Is Your Website Google Penguin Friendly?

August 22nd, 2012

Providing the most relevant web pages to a searcher’s query is the number one concern of all major search engines. As the market leader, Google’s groundbreaking algorithmic updates are designed to negate the effects of spammy, unscrupulous marketing tactics and deliver truly relevant results to the people who use it and as a San Diego SEO Company, it is essential to be informed and current on the Google updates, to achieve the best results for our clients.

The latest of these updates is known as Google Penguin, which was highly controversial because of the impact it has had on many businesses. The Google Penguin update targets the practice of inbound links specifically, attempting to cleanse its search engine of sites that used bot programs, automated scripts and other grey hat SEO and Internet marketing techniques to push their site forward above more relevant results for keywords.

Basically, the programmers at Google are making algorithms “think” more like human beings

The number one lesson one can learn from the Google Penguin update is that trying to manipulate the search engines does not work. When it comes to search engines, context and relevance is everything. Like humans, search engines bots think that only web pages that are relevant to a searcher’s query should be displayed in search results. This helps both the searcher as well as the website being served in the results. A more relevant website or web page will lead to better CTR’s and increased conversions. The Google penguin update enforces this concept in full force.
Quality has always been a focal point for the major search engine but this is true more so after the Google penguin update. No longer can one rank on the 1st page of Google with low quality content and thousands of incoming links from spammy sources. As a successful Search engine marketing Company in San Diego we have always believed that high quality content is corner stone for successful organic seo ranking.

Some tips for making sure that your website is Google Penguin friendly:

1. Fix broken links and watch for antiquated HTML code. The Google Penguin update sees broken links and bad code as potential spam, because many bot programs and scripts were notorious for linking to sites that would only stay up a week or so, before folding.

2. Be discerning about who links to you (and to whom you link).The name of the game is not sheer quantity when it comes to link building any more. Google now recognizes that a few links to relevant sites are worth a great deal more than a lot of links to irrelevant sites.

3. Do not use bot programs. Google has weeded out the patterns of many bot programs and will penalize your site if it sees these patterns emerge in your online marketing behavior.

4. Content marketing is king. Engage visitors with unique and informative content and the search engine results will follow.

Google is focusing their efforts on quality control and will continue to do updates to the algorithm such as the Panda and Penguin updates.  To make sure that your website is always Google friendly, contact us at Saba SEO. We are a San Diego SEO Company committed to helping our clients establish their internet presence and gain the visibility of their prospective clients.

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How to Recover from the Google Penguin Update

August 22nd, 2012

If you are one of the countless site owners whose website was struck by the Google penguin update, you do not need to panic. Luckily there are things you can do to regain your page 1 ranking. The first step on the road to Google Penguin update recovery is figuring out why your website was affected in the first place. Penguin’s main purpose was to reduce the effectiveness of spammy or manipulative SEO link building techniques. Thus, the best way to determine the root of the problem is to take a look into your link profile. If you are unsure how to go about this, contact an expert San Diego SEO Company to help you evaluate your website and recover from the Google Penguin update.

Using an SEO tool like Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, or Ahrefs, start on your road to recovery from the Google penguin update. Dive into your link profile and look for problematic trends. Several link patterns can cause an issue. The main problem you are looking for is over-optimization, which is essentially a manipulative SEO practice consisting of an unnatural amount of backlinks pointing at your website with a particular keyword as the anchor text. Footer or sidebar links that exist site-wide on a website can be especially problematic, especially when the anchor text is keyword-rich. Links from low quality websites, private blog networks, link farms, link wheels, and other manipulative techniques can also be at fault.

Once you or an SEO Consultant have identified the problem, the next step in recovering from Google Penguin slap is documenting all of the links that might be causing issues. Pull all of the problematic links into an Excel spreadsheet and begin the tedious and at times, impossible process of attempting to contact every webmaster on the list and request the removal of your links, or the conversion of these links to have natural anchor text, such as your domain name or your company’s name. Through a combination of website contact forms, Google site: searches for e-mail addresses, use of the WhoIs domain lookup tool, and the occasional social media outreach, put in every effort possible to request that your links be removed or modified.

The Google Penguin update is just that – an algorithm update. It is not a penalty, so there is no need to submit a reconsideration request to Google. Go into Google Webmaster Tools, make sure your sitemap is up to date, and request that they come re-crawl your website. With the help of a professional Search Engine optimization company in San Diego, your website may be able to recover more quickly than you had expected.

If you did not have a great deal of Internet marketing work invested in the domain, or your initial Google Penguin update recovery efforts do not go through successfully, you may want to consider starting a new website with your current brand, or even re-branding and starting a new website together.

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5 SEO Tips for Higher Rankings

June 27th, 2011

Follow these five SEO tips for better rankings.

