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How do I increase my SERP, possible at all?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Stellow, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Stellow

    Stellow Newbie

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    Hey!

    e73f4e7f0b07a9d9ddcfa1eec67cd7a0.png

    I went from top 10 to >100 with the Google update and I was wondering if it would be smart to try and rank for the keywords in that image, you can see the MS to the right.

    Also, how would I go about ranking this slowly and steady?
     
  2. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    Simple formula has been working well for me.

    Exact search term match in title... no other text...just exact search term
    Exact search term in URL... use a URL slug: similar to http://mydomain.info/my-exact-search-term/
    Use the exact search term as the first text in the meta description: "my exact search term: blah blah blah"
    For the target search term visit the top 5 results in google and view source. Count how many times each word in the search term appears in the source... stuff your page to be above average.
    Set the meta keywords to the exact search term and nothing else.
    Use the exact search term in a heading

    Then build some good backlinks to the page using the exact search term as the link text. Quality beats quantity.

    I find for 3 word search terms that the content tuning makes my page VERY relevant for the search terms and by itself often gets my pages into the top 20 results... backlinks do the rest of the work pushing the page into page one. The better job you do tuning a page for a target search term the fewer backlinks you will need to get onto page one. Its all relative to the search term... some are harder to rank for than others.

    Out of any 100 targeted search terms attempted I tend to get about 15 into the top 3 results and over half onto page 1, but they are all long tail search terms. (I rank on page 1 for over 50,000 search terms)

    Hope this helps!
     
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  3. Stellow

    Stellow Newbie

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    Thanks for the help mate, may I ask what is considered to be quality backlinks, like what kind of pages should I focus on getting backlinks from?
     
  4. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    There are a lot of different opinions on what is a Quality Backlink... here's mine:

    Requirement #1: You have to control the link text. If you can't dictate the link text then it is pretty worthless in my opinion. Sure they add up, but if it isn't very targeted to your search terms then it is going to take way too many to get anywhere.

    Requirement #2: The page is PR3 or higher... The higher the better and website homepage links are the best. Footer links are fine as long as the HTML source is under 2MB in size.

    For long tail keywords it often only takes 1-15 backlinks to get to the top of page one. In most cases in online retail I find I am up against pages that have less than 20 backlinks in the top 3 results.

    Press Releases work best if you don't have your own network of sites to link from.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  5. Stellow

    Stellow Newbie

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    Hmm, does it matter if the URL slug has same content as index page? Also, am I able to have multiple URL slug?

    EDIT: Is it a huge deal to have .php at the end of the URL slug?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  6. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    Its fine if there is other data in the URL, but the keywords should be by themselves: example:

    http://mystore.com/product/30396/coffee-makers

    it would be bad if you converted the exact match into a phrase match:

    BAD: http://mystore.com/product-30396-coffee-makers

    parameter query strings don't matter... feel free to use them, but be sure to use canonical tags and backlinks need to match the canonical URL.

    No multiple slugs... one page = one search term... If you had a page that was 50% about apple pie and the rest was about other fruit pies how should it rank compared to a page that is 100% about apple pie? If you want more reach then create more pages. Your pages will appear in searches for more keywords than just the target, but typically a page ranks for one keyword well and the rest poorly. If you dilute the page's topic relevance then it will rank for all poorly.
     
  7. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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  8. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    I should mention that if you change your URL structure then you need to 301 redirect the old URLs to the new if you want your existing backlinks to carry over to the new URLs. The 301 redirects and canonical tags help expedite the update to the Google indexes too. If you don't do this then old and new URLs will compete and often the old URLs will win because they are older and have more backlinks. Changing URL structure in an existing site is usually a pain in the ass... sometimes it is better to leave the old site alone and to create a new site with a new domain. Then you get both in the results if you vary the content enough to be unique.
     
  9. Stellow

    Stellow Newbie

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    I have added this code to my .htaccess file which allows users to access files such as domain.com/test-test.php without the .php at the end, is that a huge change in the URL structure since every page works now with and without .php?

    Here is the code if someone would need it:

    Code:
    # Remove .php
    RewriteEngine on 
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d 
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}\.php -f 
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1.php
     
  10. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    I don't see a problem with doing that but technically any change in the URL is a huge change.

    For example lets assume that the following URLs are all the same page.

    http://mysite.com/page1.php
    http://mysite.com/page1
    https://mysite.com/page1
    http://www.mysite.com/page1
    http://mysite.com/page1?code=UYTRG

    Google sees these as different URLs with duplicate content, titles, and meta descriptions and only one will appear in the SERPs.

