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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.

People often come to us and say that they want linkbuilding. I assume that this is because many people are under the understanding that SEO = linkbuilding = rankings. While there have been posts written about why this is not true, this scenario plays out again and again.

I bet this happens to you as well, if you are an SEO consultant or work in an SEO agency. Sometimes it is quite difficult to know whether or not to take them on. On the one hand, the money is nice. On the other hand, we have to do what is right for the client and not always what is right for the office bank account or personal wallet.

The goal of this post is to provide you with a framework for success when deciding whether or not to take on a client for linkbuilding. I’ll walk you through what I check before I agree to take on a client for linkbuilding, which will hopefully help you to do the same.

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Linkbuilding is always a hot topic within SEO, and different schools of thought exist. There’s the Throw Away Your Form Letters approach, and then there’s the school of form letters are great, just make them personalized. I did a lot of linkbuilding at my old job, and am doing some now for clients, and I prefer to take a more nuanced approach.

Different targets require different approaches. Let’s break the types of link prospects into three groups:

  • High level – these are the most important links. High quality sites.
  • Mid-level – these are valuable sites, but maybe not as hard to get.
  • Low-level – when you need mass.

Let’s examine the different approaches required for each.
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Google has an author search. Did you know that? We’ve been talking about author authority for some months now, and in earnest for about the past five or six. When rel=author was announced back in June, the SEO world went nutso talking about “SEO is dead” and “The Era of Linkbuilding is Over” and “We all have to go in-house now” and all sorts of craziness.

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Note from John: This is a guest post by Tom Mcloughlin, who works for The WebMarketing Group, an SEO company based in the UK. You can follow them on Twitter for more link building tips, or add them to your circles on Google+.

Twitter has taken the world by storm since it burst on the scene in 2006 and now sees more than 100 million people log in every month and has a total of more than 200 million registered users. It’s an absolute juggernaut and now even your nan and your dog are tweeting the latest from their action packed lives.

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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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