There are several metrics that you can use to evaluate the quality of a website as far as its search engine rankings are concerned. You might have heard about domain authority. But have you heard about page authority? In fact, both these metrics are used together by search engines to rank individual web pages of a website in SERPs.
That’s why, it’s crucial to understand the significance of page authority as a ranking metric. At the same time, you should also try to find out how you can increase it for better search rankings.
Basically, the page authority indicates the likeliness of an individual page to rank well in SERPs. That means a web page having a higher page authority will also rank higher in search engine results. Conversely, a lower page authority reduces the likeliness of a page to be found by people searching online. Every page of a website has a different page authority.
The page authority of a web page is calculated on a scale of 100. The higher is the page authority, the more is the likeliness of ranking higher in search. Therefore, you should focus on increasing the page authority for each page on your website for better rankings and more keyword traffic.
Three key factors on which the page authority depends are –
- Textual content of the page (amount, quality, freshness)
- Images (relevant, appropriate alt text)
- External links
If you plan to increase the page authority of the web pages that your website contains, you should consider all the above-mentioned factors. Since top quality content still rules the web, it’s the very first thing that you should consider to improve the page authority. Apart from textual content, graphics also play an important role in the SEO of a website. Therefore, you should make sure all the graphics or images on your website are relevant and use appropriate alt text or tags.
External or inbound links are like votes in the favor of a web page. That’s why the more third-party links point back to a web page, the better page authority it will be able to achieve.
However, it’s content where you need to begin. Without having top quality content on your page, it’s simply impossible to attract lots of external links and build a high page authority. No matter what niche you belong to, you should start to use an editorial calendar to create high quality content on a consistent basis. While you ensure quality of content, it’s also important to make sure that this content is usable, detailed, interesting, informative and relevant.
Domain authority of a website also affects the page authority of each of its web pages. If you are able to build a good domain authority, it will increase the chances of building page authority quickly. If you lack SEO experience, it’s advisable to consult an experienced SEO professional or work with a reputable SEO service provider to develop an effective campaign to increase the page authority of the individual pages of your website.
Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing take several factors into consideration while ranking a website in SERPs. You may have been running a link building campaign already to improve the SEO of your website. But have you ever given domain authority any thought? Most importantly, do you have any idea about domain authority and how you can increase it?
If you don’t, you should expand your knowledge-base on this subject so that you can increase the domain authority of your website and take your SEO to the next level, thereby beating out the competition.
Domain authority is the evaluation of the influence or power of a domain name. It’s a key criterion that search engines use to find out whether your website is really trustworthy and credible. Websites that have high domain authority enjoy the benefit of being ranked at the top of search results.
There are three factors that decide the domain authority –
- Age of the website
- Popularity of the website
- Size of the website
The time period for which a particular website has been into existence matters a lot when it comes to calculating the domain authority. The age of a domain, therefore, carries utmost importance. The overall popularity of a website is also one of the key factors for determining domain authority. Size is important because it tells search engines the extent of information that a particular website features or contains. Based on all these three factors, search engines calculate the domain authority of a website and then use it as one of the most important criteria for ranking in search results.
As search engines continue to become smarter, they are trying to rank at the top only those websites that have high quality. For example, Google always strives to provide users with trusted sources in search results. The number of websites and blogs are increasing every day. But not all of these web properties can be trusted or adhered to. That’s exactly where the role of domain authority of a website comes into play. Does your website have a high domain authority?
Tips to Increase Domain Authority
If you want your website to dominate the search results, you should focus on increasing its domain authority more and more. No matter how well you design your website or how much content you feature on it, it won’t bring you any benefits until you increase its domain authority.
Again, you have to take a closer look at the three factors mentioned above. The age of a website is not in your hands. If it’s a brand new website, it will take some time to build domain authority on account of age. But you need to get started with the other two factors – popularity and size.
The popularity of a website is actually the number of links that point back to your domain. However, it’s not actually the quantity of inbound links that matter in the post-Penguin era of Google. You’ll increase the popularity (read domain authority) of a website only when you acquire top quality backlinks from sources that are trustworthy and credible already.
If you are working with a SEO company or SEO professional, you should keep yourself well-informed of the kind of links they are building for your website. The best links are those that have quality and authority. At the same time, the links pointing back to your domain should also look natural.
