Google apparently can’t publicly make up their mind as to whether or not the link search operator works or not. About a year ago I noticed that the link search operator (e.g., link:billhartzer.com) wasn’t working reliably for any website. At that time, Google’s Gary Illyes said that that “short answer is no”, implying that they didn’t remove it. But now, about a year later, Google’s John Mueller said not to use it. [Read more…]
Performing a full SEO Audit of your website on a regular basis, perhaps at least once every six months, is key to maintaining your web presence and maintaining your organic search engine rankings. It has been a while since I personally performed a highly technical SEO Audit of my own web site, which I just completed. There were several things that I checked, and each of these are detailed here.
There are several reasons why you really need to perform a full SEO audit of your website. Here are a few:
— The search engines are constantly updating their algorithms.
— Google updated their Google Webmaster Guidelines. Make sure your are compliant.
— SEO last year is different than it is this year. The rules have changed. What was acceptable last year is not acceptable this year.
— You may have content on your site that it outdated. Find that content that people aren’t visiting anymore.
— The search engines, as well as your own site visitors, like fresh content. Make sure your content is fresh.
— View the errors on your website during an SEO audit. Fix those errors and recover lost traffic to your site.
— Find who is linking to you and find the good, bad, and toxic links to your site.
— View the links to your site and clean up your link profile, which will help search engine rankings.
Those are only a few reasons why you need to perform a highly technical SEO audit of your website on a regular basis.
What To Review in an SEO Audit
Certainly if you don’t have the means or knowledge to perform an SEO audit and know exactly what to look for, then you need to hire someone such as myself to perform that SEO audit for you (yes, I know, that’s a shameless plug for my SEO consulting services). Anyhow, here is a list of what I usually look at when I perform an SEO audit of your website.
— Crawl the website. I usually use 3 separate crawlers by 3 different companies in order to find all the errors and grab all the data I need for later analysis.
— Review all the meta data, such as title tags, meta description tags, heading tags.
— Review all the URLs for consistency and other duplicate issues
— Review internal links and internal link structure
— Look for 301, 302 redirects and 404 errors as well as server errors
— Look to see how many pages there are on the site (are there too many, generated automatically by a calender, etc.?)
— Compare internal link anchor text to each page’s topic.
— Run checks on page speed
— Run checks on W3C compliance
— Review Google Webmaster Tools for errors, html suggestions
— Review all internal anchor text
— Review all page content on each page
— Gather all the backlinks and historic backlinks to the website. This is actually more difficult than you would think. There are multiple link sources because each link source doesn’t get all the links.
— Compile all the links and review them.
— Look at anchor text pointing to the site. Are there issues?
— Are there bad or toxic links pointing to the website?
— How often does the website get new links? Did the site used to get a lot of links but now notsomuch?
— Are there over optimization issues? Too much exact match anchor text pointing to the website?
This is not my entire list of things that I check and analyze when I perform a technical SEO audit of websites. But, you can get an idea of what is involved. There are so many issues that can arise when you have a website that if you are not doing an SEO Audit of the site on a regular basis (at least every 6 months) then you’re going to have issues with the website that prevents you from ranking as well as you can in the search engine results. If, for example, you find 404 errors on the site and you fix those issues, you’re going to get more traffic to the site.
When was the last time you received a full search engine optimization audit of your website? I recommend a full SEO audit on a regular basis (every few months or at least once a year). Talk to someone who has over 15 years of search engine optimization experience who can steer you in the right direction, not just someone who is going to try to “sell you” search engine optimization or search engine optimization services.
I will be happy to provide you with no obligation price quote for a full SEO Audit of your website.
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, isn’t dead. In fact, SEO, optimizing your website for the search engines and search in general, continues to be alive and well–and has gotten a lot harder over the past few years. So maybe that’s why we’ve heard so many people declare that SEO is dead. Technical SEO, with all of the technical changes, requirements, updates, and issues like mobile friendliness, responsive design, AMP pages, and page load speed, has become a complex web that is increasingly difficult to navigate. [Read more…]
If you’ve taken advantage of Google’s Disavow Tool to disavow backlinks to a website, it’s quite possible that you may not be seeing any results. The whole idea of the disavow tool is to tell Google that there are certain links to your website that you don’t want them to count when they are calculating the Google algorithm. It’s can be helpful to use the disavow too to upload a disavow file if you can’t get rid of certain low quality links to the website. But, if you don’t do it correctly, you may not see any movement in search engine rankings. Here are several reasons why you may not see any results after uploading a disavow file. [Read more…]
Robert Fisher recently asked a question over at Moz regarding the use of CDNs to potentially hide a link network. In the past, there has been (and currently is still) an issue regarding linking websites together that are hosted on the same Class C Blocks of IPs. Essentially, if you own several websites, they’re hosted on the same server, then they will be on the same Class C Block of IP addresses. So, the search engines can easily see that you most likely own all those sites linked together by looking at the sites’ IP addresses. [Read more…]
I ran across an interesting conversation on Twitter, started by Ashley and her tweet: “Sign my petition to get all SEOs to stop using the term “link juice”.”
