August 12, 2022

Top Ten Linking Questions

Top Ten Linking Questions - Linking for SEOTop Ten Linking Questions 

When Google introduced the Penguin algorithm into the search engine position ranking mix it caused quite a concern in the search engine positioning industry. It also caused some websites to drop in position.

We have been fielding many questions about what constitutes a good link which passes the “good link” test when analyzed by Penguin.

Does your website get a passing grade?

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Web Content – Consider an eBook

Market and Brand your Business with an eBookWeb Content – Consider an eBook

Build Your Brand (and Establish Your Expertise)

If you hang out with me or if your have taken one of my classes then you know I am a big advocate of web content. I always push to get clients to create content that delights their visitors.

I also push to get clients to create great depth and variety of content.

So how about taking a big step up and creating a very worthy eBook.

An eBook on your topic demonstrates your expertise and your willingness and ability to make a contribution on your topic.

Do you have a special product or service that needs some explaining to help make a sale? Do you need images and graphics to get your point across when explaining your product or service to a prospect? Do you need to be able to send something to a potential client to help them solve their problem?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you can consider writing an eBook to help your clients and potential clients and help establish and enhance your expertise as well.


Create an e-book to educate and

keep customers engaged with your brand.


A New Twist on Traditional Brand-Building

An eBook can be significant in helping you to close a deal with customers interested in buying online, since it increases their comfort level and trust in your product, service or business. An eBook can be an important part of your strategy to educate and sell directly to a consumer.

According to the Book Industry Study Group, one in four Americans reads eBooks, and small businesses are starting to take advantage of this trend as a supplement and enhancement of the traditional brand-building activities.

As with all marketing efforts, however, execution is everything. With content-based items such as white papers and e-books for free and for purchase being presented on websites that sell Ant Farm kits to SEO and Landing Page services (that’s me!) it’s very important for a small business to think carefully about why and how to add eBooks and other forms of online content to its web content marketing mix.

Start by considering whether your target audience will be served better by a white paper or an informational eBook. A white paper has traditionally been a short document of between 5 to 10 pages. It defines aproblem and the parameters that define the boundaries of the solution and then defines the solution. It is more than an article and significantly more than a brochure but has elements found in both an article and a brochure. A white paper often is persuasive and attempts to lead the reader towards a solution based on the author’s product or service. It is an informational and specific sales pitch.

An informational eBook can be used to help promote a brand and the expertise of the business and will provide more how-to information rather than what was done as in a White Paper. An eBook can show and tell the what, why and how of a problem. It can put the reader in the picture as the who and when as it gives the reader the information to solve a problem and the reasder can decide (once they have donwloaded the eBook) as to when they will implement the solution.

An eBook can (should) have great informational graphics to help explain the materials. Graphs, charts and examples are the hallmark of a good eBook.

An eBook is also longer than a white paper and often will be 20 pages or more. I have read some eBooks that have been 80 pages or even longer.

If a small business can package content a customer or potential customer will find valuable in a PDF file — the most commonly-used e-book format — then it has value as a brand-building tool.

Aaron Warner of Good News Training - eBook and BrandingHere is an example. I know a Personal Trainer that works here in the Upper Valley. He owns and operates the well established Personal Trainer Business called Good News Training. This summer he created an initiative. He wanted to establish himself with local schools and athletic coaches and decided to offer Speed and Agility Training Clinics to this special audience. First, however, he decided to write an eBook.

Writing this eBook did a number of worthy things:

  1. Aaron needed to think clearly about his Speed & Agility Program.
  2. He needed to create and present his materials in a logical and thoughtful manner.

These first two items helped him to be better and set the foundation for him and these clinics. He also accomplished something else of significance.

  1. He created a nice complimentary item for his clients that take the clinic as the eBook is now part of the clinic package.
  2. He established his expertise and authority with this audience (and others).

These second two items help him establish his brand. Brand building is an important part of business building. Aaron has risen above the local competition by creating this Speed & Agility Training eBook.

This eBook adds value to the community Aaron wishes to serve. Aaron has done more than what is typical and this enables him to stand out from the crowd within his marketplace.

The value of an eBook can be enormous. However, it is slow going getting most small businesses to understand the significance of it.

An eBook creates immediate credibility and can be an important part of how you can help convert someone who is “thinking about it” to a paying and happy customer.

If you are thinking about new forms of content to present your ideas, your products and your services (translation = your solutions) then consider how an eBook can factor into the mix.

The skills required to build a successful small business are often the opposite of those required to succeed in a big organization. Giant corporations regularly reward predictable, risk-averse behavior. Small businesses, however, often succeed or fail based upon their ability to stand out in a crowd. Aaron Warner of Good News Training has taken the risk that must be taken to be successful.