In terms of size, you’ll need to add as many pages to your website as possible. However, it’s the quality of content that you put out there that matters at the end of the day. A large website with thousands of web pages that contain low quality, little or no content at all will never increase its domain authority.
What’s the Alexa traffic rank of your website or blog? I’m sure you have heard about this web information company before. In case you haven’t, Alexa Internet (a subsidiary of Amazon.com) is a much popular web information company that provides useful insights into a website’s traffic trends. When it comes to measuring the popularity of a website, as compared to all other websites across the web, Alexa statistics prove to highly useful.
Though there are several other analytics tools that you’ll find online, Alexa.com has its own unique identity.
Founded way back in the year 1996, Alexa Internet began as an independent company. But only three years later, this web information company was acquired by Amazon.com. Today, Alexa.com is visited every month by as many as 10 million people from different places of the world.
Website Stats Provided by Alexa.com
Whether it’s a web property owner, a webmaster or an SEO practitioner, each of them keeps a close watch on the Alexa rankings of their websites. On an everyday basis, Alexa.com gathers traffic data from all those users that have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers. In addition to this, Alexa also uses many other sources to provide us with detailed analytical data of a website.
Key stats that Alexa provides include –
- Popularity (global rank, local rank)
- Visitor Engagement (bounce rate, page-views, time on site)
- Audience Demographics (location, gender, education)
- Traffic Sources (search engines, referring sites)
- Links or Backlinks
If you want to analyze the status of your website, relative to other sites on the web, the Alexa stats will give you a good start. By taking a closer look at the traffic stats and trends provided by Alexa, you’ll be able to gain a valuable insight into where your website stands in the midst of all the competition.
Benefits of Alexa Rankings
Apart from providing you with valuable data about your website’s ranking status, Alexa.com also allows you to find out where your website stands as compared to your key competitors. Therefore, it works as a good tool for conducting some essential competitive research. When getting in touch with other webmasters or advertisers, the Alexa rankings of your website play an important role. A website with top rankings on Alexa.com can easily convince advertisers to pay a higher price for buying ad space.
Another key benefit of Alexa statistics is that it helps you improve the SEO of your website. With the Alexa ranking stats at hand, you can make well-informed decisions about the search optimization of your website. Even the most experienced and seasoned SEO professionals use the Alexa data for optimizing a website for search engines.
Alexa Adavanced Plan
Though the basic Alexa stats are available to webmasters for free, the company also offers an ‘advanced plan’ for maximum benefits. After upgrading to this plan (which is paid), you’ll gain access to more detailed web stats including actionable SEO insights, two site audits every month, certified site metrics, competitive site intelligence, uptime monitor and SEM keyword data.
How to Improve the Alexa Rankings of Your Website
Top Alexa rankings speak volumes about the reputation of your website or blog. That’s why almost every web property owner, that’s listed on Alexa.com for professional reasons, intends to improve the traffic rankings of their websites. There are several things you can do to increase your website’s ranking on Alexa.com. Here are some useful tips.
- Claim your site on Alexa.com
- Edit your company’s listing on Alexa.com
- Download and install the Alexa toolbar
- Place the Alexa widget on your site
While you download and install the Alexa toolbar, you should also tell your co-workers, colleague and friends to have this toolbar in their browsers and then visit your website or blog. At the same time, you should start to promote your site on social networking sites and web forums. Most of the people on social platforms and forums have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers. The more people with Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers visit your website, the better rankings you’ll be able to achieve on Alexa.
In any case, don’t forget to pay close attention to improving the quality of your website. Whether it’s the content or the design, people will continue to visit your website and spend time on it only when they see quality.
Effective link building requires a strategy. After Google released its Penguin algorithm, the tactics of link building have been revolutionized. In fact, the entire game of SEO is changing rapidly. Building links for your website or blog has become a huge challenge.
Link building is not swapping links.
Link building is not mass-submitting to directories.
Link building is not buying links.
Link building is not about quantity of links either.
There are many more changes that have happened to link building in order to place your website at a higher position in SERPs.
