One thing that I've noticed in my traffic stats is that one particular hub about a particular acoustic guitar - seems to be doing better than other hubs about what I would think would be guitars that are more sought after.
So I looked at the hub that is doing so well, and tried to figure out why that hub is doing better than hubs about what I'd imagined would be superior or more desirable products.
I realize that there are all sorts of factors at play - and that Google's algorithm is basically a secret - but I about decided that the reason one of my guitar hubs is consistently doing better than the others is that I'd put the keywords in bold.
Before you run and put all your keywords in bold - consider that I'm not a big money maker here - but I do wonder if someone more internet wise than I has done this (put keywords in bold) and thinks it's a good idea.
Of course it could get really ugly looking on a page to have EVERY keyword in bold, but I think that if you stay consistent, and only bold the MAIN keywords, then that might be something that helps.
I did this to several hubs some months back after reading comments that it might help.
To date I cannot say that I see much difference. I had chosen mostly underperformers and they are still in that category.
As I very definitely don't like the look of the hub with a few words bolded for no other reason than SEO I'll probably change them back.
Decorating contents with too much of bold, H1 H2 etc will surely invite penalty.
bolding and emphasising keywords can be of benefit. I sugget you find places to naturally do this in the article though, and don't go overboard with it.
Hey thanks man! It's just that on one hub about one guitar that probably isn't that popular an instrument. . . . I did it every time I typed out the guitar's model and manufacturers name. . . . and that thing gets great traffic . . especially considering that it's just NOT a hugely sought after product.
I've got two hubs that just blow my mind so far as why they get more traffic than others.
One, the one I'm talking about here - is about the Martin D 35S guitar, and the other is about The Water Moccasin snake.
I think the one about the snake was well enough written, and is probably just a lucky shot in the dark, as it's the time of year that folks are out and about, and maybe worried about that critter.
The one about the D 35S - maybe that was a low competition topic? I didn't put in half as much work on that hub as I have on others about more sought after guitars. The only thing I can figure is that that every time I mention the instrument by model in that hub - I did it in bold.
I think I'll bold some more keywords in hubs - but only do it in some sort of consistent manner. An ugly hub is always just an ugly hub.
From what i gather it is useful to put your keywords in bold once on a page and perhaps to italicise them once also but you're right that this should not be overdone. This helps the google bots identify which words are important or significant on your page.
Hey, thanks for the feedback! I used to always hear that the title of the hub should be in the first sentence, and be in bold and italics, but we also always hear that we shouldn't try to create webpages for search engines, but to create them for the reader - what a crazy balancing act we're playing here!
Hi Rob Winters and Wesman Todd,
I agree to what your saying. And also, linking your hub to established high traffic sites, will help your hub rank higher in Gooogle. Just link to sites that are not competing with your hub topic. Thanks
Hey, thanks again. I've been experimenting here some with forums - and leaving links inside relevant forums. . . .so far I'm thinking that I've . .. .just not found the good ones yet.
I HAVE seen the power of forums and generating traffic - but it was luck, and someone I've never talked to must have done it for me.
Hey Mr. Winters! Thanks for your feedback!
Hi there brina! Your welcome Wesman - i think you're definately right about it being a balancing act. There's so much info out there (never mind the continually changing playing field)and people and strategies trying to pull you in different directions it can be hard to remain focused at times. It's certainly easier to trust and follow through on advice from forums personalities etc.you become familiar with.
I think there's always exceptions and people are sometimes only making inferences about how the search engines do some things which also appear to change continually (by degree anyway).Things don't always seem to work as you expect or are told to expect as with your guitar example (good to hear it's doing well btw).I think sometimes you can rank highly for some keywords initially and then suddenly drop back as if google etc. have thought better of something.
It can be funny sometimes how you can put effort into following "guidelines" on ranking for a particular keyword etc. with little or slow progress only to find you're ranking well for another keyword you weren't even targeting even when they're keywords with similar no.s, stats and competition levels - go figure. I consider myself to be on numerous different learning curves, some of which continue to sporadically steepen and some of which i'll fall off :-)
Hey Rob - I'm about to where the only advice I'm going to give people is the following: "do what you want, and have fun doing it - that's the only way to win!"
Thanks man - it's wild out there. I can hear something that someone who I know is more successful than me says, and then find another person more successful than me saying the opposite!
