Tag Archives: Web search engine

Using Anchor Text for SEO is Stupid

Using Anchor Text is Stupid.

As a Denver based Search Engine Optimization Company we can clearly say that using unnatural Anchor Text to help your sites ranking is stupid, and always has been. SEO’s have been using it as a measurement and tool since the beginning of time and with the recent changes at Google many are suffering the consequences, and more accurately their former or current clients are suffering the rankings drop.

Google Chrome
Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)

One of the principles Google speaks to in SEO is taking actions as if Google didn’t exist. Great SEO starts with that premise. So unnatural Anchor Text is a CLEAR violation of that principle, and can be easily identified by a search engine.

I do not think that on Site basics apply to this principle.  Your site must be as clear and specific as possible about its content. That’s not gaming the system, it’s just common sense. Most of the tactics Google seems to hate are off site and in your sites link profile.

Let’s go to the basics. In order of importance for making sure Google and other search engines can index and understand what your site is about (or your sites pages).

  1. Your URL.  This seems simple.  If your site URL or page URL says Dentist, well, Google will have a strong clue that you’re a Dentist.  I know about the Google patent on exact match domains, but as of now we haven’t seen much evidence that there have been any changes in actual rankings.

Here is the logic:  If Google didn’t exist, I would want a domain that clearly defines what I am. So yes, I would use a domain like Dentist.com  or Dentist in Detroit , or Pretty smile dentist….   To me that stands’ up to the principle that great web visibility starts with acting like Google doesn’t exist.

2.)    Your Meta Title:  Next to the domain name, this is how any search engine figures out what your site is about. Remember, these are robots, not English majors reading the Title of a page.  So if you are a Dentist in Chicago, I would use Dentist in Chicago in the first few words.

3.)    Content:  I don’t really give a hoot about percentage of keywords in your copy, or even your H1, H2 tags…what we should care about is that when someone reads the page, that it is very clear what the page is about.  If that leads to a natural paragraph heading that includes the words in your title tag, so be it. If it doesn’t, that’s fine to.

4.)    And… remember… content and rankings are by page not site. It would be very confusing if Meta tags were the only information a person looking for your site could see, and every page on your site had the same Meta title.  80 pages of Dentist in Chicago. Looks sloppy. And then which page would they click on?  Confusing.

And then to the off site:

English: The three biggest web search engines
English: The three biggest web search engines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are times when you can use Anchor Text to point to your site. But the reality is not many. And if you are lucky enough to get a link on a good quality site, Google will already know what the page is about that the link is pointing to because it’s clear in the Meta title and copy on the page. Why add Anchor text? Really?  You don’t think Google or others have the page Indexed?  Then that’s another issue.  And then if you use the same Anchor Text to different pages on your site that have different subjects, will, you get the picture.

Using Anchor Text always has been stupid (in most cases).

I know that the vast majority of SEO tips and principles are really just opinions, so if you disagree I completely understand and respect that. SEO or web visibility is a complex field, and you always have to look at correlation versus causation and do a bunch of research and study to really feel confident.  Or, you can produce really stellar content and give clear and precise information on your site and pages, and then actively become part of the Internet communities to promote your business.  In the now and the future we feel (even in its simplified summary) that the later will win the day.

Don’t hesitate to call us if we can help you. 303 500 3053 ext 1.  (Mike)



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Top Ranked SEO’s by City in the United States

The top ranked SEO web Sites in the United States by City:

I was interested in what page and domain authority the top three search engine optimization sites have for the largest cities in the United States. You can take a look at the numbers and see how your site currently ranks compared to the top SEO sites in major US cities.

I am using the free SEOmoz browser tools, so any one can duplicate this test, in what ever niche you like.

I’ll be looking at each city leaders individually later, to see if we can find some commonalities in how they achieve these rankings. Hint, many do web design as well as SEO and have the normal “web design by” link on the home page of the sites they have built, giving them a huge advantage over search engine optimization companies that do not   provide web design services.

The good news is I don’t see much black hat or at least questionable linking or on site tactics, and that does seem to confirm that the tricky SEO’s, using what could be called black hat tactics, don’t do well when it comes down to competitive rankings. I mean “search engine optimization ” should be a pretty competitive term right?

