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Here’s the SEJ posts that brought in the most traffic last month. We thank our hardworking guest writers for their contributions!
This post goes over the top docs that every person that’s in the SEO world needs to have access to. These tips, strategies, and tools will help you to do your job better. Post goes into the following areas:
Hundreds Of Tools For Marketers
SEER Interactive SEO Toolbox
Ultimate Link Building Query Generator
Content Strategy Generator Tool
Managing Projects in Google Docs
Find Local Nearby Locations
3rd Party Sites
This is an amazing post that everyone should read about the top SEO tasks that are wasting your time. There are so many things in the World that are more important than these SEO time wasters. Here they are:
Checking Your Traffic Every Day
Buying Backlink Packages
Monitor Keyword Density
Submitting Articles to Directories
Checking Your Rankings Obsessively
Sculpting Your Site’s PageRank
Responsive design, do you know what it is? The world is moving toward mobile. What does this mean for website owners, it means that you should read this post!
Last year, Google launched the Knowledge Graph aimed at helping users find relevant information easily and fast. This search model is referred to as an “intelligent” way to find the right results for queries with different meanings. It is also an attempt by Google to help users better understand a topic by summarizing important facts and relevant content about the search query.
This post goes into five different rules that startups should live by in order to get your startup ranked. Here are some of the top tips for SEO Startups:
Make Sure Your Site Can Be Indexed
Focus on Both Industry and Branded Keywords
Choose Keywords Based on Search Intent and Other Metrics
Make Link Building a Priority from the Start
Publish Awesome Content
This goes into three different link building techniques that are scalable that you wouldn’t normally think of. No, content isn’t one of them.
This goes into four different SEO techniques that new site owners have to understand about SEO. These aren’t new, but they are crucial for every site owner out there.
SEO is Long Term
Always Put Your Visitors Before Search Engines
There is NO Secret to SEO Success
Link Building is Forever
This post goes into the different tactics for link building in 2013.
Put the Focus on Brand Recognition
Use Press Releases for Exposure
Comment Marketing for Familiarity
Guest Blogging for Traffic
Infographics as Proof of Authority
Content Marketing With a Unique Selling Proposition
The Rise of Co-Citation
Leveraging Past Success
Goes into different eCommerce strategies for websites in 2013.
Understand Why People Use Social Media
Build Relationships With Influencers
Go Where the Community is
Understand Conversions Directly From Social Media Rarely Happen
You're reading February 2013: Best Of Search Engine Journal
I am very happy to announce today that Search Engine Journal and our client services division has taken a new direction, merging with Search & Social, the company founded by Dave Snyder & Jordan Kasteler, to form a new full service online marketing and media firm; Search & Social Media, LLC.
Dave, Jordan and myself are now equal partners at the new Search & Social (here’s more about us on the S&S site), which offers complete and well rounded search & social media marketing services along with a new emerging network of media properties built around the Search Engine Journal media network.
I’ve been waiting for a day like today and a partnership like this for a long time. Not only do we gel on a business scale and friendship scale, but our families also get along and share our vision, which is incredibly important to all of us.
It was at IM Spring Break we decided to make it official, and blend all of our services, tools and media properties into one company and focused direction, under the new Search & Social Media, LLC. And I can honestly say, we now have a MAJOR portfolio of clients and the scalability needed for developing an all encompassing marketing firm, with a team of 10 in-house employees and an army of solid and trusted contractors (many of which are SEJ contributors), who we all know well and have worked with for years.
Under the new Search & Social, our core services include :
Social Media Marketing and Promotion across power accounts within Digg, Stumble, Delicious and other niche targeted social media networks
Effective and targeted link building via blogger outreach, research, content contribution and other in-house methods
Integrated social media marketing and targeted link building into one encompassing campaign (our specialty)
On-site SEO which includes site audits by some of the best in the business and the restructuring of site architecture for search engines
Paid Search Management and Online Advertising Media Buying from the S&S Team
Management of Google Webmaster Tools and other search engine accounts
Feed management amongst shopping search engines AND Yahoo Search Paid Inclusion
Online public relations and blogger outreach, with an emphasis on search or “Web 2.0” related companies
Content creation for traditional websites or content creation and management for business blogs
If you are interested in our services, whether all or just a few, please feel free to call us at 1-888-420-4SEO or check out our SEO ServicesWhat does this mean for Search Engine Journal?
