Search Engine Optimization SEO

Search Engine Optimization SEO

What exactly is Search Engine Optimization SEO?

The term Search Engine Optimization SEO refers to all the on-page and off-page techniques and precautions that will help your site rank higher in search engines like Google.

The process and purpose of the Search Engine Optimization SEO activity is to guess and understand as well as possible the different algorithms used by search engines to rank web sites, and rely on the acquired knowledge to help a web site rank higher.

Search Engine Optimization SEO vs. Search Engine Friendly

Search Engine Optimization SEO is not to be confused with the Search Engine Friendly (SE Friendly) term. Search Engine Friendly refers to having a site structure that will help search engines to crawl easier the entire site.

With WordPress, It’s very easy to make your WordPress blog Search Engine Friendly by just enabling the Permalinks option in WordPress. However, do not confuse again. Having a Search Engine Friendly blog doesn’t mean that your blog will rank well in search engines. There’re lots of other things to pay attention if you want to rank higher.

Finally, Search Engine Friendly can be seen as a small subset of Search Engine Optimization SEO.

Search Engine Optimization SEO with AdFlex

Improving Search Engine Optimization SEO score is made easy when using the AdFlex SEO WordPress theme.

AdFlex WordPress theme provides you with several built-in on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO features and options that will definitively help your blog and web site rank higher.

I’ll present you a list of different settings that you’ll have to go through and set accordingly to get the best on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO score.

Please note that this is a very first draft.

WordPress Permalinks

1. Go to WP Admin \ Options \ Permalinks

2. Select “Custom, specify below”

3. In the “Custom structure:” field, you’ll need to specify one of the URL structure choices listed below.

Best URL structure choice

Each choice has its advantages and inconvenient, and the best choice will depend on the kind of web site you have (broad blog content or niche web site), limited set of articles or lots of blog posts, etc.

When choosing the URL structure, it’s recommended that you go for an URL structure of maximum one folder level depth. Having more than one level folder will give more potential issues of having a side effect at the level of the PR score due to the PR dilution and distribution effects.

URL Structure list

You’ll find below a list of URL structures commented with their benefits and inconvenient.

/%postname%/

It’s certainly the choice that gives you the most on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO score when you have a limited set of posts. It’ll permit each of your post to get the most PR score assigned and directly taken from the overall web site PR score.

The disadvantage is that you may get less keyword relevancy if you don’t choose a right post title, post slug and haven’t put enough emphases on the targeted keyword. So it’s very important that you always ensure that your post title, post slug and post content emphases well the targeted keyword to help search engine to see the keyword relevancy. This is even more important for AdSense publisher web sites to get the best relevancy for the AdSense ads.

/%category%/%postname%.php

It has the benefit to have a well sorted categorization of the articles. It permits you to insist on a keyword by putting the keyword as category like /keyword-name/ and therefore better help search engine to better capture your targeted keyword, which is important for AdSense web sites for the relevancy of the ads.

The negative point is that when you have several articles that are grouped within a specific category, you’ll end up with a situation where the initially PR score assigned to the URL part /%category%/ is divided between the numbers of articles located in that specific category folder. With such case, you’ll get less PR score allocated for each of the article of that category due to the PR distribution of the same input PR score between lots of different articles and post items.

/articles/%postname%.php or /content/%postname%.php

It permits an article to be categorized in multiple categories without any risks to affecting the URL structure.

The negative point is that if you have too many articles, you’ll end up with less PR score allocated the URL part /articles/ due to the PR distribution effect.

Don’t forget to specify a keyword in the post title and in the post slug to help search engine to see the keyword relevancy, which is very important for AdSense web sites for the relevancy of the ads.

/%category%/%postname%/

It’s not a good choice because you’ll have the same disadvantages than /%category%/%postname%.php, then on top of that you introduce another folder level, which will dilute even more the PR score that was assigned naturally to the URL part /%category%/.

If you like the categorization of the articles, /%category%/%postname%.php is a better choice in term of on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO but it has still some side effects as mentioned earlier.

/articles/%postname%/ or /content/%postname%/

It’s not a good choice because you’ll have the same disadvantages than /articles/%postname%.php or /content/%postname%.php, then on top of that you introduce another folder level, which will dilute even more the PR score that was assigned naturally to the URL part /articles/.

Note for blog URI located in a subfolder

The URL structure option is a bit difference when you have a blog located at subfolder part of the Web root URL. As it’s recommended to have an URL structure of maximum one folder level depth, you have installed a blog in a subfolder like /blog/, you’ll have better on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO results if you opt for the following options:

/%postname%.php

This option is better than /%postname%/ in term of Search Engine Optimization SEO score and to avoid extra potential PR dilution issues.

