The Top 101 Overlooked or Overemphasized Factors in SEO

Whether you are just starting out with search engine optimization or you are industry veteran, you probably have an opinion on strategies that are effective in both time and cost. Regardless of your level of experience, the list below should be helpful for anyone looking for a competitive edge.


1: Content will forever remain King. As long as that holds true, links are Queen when it comes to ranking. Why over-complicate things? A combination of both is what you need to win.


2: The easiest way to acquire quality backlinks is to give people content worth sharing with others.


3: Focus on your best; outsource the rest. Outsourcing operations of your business is not easy and requires managerial skills to ensure quality and deadlines are met. Outsourcing may actually turn out to be more work and take more time than actually completing the task yourself.



4: Affiliate Summit is one of the best conferences to meet other SEO professionals. The SEO sessions are always thought provoking and worthwhile. For conferences, Affiliate Summit tops the list when it comes to networking, attendee intelligence, fun parties, and keynote speakers.


5: Aged domain names sometimes offer a path of less resistance when it comes to ranking. Additionally, these types of domains may have an existing link profile that can be taken advantage of. Start with Go Daddy Auctions to see what’s available on the aged domain market.


6: Building links to URLs that do not exist before you register a domain may help accelerate ranking results. This method should be used sparingly and with caution. It’s known to be an effective strategy in extremely competitive niches and a secret that is not often shared.


7: Using WordPress? A caching plugin such as WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache may improve site performance and load times. By reducing page load times, you can increase the amount of visitor time spent on the site. This may yield to an improvement in rankings.


8: W3C validation is overrated. Cleaning up the code of a site may improve rankings, but there is no link between W3C validated sites and their ability to rank higher than sites that contain a few errors.


9: Using outbound links on your site? Don’t forget to add target=”_blank” to your link structures as needed. People have short attention spans online and if you’re not opening a link to a new tab you may lose or distract the user from your content. Be conscious of those links on your home page!


10: Keyword density is important in all areas of SEO. Stop using expensive plugins and tools. Textalyser is a free online text analysis tool that has been around for years. There’s nothing wrong with using free tools to get the job done. Don’t waste time and money by over-analyzing.


11: Debates that involve comparing “Black Hat” to “White Hat” SEO practices needs to end. Stop talking and start working! Budget, experience, efficiency, and results will always prevail. Period.


12: Stop searching for “profitable” niches. Share what you love and the money will follow.


13: For those looking for an alternative to Google Analytics, check out Get Clicky. Their white-labeled version is useful for brand conscious agencies that want to offer analytics to clients.


14: If you have affiliate links on your site (products, banners, etc.) you may want to cloak your links. If you are using WordPress, check out Pretty Link Lite to clean up link structures, track clicks, and encourage users to click through links as URL targets will appear less threatening.


15: When created in volume, social bookmarks offer fast and powerful SERP gains at a reasonable cost. Taking advantage of Pligg CMS social sites is the way to go. Varying anchored titles and spinning your descriptions simulate viral properties, which can lead to massive SERP increases.


16: For the most part, PageRank is overrated. Artificially increasing PR or deliberately using high PR domains to promote sites doesn’t always translate to an increase in terms of ranking.


17: Over-optimization (on-page) can be as ineffective as not optimizing at all.


18: Incorporating videos on your site is a great way to compliment contextual content, reduce bounce rates, and increase conversions. Additionally, videos can be optimized to direct traffic to your target URL on sites like YouTube, Vimeo, etc.


19: Anchor text does not have to be synonymous with the title of a link. Most people choose not to vary those elements by habit or personal preference. “Elaborating” on the title by incorporating related keywords may improve rankings and enhance click-through rates if done correctly.


20: Many people neglect to evaluate the competition of the top 10 SERP results for keywords they are targeting. Understanding how and why certain sites are ranking will give you a clear strategy as to what you need to do to remain competitive. Not sure how to evaluate the competition? Using SERP IQ to obtain that data should be your first move, regardless of your level of experience.


21: Sitemaps work well for getting lower-quality sites indexed. Sitemaps on high-quality sites that are established do not provide nearly as much value as people believe they do as the likelihood of indexing should not be in question and remain predictable for the most part. Search engines are a lot smarter today and less reliant on user created sitemaps to influence indexing.


22: Building links with velocity doesn’t mean that they will be crawled or indexed by search engines at the same rate.


