Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Off-Page SEO - Does it Exist?

People spend countless hours trying to make their website SEO-friendly, but it is not all about what's on-page. Off-page SEO is just as important...if not more!

For those of you who are skeptical that off-page SEO really matters, let us conduct an experiment. Go to Google and type "Click Here" in the search box. Yes, it is kind of a funny thing to search for (and no one will probably ever want to do it for any good reason), but it does prove a major point! So what is the first organic result:

Acrobat Reader

Huh? That is funny. Google thinks that the most relevant response to the keyword search for "Click Here" is Acrobat Reader. So let's go onto this page. In my last article, I wrote about important on-key factors that you should focus on to get high rank in Google.

  • Does "Click Here" appear in the title? NO.
  • Does "Click Here" appear within an H1 tag? NO.
  • Does "Click Here" appear in the meta keyword tag? NO.
  • Does the word "Click Here" appear ANYWHERE on this page? NO!!!

Now that is really strange. How can Acrobat get the number one position for a keyword that does not even appear on the page? The answer is simple!

How many times do you go to select a document that is in PDF format. Often enough, I bet, to make you realize that you do it. And almost always, right below this PDF, there is a little statement to the effect of:

Need Acrobat Reader? Click Here

Wow! And can you only imagine how many places on the web that this link is pointing to Acrobat Reader and the anchor text "Click Here" appears? Well, conducting a quick look at the Google backlinks tool, it appears that Acrobat Reader has over ONE MILLION LINKS pointing to this page (most of which have the anchor text "Click Here").

Now, of course you will not be getting a million clicks pointing to your website, but what this teaches us is that Google places some importance on both the number of people sending you links as well as what is written in the anchor text of this link.

So the first lesson here is to get people linking to your website. The second lesson is to make sure that the anchor text they are using contains relevant keywords (rather than something useless, like your URL!

- Matthew Bredel

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* NOTICE! I will be MIA for about 3 weeks! If I get a chance to post,
* I will...but I am not counting on it! Don't think I've quit, though.
* I'm just on holiday! See ya next month! (or sooner!)