Favorite SEO by the Sea Posts from 2010

I took a look back at the posts here from 2010, and tried to decide which ones stood out for me in some way. These are some of my favorites from last year:

Web Self-Help for Small Business

This post was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s self help approach, and a look back at when I first started building and promoting web pages as an inhouse webmaster and SEO. In addition to the 13 areas that I choose to concentrate upon to become a better webmaster/SEO, there were a lot of good suggestions in the comments that follow the post.

Having Fun with -Onyms in Keyword Research

Keyword research can be a chore, but it can be pretty interesting as well. This post is about some of the methods that I use to expand my choices of keywords as I do research.

Good SEO

I took the bait and responded to a popular post questioning the value of SEO. It wasn’t the only time that I did this year, and it probably won’t be the last time.

Phrasification and Revisiting Google’s Phrase Based Indexing

Google started publishing a second generation of patents about phrase-based indexing. If you’re into SEO and you haven’t spent anytime with phrase-based indexing, then you may be missing something important.

Google Defines Semantic Closeness as a Ranking Signal

Are the words at the top of a page more important for SEO than the ones at the bottom? What does it mean for a search to be semantic? Google provides an example of how the structure that some content is in, such as items in a list, may throw some textbook Search Engine knowledge for a loop.

Google’s Reasonable Surfer: How the Value of a Link May Differ Based upon Link and Document Features and User Data

The original PageRank papers made it look like each link on a page would pass along the same amount of weight, and that assumption was one that many seemed to follow in linking and linkbuilding. That assumption has been challenged over the past few years, with statements from representatives from the major search engines that not all links are equal. Then this patent came out, and gave us a model for how links might be weighted differently.

Google as an Internet Archive?

Would Google enable us to see the way webpages looked and ranked in the past? The author of this patent built a search engine used on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine in 2003, and it’s possible that we may see a Google Internet Archive in the future.

How Google Might Suggest Topics for You to Write About

One of the main limitations of a search engine is that sometimes there just aren’t good search results for some queries. Should Google tell us when we perform a search that the results we see could use some help? Is the process described in the post something that will help improve the quality of search results, or will it provide content mills with more information to create pages filled with somewhat adequate content and advertising? Interesting that two of the listed inventors are Google’s Chief Economist and their Head of Webspam.

Google’s Affiliated Page Link Patent

The patent I wrote about in this post focuses upon how Google might determine that some websites might be related to other sites. What implications might that have for the value of the links between those pages?

Not Brands but Entities: The Influence of Named Entities on Google and Yahoo Search Results

When I wrote this post, I had been reading a number of posts on other sites about how Google is favoring businesses with strong Brands over other web businesses. I didn’t think those went far enough, and missed the idea that websites that can be associated with specific named entities (including brands) are being treated differently than sites that aren’t associated with entities.

Improved Web Page Classification from Google for Rankings and Personalized Search

Chances are good that Google is looking more closely at user behavior data, and collecting profile information about users, queries, and webpages to classify websites. What this might mean for a website is that it may be boosted in some searches, and lowered in rankings for others based upon those classifications.

The Importance of Navigation

My offline traffic woes turned into this post about navigation on the Web.

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14 thoughts on “Favorite SEO by the Sea Posts from 2010”

  1. I’m depressed… my site just got a big old slap from 5 to the bottom of the serp… google penalty (tho it still ranks for it’s own name??)

    So I love your “Good SEO” post!

    Anyone had a Google Penalty?

  2. Bill,

    Looks like I have some catching up to do! I worked through the self help and really like the 13 (12 with suggestions) post. With 13 it might be a good “give-away” to list them out on a calendar or other reminder tool with your name and phone number.

    I might not catch up, but I’m subscribed now and shouldn’t miss them going forward.

    Thanks,
    Jamie

  3. I would say it’s a complete post as it covers each aspect of Search Engine Optimization.I have bookmarked this page and will read all these topic thoroughly.

  4. This is a great, thorough post! Not only did you shine line on the helpful posts for 2010, but you reminded me of some things I need to invest more time in that I have put on the shelf since reading these posts.

  5. Hi WB,

    I’ve helped some people who had Google penalties by helping them remove the things that were causing those penalities, and going through Google’s reconsideration request process. It is sometimes possible to overcome those problems.

  6. Hi Jamie,

    Thank you very much. The calendar idea is an interesting one. I’ll have to think about that, and how I could implement it. I’ll look forward to seeing you around.

  7. Hi Shailender,

    I’m not sure that I covered every aspect of SEO, but I did spend a good amount of time deciding which posts to include in this list.

  8. Hi Simmon,

    Thank you. I reminded myself of a few things that I need to invest some more time in as well. I just added a “text resizer,” for instance at the top of the right column – something I had been meaning to do for a while.

  9. Hi Bill I help train the new recruits of our content development team and wanted to let you know that I found your top 2010 posts so useful I’ll be using it as required reading. Thanks for a great compilation.

  10. Hi Elvis,

    You’re welcome. I know how tough it can be to find useful resources for training a staff on SEO and internet marketing, so I’m happy to hear that you found that post helpful. Thanks for letting me know.

  11. Hi Bill. A great collection of posts from the archives which I’m reading in my…you know…”spare time”.

  12. Some great picks from the archives, Read just about every single one since last night haha.. here’s another helpful post from my blog that people might find useful about SEO tips.

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