There are a handful of things you should know before you approach one of these people to publish an article.
First, PageRank (PR) has had a declining value as a metric since 2013 (and is pretty much non-existent today) as Google hasn’t publicly updated PR since December 2013. Because of this, any tool that measures PR will be giving you data that is over 3 years old. What that also means is that anything could have happened to this site that could have affected its PR (both positively and negatively) within that time period, and you wouldn’t know based on its PR.
This isn’t to say that Google is no longer using a form of PR in one way or another behind the scenes. It means that Google won’t let us know the metrics they use in determining the value of a site.
There are several options out there that can help you determine the actual value of a site. Just keep in mind that these sites use their own value system and metrics that Google may or not follow. The most commonly used tools are Open Site Explorer: Link Research & Backlink Checker (Moz), Marketing Search Engine and SEO Backlink Checker (Majestic), and SEO Backlink Checker & Competitor Research Tools (ahrefs).
All of these tools utilize their own metrics, though, so one site may look great with one tool but not so great with another. Of course, there are sites out there that also block these tools from crawling their sites, so the information could also be misleading.
Each of these tools offers a free account; however, the free accounts are heavily limited. Paying for each account, unfortunately, could equal hundreds of dollars per month.
Backlink Profiles and History
Every site that has any value has backlinks. There is no way around this. If you’re asking about backlinks from high authority sites to your site, you already know this.
It’s important to know that the site that is linking to your site is clean. This means that this site needs to have clean backlinks pointing to it from other sites. Again, you can use the above tools to see a limited number of crawled links to these sites (assuming you know the URL of the site you are looking to pay for an article to be posted to). When you check on those backlinks, you should be looking to make sure that the links aren’t ‘spammy’ or coming from questionable sites. Anything pharma, pornographic, designer handbag, and more could mean that a link from this site could be toxic to your site.
A clean backlink profile will mean that the links pointing to this site come from sites that are similar to the subject of the site. If the site is about real estate, the majority of the links pointing to it should be from other real estate sites or blogs.
Along with this is the actual history of the site. You can use Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine (archive.org) to see the crawled history of the site in question. Here you can actually access and view the site as it was at the time it was crawled. Like the backlink profile, if you see anything that looks out of the ordinary, it may be toxic to obtain links from this site. This is because if the site looks great today but was a Russian casino site 4 years ago, it may have links pointing to it from Russian casino sites – which could be toxic to your site.
OBL stands for outbound links. This is important to know because the more links on a page, the less the value of each link. If someone is offering to post your article on its ‘PR9’ page for $15, you can bet that there are likely many people jumping all over this ‘opportunity’. Some of these sites will have articles roll off the front page and into the inner pages, but there are others than just have one page of 100 or more articles.
Of course, today, as of the time I am writing this, everything written here is valid. That doesn’t mean it will stay that way tomorrow.
For instance, I have recently read that Google may automatically disassociate links to a site if the link doesn’t match the niche of a site. For instance, a site was a golf club sales site and had hundreds of links from golf-related sites, but it is now an interior decorating site – Google would know that the old golf-related links wouldn’t be valid for interior decorating, thus voiding the value of those links. Take this one with a grain of salt because I haven’t seen any evidence of this – just something I read (though, I can’t find the article again which is odd).
If someone is offering to post articles on sites based off of PageRank, avoid it. If this person is using a 3-year old metric that Google has told us they are no longer using (Google Confirms Toolbar PageRank is No More | SEJ), they may also be using 3-year old SEO strategies that are also no longer valid.
On top of that, a site that was PR5–9 back in 2013 were valuable. To be offering real estate on such a ‘powerful site’ for a few bucks is a red flag.
I say avoid these types of SEO tactics.
That and Google frowns on buying links. And we all want to make Google happy, right?
When your brand name becomes a verb or the de facto name of your product, you know you’ve done something right. And with that, you know people won’t forget about you. For instance, Kleenex is often used in place of any facial tissue. You take an Uber even if you are using Lyft. Or you Google something whenever you are searching for anything online.
Google is so well known that any SEO expert will gladly tell you that your most important goal is to rank number one for your search terms on Google; however, you shouldn’t disregard the other search engines out there.
Though Google happens to be the top site in the world according to Alexa, it only holds approximately 64% of all desktop searches. Granted that is a big piece of the pie, but that leaves another 36% to take advantage of.
What does this mean to you? Essentially, if you are on a budget and have a need to find success and start realizing the benefits of high rankings, you should start with the other search engines: Bing (Alexa rank 18, approximately 20% of all searches) and Yahoo (#5 and 12%). The reasoning behind this is because most SEOs will only target Google because it provides the largest return. More often than not, SEO providers will often ignore or even disregard the other search engines completely.
Finding yourself at the top of the other search engines may not net you the same results as being on top of Google, but in the long run, having those top rankings can acutally boost your Google rankings. If your site provides the information and holds visitors on your site, your on-site metrics will increase. These are important numbers for Google as they are always looking for the best solutions for people’s queries.
