SEO FAQs

SEO seems to be rocket science, but it’s really elbow grease.

Sure, there are some technical things you need to know, but not many of them require above-average smarts. I’ve answered some of the more common questions I get below, but as any Austin SEO expert can tell you, you’ll never answer them ALL.

I answer lots of SEO questions on Quora as well, so you can read on that and more online marketing questions there. I have a list of Free and Low Cost SEO Resources here, too.

I’m including links to my other FAQs here, just in case you’re needing more broad-based, Integrated Digital Marketing questions answered.

Short answer: probably. There’s a concept I call “Minimum Viable SEO”. I don’t think it’s original to me, but I’m not worried about it.

The idea is that yes, there is a base level of SEO you need to do to your site. Assuming your site has a year or more on the content you have there, it’s fairly easy to see if you need it.

Search the name of your company. As long as it’s not a common phrase, like “Dog Food” this will work.

For instance, if your business name is “Harris Electric”, you should be able to google your business name and you come back at the top. If not, then use your demographic. IF you’re in Dallas, it would be “Harris Electric Dallas”.

If you don’t return on page 1, you have a problem, and you need on page work.

Next, go after your service demos.

If it’s electric, then you’ll have electrical repair, electric panel installation, gfci inspection, etc..

Google your business name plus each one of these service areas, i.e. “Harris Electric gfci inspection”. Individual pages in your website should return for each service type. If they don’t, red flag.

This is what “Minimum Viable SEO” does for you, and yes, you need it.

There are basically two types of backlinks: dofollow and nofollow. Dofollow backlinks are links that are coded to tell search engines to follow the link from your page to another (or vice versa).

Nofollow backlinks are links that tell the search engine NOT to follow it. The reasoning is to indicate to the search engines that this link is not important to the core content of your site or page.

That’s a bit oversimplified, but that’s the way it works (for instance, it’s the ABSENCE of the rel=nofollow tag that tells a search engine to keep the dofollow status in place).

It’s widely thought that dofollow are the only backlinks that will give you any SEO advantage.

That used to be true, but thanks to Google’s algorithm updates like Penguin, Panda and Mobilegeddon, it’s not as true as it once was.

Nofollow backlinks could be great to increase exposure of your website or blog and sending traffic to those, but they will not technically help you with SEO as a ranking signal. Still, it doesn’t mean nofollow backlinks are bad.

The quality and value of a nofollow backlink is really about how Google sees the site. If it is valuable to the community, and has great organic traffic, then the link will have some value, even if it’s nofollow.

Looking at the reputation of the website linking to you is critical. It also matters if the source website content is relevant to you. If a well-known, reputable website links to you, even if it’s a nofollow link, the backlink will still be good.

There are tons of good websites you’ve never heard of.

Checking the SEO metrics of any site you want to get links from is always recommended, but old school ranking factors aren’t as important any more. Google has changed all that, and values relevance above all other factors.

If enough people view a site as relevant, it’s relevant, and the link matters, nofollow or not.

If you want to, you can still analyze factors in Google Analytics like the Citation Flow, Domain Authority, Trust Flow, Page Authority, total external links, how often they update content, and more.

But at the end of the day, if you don’t have relevant content, your links won’t matter.

The Google PageRank Toolbar had not been updated for a while, and Google had no plans to update it as of 2015, but there is growing evidence that PageRank may have new life. Google officials have said several times that SEOs should not look at PageRank for a direct SEO benefit, but we’re monitoring the current pulse to learn what Google’s up to regarding PageRank.
“Link building is essential for SEO, so it’s great to see you are interested to get more good backlinks.

The best way to find opportunities to build good backlinks is to look at the links of your competitors. Use Monitor Backlinks to spy your competitors backlinks and try to replicate the ones that are good and worthy. If your competitors are ranking above you, it often means they have done something right, and they have better backlinks than you.

By replicating the most important links of all your competitors, you’ll have higher chances to outrank them. Using the metrics provided by Monitor Backlinks you can see at a glance what backlinks are good or bad. Take each link one by one to understand how your competitor has gotten to have a link from that website. If they got a link because of a blogger review or mention, you can contact that blogger and offer him the chance to test your product as well. Whether it’s a guest post, a forum mention or any other type of backlink, you should try to replicate it.

Do consider that sometimes your competitors might have bad backlinks, so don’t rush into replicating, without analyzing if the website has a good authority.”

Most Google officials said that nofollow backlinks will not influence rankings in Google. While there are some SEOs that claim nofollow links carry some value, there’s no official prove to sustain this.
“The quick answer is NO. There’s no point to remove or disavow nofollow links unless they are hurting your reputation. For example, if a porn or gambling site links to you.

