Getting started with Social Networks

It seems to us, that almost every week, a new social network appears on the scene. They almost always claim to be the best, better, more SEO friendly than the last and easier to integrate. Whilst some of the claims may be true, many fall by the wayside, as they don’t have the two things that the established sites have – users and traffic. Continue reading “Getting started with Social Networks”

Making Google Analytics More Accurate

If you have Google analytics installed on your site, you’ll know how useful it is for finding out about your visitors and their activity. You can see unique visitors, clicks, bounce rate, time spent on site etc. Like the vast majority of Google products, its not 100% accurate, and its quite easy to hide your browsing from and analytics software. Continue reading “Making Google Analytics More Accurate”

What do the search engines look for on a website?

Its a common question, and not one that is easy to answer, but what do the search engines look for on a website? The answer is lots, but we can never be exactly sure. Alot of the answers that can be read are based on experience, and knowledge that changing one, can help to push your website up through the rankings. Continue reading “What do the search engines look for on a website?”

Using Advanced Web Ranking Tool

There are many bits of complete SEO software out there that will help you to keep track of how well your website in the search engines for certain keywords. We have tried and tested many of them, and found many flaws that just don’t justify the expense. That was until we were refereed onto Advanced Web Ranking by a fellow SEO consultant. We thought that being told ‘It’s the Mutts Nutts’ was a bit over the top, as many of these software’s come with glowing reviews, well at least that was until we started using it. Continue reading “Using Advanced Web Ranking Tool”

Google Changes – Copyright Material

Google has this week announced that it will be changing it algorithm that ranks sites in the listing to include a factor  covering copyright infringement. This will apply to any sites that have been reported through Googles own copyright removal requests, and sites that get reported will be moved lower down the search engine rankings.

Everyone should know that copying someone else’s work and trying to pass it of as your own is a bad thing to do. Yet there are still many people who feel they need to do this. We at Badges Patches have been affected by people who seem to think its OK to copy entire blog posts, or images to pass of as their own. We don’t like it as we put alot of time and effort into these.

In the past, we would email the offending party directly, and say ‘take it down immediately, or we will invoice you for it’. This would be OK if they are based in the same country as us, but for foreign websites, it starts getting a bit tricky. Our only way is to apply for a Google DMCA request, to get the offending page removed from the Google search results. This is ok, but what about persistent offenders who steal from lots of websites? Or who have big websites? there was no real effect placed on them, other than the removal of certain pages from the search engine results.

Until now……

What Google are proposing to do, is to take all these complaints it receives from the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), and use these as another factor in the rankings. So, if for example a website receives a high number of DMCA requests, ALL it pages will be pushed lower down the rankings.

Google likes to use words such as ‘Trust’, and feels that the sites that are copying data from elsewhere on the web, are not trustworthy enough for the web user to view.

Many people did feel that reporting such infringements was a waste of time as Google did nothing really about it. But with this change, its worth while reporting websites that infringe on your copyright now. Here are a few simple steps to find out if you have been copied, and how to report them:

  • Use a service such as Plagium to check your text, to see if its been copied. Services such as TinEye can check for images.
  • If you have been copied, and have a Google Webmasters account, you can complete the form here.
  • Google will email you throughout the process, and let you know whats happening.

Don’t be afraid of reporting offending content, it really is a simple process.

Some people may now be concerned that your competitors can report your website, to try and get you lower down in the rankings. Whilst they can report it, anyone who is reported has the option to be able to prove that any report was malicious, and Google will take no further action.

3 Off Site SEO Tips

If you have spent a vast amount of time optimising your website, with everything correct on the page, its then time to move on and think about what should happen ‘off site’. This can be confusing, as there is so much you could do, but here we will cover 3 simple methods to help you.

It has been said that 30% of SEO is on your website and 70% off your website. I’m to sure how true this is, but we can be certain that off site SEO plays a major part in your rankings in the search engines.

Off site SEO can also be called ‘Link Building’ as this is what we are trying to do. The best kinds of links to have are one way links. This is where another website links to yours, but you don’t link back to it from your own site.
In the past it was recomended to have ‘reciprocal’ links. This is where you link to someone, and they link back. Or links wheels (site 1 links to site 2, site 2 links to site 3 and site 3 links to site 1). Times have now changed and the value of these systems are lower than what they previously were.

So how can we start building backlinks? It’s not an easy task but it’s definitely worth doing, and doing well. Here are some off-page SEO tips:

Tip No.1 Article Marketing

Alot of people get scared when this is mentioned, and wonder where do they start. Well its really quite easy.
Start of by writing 500 to 750 words about your chosen subject. Stuck for ideas of how it should be worded? Read this blog post, it could be used as an article, but decided to make a blog post instead.

