How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines

search engine optimization

Over the past few years I worked with 30 of the top 100 blogs to help them increase their traffic. The thing that all of these blogs have in common is that they have great content. But one thing that most of these blogs didn’t do right is leverage search engines.

Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you follow the instructions below, you can optimize your blog within 30 minutes.

Title Tags

title tag

You may not know what a title tag is, but you have seen it. Every time you perform a Google search, websites with relevant title tags usually so up towards the top of the page. For example, I searched for the term “Neil” in the image above. Most of the results have the word “Neil” in the title tag. This means that if you want to rank for a specific term, it should be in your title tag.

Take a look at your blog’s source code, the title tag will be close to the top and it will look something like this: <title>Quick Sprout – I’m Kind of a Big Deal</title>. Ideally your title tags should be descriptive, short, unique, and somewhat keyword rich. With a blog though, the title tag of each page is the title of your blog post, but this doesn’t mean you can’t optimize it.

WordPress
If you have a WordPress blog go into your header file and replace your title tag code with this:

<title><?php if (is_home () ) { bloginfo(‘name’); } elseif ( is_category() ) { single_cat_title(); echo ” – “; bloginfo(‘name’); } elseif (is_single() || is_page() ) { single_post_title(); } elseif (is_search() ) { bloginfo(‘name’); echo ” search results: “; echo wp_specialchars($s); } else { wp_title(”,true); } ?></title>

Movable Type
If you have a Movable Type blog, replace your title tag code with this:

<title><$MTEntryTitle$></title>

Meta Description

meta description

If you look at the image above, you will get a good understanding of what a meta description is. A meta description is a short sentence that describes what a web page is about. Each meta description tag on your blog should be unique, short, and descriptive.

Writing a unique meta description for each of your blog posts can be time consuming, which is why I recommend making the first sentence of each of your blog posts your meta description.

WordPress
The Head Meta Description plugin automatically adds a unique meta description tag to each of your blog posts. Just download it, upload it to your server, active it, and set it to 25 words.

Movable Type
I don’t know of any plugins that do the same on Movable Type, but through your post template code you can do the same thing. Just add this line of code:

<meta name=”description” content=”<$MTEntryBody words=”25″$> …” />

Sitemaps

You could create an HTML sitemap on your blog to increase the number of pages search engines index, or you could create an XML sitemap. I personally recommend going the route of creating an XML sitemap and submitting it to the search engines.

After you create your XML sitemap you can submit it to Google Webmaster Central, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Live Search.

301 Redirect

Some people have a tendency to link to http://yourdomain.com and others tend to link to http://www.youdomain.com. Both of those URLs may look the same, but one contains a www and the other doesn’t. So if 100 websites link to the non-www version and 1000 websites links to the www version, search engines may see both of those URLs as separate pages even though they are the same site.

You can solve this by adding a 301 redirect in your htaccess file.

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_Host} ^YOURDOMAIN.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Another way you can solve this is through Google Webmaster Central. In Webmaster Central (under the settings tab) you can tell Google to pick the www or non-www version of your domain. Although this is an easier solution than modifying your htaccess file, you should still do both because Google Webmaster Central doesn’t affect how other search engines see your blog.

Duplicate Content

If the same piece of content is on more than 1 page of your blog, you will have duplicate content issues. The more duplicate content you have on your blog, the less search engine traffic you will get. In most cases the same piece of content will be on your home page, the post page, and in your category achieves. Here is how you can get rid of your duplicate content:

PageRank Sculpting

If you have the Google Toolbar installed on your computer, you probably know what PageRank is. If you don’t, it is a numerical value from 1 to 10 that websites get. 1 means that a website isn’t that important and 10 means that a website is very important.

A good way to increase your Google PageRank is to control your links. If you have too many links on a web page, that page’s PageRank can decrease. Now this doesn’t mean having ten or twenty links on a page is going to hurt you, or that you shouldn’t link to other sites. In other words, you should not link out to 1000 other pages when it doesn’t provide any value to a user. A good way to solve this problem is to “nofollow” links.

Nofollow is an HTML attribute value used to instruct search engines that a hyperlink should not influence a web pages ranking. The code you can use to nofollow certain link is:

rel=”nofollow”

The links I recommend nofollowing on your blog are things like contact pages, terms of service, comment links, privacy policy, and read more links. You can pretty much nofollow the second instance of any duplicate link on a given page.

Image Search

People don’t just search for web pages, they also search for images. Search engines aren’t smart enough to decrypt an image and tell you what it is, like humans can. But through code you can help a search engine figure out what keywords your images are related too.

You can optimize your images through 5 easy steps:

  1. Enable image Labeler in Google Webmaster Central. (you can find it under the settings tab)
  2. Give meaningful names to your images. For example, GreenToyotaCamry.jpg is better than image1.jpg.
  3. Add long description tags to your images. For example: longdesc=”1998 green Toyota Camry driving down the highway”.
  4. In addition to a long description, an alt tag should be used as a short description. For example: alt=”Toyota Camry”
  5. Lastly, you want to upload big images. Bigger images usually have a higher priority than smaller images.

Conclusion

After you do all of these changes, your search engine traffic should increase. Just be patient because it could take a few weeks before you start seeing any increases in traffic. If you have a brand new blog, don’t expect to get much search engine traffic. It can take months before you start getting a lot of search engine love. ;-)

If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment.

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Comments

  1. Thanks Neil! This is just what I needed. :)

  2. Another great post! Thanks for sharing some of your SEO knowledge.

  3. Great post man. I have always wondered how you doubled Techcrunch’s traffic in 2 weeks. I am sure this is part of that.

  4. Neil, this one is a classic, I’m going to be passing it all around the web and linking to it soon. I like when you have more free time :)

  5. Great post. For WordPress blogs, I think the All-in-one SEO plugin is a must have. It helps you easily optimize the title tags and also the meta description of individual posts.

  6. Love this post! Great job of explaining the “why” and “how” in a way newbies can understand and experienced bloggers can relate to. Definitely one to bookmark and share!

    I’m first starting to focus on improving my blog’s SEO – thank you for making it so easy to know where to start :-) Hopefully incorporating these suggestions – and migrating to the Thesis theme – should make a significant difference.

    Appreciate you taking the time to share this with us all!

  7. Neil i have a big website with many more then 15k pages … in few months the crawled pages google used to show was around 10k and from last week its getting lesser n lesser … every 2 to 3 days there is a decrease of 1 or 2 k pages indexed in G.

    i have xml sitemap prepared on the site too … but m not getting whats the prob … i think u can help me out or help me our with ur suggestion

    • Yahoo Site Explorer has indexed 5,992 or your pages… and says you have 11,398 inlinks, but most are from your own domain.

      I was looking for your site map, and even did a “control f” to find it on the page, I don’t see you linking to it from your home page.

      I was going to take a look at your site structure from there to see your internal linking strategy.

      Also (And Obviously Neil Will Shed Some Light On This) but you have too many keywords in your title on your home page.

      It brings the density down and makes each keyword worth a little less. Focus first on the 2 or 3 keyword phrases that are most important to you and have the most opportunity to bring you a lot of targeted traffic. Not the most competitive ones, but not bottom feeders either. 2nd tier keywords.

      Your first keyword in your title is a good one to start with for the home page. “Used trucks for sale by owner”… Google says there are 1,000 “exact” phrase match searches for this phrase every month, but you could dominate this keyword quickly and then move on to other similar phases like “trucks for sale by owner” another 1,000 then “used trucks for sale” 12,100 exact match searches a month, and the big kahuna “trucks for sale” 33,100. That’s just some quick late night ideas. lol

      Then you could also rank sub pages for your other keywords in a similar fashion & even go after less competitive phrases but targeted with lots of traffic upside that have the exact truck manufacturer or trailer maker names.

      I looked at your incoming links, my report says that you have 41, but no real consistency with “anchor text” for your major keywords except “used trucks” shows up a few times.

      You were saying that you have over 15k pages on the domain, is the content unique? If not try to add some more unique content. It is possible to get traffic and ranking with duplicate content, but most of the time that’s not the case.

      If you have more unique content on your domain you will be seen more as authority by the Google and Yahoo and they will reward you for it with better rankings. (Like with Neils Blog here.

      Ok, that comment was super long. Anyway, hope this helps, and Neil the man, will tell you what I missed and where I was wrong. lol. It’s alright Neil ; )

      • WOW, thanks for providing a very detailed response.

      • very much Thankful to ur response … its very clear with me now … but only one confusion i have :-
        u said to target first “Used trucks for sale by owner” thats right and then make it shorter once the rankings come …. do u mean changing the title of homepage everytime after getting those rankings ? like if i keep 4 words keywords now.. after i get the rankings then shorten it to 3 words on my site title ? or u mean to get backlinks from long tail first and then go with the same process shortening it?

