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Archive for November, 2013

21
Nov

Meta tags are HTML attributes used to describe page elements like keywords, content, author of the content written and other metadata. Meta Description is one of that HTML attribute that is used to describe the content of the page. Few years back it was all about Meta tags, Meta tags and Meta tags. Meta tags have played a significant role in SEO for long years. We all used to spend a lot of time figuring out the appropriate keyword density and optimal length of the description but my question now is “Is it really worth spending time to create Meta Description or Keywords tags for each and every page of your website?”

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team shares his views on the same on by answering to a user from Netherlands who asked him the question on Nov 18th 2013 :

“Is it necessary for each single page within my website to have a unique meta description?”

Meta Descriptions

According to Matt, you have two practical approaches to this situation – one is have a unique meta description for each and every single page or dont have a meta description at all but it is important to not have any duplicate meta descriptions for your pages. The lazy fix for this is just register your website with Google Webmaster Tool and let the tool do the hard work for you. Google Webmaster tool is one of a amazing tool to keep track of your site’s pages, crawl errors, search traffics and much more features. Once you register your website with it, it crawls your website notifying you of any detected errors or warnings. It will report all the pages that have duplicate meta descriptions under “Search Appearances” -> “HTML Improvements”. Once you reach that page it will show the overview report of the site and you can browse through it to see all the pages that need a fix.


 

He also says that it is possibly not worth spending your time generating unique meta descriptions for all the pages on the website and says that even he doesn’t spend time writing meta descriptions for his blogs. Let Google do the hard work of generating the meta description for you pages through it’s own snippets. BUt he also suggests that if you think some page on your website are important, or have a high ROI, your home page, featured products page and you think that Google’s generated meta description is not up to your mark then you can go ahead and write a unique meta description for those pages.

Meta Keywords

Now that we know that its not really a necessity to spend time writing meta descriptions, it would be wonderful if we dont even need to work out on the Meta Keywords tag as well. So I found a video of Matt Cutts uploaded on Mar 19, 2012 and there he says that “You shouldn’t spend any time on the meta Keywords tag”. There are no pages in the search engines (where he means Google) these days that use meta keywords to determine the importance of that tag as that tag is not visible on the SEPRs.


 

In the later part of the video he puts importance on meta description tags but I would say we can ignore that part as in his latest video he said that Google will generate those snippets for you.

Here is what I found when I tried to analyze what Matt had to say about the Meta Description and the Meta Keywords tag.

I searched “Meta Descriptions” in google and the following results were displayed.

Meta Description Snippet Generated by Google
 

As you can see that Moz has acquired the top rank for that keywords and the description of that page displayed on the SERP is “Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine …”

When I visited that page and checked their Meta Tags this is what is found:

Meta Tags on Moz explained
 

1. No Meta keywords written
2. The actual Meta Description written by the page author is “Get SEO best practices for the meta description tag, including length and content.” This description is nowhere included on the SERP for the term searched.

Then from where was the Meta description displayed on the SERP generated. The answer is – Google snippets try to generate the most precise description for the page from the actual content of the displayed page. They try to make it as accurate as possible based on the quality of the content written. It is not necessarily the first few sentences of the page, it can be the located anywhere on the page – top, middle or at the end of the content.

Moz Page with meta description
 

I checked the few other displayed results on the SERP for the same keyword and found that the description generated was the first line but instead they were selected couple of line after the first line.

Conclusion

It is not necessary to create Meta Description for all the pages of your website instead you can either leave it blank and let Google do your job or create completely unique descriptions for most important pages. Do not have duplicate meta descriptions and to help you find that make use of Google Webmaster Tools.

Create quality content for your pages without any keyword stuffing as that will give search engines create a good description for you helping you rank higher.

It is not worth spending your time writing (thinking) meta keywords for your pages thinking that it will help you rank higher as Google doesn’t have any pages that uses Meta Keywords tags in their search algorithm according to Matt Cutts. But if you are focusing other search engines which account for 35% of the searches made that will be a different story and we are not aware of what their considerations are.

Will you be still spending time generating Meta description and Meta Keywords? Share your thoughts and reviews on this.

19
Nov

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platform around since it was launched in 2003 and it has gained popularity as Content Management system. There are so many benefits of using WordPress for building your website up. Some of the most common reasons people choose WordPress these days are:

Easy to use

It has a very easy to use interface and adding new pages, crating blogs, images, etc. can be done in no time.

Customization

there are a lot of pre-designed themes to choose from and the customization is easy to do if you want to make any changes to the existing theme.

