Updates & Opinions

The Pirate Party of Norway opens post office for The Pirate Bay

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The Pirate Party of Norway has established a network node for The Pirate Bay (TPB).

This entails that network traffic to TPB from our region of the world will pass through Norway, comparable to an electronic post office. From Norway, trafiic is passed on to TPBs servers throughout the world.  [http://blog.brokep.com/2013/02/21/vem-hostar-the-pirate-bay/] This is a symbolic act to support TPB, a search engine for cultural content. The Pirate Party of Norway believes that non-commercial file sharing does not constitute a major problem for society. By supporting TPB, we combat the proposed changes to Norwegian copyright law; the government has recently proposed to censor internet sites and allow massive surveillance of internet users.

In addition to its role as a search engine for cultural content, TPB has become a major promoter of new artists. Through their concept the Promo Bay, TPB offers free global marketing to artists, granting dedicated advertising space on The Pirate Bay’s front page for 24 hours. For the chosen artists the effect is immense, in the form of increased sales and global exposure.

The internet makes it easier for those who create culture to communicate with those who use culture. Also, the distinction between the two groups is vanishing; the internet democratizes culture. For the copyright industry, the new technology is a threat, and only competition from disruptive offerings like TPB will ensure sound distribution models. We would not have had services like Spotify without TPB.

In the past, Norwegian Copyright industry has tried to stop access to the TPB through litigation. Telenor, a major ISP, withstood pressure and the court confirmed that ISPs could not be forced to censor the internet. After the verdict, the Norwegian government has proposed further tightening of Copyright law by sanctioning censorship and massive surveillance. The Pirate Party of Norway will fight the proposed changes when we enter the Parliament in the election of 2013.

The Pirate Party believes that freedom of expression is more important than copyright. Our symbolic support for TPB marks the right to express oneself, and the right to communication. The postal system handles packages and letters without checking the content. We believe the same rules must apply to the internet: electronic postal offices should not check and censor content.  This is why the Pirate Party of Norway will carry the torch our sister party in Sweden ignited, and be TPB’s postman.

Technical description: The Pirate Party of Norway has named one of the IP-addresses used by TPBs network of servers. The name can be found by doing a reverse DNS lookup on one of the IP addresses returned when looking up “thepiratebay.se“. We have not installed any physical units or lines of communication. The named node is an exit node that only handles routing, and no content is stored. The Pirate Party of Norway is not an ISP.

What is your opinion of internet piracy? Use the comment form below to express your opinion, and don’t forget to like this post in the social networks.

Bjørn Are SolstadThe Pirate Party of Norway opens post office for The Pirate Bay
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4 Great Ways to Get Qualified Traffic to Your Website

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d4be8e957e8ab1c7 640 website 4 Great Ways to Get Qualified Traffic to Your WebsiteWhen you start seeing results to your website – speaking about traffic – that’s a very exciting thing!   Whenever you affect the real world in a new way you didn’t before, that’s a very motivating experience.  But, one of the big challenges with internet traffic lies in attracting traffic to your website that actually converts.  Getting any traffic is easy.

Today, we’ll share some tips with you for attracting highly qualified traffic to your website:

Search Engine Optimization

This is the best, long-term way of attracting traffic to your site.  The higher your rankings, the more people trust you, and the more they visit. SEO takes at least 3 months or so to drive additional traffic, but once it gets to your website, then you really start raking in highly qualified traffic. The key lies in picking the right keywords that people are actually using to find your business, so make sure to do thorough keyword research first.

Twitter

This one requires a little more work on your part.  But, what you do is find some industry leaders in your niche who have 50,000, 100,000 or more followers.  Follow their followers, and most of them will follow you back.  Then, tweet irresistible offers and free content, and eventually some of those prospects will convert.  It’s like having complete access to a company’s prospect list, and best of all, it’s totally free.