        • Oh yeah sorry about that. What I mean to leave your title the same, but the links that are coming in (backlinks) should start to target the different phrases because you title still has those keywords in it too.

          Your title could still be “Used Trucks For Sale By Owner | Second Keyword Phrase Here” then at first you’ll target used “trucks for sale by owner”, then when you start to after the next keyword phrase like lets say “trucks for sale by owner” you will already have a head start.

          Quick note: Capitalize the first letter like so that it looks better in the search engines when you do rank. It’s not just important to get ranked but to get clicks when you are.

          See, when you were building links for that first phrase you had these keywords in there too. Every now and again though get a link for a different phrase just for the sake of not being to “perfect” in Google’s eyes. Get a link like “cool trucks for sale” or “truck trader”.

          But 90% of your links should be targeted to what you want to rank for. Also you’ll need to monitor these rankings with a piece of software and monitor where your traffic is coming from.

          Make sure you have the keywords you want to rank for sprinkled through out the page and if you can in a header tag.

          Then a quick side note, you can repeat this process on every sub category and individual page that you want to rank for. For instance: I noticed that you have Heavy Duty Trucks as one of your sub categories.

          Google says that that phrase is searched for 14,800 times as a broad match, and 2,900 times as an exact match. You are smartly targeting Used Heavy Duty Trucks on that page, but have 1 or 2 too many other keywords in the title. But you can start getting links to that sub category page that say “used heavy duty trucks” then “heavy duty trucks”. And that page will start to rank by it self for that keyword.

          See, you are trying to dominate you market. Pretty soon you’ll be seen as an authority and it will make it easier.

          Also if you can, try add a little content on those pages…just another 100-200 words if you can with a keyword or 2 in there.

          I saw that you have a blog on there. Cool. Blog once a week, with some good interesting info or news and then link to your homepage, sub categories, and individual pages with “anchored” links. This will help with internal linking and help the search engines know what that pages is about.

          That site map is important. The further that pages get away from your homepages, the less that the link juice is passed on. So, the site map can be linked to from your home page, getting a lot of juice, then from their you can link to your sub category pages and to your blog and other major important pages.

          Ok, this is waaaay to long. But I hope that it helps, once again Neil will share with you were I missed it.

    • Your site doesn’t have that many links. Start a link building campaign… once you have many more links, more pages will be indexed.

      • True, it doesn’t have very many links. Get those links to the homepage and to sub category pages.

        Also this won’t work if you don’t consistently stay at it. If you’re are going to give up in a month then don’t even start.

        Go and see who is ranked where you want to be, find out how many links they have coming in (analyze them) and get that many links coming in with the same quality and then do a little better and you will rank right where they are.

        As a matter of fact, go to the same places that they are getting there links from and try to get a link from them…obviously the people linking to them get and understand linking so you won’t have to convince them of the power of it.

        lol

    • Could you please post the link to your sitemap?

      Pages can be de-indexed most often due to duplicate content or having no backlinks (including pages that were previously linked to, but are no longer).

  8. What is movable type ?
    What is source code ?
    Search Engine Index ?
    XML ?
    All words are new to me as I am a begineer and I have to search all such difficult words to understand the post which is difficult.
    :(

  9. I agree that the title is important; I also think that web page validity, accessibility and user friendliness is important also, here is an article I wrote on accessibility. If your page is not accessible it will not be visible to search engines.
    http://www.dashaver.com/web-page-accessibility

  10. Frostfire Rock :

    Hi Neil,

    How does google handle duplciate content on ecommerce websites when you put a product in multiple categories?

    regards
    Chris

    • Same way as any other type of site. Duplicate content is never a good thing.

    • It all depends. It’s all about how similar one page is compared to another. If two category pages contain 100% same text, then be wary. If the 2 categories contains 10 products, but only 1 is identical on both products, then I wouldnt be too worried. Also take into consideration mulitple pages with no/little text, except perhaps in the menu/template. These will be considered duplicate.

  11. I think”nofollow links” willbe usefull to solve my problems.This is really what I need.I hope I willbe taught something new next time as well.

  12. many points missed. But so far that you told is great. Good Luck.

  13. Some useful tips here, thanks a lot!

  14. Wow, Amazing stuff. Really I love your plans and strategies that will easily generate traffic to our websites. Thank you

  15. Blogger/Blogspot is terrible for SEO.
    It can be done, just not to full potential, in the same way you can drive a car with no steering wheel.

    WordPress has much better control of the features.

    Privately hosted pages using WP are even better.

    • WordPress is awesome, I use it, and it makes my life easier, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t rank well with blogger blogs…on the contrary my dear friend.

      Do a search for make money online… one of the toughest niches online. The #1 spot moneymakerinfo.blogspot com and usually I see makemoneyforbeginner.blogspot com their for #1, but as of this comment he’s holding down the #1 spot for how to make money.

      Either way…You can rank really well with ugly or cute blogger blogs, and for a long time many of us thought that Google favored these blogs in the search engines. Not thought of so much anymore (well). LOL

      Solid onsite linking structure and quality incoming links with anchor text of the keyword you want to rank well for.

    • Yep, WordPress is the best platform out there.

  16. Really Nice Info given Neil. Thanks For Sharing the Information. Neil I have question about the 301 redirect. When I paste 301 redirect code in my site from .httaccess file. But it’s not worth. It’s that any other way to 301 redirect.

  17. Perfect! I have been bothered by a title tag of my brother’s site for a month now. All of my sites came up correctly whereas his title is the full http… They were all set up through the hosting company I use so I didn’t see any of the code or setup procedures.

    I was preparing to site down for a weekend to try and figure out why his was different and get it changed. Thanks.

    Thanks for the other tips too. I just launched 5 blogs and those will be great to get implemented from the start.

  18. another amazingly helpful post Neil..

    already made the excerpt changes to my archive pages (on the site linked above)

    you think I should add excerpts to “« Previous Entries” pages listed on the bottom of the homepage?..

    ie, this pages like ‘/page/2/’ or ‘/page/3/’

    if so, you know how to do?

    -peter

  19. any tips on Meta description plugin for blogger?

  20. great post, nice and simple to understand

    thanks

  21. Awesome summary Neil. I like the quality of your posts since you’ve been retired. A few of these tips I am due to take action on. Thanks.

  22. How’s business right now Neil? Is the SEO industry still doing pretty well?

  23. Again you have hit a great subject and you are sharing some intimate SEO knowledge of yours. Thank you Neil.

  24. I know you’re a big deal…but I didn’t know that you worked with 30 of the top 100 blogs…sweet.

  25. Oh yeah, I wanted to say above that the title is so hugely important for sure, I have changed just the title and seen rankings fall off the first page to 3 or 4 and then come right back just by changing the title. Yahoo and MSN both really see it as extremely important along with BIG G.

  26. I like to give it try into my cusomized blog,I hope I could give and see the result soon

  27. Thanks for the article. It’s always great to read through tips like these; I find that I get a little bit from each one.

  28. I support Michael D’s opinion about high quality of your posts.It is not a compliment I really mean it.And your Seo knowledge strikes me.Every time I clear up some questions and details.

  29. Recently I have been posting more and more code samples in my blog and wanted to optimize my blog for code snippets . After some searching I found following widgets/tools very useful. And almost all these widgets/tools are related to blogger expect ones like statcounter and PinPoll-n-Ping.

  30. Dear Neil,
    I Read This Post And How Can I Explain You How Much Knowledge I Earn Today For Optimize Blog On Search Engine’s,
    This Is Really Very Useful Information For New Blogger,
    Can You Tell Me Step By Step How Can I Create My Own Blog With All Necessary Precautions,
    You Can Mail Me On chirag.rikhav@gmail.com,
    I Feel Very Glad To Read It.

  31. Excellent post!! I’ve purchased some SEO materials in the past and they weren’t as helpful as this post. Would most of the same steps apply to a regular html/php site? Anything particularly different that should be done with a regular site? You should teach a course on SEO….

    Thanks for all your help.

  32. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for these great tips. I hope you continue to post helpful entries like this as I’m sure there are many of us out there who are clueless about SEO and would greatly appreciate your guidance.

  33. Nice article ;)

    I have some problems with changing title in my header. I’m using wordpress 2.7. After doing that, I see only empty page. Home page is normal, but pages of articles are empty. If I try to look at source, it’s just empty. Any ideas?

    I’m inserting “” it’s from your blog.

  34. Dude, cool post but nothing new…

    • You’ll be surprised of how many people haven’t implemented the simple things that he is talking about in this post. Even when we know what to do many of us don’t. And if it gets more complicated than this, you’ll really have a drop off of people who do it. Good business should be simple and easily repeatable.