Here’s how to take a strategic approach –
Understand Your Marketplace
Before you develop an effective link building campaign, you need to gain a crystal-clear understanding of your online marketplace. Whether it’s the industry you serve or the audience that comprise that industry, you need to know all the essential details. Ask yourself whether there are any other sectors that are closely related to the niche you cater to.
The more you know about your target market, the easier it will be for you to develop a link building campaign that delivers results.
Research the Competition
When you are planning to build links effectively, doing some competitive research is of utmost importance. Professional link builders will never develop a link building strategy without gaining an insight into what their key competitors are doing. Researching the competition efficiently will open your eyes to many interesting insights which will further help you work out an effective link building strategy for the improvement of your site’s SEO.
For example, you should try to find out what type of links your competitions have acquired. You may also want to know about those niche blogs where your rivals have guest posted. Competitive intelligence will also help you understand the kind of content your competition creates in order to attract links.
It’s only when you know what link building tactics your competitions are using that you’ll be ready to beat them out quickly.
Identify Link Targets
Depending on the scope of your marketplace and the kind of data acquired through competitive research, you’ll be able to identify the key link targets. The link targets will vary from one website or blog to another. For example, link targets for a brand new website will be different from those of a website that’s a few years old or has some online reputation.
For effective link building, you should always be fully aware of the third-party sites or web pages from where you want to acquire links. You may want to get backlinks from niche blogs. You may want to get linked from authority sites or government websites. You may want your website to be linked from useful resource pages on other websites.
When you are aware of the potential link targets, it’ll become easier for you to use specific methods to build specific links.
So, identify your targets really well.
No matter what methods you choose for building your targeted links, you’ll need to develop content. If you want links from a niche blog that accepts guest posts, for example, you’ll need to create top quality guest articles. If you want to build links via sending out press releases, you’ll need content for that as well. In fact, there are numerous forms in which you can create content.
You may want to create white-papers. You may want to design infographics. You may want to create videos. You may also want to create PowerPoint presentations for building targeted links.
Content development will always be at the core of all your link building efforts. Without content, it’s just impossible to acquire backlinks for your website and improve its SEO. Therefore, make sure you consistently create the kind of content that’s required to propel your link building campaign.
A lot of webmasters are asking – ‘Is link building dead?’ You must be out of your mind if you too think that way. If you are a web property owner, just have a quick look at a couple of top ranking sites in your niche. Apart from top quality content, what do you think is the main reason for the high search rankings of those competitor websites? Well, it’s due to a solid link profile. If you have doubts, bear in mind that backlinks are still counted as votes for top ranking.
Each link that points back to your domain is a vote in your favor. If you want to rank your website at the top of SERPs, you should focus on increasing the number of votes. But they shouldn’t be just votes from anyone. They should actually be authoritative votes, i.e. links from authoritative sites.
In the post-Penguin era of Google, it’s not the number of links that matter. What’s really important is the quality of those links.
Here are 5 tips to build high quality links (or backlinks) –
#1. Build Relationships
Don’t be surprised if you heard that for the first time. According to SEO experts, building relationships translates to building links. In fact, the backlinks that you generate on the basis of your relationships are one of the best. It’s because you get them unasked, the natural way.
Therefore, start to focus on building relationships with fellow bloggers, niche experts, industry influencers and web property owners.
#2. Get Social
Social media has become an important part of today’s SEO. By using social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ effectively, you can attract people’s attention to your website’s content quickly. The more people see your content, the more chances you’ll have of getting it linked.
If social media is not yet included in your site’s content promotion plan, you are late already. Take action now!
#3. Interview Industry Experts
No matter what niche you belong to, you can always decide to interview thought leaders and industry experts in your niche. Once you have done the interviewing, you can publish it on your website or blog. Remember that interview content often attracts a good amount of links.
#4. Publish Press Releases
Press release submission sites are still very useful. It’s only that you need to pick the high quality ones. Even if you have to spend a few bucks to send out a press release for your company website, you shouldn’t hesitate. Publishing newsworthy press releases consistently is an excellent way of generating top quality backlinks for your website.
#5. Create Top Quality Content Consistently
Stellar content is the backbone of a website’s SEO. It’s a proven fact that people are compelled to link to top quality content. Publishing educational, informative, entertaining and relevant content on your website regularly is, therefore, one of the most important link building tips you can use.
