Maria asks…

How much SEO do I need?

I have an online biz and it’s been growing slowly and steadily but extra traffic would be great. I’ve done a lot with keywording, meta tags and descr., linking anchor text, keeping text relevant and fresh, social bookmarking and networking, using press releases, landing page and check out cart page optimization etc.

Now that I’m at the next stage of growth, I’m wondering if I need to engage the services of an SEO company. There are so many and for a small biz, they’re quite costly. Are these services really going to help or should I just keep doing what I’m doing? I’m sure they’re trained and know a ton of stuff I don’t plus the one thing they say they’ll do that is a bit beyond me is backlinking to my site from authority sites.

How much SEO do I need to grow my business? Is it worth the monthly expense of hundreds of dollars?

SEO Answers:

If you’re a small biz with limited amount of money to have a good seo will cost you lots of money. Make sure you have great content on all pages not just your front page for example if you’re selling a product or service makes sure that page has great body copy with the keywords you want to be found for say about 300 words will do it. This also helps with the Google panda update. You find out how to write this body copy if you go to the link in the source from… Also NOTE with any seo guy what you pay for is what you get.

Richard asks…

what is meant by google panda?

pls tell me more explanation

SEO Answers:

That is the name Google assigned to a filter that is periodically run to identify sites with low quality, unoriginal content. Many small sites have lost search ranking due to this filtering as well as major sites like Ezinearticles. This is in greater Google’s trying to counter the effect of their Adsense advertising system that has encouraged the creation of thousands of “made for Adsense” sites with little real value to users.

Here’s an early report on some of the first sites effected by Panda:

A newer filer that Google added to identify sites using SEO manipulation tricks is the Penguin filter:

Google estimates that the initial Penguin version effected 3.5% of searches.

The folks at SEOmoz have some insightful thoughts on the topic, it’s too early to measure what’s being targeted since the fallout from Google’s recent de-indexing of private blog networks have muddied the waters, avoiding too many keyword anchor text links, keyword stuffing and perhaps keyword domain names is high on the suspect list.

Here is some positive advice:

Joseph asks…

What has happened to my website on google?

I built my first micro niche site and I ran into a problem. I’ll be quick.

I did me SEO research (6 mo worth) trying to figure out google and feel like i’m onto their scent like flies on a monkey. Well here’s the problem..

Day 1 – registered my site

Day 4 – on page 5 of google

Day 5 – on page 2 (spot 1)

Day 7 – on page 1!!! (10th ranked for keyword)

Day 11 – its gone!!!

I didn’t get banned, did change anything I was doing, kept the same momentum… what gives?!

my site is powerchordschart dot com

if anyone has any input it would be greatly appreciated…


SEO Answers:

First, I don’t work for Google so I cannot profess to be an expert in what they do, however, I have spent many years doing SEO for people – with specific concentration and great results thereof on Google so I do believe that my insight can be valid.

Unless you are paying for links or doing anything unethical – you probably didn’t do anything wrong.

Instead, here’s what I think might have happened… It was a Google Algorithm change. It didn’t just happen to you it happened to millions of websites. (Do a search on Google Panda or Fresh updates and see for yourself).

If this is what happened to you please don’t give up or get disheartened. It’s simply how things work and we have to accept that if we wish to stay in business online.

Besides…there are over 500 algorithm changes rolled out every single year by Google as they continue to strive for better results. Yes, it makes it very hard for us to CHASE top positions or expect to stay there when we get there. But it also keeps site owners and SEO’s honest – so we have to appreciate that.

One thing I should tell you is if you did launch your site back in November, you might have been one of the lucky ones who got to the top because of the Google Fresh update. This update was focused on making FRESH and NEW content available to users – not just the same old same old. A lot of new websites experienced a quick rise at this time and you might have been one of them.

Then…with the next update….

Many of them, along with many of the previous TOP SPOTTERS did experience a decline thereafter too.

So long story short – you probably didn’t do anything wrong. You just fell pray to a Google update (or two) like the rest of the world.

Going forward…

As long as you are working on providing good valuable content to your readers – you may very well climb back up from time to time and it will be nice when it happens. Chances are some of your solo posts are getting top positions even if your main home page isn’t.

