Website Navigation 101

In a day and age when information can be easily accessed via the Internet, and websites offer more and more pages of data to sift through, there is a demand for proper navigation to quickly get the readers, the end-users, where they want to go. And while it stands true that designing the website to make it visually appealing is a priority, one thing business owners and web developers/designers should keep in mind is making it easy for their readers, their audience, to find what they’re looking for once they load the website. Otherwise, what is the point of putting up information that can’t be seen or accessed?

Website Navigation, in a Nutshell

But let’s backtrack; what is website navigation anyway? And why is it a crucial presence in a website? Website navigation is simply the system where the links/pages of content can be found. Think of it as the backbone of the website, an online version of the table of contents, or a roadmap of points of interests. Without it, readers would feel lost, not knowing where to go next or how to access the information that they’re searching for. And if they get confused or frustrated, site traffic and rankings in search engines will drop.

Various Preferences, Custom Solutions

So how can business owners better serve their readers (aside from a carefully designed and organized web navigation)? By outsourcing services, providing support for web navigational assistance. Business owners should bear in mind that different people have different ways of searching for information — they have their own habits and factors that make up their navigating processes — and might encounter difficulties when browsing the website.

Support Staff Makes It Feasible

With a dedicated support staff available, readers can be guided to solve the problem encountered; reliable techs who know all there is to know about the structure and content of the website are the persons readers can turn to for troubleshooting the features or services that the website offers. The end-goal is to help readers retrieve the information or product they are looking for, and provide a smooth browsing experience that will, in turn, boost sales.

Elsewhere on this blog:

Developing Your Business: Conducting Market Research in the Virtual World

Business Metrics: What Surveys Can Do For Your Business

Navigating Timezones: Three Strategies for Expanding Businesses

How to Get Rid of Negative and Unwanted Backlinks

First of all, you need to identify what are the negative backlinks pointing to your website. If you do not know how to handle this, you can seek out the help of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert from an outsourcing or offshore staff leasing firm, or a part-time webmaster from freelance websites.

After checking for negative backlinks, you may also find links that are not really bad but you do not want them to be linking to your website because of their poor quality, it is okay to remove them too.

Removing negative and unwanted links can be very tricky but there is always a way.

Step 1. Remove Them Yourself

Some negative backlinks were done by bad SEOing, either by you or your SEO guy. For example, you have links coming from web directories which were good back then but now are link farms. If you still have your old usernames and passwords for those web directories, I suggest you login to them right now and remove your links from their website. It can be tedious but necessary to improve your website’s rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

You may find some SEO or IT outsourcing firms that offer this kind of service for a low cost, it can be cheaper from a freelancer in or from a staff leasing firm that offers short term project-based SEO services.

Step 2. Send a Friendly Email

When negative and unwanted backlinks gets a little harder to remove, try sending a request for removal by using their contact us form. In case they do not have a form, look for email addresses on their website, or try using GoDaddy WhoIs or DomainTools WhoIs and send them a friendly email.

Step 3. Use Google Disavow

The Google Disavow is a tool used by many webmasters to clean up hard to remove backlinks, but it is not always the first choice. The disavow tool can help you get rid of negative backlinks but it can also harm your website’s ranking if not used properly. If you are planning to hire a full-time SEO expert (or get one from your local outsourcing firm or an offshore staff leasing company) for this job, your guy should be knowledgeable in using this tool, else you will end up with more mess than getting those negative links off.

As the head of Google’s Webspam team, Matt Cutts, says in this video, “… you’ve done some bas SEO, you hired a bad SEO, they mess things up now you need to clean up. You’ve done as much work as you can to get those links off the web, but some people don’t respond or for whatever reason you can’t get every single link taken off the web. That’s the perfect use-case to do disavow…”

If no change happens after a few weeks of using the disavow tool, try sending a reconsideration request to Google but be warned, disavowing a backlink is not the first or best way to remove it from Google SERP, use it as a last resort only. But if your website is suffering from Negative SEO the disavow tool would be the best choice since the unnatural and negative backlinks will be ten folds and much harder to remove.

I still see the negative and unwanted backlinks pointing to my website. So what now?

Have patience, it will take time for search engines to have those links removed from their index. But if you still find yourself deep in the hole after doing everything that you can, maybe it is time for you to get help from the experts themselves. You may opt to hire your own full-time in-house SEO specialist or a part-timer from your local outsourcing firm, or hire the services of an offshore staff leasing company that specializes in SEO. If you do decide to outsource, consider a third party service provider that offers flexible solutions so it will fit in with your budget.

How to Identify Negative Backlinks

If we want to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs), we optimize our website and build backlinks to raise popularity and authority. Some seek the assistance from staff leasing companies or hire freelancers while other website owners do it themselves.

