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Most Important SEO Strategy ?


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#1 MainStreet228

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:25 AM

Most Important and easy SEO Strategy ? is it backlinks ? comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks for your time.

#2 bragadocchio

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:40 AM

Search engines can't index what they can't spider. :)

#3 Ruud

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:15 PM

Most Important and easy SEO Strategy ?


I think those two are almost mutually exclusive. If it is the most important strategy it is unlikely to be easy. And if it is easy it is unlikely to be the most important thing.

That said, I do believe that there is something relatively "easy" that you can after which you can forget virtually everything about SEO.

Content.

If you make something people want or need to use or if you write something people want or need to read -- you have to work so hard to go wrong :)

Several years ago someone close to me started to make link lists of articles, books and news focussed on a very specific topic. Hand coded. No CMS, no database, no SEO except for basic title tags and headings.

Within 3 years the site which hosted him for free asked him to move his site because he was drawing too much traffic... He did and consequently went from shared hosting to reseller hosting. From there he went to a VDS (virtual dedicated server) and now runs his site from a dedicated server.

His site, to which he adds a line here or there on an almost daily basis, is well over 20 thousand pages now. It is used as a discussion and research tool. Visitors come from .edu's but also a lot of .gov's. And if you look around the web his site is listed on many places right next to the professional resources and experts.

#4 Black_Knight

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:23 PM

Knowledge.

No two ways about it. If you don't already know what is the most important, essential, and efficient SEO technique, then the answer is always that it is to hire someone who does know.

#5 eKstreme

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:48 PM

I want to say testing.

If you're willing to learn, there is no alternative to testing to teach yourself the tricks of the trade. If don't want to learn (for whatever reason), then hire someone who has.

Having said that, I hate "what's the best/worst" type of questions because they mask a lot of other important things. It's all one big puzzle, and you should at least be aware of how the parts interact. As the say, the whole is larger than the sum of the pieces...

My 2c.

#6 send2paul

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 02:15 PM

Here.

Reading every single SEO thread here :)

#7 MainStreet228

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 05:12 PM

Rudd, whats the internet site ?

#8 AbleReach

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:12 PM

Be able to communicate using concrete descriptions, with wording specific to the topic.
To do this you need to know the topic, the audience and the personality (brand identity) of your site's slice of the topic. Awareness puts all sorts of things in motion, especially when curiosity and determination are in the mix.

SEO is not any good on its own. There's got to be a "there" there.

#9 increseo

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 10:24 PM

Second Black_Knight.

Knowledge.

Especially at knowing what NOT to do.

#10 projectphp

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 02:02 AM

Starting with something great :)

It is far easier to get attention with something great than to slap some lippy on a Chicken and try to convince people it is a supermodel.

#11 send2paul

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 02:11 AM

Michael - have you got any examples of this lippy on a chicken technique - just so we're all sure of what you're talking about.... :P

#12 Black_Knight

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 08:28 AM

Sorry Paul, he can't show you any 'adult content' sites here. :whistling:

#13 A.N.Onym

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 09:57 PM

I'll second Ruud on this one.

Content is the core of the Web and it is what gets you visitors, links, etc.
Content can get you sales as well if it is properly written.

However, the 2nd best strategy would be to work on what lacks currently.
If you have content but it is not indexable, you don't get much. So you need to make it spiderable.
If you don't have links, you'll be waiting long to get any naturally without effort, even with great content, because you'll need to get noticed first.
If your site loads real slowly, you'll need to make it load faster to keep your visitors on it.

You just can't pick and choose the most important wheel of a car, you need four (or five, if you count the steering one) of them. Same with writing content, getting noticed (promotion and marketing), etc.

However, if you have to pick one single direction to go (like what to do on the first month of site's life), go with content.

#14 Black_Knight

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 10:35 PM

Now this is where I have to argue with the often too-trite "content is king" stuff that gets trotted out a little too readily at times. Right now there is still an invisible web, and that invisible web includes a great deal of top-quality content.

The whole reason that there is a web promotion industry, with SEO, SEM, advertising, and all other forms of promotion is because so many early sites though contnt alone could cut it. It can't.

The world's greatest content ever created will not be enough without the knowledge to make it accessible, visible, and most of all, heard of.

To pick an example that everyone here will naturally be familiar with, lets take a look at Cre8asite itself. Are there forums that have more members and visibility that have lower quality content? Why is that? (Which may lead you to reasons why we don't fix that ;) )

What is the quality of content in the US Patents database? Is it automatically lower-quality content than is found in more popular websites? Content is not king. Content is merely product, and the best product is not always the one most people will want most.