Request Links from Niche Leaders

Yes, this gives you a back link, which is helpful for SEO purposes, but you can use this methodology to get traffic to you.  Above all, make sure you maintain a professional approach – don’t just spam a number of websites and see what happens.  You can maximize your chances of success by writing a personally-addressed e-mail complimenting the owner of the website, and perhaps offering a tip or two to improve its appearance/functionality.  Discuss how a link to you would benefit them and provide a best method for contacting you.  If your website has high quality content, you should experience a high conversion rate using this tactic.

Guest Blog

This may be the best way of getting long-term, highly-qualified traffic.  It takes a ton of time though, but basically what you will do is approach blogging leaders in your niche with interesting guest posts for their blog.  At the entry level, it’s pretty easy to land these opportunities.  However, for the bigger blogs, it takes some relationship-building.  But, when you finally get that post published, you can get thousands of qualified visits in the coming months.  Some blogs have built their entire growth strategy on guest blogging.

Give them a Method to Stay in Touch

Once you have all of these tactics in place, one great key to keep in mind is to give people a way of staying in touch.  This can mean creating a blog, but it can also mean creating a free report that gives them specific, actionable steps your target market can use to solve a problem they’re having.  In exchange for the report, you’ll ask for their e-mail address, and you will follow up regularly with helpful, interesting information and special offers.  It’s a great way to “soft-sell” people and get them to buy your services over the long haul.

Dan Stelter4 Great Ways to Get Qualified Traffic to Your Website
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Which Social Media is Best for Your Business?

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social media icons pointing finger 300x210 Which Social Media is Best for Your Business?Like it or not, social media is quickly becoming a requirement for effective online marketing.  There is evidence Some people suggests that Google rewards websites that get a fair amount of social shares with better search rankings.

Apart from the search rankings, however, social media works very well as a listening tool.  For example, you can learn:

  • The exact keywords/phrases people are typing in to find your products/services
  • What people like/don’t like about your business
  • What really interests people about your company

As the web becomes an increasingly social place, replacing in-person interaction, social media will only become more important for SEO. So of course, the big question becomes:  which social networks should you use, and how do you use them?

Which Social Media Sites Make Most Sense to Use?

There are actually many, many social media sites beyond the major ones you know.  But, it’s not important to be present on all of them.  The main 5 your business may choose to be present on are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Facebook

Currently the largest social network with more than 1 billion users, Facebook is very appropriate for businesses.  It works best for interacting directly with current customers.  One great strategy to grow your followers is to hold a contest/giveaway of some kind, but make sure you follow Facebook’s super-strict contest guidelines.

Twitter

Twitter has 140 million users and works well as a B2B tool and a tool for interacting directly with consumers.  You have much fewer characters to work with (140), but you get real-time feedback.

Google+

Marketers are still trying to make sense of this one.  Google+ has 400 million users, has gotten them faster than any other social network, but still has a very low engagement rate.  However, it does have a high future growth potential, and it is a great way to connect with tech-savvy men/business owners ages 25-40.

LinkedIn

If you need to generate qualified leads, nothing works better than LinkedIn.  Leads coming from LinkedIn are highly qualified and convert at a rate better than any other social network.  You can also create a company page.  To get the maximum benefit, join groups and answer questions, positioning yourself as an expert.  Leads will eventually come to you.

Pinterest

Like Google+, marketers are still trying to make use of this one.  It has approximately 20 million users, 79% of which are female.  It works much differently than any other social network – by pinning photos.  Businesses that do well with graphical advertising, like restaurants, would perform well on this network.

How Do You Use Them?

In most cases, it makes sense for your business to be present on all of these social networks.  But, the challenge comes in:  do you take the time to manage them all yourself, or do you hire someone else to do it?