1. Put your keywords in your domain, title and description
Putting your keywords into the domain name, title, description and Header tags tell search engines what your page is about. In our experience, Keyword rich domains tend to do better than generic or company specific domains considering all other things equal. The Title tag is also extremely important as it tell the search engine what to expect in your website. It is similar to the title of a report which tells the user what to expect inside the report. And finally the Description tag is a further drill down to tell both search engine bots and users about the relevancy of the website.

2. Try to utilize keyword density in your articles

While there is no exact formula for how often you should repeat the keywords you are trying to rank for in your content, our experience shows that 3-5% Keyword density is beneficial. Use too many repetition and you risk being flagged for attempted manipulation and spamming.  Try to use your keywords in the first paragraph of your content. In order to avoid reader boredom, it’s important to have a natural flow and not sound repetitive. After all, the content should be written for readers first then search bots. Furthermore, to supplement your On-Page seo efforts, try to use supplementary, alternative, or synonyms of the keyword you are trying to rank for.

3. Use your keyword in H1 and H3 tags
Your header tags are important because it tells the search engines what the body of the content is all about. It also tells search engines that the keyword used in the headline is important. In addition it grabs hold of your customer’s attention to keep them reading further and staying on your page longer. This is a quick SEO tip but it is very powerful and effective. Try to avoid using more than one H1 tags. If you have to, use H2, H3 etc.

4. Use your keyword in your anchor text

It is important to understand that the words you place within the anchor text can actually determine the ranking of your page. When linking to other pages from your site use your keyword in the anchor text of the link. This will help your page to rank higher. For instance, if you are trying to rank for San Diego SEO you can use the following format to insert this anchor text in your content:

Saba is a premiere San Diego SEO company. Then you will hyperlink the words “San Diego SEO” and link it to the page you are trying to rank for. In this case, we are using the home page www.sabaseo.com as the hyperlink for the anchor text.

5. Link to an authority site in your niche

Why? Because linking to an authority site in your niche will help build credibility and trust. In addition consider exchanging links with other sites in your niche, especially if you can gain links from authority sites with high page rank. This is very important in search engine optimization.

Follow the above steps to increase your traffic, back links, and page ranking. For professional SEO and Web Design services, feel free to give us a call at Toll Free | 866.937.1717

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Back-End Manipulation Using CSS

January 17th, 2011

In today’s online world, it is important to design a website with the average visitor in mind, but it is also equally important to consider search engine crawlers, who will also be reading our website. If you are new to the online marketing game, then you should know that search engines deploy small, independent bits of code throughout the worldwide web, who’s sole job is to find out what the world’s websites are all about, and to rank each one according to its content. This process is known as indexing. It’s through the use of indexing that a search engine can quickly provide a searcher with relevant results. Instead of searching the entire web, a search engine can provide fast results because it searches it’s index instead. Because of this, we must consider the web crawlers when creating our site, and we must make sure they can quickly do their job.

Aside from the usual HTML optimization ( Title, description tag, keywords, headlines, alt text, and anchor text ), there is plenty you can do to optimize your site using css. CSS (cascading style sheets ) allow you to keep your HTML file small because you can simply declare all of your style rules in a separate css document instead of on the same HTML file.

First of all, recognize that the size of your css file will be a big determinant factor in the speed at which your website downloads. You want to optimize your css file to reduce the amount of rules you have to declare. For example, creating 3 containers in your css file with the same dimensions and look could be done by only creating one rule instead of 3 separate ones. If you are working with an existing website, be sure to eliminate any unused css code in your style sheet to keep it short. This is often overlooked, and is an easy way to help decrease loading time.

The second thing to consider is that what your visitors see is not exactly what search engines see. For example, search engines cannot tell what an image is about unless you tell it what your image is about. In this case we use alt tags to be able to add descriptive text to images. This idea can go further with more advanced techniques, you can adjust the order in which these search engine bots will read your page. If you have great content, you can easily place this content in the very top of your document code so that search engines see it first without affecting what the order a normal (human) visitor will see.

With CSS you can manipulate the presentation order of your HTML code. You can place your most important information up higher so that you are guaranteed that it’s being indexed by search engines. Otherwise, crawlers may have to dig through a lot of code to find the really juicy stuff. However, asking a crawler to dig through your code is not an ideal situation, if your page is loading slowly, or if your information is too deep to crawl, crawlers will simply exit your website without fully indexing it. This can mean bad news for you because you may have a great website with great content, but is being read by no-one because of its lack of search engine visibility.

Saba Inc is a San Diego SEO and San Diego Web Design Company operating under SEO Best Practices in order to provide our clients with powerful websites that can be easily found by search engines. We help our clients to correctly target the right market online to increase ROI, and to reduce time consuming “dead” lead phone calls. Contact us today to set up a free website evaluation. We will tell you exactly where your website can improve to meet your goals.