There are going to be some major changes in store for SEJ! First and foremost, we’re about 3 weeks away from a major site overhaul and design relaunch. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but it is difficult for one man to steer the ship of SEJ and manage a search services firm, so now we have the power of three behind the site and have also brought on Ann Smarty, our Director of Media, to manage SEJ and our columnists.
The new SEJ will also have many different social attributes which focus on open communication and the ability to have questions answered and seek help from our readers. We will be a much more open community spanning beyond the blog and onto different SEJ properties and social media destinations.
Also, expect more contributions from our audience, industry professionals, thoughts from those outside of search and multimedia integration. The future looks very bright for SEJ 🙂
For your enjoyment, here’s our official press release which is being sent out today :Search Engine Journal Merges with Search & Social, LLC
Tampa, FL May 18, 2009 – Search Engine Journal Inc, parent company of chúng tôi announced it would be merging with search and social media marketing services company Search & Social today. The new Search & Social Media, LLC will
be both a services and media company, looking to bring a new level of excellence to the industry in both areas.
Loren Baker, the founder of Search Engine Journal, Inc and editor of chúng tôi said of the merger, “In David Snyder and Jordan Kasteler, I’ve found two trusted partners in search marketing that have complimentary visions and search marketing expertise. With the diverse and focused skillset behind the new Search & Social, Search Engine Journal will become three times as strong and together, Search & Social can offer more services to our portfolio of SEO & Social clients.”
Search & Social is a leading search and social media marketing company founded by respected marketers David Snyder and Jordan Kasteler. “The addition of Search Engine Journal Inc. to the Search & Social family makes us not only a powerful media provider in the industry, it also allows us to add Loren Baker, who is one of the best link builders and online press strategists in the industry, and his team to our service offerings,” stated David Snyder.
The new Search & Social will include state of the industry service offerings in areas such as social media marketing, viral marketing, search engine optimization, link building, and online press strategies. The company will also offer search and social media marketing news, analysis, and education through chúng tôi chúng tôi and its conference series, which includes IM Spring Break and Scary SEO.
“We’re excited to partner with such a great team to bring more excellence to the Internet marketing community via our events and even more value to our clients,” stated Co-Founder of Search & Social Jordan Kasteler.
About Search & Social:
Search & Social is owned and operated by leading search and social media marketers Jordan Kasteler, Loren Baker, and David Snyder. The company offers both media and services related to search and social media marketing.
MineTech, Inc. an international data solutions and marketing company, today announced the release of a new search engine which eliminates to need for users to query the endless streams of batched data delivered by popular “keyword”-based search engines like Google when conducting online searches.
“The internet is both a blessing for the amount of information it can deliver and a curse for the way it delivers that information,” says Kenn Devane, president and CEO of MineTech, Inc. “Everyone is frustrated by the endless and random results generated by Google-type searches, which often pull up material that is irrelevant for users. While Microsoft, Yahoo and Google struggle to reinvent, personalize and localize their search offerings, we’ve developed a simple solution that greatly improves most search functions.”
Next, the engine applies a pattern matching technique to assign a priority to the search results, based on the concentration of the data being searched. Finally, it displays the search results in an index, by subject. Users simply select the subject they are interested in and information relating to that subject is automatically highlighted within the document, web page or email.
Search Incite works with almost every format of structured and unstructured data and all languages can be supported by simply translating the library. This means that it can read a document in one language and convert it to another. It can also automate the metadata tagging process via the index and the XML translation process to standardize data definitions.
Devane explains that Search Incite can also be applied to a user’s email system to automatically read, catalog, respond or reject email messages, such as spam.
“If you think of search engines as data vaccum cleaners, Search Incite is the filter that tells you what is inside,” Devane adds. “It’s like the index within a book, that tells readers where to find specific information. Great technology is fundamentally about simplifying manual work, along the lines of E-Z Pass, or E-tickets. How these technologies work is far less important than their ability to speed tasks, improve productivity and get the job done.”
How to Change Cortana’s Search Engine Get rid of Bing search results by changing your default browser
Cortana uses Microsoft’s search engine.