If you’re a small business, you can do it yourself.  But, if you want to create a serious presence and get real business from these networks, you are going to have dedicate significant financial or time resources to each.  If you’re just starting, here’s a basic social media strategy you can use that doesn’t take too much time:

  • Post 3-5 updates per network per week
  • Use a tool like HootSuite, where you can manage all of your social networks in one place
  • Make sure 80% of the content you post is not your own, but still is valuable to your audience (if you push to much of your own, people leave your social networks and go somewhere else)
  • 20% of the content you post can be your own or special offers
  • Post at various times of the day to see which times offer the most engagement
  • Use a call-to-action in some posts – ask people to share/like/comment on the posts
  • Use various media types (video/pictures/infographics etc…)
  • Avoid using just plain text, as people read that type of post the least
  • Don’t post the exact same content to each – switch up the messaging

To get started, that’s pretty much all you need to do.  From there, you can decide how you would like to proceed and what works best for your social network(s).  Enjoy growing your audience and your search engine rankings from your social media strategy!

What is your opinion?

Use the form below to post your comments. Please share in social media if you found this post useful.

Dan StelterWhich Social Media is Best for Your Business?
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How to Increase Site Speed and Boost Your Rankings

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On April 9, 2010, in its own Webmaster Blog, Google announced the following:

“You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.”  

As SEOs, we don’t know to what degree site speed is incorporated in Google’s search rankings, but we do know Google prefers websites that offer a great user experience.  And one thing users will always want is websites that load fast.

If you use Google’s PageSpeed Tool, Google analyzes your site and tells you exactly what your score is.  Ideally you receive a score of 90 or above.  If your score isn’t quite what you want it to be, there are a number of things you can do to improve it.

How to Increase Your Site’s Load Speed

For purposes of this post, I’ll give you tips for websites that have a CMS, and for those that don’t.  If your site isn’t powered by a CMS like WordPress, you should get one, because it makes the management of your website much, much easier.

Here are a few things you can do to increase your site’s load speed:

Compress images – Images chew up much of the bandwidth when any site loads.  Do use images on your site, but keep their use to a minimum.  When you do use images, make sure they’re compressed.  You can reduce the size of an image by 50 – 60% while not hurting the image quality at all.

Avoid flash – For some big-name websites, using flash is okay.  They’re super-popular, have a dedicated audience, and the load-time of their sites isn’t so long that too many people will never visit again.  But for smaller websites floating below the radar of most people, avoid using flash.  Flash takes a fair amount of bandwidth up, and it’s also difficult to optimize websites with flash.

Use the W3 Total Cache plugin – This one applies to WordPress users only.  This plugin helps automate complex processes like:

  • Browser caching (keeps a copy of the web page on your hard disk for faster access)
  • Page caching (stores posts/pages as static files instead of loading on each visit for much faster access)
  • Minimizing scripts (plugins like to use a lot of them and this plugin reduces their usage)
  • Cache database functions (updating your WP DB and accessing can chew up significant bandwidth, and this plugin minimizes that)

It Seems Strange In the Era of High Bandwidth…

But, this still makes a large difference in terms of user experience.  Desktop bandwidth is consistently fast, but you have to keep in mind more people are using mobile devices.  Mobile bandwidth, on average, doesn’t download at the same speed as desktop bandwidth.  So, it’s just good that you accommodate all devices.  Someday, bandwidth will be much faster and these things won’t be such a big deal, but until then…do everything you can to keep your site’s load speed fast!

Dan StelterHow to Increase Site Speed and Boost Your Rankings
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How to Protect Your Site’s Content

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police exiting police car 300x220 How to Protect Your Sites ContentIf it wasn’t all about content in the past, Google is certainly all about content now.  Websites with rich, informative types of content and readerships that keep coming back for more rank higher than “plain-jane” websites that blend in by offering something similar to everyone else.

Developing stellar content is challenging, but much of your ability to develop compelling content revolves around your knowledge of the subject matter.  If you’ve taken the time to create your own content, or if you’ve had someone else create unique content for you, the last thing you want is someone who takes it for themselves and presents it as their own.

If someone hasn’t stolen your content already, they will.