Chicago:  Search Tern “Chicago Search Engine Optimization”

Top 3 sites

PA: 59, 64,59

DA: 51, 65, 64

Houston: Search Term “Houston Search Engine Optimization”

Top 3 sites

PA: 52, 64, 61

DA: 42, 58, 54

Los Angeles: Search Term ” Los Angeles Search Engine Optimization”

Top 3 sites

PA: 65, 60, 63

A: 57, 58, 55

How About Phoenix ( Yes it is one of the top 5 populated cities you east coast snobs ;))

Top 3 Phoenix SEO Sites
PA: 44, 57, 62
DA: 32, 48, 54


Guess we better do New York ( I didn’t put them first because they are always first)
Top 3 New York Search Engine Optimization sites
PA: 64, 78, 70
DA: 56, 75, 100 <<< That 100 is a youtube video. hmm…

So how do these compare to the mid market cities? Lets look at Jacksonville Florida, 11th in US population (Who knew?)

Top 3 Jacksonville Florida Search Engine Optimization sites.

PA: 51, 46, 55
DA: 41, 36, 57

Let’s take the 17th largest city ( I picked this number randomly before I looked at the list)
Charlotte North Carolina (A pleasant surprised, as I have spent time in Charlotte, and always enjoyed it’s splendid hospitality.)

Top 3 Sites:
PA: 39, 59, 38
DA: 27, 56, 64

And just for comparison lets do Cheyenne Wyoming, only because I know it’s small. I mean really small.

Top 3 Sites Cheyenne search engine optimization. (I actually give you 4 because I thought number 4 was funny)

PA: 47, 23, 37, 01
DA: 65,11,25, 04

Yes friends, the 4th ranked site has a 01 page authority and a 04 domain authority according to SEOmoz. The third ranked site is in Atlanta (I think) and its site appears to be down currently.

Now don’t go rushing off to expand your SEO company into Cheyenne. You don’t belong there son.  Trust me, I played in a Country and western band and toured in Wyoming.

And the summary:

City PA 1 PA 2 PA 3 Total PA top 3
New York 64 78 70 212
L.A. 65 60 63 188
Chicago 59 64 59 182
Houston 52 64 61 177
Phoenix 44 57 62 163
Jacksonville 51 46 55 152
Cheyenne 47 23 37 107


Your PA Here

No surprises that I can see, but it does give you a pretty good idea what your site PA  and DA would need to be to compete for the coveted first page top 3 rankings for”your City search engine optimization”.

I hope to get a little deeper into assessing the commonalities of these sites over the next month.  I’ll look at where the links come from. on site factors, and all the stuff you would look at if you were doing it. Let me know what you think I should be looking at, or do your own and let me know if you find any thing interesting. You can subscribe to our newsletter >>>>>>>>  over there in the right column,  if you want to see more detailed things on how to SEO, or tips and such.

Until then, I’ll see you in Cheyenne!

Here is a good article on how we sell  Search Engine optimization services click here  ( Don’t laugh at click here, it’s good anchor text!)


And in the spirit of helping our friends doing SEO in Cheyenne I give you some juice love. SEO in Cheyenne

Any of you who do SEO should do the same… lets help out this cowboy!


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Google Places Reviews and SEO

Google Places Reviews and SEO:

Google Chrome

SEO is more than getting a site ranked highly.  What good is a high ranking in the search engine results if your prospects decide to click on a competitors link and not yours?

The results Google or any search engine shows for your site needs to be compelling enough to get the searchers attention. So careful attention to your Title and Description tags are in order as these will be shown most of the time.

Next…get as many positive testimonials as possible for your Google listing. It’s pretty simple. If your company has 10 good reviews and your competitor has 2, your prospect is far more likely to click on your listing.

Several good things happen with having more reviews. First it going to help your rankings, and it will build your business reputation, and those two things will lead to more clicks and more revenue.

Request that all of your good customers review you on Google!

You can also suggest they review you on other sites using the same methodology. Yahoo, Insider Pages, and yelp are all great sites to get reviews on, and Google places may pick them up.

Make a plan today. Ask for one review a day. Get ranked!

