Are Your Rich Snippets Breaking the Law?

You’ve probably noticed by now that its become very easy to get star rating ‘rich snippets’ to show up in organic search results. It used to be a select few sites which would get approved for rich snippets but recently that seems to have gone out the window and you can now see star ratings showing up on all kinds of SERPS, not just stuff where you’d expect to see customer ratings. Continue reading

How to get 9000 free links on autopilot

How’s that for a spamtastic title! This is going to be a fun post about how I accidental built 9000 links from over 400 domains with virtually no work. You probably won’t want to do it for yourself but you might just learn something.

About a year ago in the early stages of setting up my first blog network I built a little article directory site. The idea was to use it as a sort of private ezine articles. Anyway I must have got sidetracked or forgotten about the domain because I never touched it again until about a month ago when I started getting emails from cpanel telling me I was running out of bandwidth on the server this thing was setup on. Strange I thought given its a site with no content and I presumed no traffic. So I checked out the site and to my surprise I did have content – 150,000 pages of it in fact…

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Optimising Internal Link Anchor Text with WordPress Menus

One of the points I suggested in my post on SEO theories which I can’t prove was that

“Internal links are more important than external links”

In this post I’m going to show you how to get much more value out of your internal linking using a simple technique, but first let me put some flesh on the bones of that statement above.

A site cannot function or rank without internal links. Don’t believe me? Try removing all your internal links from your site and just see what happens to your rankings. That’s why I say internal links are more important than external links- remove all the external links to a site and Google can still find and index your pages. Remove the internal links and Google will only index the pages which have external links pointing to them. Continue reading

My BrightonSEO presentation on Building Private Blog Networks

I spoke at the BrightonSEO conference last Friday on the slightly controversial topic of building blog networks for your link building campaigns. I have included my slides from the presentation below:

I really wanted to make this session as honest and practical as possible and realistically with a room full of 400 people of mixed abilities and backgrounds that wasn’t going to go down well with everyone. Judging by the feedback and emails though plenty of people found it useful which is good. For anyone who was offended by the subject matter I guess all I can say is if you don’t want to learn about SEO, don’t go to an SEO conference!

Big thanks to Kelvin and the Sitevis gang for putting on a great day.

Any questions on the presentation ask in the comments or get in touch john (at) ioptimal.co.uk

How to Beat A Panda

Run for your lives it’s another post about the panda update! I don’t usually blog about SEO news and algorithm shifts for a couple of reasons- firstly it’s boring and other sites will always be better for that sort of thing. Secondly because of the approach I take to SEO I rarely get effected by changes at Google.

Actually most of my sites and my clients, have either gained slightly or been unaffected by the panda update. I do however think it’s pretty significant and have spoken to a few site owners who have been smashed by it although not nearly as badly as some are making out (and no I won’t be linking to searchmetrics here!).

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What keywords should I optimise my homepage for?

If you’re doing SEO for a big ecommerce site which sells everything including the kitchen sink – department stores, catalogues that sort of thing this is a question which will undoubtedly come up…

We’ve got 1,000,000 products in 5,000 categories – what keywords should we optimise our homepage for?

Usually the homepage’s of these mahusive shops will have a load of link equity i.e. Argos have got about 3,500 linking root domains. But in almost all the cases I can find these shops are failing to make good use of that homepage power in their keyword strategy.

What you often find in these big ecommerce organisations is there’s warring factions at play internally, all competing for homepage exposure for their category of products which can make this a bit more difficult but lets cast that aside and focus on the SEO…

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How to beat Q & A sites at their own game

Another quick post today…

I really hate Q & A sites, they’re 95% morons asking questions and other morons wasting their time answering them (if you’ve got that much time on your hands get a blog and make some money people!). However I can’t deny they have something of a magic formula when it comes to bottom feeding off long tail search traffic because plenty of people like to search in that Ask Jeeves style of “how do I”, “how can I” or “what is”.

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Finding similar sites for your link research

One of my favourite ways to build up a link building prospect list is to find a few sites which I think I can get a link from, either with a simple link request, a guest post, a payment or something more creative, then to dig around for similar sites which might also make good prospects.

Here’s a run down of a few tools you can use to make this research a bit easier. All these tools work best if you use them for general queries or themes rather than something very specific.

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Best of the Web Advertising

I’ve been using site sponsorship on botw.org recently and been getting some really good results so I thought I’d do a quick write up.

For those who don’t know Best of the Web is one of the oldest web directories about, and one of the few which have managed to maintain a decent editorial standard over the years and not succumbed to the temptation of selling spammy sitewide links or approving garbage sites just to make money. As a link building tactic I’m still a big fan of premium web directory submission, although I think the power of BOTW is probably a bit overstated by a lot of SEO’s (might have something to do with the lucrative affiliate program they run:-)

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Content Development with Raven Tools & Textbroker

When I wrote my Raven Tools review before christmas one of the points I made was this…

What I’d really like to see here is an integration with the textbroker API so you can order content and have it dropped straight into your Raven account to push out to your blogs.

Sure enough Raven announced last week that they had added this exact feature to the toolset, so I thought I’d take it for a spin.

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Getting the edge with manual link building

When most people think of manual link building they think high volume, low quality, low skill labour. This is one of the reasons link buildings got a bit of a bad name and most SEO bloggers prefer to talk about more exciting stuff, like link bait.

The truth is though manual link building still works and works well. You just need an edge. Unfortunately that edge isn’t a piece of software. To get the edge you need to invest in that rarest of commodities- time.

Spending real time. Quality man hours on a link building campaign is what it takes to hit the next level with your link building. Let me give you some examples…
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Online Casino SEO

There was a talk on this subject at the SEOmoz pro seminar earlier in the year which I was looking forward to but which I felt really didn’t give anything useful away so I want to make this post as detailed and useful as possible. If I miss anything you think should be included let me know and I’ll add it.

In this post I want to share with you some ideas for how I do SEO for online casinos, some of this will of course be transferable to other gambling sites as well as any other competitive vertical. As is the way with all things search, the more lucrative a new customer acquisition the more competitive the space and therefore it stands to reason that a casino player (or gambler in general) is going to be a fiercely competed for prize. Ranking number 1 for a term like ‘online casino‘ is literally worth millions of pounds a month so if you’re getting into this market you better come prepared!
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Raven SEO Tools Review

Raven SEO tools logoDon’t you hate it when SEO blogs start doing reviews to try to shift shitty tools with big affiliate paychecks?! I’ve wanted to do a review of Raven tools for a while but have resisted it until now for that very reason. As a precursor to the first review type post I’ve written here I wanted to give a bit of background to my involvement with raven tools and tell you why I think I’m in a position to write this review.

I was first introduced to raven tools about 18 months ago by my colleague at the time Kelvin, we were shopping around for a new tool to manage our SEO campaigns and Raven had recently launched publicly. On the face of it the tool did a lot of the stuff we were trying to develop ourselves at the time, it wasn’t perfect by any means but it was better than any other SEO tools I’d come across. We gradually introduced Raven into our processes and watched as the tool grew, added new features and the team behind it seemed to continually expand.

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