Producing an eBook that breaks the mold and takes risks can be provocative and be exactly what is needed to get a business noticed. It gives a small business such as Aaron’s the chance to craft an exciting, value-added effective message and to establish itself as an unbeatable source of expertise.

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The Philosophy of Panda

Web Content - New Thinking - Delight Your VisitorsWeb Content – The Philosophy of Panda

Web Content and SEO

The thinking behind the Google Panda algorithm changes are fundamentally based on the input from Google’s human Quality Raters. Google found that they could put websites into two main categories which were sites that their Quality Raters liked and sites that they did not like.


The questions that Google asked their Quality Raters to think about when viewing a website were questions such as:

Would you trust this site with your credit card?

Do you like the design of this site?

Is the content on this site well written?

Do you want to remain on this site looking for other valuable, entertaining or notable content?

Google then replicated the ability to place sites into these 2 main categories by using an algorithm. The Google Panda Algorithm was introduced.

The introduction of the Panda Algorithm and the iterations of this algorithm over the past 1.5 years do change the way we need to think about website layout, web content and the website SEO that goes along with these items. 

Prior to Panda, SEO Work could follow this step-by-step approach.                                                                                                                             

  • Conduct key word research
  • Write great content and lace the important keywords from the research into the content
  • Make the content accessible to the search engines
  • Get links to the content and the website in general

However, now a key differentiate for high search placement is “the user’s experience” and Panda’s ability to judge the user’s experience.

What is the main factor to define a great user experience? It still all relates to Content. However, now a specific aspect of content is judged based on other factors not related exactly to that specific web content item. You could have a great article and bad or confusing navigation and the quality of the article is diminished. You could have some great images and web copy on a page with a broken link and then that specific item of web content will have less positive impact. You may have spent significant time on your home page but much less time on the quality of other pages and the home page will not carry much weight in search because of the low quality of other pages on the site.

What does it mean to have great content?

Great content means to have content that delights people. It means that people love the content. They love the content so much that they indicate how much they love it in some of or many of the following ways:

  • They blog about it
  • They share it by passing it on to others.
  • They bookmark it
  • They stay on the page
  • They look at multiple pages on the same site.
  • They click through to the page when it is presented in search.
  • They do not immediately return to the search results after visiting the page.

To create great content you need to have original content that makes people say “WOW!”. The tools to create great content are now readily available. There are people creating some great and amazing content on the web. Are you one of them or is your content boring? Does your website have a modern design and easy-to-use navigation? How would you judge the quality of your photos and graphics?

Do you have a proper content mix that relates to your target audience? The content mix is the combination of text, photos, internal links, videos, etc that you can place on your site to attract people and the search engines and get them to stay on your site and recommend your content to others.

Do you have authoritative content that has depth and variety? If your web content is shallow and without authority then this works against you.

Of course, Google is not disclosing the actual ranking signals used in their algorithms because they don’t want folks to game their search results; but if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions Google provides as guidance to their Quality Rankers can provide guidance to us as well.

If you want to view the entire list as it is presented in Google Webmaster tools then click on this link – Web Content Guidelines from Google. 

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A Business Lesson from the Olympics

Web Content - Get The Job DoneA Business Lesson from the Olympics

As you may imagine I meet with many people that have an idea for a business and they want to market it online. A successful idea for a new business, product, or website usually exists in a niche of its own. In this niche the competition is well defined. However, there is sometimes a competitor that is not thought of as such that is often the biggest competitor of them all.

Do you have this competitor in your business?

“The only victory that counts is the one over yourself.”

Jesse Owens, American Sprinter and Long Jumper 1936 Olympics

What is often not perceived as competition is the competition within yourself.

Do you have the drive and the attitude to get the job done? Conversely do you let your idea languish as you do not follow through to get the essential tasks done? This is sometimes the case with the approach people take creating content and making key decisions with their website for their business idea.

You have to be like and Olympic athlete and have the drive and fortitude to stay with the task and to get the job done.

A great deal of online marketing is about creating great content. These means that you have to think about and define a content plan. Once the content plan has been defined then the action is to create the content and this only happens with a bit of work.

A fine lesson that we can learn from the Olympics is that the dream of competing has to be coupled with the work to be in a position to compete. With online marketing you need to have the idea and drive to follow through and get the job done! This drive needs to be also tied directly to your online web content creation plan and the actions necessary to implement your web content plan.

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Leveraging Your Blog

Fresh Content - SEO JuiceLeveraging Your Blog

Blog SEO

We have heard that Content is King when it comes to attracting the search engines and gaining high search position. This begs another question. How do you regularly add fresh content to your website?

In terms of adding fresh new content on a regular basis to your website you simply can’t beat having a blog integrated into your website. If you already have a blog but it is not integrated within your site then move your blog so that it is a integral part of your website.

