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Twitter’s Little Known SEO Value

September 5, 2009

Mihaela Lica joins the SitePoint blogging team, relaying her SEO tips, tricks and expertise.

For too many, SEO is synonymous with ranking on the first SERP page in Google. For too many, optimizing a site for Google means getting links, many links, no matter what. Defining and redefining SEO will not change the way these people perceive it. This is not an article for them. Those webmasters who optimize solely for Google are basically targeting only 70% of the search engine market, and disregarding the rest.

This is an article for those who need to learn something new, and want to use all possible SEO channels to drive more traffic and to gain more customers. This article will prove what “real” SEO value is to be expected from services like Twitter.

Does twitter Pass Any Link Juice?

Since Twitter started gaining popularity the question about its “SEO value” has been on the minds of many webmasters who obviously want to boost their placement into Google’s SERPs. But using Twitter for “link juice” is a lost battle in Google’s ranking methodology.

Twitter adds a “nofollow” attribute to links submitted by its users. The “nofollow” attribute advises Google, and a few other search engines, to ignore the link. Some of these follow the links but exclude them from their ranking calculations (Yahoo!, Google); some ignore the links completely (MSN). The only known search engine that doesn’t comply with Google’s “nofollow” at all is Ask.com. This example alone shows that Google’s algorithms are not the gospel for all search engines.

According to compete.com, Ask.com owns about 2.5% of the search engine market share. The same source shows that in November 2008 there were 255 million search queries on Ask.com. This is nothing compared to 7235 millions on Google, but can you seriously disregard a source of such traffic? Ask.com is a potential gate for visitors that could convert into customers.

So let’s ask the question again, shall we? Does Twitter pass any link juice? For Ask.com it does.

Do tinyURL Shortened URLs Have SEO Value?

The short answer is yes. TinyURLs ( N70.Info ) are dynamically created URLs that redirect users to the real URL via 301 (permanent redirect). Search engines do not index TinyURLs, but index and pass PageRank to the actual URLs instead. The problem with Twitter, as we already discussed, is the “nofollow” attribute added to all submitted links.

Are There Any Other Possible SEO Advantages with Twitter?

As I already said, SEO is not only about building links. Optimizing a site is about creating and promoting content that can be regarded as a resource. “Creating” is “onsite SEO ( On Page Optimization ) .” “Promoting” is “offsite SEO.”

Every time you submit your site to a directory you “promote it” – meaning that you do “offsite SEO.” Every time a link to your site is published somewhere on the web a gate to your site is being opened. People don’t care about “nofollow” attributes. If they see a link and they think the content it leads to is interesting, they follow.

When visitors land on a page from an exterior link some other metrics are affected: number of unique visitors, number of page views, and time on site. These metrics matter for the search engines more and more; since all other variables are so easily gamed (links and keywords are all subject to spam and black hat SEO strategies).

To make a long story short: although Twitter is a social media tool meant to create community and relationships, it does have an SEO value. For example, Twitter can affect positively your Alexa rankings by sending visitors to your pages. Usage data is a sign of quality for Google and all the other search engines. If you can make people come to your site via Twitter, then this is an SEO advantage you cannot afford to miss.

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4 Simple Tips to Help Your Twitter Profile Rank

September 5, 2009

Twitter SEO can help you take one more step towards owning your online reputation. Did you read our lasted post talking about ” The Top 10 Twitter SEO Tips ” .

When people think of Twitter, they don’t usually think of it as a SEO or reputation management tool. Yet, when optimized correctly, a Twitter profile is yet one more URL that anyone can get to rank for their name.

Here are 4 simple Twitter SEO tips to help your profile rank:

1. Optimize your title tag.

Your Twitter title tag will be this formula: <Actual Name> (Username) on Twitter

The key point here is my name. My actual name is written in my Twitter profile as ‘Matt Leonard’, so that’s how it appears in my title tag. I do not call myself ‘MJ Leonard’, ‘MattLeonard’ or ‘Matt_Leonard’. It’s very important to remember that if you’d like to rank for your name, just as with any form of SEO, use the correct anchor text. In this case, it’s your name.

You can fix this by logging into your Twitter account and clicking ‘Settings’. From there, change your ‘Name’. Do not change your ‘Username’.

2. Optimize your meta description.

Let me clarify, first, that meta description is not a true Google ranking factor. It does, however, insure that people get the impression you’d like them to have and help CTR, which is a ranking factor.

What you may not realize, is that your Twitter ‘bio’, is actually your meta description. When I realized this, my ‘bio’ quickly changed from some fun-loving comments about cheeseburgers and chocolate to the more professional description you see above (which in no way infers that I will not give out even more tips in exchange for junk food).

If you’d like to optimize this even more, talk about yourself in the 3rd person in your Twitter ‘bio’. You can get your name bolded in the meta description by doing so. I personally try to only talk about myself in the 1st person.

You can fix this by logging into your Twitter account and clicking ‘Settings’. From there, change your ‘One Line Bio’.