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Targeting Your Market in Online Advertising

January 7th, 2011

Every business has at one point had to look for clients to function. Rare are those companies who never need to advertise; the type of companies who’s phone rings non-stop have likely already spent years spreading the word, and even then benefit from continued efforts. The success for these companies exists in who sees their ads, and whether these ads motivate the reader into performing an action such as picking up the phone.

Online advertising works in very much the same way. People with similar interests tend to visit the same locations, and advertising returns can greatly increase by making sure to target the group/groups who are most likely to purchase your product or service. A perfect example is the huge, but often underestimated group, the “Soccer Mom”. The Soccer Mom market is huge in the United States and only continues to grow. With their limited time, they are a group of the market who spends the most time researching products and services online before making a purchase or a timely trip to the store. If you are targeting Soccer Moms or a similar group, half of your job is already done. At least you know who your market is. The next step is to figure out where they hang out (websites they visit) and to make a presence there. It often takes an email or a phone call, but generally, website owners  are more than happy to make a sale. Larger companies will likely spend thousands on market research at this point to find the sites in which to advertise, but smaller companies must often be creative.

Thanks to modern search engines, we can perform a lot of market research from the comfort of our own home. We can find out what certain markets are looking for, the specific terms they use, and thus, we can find the high ranking sites they likely visit. Many high ranking sites will provide an opportunity for advertisers to rent digital real estate for a monthly or per click rate. Google’s Adwords also allows us to take it one step further and to penetrate the market with relevant advertisements when internet users are typing search terms related to your field. These ads are based on a cost per click  pricing table, and more popular key terms will likely cost more to advertise for. The price is often worth it, specially for niche markets with very specific search terms, and it should be noted that Google’s Adwords has allowed smaller companies to gain a foothold, and has allowed them to compete with larger companies with huge budgets.

However much time and money you spend on your online advertising, remember that the most important aspect is to target your market. Your main objective should not be to get the most amount of visitors, or the most hits, but to increase your returns on your investment. You can get 1 million visitors, but if only 1 person buys a product, your time and money is wasted. You will have had a 0.000001% success rate. If you only had 1 visitor to your website, but that visitor bought something, you have a 100% success rate and you wont have to spend additional time filtering through the bad leads to find the good one. See the difference?

A few Questions to consider when targeting your market:

1. Who is not my market audience (eliminating those who you are not targeting helps by pointing you in the opposite direction)

2. Who are they? Political affiliations? Social behaviors?

3. What’s their income levels?

4. What’s their age range?

5. What’s their ethnicity, and how do these cultural differences effect their purchases?

6. What are they looking for? How will they find it?

7. What would make them hesitate from buying your product or service?

There are many more specific questions that can be asked to find out who to target, but these few should get your started, and maybe motivated into asking some creative questions. If you have any comments or concerns, let me know, and we look forward to hearing from you. If you need a website or online marketing and don’t have the time to do it yourself, or the budget, we recommend calling us. We are a San Diego SEO and Web Design Company, ready to set up a free consultation for you.

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Ten SEO Myths – Busted

October 18th, 2010

SEO myths are rampant throughout the online world. Some of these myths are somewhat based on real occurrences while others have multiplied because of the difficulty in the ability to verify exactly what SEO action resulted in a particular search engine effect.

  • URL should be submitted to search engines- this myth may have been true once upon a time, somewhere around five or six years ago, but is no longer the case these days.
  • Site must be updated often- while updating the website on a regular basis might boost the SEO crawl pace, it will not up rankings. Therefore, if the site does not need updating, it is okay to leave it as is.
  • Meta tags are of critical importance- not always the case. Search engines these days prefer better content over Meta tags. Web masters in the past have been known to stuff Meta tags with useless keywords in attempts to trick search engines into giving higher ratings. This has happened so much that the method has been abused and left to spammers.
  • Guaranteed SEO- an SEO company cannot give a guaranteed ranking and optimization promise simply because in real life, no one can guarantee the numbers.
  • A good SEO company demands commitment- this can go either way. Because it takes 4-6 months in most instances to see results, most SEO companies feel it’s important o have at least a 6 months contract. Because the industry is so competitive, clients receive solicitations from countless competitors claiming they can provide immediate results. Often times, this leads to clients questioning the lack of results in the first few months by the contracted company. In order to avoid this, most reputable companies require at least a 3-6 months contract. However, in some instances companies might be willing to provide a month to month service. .
  • SEO is a one-time fix- this would make things easier, for sure, but it is not to be. Staying on top of search engines is an endless effort, a long term process that takes a lot of work that has to be continually followed up on.
  • Pay Per Click Ads will help or hurt ratings- neither is true. PPC has neither a positive nor a negative effect on the SEO ratings. Search engines are actually quite smart and do not get confused with natural versus paid search outcomes.
  • Great content equals great ranking- while the content may be quality, getting noticed by search engines is what it will take to gain traffic and optimize the site.
  • Optimization can be handled ‘in-house’- this is certainly true if there is an SEO expert present and that expert has the know-how and access to industry specific software and tools needed to do a top notch professional job of optimization.
  • SEO is all about link building- there is so much more to SEO than link building. While link building is very important, there are a good many other things involved in SEO. Activities such as optimizing current and new pages as well as constantly adding new content, and so forth.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not an exact science; however, a reputable company should have a strong grip of the processes and methodologies that are necessary to success in this competitive industry. Saba is a San Diego SEO and San Diego Web Design company which has helped numerous clients in diverse industries to achieve page one ranking. We offer free Search Engine Optimization and Website Design consultation to all of our clients. Feel free to give us a call or visit our website www.sabaseo.com.