That said, it will be wise to always be mindful that staying up top is not something you nor anyone can guarantee so IF you do get there, my recommendation would be to appreciate it while it’s happening but don’t bank on it forever.

You certainly don’t want to base your financial projections on the results you get from being up top either. This can run you into a lot of missed revenues. I’ve seen it happen many times.

Sorry I can’t give you any better info – but it’s how things work.

Mandy asks…

Why is my website so volatile on google?

Hello. Thanks in advance for your responses. My website is I released it back in October. It is well optimised in terms of key words, is regularly updated with new content and I’m building links. Now, if it were static I could understand that things take a long time to progress. I’ve read a lot of SEO stuff and I hear it’s more a marathon than a race. What I don’t understand is why it has plummeted ten pages in the previous 24 hours. It’s not penalised by google. I do nothing of a “black hat” nature. No weak sites have linked to mine. All I have done is add content of the normal nature.

Is this normal in a young site? Should I be worried? Until yesterday it was making slow progress through the ranks. Now it seems to be free-falling…

Thanks, again, for any suggestions.


SEO Answers:

It’s still a pretty young site in search ranking terms, people talk of the Google Dance, when they introduce some algorithm change ranking positions can shuffle around for a time. You didn’t mention if this drop is just for your primary keyword or multiple keywords. I didn’t see obvious reasons why a Panda filter pass or human review would shake your ranking. If you were using Google’s paid Adwords system they would want to see a terms and conditions as sell as a privacy link to gain the best quality score.

Load speed is a factor, maybe your hot was down on last spidering, on my second access it felt like over 10 seconds load time, be sure you have a wordpress cache installed.

Be sure you are using a search rank checker to monitor your position for a list of important keywords you can identify with the Google Keyword Tool.

Use either the free rankchecker for firefox or the rankcheker in the free evaluation version of SEO Powersuit to generate a search ranking report for the list of keywords, the latter has some other analysis functions.

Unfortunately the Open Site Explorer hasn’t indexed your backlinks as yet.


I trust you have a vitally important Google Places page (and the Yahoo counterpart)

Try a Google search for: hypnotherapy, oxford

The A-G lettered stick pins symbols are places listings, see the additional info rolling on the >> symbol brings up, these don’t look well developed, you should see stars from client reviews and photos rolling over >>. There are ranking methods to get a places page on results page 1, mainly reviews and citations non many other directories.

Lizzie asks…

website/ blog link exchange?

I have a website with pagerank3 and wanna have link exchange with other pagerank3 website or blog

SEO Answers:

Much of the advise being given out on generating web traffic through Google is either incorrect or out of date since the introduction of Google Panda. The Google Panda Update was designed to put high quality web pages on their front pages despite PageRank. Although link building and PageRank are still important there are several new features added to Google’s algorithm that has effected many website. Many website owners are totally unaware of the reasons why their websites have fallen in ranking or are not receiving the web traffic they feel it deserves. I feel it is important that every website owner should become familiar with the Google Panda Update.
The Panda Update only effects search results from the Google Search Engine but Google handles almost 3/4 of all search queries.

Betty asks…

How to recover the rankings?

I have a website It is 7 months old. It was under 50 for my all 3 keywords (web design company, web development company and cheap web design) but suddenly it dropped down to 600+ for all keywords.

Is excessive link building is the reason for this?

Here is the link count for my website.

Total Links–3,986 (google webmaster tool)

Home page links- 3,776 (google webmaster tool)
Inner pages links- 210 (google webmaster tool)

Please analyze and suggest me that is it because of excessive home page links?
How can i recover my site’s position?

SEO Answers:

Odds are you were hit ny the Penguin SEO spam filter. Did you not receive any “Unnatural link pattern” warnings from webmaster tools?

I has a look at your links they at least seemed to be on vaguely related pages, unlike the worst spambot generated paid links.

Some webmasters are scrambling to remove the worst of the junk backlinks in order to improve their profile. Your pretty much stuck with the large number of links you have, seeking only quality links from ranked sites might be the best compensation. And go easy on the keyword anchor text links, no more than 20% o total links.

They then alert Google that there is no longer a connection with these links:
Google’s Disavow Tool

The smart people at seoMoz have some insights into the Penguin filter.

Some advice on avoiding getting axed by the Penguin SEO spam filter.

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