August 3rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
Malware is the bane of every webmaster and site owner. It destroys the user experience, causes Google to penalize your website, infects your systems, and more. It’s not surprising, then, that malware – and ways to protect against it – should come up as a regular topic for discussion on our own SEO Chat forums.
You can check out our latest thread on this topic. The original thread poster is really suffering, as his website has been affected by malware three times now. Be sure to visit the thread and share your experiences with malware and preventing infection. We’ve already seen some excellent advice, but with a problem like this, more help is always better.
Dzine suggested that ads might be to blame, and asked for more information. “Are you using any affiliate links? Any (other) type of ads that might involve foreign code being inserted? Ads based on IFRAME?”
Highland took a more intensive, hands-on approach. While noting that there was nothing wrong with Dzine’s suggestions, he stated that the most common issue he’s seen that causes these kinds of malware problems is a hacker attacking a website and/or its server. How does this happen? “I know, for instance, that Plesk (a popular hosting management system) had a major vulnerability that got exploited several months back and malicious activity is just now starting to creep in (even if the host patched the vulnerability),” he explained, giving just one example.
So how do you prevent this kind of problem? Highland gave a simple, step-by-step process. First, load the Firefox browser, with the Firebug add-on installed. Then, open Firebug (F12), click on the Net panel and make sure that it is enabled. Now load your site and look at the Net panel. You’ll see ALL of the requests your browser made to load the page. “This makes it easier to spot malware because many hackers will obfuscate their URLs in the code,” Highland pointed out.
What should you do if you’ve found malware? Again, it’s a simple, if tedious process: change the passwords for your control panels, server, FTP. “Change any password that would let someone access your server files,” Highland wrote. After you’ve changed your passwords, remove the offending code. Finally, submit a reinclusion request to Google, so the search engine giant knows you’ve done something about the problem.
NathanielB noted that if you’re using a quality company to host your website, you should be able to simply email your host, let them know you’re getting warnings about malware, and have them fix it. Just sent them a trouble ticket with the details. “I have used this before with personal hosting accounts I had, and it’s been fixed within the hour, so it’s a good way to get the work done correctly for free by your host,” he explained. You’ll still have to change your login details and send the reinclusion request to Google.
Joshz strongly suspects that the host isn’t to blame in this case – and that the problem is closer to home, with the original poster’s computer itself. In short, he thinks that computer is infected. “You save your FTP passwords in your FTP program, right? Let me guess, you’re using CoreFTP or Filezilla? They store passwords in PLAIN TEXT. Fix and scan YOUR COMPUTER fist, then clean up your website,” he wrote. After explaining why he was so certain this was the problem, he also explained how to fix it: get Microsoft Security Essentials; Spybot Search and Destroy; and Malware Bytes. Scan your computer with those to find and eliminate the problem at the source. And to help prevent this problem in the future, “DON’T SAVE YOUR PASSWORDS IN PROGRAMS THAT STORE THEM IN PLAIN TEXT!” Joshz shouted.
AlexTampa agreed that this might be the problem. He noted that he’d dumped an entire hard drive once when he had this issue. “I was not taking any chances,” he explained.
Again, be sure to stop by the thread to add your comments about finding and removing malware (and preventing infection in the first place!). We look forward to seeing you join the conversation!
August 3rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
Much of this index is quite fresh, but with a caveat – there was a period of crawler downtime so some data from early in the index may be older (histogram below). It’s slightly smaller than our prior index, coming in at 69 Billion URLs (compared to July 6th’s 72 Billion).
(note that some data may be as old as May, but anything re-crawled in July would overwrite that older data, so there should be a significant amount of very fresh stuff in this index)
And, in more potentially good news (though it’s hard to count chickens before they hatch given AWS’ unreliability), we have another index that may be ready in the next 2-3 weeks, meaning more consistent updates. We’re kicking off indices nearly every week at this point to help account for Amazon’s weaknesses and give us a better chance of delivering on-time updates. This has pushed our costs into stratospheric territory ($600-$700K+/month to run Mozscape these days), but we can tolerate this pain a little longer while we work to move to our new hybrid cloud on our own, far-more-stable machines.
