4 Ways to Clean Up Your Site for SEO

You already know that serving up valuable content that gets consumed and shared is the primary way to have your site ranked higher by Google – especially if those inbound links are from other sites of authority.

Did you also know that Google interprets subtle signals that your site may be sending that could be working against your content marketing plan – effectively downgrading its SEO?

Everything Google and the other search engines do is designed to respond to web content as a human would – which is why you should learn to do the same.

According to a source from a redondo beach seo firm, to illustrate this, here are four considerations that you have probably never considered when evaluating your website – but that you will nevertheless recognize have merit and deserve your attention.

#1 – Is Your Site Uncluttered and Visually Appealing?

Many believe that if they use more of the services offered by Google, it will smile favorably on their site.  One example of this is loading up your site with Google ads.

According to the SEO experts at SEOmoz, this is not a good idea.

It is essential to consider the user’s experience for real people.  While Google is certainly happy to have you serving up their ads, you will be compensated for the clicks you deliver – and that comes from content that brings in more eyeballs.

If your site is overly cluttered with ads, they could not all be relevant to the content you are delivering.  This is when it becomes evident to Google that the true purpose of your site is not primarily to deliver useful content – but to serve up ads.

As a result, it will get downgraded. I had the pleasure of having one of my close friends guide me through most of my learning when it comes to SEO. A Hartford Search Engine Optimization Expert can help take your business to the next level. It sure worked for me.

Ads are useful, and Google knows their ads will earn more clicks if they are associated with quality content.  Focus on creating a favorable user experience for your audience.  Google will reward you for it because they know their ads will earn more clicks as a result.

#2 – Is Your URL Excessively Lengthy?

Large corporations pay dearly to have a short and simple url for their primary site.  Even tech start-ups do the same.

I recently interviewed Wajam’s CEO, Martin-Luc Archambault, for this article on social search.  I was curious about the meaning of the company name.  It turns out it has no meaning at all.  It was one of many available dot.com urls that were short, with Wajam being the one that when tested against others proved to be memorable.

So, when it comes to SEO and urls – length matters.  What also matters are things like hyphens in a url that suggest a copycat of the original.  When choosing a url, Martin suggested a simple test.  If it can be spoken and understood in a crowded bar, and therefore remembered, its probably a keeper.

#3 – Does Your Site Load Quickly?

There are many factors that affect the health of your site, and some of them are beyond your control – which may even include the site hosting itself.  If you happen to be on a self-hosted WordPress site as I am, then you can choose your own hosting.

Do your own research as it is a competitive market.  I read lots of comments from many forums and finally settled on InMotion Hosting – with whom I’ve been very pleased.

Beyond hosting, the most significant thing is the architecture of your site.  Are there lots of images or videos on your home page?  That alone will dramatically slow any site down.

A clean site loads faster – this includes business class hosting, solid architecture like Studiopress, and customization by a professional designer that understands code.

#4 – Is Your Site Following All of the Links That Follow You?

If you link to all of the sites that link to you then you are sending Google a signal that those are not earned links.

According to a Melbourne SEO expert, a site that has true authority does not have to practice link sharing.  Think of this as like celebrities that only follow a few hundred folks on Twitter, but still have millions of followers. This is an indication that they have authority.

Contrary to what some believe, having several outbound links is not a problem.  If you are linking to authoritative sites, such as valid experts, then those serve as reference points to experts – just as the bibliography of a book does.

They show Google that you’ve done your homework.

What All of This Means

Do these factors carry a lot of weight?  No, not individually – but they are cumulative.  There are so many factors that Google uses to rank sites – and they will give them different degrees of weight over time, as well as adding new parameters.

Think of SEO as the health of your site.  One little thing is not going to make or break your health or SEO ranking, but over the long haul they do indeed eventually make a difference.

What are your thoughts?  Does your site stand up well to some of these factors that correlate with a negative SEO?

Leave a comment below or share this with your social community.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Photo Credit: Frederric Poirot

Wajam is Social Search

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have immediate access to the wisdom and expertise of your friends when you need it the most?

Meet Wajam – a new search engine that serves up search results from what is shared among your social networking friends.

Ever since Facebook launched the social sharing Like button in April of 2010, there has been a great deal of anticipation about what that social component would do for search. Regrettably, thus far it has been a waiting game.

In the meantime, Google has stepped up their efforts to go social with the Google+1 button taking on Facebook Like.

And just a few days ago Google introduced the Google+ social network to take on Facebook itself.

Why all the activity with regards to social and sharing?

You guessed correctly.  It’s all about search. HADG2EH76FW4


Social is the Future of Search – But it’s Complicated

When it comes to search results, Google and Bing favor different types of content – especially when it comes to social content, which is arguably the most relevant.

Blekko is one search engine that has recently put a spotlight on this situation by challenging the two search giants (who control 95% of the search chess board) to a side-by-side comparison against Blekko’s results via their 3 Engine Monte competition.

The reason the results vary is due to the type and quantity of social data that Google and Bing can respectively index, due to such factors as social permissions.

To give you a better understanding of this, here’s a detailed article published yesterday on social search and social graphs as it relates to Google and Bing – and why it is indeed complicated.

Wajam is Your Friend that Plays Well with Google and Bing

While Google and search partners Bing and Facebook continue to escalate their quest to dominate the entire social media universe, Wajam is ready here and now to help you access the knowledge and wisdom of your friends – that narrow sliver of search you often know to be the most relevant and useful.

Wajam is a browser extension that works in tandem with the major search engines, so you don’t have to change your search habits to get the results you are looking for.  All you have to do is give Wajam the same permissions that you have given Facebook and Twitter, and it does the rest.

That’s the beauty of Wajam. You and your friends have previously granted each other access to data via shared links.  By granting Wajam access to that same, you can now search the word-of-mouth recommendations your friends are making every day on the social networks.

How Wajam Works

On Facebook, Wajam has access to content that you and your friends have shared. This includes any links from Facebook to the open web, as well as content that originated outside of Facebook, such as videos and images you have uploaded.

Wajam does not share content from friends of your friends, as that is against Facebook’s privacy settings. However, you should know that when you Like content on the open web, you have friended that site, and Wajam therefore considers any content from it to be highly relevant.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is a public site. So, Wajam delivers results from your friends – and friends of friends, what you know of as your followers.

Here is an example of Wajam results delivered within a Google Search.  Below the Wajam results are the usual Google results.

You can click on options to dial up Twitter or Facebook results, and you can display results shared by specific friends.

Let’s take a look at a specific example to illustrate how Wajam can work for you.

Making Wajam Work for You

I’m in the process of writing an article on QR codes to follow up on a highly popular one written earlier this year entitled How You Can Grow Your Business with QR Codes.  For that first article I interviewed Steve Epstein, who is now in my social circle.  That article introduced me to Roger Smolski and Matthew Gallizzi, who I’ve interviewed for the follow up piece I’m working on.

If I Google QR codes and click on Friends from within the Wajam results, I can easily get a glance of others within my social networks that have shared information on QR codes, thus making them valuable resources for my project.

There is much more to Wajam than I can’t show you here.  The best way to find out how it can work for you is to give it a try.

What are the projects you are working on where you could benefit most from the recommendations of your friends?

Leave a comment below or share this with your social community on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Stumbleupon.

Enjoy your weekend,  Jeff