      Plus, that just means that in this area you are pretty smart. That’s cool.

  35. This is a great article. Now, when clients ask me about how to better their Search Engine Optimization, I can just send them this post!

  36. Hey Neil if you don’t mind me asking are you using a plugin for the subscribe to RSS feed you add in the newest post or is it something you include as you right the post?

  37. Thanks, great post. I think I may need to come back a few times to digest and go through all the things you’ve outlined more thoroughly. One thing I would like to add is that when you comment on other blogs, it can lead to more traffic, but this is generally of the more curious type. Just a thought. Thanks again. ProBlogger is one of my favorite and most frequent reads.

  38. amazing post Neil! I was actually searching for this info and planning on emailing you for some advice but you were totally ahead of me and helped me and scores of other people!! Thanks for the tips bro!

  39. thanks for the tips neil….now I’m on top of rel=”nofollow”

  40. Great tips…. I’ve included a few on http://www.pitchcandy.com and now seeing posts appear in google within minutes. Have linked to http://www.quicksprout.com as a thank so expect a further million uniques a day – arf arf

  41. Neil, just saw your presentation at Startonomics. It was awesome. Look forward to connect,and will email you separately.

    Anyhow, I just did an entry on optimizing WordPress for SEO. Check it out if you’d like. Otherwise, just delete the link. :)

    http://scrappymarketing.com/2009/01/seo-101-for-your-wordpress-site-in-7-easy-steps/

  42. What the best way for people to link to me? content? commenting on others?

    I’m assuming both?

  43. Neil,

    my website was ranked as the “Don’t set a preferred domain”option…for over 2 months where I’ve had around 4k plus visitors, but a few days ago, I changed it to persuasive.net… and in the last day, I got about 1,000 visitors because of Guy, meaning I got a lot of links but to the domain without the (www).. so should I leave it as persuasive.net or change it to http://www.persuasive.net

    because google says “Your page with the highest PageRank”
    is http://www.persuasive.net

    Thanks

    AJ

  44. This is really great information. A little technical, but hey isn’t that what we need to do it right?

  45. If we apply all the information Neil has given here, we should be in great shape.

  46. Thanks Neil, The 301 redirect is something I have been searching for quite some time now. Will try it out and let you know.

  47. Neil, thanks a lot for such great post, very useful indeed. I have one question though… I tried to edit my .htaccess file with 301 redirect script (and replaced the domain name with mine) but after I’ve done it there is an error when loading my site… it says
    “Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete”
    Any idea why that is happening? I changed it back to normal now…
    Thanks a lot!

  48. Also be careful when moving or re-designing websites.

    I remember the old days when you could type in “matt” into Google and click [I'm feeling lucky] and Matt Mullenweg’s website would load up. He was also the very first link in the search results. Always… His business cards even had a picture of the google search box with “matt” in it and the mouse pointer over [I'm feeling lucky]. (pretty creative)

    (Matt Mullenweg = God of WordPress)

    Well he changed sites (www.ma.tt now) or Google got PMS or b*tched him the f**k out or something happened but now he’s halfway down the search result page. Gone… Just like that.

    How can one go from the very top to half way down the page?! Unless he was sleeping with Google to get to the top and Google became unsatisfied there’s just no explanation.

    I would of been like, “Oh hold up HOE! You cheated on me AND threw out all my stuff halfway down the street?!”. All that’s left now is for Matt to spray paint “MotherF****n CHEATER” on Google’s Car.

    I know I would….

    â–ˆ Kris Tian â–ˆ

  49. Hey Neil. I enjoyed your lecture yesterday about SEO at startonomics. For the people that didn’t see his powerpoint, he put these links in at the end. I just grabbed the FF plugin and def helping. Thanks for giving back to the community Neil. :)

    http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/seo-for-firefox.html

    http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/

    http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/dashes-vs-underscores

  50. Thanks for the tips. I have been building websites for about 6 months and have managed to get one of my site to #1 in google for its chosen keyword. Quite low competition but still. I have also managed to reach the 1st page of google for 3 seperate keywords on one of my other sites and all of these keywords have over 15million competition. One even has 92million competition.

    I love reading these posts about how to make it easier to climb up the rankings. I am currently trying to build links to generate traffic without spending a small fortune as in this day and age money isn’t the easiest thing to come by.

  51. @Neil ~ Are you optimizing your homepage for Ron Burgundy, or are you really just a big deal? I’m getting a strange hankering to watch Anchorman.

    Seriously though, I have an question about meta tags. I have a WordPress blog and I run the “platinum seo pack” plug-in to optimize my descriptions and keywords tags. I just realized that my blog posts now have two meta descriptions and keywords tags in every post :( If I delete the tags from my homepage, that will fix the posts, but then the homepage will be without. Any ideas what I should do?

  52. GREAT POST, but neil if you had already know about 10 SEO plugin, you wouldn’t have to make this post but i can assume that you’re intended to give this tips to all blogger user out there and give a chance for them to optimize the traffic, right?!

  53. I notice that SEO techniques evolve a lot in what might otherwise seem a field limited by 3rd party technologies like HTMl and the Google algorithm.

    2 years ago noone would have tought of putting rel=”nofollow” on links to contact pages or using longdesc for images!

  54. Hi,

    Very, very useful post – In my case, duplicate content has always been an issue for me, thanks to the advent of autoblogs these days :)…

  55. Excellent post. You should start up a weekly free SEO tip post.

  56. Neil, thanks for the tips! I own a custom apparel (screen printing and embroidery) and sporting goods business. I decided to use a WordPress powered blog for my company site because it was easier to manage content. I’ve noticed that over the last 3 months, over 60% of my traffic has been from search engines. Now that I’m getting traffic, I’m trying to optimize my content to what I think will convert best to sales!

    Thanks again!

    Kevin
    Chattanooga, TN

  57. Fantastic post Neil. Some of the tips you said are easier to do with the plugins in wordpress. For example you said 301 redirect, that can be done automatically using the platinum SEO pack.

  58. Neil,

    This code does not work
    <meta name=”description” content=” …” />

    You might want to check it.

  59. In the video he says to change your frequency to daily. That means the the search engines look at it every day, but if you don’t add new content daily wouldn’t that be bad? Doesn’t a search engine look for new content and if it is the same it put you in at a lower number in the search engine?
    The other thing was duplicate content, my big question, does having a lot of pages that sale different items on each page, but have a lot of the same information would that be duplicate content?

    • Not really. If your servers can handle it, why not have the search engines crawl your site on a regular basis.

      For example if you have a blog, comments are new content. It doesn’t mean you have to write new blog posts everyday.

  60. Excellent guidelines given here. I have installed All In One SEO but never filled the details in the box before. I will practice to write something in this section for meta and keyword.

  61. Great Advice! I’ll need to definately implement on my blog!

  62. Hi Neil,
    I found blog made in wordpress definitely rank well in search engines than blogger, joomla or drupal.

  63. Neil, what do your recommend for 404 pages?

    Should I redirect to home page?

  64. SEO Plays a very Important to blog sites to get more traffic to blog sites Just submit your blog to social bookmarking sites.

  65. As I am in the field of SEO from last few months, I know some of the rules to optimize sites and blogs. I am going to start my own blog in near future, so it is definitely going to help me. But one thing that helped me a lot is conversation between you and Kenney.It gave me some detailed knowledge about SEO, that I am looking for. Another thing, I want to ask you is which is the best site to start my own blog? ( wordpress??)

    • WordPress by far. Don’t waste your time with the other blogging platforms.

    • Mike, try to install google.com/analytics code in your blog too. You can monitor referred, direct and search engine traffic to your blog. If your search engine traffic is at sky level high, your SEO is that good.

      • It doesn’t mean it is always good. It could mean that your website isn’t compelling enough for people to link to it on a regular basis. Or people may visit your website once and never come back, so your direct traffic maybe low.

  66. I have some confusion about movable type. Will you please give us some hints.

    Regards.

  67. Hey Neil,

    This is an excellent post coming from someone with an authority as you in this industry. I see that you mention use of title, meta descriptions, and you have provided codes to do them. Do you recommend people to use the plugin All in One SEO or do you prefer people use these codes manually?

    Would love to hear your response on that.

  68. Very nice article, I’ve been doing a lot of research and small changes here and there on my website and blog and some of the advice from here has definitely shown somewhat of a result. It’s only been a couple weeks, but hopefully it works out and I’ll have more websites to do!

  69. If you really wanted to optimize your blog for search engines (you’d need some knowledge of HTML/PHP) – You could make the title of each individual post page (single.php) have a H1 tag.

    Now on the home page (index.php) you couldn’t do that, because more than one H1 tag diversifies your content, so I’d recommend a H2 tag for the index.php.