By creating high quality or link-worthy content, you’ll not only build lots of top quality links, but it will also keep your website safe from Google’s Panda algorithmic penalties. So, you’ll hit two birds with one stone.
The word Panda is on the tip of every webmaster’s tongue. So much so that even web property owners are having regular nightmares about the latest search ranking algorithm launched by Google. According to the Panda algorithm, websites with low quality content don’t deserve higher search rankings. The worst part of the story is that even one single Panda algorithmic update can throw an entire website out of SERPs overnight.
There are several small business, e-commerce and big company websites that have faced Panda’s heat in the last few months. However, it’s possible to recover a website smacked by Google’s Panda and regain the lost search engine rankings and traffic. But do you know the recovery tips?
If not, given below are five key tips that you can use to recover your website (in case it was hit) from Panda and regain organic traffic.
#1. Give Your Website’s Content a Spring-Clean
If your website got onto Google’s Panda’s radar, you do have serious issues with its content. First and foremost, you need to take a microscopic look at every single piece of content on your website.
- Here’s what you should do –
- Get rid of all the duplicate content
- Improve the low quality content
- Add more content to pages with scanty content
In the post-Panda era of Google, top quality content is the backbone of your website. So, build it strong.
#2. Say Goodbye to Keyword Stuffing
The good old days are over! Keyword stuffing will not rank your website at the top in the new era of Google search. In fact, it will get your website caught by Google’s search algorithm and get penalized over and over again. To protect your website from future Panda attacks and recover from the last one, you should quit stuffing your web pages with keywords. And you should learn how to optimize a website in a way that your SEO falls into the white-hat category.
#3. Write More Original Content
It’s like an ongoing mission now. To recover quickly from a Panda update, after you have fixed low quality content issues, you need to start featuring more and more top quality content on your website. It’s not about how many new pieces of content that you publish in a day. It’s actually about the quality of content that you feature on your website consistently.
If you lack time or proper writing skills, it’s always advisable to hire an experienced content writer.
#4. Go Social
Today’s SEO is never complete without social signaling. If you want speedy recovery from Panda update and regain the lost traffic quickly, you should also pay serious attention to create as many social signals for your website content as possible. Start to use popular social networking websites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you promote your content really well so they get a good number of social shares on social media sites.
#5. Keep Advertisements to a Low
Too many advertisements also dilute the quality of a website. If a visitor to your website sees more advertisements at the first glance on your website than top quality content, you are in trouble. Ensure the main content of your website is always above-the-fold and advertisements are minimum.
Can you ignore social media anymore? Whether it’s about creating buzz around a new product, expanding the presence of your business, improving the SEO of your website or building a brand, social media has become an integral part of your overall marketing plan. If you jumped on to the social media bandwagon only recently, you may not have any idea about how to go about building a strong social media following.
Don’t worry. Here are seven tips that you can use to get more social media followers and increase your influence on popular social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus among others.
#1. Know Your Goals
Before you develop a social media strategy, it’s important to know your goals really well. By increasing your presence on social media, you may want to drive more traffic to your company website or blog. You may also want to use social media to create awareness about a brand. You may want to build a vibrant community of loyal followers by using social media sites.
Make sure your goals are crystal-clear.
#2. Identify Your Target Audience
In order to achieve your goals via social media marketing, you should also identify your target market or audience. Every business, whether large or small, has a specific type of audience that it markets to. Therefore, you should also find out who your target audience is, where they belong and what their key demographics are.
Unless you have identified your target audience, you’ll be unable to develop a social media strategy that builds you a strong following.
#3. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
There are several social networking platforms that you can use. But you will never want to waste your time on a social network where your target audience doesn’t spend their time. Before you choose to join a social media platform, you should determine whether your target audience actually hangs out there.
#4. Enable Social Sharing
Whether it’s your blog or website, you should make sure you are using ways to encourage more social sharing of your content. For example, social media sharing buttons should be added to your blog, so that your readers can easily share the content with their contacts and friends. In any case, avoid adding tons of social media buttons. Focus on those that you think will make a huge difference as far as marketing of your site’s content is concerned.