If Bing isn’t your cup of tea, correct that right away.
To forget all about this default search engine, there are a few extensions for Chrome that redirect Cortana’s results to Google.
We made an article explaining how to change Cortana’s search engine.
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Microsoft made Cortana, which is probably the most useful feature of Windows 10. But, it also had one hidden intention with Cortana.
Using Cortana is a great way to promote Microsoft’s own search engine. By default, you can’t change the default search engine in Cortana.
The good news is that with a few simple tricks, that is possible. And we’ll tell you exactly how you can do that.
Changing your default browser in Microsoft Edge is enabled by Microsoft, which is a good move, because if it was otherwise, could drive away a lot of users, Microsoft didn’t include this feature in Cortana.
If you’re worried about keeping your browsing history private and want to prevent browsers from profiling you, use a privacy-focused VPN.
Developed by Kape Technologies, Private Internet Access is a top choice with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The VPN further extended its compatibility with Surf.
Since it uses distributed technology, it encourages developers to build websites without servers, allowing users to privately publish to the open web.
⇒ Download Private Internet Access hereHow can I change Cortana’s default search engine? 1. Download and install the appropriate extensions
Some developers came up with the solution. Namely, they developed and released a couple of extensions for Google Chrome which redirect Cortana’s search results from Bing to Google.
So, if you’re using Google Chrome as your default browser, just download and install one of the following extensions.
Every time you search for something with Cortana results from Google will appear in your browser.
Once installed these extensions will redirect the same term you typed in Cortana’s search from Bing to Google.
⇒ Download Bing2Google (Google only)
⇒ Download Chrometa (Google, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo)2. Change the default search engine via Settings
An easy way to change Cortana’s search engine is to modify its default browser. This can be done via your PC’s built-in settings.
1. Press the Windows key and type settings in the search box that opens.
4. Go to the Default Apps section.
5. Scroll down to the Web browser setting.
7. Select your preferred browser from the list, then close the Settings window.3. Use Firefox as your default browser
If you’re using Firefox as your default browser, redirecting your search result from Bing to Google is even simpler.
Actually, you don’t have to do anything at all. That’s because the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, 40, comes with this option as a built-in feature.
So, you just have to use Firefox as your default browser, and update to the latest version, if you didn’t yet.
This was completely expected, because Mozilla CEO, Chris Beard recently called out Microsoft for ‘pushing Edge to Windows 10 users over the rival browsers.
So, we can interpret this as Mozilla’s direct glove in the face of Microsoft, Bing, and Edge.
There is no response on this from Microsoft, yet, but if things like this continue to happen, we could witness the beginning of the war between two huge companies, Mozilla and Microsoft.
If you use Edge as your default browser, you cannot redirect your Cortana search results from Bing to Google, even if you set Edge as your default browser.
And you shouldn’t expect this option in the future, because it won’t make any sense for Microsoft to allow you to let Cortana search Google on Edge.
You may also use a privacy-focused search engine such as DuckDuckGo. As stated above, you can force Cortana to use DuckDuckGo as its default search engine as well, so the choice is yours.
You can use DuckDuckGo with Cortana or separately. To further secure your browsing data, try out a privacy-friendly browser too, such as Tor.
If you’d like to read more posts related to this subject, just visit our Cortana section.
There are even more tips waiting to be applied. You’ll find them all in our Tech Tutorials Hub.
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For the past month or so, we’ve been compiling lists of what we think are the best apps of 2013. Divided into specific categories, each list is composed of 10 apps handpicked by iDB editors. For each category, iDB readers were able to vote for their favorite app, helping us come up with what we believe to be the best of the best apps of 2013.
In order to be eligible, apps had to have been released in 2013. This ensured that we were putting new apps under the spotlight, rather than always seeing the same ones at the top.
With your help, we present you the best of the best apps of 2013…
If you’ve been reading iDownloadBlog for a while, you probably already know that iPhone photography holds a dear spot in our hearts, as we often review photography apps, or share photography tips with you. As a matter of fact, we’re so into it that we created a dedicated iPhone photography page on iDB, featuring tutorials, tips, and our favorite apps.
