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Fundamentals of Great SEO


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Rand Fishkin's presentation from the AMA webinar on March 27th, 2012

Published in: Technology, Design
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Fundamentals of Great SEO

  1. The Fundamentals of Great SEOA guide on how to increase rankings & traffic from search engines Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz | March 2012
  2. SEO?Bah, Humbug 
  3. The Use of Search Engines
  4. Growth of Google Queries Currently, there are more than 3 billion searches/day on Google
  5. Value of Search Engine Traffic
  7. Yes, You Can Compete with the Big Guys
  8. Good SEO is Easier than It Looks
  9. You Have to Get These Right
  10. Before You Get These Right
  11. Making Your Site SEO-Friendly
  12. Using Wordpress? You’re 80% of the Way There “(Wordpress) is a fantastic piece of software, it makes your site easily crawlable by search engines, solves some 80-90% of mechanics of SEO and is the first big step anyone can take towards creating a popular online business.” From a talk given by Google’s Matt Cutts at Wordcamp: matt-cutts-wordpress-the-best-blogging-platform-for-seo/
  13. If You Use Wordpress, Read This - I also recommend Joost’s plugin “Wordpress SEO”
  14. Other SEO-Friendly Platforms Include:, and are all good choices ifWordpress isn’t a match.
  15. These Are Less Ideal for SEOI wouldn’t recommend these platforms as a first choice for SEO-friendly blogging, though some (likeTypePad and Tumblr) can be customized with enough elbow grease.
  16. Tools to Help with Accessibility
  17. Tools to Help with AccessibilityShameless Plug:
  18. RSS: Essential for Bloggers (and anyone producing regular content)Via Google’s Feedburner:, an ideal tool for setting up, managingand tracking feeds
  19. XML Sitemaps – Recommend, But Not Always a Must I wouldn’t go so far as to say I recommend against it, just that for many, relatively basic sites and blogs, you don’t need to worry about submitting these (unless you use video, in which case there’s some cool options; we’ll chat about that later in the deck)
  20. Keyword Research
  21. A Simple Process for Choosing Good Keywords High Volume (many searches/month) Low Competition Ideal Keywords! (weak sites/pages in the top 10) High Value (large % of visitors convert) More on this here:
  22. AdWords: The Best Choice (Most of the Time) The AdWords Keyword Tool Can Be Found Here:
  23. Use Exact Match! Be Careful About Phrase + Broad Note the much higher numbers!
  24. Google Insights: Interesting Trend Data shows that the food blogging movement likely gained widespread popularity and interest around 2007 
  25. Analyzing the Top 10 to Determine Difficulty Strong, popularsites w/ targeted titles + content
  26. Analyzing the Top 10 to Determine Difficulty Weaker, lesser known sites andnon-targeted titles
  27. Keyword Difficulty ToolAnother shameless plug as this is an SEOmoz tool:
  28. Value of Visits? Use Analytics Data Good proxies for the value of traffic from these sourcesVia Google Analytics ( which is free!
  29. A Simple Process for Choosing Good Keywords High Volume Google AdWords (many searches/month) Low Competition (weak sites/pages in the top 10) Gut Feel (or KW Difficulty Tool) High Value Gut Feel (or Analytics Data) (large % of visitors convert) Picking keywords doesn’t have to be a chore, and the process can often help you find topics for content you haven’t yet tried/thought of!
  30. How Great Writing and Great SEO Go Hand-in-Hand
  31. High Volume Keywords = Content People Want People really want to know this stuff!
  32. Not Everything Needs to Be Keyword-Targeted
  33. The Better Your Content, The Better Your SEO Good process for getting to great content: simpler-than-you-ever-imagined
  34. Great Content + SEO + Social Really Works. Great SEO Social Link + + +Content Friendly Sharing Building = Higher More More MoreRankings Readers Followers Influence = Virtuous Cycle of Inbound Marketing!
  35. Link Building
  36. Why Links Matter to Search EnginesWhat You Say What Others SayAbout Yourself. < About You. Good primer on link building basics here: popularity-and-links
  37. What Matters in a Link? Editorially given From a trusted source Uses descriptive anchor text Points to the right page
  38. What Matters in a Link? Rel=“Nofollow” URL (a tag that indicates search (the link target) engines shouldn’t trust/count this link) <p><a href= rel=“nofollow”> SEOmoz’s Website </a> is a good resource for those seeking to learn more about search engine optimization.</p> Surrounding Text Anchor text (may provide context on(tells the engine what this link is about) the link’s relevance) All of these elements are good to understand when thinking about links
  39. Manual Link BuildingTactics like discovering the links of competitors, getting listed in directories, resource lists,submitting content, building profiles, etc. are all in the “manual link building” category (above via
  40. Link Building through Outreach + Networking Geraldine emailed the Salt Museum folks to let them know about her post (or maybe she just tweeted at them, I can’t remember), and they wrote this lovely blog!
  41. “Natural” Link Building Many of these blogs will use the badge and link to the list, because it makes them look good!The AdAge 150 is a brilliant example of link building through the creation and sharing of a resource.
  42. Link Building & Social Sharing Resources• Beginner’s Guide: Chapter 7 – Growing Links & Popularity• Link Building Blog Posts on SEOmoz• Webinar on Link Building Strategies• 101 Ways to Build Links from SEOBook• Link Building Presentations on Slideshare• The Science of Retweets from Dan Zarrella There are literally infinite numbers of ways to build links – creativity is your only limitation!
  43. Social Media & SEO
  44. How Social Media Helps SEO DirectlyPeople you’re connected to in social networks can help content rank thanks to Google’s use of social annotations(Bing does this too with Facebook shares!)
  45. Indirect Impacts of Social on SEO All these shares lead to visits, which may lead to links, comments and positive user/usage signalsThis handy tool can be found at
  46. Twitter & Google
  47. Google UK Result #42
  48. Google US Result #13
  49. Facebook Correlation of Social Media-Based Factors (data via Topsy API & Google Buzz API) Amazing: Facebook Shares is our single highest correlated metric with higher Google rankings.But correlation is not causation!
  50. Facebook and Bing
  51. Google+
  52. Google+ Anyone logged-in to any Google service will see results like these. Time to get on G+!
  53. LinkedInSome good tips here:
  54. Other Networks to Consider14mm Millions 14mm 6.5mm2.5mm 500mm 1.5mm 10mm There are many social networks potentially worthy of participation
  55. A Few Specific SEO Questions
  56. What Was Panda? Do I Need to Worry About It? Check out friday for more on how Panda imapcted SEO and for tips on how to beat it.
  57. Should I Worry About Spam Comments? Oh man does this stuff suck  But remember, it’s NOT SEO!!
  58. Are Scraper Sites a Danger to My SEO? Via Google’s Head of Webspam
  59. Can Links from Low Quality Sites Hurt Me?
  60. What About Image Search SEO?
  61. What About Local/Maps SEO? NormalAlgorithm MapsAlgorithm
  62. What About Recipe Search?
  63. Really?
  64. How Do I Get These Cool Results!?That’s my face!
  65. What About Those Awesome Video Results?! These are great fordriving clicks
  66. Want to Dive Deeper on SEO? I Recommend:
  67. Just For Fun:Some of My Favorite Google Suggestions & Results!
  68. Thank You! Want to get in touch?@randfish on Twitter or by email - Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz | March 2012