Let’s take a look at the full metrics for this index:
And here are the latest correlations between Mozscape metrics and Google’s search results:
You’ll also find that some of the bugs around anchor text from the prior index are much improved. There may be a few artifacts of odd data, but 99% of queries won’t surface these.
Happy link data day to all! And please write in with feedback (or leave it in the feature request forum).
August 3rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
Last week, approximately 800 marketers from across the globe converged in Seattle for our annual conference, MozCon. The entire Moz staff attended as well, and we were all quite excited to have such a diverse set of attendees and speakers. For many of us, it was an experience we won’t soon forget. Between the amazing speakers and brilliant content, to networking with the community, and even singing karaoke at the Garage, it was a magical three days.
I wanted to wrap all the great photos, posts, and presentations into one neat package, to make it quick and easy to find everything. So let’s just jump right in!
Rand kicks off MozCon 2012
Jeremy Dearringer, Kim Greuel, and Muhammad Yasin chilling with Roger
(every time I do it makes me laugh)
With so much love for Roger going around, we tried to get photos with him and as many people as possible. We’ve uploaded all the photos and you can view and download them from our Facebook page.
Check out all the photos with Roger:
But don’t worry, those aren’t all the photos! We went all out this year, and our photographer got shots of all the speakers and tons of pics around the conference and at the Garage party. We’d absolutely love for you to tag yourself in the photos and please feel free to download them and use them! Check out all the photos:
Speakers Aleyda Solis and Fabio Ricotta hanging out with Roger
Yes, there will be videos to purchase. Whew! I just wanted to get that out of the way since that’s the question we keep getting asked most often. We hope to have them available in the coming weeks, so watch for a specific announcement about that.
We had an amazing lineup of speakers and have made all of their presentations available for download. Please feel free to check out the decks:
Mary Weintraub and Rand Fishkin’s “Fireside chat”
We’re quite excited about all the coverage about MozCon and wanted to try to combine it all into one place. So let me just jump right in and be sure to check out all these great posts.
Dozens of Content, SEO and Social Tools From #Mozcon 2012
Build Relationships NOT Links
MozCon 2012 – My Thoughts and Slidedeck
SEO.com – MozCon 2012 Recaps
35 Link Bulding Tips – Paddy Moogan
Build The Agile SEO Framework
Community as Inbound
How Relationships Drive Link Building
High ROI Content Strategies for SEO
Online Reputation Management
Secret Algo Project Launch
How to Earn Links Without Doing Anything
Google+ SEO Authorship
A New Form of CRO
SEO Project Management
Zeph Snapp from NotJustSEO
A Glass Half Full Approach to MozCon
Marc Menninger on YouTube
MozCon Video – Top 5 Takeaways from MozCon 2012
Paul May from BuzzStream
mozCon 2012: My Takeaways
Charles Sipe from Sparkplug Digital
MozCon 2012 Liveblog
Please, please, please let me know if I’ve missed anything and I’ll get it added! (no this is not a nofollowed link, I just thought it’d be fun to mess with you.
We put together a couple lists we used during the conference to help us keep track of what attendees were talking about (that is, when they were able to get wifi . You might want to follow these lists as well!
Plus, a huge thanks to Eventifier for putting together all the tweets, photos and videos that were tweeted with the #MozCon hashtag:
Cyrus Shepard, Pete Meyers, and Thomas Hogenhaven hanging out at the Garage party
Our fabulous photographer (and my husband) Rudy Lopez, even got to have a little fun.
For those of you who joined us this year, be sure to watch your email for a post-conference survey. We look forward to your feedback!
August 3rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
After seeing some tweets and analyzing the SEOmoz website, I decided to write some tips and tricks that can decrease pages load time as much as possible. Any search engine wants to provide users a great user experience, just like Google, and a fast site improves overall site quality and increases user satisfaction. Everybody deserves a fast web experience. Some of the following tips are implemented well by SEOmoz, but I will explain them anyway because of their general usefulness.