23: Well-written meta descriptions should encourage users to click on SERP results, which may help improve rankings over time. Meta descriptions of high-quality should give both users and search engines the appearance that the content is both relevant and desirable prior to clicking.


24: A phone number in the title may increase clicks and ranking potential as users may be inclined to dial for assistance. A visible phone number in the SERP’s may influence a user to click or call based on perceived accessibility. Use local numbers (when applicable) to increase user trust, potential clicks, and inbound inquires. Check out Twilo to get started building voice systems.


25: Love the idea of automation but hate the idea of installing and running XRumer? Drip Feed Blasts is great for simplifying the complexities of link building for marketers of all skill levels.


26: Craiglist ads can be optimized for search engines. Optimize titles, use anchored links within your ads, and the ability to rank Craiglist ads on search engines can be achieved. In turn, additional “front-page real estate” can be obtained on targeted terms. Just because the ad expires in 45 days doesn’t mean it’s a short-term SEO strategy to overlook.


27: Facebook pages and Twitter accounts (when optimized) have the ability to rank well and occupy additional front-page SERP positions. When applied correctly, the barrier to entry (even in local markets) can become more difficult for competitors to penetrate.


28: Algorithmically, spun content is effective when used properly. Using spun content on your money site in place of well-written copy is not the intended purpose of spun content.


29: Be conscious of the plugins you’re using and update or delete them when necessary. Outdated plugins pose a security threat and may hurt your site and rankings if exploited by a 3rd party. Learn more about what’s “in the background” with Ghostery to take competitive analysis to new levels.


30: Using Browser Shots to check browser compatibility is overlooked by many SEO’s and web developers. The user experience across multiple browsers should always be considered. The added SEO benefits of reduced bounce rates and higher click-through rates are an added bonus


31: Focus on ranking sites before attempting to monetize (aggressively) with ad networks. The horse always needs to be put in front of the carriage. Attain organic traffic first, monetize later.


32: When looking at outbound links there’s really no guideline as to what’s optimal. OBL’s should be relative to the amount of content presented and link to relevant sites which support the content.


33: There’s nothing worse than cheap hosting when it comes to speed and reliability. Increasing your hosting specifications will improve the user experience and may help improve rankings as server uptime is a critical factor that should never be overlooked.


34: Exact match domains have always been a hot commodity in the world of SEO. You’ll probably pay a premium to acquire them, but they are not necessary to own when it comes to ranking. Perceived value (among other SEO factors) seems to drive the exact match domain market.


35: There are no countries or areas of the world that are “better” in SEO or link building. There are talented, experienced, and reliable service providers from a wide-range of cultural backgrounds. It’s extremely difficult to prosper in this industry if you are the type who “judges a book by its cover”.


36: Managing clients or multiple vendors? Using a web-based project management tool such as Basecamp will keep your business organized when sending and receiving assignments (content, link building reports, etc.) over using traditional e-mail for project updates.



37: SEMRush is a powerful SEO tool for keyword research. Also, SEMRush offers API access which gives a competitive advantage to developers in the SEO space. Get creative with their data!


38: Using a to-do list is essential for planning your day, campaigns, and prioritizing areas your business. It doesn’t matter if it’s web-based or a simple pen with paper, just use something.


39: Copying and pasting data contained in link building reports delivered from service providers to your clients? Make sure that the “author” of the document has been removed or changed. This also applies to any type of re-purposed business documents. (Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, etc.)


40: For the most part, pinging links is overrated. Search engines have a purpose. Let them them do their job to crawl your links. Pinging low-quality links doesn’t exactly look natural anyway.


41: People still use RSS for the purposes of staying up-to-date on new content released on their favorite sites. Save time by aggregating new information and start getting creative with RSS.


42: Creating tags on WordPress posts is an easy way to build the depth of your site’s index, rank new terms, and create SEO friendly URL structures to build links to.


43: Blogsvertise is great for professional SEO’s and agencies to use as both a publisher and an advertiser. For “heavy hitters”, generating an extra $10,000 a year as a publisher can be achieved. Not convinced? Get the low-down on Blogsvertise: Earn $12,775 in Paid Postings for 2011


44: Search volumes on keywords do not have to contain a significant amount of volume (or any measurable volume) to yield positive results with respect to ranking. It’s all relative to your intent to monetize the traffic generated from organic searches. Small amounts of targeted traffic can go far!


45: Never underestimate the power of paid traffic. Too many talented SEO’s focus 100% of their marketing efforts on just organic traffic. Need a hand with PPC? Services like Trada can help.