Next, go to one of the main article submission websites (ezine for example), and sign up for an account. Submit your article, and sit back and wait. Except, don’t sit back and wait, write another, and another, and another and keep going. Don’t stop with just one article.

If your lucky these articles will be picked up by people and syndicated around the web. This may take some time to happen.

When submitting an article, remember to make full use of the resource box. This can contain a link back to your website, as many article sites don’t allow you to place links in the text of the article.

Tip No.2 Forum Participation

There are many forums about, and cover virtually every subject matter. Join a few that are relevant to your industry, and start joining the conversation.

Many forum let you have a signature. This is what appears in the posts you write, at the bottom. In this you can place a link back to your website. If you know how to code this in (different forums have different codes), you can have the anchor text (the part that is clicked) as one of your main keywords. It may also bring you in more customers as people start to learn what it is you do.

Tip No.3 Blogging

Blogs are great! If your main website is built on a blogging software like WordPress, or you main site is HTML, and you get a free blogger blog, it dosen’t matter. The important thing is to keep posting new, relevant and unique content, as often as you can. We recommend that if you have a blog, you submit to it at least once a week.

If your feeling brave, you can have more than one blog. There are many companies online now that offer these free blogs (including ourselves).

Make sure the content you post is relevant to your industry, and contains links, not just to your site, but to others as well. Otherwise the search engines know that you have made that blog just to build links to your site. Where as, if you link to somewhere else as well in each post (for example wikipedia, yahoo answers, BBC, Amazon etc), it looks better to the search engines. Plus you can always find a word or phrase you have written to use to link to one of the big sites.

The secret to be successful in carrying out these off-site SEO methods is to be consistent.

  • Submit quality articles to article directories at least once a week.
  • Regularly produce unique content for your blog.
  • Participate regularly on Forums.

And, if you discover that you don’t enjoy doing off site SEO, there’s always a plan B – hire us to do it for you!

5 Top Tips For Link Building

Alot of the questions we get asked are normally regarded to links, and how someone can increase the number of these links. There are many myths regarding SEO For Photographers, so here we will try and answer some of the most common questions and dispel a few of the myths for websites for photographers.

1. Links to your site need to be relevant. This is where alot of people fall down. They feel that if they run a photography site, their links should only come from other photography websites. This is wrong. Your links could come from any website, the most important thing is the page that they are coming from. Does this look to the search engines like it has some form of relevance to your site? Yes, well then good. The other important thing to consider is the anchor text (the words you click to follow the link). This also needs to be relevant to the page your linking to.

2. MYTH – Building to many links to quick is bad! This is one of the biggest myths surrounding link building, and seems to have started from one piece of information, and grown out of all proportion. The truth is, a person sat at a computer for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, manually building links back to their sites would not raise a red flag with any of the search engines. If you do this automatically using software, there may be issues if you don’t know what your doing.
To explain a bit more, if this myth was true, you could wreck all your competitions websites search engine rankings. If your key word was ‘Wedding Photographer London’ and you were stuck on page 2, unable to get onto page one. You could (in theory, according to this myth) build many links to the sites on page 1, wreck their search engine results, and fly up the rankings yourself. Fortunately, Google is sensible, and knows that devious people may do this, which is why building links quickly to your site isn’t a bad thing. Also, the search engines understand that a small website may suddenly get a celebrity endorsement on Twitter, or launch a new popular product, or be in the news etc. So don’t be afraid of building links.

3. Spread where the links are coming from. Spread your link building across a variety of sites, and type of sites. There is no point in having just 1000 links, and all of those 1000 coming from one site. Spread them about a bit, and include links from Forums, Directories, Blogs, Social Network Sites and more. This shows the search engines that you site is popular across many areas, not just one.

4. Not all links are worth the same. The search engines do not just simply add up the number of links you have, and favour those with the highest number, instead each link has a value. Firstly, it comes down to the pagerank of the site they are coming from, then where on the page the link is. As strange as it sounds, placement of a link on a page has an effect on its worth. If the link is contained within the main text body of the page, that is worth more than one placed in a sidebar or the footer of a site. Being in the main text shows the search engines that someone has taken the time to write about that site, and include a link in the text to it. Finally, it comes down to how many outgoing links the page currently has. The more outgoing links from a page, the less each of those links is valued. Generally, you should try to place links onto pages that have less than 100 outgoing links.

5. Don’t expect instant results. When you place a link, it could take anything between 6 and 8 weeks before the search engines find it. You then need to hope that they index it. It would only be after the page the link is on is indexed, that you will start getting some of the value from that link. There are processes that Badge Patches put in place to aid the search engines in finding these links quicker, and hope that they get indexed faster.

Contact us for details of our full range of our SEO For Photographers packages.