Strategies to Use to Protect Your Content

Even though anything goes on the internet, there are many actions you can take to protect your content. Here are a few to try:

  • Do nothing!  Believe it or not, if someone steals your content and uses it on their own site, Google is actually remarkably adept at identifying the original author.  If the site that stole your content appears low-profile and like nobody reads it anyway, don’t worry too much about your content appearing there.
  • Use Google Authorship.  First, you have to set up a profile with a pic at Google Plus.  Then, on any pages where you create the content, use this code:  <a rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/your-google-plus-unique-profile-ID/”>  When your content appears in the search engine results pages, your picture appears in the SERPs right alongside it like so:how to protect your sites content How to Protect Your Sites Content

If you don’t know how to insert the code into your website, you can download a plugin for most CMSs like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla that does it for you.  If you write the content for another site, you can still enter in the code anywhere on the page to make sure you get credit.

  • Use Copyscape.  If you don’t monitor your content, you can use Copyscape to check to see if your website’s content appears anywhere else on the web.  Copyscape checks to see if the exact same characters appear somewhere else.  It can detect sections of copied content.  If someone copies your idea but uses different wording, however, Copyscape doesn’t do the job.
  • Use the Tynt plugin.   Tynt is a totally free plugin for WordPress that monitors all of your site’s text and images.  It lets you know how many times your content has been copied and pasted by others.  Then, when they paste the content onto their own site, a back link to your original content is created.  Pretty cool, huh?

Those are the most effective ways to protect your content in 2013 – what do you think will happen in the future?

Dan StelterHow to Protect Your Site’s Content
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Is Your Business Local? Learn How to Optimize Google Places

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Google rewards local searches more than ever.  Why?  Because people want relevant results, and if Google provides local results instead of national ones when people actually have that preference, it gives them one more reason to use their search engine instead of others.

According to a report by reputed research firm ComScore, around 3 billion local searches happen each month.  If you’re a local business, you can’t afford to miss out on the action.  In most cases, optimization is more difficult and because it takes time and patience to perform, rather than skill.  Some skill is required, but you don’t have to be a super-genius to do the work.

Simple Tips for Optimizing Google Places

Consistency – Your business might already have a number of profiles across different social media outlets.  If you do, make sure you have the same representation of your business at each.  Otherwise, people become confused and aren’t sure they want to interact with your brand.  Some things to check are:

  • Your brand’s name
  • Consistent imagery
  • Linking all profiles together
  • Ensuring each profile reflects current employees and management

Use a local phone number – Because the point of Google Places is to show local search results to area searchers, it’s important to use a local phone number to show Google you are in fact local.  This maximizes your search rankings.  If you use a toll-free number, Google gets the impression you might not be local.

Fill out all of the information – Some of the information may seem not to apply to your business, or you might not want to give out.  Provide all of the information Google requests, just to be on the safe side.  If you can, produce content such as photos or videos.  Not only does Google like a diverse content base, but it gives you an opportunity to share more about your company, and online, people purchase from businesses they know, like, and trust.

Get 5 positive reviews – Google loves instant marketing feedback like this.  You can bet that better ratings give you better rankings.  Once you get 5 reviews, Google shows them online.  Searchers will trust your business much more because of the positive reviews they see.  As soon as you get a satisfied customer, follow up with them via e-mail and give them a link to the location to leave the review.

But, don’t attempt to manipulate them to make yourself appear better than you are by making up 5 reviews.  If you do get some negative reviews, follow up with the customer and resolve the situation.  When you make them happy, ask them to update their review.

Talk in extra detail about the problems your services solve – You don’t have to tell searchers every last detail of your services, but do tell them the common problems yours solves.  Most Google Places business listings aren’t doing this, so that gives you a little extra edge.

Follow these 5 tips, and you’ll get yourself off to a good start to ranking high for local searches.

Dan StelterIs Your Business Local? Learn How to Optimize Google Places
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The Secret to SEO Success

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I’m so excited to share this secret with you.  As a company, we’ve been studying SEO carefully for years.  Dozens of clients, thousands of keywords, and much higher rankings for every one of them have allowed us to finally share the top secret to our company’s success.

seo success The Secret to SEO SuccessIt’s so startlingly simple that you won’t believe you missed this one, magical secret!

