Your SEO Might Suck If…

There are plenty of people who claim that SEO is a science. They say nearly every problem can be solved with a repeatable solution and that high page ranking is more of a function of long hours than smart work. They are wrong.

Proper SEO is more of an art than a science. Sure, there are plenty of repeatable steps the best guys practice in order to up your website’s visibility, but to think there’s any kind of one-size-fits-all approach will get you in a situation just like JCPenney.

Here are a few of our most-seen SEO mistakes that far too many people make.

1. Serving broken pages with a 200 response code

So you moved content, deleted a page or just didn’t get around to finishing a page you started. Do you leave it there? Of course not, unless you’re Greyhound. Greyhound.com/locations should be redirecting to the new Greyhound locations page, but apparently whomever constructed their site doesn’t seem to think so.

Seems /locations would be the ideal place to find locations of Greyhound terminals on their site.

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Backlink Data is Almost Here!

We’re excited to announce a pretty big new feature which will be live next week. We’ve been working with a few different API’s to bring in backlink data about any website. There aren’t that many sources for this information, and numbers from these sources can vary widely, which is why we decided to give you all of them, and let you choose which metric to look at. We’ve successfully incorporated data from Yahoo!, SEOmoz and MajesticSEO. We’re also pulling, in real-time, the latest blogs linking to any site. Here’s a preview of what you’ll see very soon.

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Case Study

A friend of mine, Travis Campbell, did a great review of AuthorityLabs on his marketing strategy blog. This is an example of how someone used AuthorityLabs to make sure their site is positioned where it should be during drastic changes. Travis had to merge two sites into one, and needed to easily ensure he retained his rankings. AuthorityLabs allowed him to get daily feedback on how changes he made to his site affected search engine visibility. He invested heavily in SEO and AuthorityLabs helped him protect that investment.

Quick Competitive Keyword Research

Figuring out what terms your competition is trying to rank for can be a great way to find keywords to target. If you know what to look for, it’s pretty easy figure out. When analyzing the competition, though, make sure THEY know which terms to target. If they do, the quickest thing to look at is the title tag.

Many times important terms will be included within the title tag. I took a look at the top 5 brands that came to mind within the consumer wireless industry. Here are their title tags…

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Insights from Summary Data

There are a lots of ways to pull out insights from the AuthorityLabs interface. The Summary section can help people understand pure visibility of a site within search engines. Here are a couple examples…

This Summary section was pulled from a site tracking 1000 keywords. In the middle of August they pushed a big SEO update. The plan was for that update to fix a lot of on-page issues and it looks like it worked. When we started tracking these keywords they were doing really well on Google, relatively well on Yahoo! but they weren’t anywhere on Bing. You can see that by comparing average ranking data. Over the past month they’ve managed to improve their visibility on Bing quite a bit. They started with an average rank on Bing of around 100, and now they have an average rank of 56 which speaks a lot for some of the techniques they’ve used.

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Bing Changes

We’ve been tracking quite a few domains and keywords on Live for sometime now. I was curious to see if Microsoft made an effort to improve the actual results within their new search engine Bing, and not just dress up Live.com results. It looks like they definitely made a few changes to how they rank sites. This isn’t the case for every keyword across the board, but a good amount of the keywords we’re tracking significantly changed positions on the 13th of last month.  Here are some examples …

bing-nationwide

bing-sheknows

bing-watchery