Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization tips and strategies and information, from SEO by the Sea, to help make web sites easier to find.

Article on Link Building in Target Marketing Magazine

In the early days of the web, before search engines were one of the primary ways to get around, building friendships and business relationships with others online, and providing links to each other’s sites was a great way of delivering value to your visitors, and having them entrust their visitors to your site.

While many link building efforts these days focus upon gaining as many links as possible to a site, to increase its link popularity, and rankings in search engines, that older aim of relationship building is still a viable and valuable approach to bring traffic to your pages.

I wrote about that approach in an article for the December issue of Target Marketing Magazine.

In addition to the print version, it’s also available online at: SEM: Make the Right Connections: Build Web site traffic through links

Continue reading

SEO Project Management Software from Solo SEO

It can be really helpful have a full set of tools that can allow you to manage and control information related to SEO projects.

I had the chance to talk with Michael Jensen and Aaron Stewart of Solo SEO while at Pubcon a couple of weeks back, and offer some input and suggestions on their new SEO project managment software, which launched today. They already had a nice set of tools aimed at helping someone working on an SEO project collect information about their efforts, and track those carefully. But they were also willing to take notes, and listen carefully to some new ideas.

Andy Beal describes a number of the features that they offer with their Solo SEO software, and Michael Jensen talks about it more in their blog – Announcing, a new SEO Project Management solution.

I don’t normally write about products and software here, but I’m making an exception in this case because the creators of this software have shown that they are paying attention to what people within the industry are asking for, and that they are listening. And, there are some nice tools included here that make the management of SEO projects easier.

Continue reading

Building Links with Creative Commons

One of the members of Cre8asite Forums has a couple of sites that he’s filled with images of the locations of his sites. He’s a talented photographer, in addition to a skilled web master, and the pictures he has on his site are terrific. He has also placed those images under licenses from Creative Commons.

Because of the licenses, he’s had people use images from his site on their own noncommercial web sites, with links pointing back to his sites. He’s also had inquiries from people wanting to use his images in commercial works. Since the images are likely to be of interest to people who may want to find out more about what he has to offer, having links back to his site brings traffic to his pages from people who could possibly become customers of his.

The beauty of Creative Commons licenses are that they inform people that they could possibly use material created by other people under conditions expressed in the licenses. They don’t harm people’s rights under copyright law, but rather make communication about possible uses of those materials easier. The Creative Commons pages show how to use a license, and provide many examples.

Google and Creative Commons

Continue reading

20 Ways Search Engines May Rerank Search Results

This is the first part in what is now a three part series, with the second part available at 20 More Ways that Search Engines May Rerank Search Results, and a third part at Another 10 Ways Search Engines May Rerank Search Results. It may be time for a fourth part soon. (Added 2013-08-31)

Search engines try to match words used in queries with words found on pages or in links pointing to those pages when providing search results.

Often, the order that pages are returned to a searcher are based upon an indexing of text on those pages, text in links pointing to those pages, and some measure of importance based upon link popularity.

Continue reading

New Blog on Internet Startups and Ecommerce Success

The Startup Review focuses upon providing case studies about successful online businesses. It makes for some interesting reading, especially if you run an online business, or are considering starting one.

Companies profiled in case studies so far include Craig’s List,, Newegg,, Flickr, Linkshare, Myspace,, Rotten Tomatoes, and Homegain. The case studies look at things like why the businesses are being profiled, what their key success factors are, launch strategies, exit analysis, a “food for thought” section, and references articles about the businesses.

These are pretty nice, thoughtful looks at online businesses, and the factors that have brought them success.

One of the titles to a business review caught my eye – Rotten Tomatoes Case Study: SEO drives traffic growth. Most of the information in the post about Rotten Tomatoes actual SEO strategies are included in a comment to the post from the in-house team that worked on SEO for Rotten Tomatoes. Here is a brief summary:

Continue reading

Jim Hedger’s Interview with Jill Whalen

I had the good fortune to be able to meet Jim Hedger at the San Jose SES a little over a week ago. While we didn’t have the opportunity to talk at great length, it was nice to meet him. I’ve been reading his blog posts and articles for a few years now. I really enjoyed one of his latest.

On the Tuesday during the four day conference, I ran into Jill Whalen, who had just finished an interview with someone outside of the press room in the conference hall. It was good to be able to say hi, though I caught Jill going to another interview. Seems like she had a pretty full day of interviews. One of them was with Jim – Jill Whalen Interviewed at SES San Jose. Jill makes some pretty astute observations. Definitely worth a read.

Jill talks about the growth and maturation of the Search Marketing Industry, a larger focus on in-house SEO, more women in the search sector, the importance of educating clients, and the next High Rankings Seminar in Texas in October. I’ve been a guest at a couple of those seminars, and I’d highly recommend them to people interested in learning more about search engine marketing.

Nice interview, Jim and Jill.

How to Personalize Web Search

When you perform a search on one of the major search engines for a particular query, and when I perform the same search, chances are that we will see the same pages appearing on the search results pages. Then again, we may not. Chances are also good that in the future, the results that each of us sees will be different.

One of the areas that many in academia, and at commercial search engines are exploring is how to personalize web search.

We see that most visibly in the personalized search pages that the major search engines have released. They explain how to receive personalized searches on the following pages:

Google Help Center – Personalizing your search results

Continue reading

Content Planning for Search Engine Optimization

This post doesn’t describe the actual creation of content for a site, from an SEO stance, but it does detail some of the planning and steps that can be taken to help in the process.

It also doesn’t discuss some of the technical aspects of SEO that should be planned for to make a site easier to be found by search engines. But it does provide a number of questions that may make it easier for someone who is considering optimizing their site for search engines as they are putting together content for the pages of their site.

One of my favorite articles of the past few years on design is a Digital Web article from 2003 by G.A. Buchholz, titled A Content Requirements Plan (CRP) helps Web designers take a leadership role.

I think that part of the planning of the content of a site also should include an awareness of search engines, and a knowledge of some SEO goals. Those goals aren’t too difficult to keep in mind when it comes to creating the words for a site, but are definitely worth considering:

Continue reading