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Best kept secrets for search marketing success l.jpg

Best-Kept Secrets for Search Marketing Success

Stephan Spencer,

Founder & President, Netconcepts

Advanced seo part art part science l.jpg

Advanced SEO: Part Art, Part Science

  • Stay tuned for the tools and tactics that most search agencies won’t reveal…

  • These tools and tactics will be broken into three major categories

    • Technical Optimization

    • Content Optimization

    • Link Building

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Technical Optimization

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Grouped Google Results

  • Science:

    • Finding the true position of an indented result by appending &num=9 to the URL of the Google SERP, then &num=8 etc.


  • Art:

    • Knocking out your competitor’s indented second listing

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This isn’t really #3

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Nope, not yet

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Gone! It’s true position was #9

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SEO the title of #12 to bump it up to page 1 – it will be grouped to #2. Then link to #11 and bump it up to page 1 to knock #4 to page 2

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  • Science:

    • Essential tools: Yahoo Site Explorer, Netconcepts URL Checker, Netconcepts Product Page Checker (

    • Set Google preferences to “English Only” to get a more realistic number, minus pages not crawled

    • XML Sitemaps generators

  • Art:

    • Figuring out the main indexation threshold for your level of PageRank/authority

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Results estimate decreased by 2/3rds

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Flowing PageRank

  • Science:

    • Using rel=nofollow on low-value internal links

    • SEOChat PageRank Search tool

    • SEOChat PageRank Lookup tool

    • SEO for Firefox tool

  • Art:

    • Knowing which of your pages to nofollow

    • Iterative testing

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301 Redirects

  • Science:

    • When moving sites

    • For canonicalization

    • “Conditional” redirects?

  • Art:

    • When to use 301 and when to use 404 or 302

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  • Science:

    • Viewed cloaked content with Google Translate and translate it from English to English


  • Art:

    • Good cloaking vs bad cloaking

      • For bots only, drop tracking tags and other superfluous parameters from the URLs of your links

      • Use “user agent” detection and don’t “noarchive” the pages to obscure what you’re doing


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Supplemental Index

  • Science:

    • Figuring out which pages are and are not in “Supplemental hell”



    • Popping pages out of supplemental with robots.txt disallow, rel=nofollow, internal linking, link building

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Duplicate Content

  • Science:

    • Scanning for duplicate content

    • Blocking duplicate content without blackholing the PageRank (i.e. disallowing with rel=nofollow)

    • If using tracking parameters in URLs, use 301 redirects or JavaScript


  • Art:

    • Augment and/or revise duplicate content with APIs, unique titles/metadata,

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  • Science:

    • Reordering content above navigation

    • Image replacement technique

    • Progressive enhancement for Flash & AJAX


  • Art:

    • Design worthy of CSS Zen Garden

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Content Optimization

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Keyword Research

  • Science:

    • Mastering tools such as KeywordDiscovery, Google Suggest, Spyfu,WordTracker, Google Trends, Googspy, SEOSleuth,

  • Art:

    • Working in misspellings without looking stupid

    • Thinking like a thesaurus - finding related words that machines can’t

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Keyword Density/Prominence

  • Science:


  • Art:

    • Increasing keyword density and prominence in a way that looks natural to the engines and reads well

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“Thin Slicing”

  • Science:

    • Mass edit admin

    • Mechanical Turk

  • Art:

    • Separating the wheat from the chaff

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Link Building

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Reverse Engineer Competitors

  • Science:

    • Yahoo Site Explorer

    • link: on Google & on Google Blog Search

    • Backlink Analyzer or Neat-o tool

  • Art:

    • Negotiating links from the same sites

    • Outing competitors’ dodgy link schemes

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High-Value Link Targets

  • Science:

    • Build spiders to find sites with super high PageRank, 1 click away from Google, .edu or .gov, high Alexa ranked

    • Avoiding situations that erode the value (e.g. reciprocal, in footer, site-wide, adjacent to paid links, too many links on page)

    • Use tools like SEOMoz Page Strength tool, SEO for Firefox, SEO-Links Firefox extension

  • Art:

    • Identifying sites with a propensity to give link love (e.g. acknowledging patrons/sponsors)

    • Crafting approaches & incentives

    • Buy them

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Mining Your Own Links

  • Science:

    • Locating inbound links with poor anchor text with BLA or Neat-o

  • Art:

    • Negotiating with these linkers to change the anchor text. Pull some favors with friends who link to you. It helps to be a blogger when reaching out to other bloggers.

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  • Science:

    • Wikiscanner

    • Article monitoring (e.g. trackengine, changenotes, urlywarning, changedetect, watch function)

    • Building up a long & virtuous contribution history

    • Flowing pagerank internally with Disambiguation pages, Redirects, Categories

  • Art:

    • Negotiating with an article’s “owner”

    • Making friends who will back you up in AfDs

    • Earning Barnstar awards & adminship status

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  • Science:

    • Stripping away all commercial links during the initial Digg swarm

    • Friending popular Diggers

    • Timing your presence on the Digg front page for daylight hours

  • Art:

    • Crafting a killer title

    • Getting a powerful Digger to submit your story

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  • Science:

    • Proper formatting

    • Tagging

    • Title and description

    • Channels

  • Art:

    • Entertainment value

    • Finding that viral hook

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  • Science:

    • Configuration of your profile and page (e.g. profile type)

    • Establishing critical mass with #s of Friends by targeting bands

  • Art:

    • Getting your brand in the URL

    • Creating a viral MySpace avatar, comment graphic, layout etc.

    • Having a profile layout that differentiates you without killing usability

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  • Science:

    • Tagging

    • Title and description

    • Albums / photosets

    • Creative Commons licensing

    • Commenting (note: links in comments no longer pass juice)

  • Art:

    • Photo quality

    • Viral hook

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  • Science:

    • Knowing which blogs pass PageRank to commenters (e.g. Mark Cuban’s)

    • Decoupling your blog’s title tags from the post titles (e.g. “SEO Title Tag” WordPress plugin)

    • Using “Sticky” posts to improve keyword prominence on your blog

  • Art:

    • Courting bloggers

    • Commenting in ways that add to the conversation so they get approved and stay

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More SEO Tools

  • For link analysis and PageRank

    • TouchGraph

    • Live PageRank

    • WebmasterEyes

    • Google Webmaster Central

    • Thumbshots Ranking tool

    • SEOpen

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More SEO Tools

  • Technical optimization

    • User Agent Switcher

    • SwitchProxy

    • Scrutinizer

    • Copyscape

    • Poodle Predictor

    • Xenu Link Sleuth

    • Robot Replay

    • CrazyEgg

    • What’s That Site Running

    • Wayback Machine

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More SEO Tools

  • Other reporting

    • Alexa

    • DigitalPoint Keyword Rankings

    • Urltrends

    • Hitwise ($$)

  • List and links at



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  • For an ebook on Google power searching, SEO checklists & worksheets, and audio recording, executive summary & transcript of an SEO thought leaders teleconference, email [email protected] or give me your business card

  • Any questions come to you later, contact me: [email protected]

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