So, without making you salivate anymore, here it is:  consistent hard work.

A little surprised?  We’re not.

Why Does Hard Work Succeed When it Comes to SEO?

If you follow common sense thinking, try thinking about it this way:

  • Google is a business
  • How do businesses stay in business?
  • By giving their market what it wants
  • What does the search market want?
  • Interesting, useful content from easy-to-use websites

That’s all it really boils down to, and if you work to these principles, your SEO won’t be good now – it’ll be good forever.

Why do People Make it Sound so Complicated?

At its lowest level SEO becomes somewhat complex.  But, people often exaggerate the complexities in order to make a sale.  If you’re not a computer person, then you could say SEO is pretty complex.  But, if you’re fairly familiar with technology, then SEO really isn’t all that complicated.

If It’s Not That Hard, How Come SEO Becomes Costly?

It really boils down to a time factor.  While SEO isn’t that difficult, for even a small business of just a couple employees, it takes a full-time effort by 1 person to do all of the work.  For larger companies, the time costs scale.

In comparison to traditional marketing methods, SEO is actually very inexpensive.  Evaluate the current cost-per-lead for the marketing methods you have in place now and compare it to the typical SEO strategy, and you will find that the cost-per-lead for SEO is much, much lower on at basis.

Additionally, the returns you generate from the average SEO campaign are fairly significant.  These costs may seem expensive at first, but later on, when you tally the total revenues from your online efforts, the costs for even the most challenging SEO campaigns are quite reasonable compared to traditional marketing methods.

The truth is that SEO will only cost more in the future, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Google is developing its algorithm to include more link juice from a variety of sources to increase your rankings
  • More companies are realizing SEO’s effectiveness and are willing to put more money into it
  • People will increasingly search the web first for the products, services, and information they need

If you are having a hard time finding the funds for SEO or want to go with a “cheap” company, consider this question:  Would you hire a handyman or an experienced carpenter to repair your roof?

The same idea applies to SEO.  The secret to success is hard work, and you get what you pay for.  So, find someone you trust to do what they say they will do, and let them do the hard work so you can focus on running your business instead of building links and making social media posts all day long!

Dan StelterThe Secret to SEO Success
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How to Build Back Links

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3d word seo inside zero one blocks 300x228 How to Build Back LinksGoogle test 15,000 changes to its algorithm per year and implements somewhere around 200 of them.  Since its founding in 1998, you can imagine how much different the search engine is now, many years later.  However, links to your site are still the largest of many factors Google considers when determining how highly you should rank for particular keywords.

In reality, you can’t just build links to any old place on the internet, although you could in the early days of Google.  Well, you can, but there are much better ways to get links than others.  A single high-value back link counts as much as hundreds or even thousands of low-value links.  With all of that information in mind, here are some tactics we use and recommend use for building links to your site:

The Higher the Page Rank (PR), the Better

PR has nothing to do with how highly you rank.  A PR 5 page for example, can be outranked by a PR 2 page and this often happens on Google.  Page Rank, in fact, is a term coined in honor of Larry Page, one of the founders of Google.  Generally, SEO professionals view Page Rank as a measurement of the quality of links to a certain page.

When it comes to sites you want to get Page Rank from, the higher the PR, the better.  It’s easiest to get links in the 1-3 range, with 4-6 being difficult, but more achievable.  Sites with a PR of  7 or more can be found, but the ones easiest to land are typically on very niche topics that have little to do with your site’s topic.  In many cases, a PR of 7 or more usually indicates a website with a great reputation – usually a blog with hundreds and thousands of readers, or a prominent corporation.

Links from these sites are exceedingly difficult to land, and typically they require a strong relationship with someone in a position of power at the site.

