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Search Engine Facts in 2013

A good search engine optimization campaign can help you to solve many of the problems that websites have: better rankings, more targeted visitors, better conversion rate. Unfortunately, many people don't achieve these goals. The reason for that is that most people don't plan their SEO campaigns well.

In the news: 301 redirects do not dilute the value of a link, Bing introduces a new Sitemap tool, five websites get 20% of all visitors, and more.

    1. Step-by-step: how to create a successful SEO campaign
    A good search engine optimization campaign can help you to solve many of the problems that websites have:
    • your website will get better rankings on Google
    • your website will get a steady stream of targeted visitors
    • your web pages will get a better conversion rate
    All of these things can be achieved with a good search engine optimization campaign. Unfortunately, many people don't achieve these goals. The reason for that is that most people don't plan their SEO campaigns well.
    Step 1: Analyze Before you do anything to improve the performance of your website, you must analyze the current situation. Identify the weaknesses and potential opportunities of your business.
    1. Analyze your web pages. Use the Top 10 Optimizer tool in IBP to find out if Google and other search engines can index your web pages correctly.
    2. Analyze your website visitors. Use web analytics tool to find out how many of your website visitors buy something on your site. Clicky is a good tool that tracks visitors, campaigns, goals and conversions.
    Step 2: Plan Doing things for the sake of doing things won't help your website. If you want to get results as quickly as possible, you must make a plan:
    1. Set a concrete goal that you can measure, for example "I want to get 50,000 website visitors per month" or "5% of my website visitors should buy something on my website."
    2. Choose the keywords for your website should be found. Choosing the right keywords is important to the success of your search engine optimization campaigns.
    3. Decide which pages of your website should be found on search engines. These pages should be convincing and they should have a good conversion rate.
    4. Decide which actions the visitor should perform on these pages. For example, the visitors could subscribe to your newsletter, they could download something, they could purchase a particular item, etc. Each page should have a concrete goal.
    Step 3: Act Use the tools in IBP to optimize your web pages as quickly and efficiently as possible:
    1. Use the keyword tools in IBP to find the best keywords for your campaign.
    2. Use the Top 10 Optimizer tool in IBP to optimize your pages for these keywords.
    3. Use the link building tools in IBP to get better backlinks to your website.
    4. Use the ranking checker in IBP to track your success.
    Detailed information on how to create a successful search engine optimization campaign can be found in the manual.

    2. Search engine news and articles of the week
    Matt Cutts: 301 redirects do dilute not the value of a link

    Google's Matt Cutts explained this in a video: "The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link."

    In other words: it's okay to redirect an old URL to a new URL and the links that point to the old URL won't lose any value.

    Bing introduces new Sitemaps tool

    "SEO is a complex and ever changing area but there are some key elements that are still as relevant now as they were a few years ago. One of them is building high-quality XML Sitemaps, a comprehensive and accurate representation of your website. [...]

    Because XML Sitemaps are so important, we want to make it very easy for webmasters to generate them and publish them for the use of all search engines. That’s why we are excited to open today the public beta program for the Bing Sitemap Plugin, an open source server-side technology that takes care of generating XML Sitemaps compliant with for websites running on IIS as well as Apache." Editor's note: There's no need to install complicated plugins in your server software. You can use the XML Sitemap tool in the website audit tool of SEOprofiler to quickly create an XML Sitemap of your website.

    20% of all clicks go to the same five websites

    "Five Websites [Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon] captured 20 percent of all search activity in Q4 2012, while the top 500 captured nearly 50 percent. Expansion to the top 1,000 Websites reached nearly 75 percent [...]

    Even through paid search, the landscape changes very little — the top 10 Websites captured 16 percent of all paid search clicks, and the top 500 captured 56 percent." Editor's note: if you want to be found on the first result page, you must do the right things.

    Google: a reminder about selling links that pass PageRank

    "Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay you for links or 'advertorial' pages on your site that pass PageRank. Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations.

    The consequences for a linkselling site start with losing trust in Google's search results, as well as reduction of the site's visible PageRank in the Google Toolbar. The consequences can also include lower rankings for that site in Google's search results." Editor's note: It seems that these rules to not apply to Google. They continue to buy links from other sites.

    Google: how to move a business on Google Maps

    Google's Jane Wang gave official instructions:

    "Edit your address in Google Places for Business or in the Google+ page admin area, whichever you are using to manage the page. This will either make a new page or edit the address on the existing page. It may take a week or two after editing your address before you see an update. [...]

    If you see a page that's still got the old address, click on Report a problem and mark that location as closed. Provide the link to the new address or information about the new location if possible."
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