Outsourcing the task of identifying negative backlinks can be a great help if you have the budget, but if you do not, get ready because you will need a lot of reading, testing and tons of patience.

How to Identify Negative Backlinks

If outsourcing a freelancer or hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert from a staff leasing firm will be your method of doing this, I suggest you get someone who is knowledgeable in search engine rankings, not just someone who can submit your domain to free sites.

But if you do plan on handling this task by yourself, here are some great free online backlinks checker you can use.

  1. Moz Open Site Explorer – It has a 30-day free trial for its Keywords Rank Checker.
  2.  Majestic Site Explorer – it’s free version is limited but otherwise a good backlink checker.
  3.  Backlink Watch – it’s free, but you will have to tolerate the ads.

Other than the above online SEO tools, you can also manually check your backlinks in Google, Yahoo and Bing by simply typing “link:” on their search bars. Try it!

To identify what are the negative backlinks, simply look into relevancy of the URLs linking to your domain. Sometimes you can spot the niche of the websites linking to yours just by looking at their domain names. Any link that may look suspicious to you, investigate it! Any link that can potential harm your website is a negative backlink.

Quality backlinks help your website and its inner pages rank higher in SERPs, and in SEO, the more relevant a backlink is to your website the better, of course the content of the linking website has to be good too. Ask any SEO outsourcing firm, whether local or offshore staff leasing, they will tell you that quality backlinks is the best combination for quality web content.

I Have Identified My Negative Backlinks. What to Do Now?

The next step to do after identifying all negative backlinks is to remove them. Google has an online tool you can use and there are also manual ways of getting rid of those links; talk to the webmaster of the site or remove them yourself if you believe you’re the one who placed it there on the first place, like in free directory sites, social bookmarking sites, free ads you posted, etc.

Read now >> How to Get Rid of Negative and Unwanted Backlinks.

Getting Started in SEO: The 3 Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Many would think that search engine optimization (SEO) is very difficult to learn and it’s a job that should be left to the professionals. On the contrary, SEO is easy to learn but it’s an extremely tedious task, that’s why a lot of online businesses today hire SEO specialists or link builders to do the tiring SEO tasks while business owners focuses more on converting sales.

In other cases, some online business owners who are just starting out, does not have the budget to hire their own SEO specialist or link builder so they end up doing it themselves.

If you want to start out in SEOing your website, you must first learn the three basics of search engine optimization.

1. Keywords Research – Because you just can’t use any words written in the dictionary, keyword research is the SEO way of picking out the right keywords according to your niche. There are lots of free online keywords suggestion tools online that you can use, like the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Word Tracker to help you search for words and phrases related to your niche.

For example. You own a jewelry shop in Manhattan, New York and want to set up a website for it. You can target for specific keywords like new york jewelers, jewelry store new york, jewelers in manhattan ny, luxury watches manhattan, or diamond engagement rings nyc. Instead of targeting these keywords; online jewelry, diamond necklaces, white gold rings, free delivery, selling, or gold.

The main reason why Search Engine Optimizers go for specific keywords is to have quality traffic for their website. The higher the quality of visits, the higher the chance of sales conversion!

2. Meta Tags – Notice how websites in search results have titles and descriptions? Well, that’s the use of Meta Tags. Not only does it provide a custom webpage title and description for your website in search results, it also helps you target different types of keywords per page of your blog or website.

For example. Your online shoe shop has two categories; flats and heels. On your “Flats” page, you can target keywords like flat shoes, flat sandals, or flat leather boots; and on the “Heels” page you can target keywords like high heels, kitten heels or cone heels. That way, you can target more audience using related keywords applied on specific pages of your website without keyword stuffing.

3. Content Optimization – The best way to optimize your website’s content is to write unique and accurate information with just the right number of keywords mixed in it. Too many keywords and your website might get flagged as spammy, or worse, get deindexed by search engines.

Getting started in SEO is easy, just remember to follow search engine guidelines and use ethical search engine optimization techniques to boost your web traffic and keywords ranking.

The Never Ending FAQs about Keywords!

What are keywords?
Keywords or key phrases are either a word or group of words used to search for stuff over the internet. Basically anything you type in a search box is considered as keywords or key phrases. To SEOs, or Search Engine Optimizers, keywords are used to target specific website visitors to increase web traffic and sales.

Why do I need keywords for my website or blog?
Keywords are not just for corporate websites looking to expand their brand in the World Wide Web. Keywords can also be applied to blogs and even on a wiki pages. Keywords are used to help internet users find the exact information they are looking for based on their search query, and help website owners to easily target their audience.

Are keywords still important today?
Yes. Goolge may have become very strict and serious when they launched their Google Panda and Penguin updates, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of keywords optimization. The algorithm updates of by Google, and any other search engines, are designed mainly to eliminate spam and useless content over the internet. So don’t panic.

