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What is the smallest thing you have done that has made a ranking difference?
Mark_A

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 4:06 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I suppose for me, just playing with inclusion of some terms into a couple of pages has vastly improved our ranking for them..

What are your smallest changes - which lead to improved rankings?

 

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 4:38 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nothing.

Sometimes (not always) doing nothing works better than making endless tweaks.

Shaddows

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 5:11 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I feel an End Of Year List coming :)

1) Changed nav anchor text
2) Crafted text for every category page (150-500 words)

Stuff I've seen make a big difference:

3) De-"optimise" keyword stuffed pages (circa 2000) using synonyms, related words and emphasis on natural lanuage
4) Put longtail strings in title (think partcodes)
Nothing.
Yeah, taking 4-6 weeks off "SEO" is sometimes revealing, if only to understand major gains may be nothing to do with your efforts, in the same way major losses can be beyond your control
tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 5:21 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Added three semantically related phrases to content area of a problem page (in anchor text). It went from #42 to #2 for its main term.

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 5:23 pm on Dec 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Added one phrase to the home page. It was one of those terms that are normally "taken as read" in normal writing but are actually a major search term.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 1:40 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Added three semantically related phrases to content area of a problem page (in anchor text).


Just so I understand:

You added three links ON a problem page (linking OUT to somewhere)?

Or three inbound links from other internal pages where the semantically related phrases were in the anchor text of those inbound links?

Or something else?

Thanks in advance.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 2:04 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

After a year of trying to get this page to rank well, I did a co-occurrence study of the sites on other sites that did rank. I picked three common phrases that came up in my study but did not appear on my candidate page.

The site already held that kind of information in healthy amounts, so I added links to the best pages that contained that content - and I used those co-occurring phrases as anchor text.

Ranking went from page 4 to page 1 within a week, with no new backlinks (I already had those a-plenty), no title tweaks and no H tag changes.

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 2:06 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

yeah tedster give us an example. Im interested in hearing this out as well.

brinked

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 3:21 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

4) Put longtail strings in title (think partcodes)


Yeah shaddows, I definitley witnessed the same thing.

Its amazing how much anchors in navigation and what URL structure you use have such a large impact on your rankings.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 3:35 am on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

By the way - those new internal links were integrated into the content, not a sidebar of "related pages" or anything of that nature.

This particular "category page" felt like super-saturated solution just needing on little crystal to go through a change of state. The industry already recognized the business as one of the top two online resources and backlinks showed it,even while it was on page 4.

eferg

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 7:22 pm on Dec 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

tedster - yes, can you provide a made-up example?

I take it you had a page ranking on page 4, optimized for "blue widgets". You look at high ranking competitors and discover that the phrase "3 GHz desktop" is always used in association with blue widgets. So you embed a link within a home page paragraph, using only anchor text "3 GHz desktop", to the candidate page and it jumps to page 1. And I assume your home page Does Not have a link with anchor text "Blue Widgets".

Do I have the essence of your post?

haseebnajam



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 7:21 am on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

keywords in very first line after body tag = good for e-commerce sites

frank72



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 9:52 am on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Added one space above and one space below Google ads slots. They increased my crt from 1,70 to 2,10.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 11:55 am on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Added one space above and one space below Google ads slots. They increased my crt from 1,70 to 2,10.


what do you mean by one space? Is it a blank line? and how is this related to improving your search rankings?

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 12:34 pm on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Indyank, I think Frank was pointing out that improving search rankings isn't the only avenue to more profit. He's right.

Today rankings are not what they used to be. in fact if you rely on rankings you are more vulnerable than ever with what the horizon looks like (social, big telco control etc). Now that government regulation has begun the internet we knew will slowly decay. Websites are no longer at the top of the food chain, big telcos are once again since they will charge arbitrary fees up front on those sites.

Did government just give big telcos a new revenue source while reducing their load in one fell swoop? yikes.

Making more from the same rankings should be a goal in 2011 as should getting traffic from sources other than search.

As for the topic however - More original content, less fluff and regurgita has worked for me. Lean is mean!