    Whats your thoughts?

  70. Hey Neil, thanks for putting all this into once concise article. I’ve learned the bits from numerous sources but you putting it all together pretty much vaporized my doubts. Hey I know I probably wouldn’t be able to afford you, but I want to grow my traffic just like any other blogger out there, and I’m very serious about it. Do you think you could take a look at my site and at least give me a few pointers? Thanks in advance and I appreciate your work here sharing your expertise with the rest of us! :)

  71. @ Brad

    Yeah you are absolutely right and without technical knowledge this one become more tough. But however I am learning through googling various terms and so far I am successful. :)

  72. Hi Neil,

    Really an amazing post. Well can you tell me that does adding Categories to a post, help in SEO? If yes, how?

    BR,
    Shubhamoy

  73. The URL structure of your blog should filled with words and try to avoid numbers and extraneous characters,Search engines use the page titles in their search results.The headings should represent your blog content, do not stuff tons of keywords within your headings.

  74. We Have 25b Tips For Optimized Your Blog For Readers
    And Search Engines.

    01) Dump The Default Template – Looks Count!
    02) Just Say No To Bad Color Schemes
    03) RSS Me!
    04) Offer RSS & Feed Subscription Buttons
    05) Offer Posts Via Email
    06) Decide On Full Or Partial Feeds
    07) Write Compelling Snippets/Descriptions
    08) Pay Attention to How You Write.
    09) Spelling Counts
    10) Fontography Counts
    11) Don’t Forget Navigation
    12) How Fast is Your Host?
    13) Avoid Widget Overload!
    14) Have Descriptive Titles
    15) Look at your Cascading Style Sheets.
    16) Post Often
    17) Spread the Link Love
    18) Be Aware of Your Anchor Text
    19) Create Unique Stories
    20) Use a Related Posts Plugin
    21) Ping Other Sites
    22) Buy Your Own Domain Name
    23) Manage Your Trackback & Comment Spam
    24) Use a Good URL Structure
    25) Use Great Categories

  75. When you go into SEO more and when you actually start understanding what and how everything works. You realize that a thing like a title tag can make a large difference in click through rates.

  76. If you are not ranking well in the search engines hang in there. Keep posting, keep working on quality content and keep these factors in mind as you do this you’ll find that in time your SE traffic will gradually increase…..

  77. I am a newbie to SEO and finds this one so amusing. I am very eager to optimize my site because I am into a local SEO contest. But my entry cannot be seen at Google SE. I hope you guys could help me.

  78. Hi Neil! Thanks for this article.

    Just pointing out an error in the PageRank section, where you have written “If you don’t, it is a numerical value from 1 to 10 that websites get.”
    Oops! It starts from 0, I know it better .. as my blog has this pr :)

  79. Hi Neil,
    Today first time i am reading your blog. I got the link from delicious.com. Thanks a lot for writing such a nice blog.
    I want to start writing my own blog. Which blogging platform should i use. As i am developer so technology won’t be a problem for me.

    Thanks

  80. Ronnie - Sacramento Web Design :

    Thank you for the tips. Looks like I have some changes to make so I can get some better results. Thank you.

  81. There so many comments!

    Anyway, about duplicate content. It is now obsolete. Google has made a new feature to the link tag that make duplicated content canopy!

    It the Link canonical!

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html

    Behold it has been added a few days a go too!

  82. Hey Neil,

    I’ve implemented these plugins into WP. But do you know about any such plugins for vBulletin? I’ve heard a lot of negative about VBseo.

  83. Great tips.
    Neil, I have last question.
    I have doubts.
    Make my main page of the blog static (with important information of my site concept which promote my important keywords) or maybe do like the rest of the bloggers and put my dynamic posts on the homepage.

    P.S
    I’m using wordpress.

    • That isn’t the purpose of a blog. Your blog should have dynamic posts on your homepage. They will be static in the eyes of a search engine, but they will be pushed off your homepage after you make a few more blog posts.

  84. this is good tips to do in my blog.btw, if we change our title and meta tag, will googlebot searching by beginning our post again or not? or is just look our change in title and meta tag?

  85. Thanks for the tips, now to put them in practice

  86. Hi Neil, after doing the necessary changes which u and “Kenney the REI” suggested …. i noticed a huge changes in my sites traffic.

    the only thing m not getting is sitemap generating tool … i have used few tools but they are not helpful as they do not generate more then 10k or 15k pages sitemap.

  87. Thank for nice post guy !
    I’m a webmaster of seovietnam.org, right now my site is just a blog, but i have plant to increasing my bog so i choice to using joomla instead of wordpress.
    I was used some SEO tips for my blog, and now until 2 mouth my site has a really good ranking on google search engine.
    At the result, i found that joomla is better than wordpress. This’s just my point of view , so how about you and any guy there ? how do you think about joomla open source ??
    Let share with me ^^

  88. Great article and this is the what I have been looking for. But, I got a error with WP when I changed the title tag as guided. I am using One Theme. Can you help? Thanks

  89. Great post, you know! I’m looking for the answer of the difference between www. and non www. version before. however, i can find out the answer now. thanks! and keep working!
    A! one more question about duplicate content: do you think that if I copy content on your blog (ex: a post), and paste to my blog, and then i put a link from my blog to your blog (as resource). will Google understand that my blog or your blog has duplicate content?

  90. Neil, thanks! I utilized a couple of these tips today and they work great!

  91. Nice articles there, Neil but do you know any plugins that is able to generate keywords for meta keyword to supplement meta description? Thanks.

  92. Neil
    Thanks for this excellent post. The Duplicate Content and PageRank Sculpting really helped.

    S

  93. Thanks neil, this is the information i need. more power to you. and thaks again

    James

  94. The beautiful thing about WordPress is that all of these aspects of SEO are taken care of through all sorts of plugins, such as All-In-One SEO, Google Friendly Images, Permalink redirect and more

  95. Great post. I just started reading your blog today and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I do have a question about the 301 redirect. I added the code you suggested (changing the yourdomain section of course) and my site will no longer load because of a never ending loop? I am assuming there is something in my htacceess file that already handles this operation or is interfering with the code you provided. I’ve never really messed with my htaccess file in the past… can you help me out here or maybe one of the other readers. Thanks again, your blog is fantastic.

    • Worse case just remove the 301 redirect. For different types of servers the code is going to be different. Look up “301 redirect” on Google.

      That should help you solve the problem. I wish I could provide more help, but I too am not that technical. :(

  96. Hey Neil, great post. My friends and I started our blog a couple weeks ago and we’ve been looking for a comprehensive guide on how to get our content out there. Our eventual goal is obviously to move to our own domain and hopefully be able to make a little bit of money off of our content. Any suggestions?

    fantasysportsbeat.blogspot.com

    And again, thanks for the great post!

    • I would move the domain as soon as possible.

      To get your content out there contact other related bloggers and build relationships with them. This should help you grow your traffic.

      To make money off of your blog, try promoting affiliate programs.

  97. Neil, this is a great article. I already downloaded the meta description plug-in, and I’m going to be implementing a lot of your strategies and tips into my current site and other sites to come!

  98. Neil, I wish i had discovered you much earlier. I dont know from where i landed to this page but anyway i am really glad that i have found a great site. Believe me, i read the whole words of this page and all the comments.I hardly find authors reply to all of the commments and provide them detailed suggestions as you do.It’s really great.
    And this post too was wonderful. But ya i use the free blogging platform blogspot or blogger and although i could make some sense from above post, i couldnot find specific details for the blogger one.
    Anyway its great to learn them all.

  99. Great post Neil. Because I am just starting out with SEO, I kind of need all if the help I can get.

    Would you recommend the Thesis theme as the most SEO optimized theme or Carlocab’s Ultimate Blogging Theme, because I currently have UBT and am thinking of buying Thesis and switching to it because of its flexibility in customization and it is well optimized?

  100. Great post! A few simple tricks and good quality content will do it almost every time!

  101. Yea…Thats a very informative post with helpful tips. When creating Meta tags, be sure to focus on what your website is specifically all about. Do not generalize. Also make sure that your Meta tags include your most important keywords, so that your customers will know exactly what your website is offering.

  102. hmmmmm… ok almost everything have already done. except one. Let me do it! and Let see! :)

  103. i know much info bout SEO but always fail in Meta Description section and good tittle for the post but most now is too clear .

    i use Platinum SEO Pack plugin to optimize my posts .

    thanks Neil

  104. Do you have to have the “custom” version of WordPress to customize the HTML code? I can’t seem to access the source code on ours.

    Great post!

  105. Thanks for sharing these tips. I was not aware of the longdesc attribute for images. I’ve heard of using the title attribute on images for the same purpose. There is another relatively new way of handling duplicate content (rel=”canonical”).

