Category

SEO

Our huge library of search engine optimization articles addresses strategies and tactics for ecommerce businesses. Our 12-part “How-to” series explains the basics. Advanced topics include faceted navigation, crawling and indexing, cross-border optimization, and much more.

Keyword Research | Link Building | On-page SEO | SEO Tools | Technical SEO
  • SEO

    Critique Part Three: Search Engine Optimization

    June 4, 2007 •

    The Problem: Long, complex URLs create search engine indexing issues. The Fix: Rewrite the URLs to eliminate "stop characters" from the URLs. You might wonder, "why bother?" when the dynamic pages are clearly getting indexed. Even so, studies undertaken by my company, Netconcepts, sho...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Error Pages Create Big Issues

    May 14, 2007 •

    Modernmini sells modern-style babies' and children's furniture, toys, bedding and more. Its site is powered by the Zoovy platform. Founder Pazit Kagel, a designer and mother of three, requested a site grade, and I'm happy to oblige. The URLs contain session IDs — a no-no for SEO — bu...

  • Link Building

    SEO: Link Baiting Tips To ‘Juice’ Your Site

    May 7, 2007 •

    Link bait, simply put, is content that is so funny, so interesting, so useful, or otherwise remarkable that it becomes irresistible to bloggers and website owners, who set up links from their pages to the original material. I've seen link bait take the form of Top 10 lists, humorous vid...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Need Pages At Product Level

    May 2, 2007 •

    One site review request really stood out in this month's batch. Kyle Kano is the owner and operator of The Honey Jar, and he is just 17 years old. Kyle got the idea for his online business when, on a family trip to Colorado, he noticed a shop selling Honeyville Honey — a product made lo...

  • SEO

    SEO: Google Cracks Open Its Black Box

    April 16, 2007 •

    Wouldn't it be great if Google offered insight into how your website stacks up against its super-secret algorithms? What ails your site when it comes to SEO and what could be done better? Google Webmaster Central does just that, by offering a plethora of diagnostic and statistical tools...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: The Google Death Sentence

    April 4, 2007 •

    Seasonal online businesses, Gifts By Delivery, have it tough. During most of the year, they live lean while sales slow to a trickle. Then autumn comes and the manna begins to rain down from heaven. For Gifts By Delivery, the ramp-up begins in early October. The fourth quarter last ye...

  • SEO

    SEO: The Duplicate Content Penalty

    March 20, 2007 •

    The question of Google's supposed "duplicate content penalty" seems to be on everybody's minds these days. This issue is particularly relevant for dynamic ecommerce websites, as they often have multiple URLs that lead to the same product content (or nearly the same, with only a variatio...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Escaping the Google Sandbox

    February 19, 2007 •

    New sites are always at a disadvantage when it comes to ranking well in Google, particularly when the domain name is new, too. This phenomenon, known by some as the "Google Sandbox" and by others as the "TrustBox," is not a myth. It is very real and very much an issue for the subject of...

  • SEO

    Jonathan Hochman: Wikipedia and SEO

    February 15, 2007 •

    Stephan Spencer, senior contributor for Practical eCommerce and author of the popular SEO Report Card for the magazine, talks with SEO specialist Jonathan Hochman about the value of Wikipedia, using ...

  • SEO

    SEO: Can Wikipedia Help Your Business?

    February 12, 2007 •

    In Google, Wikipedia is everywhere. Pretty much anything you type into Google seems to result in a Wikipedia entry being returned as a top-10 result. Wikipedia's status in the search engines as an "authority site" is undisputed. Those lucky, well-connected, skillful or famous enough to ...

  • SEO

    SEO: To Buy Links, or Not to Buy Links?

    January 10, 2007 •

    If Google engineer Matt Cutts had his druthers, buying links would become an extinct SEO practice. Cutts has addressed the topic of link-buying on a number of occasions on his blog and in blog comments elsewhere. He's admonished webmasters who buy links for PageRank and encouraged webm...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Freshpair.com

    January 2, 2007 •

    This month marks the one-year anniversary of the SEO Report Card. During this time, I have received many kind words from both readers and report card recipients — words of gratitude and encouragement — for which I am grateful. I hope to render even more assistance in 2007. Now that y...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Scrappopotamus.com

    December 1, 2006 •

    It is time for another MIVA Merchant-powered ecommerce site to get picked apart. I will try to be gentle. This month's "selectee" has the coolest name - Scrappopotamus. It is a pretty nice-looking website as far as ecommerce sites go, but with an Alexa rank of 1,338,118 (i.e., the 1,338...

  • SEO

    SEO Toolkit

    December 1, 2006 •

    If you consider that search engine optimization (SEO) is a scientific discipline, then you'll agree that obtaining empirical measurements using a comprehensive suite of tools is an absolute must. Every day should be filled with experimentation, data collection and more experimentation. ...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Coolbugstuff.com

    November 1, 2006 •

    This month I’ve chosen a fun, quirky ecommerce site, Coolbugstuff.com about insects. Seth Prezant, founder and “bugmaster” (gotta love that title) at Cool Bug, LLC, explains he had an outside company assemble the website for him, and it has been in operation for almost five months. Unfo...

