SEO Methods

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At this point, pretty much everyone knows about Google's keyword tool, as well as Wordtracker and the basics of long and short tail keyword phrases. We're going to skip over all that for this post and talk instead about some other useful tools to get data about your niche. Here is a list of some that we like to use, and what they are good for:

These tools are all either free or have useful free versions!

http://stats.grok.se

This is a really great site that pulls data about Wikipedia's page view counts from wikimedia.org. It does some cleanup of the data and then displays that information in a graph representing the views of pages containing your chosen keyword over time. It's an excellent tool that lets you do two different but equally important things:

  • You can use it to get a quick grasp of just how big a niche is when compared to others or even the smaller, longer tail versions.
  • You can use it to get an idea for whether interest in your topic is increasing or decreasing, or if it has seasonal characteristics.

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Some pretty widespread panic erupted in the SEO world a few weeks ago when Google rolled out its latest algorithm update, "Penguin." The update dumped many sites into the deep, dark abyss of page 100 in the search results. Oddly, others have not really been seriously hit at all, despite the fact that their link profiles are very manipulative.

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This is turning out to be one of the more bizarre updates Google has released and it has kicked up a lot of debate on the subject of its real purpose.

Unlike the previous Panda update we all love so much (do we really need sarcasm tags?), this one doesn't seem to be aimed at improving Google's search results at all. Its primary purpose seems to be penalizing sites with manipulative link profiles, or sites that are in violation of Google's guidelines. Obviously, that could be seen as a contradictory statement.
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Inside the cat and mouse game of SEO, change is definitely the only constant. In the year ahead there will no doubt be huge shifts in how we go about improving our rankings and acquiring additional visitors. Even though little is known for sure, it really is clear that you'll find some general trends that began to peek out from behind the curtain in pre-2012 that can only gather steam this year and beyond.

Trend #1 - Social:

A great deal has been stated about social media and its relevance currently. Nevertheless, amongst all of the theories and predictions, one particular issue is very clear: social media is now the preferred solution to share what's valuable with others. If someone likes a product from Enterprise X and really feel their best friend Steve would like to know about it, it is going to most likely be sent as a Facebook message. Twitter is naturally a large player, too.
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