Don’t forget to specify a keyword in the post title and in the post slug, which is even very important for AdSense web sites for the Ad relevancy.

/%postname%/

See /%postname%.php

Note for Niche content

If you have Niche web site, the above recommendations may look different than the ones from people who rely on the SILO and LSI way that talks about several folder level depth.

The aim of the several folder level structures of SILO and LSI is to help search engines understand what niche category and content you cover. It has the advantage to put more emphasis at the keyword relevancy level choice. However, it has a drastic PR dilution issue due to the depth folder structure that may hurt in some cases.

4. In the “Category base” field, add:
– /category

5. Click on “Update Permalink Structure”

6. Add the file .htaccess with the generated code in the server folder that corresponds to the Blog Address URL

More info in the comments given in post URL: http://www.askvk.com/adflex/home-link-on-sidebar-does-not-point-to-homepage-url.php

Content of robots.txt file

7. Add a file robots.txt file to prevent crappy items like wp-admin, wp-login etc to appear in your SERPs. See WordPress Duplicate Content Prevention with robots.txt for more info.

8. Go to WP Admin \ Presentation \ Ad Flex Options

9. Enable the “Force Blogs URL” in Ad Flex Options

10. Enable the “META Description” in Ad Flex Options

11. Chose “Summary” for “Post Content Display” option in Ad Flex Options

12. Choose “Search engines must only index the homepage, posts and pages” for the “Search Engines Duplicate Content Prevention Mode” option in Ad Flex Options. I’ll tell later on about this specific choice.

13. Add a short description (max 150 chars) in the field META Description for Homepage that will be displayed as snippet for your homepage in search engine results. Pay attention to do it well the first time as some search engines don’t update or are very slow to update the META Description for the homepage after it has been set once.

14. Disable “Top Bar Text Visibility”

15. Disable “Bottom Bar Text Visibility”

16. Disable “Link Unit Bar Text Visibility”

17. Disable “Top Separator Bar Text Visibility”

18. Disable “Top Separator Bar Text Visibility”

19. Disable Post Edit Visibility”

20. Disable “META Section Visibility”

21. Disable “Bottom Separator Bar Text Visibility”

Give access to Search Engines:

22. Go to WP Admin \ Presentation \ Ad Flex Options, and chose “Permit search engines to access the site” for “Search Engines Access Permission”

23. Go to WP Admin \ Options \ Privacy, and choose “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines” for “Blog visibility”

Extra notes

  • Here are some extra notes that I’ll document with more details later on.
  • You may add manually a META Keyword to each post but please note that modern search engines don’t consider really consider that META Description tag due to abuse in the past.
  • You can also help search engines to find your web pages by using the Google Sitemap, but please note that it won’t help your rank better. It’s a false assumption and it’s mainly a confusion or misinterpretation by lots of people. The Google Sitemap is to help SE finds easier your page when your web site structure is badly done, which is not the case when you use WordPress + AdFlex. Then you have potential PR dilution when you use Google Sitemap.I’ll explain more about the PR dilution effect in a separated post.
  • Adding Visual Site Map may ease your user experience if you have a web site with lots of content.
  • Adding a “About”, “Contact”, “Terms” and “Privacy” pages may give some extra quality score for your web site, little extra on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO score and more important it may increase the trust level of your visitors. Please note that if you don’t take some precautions, you’ll lose some precious PR points assigned to those secondary pages that you don’t want to rank for. I’ll explain (when time permits) one of the best way to get the best of both world in a separated post.

Other on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO

Of course, there are other little on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO items but the main ones were already listed above. So if you are able to implement all the above items, you’ll get a very high white hat on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO score.

Conclusion

You’ve now a better understanding of the difference between Search Engine Optimization SEO and Search Engine Friendly. You have also learned how to effectively use AdFlex to get more chances to rank higher thanks to the most efficient on-page Search Engine Optimization SEO items and techniques.

Posted on May 14th, 2007 by VK

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5 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimization SEO

  1. Laurie

    G’day there VK.

    As you know, I have four blogs using WP and AdFlex:

    * Digital Photography Tutorials http://www.southimage.net/digitaltutorials/
    * Wilderness Travel http://www.southimage.net/wilderness-travel/
    * Sapphire Coast News http://www.southimage.net/sapphire-coast-news/
    * Snowy Mountains Skiing http://www.southimage.net/snowy-mountains-skiing/

    I’ve appreciated the one on one help you’ve given me. I’ve followed all the sugested SEO stratergies and I believe that what I have, complies with the information above in this post.

