Ask DN: What confuses you about SEO?

over 7 years ago from

Hi DN, do you guys have any SEO related questions? I will try and answer them. I work as a digital marketer with focus on SEO.

I am planning to run a FREE SEO course through General Assembly ( Melbourne ) and you questions will help prepare some general FAQ for the talk.


  • Jon MyersJon Myers, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    Is it a sane decision for a legitimate company or brand to play any off-page games these days?

    3 points
    • Grow Hax, over 7 years ago

      This is sane decision if it follows common sense.

      Now, about a decade ago you could create low quality content and spread it on properties which would allow some sort of content distribution (comments, forums, niche blogs etc.) and that way you get some link mass, though a low quality one. But with enough of this you would rank. Not any more. This is "black hat" and will always remain a bad idea.

      But if you have solid content marketing strategy, working on distribution of your content is not really harmful if you don't over do it. Got something worth sharing? Distribute it through various channels like reddit, DN, PH and so on. Frequent various forums and provide valuable input and so on. This constitutes as off-page strategy and do work if handled right.

      Rule of thumb - if a community doesn't report/ban you for spam within itself over a period of time, you're likely doing good.

      3 points
  • Mark Louie Espedido, over 7 years ago

    Thank you for your time to do this. I know how to install analytics to my websites, but I don't know what to do with the data gathered from the analytics. There's just too much to know what is what. What are the important data to consider? What would be the best way/steps to optimize my website after getting the data?

    1 point
  • Razlan HanafiahRazlan Hanafiah, over 7 years ago

    What is one (or two) evergreen SEO technique or hack that can still be applied today despite search engines' constantly changing their algorithms?

    1 point
    • Saijo George, over 7 years ago

      Links play a crucial role. I don't think that is going to change that soon.

      Having a clear content marketing strategy is you best bet to amplify the reach of the content and get links in the process. Again there are technical elements to this eg: the content you generate should be within the same domain as the the one that you want to rank, etc

      0 points
  • Saijo George, over 7 years ago

    Thanks for the questions you guys. I have answered most ( if not all ) of your questions. Feel free to ping me on @Saijo_George ( on twitter ) if you have any other specific questions.

    0 points
  • Chantal JandardChantal Jandard, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I've heard some people say display: hidden and display: none are read by the algorithms, some say they are not. What are your thoughts here?

    Also, thanks for doing this!

    0 points
    • Saijo George, over 7 years ago

      Google ask web masters NOT to block JS and CSS they can run these and see how a page renders to visitors / GoogleBot : http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/updating-our-technical-webmaster.html

      There are scenarios where you might show something on the desktop version but hide it from mobile users for UX reason and this is OK. But if you have a chunk of text for " so called SEO " reason that is hidden on both mobile and desktop Google will heavily discount that when they consider it for ranking.

      Let me know if this answers you question, happy to elaborate if it helps.

      1 point
  • Max LindMax Lind, over 7 years ago

    The biggest (and in my opinion the most obvious) thing that many glaze over when it comes to SEO is the simple question... "what do you want to be known for?". Forgo focusing on rank and over complicating strategies and instead spend your time thinking from the customer's perspective...literally, what is your product/service? :)

    0 points
  • Vincent MillikenVincent Milliken, over 7 years ago

    What about Top level domains, do they have any effect on SEO, good or bad?

    0 points
    • Saijo George, over 7 years ago

      top level domains alone NO, but I find that having the keyword in the domain might get 3rd party to link to you using those keywords.

      0 points
  • Vincent OrbackVincent Orback, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    I saw this on a Swedish web agency about 3 years ago and they still have the same code and are still topping the search result in Sweden. How is that? Shouldn't Google pick up on this or should I report it somewhere?

    webbyrå = web agency in Swedish.


    0 points
  • Leevi Graham, over 7 years ago
    1. Given backlinks are a high ranker which tools do you use to report on them for clients?
    2. Keyword Analysis. Can you explain how to identify keywords for a site, how to find similar keywords and how to report on any improvements?
    3. Reporting in general. Which metrics are important?
    0 points
  • Zach ShermanZach Sherman, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    In your opinion, what's the absolute #1 thing that blogs/startups/etc can do to drive traffic to their posts that they are usually unaware of.

    0 points
    • Saijo George, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

      With a startup most of the time you are going to go with a relatively new domain. So beating the older domains that exist in you niche is going to be an uphill battle. When you launch a new site you usually get a boost in organic search position and unless your domain keeps getting links ( good quality ) it will gradually go down in the SERP ( search engine result pages ).

      If it were me, I would focus getting the word out on before you launch. build relationship with influencers in your niche. Build out a mailing list, etc

      • Twitter is a great way to reach out to influencers ( tools like BuzzSumo, FollowerWonk, etc can help )
      • Get a email capture form up and get the project listed on sites like BetaList
      • Once you go live try and getting it up on ProductHunt, DN, HackerNews, relevant Reddit community. Some one who can answers users questions and comments should actively monitor the thread at least during the 1st 24 hrs.
      • If it does well there, you can try and approach sites like TNW
      • Having a clear Content Strategy & a Content Marketing Strategy can help you build an audience.

      Sadly there is no such #1 thing that will help. IMHO as long as the site has no technical SEO issues, your 1st focus should not be SEO ( for a startup ) , it should be getting press and attention for your product.

      2 points