Related Sites Work Better

Google wants to see sites linking to you that cover a topic similar to yours.  If you are an auto company, for example, having a link from a sports website would be valued lesser than links from a classified ads auto site or a do-it-yourself auto repair blog.  Links from sites not as closely related to yours in terms of topic simply count less.

All Anchor Texts Match Your Keywords Exactly

If you are targeting the keyword “auto glass repair New York City,” then the text your links actually display should read the same.  Many SEOs believe in a diversity of similarly-related anchor texts, but we’ve found exact-match text works well for helping you rank.

Links Must Come from a Diversity of Sites

The more sites your links come from, the better.  In the past, you could have created a ton of links on a few forums and shot your rankings up through the roof.  You can still keep most of your links coming from just a few sources, but you climb up the rankings higher and faster by using a diverse base of websites to create your linking structure.

Building Must Happen at a Natural Pace

If Google sees 1 link one day, and then 1,000 the next, it will be somewhat suspicious of your website.  If these links are all built, then your rankings will suffer. But, the exception to the rule no one discusses is that if these links are legitimately provided by a variety of websites and users, it can be seen as natural.  Think about “Psy,” who does his thing on YouTube called “GangNam Style.”  Even though the number of links to his content exploded over night, it would still be seen as natural because people would actually be looking for his stuff when Google keywords related to his content.  Google wants to provide relevant results people are looking for, not sites manipulated up the search results.  So, this type of content would rank well right off the bat.

For most businesses, however, we don’t capture the fascination of the public at large like Psy.  For us, it makes more sense to build links at a steady, natural rate.  If we built a million links in a week for an auto repair site, Google would be awfully suspicious, and probably would reduce the effectiveness of those links and that site’s rankings.

It Takes a Ton of Time You Don’t Have

While link building is one of the most critical factors in ranking your site highly on the search engines, it’s a very time-consuming process.  And, Google is only going to make it harder because it wants to return only the most relevant results to its searchers.  You see, link building is becoming the traditional form of marketing, and therefore, it’s a separate profession, just like someone who creates radio or television ads for a living.

If you need help with pushing your site up the search engine rankings, Devenia handles all types of link building.  Contact us and let us know how we can help.

Dan StelterHow to Build Back Links
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Google Author Rank is Here…Are You Prepared?

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devenia seo company google authorrank hero 300x199 Google Author Rank is Here...Are You Prepared?First, a Little Background

In 2005, Google filed a patent for what was at the time called “Agent Rank.”  Much like its modern counterpart, Author Rank, Google was searching for a way to measure the authority of a particular individual.  The more authoritative an individual was, the more likely people would like that person’s content, and the higher it should rank as a result.

Once Google launched Google+ in 2011, it finally had the platform necessary for tying specific web content to a certain author.  Now, Google can provide even more quality, relative results on the social web.

Factors Affecting Google Author Rank

You can never be 100% positive about which factors are affecting anything with Google because it keeps things pretty secret.  But, based on what is known about Google, you can be fairly confident these factors affect your Author Rank to some degree:

  • Google+ engagement
  • PageRank of individual articles
  • Connections to author high author rank authors
  • Comments
  • Inbound links
  • Authority on other major social platforms
  • Number of social shares
  • Inbound links

Why Increase Your Author Rank?

Whether you are planning on running the same website forever, or if your current venture is just for the short-term, increasing your Author Rank is important.  If you’re running the same site, you’ll get preferential treatment in the search engine rankings.  But, if you decide to transition to another site, you already have an Author Rank built up.  You won’t be as noted by Google when you start that new site, but you’ll be much farther ahead than you would be if you started from scratch.

Steps to Increase Your Author Rank

Increasing your Author Rank is difficult and takes time, as well as the ability to know exactly what your market wants and how to deliver what they want to them.  The first step?  Claim authorship of your content by inserting the tag <rel=”author” link=”googleplusurl”> into each page of your content.  If you run WordPress, there are a number of plugins that handle this process for you so you don’t have to manually insert the code into each page.

