Interview with Aaron Wall - SEO Consultant and author of the SEOBook

By The Sandman · Jun 2, 2007 ·
  1. The Sandman

    The Sandman Administrator

    The Sandman submitted a new Article:

    Interview with Aaron Wall - SEO Consultant and author of the SEOBook

    Read more about this article here...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
  2. JNudda

    JNudda Adherent

    Great interview. Nice job TAZ.
  3. shellspeare

    shellspeare Uninteresting

    Great read, plenty of food for thought there.

  4. djbaxter

    djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran

    Hi, Aaron. I wonder if you could clarify a few points:

    1. What do you think is the impact of duplicate content filters for a forum and what are your recommendations for minimizing duplicate content? Won't a decent robots.txt file take care of the "problem"? Given the reality that the worst case scenario for duplicate content is that only one of those URLs will be indexed, why is it even a concern?
    2. Your comment on mod_rewrite emphasizes two things: "clean" and "descriptive". Not all forums are created equal in this respect. To me, "clean" means eliminate session IDs and multiple parameters for spiders. I've argued repeatedly that vBulletin already does this out of the box and for that reason mod_rewrite is unnecessary and will not help. As for descriptive, again using the example of vBulletin but applicable to other forum software, the average thread title is not especially keyword rich and converting that to so-called keyword-rich URLs is not going to benefit you very much (look at the "New posts" list for any forum you'd care to choose. A third issue with mod_rewite proponents is the insistence, against all current evidence in my opinion, that static (HTML) pages are more better for SEO than dynamic pages. Can you comment on this?

    What would you say is the best way to avoid losing those best threads?

    Why do you call this "scaremongering"? Google has never made a secret of it's fight against PR selling and other "link schemes", and my take on this is that they are getting progressively better at detecting and discounting such practices. This is just one more step in an ongoing campaign. Admittedly, it's not a reason for panic or jumping out of windows since it isn't anything new, but in reality anyone who relies on buying links for SEO or selling links to pay the rent is (a) fighting a losing battle, and (b) capitalizing on a short-term solution to begin with. Your comments?

    Can you expand on what you mean by the term "link equity"?

    Are you talking here about redirecting specific spiders to specific pages, different from what the human visitor will see? :confused:

    In view of Cutts' recent comments on paid links in general and more specifically how directories are viewed in that context (see How to report paid links: Update, May 12th, 2007), do you see any value at all in the hundreds or thousands of directories based on scripts like phpLD? Do you differentiate at all between niche directories and general all-purpose directories?

    ...or poor content and poor on-page optimization?
  5. Participant

    A very to-the-point SEO reference guide. Another excellent interview!

    downloads Enthusiast

    Really worth to follow the guidelines. But everyone of us would be interested in the present updations of the seobook. As SEO is an ever refreshing act one should be ready to face the challenges.

    Thanx TAZ for the excellent interview.
  7. seobook

    seobook Neophyte

    For the most part that will work, but there still is the risk of spreading link equity across two URLs (even if one is blocked by robots.txt someone may still cite that blocked version, and that link equity goes nowhere).
    I think vbulletin is ahead of a lot of the other forum software. As far as keywords go, most threads may not be real descriptive, but as long as some percentage are I think that is a gain worth doing, but it does depend on how clearly we communicate and how much the lead moderators are involved with starting some of the conversation.
    Make best of threads, complement great threads by getting them exposure on an associated blog, sticky some of the how to guides or posts linking to best related posts at the top of related forums.
    Even the best products lose without market exposure and marketing. Everyone has to start from somewhere. No market is fair, etc.

    Recently someone posted on my blog that buying a Yahoo! Directory listing is dumb because Google is going to stamp out all paid links. That shows how effective the scaremongering of the few links Google recommends is being described as worthless by people new to the field.

    The reality of it is that most every link is in one form or another either pay for it with money, brand building, quality content, social interaction, or some combination of the above.
    PageRank or equivalent.
    No. I wouldn't do that without disclaimers and warnings and etc. What I was saying is make your normal page focused on Google. If that page is not ranking as well as you would like in the other engines try to make a second more literal page that uses the target keywords more frequently. Call the follow up page something like history of, faqs, q and a, or some other phrase that allows you to have an excuse to have that second page without it seeming too spammy.
    As far as general directories go, I generally only submit to about 3 or 6 off the start and then I may submit to another dozen a month or two later. If I have an old high trust site I might be willing to go further to gain a bit more anchor text and/or PageRank to help internal pages rank and flow more link equity deeper into the site.