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Internal Link Structures

April 19th, 2010

Easily forgotten is one of the major factors in optimizing your website, Internal Link Structure. Gone is the day when “click here” was a satisfactory method to link to other pages. Today’s modern website will understand the value of both your file names, and your anchor text. Anchor text is the text that much like my previous example (”click here”) can be anything you want. It is the clickable text in your HTML document that allows you to go to another page. Several different links exist including, image links and text links. The most important of which are text links in the SEO world. Text links allow you to directly communicate with search engines by giving you the ability to describe what it is you are linking to. Image links do not allow this opportunity, so they rely on the alt attribute tag to describe an image. Although search engines will be able to read this alt tag, it is important to remember that text links using keyword friendly anchor texts will weigh more heavily in your favor.

Take the following example:

The link “San Diego SEO Company” works way better for SEO than this link “click here for a San Diego SEO Company.”

The first example clearly spells out what the page is about and what you can expect to see in the linked page. You would expect to find information about a San Diego SEO Company. Otherwise, search engines would see the second example as a non descriptive link, and will have a lower rank. Think of it this way…do you prefer to rank for the term “click here?” No.

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Website Optimization Tip

April 19th, 2010

Although we are always bombarded with reminders of how important it is to optimize our HTML code for our websites, it is often forgotten about the CSS. Style sheets can also be optimized to increase load speed, and to reduce file size. Although it has a smaller impact on your search engine results, having a site with fast loading css can help you to hold on to your visitors who normally have a 3 second attention span.

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Internet Marketing Tip

April 19th, 2010

Did you know that your internet marketing and social media efforts are most effective during peak hours? If you are trying to catch attention and be seen, promote your company or brand during the time when you know that traffic on the internet is at its highest. This is typically during the workday, 9am to 5pm hours.

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Balancing Keyword Density

April 16th, 2010

Getting your website indexed for the right keywords can be confusing. You may find that after all of your hard work, your site may rank for keywords you never meant to rank for, and the ones you wanted to rank for, are not ranking at all. There are a lot of reasons why this may be happening, but one of the most likely reasons for this is that you may have an unbalanced keyword density on any given page, or on the entire website.

Ranking on search engines is a science as much as it is an art form. You can see a lot of different methods one goes about in optimizing their website, but some always work better than others. One method may work better on one search engine than in another, but the general rules still apply: Optimization is a never ending struggle and a balanced keyword strategy works better than keyword stuffing.

We have all heard of keyword stuffing. Some may rely heavily on stuffing keywords in their keywords tag, while others heavily laden their site’s content with keywords, making their copy unreadable for human readers. Both of these methods will likely hurt your site’s ranks in the long run, (search engine may see your site as a spam site) and in many cases can hurt your brand. (for example:  your readers may read your website and think you do not have good grammar, which may mirror not so good service).

The key is in learning how to balance your keywords. Don’t overuse them as to turn away either crawlers or visitors, rather embrace the two in a well balanced, comprehensive strategy. Zealously changing your titles and headlines to try to gain a competitive advantage doesn’t work very well. The real key to ranking your website is to give it time.  If you have optimized your site and see no results, don’t be surprised. Results often take between two to three months. If you see no significant results, make sure your pages target one to three keywords each, make sure your copy is comprehensive, and sticks to the point. If you have checked all your bases, and you are still not getting results, you may need to develop an off page optimization strategy.

If you find yourself frustrated with your optimization efforts, it may be time to contact a professional optimization firm. Professional firms will have access to tools and tactics that you may not be able to use, or may not have the time to develop. Call Saba, a San Diego Web Design Company to help you understand what your competition is doing online, and how you can compete.

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