    However, although my indexing is fairly good, the number of posts in the supplimental index and ranking very poorly, is increasing. In fact, out of the whole lot, there is only one indexed page in the main index. A couple of weeks ago it was better, and a month ago it was better still.

    Digital photography Tutorials, up until a week ago, had about half of the posts in the main index, despite being all reprint articles from EzineArticles.

    By contrast, Wilderness Travel is all unique content and has slipped compleately into the supplimental index.

    I’m sure hoping that you can suggest some stratergies to improve my ranking. I’m wanting to push ahead with my business plan but can’t get far while I’m in the supplimental index.

    In fact, I feel too ashamed to put the word out for comunity contributions for my comunity driven news site.

    The most pressing need is to get Snowy Mountains Skiing up and running properly. The official opening of the ski season is in ten days. There have been good, early snow falls so the resorts are running at full pace all ready.

    Maybe you’ll suggest a linking campaign. Whatever the solution, I’m keen to learn and get on with it.

    Regards,
    Laurie.

  2. VK Post author

    Hi Laurie,

    As I’m a bit over-loaded for the moment, I give you a quick answer at first, then I’ll elaborate later on.

    In fact, having an effective SEO requires you pay attention to 3 main things:
    1) On-page SEO

    Get the highest possible on-page SEO score by having most of the important on-page SEO rules in place like having keyword in H1 & H2, keyword in title and other HTML formating layout, AdSense positioning, etc.

    AdFlex takes makes your life easy but just doing this specific on-page SEO for you.

    2) SEO copywriting

    This can be considered also as part of the on-page SEO but it requires human intervention somehow because you need to do write content that includes:
    a) – Choose they right keyword that AdFlex will put in the document title, H1 and H2.
    The perfect rules is to bet on a keyword that has less competition, high numbers of searches, enough number of clicks if you use AdSense, and highest CPC and more important the average CPC if available.

    No all keyword research tools are equal. Some doesn’t give the CPC, average CPC and number of AdSense clicks. I may recommend some keyword research tools but in the scope of another post when I’m able to find some time for that.

    b) You need to include the keyword several times in the content to ensure the search engine seems enough relevancy. This is even more important for AdSense sites where the Adsense Mediabot needs to see what is your targeted keyword. A keyword density from 1% to 4% seems to be a good bet as less than 1% and you may lose relevancy and lose ranking against others sites that has higher keyword density and relevancy. Then above 4%, you begin to get the risk to get categorized as over-doing with the keywords and seen as spammer.

    c) You need to get pass the new Google 2007 duplicate content filter. Even if there’s no exact knowledge as the Google algo is secret, researches have shown that if:
    – On the same web site, you have 2 pages that use the same string sequence of more than 150-180-200 chars, you may have one of the pages that will get into the Supplemental index. So the WordPress duplicate content falls exactly in that case.
    – On different web sites, if you have 2 exact copies, you may escape the duplicate filter if the neighborhood distance (a kind of spacial search dimension) is far enough. In the reverse case, if you have site A that links to site B and site C, and with site B that is a copy of site C, Site B or Site C will be penalized and the one that will get penalized depend on different factors that I don’t cover here for sake of clarity.
    If it’s not 2 exact copies, you may still get the risk to be seen as the same copy if the % of similitude is lower than 20% and better to bet on 30% to be sure.

    d) page content that are too short and that follow the same kind of pattern may risk to fall under the % of similitude case as well as a same string sequence of more than 150-180-200 chars, and that can push it to the Supplemental index too.

    e) A duplicate content when caught by the duplicate filter will be put in the Supplemental Index.
    But non-duplicate content (so not caught by the duplicate content filter) will also be put in the Supplemental Index if the Relevancy Score is not good enough and it may happen if no links from any web sites from the whole Internet except your site. In this specific case, adding some external links to the page that is in the Supplemental Index will give it some Relevancy Score and get it out from the Supplemental Index.

    f) There’re other factors that applied more for PLR content that are used as is or re-written but as it’s not your case, I won’t cover it now. I’ll get another post later on to talk about PLR content.

    3) Off-page SEO

    The off-page SEO consists of all the SEO techniques and rules that are not something to do with the content of the page itself. It’s more how the other sites see you, consider you and more simply link to you.

    For a web site, it’s mainly the links from other web sites to your site. The link has to pass a vote = PR score from the external site to your site. If the PR score of the vote is important. The TrustLevel of the vote is even more important. If you get a vote from a very trusted web site = high internal Google TrustLevel, you begin to get your own TrustLevel better and you’ll get more relevancy score too.