Best photo app: ProCamera 7
Runner up: Tadaa SLR
The best weather app of 2013 won’t really come as a surprise as it is a free app that has been iPhone users’ favorite every since it launched earlier this year. It must be noted that the runner up was a distant second favorite, barely gathering 6% of total votes.
Best weather app: Yahoo Weather
Runner up: NOAA Weather Radar
With the end of the year come good resolutions for the twelve months ahead, and if getting in shape is part of your 2014 goals, then you owe it to yourself to check out these apps that iDB readers consider to be the best of the year.
Best health & fitness app: Nike+ Move
Runner up: Moves
If your new year resolution is to get more organized, maybe you need to pick up a few apps to help in your daily endeavors. Having a better assistant might just be the sidekick you need. We had four very strong contenders for this category and they all came very close to each other, but only one can claim the top spot.
Best productivity app: Donna
Runner up: Fantastical 2
With iOS 7, Apple gave a complete facelift to the stock music app, but it apparently wasn’t enough for our readers who picked two music players as their favorite music apps of 2013. Once again, the two favorites were really close to each other, only separated by a handful of votes. Interestingly enough, both apps are free.
Best music app: Beat
Runner up: Listen
Whether you’re into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or any other social network, there sure is an app out there that will fit your specific needs. This category’s readers’ choice will come as no surprise, gathering almost half of all votes.
Best social networking app: Tweetbot 3
Runner up: Vine
The games category is probably the largest one in the App Store, making it even harder for everybody to have one particular favorite. This was pretty clear looking at the results of this poll where the top 2 games both gathered about one quarter of total votes.
Best game: Infinity Blade III
Runner up: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
No matter how you prefer to consume content, chances are there is an app for that in the App Store. While some prefer the comfort of a good old RSS reader, other might want to experiment with new ways to get their news delivered straight to their iOS device. If anything, the death of Google Reader earlier in 2013 allowed the News app category to see an influx of brand new apps and come up with new ideas.
Best news app: Reeder 2
Runner up: Sylfeed
Server Issues Can Affect Search Engine Rankings
I was recently helping someone troubleshoot some server and SEO problems and it struck me that I should write an article about this and other issues. Because sometimes when you run into a brick wall and can not figure out why your site is not getting listed or even crawled in the search engines it is not always a site issue.
In fact, sometimes it is a server issue which you may or may not have control over. In that case, it does not matter what you do to your site, you just aren’t going to get it listed. This article covers some things to look at and how you can go about fixing them.
Let me start by giving you an idea of what happened with the person on the forum. His site had been up for some time, in fact he recently put up 3 sites. Two of which were getting crawled and indexed and one wasn’t showing up in the engines.
We started by looking at the usual suspects – such as improperly coded chúng tôi poor navigation, banned domain and so on, yet none of these were an issue. The site was very search engine friendly, easily navigable and didn’t use a chúng tôi file.
So the next thing I checked was the WHOIS information and on one site I found improper information and on another WHOIS lookup I found no information at all. This lead me to believe that perhaps there was a hosting/server problem at the root of the issue.
So I contacted the site owner and got him to verify with the web host that the DNS information was properly configured. It turns out that it wasn’t. Since the site wasn’t properly resolving via DNS it wasn’t getting crawled by the search engines.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened with this site: What I found is that I could connect to the domain name through my browser. Further, the owner had enough foresight to register his site as the only site on the IP, so I was also able to connect to the site via IP in the browser.
I could also ping both the site and IP and receive proper results, indicating that at least at some level there was DNS resolution happening.
However, when I went to perform the WHOIS lookup at the different site I wasn’t seen the results I should have, which means the DNS for the site hadn’t been properly configured.
I like to use chúng tôi to perform these lookups as you can also perform IP searches to see if the site resolves properly to the IP. Further, you can also see how many and what types of sites may also be hosted on a domain. This can give an indication of other issues which could cause a site to not be indexed.
For example, had I performed a WHOIS lookup and found a bunch of porn or casino sites, I could have assumed (probably quite rightly) that Google had greylisted or blacklisted that IP address because of the sites hosted on it. Then, any legitimate site would also suffer the flag, causing indexing problems by the engine.
But that wasn’t the case here. As I said, it was a single site on a unique IP address.
