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Archives For Search Engine Optimization

All of the articles contained in this category are about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the practice of helping websites appear more prominently in search engines such as Google and Bing. Most of these articles are around the more technical parts of SEO, especially SEO for Wordpress, but you will also find articles about linkbuilding, social media for SEO, and Microsoft Excel for SEOs.

Keyword research is often a large undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do keyword research quickly to find the right terms to target for a blog post or article quite quickly. Keyword research only becomes a large undertaking when you have a large site that has never had SEO done on it before, and even then there are tips and tricks that can be used to do keyword research in a scaleable way, or at least to prioritize sections of your site to conduct keyword research on first.

The goal of this post is to teach and provide you the tools and strategies you need to do minimum viable keyword research for a new article in a brief amount of time. This applies whether you are going for a new head term (like with the Linkbait Guide on Distilled) or for a longtail SEO strategy.

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15 Linkbuilding ProTips

John Doherty —  February 2, 2012

Recently at our Distilled-a-thon in London, Phil Nottingham decided that he was going to ship some pro-tip videos, which are short videos of under a minute in length, where we gave away some actionable soundbites. We have a lot of really smart people in Distilled, so I decided to go watch them for myself.

HOLY MOLY. The content on our Distilled Youtube page is amazing, with tips being given by everyone from our CEO (Duncan) to our PR Exec (Lexi) and many others, including Analysts and Consultants who are stuck in every day moving the needle for their clients. Watch and learn! Continue Reading…

On simple blogs or websites, navigation is usually quite straight-forward. You organize your site into categories, or funnels, of information or articles. You link to your most important pages and try to minimize duplicate content.

When you have a large ecommerce, travel, or other large site, however, sometimes this is not enough. If you have millions of pages, and want as many as possible to be indexed and ranking well, you simply cannot, nor would you want to, link to every page. Imagine this scenario where the only difference is color -

  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-red-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-blue-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-yellow-polos
  • http://www.example.com/shirts/ralph-lauren-pink-polos

Let’s be honest. It’s going to be impossible to make all of these pages unique and ranking-worthy.

Or to use a skiing example, where the only difference is length – Continue Reading…

A month or so ago Google announced they are now supporting the HREFLANG markup for translated content that they used to mark as duplicate. I had just completed an international audit for one of my enterprise clients, so I was interested to do some testing on this to see what effect it might have.

The results are very interesting!

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Duplicate content can be a killer for websites, especially blogs and news sites, if the organization is not handled correctly. Often websites such as blogs and news sites are organized into categories and are then interlinked by other means such as sidebar widgets, related post plugins, and tags in WordPress. With all of the different ways of organizing sites, though, and the reality of pagination, we can quickly get into a hot mess of closely identical pages across our site that do not add value to the user experience and could be treated as duplicate content by the search engines.

So how do we decide what content we want the search engines to index and rank, and once we decide how do we make this happen?

In this post I am going to introduce you (or remind you, if you already know about them) to a few meta tags, placed in the <head> section of your site, that will help you with dealing with duplicate content. At the end, if you’re using WordPress, I’ll show you how to do it using Yoast’s SEO plugin.

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I work with companies of all sizes in my job as an SEO Consultant at Distilled in New York City (the best city in the world). I have a Fortune 500 company that you have definitely heard of, a hotel chain you have definitely heard of, and two startups that you may not have heard of (yet). I love it when a company “gets” SEO and wants to bake it into their company. In fact, I tweeted this tweet today after spending a full day at one of my startup clients working with them:


I get stoked when companies start to get SEO, but I have one thing to say:

SEO is NOT your full marketing strategy

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As everyone knows, and a lot of people have already written about, Google recently launched “Search, Plus Your World”. Danny wrote a great piece over at SearchEngineLand and Jon Henshaw from Raven wrote his take on the matter. Both of those are worth reading, as Danny’s gives a lot of insider knowledge, and Jon’s is a great opinion that I think is pretty accurate.

I want to point out an intricacy I have seen that is already bothering me about Search+, as I am going to call it from here on out. I guess someday it will become “Search” once again, but not anytime soon.

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SEO for Longtail

John Doherty —  January 3, 2012

Oftentimes in SEO, people hear about “head terms” and the value of doing keyword research to try to capture large search terms that will bring lots and lots of traffic to your site. While I do not wish to give the impression that this is not a valuable endeavour (it definitely it), there is much more to SEO than just head terms. Let me tell you from personal experience, there is nothing worse than having a boss who thinks that getting the #1 ranking for that one term is going to win them the Internet, and that is all they want to focus on.

A lot of value exists in the longtail of traffic, those 3+ word terms that drive a lot of traffic to your site through fairly unique queries. Let’s look at some numbers, graphs, and statistics from different sites around the web that hopefully will show you the value of longtail traffic.

Let me also point out that SEO for the longtail has changed since the Panda update and since Google started hiding our search referrer data for logged-in users. While these have changed HOW we go about our work a bit, they have not changed the WHY or the importance of it.
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This is a guest post from Alex Petrovic,  the Advanced SEO strategist and Link building team leader at the  Dejan SEO company in Australia. This is the first of two posts from Alex, one published this year and the next in January. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

Each time I ask for a show of hands of those who actively use Google Webmaster Tools it’s around 10% of the auditorium. It always leaves me puzzled as there is so much good information in there and many choose not to make use of it. This article is for those who ignore Google’s own data about their website and seek help everywhere else. But if you think I am writing only for beginners, then you’re wrong.

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The Power of Guest Blogging

John Doherty —  December 27, 2011

I’m often asked to guest blog on websites. I do so because I love writing, but what is the purpose of guest blogging? Why do it? Why allow others to guest post on your site? How do you even find these relevant people?

Those are all questions I will try to answer today, with some real data to back it up from an SEO and traffic perspective.

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