Is your site ranking rank? Do a site review – Part 5 (SEM 101)

This is the last of five posts on the topic of conducting your own site reviews. In the previous posts, we discussed why you'd want to perform a site review (Part 1), then took an initial look at page-level issues (Part 2), followed by a discussion of site-wide issues (Part 4), that can affect site performance for users and search engine ranking. In this last post, we'll look at additional, architectural issues that should also be examined...
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Is your site ranking rank? Do a site review – Part 4 (SEM 101)

This is the fourth of five posts on the topic of conducting your own site reviews. In the previous posts, we discussed why you'd want to perform a site review (Part 1), then took an initial look at page-level issues (Part 2), followed by a discussion of site-wide issues (Part 3), that can affect site performance for users and search engine ranking. In this post, we continue our look at site-wide issues that should also be examined in a site...
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Is your site ranking rank? Do a site review – Part 3 (SEM 101)

Let's continue our run-down of issues to consider in a site review. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the whats and whys for doing a site review, and covered baselining pre-optimized performance and gathering tools. Part 2 covered important but often overlooked on-page issues that, if not properly addressed, can prove detrimental to a site's performance, both for search engine ranking as well as for usability and discoverability for...
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Chasing the long tail with keyword research (SEM 101)

When a key opens a lock, it typically provides the key’s holder with a clear path to where he or she wants to go. Keywords and key phrases do the same for a website. They help direct searchers to content they wish to see on the Internet. But there is a key difference: whereas a lock key will typically match up with only one lock, keywords can lead a searcher down multiple paths to many matching, relevant websites. It is a filtering process...
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The liability of loathsome, link-level web spam (SEM 101)

When I was a kid in high school, I used to go to the public library and do initial research in the Encyclopedia Britannica (yes, the bound book editions. I also remember black & white television with vacuum tubes and rotary telephones! Sheesh, I’m getting old!). I would pick up the index volume that contained the keyword I wanted to look up to identify which of the main volumes had the content I sought. But imagine this: when I opened...
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The pernicious perfidy of page-level web spam (SEM 101)

In the exciting world of today’s Internet, where the world’s information is literally at your fingertips, where you can endlessly communicate, shop, research, and be entertained, spam is a big downer. The unwanted email spam that fills our inboxes also consumes huge portions of the available bandwidth of our routers and trunk lines. But email is not the only spam game in town. Web spam is the bane (well, one of the banes) of the...
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Eggs, bacon, spam, spam, and spam (SEM 101)

What is spam? One could argue that spam is a multi-faceted thing. The word itself has many definitions. For example, it can be defined as a processed spiced ham and pork slathered with a gelatinous glaze food product found in a tin (it’s apparently very popular in Hawai’i, don’t you know?). However, spam is also often used to reference a very popular comedy sketch written and performed on Monty Python’s Flying Circus (it...
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Link building for smart webmasters (no dummies here) (SEM 101)

In past SEM 101 articles, we’ve talked about the importance of inbound links to successful ranking (see “Links: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” – Part 1 and Part 2). We’ve already discussed many issues surrounding them, but we haven’t done a dedicated post on how to be successful at link building from a search engine’s perspective. Let’s finally address that omission here and now. What is the point...
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Fixing 404 File Not Found frustrations (SEM 101)

You’ve seen it. So have I. Nearly every person who has actively browsed the Web for more than 15 minutes has seen it. I’m talking about the dreaded 404 File Not Found error. When it occurs, users simply abandon their search on that site and go elsewhere. That’s a potential lost sale, subscription, or download opportunity (aka conversion) for the affected site! It has been estimated that up to 10% of traffic to large websites on...
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