If you do a guest post for someone else, just include that line of code in your bio.  Google only needs to find that code somewhere on the page, and anywhere you put it is fine.

Once you are setup for Google authorship, then it’s time to create the content.

Since social signals, such as the number of +1s your content receives, are a huge factor in determining your Author Rank, the goal lies in focusing on creating content that does just that.  How do you do that?  Here are some steps to follow:

  • Have a high awareness of your niche and authoritative content sources in it (blogs, e-magazines etc…)
  • Research types of articles that do well, and write your own slant, or go completely against the grain
  • Develop relationships with the owners of those sites and offer to create content for them
  • Repeat this process until you succeed

It’s simple in theory, but difficult in practice.  You can easily get published on smaller blogs within a week or two.  But, the big-time stuff takes months or years to develop relationships and create valuable content for.  As you create content on other sites and develop your own, you will slowly gain a stronger reputation in your niche.  How far it grows is limited only by your talent and desire to succeed.  Good luck to you as you establish your digital reputation!

Dan StelterGoogle Author Rank is Here…Are You Prepared?
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5 Common SEO Mistakes You are Making & How to Avoid Them

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mistake in math on chalkboard 5 Common SEO Mistakes You are Making & How to Avoid ThemSEO is a challenging world – no one actually knows the specific rule of the game.  Google has an incredibly complex algorithm composed of hundreds of factors that no one knows precisely.  But, people do have an idea of where the boundaries lie for various SEO techniques.

It’s hard to know exactly when you are making a mistake, but if you follow these guidelines, then you will be setting yourself up for long-term SEO success:

Keyword Research

It all starts here.  You can target long-tail or short-tail keywords, but you have to be aware of the reality of targeting either.  Long-tail keywords (3 words or longer) have lower competition, are easier to rank for, and can generate sales now.  Short-tail keywords (2 or less) are much harder to rank, convert at a lower rate, but could offer much higher overall sales.

The most common mistake we see for keyword research is focusing on terms that are too broad.  A wise approach is to mix and match the two strategies.

Home Page Copy Only Focused on SEO

If your home page exists solely to “increase rankings,” it might have too heavy a focus on SEO.  Ideally, the keywords are difficult to pick out.  If you have keywords every few sentences or so, bold them to help the search engines identify them, and cram them in every subheader, they’re probably being placed in at too high of density.

Instead, the home page copy should focus on what you can do for the customer, and the keywords should be placed in where they blend in well and sound very natural.

URL Structure

It’s fairly common to see e-commerce sites with URLs like this:  http://www.test.com/gp/product/B0010WP3KY/ref=s9_qpp_gw_p23_d29_ir05?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1TWFB5B

Yikes!  Google won’t be able to make any sense of that, and it won’t help your users either.  Instead, your e-commerce site should have URLs like this:  http://www.test.com/category/product-123/  Google likes these URLs much better than others and gives them preference in its rankings, and they help your visitors understand how to find your products too.

Low-Value Links

Links range in difficult to build from very easy to very hard.  Getting one link on a site like NYTimes.com can be equal in value to thousands of low-value links you can get by posting comments on people’s blogs, opening forum discussions, and posting to spammy web directories.

If you’re not sure how valuable the link you will be building is, simply ask yourself, “How much work did it take to get this link?”  The more work it takes, the more reward you can expect.

Failing to Update Your Site with New Content

Searchers want fresh, relevant content.  Google wants to stay in business, so its algorithm reflects this desire.  No matter what industry you are in, you should have a blog and make at least 1 update to it per week.  If you think your topic is boring, it’s not.  You have customers who already love your products and services, so keep telling them how your business can help them.

Avoid These Mistakes and You’ll be Okay!

As long as you are being honest and working hard, Google rewards your efforts.  But, it rewards some more than others.  That’s why it’s not a bad idea to hire a professional or firm to assist you in your efforts.  On your own, however, you can do some basic SEO.

Dan Stelter5 Common SEO Mistakes You are Making & How to Avoid Them
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