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Author Topic: General SEO tips?  (Read 251 times)

Gary-SC

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General SEO tips?
« on: 26 Oct 2019, 03:50:01 am »
I'm trying to learn SEO basics. Here is my outline so far. Am I getting it right?

- Most of it is about making good content. Write for users, not for search engines, and write something of value.

- Write correct, semantic HTML. Focus on proper handling of h1, h2, h3, etc. and <hr>.

- Write proper meta description and meta keywords.

- Make your site fast and accessible.

- Create XML sitemap.

- Use HTTPS.

Question: Should I include the "structured data" information? I am not entirely sure whether it is absolutely necessary.

Ex: JSON LD, Schema.org

Reference:
https://moz.com/blog/structured-data-for-seo-1
https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data

Jason Knight

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #1 on: 26 Oct 2019, 08:35:07 am »
The XML sitemap part is more myth than fact. It's a placebo to make you feel like you're doing something.

If all the pages of your site are properly crosslinked so that when the spider walks the page it can find everything, there is ZERO legitimate reason to waste your time on a sitemap.

What you've outlined is pretty much the be-all end-all of legitimate on site SEO. The other half of SEO is promotion, where you have to tell people about it.

Backlinks to the site are the other major factor alongside your content quality. They're the yin and yang of SEO. The trick is that even if a page sets your links to nofollow, it still can bring traffic in. Pages that set Nofollow links aren't "evil" or  "a waste of your time" as the people coming in may organically link to your articles. These "organic" links have long-term credibility.

There's a rather sleazy part of the web where something called "link farming" takes place. People often pay to get "follow" links spammed across dozens of sites. Such "link farms" though are known to most search engines, and once the engine notices that it's a farm, it gets blacklisted and so can your site. It's another of the "take the money and run" scams that works for JUST long enough to rob the bank, but not long enough that the site owner won't get caught holding the bag.

It's ok to flood links to places like forums and social media, in the hope that people will naturally share those links giving you "link mojo". It's a slow methodical process that's just part of promotion.

In that regard, don't underestimate social media's impact. Whilst sure, facebook and the like also are nofollow, these days for traffic they often rival or surpass search when it comes to visits.

Search is passive, your site only comes up when people are looking for you on purpose. Social media is active, like real advertising. It comes up on people's feeds just because. The links you can get from social media growth can often cross over into organic links when those you reach share it someplace else like their own blog.

It's just when people try to buy and sell backlinks that things tend to go bits-up face-down. That entire aspect of SEO is 100% scam and should be avoided at all costs.

Other than that, you've got the basics. Semantically marked up well written unique content of value being the king of it all. Without that every other SEO trick in the book is nothing more than dumping a can of shellac on a pile. You can let it dry, take a buffing wheel to it, making it eye-searingly shiny and reflective, but it's still just bug excrement on horse manure.
"It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit." -- Kelly Johnson

mmerlinn

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #2 on: 26 Oct 2019, 12:12:37 pm »
I'm trying to learn SEO basics. Here is my outline so far. Am I getting it right?

- Create XML sitemap.

For most, if not all, well-linked sites, a site map is a waste of time.

I did not add a site map to my site until AFTER I had over 9,000 pages. The search bots had no problem indexing my site BEFORE I had a site map and I cannot quatify whether adding a site map improved the indexing or not.

The way I see it a site map MAY be required for a site that is LARGE and NOT well-linked.  Otherwise I think one should expend one's energy where it would be more productive, like CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT.
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benanamen

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #3 on: 26 Oct 2019, 01:01:59 pm »
This is what google says about sitemaps.
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184?hl=en
To save time, let's just assume I am never wrong.

nshep

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #4 on: 28 Oct 2019, 04:41:55 am »
Don't forget about mobile friendliness!

Jason Knight

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #5 on: 28 Oct 2019, 11:45:58 pm »
Don't forget about mobile friendliness!
This too, google is penalizing sites to a degree for a lack of responsive layout -- and other factors that might not immediately come to mind.

Finger sized anchors for example. If you stuff in all your links too close together, google has started to ding you for that. It's why I've begun to favor modal menus over drop-downs when making "hamburgers".

They do test for it now, you can even -- to a degree -- get feedback from Pagespeed insights / Lighthouse / whatever they're calling it by the time you read this.

Not everything on there is as useful as it used to be -- their advice on ACTUALLY making sites fast being a lot of nonsense designed to sell you something -- but there's still plenty of useful information about mobile that can be gleaned.
"It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit." -- Kelly Johnson

qwikad.com

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #6 on: 29 Oct 2019, 08:35:09 am »
The XML sitemap part is more myth than fact. It's a placebo to make you feel like you're doing something.

If all the pages of your site are properly crosslinked so that when the spider walks the page it can find everything, there is ZERO legitimate reason to waste your time on a sitemap.

Can a poorly crafted, incomplete sitemap be the reason why a site doesn't rank higher?
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Jason Knight

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Re: General SEO tips?
« Reply #7 on: 29 Oct 2019, 09:21:16 am »
Can a poorly crafted, incomplete sitemap be the reason why a site doesn't rank higher?

I don't think it would be an issue if all your on-page links resolve to all the pages. As @mmerlin said, the presence of a sitemap seems to do bupkis if your page is already indexing well due to proper cross-linking.

The only way I could see a sitemap creating problems is the same issue you can butt heads with on the site proper; if any of your links and pages go 404 or return any other server error.

Again though, from what I've seen in the results of having sitemaps the 20+ years they've been around, they don't do anything and seem to exist more as a placebo to make you feel like you're doing something for SEO, rather than ACTUALLY doing something. I'd be surprised... shocked... flabbergasted even if Google or any other search engine actually does anything with them in terms of rankings, indexing, spidering, or any other actual functionality. They appear to do exactly two things, and Jack left town.

Mind you, don't get in the way of people trying to get to their placebo's. Usually if they're gullible enough to swallow it in the first place, they've got such ingrained cognitive dissonance you risk life and limb for DARING to question it.

See religion, politics, and the Ice Capades.
"It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit." -- Kelly Johnson

 

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