How about looking at the other side of the equation then. Are succesful sites always based on good content? No. For just one of millions of examples, look at the Million Dollar Homepage. What is the actual content? Is it worth a million dollars? Is it not just the idea, the buzz, the gossip value that made it successful? Wasn't it's actual content just a lot of empty space waiting for advertisers to over-write it? :)

#15 send2paul

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 12:07 AM

Good morning Ammon - and all.

...invisible web...

- could you expand a little further on that one please?

Ta

Paul

#16 A.N.Onym

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 12:09 AM

Well, it depends on what you mean under 'content'.

The million dollar page had a content with an innovative idea for advertising, which got it spread via word of mouth a lot. But it was content, based on great idea.

The US patent site also has a content of some sort, and it gets used by those, who find it useful, too.

Of course, just content won't do, but the best content will get noticed.

If the site is not promoted, it still is eventually noticed from the search engines for very long tail phrases. In this case, it has only chances to succeed if the content is really great. Which perhaps, indeed, brings us to knowledge on how to create great content.

#17 Black_Knight

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 01:44 AM

Paul, the invisible web is the term given to the vast amounts of content that you have to already know about to find. That's because it is usually inaccessible to spiders for any of a number of reasons.

In some cases, there is even content that would be perfectly accessible to spiders if only there was some way they could know there was something there to access.

In certain studies over the past few years, many estimates have placed the size of the invisible web at being at least double the size of the visible or accessible web. Almost all of Google's innovations in spidering javascript and forms have been a direct attempt to index more of the invisible web. However, there is still a huge amount of content out there that requires a password, login, or cookie to access, never mind the simple mass of unlinked sites out there.

If the site is not promoted, it still is eventually noticed from the search engines for very long tail phrases.

If a URL does not have at least one link pointing to it somewhere, it will never show in Google no matter how great it may be. If it can never be found in search, how will anyone know to link to it?

Trust me on this one, if you do not promote content in at least some minimal way, it just won't happen. Spiders exist to find and index relevant content. But content without links has no relevance, no context, and will not be indexed.

Take a look in the original PageRank papers for the most important point that most missed - "Orphan pages" and "Dangling links"

A page with no links to it is an Orphan page. A link that has not been spidered to the other end, to check there is something there, is a dangling link. Both of these types of links/urls are entirely removed from the PageRank calculation process prior to the iterations. They are entirely discounted from the PageRank algorithm that has traditionally been the core of Google technology.

For an interesting aside, think what would happen if a page were to have links, but those links had been discounted by some other algorithm, perhaps because they were 'distrusted' links, links that spiders were instructed not to follow, or paid links... could this create an artificial 'orphan page', and if so, what would happen to it?

#18 fisicx

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 02:11 AM

Wow!

A huge chunk of invaluable info in one thread. BK - you ought to get a job doing this sort of stuff.

I've been promoting the following message for yonks to everyone who asks me to build a site or advise on their current site:

Quality Content and Effective Navigation - can't have one without the other. The first gives the visitors (people and robots) something to read and the navigation tells then how to find it.

Google's own guidelines tell you this:

# Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
# Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.

.

And I can't stress enough the need for at least one inbound link from a highranking site - it can make the difference between getting a decent result in the SERP and becoming an 'invisible page'.

#19 A.N.Onym

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 06:39 AM

Hey hey hey, Ammon - we were talking about the most important SEO strategy, weren't we (at least I was pretending to :) )

Btw, under "will eventually get noticed" I meant that sooner or later you mention the URL to someone, submit a site to a relevant directory or issue a press release. Just bluntly writing content will not get you anywhere if you don't host a site ;) Hence just following the best strategy isn't the best strategy.

I absolutely agree that a site has to be well-balanaced: some great content, some great indexable code, a couple of relevant links from popular sites, etc. A loop-sided site will suffer just because its owner has neglected one aspect or another, which you have masterfully described.

It is also easier to work a bit here, then step aside, look at the site, and tweak something else over there, etc. This way we enter the neverending loop of site perfection, which can't be wrong.

I guess we can all agree that there is no single most important [SEO] strategy, but that the site owner should know what he is doing before working on his site at all, which is brilliantly discussed (or shall I say lectured) at Marketing 101.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 10 July 2006 - 06:45 AM.


#20 Ron Carnell

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 08:59 AM

Spoken like a true marketer, Ammon. :D

However, as a writer, not a marketer, I can't help but notice you are describing an extreme situation. Sure, content has to be accessible. Even Stephen King would be hard pressed to sell more than a book or two if he insisted on removing the bar code from all covers (few book stores today, and that includes Amazon, will carry merchandise without the scannable bar code). Even the best content can't surmount the obstacles imposed by naivety (or stupidity, take your pick).