If you don’t have a blog then install a new blog within your site. Integrate links within your site to your blog and from your blog to your website. Then then publish new posts at a rate that is competitive. Keep adding fresh content via your blog that is of interest and value to your visitors. It is important that when doing this you make sure that you aren’t just adding content for the sake of it, since this could easily fall foul of Google’s web spam algorithms.

Give some serious thought to links from your blog to your website pages. Also, publish your posts to logical search engine optimized categories as this will help both people and the search engines find this content. This will help your website with both the Panda and Penguin updates from Google. Your blog can be a powerful SEO tool.

For every blog post follow blog SEO best practices to further leverage your blog. Stay tuned to the SEO Notebook for some up-coming tips on blog SEO.


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Web Copy SEO

Web Copy SEO - Avoid the Duplicate Content PenaltyWeb Copy SEO

The Perils of Duplicate Content

I recently studied a website and soon discovered that its content was essentially identical to many other websites. These websites were all part of the same franchise and the owners of the individual franchises – though capable business people – probably were not aware that the individual websites were working against each other. The issue was the duplicate content.

As defined by Google . . .

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or is appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin and examples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:

  • Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices
  • Store items shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs
  • HTML and Printer-Friendly versions of web content

If your site contains multiple pages with largely identical content, then you may want to make some adjustments just to be on the safe side. There in no need to be penalized by Google for legitimate duplicate content.

Here is more from Google . . .

In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site may be de-indexed.

Here is my Web Copy SEO advice:

  • Google tries hard to show pages in their search results with quality unique content. Create high quality unique content even if you are the owner of a website that is a member of a franchise. 
  • If you own a franchise website then consider how you can expand the content of your website. Break up a page were multiple services are described into multiple pages describing each service. This way you can increase your depth of content and avoid the issue of duplicate content as well. 
  • If you are a franchise website owner do something creative and different with your content. Add a photo gallery to the page or a video. Craft a compelling offer and match it with a strong call to action. Offer some free advice via a download link that no other franchise website has. 
  • Get to know a good copy writer. I use the services and work with Heidi White. She is a Freelance Copy Writer. She is a great writer and also has a very respectable handle on search engine optimization from a copy writer’s perspective. If you struggle with writing or perhaps do not have the time to create high-quality web copy then Heidi can be a great service provider for you.

If you are interested in an SEO Audit then feel free to contact us (802-457-9799). Our SEO Audit will also provide you with insights as to whether your site could be perceived as having duplicate content as well as providing you with insights on other SEO related aspects of your website.

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Fresh Web Content and SEO

Blog SEO - Fresh ContentBlog SEO

Fresh Web Content

How much fresh web content do you need for your website? This is a complicated question to answer as it depends on a number of factors. The proper answer also means that you need to have good information on your competitors as search engine positioning is significantly based on being better than the competition. This is always the case when it comes to SEO. You do not have to do things perfectly you just need to be better than your competition.

Here are some key questions to ask:

How much fresh web content do your top competitors produce?

You should monitor your key competitor. In this case define your competitor not as the competitor right down the street but rather which competitors are in the search position that you want to be in.

How often are there updates or events that focus on your industry?

You need to be on top of news on your industry. If your industry has weekly updates on key information or on events and you update your website once or twice a year then your website is not keeping pace with your industry. This will make your site appear to be static compared to your industry.

How often is fresh content included in the results for your keyword searches?

From time to time – based on the rate of updates within your industry – do a manual search using your important keyword phrases and see if the major search engines are including fresh content in the search results. If you see content that varies much more frequently than the frequency at which your create new content then again you could have a site that appears to be static,

How much quality content are you and your team/resources capable of creating?

After establishing the rate a which you think you should be creating new content ask yourself whether you and your team can match the rate of content creation necessary to be placed in a category where your site is considered as being fresh.

Researching the answers to these questions for your market will give you good understanding of the volume and frequency of content you need to produce to meet your search engine optimization goals as they relate to the search engines.

Always keeping your capabilities in mind you can estimate whether you need daily, weekly, or monthly updates to include in your search engine optimization plan and stay fresh in the eyes of both the search engines and your website visitors.

Even if your business does not have anything going on in any of the categories above, it is important to publish something new at least on a monthly basis, growing your site and visibility for your products and services and anchoring your search engine optimization efforts in great content.

Fresh content needs to be part of your search engine optimization planning.

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Real Estate Blogging – Some Great Reasons

Real Estate Blogging

Real Estate BloggingI have a large number of good reasons for you to blog if you are a real estate company. It is work but it will help your business in multiple ways.

Here are more than a few good reasons that you should consider if you are “on the fence” about blogging within your real estate business.