  106. I’ve noticed a lot of businesses have their own blogs in addition to their main site. Some have them in the same domain or subdomain, and others have them on a separate domain. Do you think it’s better to have the blog on the same domain or on a separate domain?

  107. Great stuff. Regarding 301 redirect in .htaccess, I was unsure whether this would work if changing th url rewrites in the blog itself, such as changing the ugly php links in WordPress to short urls or %WC3 compliant layout%? Do the two re-writes fight?

    • I am not that sure. I am not that technical. :(

    • Don’t change the link structure through .htaccess in wordpress but instead do it in the permalinks on the options page. If you try to do it through the htaccess then you will have an argument between the two. I found google webmaster tool to be the easiest way to do the 301 that Neil was talking about because I always end up messing something up when I mess with htaccess.

  108. Neil, with regards to 301 and redirect. I notice that most sites redirect to http://url.com instead of http://www.url.com. You use the latter with “www.”, any reasoning?

  109. What is the difference between rel=”external nofollow” and rel=”nofollow”?

  110. Hi Neil, I want to get my PR higher and want to more traffic. Please advice should I have to make a different blog and utilize your tips or I can do some other techniques to get those.

    • Google has it down now to a science. The most powerful links will be natural type links from authority sources. Don’t worry so much about directories, article directories, etc as those are low level links. Check out SEOMoz’s blog as well as Neil’s to find just about everything you need to know about SEO.

    • Keep on writing good content and try to get other sites to link to your website.

  111. This is a great post. For anyone who is just beginning at SEO or need a quick refresher I think you covered everything here someone would need other than building links which for the most part should come naturally if the content is great. I have been doing SEO for a year or so for my own websites I have built and I even learned a few things with the images. I know many websites who get thousands of visitors a day just through certain images.

  112. Thanks again. I was definitely at least a little guilty of the duplicate content on one of my sites (www.elitetrack.com). Are there any guidelines of HOW short the excerpt / summary portion should be with respect to the full text to not set off red alarms for duplicate content?

    Also, one of the bloggers on that same site has his own blog and the content is always the same. He’s fairly popular and well-regarded in his field and he helps keep content fresh (SEO important!)…at what point does the duplicate content outweigh those points?

    • I think one of the big things about duplicate content is ensuring that your post and the excerpt aren’t exactly the same. I, too, used to be guilty of duplicate content, but have since adapted how I write my posts to include an excerpt. Being that I promote indy music, I try to leave my excerpt at 2-3 sentences.

    • Not that I know of. Just click on the “more” button in WordPress when you are writing a post.

  113. Sitemap really helps google find most of your pages and articles. And this might definitely help people find more relevant information

  114. There are different opinions about importance of meta tags with respect to Google Search Engine. However, for other search engines it does have value. Still, it is a convincing point that meta tags cannot be harmful if not beneficial.

  115. I think i have more powerful title structur Neil.. Check this out..

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  116. seriously i thought you would reveal some secrets :-}} comeon’ if you are real seo expert just tell us real secrets :P}}

  117. I am new to wordpress and found your advice extremely helpful. thankyou

  118. This is a helpful post for new people in the seo scene, but for most people, this stuff is pretty well known. Good post though with some code to use which is good.

  119. Nice post. There are also plug-ins for WordPress that help with search engine optimisation. It looks as though you covered all bases though. Great work!

  120. Interview Questions :

    Another great post of tips, as I said in answer to another of your posts, I am thinkng of starting a blog, and these tips will help alot! Thanks!

  121. To get people to visit your blog, your blog needs to rank high on results pages of these search engines. When people search for information through the search engines and see your site among the top results, they will naturally click through to your blog!

  122. Wow this blog is popular. Neil, are you a superstar of sorts, I don’t believe I have seen so many comments on a blog before. With regards to your post, Matt Cutts, at Google….just listen to him and play by the rules and Google will love you.

  123. Me going to start my own blogs but right now i dont have any information where i have to start any suggestion.

  124. Sportsbook Review :

    Using the no follow attribute is one i didn’t know would improve PR. Thanks for the info!

  125. I’ve been working on SEO for a while but not come across some of these tips, so thanks, a useful post.

  126. Interview Questions :

    Same as ‘Sportsbook’, I did not know about the PR and nofollow before, thanks for that :)

  127. Neil, I appreciate that you have a large volume of organic traffic to your site and I know that that is the best type, but what is your opinion of buying links. I have recently seen an offer of 1000 for $19 per month and the testimonials that accompany it read rather convincingly. (OK, I’m gullible).

    Robert

  128. Excellent tips, let me try and ask for further help if errors occur. T

  129. What is the role of alt tags in in coding of the images, also i want to know more about the on page optimization, as I want to apply to bigger companies where on page optimiztion of blogs and sites are considered to be the backbone of the seo. Kindly reply me either on my seo blog or via. e mail waiting for your response.
    And your article is quite informative i have also keep the things in minds which are worthy.

  130. Andrew J Klimek :

    Hey Neil, thanks for the great article!
    I have a concern about your 301 canonical redirect tip. I canonizing api has been included in WP since version 2.3, and they say you will be fighting yourself if you modify the htaccess. Maybe you should clarify this?
    You can read about it here http://markjaquith.wordpress.com/2007/09/25/wordpress-23-canonical-urls/

    They don’t make it clear how you can choose your preference—www or non-www. They also don’t explicitly say if this is a 301.
    Am I correct in assuming this script makes all www-ULS 301 to the non-www version?

    Thanks!

    • Then in that case, you don’t need to modify it in WordPress. I used to use the old version for a very long time which is why I modified the htaccess file.

  131. Yes Neil,

    I am absolutely agree with you, I think Some bloggers have a have no idea of how to optimize a blog for search engines? They argue that rather than writing for search engines a blogger’s sole focus should be that they write quality content for humans. I personally don’t see that writing for humans and search engines have to be mutually exclusive things – in my opinion both can be achieved without compromising either. Some bloggers argue that if you write for humans that SEO looks after itself. To some extent I agree with that – if you do write quality content that others like you will find that they link up to your site (a major key in SEO) – however I would argue that incoming links from other sites is just one part of climbing the rankings in Search Engines.

  132. An educative post. I just read that you doubled techcrunch’s search traffic in 2 weeks!! It will be great to have a post from you detailing what you did correct which they were doing wrong. Great work though.

  133. A small critique of quick sprout. The pages load slowly, I have seen webpages with more comments loading faster, and I hear search engines consider that as a factor ;)

  134. I wanted to implement the 301 redirect but had difficulty understanding your instructions at the head of this blog. But through more research I found a simple example and reproduced it in my .htaccess file. To my delight it worked, so I look forward to Google Webmaster tools reporting that the traffic split has now ceased. Thanks Neil

  135. the nofollow concept does not make sense to me, so I googled “nofollow seo”, and found a few posts that claim this technique is a waste of time, that you can damage your pagerank by trying to do this, and you may leave some important pages out of the serach engine indexes.

    why wouldn’t you want to index each page on your site, and therefore each link to those pages?

    is there a maximum number of links a SE will crawl on your site, so you want to focus on the important ones?

    please explain in more detail.

  136. I just wish I was not so Tech Challenged and could implement these wonderful suggestions

  137. Write Resume Tips :

    Hi Neil, just a thing with sitemaps, here is a great site that I recommend for it: http://www.auditmypc.com/xml-sitemap.asp

    Its Java powered, but there is alot of things you can tweak, which pages get explored etc etc.

    For an easy just press go sitemap generator, I use http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/

    Hope these links help :)

  138. Triad Trading Formula :

    This is a really helpful collection of tips. SEO is definitely an important part of traffic generation.

    I’ve noticed that submitting sitemap really helps getting ranked in google fast.

    I also suggest to change default permalink structure to involve post title. Just go to Settings-> Permalinks and use Custom structure: /%postname%

    Hayden

  139. I have unsubscribed to the comments of this post, I’m sick of all the stupid non-value added self-promotional links to your SEO websites. It doesn’t add any value to the discussion.

  140. Hi Neil, I am kind of new in blog and stuff not really new but doing it from couple of months and I have my blog on blogger. How can i optimize it. Would you please help me.

    Thanking in anticipation

    regards.

  141. mark harrison :

    Good post laid out in nice simple terms. In terms of the nofollow piece, the Robots WordPress plugin is great and can be used to change from nofollow to dofollow at the drop of the hat. Haven’t got the link but I know if you search for ‘robots’ on the plugins page it is the first one that comes up.

  142. Good point dude, I will start commenting on other blog. Is it better to submit to Google or to comment on a high PR blog ? Please give your answer with some reason why we need to submit to Google manually.