46: For link building, using varied URL structures such as or the non-www version as URL targets can add needed variety to long-term SEO campaigns.


47: Still looking for ways to vary URL structures? Services like bitly allow users to create custom URLs and shorten links. There are endless possibilities when it comes to 301 redirects.


48: Reciprocal link exchanges are overrated. They won’t necessarily hurt your rankings, but it’s time consuming and you run the risk of the other party removing your links without notice in the future.


49: Be conscious of 404 pages. Creating custom 404 pages can help users find information they’re looking for or identify challenges with respect to the site. (database errors, etc.) Placing a service request form or a link to the FAQ page will help users get back to browsing (or buying!) quickly.



50: Working with clients or the general public? At some point you’ll require the services of an attorney for contracts, terms and conditions agreements, privacy policies, or even cease and desist letters. We recommend The Kelly Law Firm because they’re knowledgeable in all areas of SEO.


51: Generally speaking, paid directories such as Yahoo!, BOTW, JoeAnt, etc. are overrated. Looking for a time and cost effective strategy to achieve SERP gains? You probably won’t find it there. If you have the budget or a reason to use “top shelf” directories to stay competitive, go for it!


52: When used to pass authority, sitewide links (blogroll, footer, etc.) are worth their weight in gold.


53: Be aware of “extension based” keyword phrases. For example, the search term “” is entirely different from the keyword “walmart“. Looking to rank competitive branded terms for your deal or coupon site? Apply the method by building links using the “.com term” as the anchor.


54: Local SEO is perfect for generating leads and client work as significant number of search queries are for local businesses. Familiarize yourself with Google Places, the “7-Pack”, and citation sources. Not sure where to begin? Using services like the Creature Local can be helpful.


55: Domain age should be valued higher than extended registrations. While showing “long term commitment” seems beneficial in theory, it doesn’t necessarily correlate to improved rankings.


56: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber can help take your business to the next level. Read it!


57: Yahoo! Site Explorer recently shutdown. This doesn’t mean you should stop analyzing backlink profiles. Check out Majestic SEO and Ahrefs Site Explorer as alternatives to get the job done.


58: Is your daily work routine filled with too many repetitive tasks? Simple tasks can be automated using UBot Studio to save time and energy. Previously outsourced tasks can be easily automated.


59: Using an egg timer will turn you into a productivity machine and keep you focused on work.


60: Leave Matt Cutts alone! Rules need to be put in place so they can be tested. If the barrier to entry is too easy everyone would choose a career in SEO. Successful people in the SEO industry adapt and embrace change to remain competitive.


61: Performing repetitive tasks that require typing CAPTCHA’s? The API offered by Death By Captcha will save you time and make projects that require scaling more manageable.


62: There’s a difference between blogroll, sidebar, and footer links. Sitewides are not created equal.


63: When promoting foreign keyword sets, be conscious of terms that contain accent marks. Not using accents within the anchors of promoted terms can be detrimental to the entire campaign.


64: Enabling XML-RPC on WordPress can be incredibly useful if you require remote publishing across multiple sites. Some talented SEO’s do not even know the function exists!


65: It’s sometimes easier to build a network of contacts that will post links rather than blindly sending requests by e-mail. Building a network of SEO professionals is crucial to long term success in the industry. Services such as My Blog Guest can help accelerate the networking process.


66: Using C-Class IP’s (dedicated or shared) to set up portfolios of websites (niche related, non-niche related) should go without saying. IP diversification is important if you’re interlinking sites.


67: “MozRank” and PageRank are not synonymous. There is no direct relationship between the two with respect to measuring and quantifying authority.


68: {Incorporating|Using} {spintax|intelligently spun content|spun content|spun descriptions} {can|may|is helpful to} {reduce|minimize} {contextual footprints|duplicate content}. If you prefer using software to spin content check out Word AI, the most powerful article spinner available.


69: A lot of links will not make up for poor content. A lot of content will not make up for poor links.


70: Intentionally including anchor text such as “click here”, “read more”, etc. within link building campaigns looks natural to search engines and may actually prompt click-throughs.


71: Debates regarding do-follow links vs. no-follow links needs to stop. Both types of links can promote sites, increase visibility, and distribute content. A link is, is a link, is a link.


72: Paid links are often a seasonal business for many niches the require a “push” during busier or more competitive business cycles of the year.