    I also submit to a few decent niche specific directories.
    that too.
  8. djbaxter

    djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran

    Have you seen this study?

    Which web page elements lead to high Google rankings?

    Does that alter your take on mod_rewrite solutions?
  9. seobook

    seobook Neophyte

    Some people use URLs as link anchor text...just a few good source links like that with strong anchor text can make a big difference on relevancy

    Keywords in the URL improve information scent in the SERPs and increase CTR of a listing. That is why many AdWords ads include a few keywords after the root URL on the URL line.
  10. djbaxter

    djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran

    I would suggest that is pretty rare. Frankly, I just don't see this as a very helpful strategy for forums, especially for vBulletin which already provides good URLs for spiders.

    I'm not entirely anti-keyword URLs. I have some directories where the URLs to categories are keyword URLs. I even have a few original articles on a static HTML site that use keyword titles. I don't think those gain much of an edge but it probably doesn't hurt. But in those cases I have very carefully tailored the keyword URLs to correspond to selected keywords, not or
  11. sanjayadhakal

    sanjayadhakal Aspirant

    Thanks for the great always !
  12. Namesniper

    Namesniper Aspirant

    Great interview
  13. Red_wolf

    Red_wolf Aspirant

    The Sandman when r u gonna to interviewed Me:jiggy:
    haha Kidding...Good interview:tup:
  14. Swerve1000

    Swerve1000 Aspirant

    Great interview. Good to get the inside track on things.
  15. projectego

    projectego Participant

    Great interview! It's really really cool to learn more about the man behind SEOBook. :)
  16. Bhavesh Ramburn

    Bhavesh Ramburn Quantity Surveyor

    Great interview. I got the book and it is massive and really worth it. As I am not used to reading 200+ pages on a computer I printed the whole book and binded it at work. Well in 2 binders as it was too heavy to carry on train.

    Very good work on the book. I hope there could be a section forum optimisation other than having unique urls. As table content = not so good.
  17. Participant

    I read the SEO book. Kind of hard to avoid the ads all over the internet for it. Gotta say Aaron, brevity should be your friend (=p) but really great information there.

    I certainly wouldn't mind your expertise taking a pen to resolving duplicate content in VB forums.
  18. djbaxter

    djbaxter Tazmanian Veteran

    Aaron really doesn't do forums. But the duplicate content issue with vbulletin is pretty straightforward - it's all done via robots.txt:

    User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* 
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /admincp/
    Disallow: /archive/
    Disallow: /backup/
    Disallow: /calendar.php
    Disallow: /cron.php
    Disallow: /editpost.php
    Disallow: /joinrequests.php
    Disallow: /login.php
    Disallow: /member.php
    Disallow: /misc.php
    Disallow: /modcp/
    Disallow: /moderator.php
    Disallow: /newreply.php
    Disallow: /newthread.php
    Disallow: /online.php
    Disallow: /printthread.php
    Disallow: /private.php
    Disallow: /profile.php
    Disallow: /register.php
    Disallow: /search.php
    Disallow: /sendmessage.php
    Disallow: /showgroups.php
    Disallow: /showpost.php
    Disallow: /subscription.php
    Disallow: /subscriptions.php
    Disallow: /threadrate.php
    Disallow: /usercp.php
    User-Agent: msnbot 
    Crawl-Delay: 10 
    User-Agent: Slurp 
    Crawl-Delay: 10 
  19. dvduval

    dvduval Adherent

    For virtually any script there are good examples and bad ones. There are some well maintained directories out there, both general and niche. There are also some that are not very well maintained. The same can be said for forums. What Matt Cutts said was that directories need to have a good review process, and not accept just any link, and that charging for the review process is okay, but alluded to the idea that some other forms of charging customers may not be okay.
  20. seo_consultant

    seo_consultant Neophyte

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.