  143. Dmoz.com this is a directory try to submit your site there with correct category and title then google will index your site easily.

  144. I used blogspot as my basic blog with custom domain name. I need more advice about how to optimize my blogspot blog by you. You just open my mind to do more with my blog. Thanks Neil.

  145. This is something I’ve been looking for. I’ve been doing a little optimizing in the past. This have given me some decent insight on the matter. Keywords are the key I see….

  146. Business Class :

    The best idea I have found to increase backlinks and get lots of traffic is to write many short articles, each featuring relevant keywords, and place these within your website. Adding 50 pieces to my site multiplied my traffic by 3 times within two months.

  147. Business Class :

    What we are looking for is visitors to our websites. PR is an interesting measure of what Google terms ‘authority’ but the traffic you receive is not directly proportional to the PR number.

    The working theory I am using, based on the results of experiments is that it is far better to have 50 articles of 3 to 4 hundred words than 3 or 4 which are 5000 words long – I have tried both.

    There is no need for arificial ‘keyword stuffing’. Just write each short piece so that it addresses and aspect of your topic; ‘How to . . . ‘; ‘Do you make these mistakes . . .?'; ‘7 best ways to . . . ‘ etc.

    Make sure that the article title reads as a meaningful sentence and includes the keyword you are focusing on.

    • I don’t know. I have done better with my sites by writing 3 or 4 articles with 5000 words, compared to writing 400 articles with 300 words each. Yes writing 400 may get you more traffic, but those 3 to 4 articles with 5000 words provide a lot more value and build many more links.

  148. I don’t know…submitting the same article to other article directories is the same thing as duplicate content on search engines. Interesting how search engines catch your mistakes before you do.

  149. I just found your site through johnchow.com. Great post!

    I’ve one question: you didn’t mention permlink url structure. How important is it to have descriptive words in the permlink url? I’m asking this questionb because I made the mistake of using the WordPress default permlink url structure. I’ve been thinking about changing the structure (and re-direct existing urls.) But, I’m afraid that it might screw up my page rank (my site — geekmba360.com — currently has a page rank of 4.)

    I’m curious what your take on this issue.

    thanks in advance.

    • It is important, but with WordPress they already solve that problem for you.

      You can change your existing URLs and as long as you do a 301 you should be fine.

  150. I’ve read alot of meta tags over internet sites. It’s very important for search engine optimization. I’m the owner of filespump.com and i’m trying to get more traffic from google. What can you say about my site Neil?

  151. Neil, I always recommended to my friends plugins such as All-in-one SEO Pack when they asked about SEO but now I can determinately say that this guide beats all. It’s well put. Thanks

  152. Great post Neil! I had a doubt though regarding Duplicate Content.

    On my WordPress blog, I have a piece of ‘Author Bio’ which is attached at the end of each post. So, does that qualify to be considered duplicate content.

  153. Hi Neil;
    You seems to be a nice guy; hope you are making good friends here.
    My thank you for your help.
    My question is:
    I have a free (???) hosting with doteasy – I have to pay for my name etc and it should be all about my work as a Photographer and Graphic Designer.
    The site -for me because is free (???)is very hard to manipulate; if I want to change one photo or upload many, is a “drama” because I can only do one by one…
    So I decided to learn FrontPage and I am preparing to do big changes – I already experimented small ones and it worked well.
    But I know it is not what I want yet.
    I want to be able to create the pages and use some flash, have rapid access and possibility to do changes at once, and work with much more flexibility.

    There are things I don’t understand yet as, if I change host, what should I do?
    And so…
    Have someone that can explain things clears as you can would be great; who knows you can enjoy my work too, and we can exchange few things…

    • I would sign up for hosting with Media Temple or someone who has a good name. Setup a WordPress blog and use that as your main site. WordPress is pretty easy to manipulate and there are a lot of free resources that WordPress help.

  154. Can someone please gimmy a good sitemap tool? im trying auditmypc.com but its giving me problems.
    Thanks

  155. Great post Neil! I had a doubt though regarding Duplicate Content.

    On my WordPress blog, I have a piece of ‘Author Bio’ which is attached at the end of each post. So, does that qualify to be considered duplicate content.

  156. What we are looking for is visitors to our websites. PR is an interesting measure of what Google terms ‘authority’ but the traffic you receive is not directly proportional to the PR number.

  157. Some useful SEO tips there. I’m running all of my blogs on WordPress and fortunately I already discovered a collection of useful plugins which help me automate most of the tasks (titles, meta descriptions, keywords etc.)

    The worst part for me is being patient and allowing enough time for the changes to take effect and improve my search engine ranking and traffic. Since the search engine rankings can also be influenced by other factors e.g. domain age, patience is a real virtue here.

    Good to see that I did not neglect anything important though.

  158. Neil

    How can I increase visitor’s in my blog?

    • Martin, create content that users will be hungry to come to back to, and also create a powerful SEO campaign, that’s the basic layout of what you need to do, hehe.

      Till then,

      Jean

  159. Impressive. I want to reach this feat too. 472 comments for single post. Wow. You blew me off. :D

  160. Lots of backlinks bring improved PR _but_ this does not have any direct bearing on how many visitors or sales you will get. The starting point for successful internet marketing is to offer a product that people _want_ to buy. Then you have to find keywords that many people search on. Finally, you have to beat your competitors for a high position in the SERPs. Try doing this any other way round and you are heading for a lot of frustration.

  161. Lasse Heindorff :

    Neil,

    You might want to edit this post. More specifically the Pagerank Sculpting part. Matt Cutts recently confirmed that a nofollow tag on a links means Google doesn’t pass PR through it, but the amount of PR is withheld none-the-less. Meaning a nofollow tag on a link will not equal more PR to the rest of the links.

    Rand, who has been a long time fan of Pagerank Sculpting, wrote a sort of follow up post about the concept – and came up with “Link consolidation” instead. Yet another theory.

  162. Neil, many people say that when you use then Thesis theme, additional SEO plugins are not necessary. For a rookie, do you agree? Thanks in advance, and I love the blog!

  163. Thanks for that, it was useful :) You can add something about the recent posts in sidebar, rss feeds and the archives :) They are important for the onpage search engine optimization too.

  164. I have a question.I have many copy pages or articles like news but I have to add them to my visitors.

    Do Search enginees assess for my all pages or each page to give Pagerank of my site?I really wonder that.Because ,%50 pages of my site is not copy page so is there any problem for my unique pages with adding news?Also, I have a main menu which I added to my all pages,is there any problem with this?Thanks…..

    • Well, it really depends on the quality of your content and the number of visitors you have. The fact that you do “news”, is that you have a VERY VERY tough and competitive market. News site require for you to be constantly up to date. There are thousands of sites on Google News, but only a select few are actually even featured.

  165. Hi Neil, excellent post, thanks for this. Its a little overwhelming, but I think all your suggestions are crucial in optimizing a blog.

    I will continue to follow your blog. Thanks…

  166. Thaanks for informations.You mentioned the Head Meta Description plugin .What if we use all inone SEO pack plugin.It ads title,decription and keywords as well.

  167. I think I have a sitemap created because my posts seem to get ranked quickly but how do I check to see if their is a site map? I didn’t set up my original blog so I wouldn’t know if a site map was created or not. I don’t seem to rank as well or as quickly in bing or yahoo. So perhaps figuring out if I have a site map and submitting it to them as you suggest would help that. Is there an easy way to check for a site map? Also once the site map is set up and submitted to a search engine, does it automatically update itself when I add new pages?

  168. No, just follow the plugin verbatum and you should be fine.

  169. I am currently using the “All in one SEO” plugin. my blog is only a week old but I will hopefully see some results in a few weeks. I also hopefully have properly use the title ,h1 and h2 tags. Only time will tell.

  170. thanks very valueable information about search engine optimization and obviously google xml sitemap plugin is the best sitemap plugin for wordpress users, with this plugin we can index our posts in google in few hours or even minutes.

  171. Neil,

    This was a great article. I implemented several items off of your list on my new blog and I am already starting to see great results. My hat is off to you for such a phenomenal article!

  172. After 4 months me getting my blog ready for google is cake.

    Build the template
    Meta tags
    Articles
    100 backlinks
    Twitter
    Social Bookmarks
    Adsense
    ect

    Im a beast at getting a website up and runing fast haha.

  173. I did not know there could be confusion between links having a www and those not having it. I tried going to the Google Webmaster Central but could not find a settings tab. I’ll try to figure out how to set up the 301 redirect you mention. Thank you. I don’t want to lose the value of my links.

  174. Thanks for the infoi m planning to customize my thesis theme and make it search engine friendlyas the search traffic to my blog is very less…. pls help me in doing it..