    The TrustLevel is an important factor and even more than the PR score. For instance, you could have a high PR site that will rank poorly because of a very low TrustLevel, and certainly because the acquired high PR amount of points may be fabricated by hundred of web sites with a low TrustLevel. In that case, a small set of links from well trusted web sites should help you rank better.

    A new domain name is put in the Google Sandbox (or outside of the Google TrustBox) for 8-12 months. It’s the Google way to avoid new site to get ranked too high too fast and mainly to target the spammers who used to build such sites. So for several months, you get less chance compared to an aged domain names.

    Now you may get out of the sandbox if you get a nice link from a web site that has a high TrustLevel as your own TrustLevel gets high too.

    Aged domain names are not to be considered with expired domain names that get their age reset to 0 and it’s monitored by Google since some time.

    Links from external sites are important. If one of your page has original content but there’re not enough PR juice, you may into the Supplemental index too. You can solve it by having some links from the external world to that page to get it out of the Supplemental Index.

    You may also understand that a site that has thousands of articles will get more chances to get lots of page in the Supplemental Index if there’re more chances that your overall PR score is distributed to so many articles that each articles get only a very low amount of PR points and if on top of that, there’s no external links to the article, you get into the Supplemental Index too.

    A good example of a site that has thousand good original content but will get most of their page in the Supplemental index is http://www.blogherald.com. http://www.blogherald.com has about 50.000+ pages. Now just do a Google command site:www.blogherald.com, you’ll see that only the first 1000 pages are in the main index, and the rests (about 50.000 pages) are in the Supplemental Index.

    Now http://www.blogherald.com still get lots of traffic due to the popularity of the site and fresh new content to get return visitor and the feedburner too.

    Of course, if you page is in the Supplemental Index, you’ll get less chances to rank well compared to another page that compete with you and that is not in the Supplemental Index.

    The ranking factor of blogs becomes more and more different than for regular site due to some new way that Google have found to rank blogs.

    It’s not official but it’s more than obvious that they capture their stat numbers they get from they Google Reader users. Then they’ve recently bought the FeedBurner service, so they can combine the numbers from FeedBurner users and Google Reader users.

    Google has also some plans to track the URLs contained in the content of GMail to get track of the Blog popularity too.

    Now for your specific case, I need to analyze it in more detailed but I lack time for the moment. But as you’ve guessed, I’ve talked quickly but I’ve tried to give you as much useful info possible to permit you to get new thoughts and better distinguish your specific case, so you get a step close to the final solution.

    So it should give some new knowledge to analyze your own site and content and get more ideas of solutions. If you get some new ideas, you can ask me and I can confirm you and even elaborate it, etc. I find such approach interesting as you’ll learn by doing some homework too.

    I think that if you get some nice external links to some of your posts and you get a higher overall PR, you’ll get less item in the Supplement Index too.

    BTW, you can monitor some of my test sites for Supplemental items by doing some Google site: command.

    site:digital-proof.org // you shouldn’t see any item in the Supplemental Index. OK it may be easier as it’s a high PR6 with small set of content.

    site:www.000vitamins.com // I think there’s 1 in the Supplemental Index but it has been for a special reason and if we have time, we’ll get it out of it

    We have lots of the same kind of web sites and we don’t have real worries with Supplemental Index and 90% of the sites are PLR content that just used as is without any modification, but they’re from good PLR content providers.

    I’ll do a separate post about what’s a good PLR content provider and what are the best PLR content providers for the moment.

    Hope it helps.

    Cheers,
    VK

  3. Laurie

    G’day there VK.

    I’ve been examining my blogs in the light of what you sugested.

    I haven’t done much about backlinks, but then I never did in the past either, except for a few distributed articles and a few direstory submissions. I’ve never had this sort of trouble before.

    So I looked out for what was different. It’s no good trying to blame AdFlex. It’s fine. So is your SEO advice.

    Before you showed me how to use the ataccess file and the no follow robots file, there were a lot of unwanted pages indexed. As the changes to to those files had their effect in the newly cached list of indexed pages, the SERPs cleaned up considerably.

    So I suppose Google would have noticed an unusually large proportion of pages dissapear from my domain. Would that be enough to lower my SEO score? Brand me as a spammer?

    It’s noteable that I’ve made quite a few new posts since I hit bottom with the supplimental index, and the new posts are being quickly cached in the main index.

    So what do you reckon, Mate? Just a matter of keeping on going and it will all come right?

    Regards,
    Laurie.

  4. Mike

    I am interested in both your Adflex lite and pro, but I don’t even see where I can download them. Any help would be much appreciated. I am a little wary knowing Laurie went supplemental or so it sounds. Thanks, Mike!

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