Fixing the Duplicate Content Issue

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Linking Strategies, SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Recently Google announced that they now have a format that you can use within your web pages that allow you to specify which URL you prefer to use for your web pages.  This helps to alleviate the duplicate content issue that many site owners and SEOs have been dealing with for years.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that someone linked to one of your pages using the following URL:

http://www.SomeSite.com/cart.php?item=someitem

But this same item on your site could also be accessed by the following URL as well:

http://www.SomeSite.com/cart.php?item=someitem&category=somecategory

Since both pages contain almost identical information, search engines may consider this duplicate content.

Now, all you need to do is add a line of code within the “<head>” section of your web pages code to specify which URL you prefer your site to use.

Here’s what the code would look like:

This tells Google (as well as Yahoo and Microsoft) the preferred way you want this URL to appear.

Why this is so important is because it will help to make sure that things such as link popularity all are pointing to the page you want them to.

Keep in mind that this code should only be used for pages that are either absolutely identical or so similar to one another that it would cause a duplicate content issue for your site.

Within their post, Google answers a lot of questions about this format but probably the most important answers are:

  1. The rel=”canonical” code above CAN be a redirect.
  2. It CANNOT be used to link to a completely different domain.
  3. This standard can be used by any search engine when they crawl and index your site.

So now that you know how to use it for your website, what about your blog?

Luckily, there’s already been a new plugin developed just for this purpose which you can get here.

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How To Get Listed in Google In Less Than An Hour

Posted on February 13, 2009. Filed under: Free Stuff, SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’ve got a nice surprise for you today.

It’s a brand new free report that I’ve just released entitled Bonehead SEO’s Quick Traffic Guide and it will show you (with proof included) how you can get your website, your product, your blog, whatever it is, listed in Google in under an hour!

Now, even though there’s plenty of proof included in the report I obviously can’t *guarantee* that the same will happen to you but on the tests that I’ve run so far, it’s never failed.

You can get this free 18-page report at http://BoneheadSEO.com/freeSEO/

Enjoy it, use it, and if you’ve had the kind of success using this same method yourself, let me know about it by posting your success stories here!

Who said Friday the 13th was bad luck?

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Niche Marketing

Posted on February 11, 2009. Filed under: Niche Marketing, SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , |

Niche marketing is probably one of the least understood areas surrounding the creation of a successful business online.  You’ll find that many people who do chose to have online businesses, tend to focus on large, broad markets not understanding that the money is truly in smaller, niche markets.

In essence, what a “niche” is, is nothing more than a small sub-section of a larger market.

Take the example of “dog training”.  Dog Training is a large market that currently has over 23,000,000 web pages competing for the term.  However, when you’re looking at a niche market you want to narrow this down to a market that is less competitive yet more responsive.

In our example of “dog training” there are multiple niches you could consider.  Here are just a few:

  • dog training collars
  • in home dog training
  • dog agility training
  • dog training tips
  • service dog training
  • career in dog training
  • dog training supplies
  • dog obedience training

All of these focus on one specific area of the overall larger market of “dog training” and each one has a variety of factors that make each of these markets more lucrative than the overall generic term itself.

Here’s why.  Whenever someone does a search in Google for example, on dog training, you really have no idea as the website owner exactly what kinds of dog training the web searcher was looking for.

However, when you focus on a niche, the web searcher essentially tells you exactly what it is they’re trying to find as in the examples above.

The person searching on “dog training collars” wants collars that will help dog train.  The person searching on “career in dog training” is looking for information on starting this kind of career.

Essentially, niche markets are far more lucrative because the web searcher tells you exactly what it is that they’re looking for and you can then create your website around that specific need by making use of keywords and SEO (search engine optimization).

For more information on how to choose a niche properly as well as optimize your website, visit http://www.BoneheadSEO.com/cb

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How Do You Get Those Extra Links in Google?

Posted on February 4, 2009. Filed under: SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A question was submitted to me just today about those extra links that tend to show up in a Google Search Results page.

The Question:
Hello,
I have a burning question and I can’t find an answer in SEO course available.
If you do this search: http://ping.fm/yg5VD

You’ll notice the first result has 8 other links besides the main one (Crna hronika, sport etc.). That must increase the CTR a lot.

The question is: what makes Google do that for one site and not for another one?
What should you do with your site to get such extra links in the results?

Best Regards,
Eko

Here’s an example of what they look like:

These are called “Site Links” and the bottom line is that Google does not tell you exactly how to get these sitelinks for your own site.

However, each website that contains these sitelinks has a few common denominators:

* They’re typically an authority site.
* They have an easy-to-navigate hierarchical structure. In the case above, there is a section for “Sports”, a section for “Stars” and a section for “Politics” as Eko pointed out.
* They have lots of incoming one-way links from a variety of sources.
* The sites are easy to navigate.
* The age of the site tends to be a defining factor.