#5. Share Quality Content
No matter which social media platforms you have chosen to participate at, you need to post links to content that resonates with your target audience. Your audience is constantly looking for information that’s educational, informative and useful. Unless you share quality content through your social media profiles, you’ll never be able to build a strong following.
#6. Create a Posting Schedule
Most of the businesses or companies ignore this important point. If you want your shared content to reach to the maximum number of people on a specific social network, you should create a posting schedule. Every social network, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus has its best time and day for maximum user reach.
Therefore, you need to develop an effective posting schedule keeping in mind the best time and day of each social network that you use.
#7. Don’t Oversell
If you want to build a large social media following without wasting a lot of time, you should always avoid being overly promotional. As soon as users come to know that you are there just to sell or promote your products, they will lose interest and stop following you. Therefore, you need to keep a close watch on the ratio of your normal messages to your sales messages.
Google penalties are quite common these days. No matter what niche your website belongs to, you might be at risk if you are not fully aware of the different types of search rank penalties that Google might impose. Many times when a website is penalized by Google, webmasters have no idea whether it was due to a Google penalty. However, there are some effective guidelines that you can follow to evaluate where things have gone wrong.
The worst part about Google penalties is that many websites will not recover at all. If your website means real business, you need to make sure you take appropriate action in time in case you have been hit.
Is It Really a Google Penalty?
This is the first question that you need to ask yourself as soon as you see a loss in the search rankings of your website. Before you start to take some remedial action on your website, it’s extremely important to know the reason that caused your website to lose its Google rankings.
Thankfully, Google Webmaster Tools does a good job of informing webmasters when something goes wrong with their websites. Though Google is trying to make its communication via webmaster tools more transparent, sometimes you may not receive any notification even after being hit.
In case your site is banned by Google, you can run a URL search to find out whether it’s really happened. There are several tools that you can use to know whether Google removed your website from its searches.
Conduct an SEO Audit
In order to discover whether your website was hit by Google’s Panda algorithm, Penguin algorithm or other search algorithmic updates, you’ll need to run an SEO audit. Though an SEO audit will take some time to complete, it will certainly reveal the actual reasons as to why your website was penalized.
To conduct an SEO audit, you’ll need to check –
- On-page SEO elements
- Link profile
- Internal linking
- Indexing status
- Load time
You need to take each of the above into consideration. By conducting an SEO audit in this way, you’ll be able to determine the performance of your website from an SEO standpoint.
Finally, It’s Time to Take Action!
If you have issues with your website’s content (duplicate, thin or low quality content), Google’s Panda might have hit. In case your website has a suspicious or spammy backlinks profile, the penalty could be due to a Penguin algorithmic update. If you are selling links to pass PageRank, a PageRank penalty might have hit your website.
After you have run an SEO audit of your website, you’ll become aware of the actual reasons for getting penalized. Once you know the issues really well, it’s finally time to take action.
Depending on the issues that you have with your website, you need to take appropriate action before it’s too late. If you lack adequate SEO experience, it’s highly recommended to work with an experienced SEO professional or a reputed SEO agency. After you have fixed the identified issues, you should give Google some time to re-crawl and re-evaluate your website.
If the problems are taken care of really well, you should hope to recover from the Google penalty in a few weeks or months. To ensure whether your website recovered and regained its lost search rankings, you need to keep a close watch on your website’s traffic over the next few months.
After Google’s Panda algorithm, it’s the Penguin update that has taken the entire SEO industry by storm. First released in April 2012, Google’s Penguin algorithm functions to catch those websites that spam its search results. But unlike Google’s Panda algorithm which penalizes sites with duplicate or low quality content, the Penguin algorithm brings its axe down on link spam.
While you should always ensure your website doesn’t land in the clutches of Google’s Penguin by abiding by Google’s quality guidelines, it’s also important to take immediate action if you were already hit.
If your website or blog was hit by Google’s Penguin update, given below are the tips or guidelines that you should follow for recovery.
#1. Make Sure It’s Penguin
Since there are different types of Google penalties, the first thing you need to do is find out whether the changes in your site’s search rankings were caused due to Penguin update. A Penguin penalty occurs when a website has a suspicious or unnatural inbound link profile.
Therefore, you need to analyze the inbound backlinks profile of your website and determine those links that might have caused Google’s Penguin to impose a penalty. Manipulative or unnatural inbound linking is the main reason for getting penalized by the Penguin update. Anchor text abuse is continuously under Google’s radar.