“Experiments demonstrate that increasing web search latency 100 to 400ms reduces the daily number of searches per user by 0.2% to 0.6%. Furthermore, users do fewer searches the longer they are exposed. For longer delays, the loss of searches persists for a time even after latency returns to previous levels.” Google says.
I will list a variety of factors (+ useful tips from Yahoo and Google) and will use SEOmoz as my example:
Note: Making a backup before starting is necessary!
Choosing suitable hosting for your venture is the first step in starting a website. Hosting with a professional configuration can be of big help. Here you can find some good tips about choosing hosting.
“Expires headers tell the browser whether a resource on a website needs to be requested from the source or if it can be fetched from the browser’s cache. When you set an expires header for a resource, such as all jpeg images, the browser will store those resources in its cache. The next time the visitor comes back to the page it will load faster, as the browser will already have those images available,” says CJ Patrick in a nice article about how to use expire headers to set caching: Expires Headers for SEO
Unfortunately, it seems that SEOmoz doesn’t use expiration for stylesheets and images.
“A Keep-Alive signal is often sent at predefined intervals and plays an important role on the Internet. After a signal is sent, if no reply is received, the link is assumed to be down and future data will be routed via another path until the link is up again,” says wikipedia.
In fact, HTTP Keep-Alive allows TCP connections to stay alive and it helps reducing the latency for subsequent requests. So contact your hosting provider and tell them to think twice about this! Most hosting companies disable this feature, (including SEOmoz’s host) because it’s an optional feature (whenever it transfers less than 60 bytes per request).
* Image by betterexplained.com
“Gzip is the most popular and effective compression method currently available and generally reduces the response size by about 70%. Approximately 90% of today’s Internet traffic travels through browsers that claim to support gzip,” says Yahoo.
Gzipping reduces the size of the HTTP response and helps to reduce response time. It’s an easy way to reduce page weight. You can enable it by adding the following code to your .htaccess file:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
# Or, compress certain file types by extension:
Or, use the following PHP code at the top of your HTML/PHP file:
?php if (substr_count($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING'], ‘gzip’)) ob_start(“ob_gzhandler”); else ob_start(); ?
Or, simply use plugins for your CMS (like the WP HTTP Compression plugin for WordPress).
Mobile pages redirect users to a different URL, (for example www.seomoz.org to m.seomoz.org) so making a cacheable redirect can speed up page load time for the next time visitors try to load site. Use a 302 redirect with a cache lifetime of one day. It should include a Vary: User-Agent as well as a Cache-Control: private. This way, only those visitors from mobile devices will redirect.
Since SEOmoz doesn’t support any specific mobile version, it can’t have this problem (someone should take care of the bad behavior of SEOmoz’s website on mobile devices)!
A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is typically based on a measure of network proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen. As you can see in the above image, it loads from different servers, based on the visitor’s region. You can compare CDN hosting with standard web hosting here.
It seems that SEOmoz uses Amazon CloudFront for this functionality and I’ve tried MAXCDN, It’s awesome, too. You can manage your caches and lots of other useful tools in one WordPress using W3 Total Cache.
Since you don’t have total access to your server, content elements are the most important things that you can manipulate. Let’s start with the most obvious weakness of SEOmoz:
Sometimes to indicate the new location of a URL, track clicks, connect different parts of a site together or reserve multiple domains, you need to redirect the browser from one URL to another. Redirects trigger an extra HTTP request and add latency. Only keep redirects which are technically necessary and you can’t find any other solution for it. These are Google’s recommendations:
This image shows what happens when your browser tries to load SEOmoz.org:
As you can see, the greatest latency is the result of some external redirect chains. SEOmoz is using about 20 redirect chains that slow down the load time about 3000 milliseconds.