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Pay for links, Yes or No?

screenshot from a opensource search engine (op...

Should you pay for a link?  Yes, and no.

This answer was once a 100% no for us.  But as SEO has become more and more competitive, we see many more sites in the top of the Search Engine results that are paying for links, and appear to getting better rankings because of it.

The type of links I am referring to here are directory links, not text in blog link farms, or anything developed for the sole purpose of getting your rankings to increase, with very little or no real readership.

A good link should have the potential to bring you more traffic, on its own, period.  There are a ton of directories that are free, and do show up high enough in the search engines, or do their own advertising, to bring real prospects to our site.  It does take some research to identify them, and the directories you choose should be dictated by the industry and location you are in.

It’s logical that a directory charge if the edit and review every submission, and have the expenses of keeping the site running.  Although we are a big fan or organic natural ranking increases through great content and relationships, now and then paying for a directory listing does make sense.

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First Page Rankings On Google Guaranteed Is A Farce

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

First Page of Google Guaranteed is a Farce.

I have received three emails over the last month from companies that will “Get your site on the first page of Google and not accept any payment until you are on the first page”. They do require you submit the keyword you are trying to rank for of course, and after they research it, they will let you know if you qualify for the no pay until first page program.

Two things. One, and this is very important, being on the first page in the 4th through 10th position isn’t going to bring you much traffic. Maybe less than a percent of all the searches. Remember the first position gets 38% or so of all the clicks.

Second. If they need to qualify what keyword you want, they are only going to accept the easy keywords, which are easy to optimize because they get very little traffic and have very little competition.

So here is my offer: If any of our readers are tempted to proceed with such an offer, please send us the proposal and we will do the same thing for 50% less of whatever their price is. Guaranteed.

However, what will really get you where you want to be is our Custom SEO Programs:



303 500 3053 Ext 1


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The Difference Between First and Third in Rankings


The most recent studies show that a web site ranked first for a keyword on a search engine will receive about 38% of all the clicks. The site in the third position gets about 8%.  Many  businesses are happy with rankings below the first or second position. If you are one of those, think of the revenue value of just moving up a few positions! You could increase your Internet sales 400%  by going to the next level.

How to move up in the rankings.

Moving from fourth to second can be a much greater move than even moving from the tenth page to the first.  Those top two positions are generally very competitive, and the site owners in many cases have an SEO firm working every month to keep those positions.

One of the most affordable ways to make that move is using our starter SEO plan if you are a local business.  Or if you are in a hurry to triple your on line sales and revenues, a custom SEO assessment and program.

Subscribe to our Starter SEO package, even if your on the first page!  We guarantee your rankings will improve.  More Information here Starter SEO packages.

Just subscribe today to get started or call us at 303 500 3053 ext 1 for a free ranking assessment. We are  A+ rated on the Better Business Bureau!

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Google Citation and Links DEnver

Interesting Changes in Citations and Links this year.

Last year, as a matter of practice , when we did on line visibility programs for clients we added directory links to many of the major on line directories, yellow pages, and other local web sites.  We would then track the traffic from each (as part of the analytics) and quality scoring. Part of that was watching the back links report to see when the listing, citation or link was “indexed”.

We do much more than just this process during on line visibility programs, so we have a very rounded profile to drive traffic to a clients site.

The interesting thing is,  most of the local directory and y.p sites are no longer showing up as links, or as indexed, and the traffic to a clients site from these sources is way down


Here is an example.  Hot Frog has traditional been a good citation site and gets a lot of traffic.  But sine January, we have not seen a clients listing appear as a link to there site, and traffic is almost non existent.

This listing has been live for almost three months. No sign of it any where on Google Web Master, SEOmoz reports and any other reports we use.

I could add 10 more examples here.  But the point being, has the search world stopped recognizing this directory listings?  And if so how valuable are they to driving traffic to a site.

Let me know what you have seen.


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SEO should always work with Web Design

Received a call yesterday from a business who had been investing in SEO and seeing limited results.  After looking over the site and off site SEO it was very clear their current SEO had done no  on site work.  The days of adding a few links to a poorly thought out (from the SEO prospective) site and seeing rankings, are long gone, yet many Search engine optimization firms continue to ignore this.

