Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Why you should avoid Duplicate Content on your Site

Monday, February 21st, 2011

There is plenty of misconception about the term “duplicate content”. For some reason, it has become the buzzword of the century. Frequently, you will read posts on forums that say there can be no duplicate anywhere on the internet. Logic tells us this is incorrect, since newspapers have been publishing the same articles for years. Likewise, syndication would be dead if this rumor was true. But every time someone starts a conversation about writing content for various article directories, someone else chimes in right away about how no two websites can use the exact same words or paragraphs. Contrarily, what is more accurate is that duplicate content on the same website is taboo.

copierEveryone agrees that search engines have built-in mechanisms to identify duplicate content. But the idea that most do not grasp is why you should avoid duplicate content on your site? Today, it is increasingly difficult to avoid duplicate content because it does not happen intentionally for many site owners. Typically, it happens because blog themes are poorly designed in relation to how content is distributed. In this article, however, we are going to discuss specifically why you should avoid duplicate content on your site. In the next article, we will show you ways to prevent duplicate content from appearing on your WP site.

Spam – Duplicate content is most commonly seen as spamming. When webmasters realized that they could “play or dupe” the search engines with thousands and thousands of pages through a technique called “mod_rewrite”, they just spammed the internet with the same content. They used it as a way to monopolize the top ranking positions, thus ensuring people came to their websites. Obviously, there were no user benefits in the pages. There was no substance or value for visitors. Now search engines are continually looking for duplicate content in order to stamp out spamming.

Poor Earnings or Commissions – Along the same lines as spamming, webmasters found that the more pages they had, the more money they could make from the same content. Of course, their ROI was high because they never had to develop the sites. And when pay-per-view commissions were the rage with companies paying webmasters every time a banner was seen, duplicate content was the norm. Nowadays, webmasters would not even be accepted into any network with excessive duplicate content.

Angy Users – If you own a hobby site that is important to you, or you earn your living from one website or many, duplicate content is not going to make your visitors very happy. If they have to read the same thing over and over on different pages, they will eventually give up and leave your site permanently. This defeats the purpose of owing a website, if you have no readers.

Banned or Filtered by Search Engines – Another “technique” that webmasters tried was duplicate websites. Once they hit on a successful topic or niche, they just made clones. The only thing that changed was the domain name and sometimes the color or graphics. They might have even housed the sites on different servers, but the search engines read text, so the sites were flagged. Typically sites that are clones of others or sites that engage in excessive duplicate content will invariably be removed or filtered from the search engine results. Nowadays, they might not even make it to the results pages.

As you have probably now surmised, duplicate content on the same website is a serious issue. It is one that should not be taken lightly when building websites and using themes that perpetuate problems. Understanding why you should avoid duplicate content is the key to fixing the problem and preventing duplicate content from happening.

What is Robots.txt?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

When you host a website, search engine spiders (otherwise known as bots) will take a tour of the portal for indexing purposes. Search engines will index websites and update the indexed data regularly. In fact, the search engines employ the very same data to display search results. Normally, these bots will index all the web pages originating from a website. Can we control these bots? Robot TXTI mean, if you wish not to index certain particular pages of your website, can you do it? Yes, you can execute it with the help of robots.txt file. What is the need for a robots.txt file? Is it mandatory to include this for your website? How will it affect the search engine visibility of your website? I will answer these in the succeeding sections.

There was a time when search engines used to penalize webmasters for promoting duplicate content (within the same website). While some administrators did it knowingly (with the very intention of increasing the page ranking), the others had to post duplicate content because they had to. For the sake of illustration, consider that you wish to make a web page printable. You will have to develop two web pages with the same content – but only one among them will be printable!

In the earlier example, with the help of the robots.txt file you can instruct the search engine bots to skip indexing the printable page. Bear in mind that this is just another instance with the help of which you can understand the true importance of the robots.txt file. Plenty of websites contain confidential data, and it is a smart practice to keep them away from search engine bots. Once indexed, it is tough to flush them off. Webmasters often employ the same robots.txt file to choose the web pages that the search engine must index.


The Importance of Backlinks in SEO

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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When trying to gage the important of back links in SEO, it is smart to keep in mind which search engine you are competing in. Google counts back links much more than MSN, although both take them into account. Back links are links that are directed towards your website. The number of back links that your website has depends upon its popularity. Back links go hand in hand with search engine optimization; Google especially gives credit to the websites that receive a good number of back links from a variety of different websites.

Remember that just simply having back links isn’t as effective as having quality back links. There are two aspects to think about when figuring out if you have quality back links. One is if the keywords put in your anchor text that goes directly back to your site for which you are trying to optimize. Link BuildingThe second is making sure the website that links back has the same theme as your website. This will then make the websites more relevant than other websites in the same search. Back links are important to SEO because as you build up back links, you are boosting up your website and have a greater chance of getting indexed faster. Not only does it help with the short term, but in the long run, it also helps to increase the traffic to your site.

Search engines now are very keen for websites that actually take the time to build up quality back links, over an extended period of time. It is quite easy to get your web page up in rankings however, when it comes to search engines, you can’t fool them with inbound links from other sites. Trying to cheat with the quality back links to the search engine will get your site sandbox, which can take weeks to months to resurrect it back to its reigning position. Building up quality links is a very time consuming task and requires a lot on your part. Back links potentially determine the fate of your website and it can either be a complete dud or a huge success.

Does my web Hosting Affect my Search Engine Rankings?

Monday, July 6th, 2009

There are a number of different things that go into finding the perfect host. Between the many factors to take into account, few people ask themselves the question, “Does my web hosting affect my search engine rankings?” To answer this question, it is pertinent to say that the actual hosting company will not affect your search engine rankings, as long as they haven’t been blacklisted. But it can, however, indirectly have a negative effect on your SEO. If you see that a hosting company is promising you search engine rankings, steer clear. This is just not within their capabilities.

So how does your web hosting selection affect your SEO? It really doesn’t come down to the web hosting company as much as the hosting plan you choose. Any host that provides shared servers for customers has the ability to negatively affect your SEO. This cheap and normally capable type of hosting is a regular choice for up and coming webmasters. The main problems arise when certain users of the same server start to do things that are frowned upon by the big search engines.

Individuals that spam email, recklessly accumulate links, promote certain material such as adult related, and a variety of other actions can black list an entire server or IP. Cheaper plans seem to attract these types of activities, so be weary of overly cheap plans. Check and make sure that your web host does not accept any adult type websites, or any of the actions stated above. Then research if the web host has had past problems with these issues. The better the web host’s security, the greater the chance tSEO Positionhat your web host will not negatively affect your ranking.

A problem that can arise from choosing the wrong host is that the company’s server IP address can possibly become on the spam list and become part of a black hat technique. With such behavior, Google will penalize you, so why bother taking the risk when you can do things right the first time? To achieve greater security, it is pertinent to upgrade to a better hosting plan. Virtual private servers are the first step up, and really lower the amount of users sharing the responsibility of playing it straight. This instantly minimizes the chances of being affected by the other users, simply because they have more invested and are less in number.