April 29, 2011, 12:41 PM

SEO Red Flags

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A link portfolio audit

To make sure they do understand the quality of links to their sites and thus avoid penalties, retailers should consider an audit of incoming links.

Any link portfolio audit should:

  • Produce a detailed snapshot of the brand's link portfolio by employing such tools as Google Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO.
  • Analyze the brand's link-building practices to ensure compliance with Google and Bing Webmaster Guidelines, such as not participating in excessive reciprocal linking.
  • Include a competitive analysis that evaluates such factors as the quantity of backlinks and unique domains, and the authority and relevance of backlinks. Ranking far below competitors in quality of links is a warning sign.
  • Identify suspicious sources of backlinks, including spammy sites, link exchange sites, sites with low PageRank scores and sites with poor link portfolios.

Yearly audits can help retailers avoid penalties, enabling them to focus on building good reputations in the eyes of search engines. Over time and armed with the right combination of content, links and other SEO resources, retailers can start to achieve the sustainable positive natural search results that pay the largest dividends.

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