I suspect you might be right Wesman,there's no other way you can expect to sustain it.
Reminds me of when i was in college reading journal articles etc. You read one and think "Jeez that's convincing" and shortly afterwards come across another one espousing a completely opposing yet equally complelling and again 'convincing' point of view.The phrase lies,dam lies and statistics comes to mind. I suppose we each gotta just cut through the virtual mire and find what we can make work for us. GL Us!!
Google needs to find more unique things to distinguish because this again will be exploited lol
While Google doesn't give us all the ingredients of the search algorithm secret sauce, there are things that we know that they have revealed themselves, and also by extensive testing and research by third party organizations like SEOmoz.
The chances the bolding of keywords in one guitar hub as being the reason that it is getting more traffic than the other guitar hub, is probably one in a million. Bolding of words can be a signal to Google that the word or phrase is important to the content, but it is a very minute signal in the scope of things, and must be used sparingly or it could have zero, or even negative effect. If Google thinks your trying to trick them, it becomes a penalty rather than a plus.
You're not comparing apples to apples, when you said you get more traffic to one hub than the other, and then saying the bold words are the only difference. Assuming you mean more traffic just from Google, there are many things at play including search demand and supply, ranking position in the search results, competition, etc.
All that said, while you do want to write your content for readers and not focus on search engines, you cannot ignore SEO practices and expect to rank highly in search results. The engines are looking for 'signals' to help them know what your content is about, and how they should rank your content in relation to other similar content.
Here's just a handful of basic on-page seo practices that you should follow.
1 - start with keyword research about your topic
2 - include your primary keywords(phrases) in the title, heading, and body of your content, once early and once toward the end is sufficient. Ok to have more if it comes naturally, but dont stuff!
3 - Use secondary or related keywords and phrases in your content, most of the time this will come naturally.
4 - When you use images, have the keyword in the image filename and in the alt text.
Just those basics are often overlooked, and can help your hub, website page, or article rank higher.
As far as off-page SEO here's a couple basics too. One way links in from a high authority site on your topic carries a lot of weight. Links out to other sites are almost nil. Reciprocal links are very little weight. Social signals are getting very important e.g. facebook likes, google +1, twitter mentions, etc.
I've been planning to put some of this info in the training section at <no promotional links>, and go into a lot more detail, I just need to get one of those "round tuits".
For an example of a hub that I did that ranks at the top of Google for a search on "paperboard pallets", see my hub about <no promotional links>
(sorry so long, I should have just made a new hub! ha)
Hey thank you!
Yes - as Mark Ewbie pointed out - someone somewhere is probably so very lazy and has such poor ethics. . . that that forum comment alone could wind up copy/pasted as someone's material somewhere.
Oh well, It's my hope that these subdomain things will allow our own personal author's authority to stand on it's own.
Hi Wesman, one small thing and sorry if this sounds a bit paranoid. I would never mention by name a hub as getting more traffic than others. There are definitely people on HubPages (sad but true) who will have your content copied as soon as you type it.
At least by keeping the stats a secret you make it harder for them.
Yes - that's probably true. I find that I've far less homicidal tendencies from not knowing about any content thefts.
My product articles are the only things that any but the bravest of fools would copy. I even work in anti corporate heresy into my animal essays!
I always put one or two keywords in Bold & Italic. I think it's helped me.
There's no harm in trying this out in a few hubs and observe the difference it makes.
This thread is from three years ago. I think people used to do this pre-Panda but as far as I know today, search engines typically frown upon bolding keywords for the sake of SEO.
I'm not saying that boldface type has no place at all in our hubs, but it must be used sparingly and to enhance reader experience rather than for SEO.
For example, this is probably OK:
Three Reasons to Feed Your Dog
1. You don't want your dog to starve to death. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah.
2. Feeding time is bonding time. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah.
3. Your dog can't feed himself unless he has thumbs and fingers. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah.
But this is not not a good idea:
What to Look for in an Ice Cream Maker
Ice cream makers blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Making ice cream blah blah blah blah ice cream makers. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah ice cream freezers blah blah blah blah. Best cheap ice cream maker blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah.
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But I am wondering why there seems to be competition in the real google world and no competition showing for it in the external keyword tool world?
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