While everyone wants to be number one on Google, it’s important to remember that Google isn’t the only options out there. Ranking on Bing and Yahoo can give you great traction and allow you to build up your clients or customers so you can take on Google and the other SEO experts out there.
Related: SEO Keyword Research – Know which terms you want your site to rank for
Anyone who has done any research into video production for his or her business knows that the costs to produce a short video can be sky high. Depending on the type of video, the quality, and the content, you could be looking at anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000 per minute of video produced.
Check out the video below to see the quality of video we produce. Under the video, you can read more about how we can help you by producing a video of similar quality for your business.
Related: San Antonio Video Marketing
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), one needs to take into account the keywords the web page is desired to rank for. There are many reasons why keyword selection is important, the least of which is that simple fact that the more terms you rank for, the more traffic you are likely to see.
Search engines have gotten smart enough to understand when one term is interchangeable with another; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t increase your efforts to ensure you rank for the interchangeable terms as well. Let’s take a look at my site, for example.
Mallery Online Marketing ranks for many terms. Of course, we rank in different locations for different terms based on many factors (both on-page and off-page). For instance, we rank differently for “SEO San Antonio” and “search engine optimization San Antonio“. Though the two terms mean the same and are completely interchangeable, if my site focuses on “SEO” and another site focuses on “search engine optimization“, we likely will rank differently for both terms. Everything else being equal, Mallery Online Marketing would rank higher for “SEO” while the other site would rank higher for “search engine optimization“. This is why it is stressed to know and understand what keywords you are targeting and what you may be leaving on the table because of interchangeable terms.
At the same time, you have to also consider the location any modifier, especially for local terms. For instance, “SEO San Antonio” is a different term than “San Antonio SEO“.
There are times where this may not even really matter, though. If the search volume for one term is almost non-existent, you may find little to no reason to try and rank for it. Going back to the above examples, take into account the following data:
|Keyword||Average Monthly Searches|
|seo san antonio||590|
|san antonio seo||590|
|search engine optimization san antonio||110|
|san antonio search engine optimization||90|
*This data is all obtained from Google Keyword Planner on January 22, 2016.
The clear goal would be to rank for either “seo san antonio” or “san antonio seo“. With higher search volume, you have a better chance of drawing traffic to your website; however, this also means there is more competition for those terms. It may be in my better interest to rank for “san antonio search engine optimization” because there will be less competition. There will also be less traffic, but at the end of the day, if you are targeting a larger number of lower competition/lower volume terms, you can quickly outweigh the larger volume terms.
That brings me full circle to the title of this post. By focusing on “San Antonio Search Engine Optimization“, this opens this site to obtain better rankings than the main page.
If you’re not seeing the results from your SEO campaign that you are looking for, it may be because you are not paying attention to your local listings. Typically, when it comes to SEO for your business, you want to rank for service or product terms with the city modifier. This would look like “plumber in san antonio” or “san antonio lawyer”.
If you’ve searched for a service online, you may have noticed that some terms supply a map listing. This listing fluctuates with the number of listings. Google used to allow anywhere from 1 to 7 different business listings; however, recently, they have reduced that number to only 3 for desktop searches. What this means is that it is tougher to find real estate in that listing, but it also means that if you end up in that listing, there is a better chance of someone clicking on your link.
You do need to understand that ranking within the maps listing is very different than standard organic rankings. Because the ranking methods are so different, your SEO manager may not be focusing on your map listing.
For more – Best SEO San Antonio
Why Is Your Map Listing Important?
Though Google decides what search terms deserve a map listing thus reducing the number of terms you can rank for, it is still very important to get your business within those listings. Typically, the map listings will display above the majority of the organic listings. The higher on the front page of the search results you can find yourself, the more likely you are to have people click on your link.
The extra benefit from this is that if you can manage to have your business listed within the maps and the organic listings, you’ll have double the real estate in the search results. The value of that real estate can be a major factor in the success of your business.
If you’re looking to get started with your local maps listings SEO, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today.
It’s difficult to think back to a time when social media wasn’t in existence. For many, MySpace was their first interaction with social media, and for a long time, it was the big game in town (For an interesting look back at the social media timeline, click here). Today, there are a vast array of ways to keep in touch with your friends, family, and total strangers on the other side of the world.
Between posts, feeds, tweets, +1s, and everything in between, there are so many options to let the world know about your business. Often, it’s asked if social media actually plays an important role in a company’s online marketing campaign.
The simple answer is: YES!
There are two aspects to look at when it comes to social media within your business. The first is the actual use of social media to connect with and keep in touch with your customers and clients. The other is strictly for SEO purposes.
This post is going to focus on the SEO aspects and how it can benefit your company.
When it comes to ranking your site in Google, you have to consider that Google is becoming more and more sophisticated in determining what deserves to rank. The idea of something going viral is simply the easiest explanation. When something goes viral, traffic is increasing at the destination. As traffic and on-page engagement increases, your ranking capabilities increase with it.