  • SEO

    SEO: Choosing a Vendor

    November 1, 2006 •

    Selecting an SEO vendor to help improve your site’s searchengine visibility is fraught with hidden dangers.What if the vendor uses unscrupulous tactics without your knowledge, and you get penalized? What if they make promises that they can’t possibly keep? What if they just aren’t very ...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Shopwildplanet.com

    October 1, 2006 •

    This month’s recipient of an SEO critique is Shopwildplanet.com. Since my SEO how-to column this month is on RSS feeds, I thought it would be only fitting that the website that I critique have an RSS feed. Brian Almashie of 3D Joe Corporation, the firm that built the site for Wild Pla...

  • SEO

    SEO: RSS Feeds Increase Visibility

    October 1, 2006 •

    Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a great way to deliver content into the hands of potential website visitors. It is also a channel for syndicating your content onto others’ websites. And, of course, with that comes links—deep links into your latest products, best sellers, articles, bu...

  • SEO

    SEO: Breadcrumb Trail Boosts Rankings

    September 1, 2006 •

    Breadcrumb navigation is wonderful for usability and for SEO. This text-based navigation shows where in the site hierarchy the currently viewed web page is located and your location within the site, while providing shortcuts to instantly jump higher up the site hierarchy. A product page...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Yarnware.com

    September 1, 2006 •

    For this SEO Report Card, I’m responding to the Yarnware’s heartfelt plea for a site grade. Meredith Bright of Yarnware writes: “I used to have much better organic search rankings, but they have been dropping recently. I can’t figure out what is wrong.” It wasn’t hard to see why. The si...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: KayakFishingStuff.com

    August 1, 2006 •

    In many ways this site was a breath of fresh air. From an SEO standpoint, Kayak Fishing Stuff is doing a number of things right, and it shows in their No. 1 rankings in Google for “kayak fishing," "fishing kayak” and "fishing kayaks." Of course, there is still room for improvement, but ...

  • SEO

    SEO: Harness the Power of CSS

    August 1, 2006 •

    Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a technology popular with web developers who care about web standards and accessibility. But it should also be a technology embraced by anyone who cares about SEO. It's amazing You can do amazing things with CSS. For example, you can completely eliminat...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Zearth.Blogspot.com

    July 1, 2006 •

    Since this month’s article is on blogs and SEO, it makes sense for me to evaluate an etailer’s blog for this month’s SEO Report Card. Zearth.com’s staff operates a blog at Zearth.blogspot.com, although they are relatively new to the concept. They’ve had it up for just a few months. They...

  • SEO

    SEO: Blogging Your Way To The Top

    July 1, 2006 •

    Search engines, Google in particular, seem to love blogs. This is in part due to the fact that search engines rely heavily on links for their ranking algorithms, and the blogosphere is rich with interlinkages. Bloggers constantly link to each other - through "hat tips," "blogrolls," "tr...

  • SEO

    Black Hat SEO

    June 1, 2006 •

    Search engine spammers – also known as “black hatters” – never prosper. Sooner or later, they get caught. And when they do, it’s almost never pretty. Consequences can include ranking penalties, removal of the site’s “voting” power (i.e., ability to pass PageRank), incomplete indexation ...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: As-Seen-on-TV-Store-1.com

    May 30, 2006 •

    Even though I’ve received dozens of requests for site gradings, this month I’ve decided to pick a site that didn’t ask for it. Why? Because this month I’m going to air some poor, unsuspecting black-hat SEO’s dirty laundry in order that you might learn from their mistakes and indiscretio...

  • Keyword Research

    SEO: Optimizing Your Content

    May 1, 2006 •

    This month, I'd like to build on what I've already covered in past issues regarding keyword research (November 2005 issue) and writing for search engines (December 2005 issue) and integrate them together into a plan for optimizing your site's content. A “SMART” goal is one that is spec...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Airtroductions.com

    May 1, 2006 •

    This month I decided to evaluate a different sort of ecommerce site – not your standard run-of-the-mill online catalog website. AirTroductions is an ecommerce-enabled matchmaking service for road warriors (currently over 11,000 of them) who are looking for someone interesting to sit nex...

  • Link Building

    SEO: Tools for Link Building

    April 1, 2006 •

    In last month's issue, I discussed links and their importance in search engine optimization. Now let's get acquainted with some powerful tools to aide us in our link building efforts. Yahoo! Site Explorer offers a quick way to review competitors' and your own inbound links. PageRank Se...

  • SEO

    SEO Report Card: Golfgods.com

    April 1, 2006 •

    This time around we're going to be taking a slightly different tack, as I was privy to a redesign in-the-making–of golf equipment seller Golfgods.com – with numerous SEO and usability improvements, along with a shift in ecommerce platforms. In fact, by the time this article ends up in p...

x