If the backlink is bad, you should try to remove it and then disavow it, even if it’s dofollow or nofollow. If you have a good nofollow backlink, you should leave it as it is because it might send relevant traffic your way.According to John Mueller, disavowing a backlink is the equivalent adding a nofollow to a dofollow link.Considering what John said, disavowing a nofollow link would be like adding a nofollow attribute to a backlink that’s already nofollow. Based on Google’s guidelines, a nofollow link provides the webmasters a way to tell search engines “don’t follow links on this page” or “don’t follow this specific link”.”

The disavow tool usually works within days of submitting your report. Nevertheless, it sometimes can take up to several weeks for Google to review your bad backlinks report.
“It depends on what penalty you’ve got. These are some scenarios:

Manual penalty: Takes 1-2 weeks for Google to review your reconsideration request
Algorithm updates penalties: This is the case of Penguin or Panda. You’ll have to wait for another Google Penguin or Panda algorithm update to take place. It can take months, or days, depending when it was updated last.”

Yes. We’ve seen numerous cases when website owners had no clue that their sites were penalized or filtered by Google’s algorithms. Most often, Google Panda decreases your website’s rankings because of thin content. Your site can also get a penalty for having too many ads above the fold or for not having a mobile friendly website.
“Bad backlinks trigger most Google penalties, but it’s not always a rule. If your website has not yet recovered its rankings, it could be because of the following reasons:

a. You haven’t cleaned up all your bad backlinks
b. Your disavow report is incomplete
c. No algorithm update took place lately. Panda and Penguin penalties require a fresh algorithm update for recovery.
d. Your content is holding you back. If a Google update hit your website, you have to revise your website’s content.
e. You don’t have enough quality backlinks
f. Your website has other unknown problems
g. Your reconsideration request was not yet reviewed.

Read more about the 7 reasons why your website won’t recover from a Google penalty.”

“Not always. To rank high in Google, it’s important to have high-quality content that provides value to your readers. However, this doesn’t mean that your success is guaranteed. There are other websites that could have content that’s at least as good as yours. Everyone wants to rank high in Google, but after all, backlinks will be the ones to make a difference.

The recipe for SEO success is high-quality content and backlinks from authoritative domains. One without the other will not work.”

“Numerous studies have shown that websites with long and engaging content ranks higher in Google. Articles with more than 2000 words have higher chances to rank high.

Your content must be well documented and offer value to your readers by answering their most important questions and offering useful tips.”

Simple, use Monitor Backlinks. Connect your domain with Monitor Backlinks and the SEO Auto Discover feature will send you daily email alerts when your website will gain or lose links. If the status of your backlinks will change, you’ll be alerted, and you can react to recover your backlinks.
“Deleting backlinks can sometimes be challenging. Once you identify a link you want to remove, the only way to delete it is to contact the webmaster and ask them nicely to help you. Always have a friendly approach and tell the webmasters where your link is located.

You’ll not be able to remove all links, but don’t worry, you can use the Disavow Tool.
Read more about Backlinks removal and analytics – How to delete bad links.”

Results don’t come overnight. It’s a long optimization process that requires patience and continuously building good backlinks. It depends from case to case and from website to website. Some sites might get better rankings after a few weeks while some after some months. Either way, keep building quality backlinks, and your SEO will improve.
“Never trust your SEO company fully! Always be vigilant and ask them to send details about the things they are working on, and the backlinks they are building. When you outsource SEO to a company or freelancer, you are putting your website’s faith on their hands.

Ask them to send weekly reports and keep an eye on how your organic traffic is performing. Use tools like Monitor Backlinks to analyze the new backlinks your website is getting and if you see anything suspicious, suspend the collaboration immediately.

If anything bad ever happens to your website (like a penalty), you’ll be the one affected, not your SEO company. Hence why you analyze all the work, they are doing.”

“There’s no exact answer for this. It depends on what niche your website is in. Do consider that the more content you have, the higher the chances to rank for new keywords and get more traffic. Nevertheless, don’t cover the same topic too many times, or Google Panda might filter your site.

Most websites publish at least one article per week.”

Not as big as some might think, but yes, it’s an SEO ranking factor. If your website is loading quick enough, it will not be affected. However, if your site takes 10 seconds to load, it will not be a surprise if Google decides to decrease its rankings.
“Your backlinks profile should have anchor texts that look natural. For example, you should have at least 50% brand name keywords, 20% more that are related and 30% relevant but natural anchor texts. The anchor texts should be diverse and not have any footprint that might tell Google you are building your links unnatural.

A bad anchor text distribution can cause a Google Penguin penalty.”

“Yes. Google has a special algorithm to detect pages that have too many ads above the fold. If your website has a bad overall user experience and has too many ads, your website might be pushed to 2nd or 3rd page in SERPS.

Don’t use too many ads, whether it’s Adsense or another provider.”