    If http://mysite.com/page1.php is the OLD URL then it should be redirected to http://mysite.com/page1 if that is the preferred form. This is especially true if all the backlinks out in the world are linking to the OLD URL.

    The canonical tag should match the preferred form and the web browser's network monitor should do a 301 redirect from the old form to the new.

    If the redirect is 302 then old backlinks wont apply to the new URL. If the OLD URL doesn't change in the web browser to the new URL then old backlinks wont apply to the new URLs and the new URLs might be perceived as duplicates (being newer and having fewer backlinks) and be filtered out of the SERPs.

    The problem with redirects is that every redirect counts as a layer of linking which dilutes the "link juice" that flows to the page. You want to minimize using it, but changing your URL structure is a case where your really don't have much choice.

    So in review:

    * Make sure OLD URLS 301 to NEW URLS
    * Canonical Tags on NEW and OLD pages point to NEW URL
    * Ignore parameters in GWT like "?code=UYTRG" in my example if they cause duplicate pages.

    Check GWT:

    If you have 404 errors then you are likely losing backlinks from broken OLD URLs.
    Check your index status... if your website has 4000 pages and Google has indexed 125,000 pages then you have a duplicate content problem...
    Look for duplicate titles,meta descriptions in GWT > HTML Appearance... they give example URLs that will point out how your pages are being duplicated by Googlebot. (usually it is sorts, filters, origin tracking, and pagination parameters that should be ignored)

    hostnames and domain names are another way people accidentally duplicate their content.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  11. Andrew Scherer

    Andrew Scherer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    This makes sense for long-tail terms but anything reasonably competitive and you might start tripping over-optimization filters.
     
  12. Goofygoober

    Goofygoober Newbie

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    So far, so good. I'm tweaking the hell out of my site, following all the great recommendations here. I have a moronic question, so forgive me... Is there a glossary that I can hit that will catch me up on the vocabulary. I keep running back to google to find out what "canonical tags" are, or "URL slugs"...
     
  13. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    Not moronic at all. An SEO Glossary would make a great sticky post. :)

    URL Slug

    Slug is an old school term originally coined by newspaper folks... back in the early days of computing computers were very limited in how they could store articles on the filesystem. They were limited to short filenames containing letters, numbers, and hyphens. They adopted a naming convention of creating folders of the publication date and naming the articles based on title with only letters numbers and hyphens. As newspapers emerged onto the web the practice continued in the organization of articles on websites.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/30/tech/web/netflix-streaming-purge/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

    netflix-streaming-purge is the URL Slug

    URL slugs are how you tune a URL for search terms in SEO

    Canonical Tags

    Documentation and a video right from the horses mouth. :)

    https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139394?hl=en
     
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  14. Goofygoober

    Goofygoober Newbie

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    I'm in Wordpress, for better or worse, and I've found the "advanced" Yoast tab that has an entry for the canonical tag, and I've gone over that link that you've shared (thnx). I can feel my brain swelling with learning!

    Okay, so I'm good to go on URL slugs, I've patched them all up. And I understand canonical enough to know it doesn't apply to anything, just yet.

    So here's where I'm still hung up. Headers/Headings. I know it's a formatting option for the body of text, and I know how to set it. But I can't quite get why I need to or if I'm utilizing it properly.
     
  15. validseo

    validseo Power Member

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    Don't overthink it. :)

    <h1>My Search Terms</h1> or h2 or h3 ...

    If your platform doesn't make it easy then just make sure you use your target search terms on the page...
     
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  16. MaximumAchievement

    MaximumAchievement Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    HI,

    Slow & steady is the best way of persist ency.Try to adapt with the Google update.
     
  17. isotolreborn

    isotolreborn Newbie

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    SERP huh? Never heard any of those.
    But the id: TheJoker will help you alot. Just send him a PM
     
  18. BuyRealTraffic

    BuyRealTraffic Registered Member

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    Also try to diversify your links, there are a lot of different types of links you can get such as blog roll links, homepage links, links from blog posts, directory links, educational links, footer links, etc.
     
  19. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    validseo - What keyword density do you aim for? I guess you don't just build backlinks with the exact keyword anchor?
     
  20. Numbuh362

    Numbuh362 Elite Member

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    Just get some good seo services, that should do the trick.