'Search Engine Optimization' Category Results

2 Minute SEO Tip – Absolute vs. Relative Links

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Absolute vs. Relative Links – Which is Better?

There are two ways to link to a file/page/location in HTML, either by using absolute or relative paths:

An absolute path defines a location by including the protocol, the server/domain, the directory (if needed) and the name of the document itself. Below is an example of an absolute path:

<a href="http://www.search-this.com/page.html">

With a relative path, you skip the protocol and server/domain name and go directly to the page name, like so:

<a href="/page.html">

So which is better?

Well you’ll get different responses depending on who you ask. Many people will tell you that relative paths are better but I’m not one of them! I always recommend absolute paths and here’s why:

At one point GoogleGuy, an employee of Google, who helps fight crime — or at least helps webmasters — said, and I quote, “absolute links have less potential for getting messed up [when Google indexes your page]. Even though it shouldn’t make a difference, I recommend absolute links.”

OK, sure, maybe just because GoogleGuy said so is not a good enough reason. I agree. So here is — we live in a time where people scrape your content and place it on their own site. If you’re going to get scraped you may as well get a link back to your site, right? That’s only going to happen with an absolute path!

And it’s not just scrapers. There are other legitimate ways to have your content show up on other sites; like RSS and web-services. I think in todays web, it’s no longer just personal preference; absolute paths are the way to go.

WordPress – A 5 Minute SEO Mod

Friday, November 30th, 2007

In WordPress, by default, when you click on the Read More link, the web page loads and then “jumps” to the spot where the <!--more--> tag is set in the post. Whether you like this effect or not is personal preference, but it can pose an SEO problem.

The Problem

The problem is that it creates two different links to the same page. For example, here would be the two links to Paul’s last article:
http://www.search-this.com/2007/11/26/css-a-recipe-for-success/
http://www.search-this.com/2007/11/26/css-a-recipe-for-success/#more-464

So what can sometimes happen is that if the article becomes popular, half the people will link to it one way while half the people link to it the other way. Thereby dividing the total link juice in half.

The Fix

The only way I have found to fix this is to modify a file in the wp-includes directory.

For WordPress 2.2 and up modify the post-template.php page.
For WordPress 2.1 and below modify the templates-functions-post.php page.

Somewhere around line 124 comment out the $output line with the "#more-$id\" in it and change it to the below:

  1. //comment out the old line
  2. //$output .= ' <a href="'. get_permalink() . "#more-$id\" class=\"more-link\">$more_link_text</a>";
  3. // change to the line below
  4. $output .= ' <a href="'. get_permalink() ."\">$more_link_text</a>";

Just remember that each time you upgrade WordPress you will need to remod this line. But if it helps out with SEO it’s a small price to pay.

SEO Rewind: Great SEO Articles

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

If you missed any of these past SEO articles you can now catch up with this rewind:

Stop Worrying – About SEO

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

There’s little question to the premise that if you own a website it really does benefit you to know the proper markup to appease the search engines. It’s also important to know a little something about how Google ranks web pages so that you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your website is search engine friendly. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a marketing budget to be able to advertise your website.

Once again, I want to be clear, a sound understanding of SEO/SEM can benefit your website.

Now that I’ve said that, some people are spending way too much time worrying about SEO.

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Do It Yourself SEO? Part 2

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

So you decided to do your own SEO? Good for you! You’ve embarked on quite the adventure.

This is part 2 in the “Do It Yourself SEO” series. In part 1 we tackled the issue of whether you should do your own SEO or hire it out. In doing so we looked at four questions and now in this article we will revisit those questions and take a closer look at what it will take to make your website successful.

Before we begin it’s probably fair to give my background as it pertains to search engine optimization. For starters, I am not the smartest guy in the room. I hold no certifications or formal training in SEO/SEM; everything I know has been learned in the trenches over the last eight years. So what follows are some observations that I have learned during my call of duty.

You won’t find advice in this article like: “use heading tags in your copy” or to “make sure you have keyword-rich title tags on each page” or the “significance of landing pages” — while all are good advice, this would turn into a book if I went that route. Instead we are going to look at the skill sets involved in making a website successful. My hope is that by the end of the article you will have a greater appreciation for SEO/SEM.

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Do It Yourself SEO?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

If you spend time at some of the SEO forums on the web it is quite common to have people stop in and inquire about hiring someone to help their website achieve better rankings in the search engines. What’s fascinating is one of the popular answers is to not hire anybody – that if you want to achieve better results you should just do it yourself. I’ve always found this answer to be a bit surprising.

This will be a two part series. This first article will look at whether or not you should do your own SEO. In a follow-up article we will then look at what you will have to learn should you decide to do it yourself.

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Title Tags – A Search Engine Optimization Cornerstone

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

“What’s in a name?” – Well hopefully your keywords, that’s what!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in blogging (or on any website for that matter) is to not fully utilize your title tags. The title tag has been and will continue to be one of the most important elements in search engine rankings. Title tags are the over-arching descriptor for the page; they communicate with the search engines telling them what each page is about.

So then why is it that so many websites fail to optimize their title tags?

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