  175. Neil,
    Your SEO advice is great. Thanks. I did what you said and replaced the title tag code in my header file with the code you mentioned above, and when I ran my page it just gave me an error for the whole page (luckily I had saved the original code so I could replace it). I know what text I want to have appear after my blog title as a title tag when it comes up in Google, but I still don’t get how to make it show up. Could you elaborate or point me somewhere that helps with this for us newbies who also don’t know code?

    THANKS!

  176. Dhananjoy Chakraborty :

    I have started this blog site last month. Search engine report not bad. Till today I have got 33 visitors through Google search ( Report found from http://www.google.com/analytics). Pl.have a look in my site and I need your valuable advice

    • Well start by buying your own domain name instead of using blog spots. Just get word press and download a free theme. Then figure out a way to organize that content because it looks extremely messy and confusing.

  177. Thanks for the duplicate content info. I will change that on my blog by the end of the day. I always wondered about that. This is really good stuff.

    Thanks

  178. Neil, you have mentioned the most important techniques for SEO. The title and description tag is the most important on a page and it also helps people to know what the page is all about when looking at the serps listings.

  179. About tags I know, but about redirects can’t understen anything (

  180. Thank you for this article! It was very helpful! (new blogger)

  181. I didn’t realise that there was so much going on behind the scenes… And I thought all I needed to do was write solid content! Hmm… this is going to be interesting…

  182. No follow is one of the best way for making quality blog & helpful to stop the spamming.

    Thanks for sharing you valuable knowledge of SEO.

  183. Most of us focus too much on offpage seo, rather than onpage seo. Good to go back to fundamentals.

  184. I read this post long ago and also left comment. Its good to come back and read it again through the recent similar post. No need to mention your posts are awesome and almost evergreen

  185. I loved it. Great post and great learning. I did not know the fundae about the images and the number of links from your website.

  186. Just awesome! I am a new blogger and found this information really helpful. can you please suggest me what else can be done to improve my blog in terms of SEO…Thanks

  187. This topic is very basic and essential to everyone out there who want to know about SEO. I am glad that you have kept the topic in a simple way so that the people can understand it very easily..

  188. This is very important thing for on page optimization because if on page have not done properly then off page is worth less. Form this all the point i think most important is always provide or add fresh content. Today i come to know about 301 Redirect.
    Thanks for making this most valuable post.

    • Glad you came to quicksprout and went off with something of value. Yes you definitely need to have onpage ready to rock before you start doing the off-page.

  189. Today is read some thing new in your post that is “301 Redirect” before read this post exactly i don’t know about 301 redirect but after read your post little bit i come to know about this.
    You have maintain most important things about on page & i really enjoyed this post.
    I like to read your blog because every time i found some valuable information.
    Thanks.

  190. I agree about the nofollow but sometimes it pays to put follow so legit people can actually post comments and get a little reward, but the down side is a ton of spam, so there’s no easy way out.

  191. Title tags has got to be one of the most important ranking factor. It really brings up your ranks but you need to also consider the h1 tags and the overall content on the page.

    Was a great read cheers!

  192. I have created blog’s and published products from affilites mar.to earn money please help me how to optimize the blog’s or see in google search

  193. Please, I read much from the various comment, but I am here to know if someone will help me how to write optimize blog of 2% density.
    Thank you

  194. Excellent Post!!

    There are a ton of different plugins now available. That’s the cool thing about these blogs. You really don’t need to spend a lot of time on programming to use these great coded plugins. Which half the time do most of the work for you.

    About the only they don’t do for you is to find backlinks.. Which the mighty Google wants for every page to have.

  195. Good tips… I had a duplicate content issue and wondered why my blog was never showing up anywhere… once I took care of it, it came back quite nicely.

    Nice information you provided… its important to get started on the right foot… once you start doing things wrong, it can take quite awhile to straighten out!

  196. After reading this I checked and I did actually have some links associated with http://mywebsite and some with http://www.mywebsite.

    I went into my account at godaddy and redirected as suggested. Wasn’t a huge number of links… but it could still be confusing to google. thanks for the tip!

  197. Neil, you recommend using no follow links, but I understood that very often the no follow was ignored by the search engines, would that mean that if that happened you would lose link juice through them?

  198. What I find amazing is the amount of website developers who do not know even these basic on-page SEO techniques. I am constantly being asked by people who have paid good money for a website why their site is not ranking…only to find that there are no meta-tags or a sitemap. Such simple stuff to implement – but often overlooked! WordPress is DEFINITELY the only way to go as far as SEO benefits are concerned….

  199. Owen Cooper :

    I have learnt so much from your blog I have booke marked your site and will be coming back on a regular basis until I have implemanted everything. I just use a plug in at the moment on my sites called All In One SEO how do you rate this type of plug in for a wordpress site?

  200. You are right about that Neil, if you are new and pro to the SEO, you may want to take advantage of all these plug-ins available for any browser installed to your computer. One that i’m more familiar with the is the SEOQuake plug-ins for Firefox, it save a lot of time sorting PRs. a great way for blogging and to draw traffic back to your page.

  201. A very good and nice piece of SEO explanation work, which I really like. Thank you for it.

    I can’t believe sometimes, how many Bloggers, SEO’s, Developers etc. are out there, which don’t even know all this basics. This is the reason, why I give a lot of free stuff away that explains exactly these things to Internet Marketing beginners and pros in Germany. I can imagine, that if you’d built a weekly or even monthly Newsletter with great Tips or small tutorials, it would give you a lot of loyal Readers.

    All the best from Germany!

  202. Great tips Neil!

    Most of this is really simple with WordPress and different plugins, but the 301 tip with the script was good.

  203. Hi I thought your information on blog optimization was very simple to understand and put into action, I hope you are going to give us some more information in the near future.
    Thanks
    George

  204. This was a long article but presented great detail for newbie and in between people like me who blog. It needs to be broken down for the newbie because it is a lot to take in at one time. I would like to see this as a series but I get what you are saying. Do you have a dictionary of terms so some of us can look up when we get stuck?

  205. Great stuff! Site maps are a must if you want the google bots to index your site effeciently and fast!

  206. Does the MSN bit still apply to bing? Or is it all different now?

  207. Neil,

    Thanks for the great post. I was wondering how much do you think meta keywords have an effect on SEO? Also, you said it can take months to start seeing results. Any tips for speeding up the process of getting search engine love?

    – Matt

  208. I have learned more from your site then I have in a very long time looking at others. I just started my wordpress blog and boy is it different from my regular website. (Click name if interested) This content management thing is nice but the actual changing of the blog is a pain. Thanks for the help with the METAs

  209. I am using wordpress and luckily there are many plugin that help to improve seo for my blog :-)

  210. Nice Post , even if you are doing PPC or getting Traffic From SocialNetworks is very Important to get traffic from the search Engines also and with the last update by Google on their Search Engine Algorithm so Pages that ranked Very Well before Because of They Bad SEO Now their gone from the rank.

    So SEO Will be always Important if you have a WebPage. This Will be Difficult for some people but this worth a try.

  211. erkk i got a question. i use all in one seo plugin for my wordpress. is this plugin give a function like you say in the post? if not then i should apply all the technique you got there

  212. andrew social media bennetts :

    Thanks for the infomation, putting it all together now. This is really a content full post, I never thought of putting in long description tags in my images or the image labeler in Google Webmaster Central.

  213. Excellent stuff. I’ve just gone and had a look through my blog to fix things up. Image file names still need redoing. It’ll be a chore but worth it in the long run methinks.

  214. I have reading your messages on this blog and I will thank you much. I am working with WP Blogs since 4 years and there are some informations here, I don’t have fund on another page.

    Of course, I will tray and use you advice to get more traffic on my sites.

    Thanks
    Mike

  215. Awesome tips on how to optimize your blog for the Search engines… this is one of the reasons I try to push my clients towards using worpress blogs, it offers so many valuable tools that make SEO easier. Having said that, remember, this is only one part of SEO and there is lots more you will need to do in terms of link building to help you achieve success with SEO.

  216. A good SEO client is one who understands that SEO is a slowburn process yet he is still willing diziizlesekmi.net to give as much time and effort to it because he believes in your end result.

  217. ultimate information about seo you cover seo things..thanks for sharing
    my seo blog..delhidotcom.blogspot.com

  218. Wow, this is really cool. Having one of the top 100 bloggers share his tips. I somehow hoped I had found this post a long time ago…

  219. I read in one blog for Comment Luv plugin. This is also a good option for preventing spamming and makes good quality blog.
    What is your opinion?

    • I think you just need to give it a shot and try it out to see what happens. It works well for some and not so much for others. In the end, it’s all about testing.

  220. I have read that meta tags are not as important. Does anyone know how true the statement is?

    Google will analyze my page content for actual information.

