Alternative Discovery and SEO - Feeds, PDFs, and Blog SEO

Nov 12, 2008 - 5:45 pm 3 by
Filed Under PubCon 2008

We are live blogging, this session from Salon B @ the Las Vegas Convention Center, PubCon 2008. Because it is live, there is no editorial or proofing process. The moderator is Joe Laratro.

PDFs, DOCs and feeds each have idiosyncrasies for optimization which can help your site rank. This session is going to dive deep into these formats to pass along best practices.

George Aspland, Founder & President, eVision, LLC is presenting, "optimizing PDFs for search engines." He wants us to seek rankings and more click-throughs from search engine result listings for .pdfs. He suggests that you create active links within .pdfs to increase the number of readers who visit your website or contact you while viewing your .pdfs online. Give search engines paths to find content on your website, which may help for internal inking.

Use mostly formatable text because search engines can't read text in images. Google can not create a meaningful description from an image. Optimize text in a .pdf documents according to SEO best practices. Pay special attention to the first headline. Google creates listings from text contained in the .pdf and the words and phrase being in bold, just like it does with HTML web pages. Tip: Rebuild old .pdfs if needed. Above all, update the document title, which is as important as the classic HTML title tag is for SEO.

If you don't have a title, Google extracts text from the .pdf's to create the listing, which it won't help "entice" people to click-through .There are many applications to create .pdf titles. Take note that Word 2003 usually adds "Microsoft Word" to the document title. It's best practices to update .pdfs in Adobe Acrobat. The document title usually becomes the headline in the organic Google listing.

If the .pdf is hosted on your site, link from pages that are already indexed. Add active hyperlinks to improve the likelihood that a visitor will click-through to other areas of your site.

Highlight your URLs, export/print as a .pdf and open in Acrobat. Menu commands in Acrobat: Advanced>Links>Create Links. Turn any text or image into an active link using Acrobat tools. Just draw a rectangle around the text or image and assign a URL. By adding these links in .pdf's, you're also giving search engines paths to reach pages on the site and may "very well help" in Google rankings. Promote your .pdf by linking to it from pages on your site and think about ways to get other websites to link to it as well. Inbound Google juice seems to have the same effect on .pdf's as on regular HTML pages.

Greg Jarboe, President and co-founder, SEO-PR, says the 30% of searches conducted on Google sites aren't web searches. He is going to discuss best tips, tools and techniques for non-traditional optimization that apply both to indexing and ranking support. He'll look at various file formats including DOCs, RSS feeds and video files.

GoogleNews examines recency, relevance and importance. If you're content is old, it's out after 30 days. Often corporate "news" is disseminated in a Word Doc. Greg is talking about optimizing a Word Doc. Newsforce offers an integrated suite of press release SEO tools. In the end, you export as an optimized Word document. He is showing five case studies of press releases that generated a measurable ROI including 88,00 entries into photo contents for "Parents," 200 million in CSAC leads for Symmetricon and $2.5 million in ticket sales for Southwest airlines.

GoogleBlogSearch examines a blog's title, content and popularity. Recency counts now. The older the ranking, the less important it is in Google Blog search. Try SEOSamba to optimize website and create RSS feeds. This can result in dramatic increases in visitors, visits and page views.

YouTube examines dozens of aspects, including hits and rating. YouTube's video view count is comparable to Yahoo! search count, which sheds light on the popularity of video search and YouTube. Comments are a part of the algorithm. "Once you start getting the views, you get the rankings. Once you start getting the rankings you get the views, but your must allow comments." Google's Universal search, means the presence of blog posts, videos and other channels in the SERPs. It takes up to 30% of the organic search results. It's crucial the SEOs optimize for that 30% or be left behind.

Stephan Spencer, Founder & President, Netconcepts is talking about his daughter's [famous] Neopets site. Here's the BIG SEO mistakes for bloggers.

  • leaving title tags to be auto-generated from the post name.
  • squander crawl equity by letting pages get indexed that don't deserve to be (email this,etc...)
  • Having multiple homes for your blog (http and http://www.)
  • not using unique "optional excerpt" WordPress feature to minimize duplicate content
  • not using rel-nofollow to direct PageRank flow
  • over-reliance on date base archives
  • no stability in keyword focus on category and tag pages
  • sub-optimal URLs (too long, too many words, too many directories)
  • only one RSS feed and it's un-optimized
  • hosting blog/feed URLs on a domain you don't own
  • using suboptimal anchor text when linking internally

Re-jig internal linking structure. Use tag clouds, tag pages and tag conjunction pages. Use related posts, top 10 posts, next and previous pagination. SEO Title Tag plug in for WordPress allows you to override the title tag with a custom title tag. It also allows for "thin slicing, " which means making quick decisions and don't over think. If you're an SEO expert, you can do the same concept by using the mass edit capabilities of SEO Title Tag. "Crank through" the pages on your site to make them more keyword rich.

A common overlooked tactic is to simply name your blog with keywords in the title. Optimize URLs, because it's been proven that short URLs get clicked on 2X more than longer URLs. Further, long URLs appear to act as a deterrent to clicking, causing users to click on the listings below it. Use sub domains, subdirectories, new domains. Don't be Rather, be Using free or URL? You benefit from their domain authority, but you're forever wedded to them.

Optimize anchor text. Make the post's title a link to the permalink page. Use SEOMoz Backlink Anchor Text Analysis tool or to look for opportunities to request previous to anchor text to inbound links. Sculpt your PageRank to really decide where you're going to send juice and where not. Stephan is particular fond of nofollowing calendar archive links, trackbacks, comments and where the link would be reciprocal.

Minimize duplicate content. Code your main index template to display "optional excerpts" on everything but the permalink page. For each post, write unique content. Don't just use the first couple of paragraphs. Improve the keyword focus using heading tags, bold, strong, and sticky posts.

Optimize your RSS feeds

  • full text, not summaries
  • 20 or more items, not just 10
  • multiple fees by category, latest comments, comments by post
  • keyword rich item in the title
  • your band name in the title
  • your most important keyword in the title
  • compelling site description

Marty Weintraub is President of aimClear, an Internet Focused advertising and public relations agency in Duluth, Minnesota.


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