I gave the information about the DNS to the site owner, indicating my concerns that the site wasn’t properly resolving and I found out a few days later that one of the hosts name servers was indeed acting up. I don’t know what “acting up” means, but it could indicate that the resolver wasn’t always resolving the IP to the site for some visitors, or it was improperly resolving it. In either case, should a search engine come across such inconsistency it will, over time, quit coming to the site.
More issues which could affect rank
There are other issues, not DNS related, but server related which could affect your indexing and ranking possibilities. These include improperly configured servers, or overloaded servers among other things.
Improperly configured servers
As you read above, there was an improperly configured (or failing) name server causing problems with the site, but there are other server issues which could affect the site as well.
Once the site is resolved via a name server, the request is then forwarded to the webserver hosting the site. If the webserver isn’t properly configured however to accept the request, then it will deny the request to the site, even if the site exists on the server.
While this is a rare occurrence, it does happen. If the webmaster mistypes the domain name for example, or attaches the site to the wrong IP attached to a different server, this could cause issues.
In fact, the ideal situation is for the server to automatically issue a “301” server site redirect to any request made for a non-www domain which then forwards users to the www domain. This is because sometimes search engines will see the www and non-www domains as 2 separate sites. Therefore link popularity and rankings could be split among the domains. In a worst case scenario, one or both of these domains could be banned by the search engines for duplicate content.
In addition, if you are fortunate enough to have your own IP address, you should check with your web host to ensure that the IP address resolves to the site. This way if a user (or search engine) tries to connect to the site via IP they will be served the site properly, and not receive a “page not found” error.
As mentioned above, it is best to have an non-www requests 301 redirected to the www domain. However, for ease of use (and because its quicker and easier to configure) most web hosts will allow all requests to a site to return that site, so that any request to the www, or non-www domain will return the same site. As I eluded to earlier, this could get the site penalized or banned. At the very least, the site won’t properly propagate link popularity, which will ultimately affect its ability to rank competitively in the search engines.
With some servers, the only way to combat this is to set up a unique site for each alias and have the non-www alias 301 to the www domain. Sometimes that requires the appearance of 2 sites per domain on the web server. While most web hosts won’t agree to this, perhaps they can help you come up with a solution that will work for you.
Sometimes, when you perform a WHOIS lookup you will find hundreds and hundreds of sites hosted on a single IP.
While in many cases this isn’t an issue, you can still run into problems in the search engines.
This is because, to save time, many engines will cache the IP of a domain and simply request the domain by IP rather than a full DNS request each time it wishes to index the site.
That means, every other site hosted on that IP has the potential to negatively impact your search engine rankings.
This is because every site which is associated with that IP will by default be associated with your site, because of the common IP. If one of the sites has done something to spam the engine in the past, there is a chance that your site could suffer the consequences.
Go back to the example I gave earlier – a legitimate site sharing an IP with porn or gambling sites. I can almost guarantee you that the legitimate site will not rank competitively.
Consider it guilt by association. In this case the association is the sharing of an IP address.
While search engines are getting much smarter at identifying these types of things, some issues still arise. Therefore it’s safer to take precautions now.
If you do find such a site on your shared IP, you could always request that your site be moved to a new IP so that it doesn’t suffer the consequences of a penalized IP.
Another problem with overloaded hosts is that sometimes there is a site (or a few sites) which use so much of a servers resources that other sites suffer. If this is the case, then your site may not respond in a timely manner which means search engine crawlers could stop coming to the site and it will fall from the index.
Again, the solution here is to move to a different webserver or change hosting providers altogether.
As you may see, there could be many issues outside of the site itself which can affect search engine rankings.
The best way you can identify these issues is to become a web detective and perform a little searching of your own using WHOIS servers and PING commands to test out your site to make sure it resolves properly to the web host and IP it is supposed to.
Many times when you’ve ensured that there isn’t an issue on the site itself, then its likely a hosting issue.
And in some cases, you may be able to get these resolved quickly while others take a little longer. If you find its taking too long to get hosting issues solved, might I suggest shopping around for a new host? One that will treat you like a customer and not a number or pay check? That way you can ensure that your site receives the attention it deserves, and problems are dealt with quickly.
Rob Sullivan of Text Link Brokers is an SEO Specialist and Internet Marketing Consultant.
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