SEO Friendly

WordPress websites are well structures and have a clean and simple design. You can easily define your own URLs, meta tags for each page and can also write ALT tags and meta tags for individual images. And so you can get a WordPress site rank more rapidly than a regular static site.

Plugins

There a are developers who design WordPress plugins for almost everything, some are free while some can be paid. These plugins are easily available on the plugins sections and all you need to do is “activate” them and you are good to go. Plugins range from anything to SEO tag generators, social sharing, backup generator, etc.

Built-in Blog

All the WordPress themes have built-in blogs as the when WordPress was first launched it was a blogging platform it has in built blog which only needs to be integrated with newsletter subscription feature, commenting system, XML generation and RSS syndication.

Full Control over your website

you can manage your WordPress website or blog from any internet based computer as there is no need for any FTP software or any coding to be done. And so you dont need to look for a web developer to manage basic changes on your website.

It has become the most used content publishing platform and with the increase in content marketing strategies it is gaining popularity. But sometimes the most web savvy people are prone to making mistake while using WordPress themes that might make them look silly. Here this infographic shows th e15 most silly mistakes people make while using WordPress and the ways to avoid them.

15 silly WordPress errors to avoid

15 WordPress User Errors That Make You Look Silly [Infographic]

Like this infographic? Get more WordPress publishing content from Copyblogger.

11
Nov

If you have read about search engine optimization or even done seo you surely might have came across the term “backlinks”. But what are they and what is all the fuss about backlinks? We will talk about what backlinks are, why are they important and how to build quality backlinks to your website without spamming the web.

So lets start with what are backlinks? Backlinks are the links pointing to your website from other websites. They are also known as inbound links. The number of backlinks to your website determine its value to search engines.

Why are backlinks important? Backlinks when received from high quality websites suggests search engines about the importance of your website. It is also a factor in increasing your Google PageRank. According to Google, the more high quality backlinks your website has the more relevant it is compared to your competition. When talking about relevance, when you receive backlinks from web page with related content they are considered more relevant and of higher value than from the website with irrelevant content.

link building

Do not confuse yourself with reciprocal links as they are different from backlinks. Reciprocal links are a mutual link exchange between two website to boost the traffic and links pointing. But since to reach their goal many webmasters performed link exchange with websites that weren’t related to their niche. With the Google’s algorithm updates, it is penalizing websites with irrelevant link exchange and there were lot of webmasters emailing to remove their links from the link exchange program. Link building is considered an off-page optimization strategy and is equally important to the on-page optimization strategy. But lets not deviate from our topic and get back on ways to build high quality backlinks to your website with rising the spam alerts.

1. Build website for people, not for search engines

Create interesting and valuable content on your website. If your content is created by keeping your audience in mind and not the search engine your readers will share it attracting more audience and better backlinks. If your content is good it acts as Link bait. According to Matt Cutts link bait is anything interesting enough to catch people’s attention. Real backlinks are generated by people, you don’t need to work for it.

You can see that wikipedia dominates this by providing relevant and valuable content to its readers and that is the reason it tops on Google for most of the general terms searched.

When you create content you should keep these points in mind to create content to attract right audience.

  • Use inviting title tags for your content like
    1. 6 ways to…
    2. how to generate…
  • Write unique content. Don’t ever try to start your blog with few sentences of your own and the just copy someone’s blog to increase your word count.
  • Controversies get more views. Something like “Is Google the best search engine?”
  • Write about what your viewers are interested in.

 

2. Guest blogging for other blogs in your industry

If your website is new and you don’t have enough audience for your content to act as link bait then being is guest blogger is your option. Guest blogging on high profile websites will not only get you popularity but you can get backlinks with custom anchor texts with the keywords you want to rank for. You can provide anywhere from 1-3 backlinks to your website from your content or your author bio page.

Guest blogging is a great way of generating high quality backlinks and an easier way to establish yourself in your industry.

 

3. Interview someone influential

Interview someone important from your industry or any influential person and create a blog post about your interview pointing link to their website. This is will benefit you in two ways, first either that person will link you back and publish the experience on their website or the second thing can be you will get audience who are interested in reading the interview and share it for you.

 

4. Create your social profiles

Creating social profiles for your company and the key employees or the founders of the company linking to the website gives you high quality backlinks from reliable websites. This way you can get some good number of links back to your websites. Some of the major social places to do this is Google Plus, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

 

5. Write a review/testimonial

I am sure you might be using any services and products, you can write a review about them giving a link back to your website. You can also write a comprehensive review about a business and ask them to link back to you.

 

6. Give away free stuff

Develop software, template or some plugins and give it for free with a link back to your website. You can also have your users share it socially before downloading your software or free templates. That way you get your software, template or plugin socially shared as well as get a backlink to your website.

