External links that work
Almost a cliché - but no-one does it right. External linking is the most difficult part of an search engine optimisation engagement. Reciprocals are all but dead - directory links are of some small value, but one way, on theme links from trusted sites are gold dust to SEO.
SEO by RSS
The most powerful optimisation method! SEO professionals talk about RSS as a means of reading news or missives within a genre. But we can better use the revolution of RSS by properly structuring an RSS feed for every product page, then submitting to RSS-only sites for backlinks.
Internal links within content
It's easy to provide a menu of pages within our site, and such should be done for search engine optimisation - but how about a paragraph of introduction for the link in the body of the main page? Then the SE's see context around the page which is part of the sites structure.
Size of the web site
The search engines recognise that in most cases, sites with some size are more likely to give the searcher a good experience. So within the bounds of quality content, you should provide encapsulated pages with quality data. Even small companies can have sizable sites.
No reciprocals please
Reciprocal linking is dead. Not quite true - but good as a general rule. In link building, after requesting links, if they ask you for a return link - pass on, move to the next link request. Google (particularly, but the others too) are looking for votes from established sites. Reciprocals are synthetic.
Suprisingly some prominent SEO's say that PageRank should only be viewed as entertainment value for search engine optimisation. This is disingenuous - they know it's far more, but neither do they want their clients having PR blinkers on. Brett Tabke suggests it's 35% of the algorithm.
The search engines are looking for a natural pattern of linking across the web which would include links to your home page and to your inner pages. In search engine optimisation if you can demonstrate that sites have linked to auxiliary pages as well as your home page, then you have extra SE respect.
The best kind of anchor text
In acquiring external links, obviously we think about anchor text. But how can we fully exploit the external link? Provide easy-to-copy html for the link and give a multi keyphrase for the anchor text with some separator (comma, pipe, colon...) between phrases.
As recently as late 2005 (pre Jagger update) article marketing was rather unknown. It's maturity since savvy webmasters have realised that reciprocal links are next to worthless has also adversely affected it's effectiveness. The message: Persevere!
Directory's fortunes have gone up and down as far as their importance to SEO is concerned. They are currently on their way back up, vouched for by their increasing charges for site submissions. Pick the right directories and your entry is of enduring value.
Mod_Rewrite through htaccess
Although search engines now index URL's with database or query parameters, they still give greater weight to static URL's. Lose the query parameters and use mod_rewrite to show static URL's for faster, better search engine recognition and indexing.
Your outgoing link quality says something about your own quality of site. It's a case of 'who are your friends'? Linking to a dubious site is like hanging out with dubious friends. People make their mind up about you - the search engines make their mind up about you too.
Subdomains or Folders
Webmasters are divided on which is best, a subdomain or a folder. In search engine optimisation, the answer lies in content separation. Whilst search engines prefer large, rich content sites facilitated by a folder structure, they index a subdomain much easier than a fresh site. What is the goal?
This feature from Google, now included within 'Google Webmasters' was released in 2005 as a means of indicating to webmasters what may be wrong with their sites and pages with the purpose of helping pages to be indexed. It enables us to start the SEO process.
Froogle and Google Base
Google's Froogle is a prime means of free search engine marketing. They offer to list your products and services completely free and to appear right at the top of the SERP's for searches that are appropriate. Who would decline? The uninitiated, the impatient, or both.
Most host companies provide good web statistics that help us analyse where our traffic is coming from, how much traffic we have, and more importantly, where the traffic is not coming from but should. With many plates spinning, it's easy to neglect the needed statistical analysis.
SEO by Blog
Blogs are respected by search engines for their continual fresh content and are therefore a medium for reference and links to sites. They are especially good for links that are contained in the midst of paragraph context. They should be utilised in two ways, third party blogs for links and your own blog for both traffic and deep links.
SEO by Forum
Set up a forum associated with your site, have your site links as part of the furniture for each page. Moderate the forum for spam, make a decision on outgoing link validity (from forum members) and see extra traffic and extra search engine returns from the posts.
SEO and Competitor Analysis
Reengineering the competition has long been a venerable sport. So why do so few in search engine optimisation do it? By examining the competition we can determine the best links to be had, the best copy, the best structure and so much more. Within ethical bounds, gain improved ranking through competitor reengineering.
Show the Root Only Once
Don't spoil a great site by showing the home page more than once through http://mysite.com, http://www.mysite.com and http://www.mysite.com/index.htm. There's three variations of the same page. No, the search engines aren't clever enough to sort it out. You have to.
Latent Semantic Indexing
The introduction of latent semantic indexing has brought a whole new sophistication to search engine optimisation and the SERPS. The algorithm came about through Google trying to accurately determine the type of adsense to display on a site, and now relates to the overall algorithm for scoring pages.
Conserve Internal PageRank
Title and Meta Tags
Don't overlook obvious and simple SEO measures. Meta tags exist to provide information to bots about the site they are visiting. Although meta descriptions and meta keywords have no effect on ranking, they exist to provide contextual information for the search engines. So use them.
Use Correct Redirects
If you have to move pages to another domain or another section of the site, do it without losing all the web clout the search engines have already given you, and do it without making the result messy from the viewpoint of search engines and incurring a penalty. Use a 301 permanent redirect in the htaccess file.
Avoid All Duplicate Content
If the same content on your site is produced elsewhere on the web, then in search engine optimisation you'll be on a course of competition where even if you are the author, you'll risk a penalty if the search engines don't come to that conclusion. Avoid duplicating material.
Age of Domain
One of the more difficult techniques for good search engine positioning is simply patience. See this useful SEO tool that shows the top ten rankers for a particular phrase - and note that in any competitive search, the age of domain is a factor. This demonstrates the need for patience to see results.