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SEO issues

arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 10:19AM
I am having problems getting my foliopic website to show up on google, to a point where an Indian company has approached me to help me get the website to rank higher.
They seem quite legitimate in what they offer, but I wondered if I can get some help/advice here, before spending money with specialists?
davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 10:34AM
Hi arhb,

SEO is a tricky business and no-one can garauntee any results.

I would firstly state that you will always get companies offering you their SEO services. This is a type of spam. Even ePHOTOzine gets it from time to time. Ignore it. Any SEO company worth using isn't going to go out contacting small site owners. The customers will come to them.

You can check Google's index of your site (what pages they have found) by typing in "site:":

So, Google does know your site exist and has indexed the pages. So, the real work is down to optimising these pages for certain keywords. If you really want to do this, there is not quick solution to any SEO work and results can take months to appear. But I would recommend:

1. Select around 5-10 niche keywords (search queries) you would like to target
2. Read up on SEO best practices. Some of these will be out of your control as they require more hands-on with the actual code of the site. But foliopic generally has good SEO best practices in place giving you the platform to enter the keywords and content you need to get ranked.
3. Monitor your traffic using Google Analytics to get an idea of what you are ranking for and if your changes are making any difference.
4. Do some social network promotion on facebook and twitter. You can often get quicker return traffic from this.
5. research as much as possible. SEO is an ever-changing game.

beng 17 8
28 Nov 2014 10:45AM
And please consider that the short term effects and long term effects differ. In other words Google is quiet happy to allow a site burst with higher rankings for a few days or weeks due to new backlinks and Twitter campaigns. But these may not have any positive effect on your longer term ranking.
arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 10:47AM
Thanks David,
so I got to "Set up your Webmaster Tools account now:"
and have no idea about the significance of website versions and how they might affect seo, let alone selecting my preferred version.
I cant comprehend the relevance of sitemap files either.

davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 10:57AM
'Preferred Version' refers to your website's address (aka URL). Do you want Google to use www. or not? There are camps for both.

Here is some reading about it:
arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 11:12AM
Well I made a choice a while ago based around what I just read about choosing a preferred name, which is www.etc because it's more universally known, so I'll stick with that.

Any resources about sitemaps - in laymans terms Smile ?
davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 11:28AM
Only did a quick google for em, so not sure how easy to read. But plenty of info.

arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 11:47AM
Thanks again David - I think you probably know what looks like better reading than I do.
lemmy 14 2.9k United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 5:36PM
If I put my name in Google, I am on the first page in positions 3 and 5. I have done no SEO whatsoever.

If the body of your pages is apt to what you do and others find your pages interesting or helpful, your site will rise to the top. It shouldn't be necessary to add keywords as such, since Google probably ignores them. It indexes mainly on your page text, relevance and links to you. Google says that it rejects what are obvious attempts to get ahead in its rankings. Unless you pay them, of course. Wink

A few years ago I emailed an SEO in the states telling them that I had 12 photographic sites that I'd like to appear in the top 10 listings for a name I'd made up. Was this possible? Yes, they said, proving that either they hadn't read my mail, their maths was not so hot...or it was BS.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 11:25PM
There are loads of SEO companies who promise to get you to page one of the search engines but strangely they refuse to work on the basis where you only pay them if they achieve the result.

Go to Google Webmaster Academy and learn how to do SEO that works and that Google won't penalise you for. It's free.
arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
29 Nov 2014 12:03AM
I wondered about the academy Chris - you'd certainly get up to date with the current trends, but they are just that, current trends.
SEO seems so fluid, you need to be virtual wired to keep up with new algorhythms that Google create and release every couple of months.
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
29 Nov 2014 12:41AM
content is now king - apprently

heard it off many people now - Brad Sugars (google him) did a talk in Leeds about everything business and he said it too.

so that's things like blogging lots - creating tip lists (which people seem to like) - tutorials

as your blog gets bigger, google has more to look at and you will be found more.

we used to pack each page with keywords and pay people to do "backlinks" as that's what we were told to do... it's more about creating blogs and videos which are useful now. I heard one marketing friend say that google actually frowns on some of those old practices now - penalising companies who ram every page with hundreds of key words

truth is that they change the goal posts a lot, they are in charge after all - and spending time creating nice things for people to read is probably a better thing to do than commenting on 1000 blogs a day, leaving a link to your website to get backlinks.

I'm nowhere if you type in "photographer leeds" ( a very competitive search term) but things like "photography locations yorkshire" find me at no. 1 - that's "organic", just a blog I wrote a few years ago which has had thousands of hits now.

If you're stuck for something to write, just search for something you're into, find some blogs, and re-write them.... a tip from my web marketing guru friend Wink
arhb 13 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
29 Nov 2014 8:32AM
Here's to growth hacking!
lemmy 14 2.9k United Kingdom
29 Nov 2014 11:27AM

Quote: content is now king - apprently

What you say accords with my experience entirely. If you write material that people find interesting and keep updating it, people will link to you because they think your work will interest their readers and they in turn will brig their readers.. That is essentially Google's message to and the direction their algorithm is pitched.

The combination of informative, interesting and changing content is what sells newspapers, books and magazines. Web sites are no different. All SEO is doing is looking for a way to get to the top of the results without effort. It cannot work. Anyone can use SEO techniques. They are essentially just marketing tools. Tools don't sell a web site - we can't all be at the top of the rankings and Page 3 of Google is no page at all.

If you really can't work at getting the ranking because of the time factor the best way is simply to pay Google. But in the long term, as Ade says, content is king.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
29 Nov 2014 8:04PM
Google penalises keyword stuffing and it now sees blogs as old hat. Too many people started blogging in order to have content they normally wouldn't have to get keyword matches they'd normally not get - but it was verbal diarrhea. Some people were buying content / getting ghostwritten content. Porn sites set up thousands of porn blogs to promote their sites.

Blog-based spam and Google-bait is starting to kill the likes of Tumblr (read more )

Scratch-my-back and I'll scratch yours backlinking was good then reciprocal links started to get you marked down and using link farms got you to number one til they were discovered then you'd drop like a stone.

You could work hard on your website and make it the absolute best website on the chosen subject that the world has ever seen. Accurate, informative, balanced etc etc.

You still won't get ahead in the search results. Googlebots can see what content you've got index it then the search engine can match it to search queries but Google's algorithms can't tell that your content is any better than someone who has the same stuff on another site. If you're the only one with that content you'll be top, if not they need another way to get your final ranking and the machine isn't enough.

It needs human validation.

If your stuff is really good, other sites (other good sites not just crappy spammy sites) will link to you. Your stuff will be emailed between people (Google can and does read Gmail). Your articles will get shared on Facebook. Your links will get tweeted, and retweeted. People will +1 your pages. People sharing your stuff and resharing your stuff tells Google it must be what people want to see. It really is that simple.

This is the thing that Google did first, while other search engines were counting how often your pages used a certain word, Google was seeing how many people linked to you, counting each one as a vote

You need votes, you need a site that is accessible and that loads quickly. Simply being on topic or having lots of content just isn't enough and (for Google) never was.

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