If it was a Penguin penalty for unnatural linking, you might have received a notification via the Google webmaster tools as well.
#2. Detect the Bad Links
Once you are sure it’s a Penguin penalty for link spam, the next step is to evaluate your website’s inbound links profile and detect those links that are causing the real harm. In order to conduct a backlinks analysis of your website, you may need to use such tools as Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer.
With the aforementioned tools, you can easily measure the quality of links pointing back to your domain, total number of inbound links and the ratio of the exact-match anchor text. You can also find out whether your site’s inbound link profile is over-optimized or manipulated. Finally, you need to divide all the external backlinks into two categories – good ones and bad ones.
#3. Get Rid of Bad or Spammy Links
Finally, the bad links must be removed. Once you have identified the inbound links that have caused trouble, you need to start working on a link removal campaign. In many cases, you’ll be able to remove the bad links by getting in touch with the webmasters of the third-party websites directly.
Otherwise, you can simply utilize Google’s Disavow links tool. The links that you want removed can be submitted to Google in the form of document so that those links are ignored.
#4. Start Building Top Quality Links, Naturally!
It doesn’t stop there. After you have got rid of the bad or spammy links pointing back to your domain, it’s time to come up with a new link building strategy in order to generate more top quality backlinks. Building new relevant and authoritative inbound links for your website will help your website’s backlinks profile improve even further.
In any case, make sure your new link building campaign doesn’t utilize any underhand techniques. Or else, you’ll end up getting yourself into the same situation you wanted to recover from.
Post-penguin, link building has become the biggest challenge for webmasters and web property owners. Links are still very much the trump card in SEO, but the rules have changed, and will continue to evolve in the near future as well. As Google continues to refine its algorithm for ranking quality websites in its search results, tweaks in your SEO strategy should also continue.
If you want to keep the SEO of your website on track, you should understand the essence of link building in the post-Penguin era and beyond. As a webmaster, you need to get smarter with your link building tactics and make it as meaningful as possible. But how will you proceed?
Given below are some of the most important link building tips that should abide by in 2013 and in the near future.
Build Links Based on Relevance
Relevance is the recent buzzword, as far as link building in the post-Penguin era of Google is concerned. Earlier you could easily benefit from getting backlinks from even those sites that had little or no relation to your niche. Now, getting links from niche-relevant sites is most essential.
Today, you can never expect to get any SEO benefit by getting link to your career website from a healthcare website.
In fact, getting links to your website or blog from a website that’s not relevant to your niche might easily get you into trouble as well. And remember relevance is something from where the post-Penguin link building era only begins. There’s a lot more that you’ll need to follow and watch out for.
Earn Links, Don’t Get Them
As far as the Google webmaster guidelines are concerned, the best links are those that come unsolicited or unasked. Google values unasked (read natural) links the most because you earn them.
People link to your website or the webpages on your website based on the quality of content you feature. You don’t ask them to link. They are simply compelled to link back to your site. That’s the kind of backlinks you should strive far. And you can achieve it by creating top quality content on your website on a consistent basis, week after week, month after month.
Focus on Quality, Rather Than Quantity
Today’s link building is all about quality. Ten top quality links are always better than 100 low quality links. This is also an excellent opportunity to beat out those competitor websites that have a huge number of backlinks, that are not so good in terms of quality or authority.
If you are able to build even a smaller number of links coming from websites that have solid SE authority, you can easily get ahead of the competitors who have a low quality backlinks profile with hundreds or thousands of links. Though earning links from high quality sites is a little harder, the effort can really be worth the result that you finally get.
Stop Anchor Text Abuse
When SEO was a fairly new term, one could easily rank a website at the top of search engine results by getting lots of money keyword links. If you wanted to rank for the term ‘best seo company’, you could achieve it by getting plenty of links with the same anchor text.
Now, the golden age of anchor text is over.
You can’t manipulate anchor text anymore. Abusing anchor text can also ruin the rankings of your website as you get penalized by Google. Therefore, it’s about time you quit getting obsessed over anchor text. Instead you need to make things look natural in order to build a Penguin-friendly backlinks profile.