Note: Google will sometimes include your ‘Location’ in the snippet. So, depending on how seriously you take this, putting your location as ‘Planet Earth’ may not be as funny as you once thought.

3. Build ‘followers’, links and PageRank.

Twitter will internally link your ‘followers’ to your profile. Higher PageRank ‘followers’ can give your page a boost as well. As always, you’ll pick up outside links naturally if you tweet high quality content just as you would with conventional SEO.

4. Link to your Twitter profile using your name as anchor text every now and then.

Don’t just link to your blog. Throw in a link every so often pointed to your Twitter profile and share the wealth.

Have you ever experimented with different ways to rank your Twitter profile? If so, what did you do and why? On a lighter note, are you as impressed with Yahoo Site Explorer as I am for picking out 3 great Tweeps in the above screenshot? Please share your Twitter SEO experiences in the ‘Comments’ below.

Matt Leonard currently directs SEO Tips , SEM and Revenue Management for Cruise Critic, the world’s largest cruise site and part of the Trip Advisor Media Group.

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Online Businesses That Don’t Fail

September 5, 2009

Many people who are trying to dream up a domain name for their business discover just how common a unique idea might be. Welcome to the web! Trying to find a domain name that has not been taken is classic needle in a haystack. You can short-cut the process by doing your keyword research first.

If you know what search terms people are using to find your products and services you can back your way into a domain name that gets more merit in those searches. And that’s just the beginning of understanding how to take an idea online.

What I have also come to discover is that there is a proliferation of people out there with great ideas and many of them may even have an idea similar to yours. EXECUTION is what turns an idea into an enterprise. And that is what separates the men from the boys (and the girls from the women).

Execution is a matter of process. I mean process in the literal sense. A successful business needs a roadmap. No successful business that I know of flies by the seat of its pants and many may get there after a lot of failures, trial and error and sometimes costly ventures. But ultimately, a successful business lands on a formula, a process that allows them to deliver consistent results for their clients.

I work with a lot of people who want to start an ecommerce business for many reasons. For the most part, they all have good ideas and most have a good general knowledge about their wares. But very few know how to manifest their ideas online.

There are two roads to take in light of this. The first is to “jump in” – wing it! The second is to find a process that will work for your business. Even if you have to pay more money initially for the second option, you will save time, money, head-aches and heart-ache by the time your business begins to generate a return. If you go the first route, you may in fact never get there. By our conservative estimate, 70% of new online ventures fail.

The good news is that the process for developing your online business is quite easy to execute if you get a little guidance. Here are some of the basic things you should research and understand before embarking on an ecommerce business.

Keyword Research

Keyword research equals market research. People that skip this step are not only shortcutting the process planning stages, they are undermining their ability to succeed! There are plenty of free resources on the web to not only do your research but also educate you with respect to what you should be looking for.

For example, if you decide that the most general search term in your category is one of the ones you’ll focus on, you might as well just beat your head against the wall! The point is, there might be a LOT of searches relative to that keyword BUT you may not ever show up in the search engines for it. The scope of this article doesn’t afford time to explain the process of choosing keywords that you can rank for, so I’ll save that for a future article. But rest assured that this is one of the most important steps in the process.

Continue reading : Online Business That Don’t Fail

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9 Free Tools to check Social Media Backlinks & Popularity

September 5, 2009

Checking Backlinks are so 2008 ! Social Media backlinks are the “in thing”. And fortunately, social media popularity checker tool are cute. Here are nine of such awesome online tools that will help monitor your social media popularity. They check backlinks from Twitter, Digg, Delicious, Reddit and all that !

You can get all of this tools in here : Social Media Backlinks and SERPs Tools

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11 TIPS to Increase Twitter Followers Quick

August 31, 2009

SEO Tips for Twitter

If you want to beat Ashton and Britney Spear, If you want to take lead on Oprah and Pete Cashmore in term of Twitter Follower Count, Then this post isn’t for you.

But If you want to increase your followers on twitter Slowly and stay targeted, With very less Noise, Read Now :

Tips for More Twitter Followers:

  1. Build a Complete and Descriptive Twitter profile.
  2. Post a Link of you Profile on your Blog sidebar.
  3. Ask you Visitors to Follow you.
  4. Use Link in the other blog url Field while commenting there.
  5. Never Twitter before breakfast or 6am.
  6. Be Regular on twitter and start Using #hashtags (I dont mean to suggest you to start Spamming Hashtags)
  7. Connect Twitter with facebook and facebook with twitter (if you have facebook page for you or your company)
  8. Use Twitter url in E-mail signatures.
  9. Retweet often
  10. Be a regular visitor of this blog and Subscribe via RSS and Twitter.
  11. Have Fun. and Tweet this post.

You should read related our blog about Twitter SEO Tips at here .

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What To Do If Your Website Loses Rankings

August 30, 2009

It’s only natural that search engine rankings fluctuate. They do it all the time. Sites go up then go down. Go up again. Then down. And up. And down again.