Yes, Ammon, great content needs to accessible and, at least in today's world, it needs at least one decent link to get the ball rolling. But, uh, how many links will it take to get crappy content indexed and ranking well?

As a marketer, of course, you know the Million Dollar Homepage wasn't just selling advertising space. Alex Tew was selling his personal story, without which the venture would almost surely have flopped, and a unique idea that captured the imagination of a lot of people. That was his content, Ammon, and it was the content that created the buzz, not a highly paid marketing staff. Yes, Tew was smart enough not to put up roadblocks to success. He'll be remembered, however, for what he did rather than what he was smart enough not to do.

I'll be the first to admit that good content can't readily survive without grassroots marketing, any more than a king can long survive without generals and advisors. Those whom serve are important, even vital. But the king is still King. :)

#21 Ruud

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:45 AM

The whole reason that there is a web promotion industry, with SEO, SEM, advertising, and all other forms of promotion is because so many early sites though contnt alone could cut it. It can't.


Nothing "alone" can cut it, I guess. So one has to start somewhere.

One could say that given the infinite value possible, links are the most important SEO strategy. But good content gains links easily...

Getting people to know about the site, branding it, stressing its USP is invaluable. Some so-so products and services have a better name in the market simply because they are better know. But good content is almost marketing itself.

After a wild dash for links, links, links Google's work is getting us full circle again. Now people consider tools, articles, linkable content -- and mark it as "link bait" or "attracting links". Why? Because good stuff, unique stuff, gets attention.

I'm quite convinced that given two sites, one with solid content and one without, it is so much easier to work with the one that has something to deliver.

#22 MainStreet228

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 05:28 PM

How long should it approx. take for a site to get indexed by the large search engines ?

#23 Black_Knight

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:41 AM

The time it takes to decide how long is a piece of string?

Seriously, that depends on a great many variables. The most obvious variables being how often each engine crawls the sites where followable links to your site exist, how large your site is, how 'important' your site is algorithmicly determined to be, and its internal structure and linkage.

#24 MainStreet228

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:03 AM

This may seem like a stupid question but, how does one find out there Google Pagerank ?

#25 A.N.Onym

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:37 AM

I'd suggest reading this Google forum primer first.
Then you ask go to this thread (if you don't read it while reading the primer).

#26 SEOEgghead

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:14 PM

One comment that I didn't see here (or maybe someone said it and I can't read):

Start with a sound foundation!

It's common sense. For example, one of the hardest things to change down the road on a site is navigation and URLs. They're subtle problems at first. But both of these design factors, if improperly implemented can cause spidering problems for all eternity (or at least until a very expensive redesign -- in terms of both design costs *and* opportunity costs). Restructuring a site can be horrifically painful if you already have something in place.

I know everyone says "I can't afford SEO now, I'll do it later," but it may screw you in the long run.

My advice is to worry about standard SEO later if you're on a budget, but make sure the site isn't generating 50% duplicate content or designed 100% in flash.

It's common sense.

Edited by SEOEgghead, 11 July 2006 - 01:19 PM.


#27 Black_Knight

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:26 PM

how does one find out there Google Pagerank ?

Hack Google. :unsure:

There is no way of getting your actual PageRank, which is one of the reasons you'll rarely see the real pros ever talk about PageRank numbers (other than zero).

There's a toolbar PageRank which is generally unhelpful and all-but meaningless. For that, just download the Google toolbar, turn on its advanced features (which includes the PageRank bar) and in return Google get to know everywhere you go, and what you do there.

What you get out of it is a search box you can get in other less intrusive toolbars, and a little tiny meter that scales PageRank from 0-10, doesn't actually correlate to PageRank in a meaningful way, and can change according to which datacenter it connects to at any given moment.

Seriously now, don't bother.

A search on Yahoo for linkdomain:www.yourdomain.com is far more important than PageRank scores

#28 SEOEgghead

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:37 PM

But what if I'm addicted to green pixie dust?

Seriously, though. I still use PR as a metric to measure the popularity of sites that are not in SEO-competitive industries. But that's it.

I also take a ratio of PR to Alexa to see if anything's really weird/fishy.

I hope Yahoo never takes away linkdomain. It's really the only accurate source right now.

Edited by SEOEgghead, 11 July 2006 - 01:38 PM.


#29 kensplace

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 07:13 PM

Strategy for what?

Quick buck or long term results?

Edited by kensplace, 11 July 2006 - 07:14 PM.


#30 MainStreet228

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:56 PM

Both

#31 EGOL

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 09:42 PM

Knowing where you first links will come from before you create the content.



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