What is the Google Spider And How Does It Work?

One of the basic terms in SEO and which you must have read by now is Google Spider. But what exactly is this and how does it actually work? Let us break down for you the gist of Google site indexing.

What Is The Google Spider And What Does It Do For Your Site?

Google Spider is basically Google’s crawler. A crawler is an program/algorithm designed by search engines to crawl and track websites and web pages as a way of indexing the internet.

When Google visits your website for tracking/indexing purposes, this process is done by Google’s Spider crawler. Once the spider visits your web page, the results are potentially put onto Google’s index, or, as we know it, a search engine results page (SERP). The better and smoother the crawling process, potentially the higher your website will rank.

Crawling means following a path, and in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) world, this means following the links that appear on your website. This is one reason why site maps are created; they can contain all of the links in a website being used by Google’s bots to look deeply into it.

Given that thousands of new web pages are developed and published every day with even more web pages being constantly updated and redesigned, the Google Spider goes through the web analyzing pages, code and links it can find basing itself on metrics of.

So How Does Google’s Site Indexing Work?

Depending on the meta tag you use, either index or no-index, Google will crawl and index your pages. If you’ve inserted a no-index tag, this means that that page won’t be indexed.

SEO experts recommend only allowing important parts of your website be indexed in order to achieve accurate rankings in search engines. Tags, categories and other not-so-important pages do not need to be indexed, and it may actually work better for your website’s rankings if they’re not. However, each website and its users are different! Some tag, category and other pages may be important for the site, users, and technical operations.

Factors such as your domain’s name, backlinks, internal links may affect the way Google’s spider crawls and indexes your site. The more backlinks you have from trustworthy sites the more likely search engines will find your site.

By using Google’s Search Console AKA Google Webmaster Tools you can check to see how Google is indexing your site and identify what can be done to improve its performance. The more content you add, change, and improve the more activity Google spider detects.

What are backlinks? Link Referral 101

In the Search Engine Optimization world, backlinks are your websites referrals: proof others vouch for your content and its quality. The more links appear on other sites quoting something from yours, the more value your website or page will have to users, Google and other search engines.

Quality vs. Quantity

As it tends to happen with SEO, quantity means little next to quality. When determining the value of a website to a searcher and how much visibility it should have, search engines take into consideration both factors. However, followed backlinks from trustworthy, high authority sites will always be considered much more valuable than those coming from low authority and potentially spammy sites.

In fact, although followed links are definitely something to aim for – it doesn’t mean that no-follow links aren’t valuable. Just the mention of your site on a high quality website is good enough to give your business a thumbs up in the eyes of users and search engines.

Where to start? Competitive Backlink Research

The reason why you create (or should strive to) great content for your site is making it interesting enough so that people will want to use and share it. The more they share your webpage by linking to it, the more visitors will want to come in. So, backlinks from sites with content related to yours will always be much more valuable than those coming from any random corner of the web.

So, when it comes to link building, the first thing to do may be a little something called competitive backlink research, which basically means digging into your competitor’s backlink profile (the list of pages and domains linking to a website) in order to gain insight about the link building that may have helped them rank well for your target keywords, so you can now target these domains as well on your own campaigns.

Remember, Quality Over Quantity: How to Attract Valuable Backlinks

Now that you know who to target when it comes to generating backlinks, you can add up to the great results by making sure your site is regularly updated with great quality content, repairing any broken links on it and establishing a presence on social media that continuously links to your website.

While looking at your competitor’s backlink profile, use the domains that show up as a leverage and make sure your site’s being noticed by them through the making of quality comments on their posts, asking to be added to their specific directories related to your niche or geographic area and guest posting.

Remember, Google works hard to penalize and stop the effects of sketchy plans such as buying, trading backlinks or abuse them in any way – “link farms” anyone? – so stay away from these sorts of strategies and focus on generating quality links by creating great content and promotion within your site’s area of interest.

Contact LTTR Today

Get to know more about the tactics and tools that make LTTR’s link building strategies so successful for our clients.

See Also: Competitive SEO, Technical SEO, SEO is High Tech Work.

Differences Between the Internet vs. World Wide Web (www)

They’re so intertwined with each other in our daily lives, it’s easy to think they’re the exact same thing, however, there are major differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web.

 

The Internet, a Network of Networks

The first difference is that the Internet is a hardware infrastructure, that means a gigantic network made up of billions of connected hardware such as computers, mobile phones and even satellites and all kinds of other devices. A network of networks.

Connected via cables and wireless signals this massive network was born in the 1960s as a military experiment in the U.S., trying to find a way to maintain communications in the case of a nuclear strike.

As time passed, academics got a hold of it and started using it to connect university mainframe computers. In the 80s and 90s, as personal computers became mainstream, more and more users plugged their devices into this massive network and it hasn’t stopped growing since.

Internet therefore is decentralized. No single entity owns it, no government or authority controls it.

 

The World Wide Web, a.k.a. The Information on the Internet

In order to access the World Wide Web you’ll need to log into the Internet, given that the web is simply the information-sharing portion of it, the name we give to all of the HTML pages we can find on the Internet.