You can’t cache a link with a “?” in its URL even if a Cache-control: public header is present. The question mark acts the same as Ctrl+F5. Use query strings for dynamic resources only. SEOmoz is using two dynamic URLs with “?” because of using KISSmetrics, but 2-3 queries are reasonable
Specify a character set in HTTP headers to speed up browser rendering. This is done by adding a simple piece of code into your header:
meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″
Note: Some CMSs use functions for character set (like WordPress with ?php bloginfo(‘charset’); ? ). I suggest that if you are sure about your character set, write it instead of using PHP functions. It helps to minimize request size, so try to use HTML instead of PHP everywhere that is possible.
Removing HTML comments, CDATA sections, whitespaces and empty elements will decrease your page size, reduce network latency and speed up load time.
You can use simple online tools like Will Peavy minifier, and if you are using WordPress, Autoptimize can optimize and compress your codes and it supports CDN as well. By the way, SEOmoz could save 620B by compressing its HTML.
Broken links result in 404/410 errors. These cause wasteful requests. Fix your broken URLs (pay special attention to images). Use online broken link checker or use WordPress link checker for free. You can also read about Xenu Link Sleuth and Screaming Frog tools at SEOmoz that can be really helpful.
It’s best to share Google’s recommendation:
“For resources that are shared across multiple pages, make sure that each reference to the same resource uses an identical URL. If a resource is shared by multiple pages/sites that link to each other, but are hosted on different domains or hostnames, it’s better to serve the file from a single hostname than to re-serve it from the hostname of each parent document. In this case, the caching benefits may outweigh the DNS lookup overhead. For example, if both mysite.example.com and yoursite.example.com use the same JS file, and mysite.example.com links to yoursite.example.com (which will require a DNS lookup anyway), it makes sense to just serve the JS file from mysite.example.com. In this way, the file is likely to already be in the browser cache when the user goes to yoursite.example.com.”
DNS lookups take a meaningful amount of time to look up the IP address for a hostname. The browser cannot do anything until the lookup is complete. Reducing the number of unique hostnames may increase response times. Just look at how a DNS lookup can take about 3 seconds of load time in SEOmoz. You can measure yours, by using Pingdom Tools. I do want to mention that when I re-tested the homepage of SEOmoz.org from a server in Dallas, it showed better results than it did before I started writing this article.
Note: Sprite your images. This means put images that are loading every page of your site together to reduce your DNS lookups. SEOmoz combined lots of its images into one, like this sprite image. You can find more information on SpriteMe
Your browser begins to render a page before images are loaded. Specifying image dimensions helps it to wrap around non-replaceable elements. If no dimensions are specified, your browser will reflow once the images are downloaded. In order to do that in img elements, use height and width tags specifications.
Note: Don’t use dimensions to scale images on the fly — the user will still be downloading the original file size, even if the image doesn’t take up as much space on the screen.
Images can contain extra comments and use useless colors. Keeping image sizes to a minimum is a big help for users on slow connections. Try to save in JPEG format. You can use a CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+S shortcut to save an optimized image in Adobe Photoshop, use Yahoo! Smush.it, or if you are using WordPress, you can install the WP Smush.it plugin.
SEOmoz could save more than 50KB by optimizing images on the main page, particularly those in the slider.
There are of other ways to speed up a web page, but I have tried to write about the most important ones which even professional bloggers (like SEOmoz) can sometimes overlook. Of course, site speed is not the main goal but even an ideal website with a bad load time will find it hard to achieve success. Run the fastest website you can in order to reach your goals faster.
Now, let me repeat: DO NOT forget to make a backup before making any changes and don’t forget to share your tips or questions by commenting.
August 3rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
Hi, my name is Jeff McRitchie from MyBinding.com, and today we’re going to be talking about how to get your videos to rank better on YouTube and specifically YouTube ranking factors. We’re going to cover 12 specific YouTube ranking factors, kind of in 2 different categories.
The first category would be the content that you create. These are things that are really in your control. Not everything about ranking on YouTube is in your control, and yet you have the ability to affect it all by the content that you create. So that’s really the place to start is by creating awesome content and then uploading that content in a way that is going to put your best foot forward on YouTube.
