SEO: A Complete Guide to Optimizing for Search

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important because it can mean the difference between capturing high page rankings in Google, for relevant keywords, and remaining undiscovered and anonymous.

How to suck at Google search

Would you love to get completely irrelevant traffic from Google's organic search results? How about absolutely no traffic at all? Or zombie traffic that doesn't do anything?

Building backlinks the right way

Making sure your site enjoys the benefits of high quality, relevant backlinks is about more than creating great content and waiting for nature to take its course.

Not all niches lend themselves to viral sharing that build up lots of organic backlinks in a relatively short space of time. This is why it is important to be proactive about getting the links your content deserves.

Yes Google, I'm a Fugu restaurant

About two or three months ago I decided to have a quick look at what sites Google consider related to mine using the related: search operator.

To my horror I saw a list of SEO agencies - some of which were no more than a landing page for a paid SEO service (of no doubt dubious quality). Why would Google think this blog is an SEO company?

SME Pals' tagline is 'Start a small business today', and the focus of the site is to inspire entrepreneurs to find a business idea and startup as quickly and easily as possible. Sure, search is a big part of growing an online business, so I talk about it... but is this enough to cause Google to think this blog is an SEO service?

Penguin: Google search's biggest mistake

The penguin algorithm, launched in April 2012, is designed to penalize websites engaged in link spam. It's backfired though, and here's why...

Google's famous PageRank algorithm takes into account over 200 factors when ranking webpages for their search results. But, at heart, it works by equating the number and authority of inbound links with overall quality.

So effective is PageRank, that the vast majority of Internet users who make use of Google search are very happy with it - and this has helped propel Google to state of absolute dominance virtually planet wide.

Popular SEO strategies (you should avoid like the plague)

Google has been on the warpath lately, laying waste to a host of spammy websites but causing a lot of collateral damage to genuine businesses in the process.

More often than not, when Google penalizes a website, it is for a good reason - even if most webmasters tend to disagree.

How Google analytics can be exploited

Businesses rely on analytical data about their Web traffic for all sorts of important things, like working out how much to charge advertisers, or how to market their products.

Google analytics is essentially the eyes and ears for most small to medium businesses online.

But what if you were able to subvert Google analytics? What if I was able to get your analytics to start reporting the wrong thing? How would this affect your business?

This article shows how easy it is to exploit a weakness in Google's analytics code in order to render their data essentially meaningless.

Top result in Google search against Google's own guidelines

Almost everyone with a blog or website, at some stage, is going to want to learn how to increase website traffic from search results.

So how do you go about it?

Well, the likely thing is to search on Google using the phrase (or something very similar) "increase website traffic".

But oddly enough, this very SEO phrase highlights the failure of Google to determine which results are of high quality (and should therefore appear at the top of search results), and which are of poor quality (and should not appear high up in the page rankings).

5 funniest webmaster meltdowns over lost Google traffic

Webmasters, bloggers and anyone else trying to make a living off the Internet, and in particular, Web traffic generated Google search, will understand how enraging it can be.

From time to time, Google release algorithmic updates, data refreshes, or completely new search engine algorithms to combat various blackhat SEO and webspam techniques.

On occasion, hard working, genuine bloggers and entrepreneurs get caught in the cross-fire, and having the source of your livelihood pulled from under you, like the proverbial rug, can lead to some explosive tirades in the forums.

Yahoo! small business advisor highlights Google's poor quality search results

Small businesses that make use of content marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to increase website traffic from organic search results need to understand Google search's limitations.

While Google advises everyone to create unique and original content that is focused on their particular audience (i.e. what I call good SEO practices), it doesn't always keep it's implied end of the bargain.

Great content that is relevant and engaging for a niche audience should, assuming no major problems, generate at least some valuable organic search traffic that can be converted into leads, sales and revenue.