Usually, such fluctuations are only one or two rankings at a time. But you’ll also often see a site drop a page or two then go back up again. These sort of fluctuations are only normal. They are caused by a few things:

  • The search engines could be updating their algorithms or ranking factors
  • Your competition has improved their search performance
  • Some well-written blog posts have jumped high up in the rankings, pushing everyone else down, but they usually fall just as quickly as they rise
  • Some social media viral marketing content has risen, but it too will fall
  • There was a ripple in the ionosphere and it caused a wave in the search engine rankings (just kidding)

The point is, ranking fluctuations happen for different reasons. But they DO happen. So don’t panic.

However, if you see that this happens to you and you don’t gain your rankings back in a reasonable amount of time then I’d suggest you do some link building to the pages that fell in the rankings. Take your keywords for that page, write some articles and include the keywords in anchor text links that point back to your site. Do some social media marketing and blogging. Whatever it takes, but build links. Many times you’ll find your rankings coming back after you’ve built more solid links to your pages

If you are interesting about SEO , you can find almost SEO Tips in another our blog

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The Top 10 Twitter SEO Tips

August 28, 2009

The Top 10 Twitter SEO Tips

1. Choose a good handle

Be sure to pick an optimal handle thats relevant to your brand or campaign and easy to remember. Your handle (also known as your Username) then becomes part of your customized Twitter URL such as twitter.com/yoursite or twitter.com/yourtopic. Doing this creates a static address for future search indexing, which also helps usability for other cross-channel promotions. So choose wisely! The fun challenge: doing all this while keeping your name short and succinct so its easily tweetable.

2. Select an account name wisely

Optimize the Twitter account name to best reflect your brand. Your name is what appears next to your profile, which can be different than your handle/URL. You obviously want an account name that promotes yourself, your company or your brand. You should also consider which variation of you brand name has the most search frequency every month.

3. Make your bio count

Optimize your Twitter pages Bio line so it includes the most important, mission-critical phrases for your brand. Take advantage of all 160 characters! (Yep, thats right: They give you 20 more characters than a normal tweet.) Your bio is consistently indexed so its contents are what provide your Twitter page with its core relevance.

4. Spread the word

Now think about ways to build the link reputation of this newfound social web address. For example, you can integrate your Twitter URL into your website by placing a call to action on the site for your customers to follow you on Twitter. You could also integrate your Twitter URL within your sites Global Footer, which appears at the bottom of every page of your site. Both of these options offer usability to your site visitors and help drive your Twitter URL up in the search engines.

5. Remember your URL

In the account settings, be sure to add your websites URL or perhaps use it to promote your presence on another social platform, for example, yoursite.com. This is a great way to drive traffic back to your destination of choice; although, truth be told, the link does not provide any offsite reputation a.k.a. SEO link juice due to a Nofollow attribute that Twitter has in place. (Sorry Twitter spammers!)

6. Select the initial characters of each tweet carefully

The lead-in of each tweet appears to be important for SEO as it will determine what appears in the tweets title tag when it shows up as a search result on Google. Approximately 42 characters are factored into each tweets title tag, including the account name, as well as the initial characters of each tweet. Keep in mind that your full tweet and all its characters are still being indexed by major engines, though.

7. Write keyword-rich tweets if possible

Wherever possible, start your tweet with a primary keyword phrase to theme each message. Take advantage of any active lingo or buzz words as this will enable you to capitalize on timely searches on those terms. Of course, this doesnt mean you should fill your tweets with buzz words at the expense of providing value to your followers! Rather, think carefully about which word choices will best convey your message and also allow you to leverage the real-time and long-term index relevance across the engines that continuously spider and index tweets.

8. Mind your retweetability

Make sure your tweets character limits allow for optimal retweetability. If you want a message to proliferate on Twitter, its ideal to keep it under 120 characters so your followers can easily add RT @YourHandle in front of the tweet. However, the exact number is different from everyone as it depends on the number of characters needed for someone to include the phrase RT @yourname in their re-tweet.

9. Provide some link love

Insert back links to redirect users back to your content. Twitter has proven to be a significant traffic driver for bloggers and others using the space to share links. If you do share links, use one of the many URL shorteners available (TinyURL and Bit.ly (bit.ly) are two common shorteners). We recommend using the URL shortener Bit.ly, as it tracks click-throughs for the specific links you share on the platform. Bit.ly even has the power to track links in aggregate. For example, if multiple Bit.ly URLs were created and shared by separate users, all leading back to the same URL, the service can track and report click-throughs for all of them in aggregate. Bit.ly also tracks clicks over time, so you can see when people are clicking your links most.

10. As always, give em what they want

When providing Bit.ly links or any other URLs, make sure the redirection leads to pages which provide a richer content experience. Twitter users are hungry for information and accustomed to getting it right now. Send users directly to the details instead of having them fish around for it.

Mike Dobbs is the group director of SEO at 360i, a digital marketing agency that drives results for premier brands through insights, ideas, and technologies. The agency recently released the Social Marketing Playbook, a guide for brands utilizing social media to connect with their customers. You can follow 360i on Twitter.