So let’s talk about the first six ranking factors that fall under the category of content. The first is title. You want a title that is going to be awesome. You want a great click through rate. You want people to want to watch your video. So when they’re doing a search on YouTube for a specific topic, you want to pop up, and you want someone to say, “That’s exactly what I’m looking for.” So not only do you need to do the keyword research ahead of time to understand what someone needs, but you also need to deliver on that concept, so that they know that that is what I want, and then when they watch the video, it’s not something totally different.
So, when you are setting out to create a video for YouTube, the title is probably the most important thing. You want a title that’s going to draw people in, but then you also want to make sure that you deliver on that title. If you are going to say that you have the best video on SEO ever, you better make it the best video on SEO ever. Otherwise, people are going to say, “That’s lame.” They’re not going to click through. They’re not going to respond. They’re not going to do anything. So title is your first and most powerful tool. You’re going to want to do the keyword research and make sure you have a call to action in your title.
Second is description. You want to write a real description for your videos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a video, and it’s like a link to your website is the only description in there. Or, “This is a great video on . . .” and it has like one keyword in it. Write a description. Talk about what your video is all about, what makes it unique. Put some keywords in there, but write it from a real perspective. Make sure you put a link in there to whatever you want, fully qualified URL, and it will light up so that people can click on it. But the real purpose of the description is to make sure that you describe it.
Content is king, and this is a place for you to make sure that you have content. For us, I make sure that my writers write the descriptions. They take time. We write 300 to 400 to 500 words in a lot of cases. Maybe we’ll do 200 or 300 words, and then we’ll add the transcription below. But you want to make sure that you have something unique that’s really about the video. Take the time to write it. It’s really worth it.
The third ranking factor on the content side is your tags. You want at least 10 tags. You want them to be keywords, you want to do your keyword research, and you want to make sure that they’re relevant for the video. Something that’s weird about YouTube that’s a little different than Google is that you can have a video that’s all about something, and if you don’t use that keyword in there, it doesn’t really do the semantic matching for you. So, you could have a video that’s all about something, but if you don’t spell it the right way or if you don’t use the plural version versus the singular version, then YouTube won’t even rank it. So you need to make sure, at least until Google gets better at it, that you put those tags in there that have both plural and singular. Do your keyword research. Again, make sure that you understand, what are people looking for that are going to need to watch this video.
The fourth YouTube ranking factor on the content side is transcription. This is something that most people don’t know about. I’m going to tell you about it today. That is that YouTube has a feature where it’s going to try to transcribe your video for you, and it is horrible at transcribing your video. If you’ve ever tried to read the transcription that it does by machine, it is awful. However, something else that they don’t tell you is that they use those transcriptions to rank your video for keywords.
So, if you were to slip something, and there’s actually been some tests done on this, where someone transcribes a video and throws in a word that isn’t mentioned anywhere in the description, anywhere in the title, and then you type that in a search in YouTube and up comes that video. They are indexing the transcriptions. So take the time to go ahead and transcribe your video word for word. Upload the text file. It will match up the words. It will then make your video closed caption, which will increase your click through rate, and it will also allow you to rank better for that video. Just a quick tip on that. Definitely worth doing. If you’re going to take all the time to make the video, take a few extra minutes and transcribe it and make it happen.
Number five, I put this under the content side of it, and that is your channel authority. You control your content, which means you control your authority. Google is looking for channels that have authority, and it’s going to use that as a basis for your ranking. It’s going to be easier for someone who consistently creates awesome video to rank for terms versus somebody who just throws up a random video. Now, it’s a little bit controversial just in that YouTube also has the power to let any person with a cell phone rank really well for a video if they have enough engagement, which is what we’re going to talk about in a minute. But all else equal, if you have a good channel that you have great content on and good engagement on your other videos, that’s going to flow over into your current video and getting it ranked. So, you want to make sure that you look at all of your videos as a whole and your channel, not just your single video when you’re trying to rank.
