Ethical SEO in 2015: Frequently Asked Questions

ethical seo questions

Ask a phoenix SEO expert:

As one of the first SEO companies in not only Phoenix, but the world, CyberMark has watched search engines grow and evolve since their early days. It’s only natural that approaches to search engine optimization have changed over the years, no doubt making it more difficult to keep up with the trends. Our Phoenix SEO experts hear a lot of questions about how we do ethical SEO in 2015. Here are the top three questions we hear on a regular basis.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of written content within or across domains that either completely match or are appreciably similar to other content. This usually is not done with malicious intent, but in some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or gain more traffic. Deceptive practices like these can result in a poor user experience. When there are multiple websites with identical text, it is difficult for search engines to decide which site is the most relevant to the search query. Because they don't want to present the searcher with the same content in every slot in the search results, the search engines choose the website they think is the original or that is most relevant to the query. When a small business website, for example, has duplicate content, the site will not rank as well in the search results and therefore lose traffic.

Does that mean I have to have unique copy for product descriptions across multiple websites?

Countless websites use the product or service descriptions provided by the manufacturer on their product or service pages. Google and other search engines know that most people don't have the luxury of having enough time to write unique product descriptions. However, there is indeed a benefit to having unique text for products and services whenever possible. Optimized, unique content can make your products or services seem more relevant in the search results than websites that use the generic manufacturer's product description. It may not be practical to write unique copy for every single page, but you should do so for your top performing products, or at least for the pages that really highlight the areas of your business that matter most.

How does duplicate content work for franchise SEO?

A separate website for each location is the easiest way to compete on a local SEO level. Each location's site needs to have consistent branding to offer a uniform experience across all of the brand's messages, so it's not at all unusual for franchises to have what could be considered duplicate content. According to Google's Matt Cutts, unless the duplicated content is “spammy or keyword stuffing,” then Google is not going to pay attention to the content. Unfortunately, because most of the content that is the same across franchise sites is usually based on the brand's best keywords, this text may appear spammy to Google. To counter this, use the same layout, color scheme, fonts, and logos across franchise websites so that visitors know that they all belong to the same brand and then tailor the text on each site to that physical location. This tells the search engines that the pages are not duplicate and that they should be shown to people located in that region. Not only does this boost local SEO, but it also keeps the websites ranking for their own regions instead of competing with each other.

Is in-depth keyword research necessary?

You may be wondering if it's really necessary to pay an SEO company to spend all that time researching keywords. After all, if your business sells bicycles in Phoenix, you would probably assume that your main keyword is going to be Phoenix bicycle shop. While this is true to a certain extent, keyword research isn't meant to identify the most obvious keywords. Think about the other brands that compete with your small business; you may sell bicycles, but so do major retailers like Target and Walmart, not to mention other local bike shops that may have larger marketing budgets or a greater reach via word of mouth. In-depth keyword research is meant to identify long-tail, niche keywords with less competition so that your business can rank well for those terms and stand apart from the other search listings.

In addition, really in-depth keyword research can provide insight into the things your customer base wants. It allows the website writers to get into the frame of mind of your customers and target the exact thing they seek, and it may open your eyes to new products or services your customers want, which allows you to choose to fill that void.



How long does it take for SEO to work?

Honestly, nobody knows how long it takes for the major search engines to crawl, index, analyze, and reprocess your content to make changes on its position in the search listings. Generally, you can expect it to take between three and twelve weeks to see any shift in the search engine rankings from the time an on-page optimization is made live on your website. If your page jumps significantly, the search engines will probably keep an eye on it to see how searchers react to the page. Are more people clicking on the listing for certain phrases? Are people leaving the page immediately after clicking on it? These are just two of the several hundred factors that search engines measure to determine where your website lands in the search results for any given keyword. You just have to be patient and give it time to work.

Do you have any questions about SEO or internet marketing? Our Phoenix SEO experts are standing by to answer them. Submit your questions here and get a free website evaluation.

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