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Thread: FAQ v1.0

  1. #1
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    FAQ v1.0

    Once again, this document is not all encompassing. These questions and answers should help you get settled in to SEO and at least be able to understand most of the conversation that goes on in these forums. If, after reading, you still have questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the proper section of the forums. Many, many times, questions from those new to SEO force the “old pros” to rethink their ideas or approach. We value every member’s contribution so after reading this, jump right in!

    Definitions:
    • SEO – stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the process of making a web site most receptive to what the search engines want to ensure a high position in the SERPs.
    • BL – BL stands for backlink, or links that point back to your site from another site, also called inbound links.
    • Bot – a bot is also known as a spider. This is a program that crawls through sites collecting data to help search engines index and categorize the site’s pages.
    • KW – KW is short for keyword. Keywords are the terms you want to rank well for in the SERPs. Usually KW refers to a phrase, not a single word.
    • On page – Onpage factors are the elements you have the most control of that are actual parts of your web site. This includes the code, site structure, use of hierarchy, outbound links, etc.
    • Off Page – Offpage factors are methods of gaining SERP position that are not part of your actual web site, most notable inbound links.
    • PPC – stands for pay per click. These are ads that advertisers buy and may a set amount each time someone clicks on them. Google Adwords is the most famous example of PPC.
    • PR – PR is a system Google (and only Google) uses to measure the quantity and raw power of links going to your web pages. PR does not directly influence the SERPs and has very little practical use for anyone that understands how it actually works. You may learn more about PR in the original Google Whitepaper written by Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, Google’s founders.
    • Recip – stands for reciprocal link. Reciprocal links are when you link to someone's site and they link back to you.
    • SE – Stands for search engines. A search engine is a web site that uses spiders or bots to crawl or retrieve information from other web sites and sorts and indexes that information in a database so that a user can type in a search phrase and quickly locate web sites relevant to their query. The 3 biggest search engines are Google (G), Yahoo! (Y or Y!) and MSN.
    • SERP – SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page and is the list of web sites returned after inputting a search query.
    • WH – stands for white hat, is explained in greater detail further down the FAQ.
    • BH – stands for black hat, is also explained more in further down the page

    FAQ:
    • How do Search Engines determine what sites are relevant to my query? Well that's the trick! Each Search Engine uses its own method of calculating relevance. Each one places different weights on both onpage and offpage factors and then uses an algorithm to sort the results and determine the SERPs.
      You may visit seomoz.org for a comprehensive list of Search Engine Ranking Factors.
    • How important are links? Links are critical to the success of a web site. How you set your internal site structure can have a big influence on your SERPs. Who you link out to can potentially harm your site if you link to a "bad neighborhood" and inbound links give your site more credibility in the SEs making it place better in the SERPs.
    • What is anchor text? Anchor text is the text between the <a> tags in the code of the document. Anchor text often gives the SEs information about what the link is to. For example:
      <a href="http://www.seorefugee.com">Search Engine Optimization Forum</a>
      Where the words "Search Engine Optimization Forum" are the anchor text.
    • What is this BH and WH stuff about? Often, tactics are referred to as either White Hat or Black Hat depending on if the tactics comply with the SEs guidelines or not. Most SEOers are some shade of gray. The SE guidelines can be found at Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.
    • Why has my site dropped from Google? Many times, a site dropping from Google suddenly is simply a glitch in Google’s system (most often this occurs during updates to Google’s algorithm). Sometimes, however, it is the result of your site being banned for any one of the many spam techniques people use to try and game Google. If you made any changes to your site recently (you should always keep a written record of any changes you make to your site) do not automatically assume that those changes are the cause. Unless they are spam techniques, it might be a coincidence. Wait for several days and see if your site has returned to the index. If not, then you need to analyze your site, searching for any reason Google would have to drop it from its index.
    • How do I find out how many links my site has? Use the link operator from the list below to find out how many links Google is reporting for your site. Both Yahoo and MSN use similar operators.
      • link:www.domain.com - gives a list of a portion of the backlinks to your site that Google has indexed.
      • related:www.domain.com - gives a list of sites that Google sees as related to yours. (not very accurate)
      • allinurl:keyword - gives a list of pages and sites that contain the 'keyword' in their url.
      • allinanchor:keyword - returns a list of pages and sites that contain the "keyword" as anchor text in their backlinks.
      • allintitle:keyword - lists webpages that have the specified "keyword" in the title.
      • cache:www.domain.com - will show the current cache that Google has for that page.
      • site:www.domain.com - lists all pages of the domain that Google has crawled and indexed.
      • All of the Google operators can be found at http://www.google.com/help/operators.html
    • Why do Google, Yahoo, and MSN all show different link totals for my site? The different search engines use different algorithms to rank sites. Therefore, they place a different value on different links. Yahoo and MSN usually show similar numbers while Google will almost always show far fewer links. This is because Google only displays a certain portion of the links that it actually counts towards your site. This is done to try and keep anyone from figuring out which links Google does and doesn’t recognize.
    • Why do I get different link totals when I check www.example.com vs. example.com? These actually are two different sites. If you are not using them as two separate sites, you should be sure to 301 redirect one to the other. To do this, alter your .htaccess file to make you non-www domain point to your www site. This will give full credit for all your backlinks to the www site
      Code:
      Options +FollowSymlinks
      RewriteEngine on
      RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.mysite\.com [NC]
      RewriteRule ^(.*) http://www.mysite.com/$1 [L,R=301]
    • Why is my site ranking well in Yahoo and MSN but is nowhere to be found in Google? Most likely this is due to the sandbox affect which is a filter or set of filters that regularly keeps new sites from ranking well in its result pages. The sandbox is the subject of many different opinions and ideas. Search around and you will be sure to find threads discussing this topic.
    As mentioned before, if you still have questions (and I’m sure you will) please post away! Enjoy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by skitzzo
    [*]How do I find out how many links my site has? Use the link operator from the list below to find out how many links Google is reporting for your site. Both Yahoo and MSN use similar operators.
    • link:www.domain.com - gives a list of a portion of the backlinks to your site that Google has indexed.
    • related:www.domain.com - gives a list of sites that Google sees as related to yours. (not very accurate)
    • allinurl:keyword - gives a list of pages and sites that contain the 'keyword' in their url.
    • allinanchor:keyword - returns a list of pages and sites that contain the "keyword" as anchor text in their backlinks.
    • allintitle:keyword - lists webpages that have the specified "keyword" in the title.
    • cache:www.domain.com - will show the current cache that Google has for that page.
    • site:www.domain.com - lists all pages of the domain that Google has crawled and indexed.
    • All of the Google operators can be found at http://www.google.com/help/operators.html
    IMO, the best single operator for finding backlinks is:
    linksite:yourdomain.com -site:yourdomain.com (at Yahoo).
    It will return all links to your domain (something Google doesn't do) excluding all links from your domain (so only external links)

    Yahoo Store SEO and Design | User Experience Design


    "Live never to be ashamed of what is written about you. Even if what is written is not true" -- Richard Bach

  3. #3
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