  221. this article is really useful for us bloggers.. we want to optimize site visits… however there are other useful web portals as well that will allow us to optimize our blog’s presence like blogoola http://www.clifflovescebu.blogspot.com/

  222. Hey everyone! Visit realglam.wordpress.com; where you can look like a celebrity with money still in your pocket! Leave a comment, ask questions, tell us what you think!

  223. Hey Neil, do you still actively check this blog post? I have a question for you.. Thanks in advance

  224. I like the “Google XML Sitemap” plugin. You just want to make sure that in your robot.txt that your don’t block it to spiders. Generally I put the sitemap.xml file in the root folder instead of sub-folders.

  225. While they have SEO plugins that can improve this, it’s still good to make sure you can customize it with the terms you want to really optimize it.

  226. Hey Neil, I’m also using the Thesis theme and other than going into Google’s webmaster and picking a preferred URL, What’s the best way for me to add a 301 redirect in my htaccess file to my thesis theme site.

    Appreciate it – Chung

  227. I know a thing or two about SEO, but I certainly learned something new by watching the video in the post, thanks a bundle!

  228. Hope to implement these tips right away especially on optimizing images for image search. Thanks Neil.

  229. I use platinum seo plugin for wordpress. Just use default settings and you are on your way. Guys these are all onpage tips. You still need to do offpage optimisation: so called “linkbuilding”.

  230. Hi Neil! Thanks for the article. I have one blog for our electrician exam prep in Texas and have had it for about 2 yrs and we only have two followers!!! Eeeek! I have been neglecting my blog until now, so thank you so much for you tips. Hope I get more followers and fast! :)

  231. Neil, it would be nice if you can make a blog about newer SEO techniques that are more effective today too.

    But thanks for sharing this anyway!

  232. I am grad you taking the time to prepare this topic. Great line up. We will be linking to this on our site. Keep up the great writing.

  233. Great info, thanks.
    Nice to see someone pushing out of the typical comfort-zone of plugins and perma-link changing.

  234. Thanks Neil, I’m new in this “blogging” world. It’s helping me a lot…

  235. Hi&.
    Thanks for sharing this information and resources its really help full for me with the help of this we can improve our blogging or blog design and development I really inspire with this information thanks

  236. hey thanks for the seo tips. Question, when people submit articles to article directories, are they “new content,” or are they the articles that they have on their blog? is that considered duplicate content… or does it only have to do with on site content?

  237. Dear Neil,
    First of all thanks for this helpful post. After reading your post I create a blog on blogger( http://home-decore-ideas.blogspot.com/). I link my posts with each other and did some seo work on it. When I check my blog on Free Meta Tag Analyzer sites, result comes up that search engine visibility score of 60/100 . But also they said that keywords are not very good.
    Can you help me to find good keywords for my blog. Please don’t mind my broken English.

    Abdul Waheed

  238. I want to start my own internet marketing business, and I want to Affiliate. What tips can you guys give me to start and to be successful at it?

  239. is there is any html tag to optimize blogger post.. i have more than 200..

  240. Damnit, I keep forgetting the images. When you are in a rush, you just put image-1.jpg and forget about the actual file name. Same goes with the ALT description.

  241. useful article.Shared in digg and stumbleupon

  242. Hey Neil,

    Met you many years ago when I used to work at Pepperjam. I have a quick question regarding your first tip. Why is your code there better than this <— This code also seems to be producing title tags.

    Just curious as to the major differences.

  243. Hi Neil
    I just use the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast as that has a built in sitemap facility. I have also noticed that since using this plugin on one of my sites that their G ranking has improved. Previously I used the other two well known plugins but this one (so far) seems to have made a positive difference.

    Regards

  244. it was heart breaking trying to figure out how to make the site visible to engines.With Google constant change of rules, the games become tuff. Site like this has definitely opened the eyes to better understand SEO.
    There is another article that complements this article with a different perspective found here at http://www.successismyname.com/2012/07/12/google-seo-optimization-techniques-make-google-robots-love-your-site/

    Put both the articles together, you will see a great story together!
    Good Luck All
    Cheers!

  245. I was used some SEO tips for my blog, and now until 2 mouth my site has a really good ranking on google search engine.
    At the result, i found that joomla is better than wordpress. This’s just my point of view , so how about you and any guy there ? how do you think about joomla open source ??

  246. I got and learn many new things from your blog which i was searching from many days, Thanks for your contribution:)

  247. This article is very informative, i personally did not know there was a difference between the www and none www domains.

  248. I got and learn many new things from your blog which i was searching from many days, Thanks for your contribution:)

  249. Howdy exceptional website! Does running a blog like this take a great deal of work?

    I have very little expertise in programming but I had been
    hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any ideas or
    techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic nevertheless I simply needed
    to ask. Many thanks!

  250. Right now it seems like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform out there
    right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  251. Awesome tips on how to optimize your blog for the Search engines.You have shared such such useful information, thanks for the post.

  252. I have a WordPress blog and I run the “platinum seo pack” plug-in to optimize my descriptions and keywords tags. I just realized that my blog posts now have two meta descriptions and keywords tags in every post If I delete the tags from my homepage, that will fix the posts, but then the homepage will be without.

  253. The starting point for successful internet marketing is to offer a product that people _want_ to buy. Then you have to find keywords that many people search on. Finally, you have to beat your competitors for a high position in the SERPs.

  254. I visited many sites however the audio quality for audio songs present at this website is actually wonderful.

  255. Some things stay the same… as most of this post points out, and some things change —> Page Rank Sculpting. Cool to look back and see what we aere up to a few years ago
    Andy :-)

  256. It can be so hard for people starting out wanting to write blogs and market themselves. Very informative content, the hardest part is deciding to do an on site blog or external blog or both!

  257. Je?li macie ?yczenie to polecam u?ytkowa? kabiny prysznicowe.
    Jest to bardzo ciekawa mo?liwo??, która pozwala sprawi? z ?azienki Twoje miejsce, gdzie mo?na uspokoi? si? oraz co najistotniejsze
    sybko wzi?? k?piel. Zast?pienie wnny na rzecz natrysku
    prysznicowego daje nam zauwa?alne ró?nice w kosztach utrzymania.

    U?ywaj?c natrysku prysznicowego zu?ywamy mniej wody
    i pr?du. Oprócz tego, natrysk prysznicowy jest o wiele wygodniejszy w u?ywaniu przede wszystkim ludzi ,
    którzy maj? ju? swoje lata.

  258. Hey Neil,
    Will these tips still workout in 2013, or are these tips outdated. I believe most of the tips mentioned above will work even today.

  259. Thank you for your informative article.It can be so hard for people starting out wanting to write blogs and market themselves. Very informative content, the hardest part is deciding to do an on site blog or external blog or both!

  260. Hi Neil!

    Thanks for posting this topic. I need your help about setting up content on this new blog of my client. Is it really important to put our target keyword on the first paragraph of the content, on H2 and at the last part of the content? isn’t so redundant already? I’m confused about this as I have already the KW on the title of the content.

    Thanks!

    • Don’t worry about being redundant. Just write great content and add keywords when it makes sense…

      Search engines are a lot more sophisticated these days.

  261. Very useful tips these, I will take them on board!

  262. Not a bad shout actually! thanks, this advice sounds pretty good! :)

  263. Thanks Neil For hsaring such a Awesome post. Now i need to change my marketing strategy. No doubt here are some great techniques. I should apply them.

  264. I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet people, its really really good piece of writing on building up new webpage.

  265. You can definitely see your expertise within the work you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid
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  267. Thanks a bunch. I will use these tips, I’ve already found some of those plugins useful.

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  277. Neil on a regular gets 100+ comments to a post. He doesn’t want to give a “do follow” link to everyone of those commenters. He would lose to much link juice and would start to look like a link farm or something. That wouldn’t be good for him… or you after awhile because you wouldn’t benefit from it.

  278. I don’t know of any good ones either. :(

    I would just search for “XML sitemap generator”.

  279. Hopefully you see an increase in search engine traffic.

  280. I concur these really help and after moving to a faster, hope our visitor count is up 25%.

  281. I do to. Best of luck!

  282. You do it via the .htaccess file that will be stored on the root of your server. If you read the post, Neil already addressed this under the “301 Redirect” section. All you gotta do is copy/paste the code and save it into the .htaccess file, this will also address the index.html section of your home page, which is you ask about.

    I hope that helps!

    Till then,

    Jean

  283. That would be too many links ;)

  284. You might want to look for the “Google XML Sitemap” plugin. Works really well and it’s really easy to configure.

  285. Yes that’s probably the easiest thing for you to do. Luckily these plugins can do stuff in seconds that would take the average person hours to do.

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