The web consists of billions of digital pages viewable through a web browser – Google Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Safari… – all of them connected using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP, a coding language which allows us to access any public web site by clicking on a link or typing a URL, the unique address for each page on the internet.

Through the World Wide Web people everywhere in the world are able to access and share all sorts of information.

One cannot work to its full potential without the other, and although the web is one of the ways information can be disseminated over the internet, it is only a portion of it, meaning they are neither synonymous nor something to be confused. Now, can you tell the difference between them?

 

women hand on macbook on wooden table with sun light on background

Why Have Websites Gotten So Expensive?

When it comes to building websites, not all websites are created the same. Sure, there are plenty of templates, automated software and free website builders available, but just, which offer a one-size-fits-all approach. However, this doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the right fit for your business.

Having a custom website sets you apart from your competition, appeals to your target audience, and puts you in the driver’s seat to create a unique way to engage your target demographic.

 

Differences Between Good vs. Bad Websites

Think it’s hard to tell between a good and a bad website? Think again. Below are some key differences.

BAD WEBSITES:

  • Take too long to load
  • Are difficult to navigate
  • Lack the language to connect to their end user
  • Make it difficult to find important information
  • Aren’t mobile friendly
  • Don’t show up in the top search results
  • Are not secure

 

GOOD WEBSITES:

 

The Need for Speed

Today, technology is at our fingertips, literally. With the touch of a button – a single tap on your mobile device, you can shop, search for information, make a phone call, or enter into a business transaction – all in a matter of seconds.

Information is available FAST. Therefore, it only makes sense that your website needs to be just as fast, if not faster, to keep pace with people’s search habits. More speed means less patience when websites take longer to load.

The need for speed also means crafting content and creating a layout that appeals to your target audience.

 

Raising the Bar on Quality Website Development

Building a better website begins with building a better team to help you craft a website that is as unique as your business.

When considering why websites today are more expensive, consider the fact that we now have more infrastructure, more data centers, security concerns and persistent cyber threats.

Also factoring into website cost is the cost to pay an expert to manage it. With today’s sweeping cyber landscape that’s constantly shifting and changing, you want a team who is knowledgeable and always up to speed on the latest developments. You want to hire professionals who are skilled and trained in being able to backup your website – who can get you back online quickly in the event that something goes wrong.

These are all things that most people take for granted when considering a website and what it may cost to run it. Sure, you can save money and manage it yourself, but if you’re trying to run a successful business, it is worth it to surround yourself with people who live in that web world and can help your business thrive in the online space.

 

Quality Website Development from LTTR

At LTTR, we set the bar high when it comes to website development. We only hire the best and brightest team to build your website. From quality web development and graphic design to skilled, knowledgeable content writers to project managers, eCommerce experts and more – we take care of all the custom details that you’re your website stand out from your competition.

Find out more about the website development services we offer by giving us a call or filling out our online form today.

 

8 Questions You Should Ask Internet Marketing Agencies

In the race to the top of the search results,  companies turn to Internet marketing agencies for solutions. However, when it comes to online marketing, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer.

The marketing world continues to rapidly change and evolve. And thanks to technological advancements and a more Internet savvy crowd, people are able to find and purchase products from brands quickly and easily.

Internet Marketing Companies: Good versus Great

With more people spending time online, it’s no surprise that there are a TON of Internet marketing agencies out there, vying for your business. But how do you separate the chaff from the wheat to reach the ‘cream of the crop’?

A good Internet marketing agency will help you get your website up and running. They may know a thing or two about certain CMS platforms, like WordPress. They’ll help you get your social media accounts squared away, and they may be able to offer input into content creation and hyperlinking.

A great Internet marketing agency, however, will offer a suite of specialized services, including (but not limited to):

  • by StockMonkeys.com on flickr cc Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Content Marketing/Development/Management
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Mobile Website Design & Development
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Marketing & Management
  • Online Reputation Monitoring
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management
  • User Experience
  • Brand Development
  • CMS Integration
  • And More

A great Internet marketing company knows that simply having a strong online presence isn’t enough. It must be complemented by an equally strong mobile marketing campaign, for example. To connect with your target consumers, you have to appeal to the consumer, which means understanding and knowing that no one person digests information from the web on a single device. Great Internet marketing agencies stay ahead of the latest trends, do the research, and implement changes that drive results.

It’s no longer enough to just specialize in one area. Instead, many companies are looking for a one-stop-shop when it comes to Internet marketing, and the Internet marketing agency you select should be able to deliver tangible, realistic results in a way that is clear, comprehensible, and aligns with your goals.

Great Internet marketing companies do more than simply help your website be found. They take the time to get to know you and your business so that you can work together on a full scale Internet marketing plan that yields positive results.

So, with all of this being said, what sorts of questions should you ask before you decide to hire an Internet marketing agency? We’ve outlined some of these key questions below.

8 Key Questions to Ask an Internet Marketing Agency

#1 – Are they Google Ads Certified?