The sixth is delivery. I put this over in content, because really, ultimately, if you make a crappy video, Google and YouTube will figure it out, and you’re not going to rank well. If you think about it, their best interest is providing people with videos that are awesome, that provide the user with exactly what they’re looking for, that users say, “That’s what I’m looking for,” that they interact with. And if you can’t do that, if you deliver content in a way that’s really poor, the users aren’t going to like it. They’re not going to watch your video. They’re not going to stick around. They’re not going to comment. They’re not going to engage, which is the next thing that we’re going to talk about. If they don’t do that, you’re not going to rank. So, you need to make sure, when you set out to do a video, that you make an awesome video and not a crappy video. That’s really the key. If your users are telling you that your videos are crap, then you need to look and say, “Okay, what am I doing wrong, and how can I change that?”
That’s the content side, the stuff that you control directly. By making awesome content, you can then create awesome engagement, which is really the second part of ranking on YouTube and probably the most important. All else being equal, if you do all of these things and there’s no competition, you’re going to do great. But if there are other people with other videos that want to rank, and let’s face it, almost any industry has other videos that want to rank for the keywords that you want to rank for, you’re going to need to do more than just throw up a video with a great title tag and a description and some tags and transcription. It’s kind of like creating a website but not telling anyone that it’s there. So, now suddenly you have to take it to the next level. You need to get some engagement. That’s the next six ranking factors that really come into YouTube. I’m just going to go quickly through them so that you can understand some of the different things that YouTube is looking for.
There’s kind of a chicken and the egg thing that happens with YouTube. So in order to rank better, you need views. In order to get views, you need to rank better. So there’s the sense in which you need to get the word out and allow people to see your video. Use your social media sharing, use your website, use your blog. Whatever network that you have, get people to go watch your video. Once they’ve watched it, then Google is going to say, wow that’s an awesome topic, and they’re going to want to rank you better. But it’s not just about views.
They’re looking at the quality of those views. That’s why I put attention as the second part of number one. They’re looking to see, how well are people receiving that? I don’t know if you’ve ever logged in and looked at a specific video in the engagement report that you can get on YouTube. It’s really cool. Basically, what you can see is how long people watched, where they fell off. So maybe you have a trailer on the end of your video. You’re going to watch this nice graph, and everybody’s following, following, following. Bam, they’re gone. They got to the advertisement. They say,
“Okay, I’m done with this video.” You can also see that maybe that happens. You delivered your point, someone got bored.
If your audience is getting bored, YouTube is using that to determine how good your video really is. So, if people are watching it all the way through, if they’re totally engaged, then YouTube is going to rank you better than somebody who has a video where they watch the first 10 seconds and they’re out. So that’s something to keep in mind. You’re going to want to look at those reports and make sure that you have the attention that you need. And if you’re not, do something to fix it. Make sure that your next video is awesome all the way through, or recreate that video with a new version that’s going to garner the attention that you really, really want and need.
The second part is inbound links. I know everybody in the SEO world is talking about inbound linking right now and everything. But essentially, YouTube is using inbound links to videos as a ranking factor. Surprise, surprise. It’s Google. Inbound links are king. So, think about ways that you can build links to your YouTube channel and to your YouTube video specifically. So they’re looking for both channel links, and they’re looking for links to that specific video.
Now, awesome video content gets natural links. People say, “Hey, I saw this great video over here. Go ahead and take a look at it.” It’s going to build links naturally, but there are ways that you can help that process along by sharing it on your social media, by making sure that your users know that it’s there so that they can go and watch it, especially your most engaged audience, which are going to be the people that you’re dealing with. For us, that’s our customers.
You’re also going to want to make sure that you share it on your blog. Those count. You’re going to want to make sure that you share it anywhere else where you can that gets people to know about your video so they can link back to it. And if they’re really interested, they will link. So, you don’t need to go and sit there and try to rack your brain on how to build links to your YouTube videos, and yet you need to always be thinking about how to build links to your YouTube videos. On the other hand, you should always be building links to your YouTube channel, and that should be natural.
