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Top Posts of 2010 – Round Up and 2011 News

Well I hope everyone has enjoyed the festivities and are looking forward to those still to come tonight!

I thought it would be a good idea to revisit posts from 2010 add a little commentary and then try to understand how it may be relevant to our SEO efforts in 2011.

As way of an overview it has been a pretty good year for the blog and here are a few stats to prove it;

259,402 – Visits

404,854 – Pageviews

144,755 – Google Organic Visitors

72 – posts

1200 – comments

Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t social blogging figures, but the promotion of SEOwizz has pretty much been SEO and think these figures are healthy considering my social disabilities.

Anyway let’s have a quick round up of these posts and then I’ll go over some possibilities for the blog in 2011…..

Anchor Text Has Lost Its Edge – Time To Build A Healthy Strong Domain, Old Techniques Are Not Going to Cut it

This was by far the most popular post of 2010 and in September it set off a bit of a stir being picked up and linked to by the biggest search authorities on the web.

The article came after some link analysis into some of the most competitive keyword targets and the sites ranking for them, it showed that sites were ranking with their homepages with little or no anchor text links or even relevant variations. The article was not meant to be scientific and was simply observations so you can imagine the ‘trolls’ jumped all over it.

Anyway, it turned out I had to retract the conclusion thanks to Google’s algo switch to show deep pages and the real reason the brand driven homepages were ranking.

Still don’t think that Brand links have no use, Google have been off the boil of late and if your a geek like me and have had your finger on the pulse over the holidays you may have noticed some significant changes in the SERP’s :) .

There was another popular article on brand anchor text here.

Analytics + Optimised Content + Anchor Text Links = More Traffic

Very often in SEO we get caught up on glory terms, however in my experience they’re not that important except in a few high profile industries. It’s long tail traffic that is the real bread and butter of most websites and this article displayed a quick way of identifying opportunities and how to capitalise on them.

5 Link Building Myths You Should Ignore

Every year brings new link building techniques and the opinions that go with them, who you decide to listen to will go a long way to decide where you rank on Google.

The problem is techniques that work aren’t always what we would call ‘white hat’ and SEO’s with profiles struggle to talk about them due to unwanted Google attention, and trust me when I say even little blogs like this get unwanted attention :)

So whenever techniques, that could be on the dark side are discussed, it always has to be backed up with a ‘but Google will punish you’, the article above looks at some of the myths that come from this issue, my advice is simple if anyone says Google will crush you take it with a pinch of salt and always have test blogs and sites to trial new techniques.

Facebook Search – Open Graph

This was a post from my good friend David Jones discussing the possibilities of Facebook Open Graph and how it could eventually evolve to challenge Google.

Me and Dave don’t see eye to eye entirely but he raises some excellent points and as you will have seen in one of my recent posts I am too beginning to see the potential.

The End Of Google Rankings As We Know It! Rotational Rankings?

I published this soon after the WMT interface changed to show rankings, it almost seemed to show that no one site permantly ranks in the same position for a keyword, this was interesting and almost suggested some sort of rotational ranking system.

It still needs a lot more research but with suggestions of split testing and rankings based on click through rates it is hardly inconcievable.

Keyword Stuffing & Link Spam Will Make Google Love You! What Are Google Doing?

You will have probably noticed a lot of moaning from me in December about the state of the SERP’s, at least in the UK.

I am not going to proceed with 400 words on why they are still a mess because you have definitely heard enough, however I just thought I better clear something up. My gripe with the SERP’s has nothing to do with the webmasters ranking but instead is with Google because of their inconsistency.

As I said above there have been some changes in the last 5 days and I think these will roll out across more keywords into the new year, watch this space.

So there you have it, a handful of posts that got a little attention in 2010…..

As for SEOwizz…….

I have a number of plans in 2011 to spruce up the blog:-

1 – It is due a redesign, just need to finalise the brief (I use quixoticmedia.org, excellent with Thesis)

2 – With over 1000 hits a day on average I have upgraded the server (apologies for the site speed over the past 6 weeks).

3 – I am playing with the idea of opening up the blog to guest posting, so if your interested drop me a line.

4 – A forum……

We have over 2000 RSS subscribers now, which isn’t massive but I do find I get a lot of emails, for that reason alone I think a forum would be a good idea?? I just need to know who would benefit from it??

So if you’re a silent reader, drop a comment below or ping me when you get chance if you would like to see a forum on SEOwizz.

If I do go ahead with it, it will be free and not open to search engines :) This isn’t a way of building longtail traffic but a way of getting issues and questions out in the open, so let me know.

Ok well I think thats me done for 2010, wishing you all a prosperous 2011!!

Happy New Year!

Line Break

Author: Tim (296 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Searchbrat January 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

Great stats Tim and this blog has been one of my favorite lunch time reads in 2010. Always great information and actionable, which is great.
Looking forward to 2011.

Reply

Tim January 3, 2011 at 3:35 am

Thanks Kieran,

Hope the new job works out and 2011 is a good one!

