Tag Archive for: Bill Slawski

There are more than a few lists of the most important rules to follow in SEO, and to their credit, they all largely say the same things. This is good for site owners and SEOs getting started, but what do you do when you’ve checked off every one of those standard entries? Is your site perfect? Does that mean there is nothing left to perfect? Of course not.

Your site’s SEO is always able to be improved upon, and some things left off the more popular lists can still hurt you terribly. Bill Slawski created his own list of SEO rules that features suggestions you might not have seen before if you stick with just the biggest websites available.

Slawski’s suggestions approach slightly more technical issues than many will give you, and many of them seem trivial until you understand how picky Google’s crawlers and indexers are. For example, site architecture doesn’t seem that important so long as it is organized in some ways, but in reality there are very specific ways you should have your site set up. Having more than one web address that search engine crawlers are able to visit your site from, for instance, can end up frustrating Google’s bots, and you may even end up with a message in your Google Webmaster Tools telling you to cut it out.

Another common site architecture mistake for commerce sites is creating different product pages for all manner of tiny variances. Some will create individual pages for different sizes and different colors, which only creates a mess for your visitors and Google’s crawlers alike. Keeping the architecture of your site as streamlined and efficient as it can be to fit your needs is always important, and unnecessary bulks of pages don’t attract the search engines.

On-site SEO is also a wide spread problem for many site owners, and that is never more obvious than when you see pages that don’t have unique titles. Titles are supposed to describe a page and explain what is featured on the page. Consider it the title for a book. Would you look for a book with no title? Would libraries be able to organize those books? In this case, searchers are wary of any site that doesn’t make every effort to tell them what they offer before they click onto the page, and search engines are the librarians unable to sort your mess without titles on your pages. Don’t upset the librarian.

Of course, even for Slawski, one of the most common problems is simply that people create sites that are too slow for our current standards. It may look nice, but visitors are impatient and won’t hesitate to hit the back button if your page isn’t loading quickly. This is even more true for mobile users who are on-the-go and don’t want to wait for their content. The slower your page loads, the more prospective visitors you’ve lost.

Those were some of Bill Slawski’s most important rules for SEO. What are the rules you always keep in mind while working on a site?

Most average people have know idea what SEO is, and have probably never even heard the term before. Still, the industry is essential to running a popular and credible website. It is important enough that there are an inordinant amount of people writing about it every day online. That wide amount of people writing has lead to the spread of apparent misinformation, usually by well-meaning people who were never exactly explained what SEO is and what one does.

That type of misinformation, though well intentioned, seems to have lead to a bit of an identity crisis for the market. We can see it in a couple recent articles for Smashing Magazine. The first is called “The Inconvenient Truth About SEO” and the second is its rebuttal. The first simulataneously cites the spread of misinformation as a huge issue in the field, while also attributing numerous non-SEO practices to the industry. While trying to show that a lot of the practices offered by so-called “SEO experts” are can actually be wastes of money, Paul Boag also shows that his own idea of SEO has slipped askew from what SEO does.

The rebuttal, by Bill Slawski, on the other hand is aimed at resolving these questions about what an SEO does, and more importantly, doesn’t do. Summarizing it in short would not do justice to the full explanation he offers, so I suggest just diving in and reading what he has to say.

It is hard to say that Bill Slawski’s idea of what SEO does is exactly correct either, as the people working in the field are the ones who define it, and some SEOs have been using these practices. Instead, think of it as a way to get closer to a more traditional spin on current SEO practices, and what SEO really means.