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 8:37 pm on Dec 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

@eferg - yes, that's the basic idea. Except in my case, the home page does have the "blue widgets" link and always did. That is why I called this internal page a problem page. I couldn't see why it wasn't ranking by any "traditional" criteria.

eferg

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 11:30 pm on Dec 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster -

It's interesting that an additional link with different text promoted your inner page in the SERPS.

I know people don't like to dilute PR by adding additional outgoing links, but it seems Google needed the additional "encouragement".

From usability studies on my site, I learned to make sure at least two links go to each product category page (one from the main menu and one from text embedded within paragraphs). People don't study a page and I found you need to provide them with multiple paths, especially for long pages where your main menu can disappear when the user scrolls down.

It appears from your post that Google likes multiple anchors also. But I thought I read that only the first of multiple links on a page counts. Did your new link appear in front of, or after the existing link?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 11:43 pm on Dec 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

But I thought I read that only the first of multiple links on a page counts

Those tests showed that only the first of several links TO THE SAME URL seemed to count. Also, the way we need to test things like this is to use anchor text, since we can't access anything about current PR values to see if they change.

Some interesting follow-on tests seem to show that even when the outbound URLs are the same, a different fragment identifier means that the anchor text does carry influence.

At any rate, I'm not from the stingy school when it comes to outbound links - like you, I do what seems best for the visitor. Not only that, on one of my more successful site launches I took on the discipline of making sure ever page linked externally at least twice. Early rankings and regularly improving rankings were the result.

eferg

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 3:21 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster -

I'll review my site for possibilities to add additional internal links using related phrases.

I've never used a fragment identifier. Did you use one for the page in your example? Or did you bring it up to answer my question about multiple links to the same URL?

To answer the OP - the smallest change I've ever made that made a difference is tweak my titles. I keep them simple - if the page is selling Blue Widgets, that is my title and my H1.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 3:30 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I brought it up to clarify the multiple links question. The fact that a fragment identifier made a difference in anchor text transfer is evidence that multiple links on one page can each have power.

So I'd say this is a fairly nuanced question with no simple answer - lots of variations to test, not enough time.

webastronaut

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 4:19 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

LifeinAsia said it best!

We make money online cause we have something to offer that is worth it.

Tweedle de Tweedle dum on all your keywords.

Then you can bring the little piggy back home.

johnnie

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 10:57 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Title tag! A small tweak there can make a huge difference towards ranking your page for multiple terms.

zdgn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 11:51 am on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nothing.


I'm another Nothinger I guess.

Gave up on one of my site ( est 2001 ) and left it just sitting there untouched sometime last year, with probable plans to "do something with it sometime" and moved on with other sites.

A few months ago this year, Our Lady at Google smiled on it for no apparent reason: more than 1000% sudden organic increase and now continues to increase at a steady around 300% every week!

Go figure. :-D

Of course, the quantum workings of Google now may reverse this anytime too.

vik_c

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 1:36 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


..and now continues to increase at a steady around 300% every week!

So in about a year you should be able to sell your website for a few billion dollars :)

zdgn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 2:05 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)



..and now continues to increase at a steady around 300% every week!

So in about a year you should be able to sell your website for a few billion dollars :)


oops... My bad!

Make it "around 30%" please.

:-) But still, not bad for doing nothing eh?

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 2:34 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)


Tedster said:
"on one of my more successful site launches I took on the discipline of making sure ever page linked externally at least twice. Early rankings and regularly improving rankings were the result."


I also believe this helps. I try to put at least one outgoing external link on every page I create. I try to find authority sites for this, and try to include an important keyword in the anchor text.

I think you gain more benefit by linking to authority sites, and the links are also less likely to turn into broken links later. But I usually don't link to Wikipedia, Amazon, or any site that might compete against my page in the rankings.

fyness



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 2:42 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

For me moving from using a free blog to a paid one with high SEO features has really work for me.

dailypress

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 3:16 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

get backlinks from a a .edu website

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 3:35 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

But I usually don't link to Wikipedia, Amazon, or any site that might compete against my page in the rankings.


good one...

JCKline

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4244442 posted 7:24 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Having a domain thats 10+ years old.

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