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mark rushworth January 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

I’ll guest post for you. I wouldnt advise a forum tho, they become a monster to administrate. Maybe you could monetise a Q&A system ala SEOMoz where SEO’s could pose questions for prompt definitive answers.

Just re-designed and rebranded my blog (MR SEO lolz) using the site5 Colorbold theme – the SEO is a nightmare and im working through it but i think design wize its pretty much where i want to be.

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Tim January 5, 2011 at 2:08 am

Hi Mark,

Hope you had a great xmas and new year.

A few people have said no to a forum, maybe as you say a Q&A system is a better way to go about things, I’ll look into it when I get the new design up and running. The issue is I get an email everyday on SEO related question, and I really don’t mind helping but I am just trying to suss out a way of handling it better. We shall see.

I noticed the new design, looks sharp, I have used thesis for a while now, I know pure WP users consider it the anti christ but it makes SEO and making tweaks on the fly so much easier, having said that I need to go through my site and re optimise some of the pages where I have been a little lazy.

Guest post sounds good, if you want to pop it across with and a short bio I’ll get it set up and on there. Just use the contact form and I’ll fire you across details on linking etc…

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Aaron January 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

Great series of posts in 2010 keep up the good work :)

I have personally never been a big fan of forums.

I am currently trying a bunch of brand new seo tactics, towards the end of 2011 I will fully know the results of these creative tests I have been experimenting with. Depending on the results I might be willing to do a few guest posts around Fall 2011.

Thanks :)

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Tim January 10, 2011 at 10:52 am

Sounds good Aaron, either way keep me in the frame ;)

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matt@best smart phone January 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Hi Tim

Let me say I’m a newbie to seo and i’m loving your blog anyway Its 247am and I got work tomoz at 630 but i been reading your blog for the past 2 hours ..now there a few articles that got be going obvious it was the branded links and anchor text links one that got my heart racing and my mind thinking nooooo did I waste all my time building anchor text links? however you did mention in another article you made a mistake..

Anyway you brought up something in this article and like you I notice google serps has gone funny over the holidays..let me explain… now I don’t know is it because of the holiday season but my ad sense clicks has gone down…n my visitors has too … ..is this because google has change its mind about anchor text links or something or change its criteria?? . Even if it has why has my price of google ad sense clicks dramatically dropped, I have seen over a 50% drop in price?

Ps could you write a easy how to article or give us some simple tips n advice for 2011 to build better backlinks that you see fit?

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Tim January 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi Matt,

Are your rankings dropping? Or is it a drop in traffic from longtail keywords? A drop in rankings means you need to do more link building, I have plans for some link building posts soon so watch this space.

If your traffic is dropping, I would look to rewrite the content on your static pages and build links to internal pages.

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Ryan T February 6, 2011 at 4:42 am

Hey Tim,

Thanks for the compilation, upon further investigation, site wide links doesn’t seemed to have lost their effectiveness.

I checked the examples you’ve given and all of them had sitewide links like blogroll. (like the http://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk website)

And I’ve checked other keywords that this website is ranking for. It doesn’t seem to me that homepage are ranking rather than inner pages. Its just double listing and relevancy going on.

On one keyword, “accident claims” the http://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/accident-claims.html page ranks in number 1. The home page is nowhere to be seen.

Plus, you said “exact keyword match” anchor text, which confuses me. Why? because these websites seems to vary their anchor text quite a bit.

Here’s my conclusion.

It made sense to have brand names/domain names anchor text to homepage, and also keyword anchor text

It made sense to have anchor text to inner page cuz thats what the article is all about

It made sense that sidewide links work. (instead of not working like you claimed) because social bloggers do it all the time,

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Tim February 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Hi Ryan,

This post was a bit of a round up and I probably didn’t go into as much detail as I should have.

The above site before Sep 10, ranked with it’s home page for over 25 terms I was tracking, then it seemed overnight Google decided to rank the internal page most relevant to that keyword. So post Sep 10. homepage ranked with a few links and all had brand anchor text. Pre Sep 2010 Google started to rank the inner page with lot’s of links all with the exact same anchor text.

Site wide links do not give as much weight as they used to, site wide links seemed to count as multiple links each page being classed as a new source, from my experience and particularly in the last 3 – 4 months I have seen a shift so that a link on a domain literally counts as a link whether it is site wide or not. Of course site wide links still pass value, however Social Bloggers aren’t famous for their rankings :)

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Ryan T February 7, 2011 at 1:15 am

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the reply, but just to make sure…You said…

“before Sep 10, ranked with it’s home page for over 25 terms I was tracking”

then you said…

“So post Sep 10. homepage ranked with a few links and all had brand anchor text”

Which was it? Before sept 10 or after sept 10?

—————

“Social Bloggers aren’t famous for their rankings”

Agreed :)

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Tim February 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

Before Sep 2010, sorry getting meddled up :)

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