pages eligible for the SERPs.

    When a web surfer enters a search phrase at a search engine, the SE applies it’s algo to the phrase to get a list of sites that match, or are considered most relevant to that phrase.

    All things being equal, the site that has the right mixture of factors will get a high ranking on the SERP.

    SEO targets “top 10” placement in the SEs. This is the first page of results and will get the most traffic for your site. Being #1 is the best position and often very difficult and costly to attain.

    PPC programs can also get you placed well, just outside of the “organic” results. In Yahoo! this is above the results. In Google it is to the right. Paid links are often marked as “sponsored”.

    Different SEOs use different tactics for placement. The difference between BH & WH is usually the goal of the web site. WH is recommended for long-term strategy, BH for short-term.

    Web sites can get penalized or even banned from the SEs. This generally happens by working outside the posted guidelines or spamming. Sometimes this occurs due to linking out to a banned web site. While inbound links can not hurt you, outbound links can because you have control over them.
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    Thumbs up


    I think it sounds and reads great - good coverage of terms and definitions, as well as the basic overview of how it all works. If I didn't know anything about SEO I'd definitely appreciate someone taking the time to write such an article.

    Good job!

    -SG
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  5. Go OSU Beavers!
    SEO Chat Skiller (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    I like the list...here's an idea for you - especially if you want a ton more pages.

    Use this info in the post as an index for the terms, make each one clickable which takes you to a more indepth explaination. It builds content and gives you about 30 more pages which you will have good anchor texts for within your site.

    Comments on this post

    • rmccarley agrees : Thanks for the tip! It's not right for this project, but I'll be sure to use it in the future!
    - Scott Fish, Director of SEO | SEO Blog | Tweet | Linkedin
    Doing SEO for Fortune 500 companies for the last 8 years.

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