When it comes to SEO people always talk about getting their website to #1 on Google. That shows a definite lack of knowledge of how SEO works. SEO works on a page-by-page basis, meaning that Site.com will rank seperately from Site.com/page/2. There are ways around this, which is what I’d like to talk about today. Over the last few days I’ve been talking to potential clients about their website ideas, and the one thing I keep coming back to for you small business owners, is consolidated SEO benefits.
Why Consolidation Works
Consolidation means you put all of your SEO content on a single page, and focus on getting that page to rank. Generally this page is the only page on your website, your index page. There are quite a few ways of doing that. But why do it? Why does it work? It works because all of your content sits on a single page, it gets crawled by search engines and all of the SEO benefits focus on that one page, allowing that page to rank for each of the pages thats included in it.
The Long Page Layout
One method of consolidation is through the Long Page layout. This is a type of page design where multiple pages are separated by some formal bar or separator, and the menu items scroll the page to the top of the pages content, allowing you to view multiple pages on a single, long scrolling page. Some people dislike this method because it shows a large scrollbar. But it’s extremely useful for SEO consolidation, though.
There must be other ways to consolidate SEO benefits, and if you can think of one that isn’t listed here, please feel free to comment and let us know!
I had originally planned another post for today, but I pushed it back after watching this video by Pat Flynn on SmartPassiveIncome.com about ranking a website. The video has great details on how to rank a website, and Alex has some great points about what Penguin and Panda have attacked, but his examples move closer to a Grey Hat area. Which got me wondering, what is white hat SEO?
So, what is white hat SEO?
The simplest definition I can give is that it’s SEO that focuses on the people, and not on the computer. I’ve been talking about this very thing since the start of Dirigo, and it’s the only thing I ever focus on when it comes to SEO. When it comes to SEO, focusing strictly on writing quality content for your readers is the first thing you should ever do, because it leads to long term SEO gains. It’s when you start looking for the quick route, that you lose that white hat, and start greying it up a bit, or worse switching it out for a black hat entirely.
What is Grey Hat SEO then?
Well, when you start doing unnatural link building techniques, but still focus on making sure the content is high quality for your readers, this is where you start getting into the grey hat area. Grey hat utilizes some versions of black hat techniques, but only for the good of their website, leaving their own website as optimized for humans as possible. This means they’re doing only off-site black hat SEO techniques, and allowing their website to benefit from it. This can be fine, but I don’t trust any black hat techniques.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat seo is when you ignore the human entirely. You’re focusing on gaming the system, playing it for a fool. This can be through the use of artificial keyword stuffing, as it was done years ago, or through spam bots that build false links back through auto-commenting on blogs. It could be through PageRank networks. The thing about Black Hat SEO is that it is nearly always a temporary benefit. White Hat SEO is your sustainable seo practices, grey hat–the most common form of SEO–is a mixture of the two, and black hat is the type of SEO that will most likely show the quickest short-term gains, but will also be hit harder by any search engine updates.
Google Places is a system of allowing small and local businesses to shine on Google searches by inserting their location information into Google, and having their address show up on a map beside relevant searches. This is good for local businesses because it improves the chances of people visiting you for business. If they’re looking online, they either don’t know you, are looking to see who’s out there, or need your address. This accomplishes all of those, while giving them directions and a map right to your door. I suggest to all people that I work with to get yourselves onto Google Places. If you have a storefront, or a physical location at all, it’s the best place for you. But, along with all these benefits, what benefit could it have for your website? That’s what I’m going to talk about today.
Google ranks websites with value applied to their authority level. One way of increasing this value is by adding your company to Google Places, and soliciting reviews on the posting. When reviews are posted, positively, your authority level goes up, and you are more likely to show up in subsequent Google searches.
Physical Location Matching
Another way Google ranks searches is through localization searches. This is where they take your physical location, as the searcher, and rank the results for local based websites and businesses. Why? Because they’ve found that local results are by and large the best resource you can find. This goes doubly well for searches that are local in nature, such as “Movie Theaters” or “Grocery Store” things of that nature. These types of searches are nearly always about finding local businesses.
Relative Location Searches
Google knows locations. Say you’re going on vacation, and you want to know where the local restaurants are. You might hit Google, and type in “Restaurants Near Bangor Maine” which is a relative location search. This will tell Google that not only do you want restaurants, but you want them to be found in and around Bangor, Maine. Using Google Places they can find locations on the map to show you.
These are just a few different ways Google Places can help your business. There are millions other reasons why that I may not have considered yet, so please, feel free to leave your own insights.