All of your profile links, like when you do an email, you’re going to have your YouTube channel in the bottom. When you do a press release, you should have your YouTube on there. On your website, you should link to your YouTube channel. It’s just natural that you’re going to want to promote your YouTube channel, because your YouTube channel is important to you, and you want people to see the stuff that’s there. So, that’s something that kind of gets overlooked in the YouTube ranking factors, but inbound links are really important.
The third is social shares. You have the ability on YouTube to easily and quickly share stuff on social media sites – Twitter, Facebook. It’s simple to quickly share on your own, and it’s simple for your users to share as well. Make sure you share it on your own, and hopefully you’re going to have people reshare that. Google is tracking that. They’re looking for it. They’re looking for social signals for these videos. As more people share it, it’s going to raise you up in the rankings. Again, it’s just one factor in the basket of factors in terms of engagement.
Fourth is embeds. That’s going to be people who want to embed the video on their site. Also included is you embedding it on your site or blog. So, if you think about creating your video, you don’t want to just leave it on YouTube. You want to then go and take that and embed it somewhere. Also, you have the ability to turn on or off the embed feature. Now, you have to kind of weigh that out in terms of, maybe you don’t want people to embed it. But the more people that embed it, the better it’s going to rank. So, you kind of have to say, is there a specific reason why I don’t want it embedded on other people’s sites? If there is, then you can turn it off. But I suggest turning it on, and letting bloggers, letting people embed that right onto their own sites. You’re going to see that your rankings will raise as people embed those videos onto their sites.
The fifth under the engagement section is comments and video responses. So this is really key, and Google is really good at figuring out which comments are spammy and which comments are real. So don’t try to game the system. Try to produce content that’s going to be awesome so that people want to comment on it. So, people who come and say, ask a question, respond back. If someone comes and says, “This is an awesome video,” make sure you reach out to them. Google is looking for videos that build social following and that people interact with, because it shows that the video is being watched, that there’s quality, and that it’s really a worthwhile video to rank. So you’re going to want to build up those comments.
On the other hand, they’re also looking for video responses, which is a lot harder to get. So, how do you get somebody to make a video in response to your video? That’s a pretty tall tale, but it also is a huge ranking factor. Because if someone’s willing to do that, then, often, that says to Google, wow, this video really made sense to them or was really important to them. So one of the things that you can do is you can make your video a video response to other videos that might be out there. Now that’s not quite as powerful as somebody making a video for you as a video response. You can also add your video as a video response to your other videos that you have on your channel. Again, not as powerful as somebody making a video for you as a video response.
Now, if you have a friend or you know somebody else who does video and you want to trade video responses, that would be awesome. Ask them to make you a video. Ask them to respond to it. Get in front of their webcam on their laptop and record a quick video response that says, here’s what I really liked about this video, or this is how I feel. Upload it to their own YouTube channel, share it, and respond to the video and put it as a video response. That’s going to be a huge factor for you in terms of ranking. It’s just one of those things. It’s kind of a big favor to ask. Video is not that easy to create for a lot of people. So it’s one of those things that you’ve got to kind of weigh it out and say, “Okay, how big of a favor can I ask of my friends?” if I want them to create a video response for me.
Then, the last under the engagement side of things is likes and favorites. So there’s a like button, just like Facebook. You can sit there, and you can thumbs up or thumbs down. You want, obviously, lots more thumbs up than you want thumbs down. You want people to say, “Hey, I love this video.” But a thumbs down isn’t the kiss of death for your video, because at least people are engaging with it, and they say, “Okay, I didn’t like it.” That might tell you, if you get too many thumbs down, that maybe you need to create a better video. But ultimately, you’re looking for people to engage with the likes/dislikes side of things. And you also want them to favorite your video, which means that you really had an impact on them, that they really wanted to share it with their people. The more you share it and the more they share it, the better your video is going to rank.
When it comes down to all of this, content and engagement, there’s actually an internal page rank system inside of Google and inside of YouTube that causes the rankings to fluctuate. That’s why link building and inbound links work. That’s why you have all of these different factors at play. When someone shares your video and it’s on their channel, they’re passing page rank to your video. When somebody accepts that as a video response on their video, they’re passing page rank and authority to your channel and to your video. So you’re going to want to make sure that you’re engaging with the YouTube community, that you have your videos out there, that other people are engaging, because it’s going to show up in their feed. Their feed is going to pass internal page rank to you.