73: Understanding user activity and behavior (on-site) is often overlooked by even the most talented SEO’s. Tools such as KISSMetrics offer marketers a competitive edge. Optimization should extended beyond the most obvious areas of SEO. The optimization game is evolving.



74: Have reputation management clients or looking to add value for long-term link building clients? KnowEm is a service for creating social profiles on the most popular networking and web 2.0 sites online. KnowEm will save time and your clients will appreciate you looking out for their brand.


75: Affiliate datafeeds that offer value should be utilized more. Creating real brands and not using thin content (if possible) is a recipe for success if you’re looking to monetize organic traffic.


76: Google+ is overrated when it comes to SEO benefits that everyone thought it would bring.


77: Headings (on-page) define semantic relationships within content in addition to altering the look and feel of text. Use headings (H1, H2) instead of increasing font sizes or bolding text.


78: Image optimization is often overlooked. Increase traffic from image searches by optimizing file names, text surrounding the image, outbound links attached, descriptions, and image ALT text.


79: Using Google Blogsearch is a great way to find URL targets for both link building and reputation management campaigns. It’s often overlooked, but incredibly powerful.


80: Love search engine optimization but lack the skills to develop SEO friendly sites? Check out the website templates on ThemeForest for the perfect website design in your favorite CMS.


81: Blekko should remain overlooked as a search engine. It’ll never compare to the power of Google.


82: Elements to “legitimize” a site should be taken seriously. This includes copyrights, terms and conditions pages, privacy policies, business addresses, phone numbers, contact pages, etc. This information builds user and search engine trust and may help increase conversions and rankings.


83: The term “link bait” has different meanings to different people. The Montauk Monster was one of the most powerful link bait campaigns of all time. Case study to be revealed shortly…


84: Help desk software such as Kayako is effective from a support perspective while indirectly building out a sites index. Kill two birds with one stone while enhancing the user experience.


85: Doing business by e-mail? Placing a link in your e-mail signature gives recipients the ability to easily discover your site, learn about your businesses, “like” a Facebook page, or tweet pages to their followers. These actions may positively increase traffic, rankings, and potential conversions.


86: Don’t take the advice you read on your favorite SEO blogs to heart. The methods that work today might be irrelevant tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to do something new that nobody else has tried yet.


87: Updating and reevaluating the on-page elements of sites and deep pages that were published in the past can give them a breath of fresh air in terms of ranking and traffic potential.


88: Outbound links should be created with discretion to prevent link dilution or encouraging users to leave a site prematurely. This especially applies to sites of high quality, “money sites”, etc.


89: Hard work is required for long-term success in the SEO industry. Research and automation tools will help, but nothing takes the place of hard work when it comes to growing your business.


90: Don’t overlook or underestimate the power of internal linking. It’s an area of SEO that doesn’t get as much credit as it should. Just because it isn’t “sexy” doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.


91: For under performing (optimized) sites, changing the layout or the theme can help in instances where both indexing and ranking have become challenging under normal circumstances.


92: Blog commenting (both manual and automated) is still an effective method of link building. As long as there’s some value in the comment (or perceived value) relevancy to the topic / promoted URL can remain in question. You get out of what you put into blog commenting; get creative!


93: Consistency in all areas of SEO and Internet marketing is what makes the industry challenging and competitive. If you “snooze”, you’ll lose. You have more competitors that want your ranking positions than you probably realize. Don’t get lazy and more importantly, don’t ever give up!


94: Looking for an unbiased review of the usability of your site? Check out to start increasing conversions and enhance the user experience by receiving feedback from others.


95: Create meta descriptions with the same level of care put that would put into writing PPC ads. Not sure how you measure up? Check out what your top competitors are doing.


96: If you haven’t looked into the link building opportunities on Pinterest, take a closer look. E-commerce and product review sites should take Pinterest seriously as an avenue for promotion.


97: URL structures containing dashes “-” to separate words compared to using underscores “_” tend to perform better in terms of SERP positioning after positive movements are realized.


98: Google should not be feared. If your approach to link building is too cautious you will never be competitive enough to deliver results. Having “test sites” is a perfect way to try new methods.


99: On-page time is a favored search engine characteristic (in many niches) and an indicator of quality content. How long have you been reading this post?


100: Stop reading and start doing!


101: Microsite Masters is one of the most powerful SEO tools that you may or may not be using. We encourage you to try Microsite Masters today if you haven’t already subscribed!