Although generally speaking, the most respected SEO firm’s in the country (SEOmoz, SEObook, Majestic SEO)  will publish research that about 25% of your rankings come from on site, and the rest of rankings happen through off site, social, and citations and such,  the 25% that is your web site structure is the foundation.

We work with several highly competent web design firms accross the country, most of which provide SEO to their local clients and are very good at it. One is being featured in the USA today evry 6 weeks. We also will work directly with our client’s web design firm if needed. We don’t do web design on any large level, but we understand the principles of good web design from both the marketing, and SEO stand point and can direct the web design firm in these matters.

We also do SEO for several Web design firms nationally.  When their clients ask for SEO, its our services they receive under their company name.

I would recommend you do not work with an SEO who doesn’t offer web design, or work directly with a web design firm (including yours). These two elements are both essential in rankings success.

There also is an advantage to working with a SEO that also provides your web design.  One point of contact, and more efficient communication.  If they are good at both, its a win win.  Is there a down side? Depends on the firm.  All your eggs in one basket isn’t a bad thing if the basket is great.

It’s the same principle as buying any other service. Get references for both the web design and SEO.



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SEO and Google’s new 1+ service

Social Media Landscape


Google 1+

So Google is rolling out its latest version of social media. But something is different with this try.  It may really work!  And if it does, SEO will change forever  and ever and ever. Really.

I am not going to go into what the Google 1+ is. A thousand SEO’s and Social media blogs have already done that in the first 3 hours of the Google announcement.  You can read the Google you tube on it here -> (Good Stuff)

So, as Google rolls out this new Social media system, where you can give a plus (like a face book like) to any of your search results, and your Google network will see those, and the site’s you and others like will be elevated (one can assume) in the search engine results The SEO factor that is clearly and with out question the most important is the one thing that never changes. Great content.

You can do all the back linking, on site tweaking , meta description re working, navigational assessing, you tube professing, and none of it will beat driving traffic to your site by having amazing, interesting, unusually engaging, fun and sharable (I think I made that word up) content.

Because Google is moving towards the individual and their social network (google profile required) being the SEO.  So even though some businesses have spent a huge amount of time and energy on all the SEO tactics in the SEO Moz, SEObook and all the other universes, it all comes down to this.


Be Interesting.

Like I said in any earlier blog. Search engine optimization is easy! It was a popularity contest for Google’s attention. Now its a popularity contest for your attention.

How to be Interesting. Well, just look at what catches peoples attention,  and then go look at your on line stuff. Would it catch your neighbors attention?

A good example:

The blender company that did the video’s on how its blenders can blend anything including a I-phone.  I watched it, I told my wife and friends about it, and when we want a really great blender I will most likely go there again. www.willitblend.com/videos.aspx?type=unsafe&video=iphone4

That’s Interesting! (and Funny, and engaging)

Now I see national sites doing a lot more research, fun, and great content than local sites.  The reasons don’t need to be stated. But…I will any way… resources. Time, money, talent, cash flow. all that. But we in the Local world, that being those of us, which is the VAST majority of us, who work, play, sell, and buy primarily in our own little towns, villages and cities,  must start doing something that we are not all that good at. Yes. Be Interesting !

Future SEO =  finding and developing Interested and engaging web properties and spaces.  Content and Marketing creatives rejoice. Your time has come in the SEO world.



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SEO in Denver Tips

Panorama of downtown Denver, circa 2007, looki...
Image via Wikipedia

SEO in Denver Tips


I am preparing for a webinar were I will be helping some of an ActionCoaches clients to understand how to do SEO and get better internet visibility on their sites. Part of this process is reading through some of my SEO tips on this blog.  I thought I would share the blogs that are of most importance and why:


This tells you some of the better sites you should link your site to.


More information on how to research linking opportunities for your site


How twitter may affect your rankings on a blog.


How A BBB link or association links can help your site.


The importance on getting On-line reviews on Google places.

If you spend 15 minutes reading those blogs you will have a great start on your sites Internet Visibility program.

Don’t forget to start by listing your site on Google places, Yahoo local and Bing Local!