  • It’s good for Real Estate SEO.     
  • Your blog should be part of your real estate website and therefore your blog posts represent fresh content.
  • Blogs can offer great link bait.
  • Blogs attract visitors (both buyers and sellers).
  • Blogs will help generate leads.
  • Your real estate blog can provide you with inbound links.
  • Inbound links are of huge value in calculating Google’s PageRank.
  • Blog posts will help your website rank for specific keyword phrases.
  • Blog post are like new pages and this adds to the depth of content on your site increasing your authority with the search engines.
  • You can write content and save drafts and set the drafts to publish at a later date. This helps you with time management. You can even schedule a post to be published while you are on vacation and no one will know the difference.
  • You can have multiple people within your real estate office write for you, or someone else all together if writing is not your thing.
  • You have to conduct the research and then think about what you research and then write about it. This makes you more knowledgeable. This makes you better!
  • Experts blog. Blog to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field.
  • Help to educate and solve the problems of your clients and customers by blogging.
  • It is yet another way to present you and your company.
  • It is a great way to get others involved. If you ask the other agents what they are passionate about in your real estate niche then this is a great focus for their blogging contribution.
  • Blogging is cost effective.
  • You can do a special expose on a new or unusual listing in your blog.

Blogging equates to fresh content which helps search position. Blogging results in more inbound links which adds authority to your website/business. This leads to more traffic.

People, now more than ever, are looking for that trusted resource – that trusted expert. They do research online prior to engaging. Blogging enables you to be that trusted resource and expert. Simply by blogging people will be able to read your materials and gain insights about you and your company that they would not be able to get if you do not blog.

Download our Real Estate Blogging Guide that will provide you with some great ideas on how to generate great attention-grabbing content for your real estate blog. 

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Link Velocity

SEO Link BuildingWhat is Link Velocity?

This is the speed at which you acquire links to your website. This is important as you always want to acquire links in what appears to be a natural way.

I have seen small websites that have acquired 200 links in a single day. I have even seen a small local business site gain 200 links on New Years Day. I have a hard time thinking about how a small local website could get 200 link in a single day and on New Years Day as well.

Another factor associated with the natural look of link velocity is that if a website has gained 20 links over a 6-month period and then over a 3-day period gains 100 links then this may raise a red flag at Google. The Link Velocity associated with the 3-day time frame does not look natural for that specific website. There may be many sites that gain 100 links over a 3-day time frame but this is not natural for this particular website based on their history of link acquisition.

Link Velocity can also look fishy when there is very little new content being produced. A website that creates fresh content and then also has a link velocity profile that meshes with the content creation profile has two component that mesh and that look natural. Th link acquisition and the fresh content coincide. This looks natural.

What looks natural is based on the specifics of the website. Items such as age of website, historical rate of link generation, content creation rate versus link velocity all mesh together.

Another factor could be the type of links that a website has historically acquired versus a new type of link. For example if for 2 years it can be seen that links have come from blogs and the total is 250 links (essentially all from blogs) and then for two months you gain 100 additional links but none of these links come from a blog then this may raise a flag.

Link Building has to be an essential part of your SEO Strategy and we can help devise a SEO and Link Building Strategy.

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SEO – Deep Linking

SEO - Deep LinkingSEO –Link Building

Three Reasons Why You Need Deep Links

One reason you should deep link is that it enhances the users experience. Sending a user to a deep page will probably better relate to his or her goals than having an inbound links go only to your home page.


Also, remember that it is not possible for your home page to rank for every single keyword you want to be 0ptimized for.

Let’s look at three great reasons to acquire deep links – authority, relevancy and visibility. How is deep linking related to these important marketing factors?

SEO Authority

Deep linking raises the authority of your entire site. If all you did was optimize and send traffic to your home page then you might have a home page with a high authority rank but the other pages on your site would have little or no authority. When search engines looked at your site then those low-authority pages lower the authority of your home page. Deep linking can help you increase your entire site’s authority.

SEO Relevancy

Because you can’t optimize your home page for every single important keyword you must use internal pages. When the pages you publish contain those keywords in the meta data (URL, title tag, image attribute, etc.) and the body copy, then when search engines crawl you’re your will gain higher marks and therefore position for that keyword phrase. Because the keyword is relevant to the page and you have links made with keyword-rich anchor text from another page, the search engines consider it an authority page and rank it higher.

SEO Visibility

Large sites suffer from too many pages not getting indexed because of their sheer size. This is where good SEO skills such as deep linking come into play. These deep links which can come from your own site as well as other sites help search engines follow the path through your site to your “deep” pages. It makes these pages more visible. Visibility is a vital factor when it comes to search engine marketing.

Watch for future posts on how to acquire deep links.

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