If we pick apart the site above, there’s a few things to note about it:

* The site has a PageRank of 6.
* It has over over 100,000 links pointing to the site itself including internal pages.
* Sites such as these generally have been around for years.
* The site has lots of useful information that readers enjoy by clicking through to various pages.

You’ll generally find these sitelinks on major news sites like CNN and highly visited sites such as Oprah’s site at Oprah.com.

So while these sitelinks can be a huge boost for your search engine traffic, they aren’t easy to come by. Google must deem your site “worthy” enough to receive these sitelinks.

If you use Google Webmaster tools, at http://ping.fm/Baz1J and you’ve added your site, you’ll be able to navigate to the section where Google tells you whether or not any sitelinks have been identified on your site as candidates for the Google Search Results page.

The bottom line is that there is no hard and fast rule to getting sitelinks placed on your site aside from some of the factors that are believed to be important as mentioned above.

If you’d like more information about sitelinks, visit:

http://ping.fm/e8a8B

Kristine

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Some Common & Not So Common Link Building Ideas

Posted on January 12, 2009. Filed under: Linking Strategies, SEO Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

What follows are are a few common & some not-so-common link-building ideas you can use that will get you headed in the right direction where incoming links are concerned.

1. Create a Video and submit it to the different video directories. Video will only continue to get more prominent as time goes on. It’s already estimated that 25% of online users view videos every single day – that’s a huge number. Plus, the added benefit of video is that the video market is far less saturated than the web page market. One simple search in Google for the highly competitive phrase of “internet marketing” brings back a whopping 95,000,000 web pages. However, that same term only produces 13,500 search results in Google video. Take advantage of this while you can.Make reference to your URL in the video’s description. A failure to do this will not get a link back to your site.While YouTube does not follow links back to their originating source, Google Video does (which by the way includes videos from YouTube, MetaCafe, Guba and more). Take advantage of it while you can.
2. Do you use Google Notebook? You should. Currently Google Notebook’s links are followed and, if you make your notebook public, will be indexed by Google.
3. Answer a question at Yahoo Answers. (http://answers.yahoo.com)People ask all kinds of questions on every topic imaginable here. Whatever your niche topic is, you’re sure to find someone asking a question about it that you can answer. Don’t forget to link back to your site as a resource.
4. Create a blog post with a helpful list. People LOVE lists. And they tend to bookmark them quite frequently.
5. Bookmark your own web pages at places like Delicious.com, Newsvine and Technorati. You can also use a service such as OnlyWire.com to do this for you. Don’t worry about the nofollow tags on some of the social bookmarking sites. Even though the nofollow won’t get you a link back to your site in the search engines, it can still get some eyeballs within the social bookmarking directory itself if you use the right tags in your bookmark. (Tags = Keywords).
6. Write Articles. Not as effective as it used to be but will still get links pointing to your site however they won’t be the best most authoritative links.
7. Get listed in a niche directory. It’s likely that your business caters to a specific niche; if it doesn’t you need to really consider doing so. Your niche will also very likely have niche directories that you can add your site to. Unlike larger directories like Yahoo and Google (who gets their directory results from DMOZ) that are general website directories, there are also niche directories that have less competition. Do a Google search for “your topic” + directory and see what comes up. If your niche website would fit well in that directory, and the directory has a decent PageRank and a fair amount of pages indexed, add your site.
8. Link Build With Images. Places like Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/) for example, allow you to place photos within their directory, give those photos tags relevant to your niche and use keyword-rich link text within the description. For example, if I ran a Wedding Cakes business, I could upload photos of “wedding cakes” use keywords related to those wedding cakes to tag my photos and use within my anchor text.
9. GIVE, GIVE, GIVE. Believe it or not, the more you GIVE away, the more people will link to you. This could be a free report, free ideas, tips, whatever your target market would find helpful and useful.
10. Niche Websites. Does your niche have a website that people visit often? For example, if you’re a WAHM (work at home Mom) or a WAHD (work at home Dad) there are a wide variety of websites available that talk about this topic. See if you can’t be a “guest blogger” or contribute an article to them free of charge in exchange for a link back to your site.
11. Talk. Do you like to talk about your topic? Use places like BlogTalkRadio.com and host your own radio show. People will find you and subsequently visit your site. This is a great way to get links.
12. Review a Product. Is there a product you’ve used recently that you liked? Ask the site owner if you can give a testimonial and then see if they’ll link to your website.
13. Make a Google Gadget. One very overlooked way to get potentially thousands of people to your site and linking to you is to create your own Google Gadget – you can read more about how to do this at http://code.google.com/apis/gadgets/. I recommend you take some time to see what the more popular gadgets consist of first – are they funny? Useful? Helpful? Fun? Incorporate these same ideas into your gadget so that they’ll get viewed (and used).

For more useful SEO tips visit http://www.BoneheadSEO.com/blog/ You’ll also find our completely updated and now available SEO Course now available for purchase.

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