Do you think that the term “link juice” is gross? Does it relay un-professionalism in the SEO community? Well, let’s first take a look at a definition of “link juice” and what it means, according to Woorank: [Read more…]
Google has always been adamant about the fact that paying for Google AdWords ads will not boost your site’s organic search engine rankings. Google’s AdWords database is not shared with their organic search algorithm or any of the databases connected to it. So, I do believe Google when they say that paying for Google AdWords ads won’t boost your organic search engine rankings. But what about paying for other promotions, paying for traffic in other ways? Will that boost your organic search engine rankings? Yes, it will, you can actually pay for organic search engine rankings. [Read more…]
About one year ago, last August 2014, I moved this site from HTTP to HTTPs, and several weeks afterwards I updated the status of traffic, page views, and time on site. Several weeks after moving I some pretty good results, which I believe was a result of my moving from HTTP to HTTPs. A year later, let’s look at what I’ve accomplished over the past year, and if we can tell if it was worth it to move. [Read more…]
As a US Brand Ambassador for Majestic.com, you probably already know that I’m a big fan of their product, and use it on a daily basis. And as I use it, I am always coming up with new, innovative ways to use the Majestic data. It’s not just about seeing what links are pointing to your website. You can, for example, use Majestic to analyze your disavow file before you submit it. Here is why you would want to do that, and how to review your disavow file. [Read more…]
Wow, how times have changed. The search engine optimization industry has changed. And I bet it will continue to change and evolve as it has been over the years. Did you know that half of the search engine optimization techniques that were used only 5 years ago (maybe even 3 years ago) are now considered to be spam? Most of those SEO techniques are now listed in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines as being unacceptable. The are grounds for an algorithmic penalty or even worse: a manual penalty from Google. [Read more…]
As you probably know by now, one of the search engine optimization services that I am heavily involved in is cleaning up low quality links to websites. If your website has been hit by any of the Google Penguin algorithm updates, then most likely you have links pointing to your website from a low quality directory. One of those low quality link directories is shown below, in a screen shot.
One directory owner, though, is cashing in on link removals. That directory owner is charging $975, nearly $1,000 dollars, to remove all the links to a website in his 1800 directories. And he charges $5 a link. [Read more…]
Today, as I was browsing the web for some Super Bowl XLIX Advertising insights to post here on my blog, I came across one of the advertisers’ websites, Papa John’s. While looking at the Alexa What’s Hot page this afternoon to see what everyone on the web is viewing right now, I noticed something interesting: the entry for Papa John’s home page includes an index.html file in the URL. [Read more…]
There is nothing about Negative SEO in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Are you surprised? Well, I am, and I am not. After a review of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, from what I can tell, there are no actual references to the practice of Negative SEO. The guidelines all point to issues related to your website–but there are no references about doing something to your competitor’s websites that would cause their website to lose search engine rankings or get penalized.
I was talking last night with Brian Reagan from the Better Business Bureau in Dallas, and he asked me if there is anything in the Google Webmaster Guidelines regarding Negative SEO. If there were references to Negative SEO, then the BBB could theoretically point these out to their member companies reminding them of it. But, after a thorough review of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, I do not see any specific reference to Negative SEO, and I don’t see any references that would even remotely insinuate that there could be a manual action placed upon your website for doing something to your competitor’s website–such as Negative SEO. [Read more…]
The Google cache date on most web sites have now been updated, after having not being updated for over a month. This is a rather significant update, I think, as normally the Google cache date is typically updated on a regular basis. But in the past few weeks, it had not been updated in over a month. [Read more…]
It appears that many Google cache dates are showing that they are about a month old. This is odd behavior, as typically for most websites that are active, the Google cache date in the search results will only be a few days old. Or, it typically would be updated either the previous day or within the past few days. [Read more…]
Over the weekend, it was confirmed that Google has updated their Google Penguin algorithm. Or, at least while I write this, Google apparently is still in the process of updating it. So, if your website was previously hit by the Google Penguin algorithm, then there is a chance that your site may recover if you’ve truly cleaned up your site’s links. [Read more…]