Here is a concise list of some of the more useful resources for search engine optimization that every Webmaster should know about and learn how to use. You can leave the professional SEO tasks to us, but there is much you can do for yourself that you should know about.
Bing Webmaster Tools
Create a Bing account and verify that you own your Website by placing a small bit of text on your Website. Bing will show you any problems it encounters in crawling and indexing your Website. It will also provide you with reports on Websites that link to your site, queries where your site listed, and how much traffic Google sends to your Website through those queries.
Create an account to purchase advertising from Google’s network. Ads will be shown on Google and network partners. You pay per click.
Google Structured Data Tool
If your Website uses rich snippets you can use this free online tool from Google to see if they are properly implemented.
Google SEO Starter Guide
This free tutorial from Google explains basic search engine optimization practices and principles as well as any book you can buy and the information is more reliable than most SEO books. Although the Google SEO Starter Guide does not share competitive practices it won’t steer you wrong the way many SEO books do.
Google Search Essentials
Google’s Search Essentials (formerly their Webmaster Guidelines) are considered the de facto standard for designing and promoting search-compliant Websites. Most search engines’ guidelines are very similar to Google’s.
Google Search Console
Create a Google account and verify that you own your Website by placing a small bit of text on your Website. Google will show you any problems it encounters in crawling and indexing your Website. It will also provide you with reports on Websites that link to your site, queries where your site is listed, and how much traffic Google sends to your Website through those queries.
Create an account to purchase advertising from Microsoft’s network. Ads will be shown on Bing, Yahoo!, and network partners. You pay per click.
Major search engines like Bing, Google, and Yandex offer support for schema, semantic markup instructions that explain to search engines what kind of data your Website publishes and how that data is useful to people. Although semantic search is still in its infancy the Schema.Org standards are being widely adopted.
The Web ROBOTS Pages
Robots are programs that scour the World Wide Web for any content that can be retrieved and indexed. Although many robots (often called “crawlers”) are rogue, there are many well-behaved robots that strive to honor the guidelines published on this Website. By following the robots exclusion standard you can publish a simple ROBOTS.TXT file on your Website that tells well-behaved robots which files they are permitted to look at.
Important Search Engines
As you learn more about search engine optimization and how to track search referral data, you should be aware of these important Web search services.
BAIDU is the Chinese language’s largest, most important search engine. Baidu powers search for over 1 billion people. Baidu offers some (limited) support for English-language Websites.
Bing is Microsoft’s search engine. Bing offers Web search, image search, and other search tools in many languages around the world. Bing is the search engine currently used by Yahoo!.
DuckDuckGo is a Bing search partner. They promote their privacy-centric search experience and promise never to track you.
Ecosia is a Bing search partner. They contribute part of their revenue to a world-wide tree-planting initiative that helps fight climate change. Every little bit helps and they don’t waste time and resources arguing about which methods are most effective for reversing carbon release into the atmosphere.
Google is currently the most popular English-language search engine. Google has pioneered cross-language search and supports many Web services.
Although Yandex is the largest search engine for the Russian language, Yandex.com is the English-language version of the search engine. The company was founded in Russia but operates offices around the world and is now owned and operated by a Dutch corporation.
URL Shortening Services
People often link to random Websites on social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. Many of these people use URL shortening services to post small links rather than very long URLs. Some of the social media services (such as Twitter) convert all links through their own URL shortening services. Some of these services now sell branded shortening to companies that pay for their own custom shortening. Although these services are very popular and important, spammers and malware distributors sometimes use them to trick people into visiting malicious Websites. Use caution when visiting links. The URL shortening services sometimes provide tools to show you where a shortener will take you before you actually click through.
T.CO is Twitter’s own URL shortening service. Even if you use another shortening service to post a link to Twitter the Twitter system will reshorten your URL through T.CO. Twitter uses T.CO to collect data about the links people share on its service.
TinyURL is one of the oldest of URL shortening services. It has been widely used since the late 1990s/early 2000s. Although it has fallen out of favor in part because its “short” URLs are getting longer, it is still widely used, especially by many third-party social media tools.
Reflective Dynamics’ SEO Blogs
Poker SEO is Randy Ray’s personal SEO blog, started in the days when he was a major player in the poker affiliate marketing space. He shared his thoughts and ideas freely with other gambling affiliate marketers.
SEO Theory is a leading resource for original analysis and cutting-edge marketing strategies in search engine optimization. Started by Reflective Dynamics’ President Michael Martinez in December 2006, SEO Theory advocated effective content-based strategies a decade before most SEO “experts” began to doubt the long-term viability of link spam.
The SEO Theorist
The SEO Theorist is a smaller, experimental blog Michael started in 2010 before he took ownership of the SEO Theory domain.
SEO Theory 2016 Archive
Most of SEO Theory’s original content is now archived on this subdomain. The archive was created to illustrate how older content can still find a home on the Web. And it also freed up resources for the main SEO Theory blog, which was able to move in new directions.
Web Hosting Services Blog
Read detailed tips on how to improve Website performance, manage Web hosting accounts, and diagnose sticky Website problems.
Read More about Search Engine Optimization
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