How does this work? Google records a wealth of information about what is going on throughout the internet. They know where you go, how long you spend there, and what you’re doing at almost all times. Let’s look at two sites: Site A and Site B. Both sites are almost identical to the point where one site would not have an advantage over the other for any reason.
Both sites utilize social media in exactly the same manner; however, Site A has a larger following and a better creative team. Every post or tweet from Site A sends is sent to 1,000 followers while Site B only sends to 100. Let’s suggest that each post only gets a 10% engagement of sending the followers directly to each site. Once on the site, every user is greeted with a video about the site, a product, or a service. Site A has a video that is 5 minutes long. Site B’s video is only 1 minute long.
The stats are as follows:
Site A – 100 visitors to the site @ 5 minutes per visit
Site B – 10 visitors to the site @ 1 minute per visit
In Google’s eyes, strictly from an algorithmic point of view, which site appears to have the content that people are looking for?
And at the end of the day, Google just wants to display results based on what people are really looking for. High traffic, high dwell time (time spent on a site), and a low bounce rate (bounce rate is how often people leave your site quickly after visiting) are all large factors when it comes to ranking a site. It is indeed possible to rank a site based purely on social media.
Again – Is social media important? In an SEO sense, absolutely.
There are a multitude of metrics used by internet marketers to help determine the strength and value of a website. Of course, the majority of these metrics hold slightly different meanings depending on who you talk to. Some people take Majestic’s Trust and Citation Flow metrics over Moz’s Domain and Page Authority metrics. Still others still look at the aged and publicly dismissed (by Google) PageRank.
These metrics are all useful in their own right; however, there is nothing out there that states that Google uses these metrics in determining how and where a site will rank. These metrics are great starting points, but they are just that.
So why use these metrics? Simply put, they allow us to gain an understanding on whether or not a site is stronger than another. They can let us know if a site is facing serious penalty risks or if everything is legit. Basically, they can tell you what you need to know to understand where your site stands and why. At the end of the, however, how you perceive them and which metrics you hold higher than the others will ultimately tell you the story you want to hear.
You can read more about these metrics on a previous blog entry – It’s All in the Numbers
So what is Alexa and how does it pertain to my site?
Alexa is an analytical tool for web masters to gauge differing aspects of their sites. When talking about Alexa, the one term that pops up more often than not is Alexa Rank. Simply put, Alexa Rank is a number assigned to a site to depict how popular the site is over a 3-month period. This includes global rank and “local” rank (local meaning within your country).
Many marketers and web masters use Alexa Rank to determine the popularity of any given site. The lower you rank (lower is better), the more popular your site is. Or at least, the more popular your site should be.
Like all metrics, Alexa Rank can be manipulated. Having a great Alexa Rank can look enticing to possible advertisers looking to buy some real estate on your website. Or it can allow you to sell your site at a great profit despite faulty numbers.
Despite being able to manipulate your Alexa Rank, you should first understand how Alexa works and whether or not you should really even care.
Straight from Alexa –
“Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel which is a sample of all internet users.”
This is a sample of internet users and the browsing habits of that sample. What that means is that Alexa believes a small percentage of people is indicative of the entire internet using populous. And to a point, that is true.
When it comes to general tasks and popular websites, almost any sample will provide solid data. This is why Google, Facebook, and YouTube sit atop as the number 1, 2, and 3 most visited sites respectively. It’s easy to understand that the majority of people consistently use those three sites. A few more sites within the top 25: Yahoo (5), Amazon (6), Wikipedia (7), Twitter (9), LinkedIn (14), eBay (17), Bing (22), and Instagram (25). It’s easy to see why these sites sit where they sit. (You can view the top 500 ranked sites here)
What does it mean for niche sites? Likely skewed numbers. For social sites, search engines, and popular shopping sites, it’s easy to see why they rank so high. Everyone knows who they are, and they are frequented often by many people. When it comes to your stamp collecting site, however, only a small number of people may ever visit your site. Your Alexa Rank will never grow despite the growth of your site.
Simply put, because Alexa uses a sample size of internet users, they may be missing out on ranking sites where they belong. You site may have 1,000 visitors every day but rank lower than a site that has 200 visitors every day. That could be because the few people in the sample size that frequent stamp collecting sites might only know about your competitors site. You may outperform another site, but Alexa may not think so.
For this reason, it’s safe to say that Alexa Rank should be taken with a grain of salt if you are operating a niche website. To accurately measure your on-site traffic, use Google Analytics or any number of softwares, plugins, or sites that can accurately measure site in real time.
This is a very basic whiteboard video. Nothing fancy.
It’s no surprise that Mallery Online Marketing offers services in the city of Schertz, TX. Located between San Antonio and New Braunfels, Schertz is a growing community with many businesses that could greatly benefit from a proper online marketing campaign.
Having a chance to get in on the ground floor with some solid SEO can ensure long-lasting rankings even when Schertz begins to grow well beyond its current size.
Here is our latest video. It’s similar to our video marketing video; however it reaches to a broader marketing spectrum.