Again, internal page rank, what I say that is that they’re shuffling it, but they’re trying to determine how well does your channel and your video really fit into the YouTube community? Ultimately, if you create awesome content and get great engagement, then you’re not going to have any problems at all ranking for the keywords that you really need to rank.
Thank you and that’s Whiteboard Friday.
August 3rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
Determining a good domain name comes down to 3 different approaches. They are brand, brand plus keyword, or simply a exact or broad match keyword domain. Of these 3 choices the most ideal approach is the second. One in which you can obtain a domain that has all the needed aspects of a well branded domain name as well as a keyword targeted name for search engine optimization. Often this option is not available. In the case that it isn’t available for you the second best approach would be a branded only domain name.
But before we go into the details of these 3 domain name approaches and the benefits and deficits of each one. Let’s first lay out quality domain name practices no matter your choice. A domain name should be:
A branded only domain name is one where it ties directly to the business name without any regard to terms indicating products or services. Most often these types of domain names are not real terms at all. Some very well known or common domain names that follow this approach are:
All are straight forward, short, easy to spell and easy to remember. But what makes them a good domain from a branding perspective is their uniqueness. To be able to take a name that otherwise has little or no significance and turn that into a term that clearly identifies the product/service your business offers is a powerful thing.
Branded domains like these are also not as likely to mistyped when linked to or forgotten when navigating directly to the website.
Initially, a branded-only domain name holds no SEO value. Meaning, without any links pointing to it and no keyword to identify relevance within the domain name search engines have no reason to pay attention. This can make the starting months of on organic marketing campaign slightly slow going.
The ideal domain name incorporates the best of both worlds. Most commonly you will see these domain names for online focused businesses. Businesses that depend largely on online performance typically consider their domain name choices while finalizing a business name and establishing a business entity. (Side note: Every business should be doing this whether or not you’ll depend on internet performance as a lifeblood for your business). To be able to make your target keywords—the term that clearly defines what your business is about—your brand and domain name as well can have drastically positive effects.
Here are some examples of when a the keyword literally became the brand:
This also works with the combination approach:
These domain names place their website in a strong position of authority. Clearly defining what they are about through the ideal keyword, while establishing a domain name that is highly brandable. With a brand+keyword domain such as these you can expect quick growth in your organic marketing that will remain consistent as you continue link building and content strategies.
Finding and obtaining a domain name like these can be very difficult. Often the domain is either already in use by another business or the cost of the domain is far too high for a start-up to justify. The second set of domains (the combination approach) are usually your best bet.
A keyword only domain name would be those with no tie to the business name or brand. They use only keywords that indicate what the website is relevant to. In the past, and even still, domain names that fall under this category perform very well within search results. A few examples of this approach would be:
While it is a slowly dying trend, search engines do still provide benefit to domain names with head terms or priority keywords. This can assist your website in getting up and off the ground quickly by establishing relevance to subject matter and queries for the audience you seek.
The most common problem people often run into with this approach is in lack of availability. Because the shorter more exact phrases for terms frequently searched have already been snatched up this approach often leads to long and very spammy looking domain names. Because of this these domains are not typically remembered by users and are likely to be further devalued in the future of search ranking factors. Although it may take slightly longer to get the site off the ground in terms of organic rankings for keyword+brand or brand only domain names they tend to maintain stronger rankings for longer with less SEO efforts simply due to the strength in brand and what that means for naturally acquired links.
Do you have a question about SEO, internet marketing or social media? If so, post your questions on the SEO.com Facebook page, Tweet us, or leave a comment on the SEO.com Google+ page. For Twitter and G+ use the hashtag #SEOCOMFAQ. Maybe we will use one of your questions in a future video.
Article source: http://www.seo.com/blog/what-makes-good-domain-name-video-faq/