 

7. Getting Press as a HARO source

Sign up for Help a Reporter, the website where they are looking for specific type of people to respond to inquiries and interviews which they feature in their press release which gives you or your company a good brand awareness. Reply to the inquiries your get in your emails you feel are relevant to you.

 

8. Blog commenting

This is another way of generating good backlinks. Go on to other popular blogs and commenting there with a link back to your website. Doing this regularly not only generates backlinks but also helps you build a relationship with the author.
This is not the primary source of getting backlinks as most of the blogs have “nofollow” tag for their comments.

These are some of the few common ways to get backlinks but the best way to find which works for you the best is through your own research. What ever ways you chose make sure you don’t choose spammy black hat ways and don’t get yourself blacklisted. If you think you have some other good ways to do so share it with our audience.

07
Nov

Instagram is a social networking service which allows its users to share photos and videos online by applying digital filters and gives users the opportunity to share it on other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. And since its launch in October 2010 it has became a popular sensation.

Instagram over 100 million active users and 58 photos and one user signing every second. With its increasing popularity there are a lot of people using it, but there is no fun using it if the photos and videos you share are not being viewed by anyone. You need followers for your uploads to be viewed. The question how to get popularity on Instagram and how to get more followers?

instagram

1. Upload good pictures

Its about quality and not about quantity. Dont keep on uploading pictures one after another thinking that it will generate you more followers. Go for quality pictures which your followers are really interested in. Look at what theme most popular pictures are on try to follow the same trend.

2. Connect Instagram with your Facebook

Connecting these two accounts can help you get more likes as most of the Facebook users are using Instagram and once you connect these accounts you will be able to see a lot of friends on there too. Chances are they might follow you as they are already your Facebook friends.

3. Use Filters

Filters can beautify your pictures. Using filters on your original pictures will help you get more likes. Some of the most popular filters are:

1. Amaro
2. Rise
3. Hudson
4. X-Pro II
5. Sierra
6. Lo-fi
7. Earlybird

4. Timing is everything

If you upload a picture in the middle of night at 2 AM because you are a night owl, you cannot expect a good amount of likes or comments on your picture. The right time to upload is when most people are going to work or returning back from the work as that is the time when there are most chances that they would be checking their profiles. So the right time can be 8 AM or 4 PM.

5. Use Hashtags

Just like Twitter, Google Plus or some other social networking site Instagram also uses hashtags. Some tags are more popular over the others. Using hashtags while uploading your photos helps them to be found easier based on the hashtags used. It is important to use relevant hashtags. You can use upto to three hashtags for one photo to avoid making your photos look spammy.

Here are the top 20 most popular hashtags. You can also check out the list of top 100 most popular hashtags.

1.#love – 143,817,139 photos
2.#instagood – 97,570,915 photos
3.#me – 80,693,198 photos
4.#tbt – 75,411,509 photos
5.#cute – 75,047,873 photos
6.#photooftheday – 70,995,806 photos
7.#instamood – 64,925,462 photos
8.#beautiful – 54,570,181 photos
9.#picoftheday – 53,776,027 photos
10.#igers – 52,997,258 photos
11.#girl – 52,960,538 photos
12.#instadaily – 51,313,415 photos
13.#iphonesia – 51,124,375 photos
14.#follow – 46,372,281 photos
15.#tweegram – 44,656,230 photos
16.#happy – 43,360,681 photos
17.#summer – 42,718,347 photos
18.#instagramhub – 42,101,798 photos
19.#bestoftheday – 40,202,550 photos
20.#iphoneonly – 39,287,795 photos

6. Combine Images

Sometimes combining images (making a collage) to display multiple images into one. It gets more likes and/or comments over the regular ones. Some of the apps to create collage are Pic Collage, Diptic and Collage Maker Free.

7. Use Statigram

This is one of the best platform to use Instagram on the web. It is a faster option to comment on other’s photos (liking/commenting on others photos increases the number for likes and/or followers for you). It performs a statistical analysis for your profile

8. Follow back

If you want your profile flowing in the right direction you would want more “followers” than “following”. Follow users who are likely to follow you back and when you follow someone back, give them few days to follow you back. If in that certain period of time they don’t follow you back, stop following them. Keeping a track of all your followers/following will be difficult if the number is large so make use of some automated tools. “InstaFollow” and “JustUnFollow” are two great apps that will do it for you for free and are available both on App Store and Google Play Store.

These are some of the most useful tips to get more followers on Instagram. If you have any tips that are not listed here we would love if you can share it with our audience.

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