Understanding the world of search engine optimisation, or SEO, can be hard if you are new to the field.
However, Katie Gatto, writing for SEO Chat, has a number of strategies which can help to increase web rankings and avoid the pitfalls of dropping down the list of results.
First off, be discerning about what links are included on your site, says Ms Gatto.
While creating outbound links from your site to another is generally a good thing in the world of SEO, the quality of the sites that you link to can make a big difference in the effect that it has.
Sites that have been penalised for over-linking or which contain adult content are bad news in terms of SEO, as search engines will often recognise them as a dodgy area.
Using a paid link or link trade service to get links for your site can create a similar situation, as most owners of decent and reputable sites prefer to get their links in other ways.
Secondly, Ms Gatto recommends using a few highly relevant keywords naturally in your site, rather than inserting all the slightly-related keywords you can think of as many times possible.
As a rule of thumb, it is best to choose two to three keywords to use in a 300-word piece or five in a longer, 700-word or above piece, she says, adding that keeping keywords extremely relevant increases the likelihood of using words that probably would appear naturally in the piece anyway. Finally, creating original content for your site will pay for itself in terms of SEO, Ms Gatto advises.
Search engines place a high premium on sites having unique content, and using duplicate content, or letting yours be reprinted, reduces the value of your site.
“Letting a site reprint a section with your permission (and a link back) is one thing,” reiterates Ms Gatto, “but reprinting whole pieces is not OK for any reason.”
Ron Jones, board member at Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation (SEMPO), has also warned against the risks of using duplicate content.
Writing for the blog Search Engine Watch, he notes that search engines tend to filter out any duplicate content and choose one based on certain criteria. And the one that gets picked might not be yours.
To deal with the situation, Mr Jones recommends using a canonical tag, otherwise known as an authoritative page, among a group of pages that have similar content.