Selecting an Internet marketing agency where the staff members are Google Ads Certified matters. It demonstrates that the company has gone the extra step to obtain certification, and they possess the knowledge and expertise needed to professionally manage your AdWords account.

#2 – What is their fee structure?

While different Internet marketing companies may have different business models for their fees, their pricing information should be transparent and accessible. Some companies may charge a percentage, while other companies charge flat rates for work based on hourly consulting or monthly account management.

#3 – Have they done work with similar clients?

Depending on the line of business you are in, you may feel more comfortable hiring an Internet marketing agency that has current or past experience working with clients in a similar industry to yours. You’ll also want to make sure that there is no conflict of interest, should you decide to become a client (ex: The Internet marketing company is already working with one of your biggest competitors).

#4 – How long has the Internet agency been in business?

How long the Internet company has been in business is relevant. You don’t want to hire a fly-by-night company that was just set up in the past month. Then again, you don’t want to hire a company that has been around but hasn’t been able to achieve any real results for clients in your industry. There are different factors to take into account, many of which will rest on: client testimonials, deliverables, and the company’s level of expertise.

At LTTR, we have been doing business successfully for nearly a decade with clients from a variety of backgrounds and industries – both locally and internationally.

#5 – What sorts of SEO strategies do they use?

Once upon a time, unscrupulous Internet marketing companies employed “black hat SEO” strategies to help achieve success for clients. As the name suggests, black hat SEO is defined as any unethical techniques that are used to obtain higher search result rankings.

Today, the Internet marketing community frowns upon the use of unethical, black hat SEO strategies. And while some companies still employ these practices, they also run the risk of being penalized by search engines.

When speaking to an Internet marketing agency, it is important to make sure that the SEO strategies they are using are ethical and follow the general guidelines set forth by modern practices. The last thing you want is your website being taken down or slapped with a penalty!

#6 – What is the background/experience of the people employed?

An Internet marketing company is only as good as the people it employs. Therefore, it is important to know that the management of your online marketing campaigns and strategies will be in capable hands.

#7 – Can they guarantee a #1 spot on Google search results?

Any Internet marketing company claiming to guarantee you a #1 spot on Google search results is a red flag. While comprehensive Internet marketing plan, fraught with PPC advertising, SEO strategies, content marketing, and more will certainly improve your company’s standings in the results – Internet marketing, as a whole, is not an exact science.

There are a number of factors that can influence the ultimate results you wind up with. A trusted Internet marketing company will be able to give you a general idea of how they think your campaign will turn out, though nothing is ever ‘guaranteed’.

#8 – How do they communicate with clients?

Communication is key, and knowing what to expect and in what form to expect it is important. For example, at LTTR, we send out weekly reporting, and monthly reporting via email with follow up phone calls and/or in-person meetings (depending on the client and preference).

It’s important to set these expectations early on so that you avoid confusion and miscommunication down the road. More importantly, regular communication about how your Internet marketing agency’s efforts are doing helps the both of you to work together to make changes as needed in order to foster better results.

5 Reasons Why SEO Matters for Business Success

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What role does search engine optimization (SEO) play in the grand scheme of online business success? Does it even matter anymore?

The answer is: Yes, more than ever.

Does SEO matter?

5 Reasons Why SEO Matters to the Success of Your Business

COST

Compared to other forms of traditional print media, online marketing, specifically search engine optimization, is cost-effective. It is also highly relevant as more people are using the Internet to search for items, information, business and various other services. The cost also yields a better return for investors and businesses as they can more specifically target, measure and track exactly where money is being spent and what is working versus what isn’t working.

Being able to track and pinpoint exactly how and where conversions come from can help to plan a better budget to help keep overhead down. Additionally, let’s not forget about the fact that while brick and mortar businesses still do exist, there are even more businesses that are saving overhead costs by simply setting up shop online.

INTEGRATION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media seems to be the wave of the future as recent research indicates a higher drive towards social media ad spend. Facebook alone has more than 1 billion users who are logged in at any given time. Optimizing content, creating appealing ads and integrating social sharing is all a part of putting together a comprehensive, social media plan.

CREDIBILITY

Google+ is the perfect example of what it means to have credibility on the Web. Taking the above point a step further, social integration and SEO go hand in hand. Optimizing content for the web and integrating that optimized content in the form of a blog post, for example, that has your business name and face attached can add tremendous value to your brand. On the Internet, your business (and those who work for your business) have the opportunity to leverage brand awareness and drive customers to your website. By integrating SEO into your online content strategy, you can help establish (or reinforce) credibility and help your business stand out as the go-to resource for those in your industry.

COMPETITION

All of your competitors are on the Web. All of them have some sort of search engine optimization strategy in place. All of them are using SEO and keeping a finger on the pulse of the various algorithms and studies that come out each day. If you don’t believe it, you’re missing the boat.

IT WORKS

At its core, even the most basic SEO-employed techniques merit some sort of recognition for the value they can add to an existing website. Whether this involves the correct use of Meta Tags and Titles or the implementation of a keyword strategy, creating content that is relevant without overdoing it, matters, and search engines are still taking notice.