Why should I limit the use of keywords on my website or blog?
Too much of a good thing can either be just a bad day in the office or the worst thing that can happen in your life, depends on how you over-do it. As I’ve already said earlier, keywords are meant to help internet users find the information they’re looking for, not to be used as a tool to manipulate search engine rankings.

What should I avoid when using/applying keywords to my website or blog?
Keywords can either be the key to your success or to the demise of your online presence, so you better make sure you use them properly. The best way to use keywords is by following search engines guide lines and avoid making these old and nasty black hat SEO techniques.

Should I hire a SEO specialist to do all the complicated SEO keywords stuff for my website or blog?
Well, that depends on your needs and your budget. If you really want professional help for your website or blog, you can first try on a project-based SEO package before hiring a full-time staff. But, if you already know the scope and have a well thought out plan for your website’s SEO needs, get a full-time staff leasing service from SEO experts, because SEO is a long process and a very tedious task.

Basic SEO Mistakes You Should Be Avoiding

Age old Black Hat SEO techniques you shouldn’t be practicing

As Search Engines develop their bots to be more intelligent in detecting these Black Hat SEO techniques, the easier it is for webmasters to get their websites penalized. These unethical SEO techniques may have greatly worked for Black Hat webmasters long ago but today they are easy detected by Search Engine bots and the faster they can detect it on your website, the faster they can penalize you for it. So it’s best that you avoid these basic SEO mistakes instead on experimenting on them.

Keyword Stuffing in Content and Meta Tag

This classic black hat SEO technique can easily drain your search rankings faster than you can say, “Search Engine Optimization!” Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating a keyword or keywords to a webpage’s content to the extent that its content reads like gibberish, and because some webmasters aren’t satisfied with bombarding loads of keywords onto their website’s content, they do it also on their Mata Keywords tag. Whether readable or not, it’s still a violation of Search Engines’ Guidelines.

Hidden Text in Website Content and Comment Tag

The most basic SEO mistake you should not experiment on ever! The Hidden Texts technique is the practice of putting words, sentences and paragraphs in a website written in such a way to be invisible or unreadable to human visitors by blending its text color onto the background or making the text font super small. Hidden texts are stuffed with keywords and mixed with a bunch of words that doesn’t make sense. The trick here is to fool search engine bots into thinking that the website has valuable content by putting several related keywords or by repeating the same keywords over and over in a webpage.

Example (Hidden Content):
This is keyword1 an example only Keyword2 of Hidden Content Keyword3 inside a website/page Keyword4.
If you Keyword2 like my website Keyword4, please Keyword3 share the link Keyword1.

A Comment Tag is commonly used by web developers to print their signature or provide instructions and useful reminders about the codes they’ve written. Even though keywords inside your comment tag are invisible to visitors, it is not the same case with Search Engine bots, you’ll be in for a big ugly surprise!

Example (Hidden Text in Comment Tag):
<!—Start of comment tag
Coded by Keyword1, Keyword2, Keword3, webProXXX Keyword4
–> End of comment tag

Unrelated Keywords

When searching for keywords for your website, it always pays to pick the ones that are closely related to your niche. Gathering too much unrelated keywords is just a waste of time, they won’t rank well as you expect them to and they will just add more senseless tasks on your shoulder.

Doorway or Gateway Pages

In order to gain loads of web traffic, black hat SEOs use doorway pages. Doorway or Gateway Pages are either optimized for a few keywords, or heavily optimized with tons of keywords, with the attempt of fooling Search Engine bots into thinking that these pages are relevant to a search query so they can be ranked higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Visitors do not see these Doorway or Gateway Pages because once they click the link; they are automatically redirected to another webpage or websites which are generally misleading. This black hat technique can easily get your website deindexed by Search Engines.

Link Farms

This is an age old Black Hat SEO technique and a basic SEO mistake you’ll regret for a very long period of time. It can result to a penalty so severe you’ll probably fire your SEO guy for it! Link Farms are websites or webpages that are usually Free For All (FFA) with no real purpose, just to collect hundreds and thousands of links that are unrelated to each other, usually filed under “uncategorized,” and even mixed with the links of Adult websites. They do not pass as quality a backlink, no real traffic, and can get your website banned.

What’s worse? Several FFA websites do not have a “remove my link” request button or form, even if you email the website owner directly, your website’s link will remain in their listings for as long as the FFA website is up and running! So beware on where you submit your link to.


One of the most dangerous unethical SEO techniques that is used to trick visitors into clicking a link they think is useful to them. Optimizing a website solely for Search Engine bot by way of Cloaking results to a webpage that visitors may think “user-friendly” but doesn’t really provide the information they’re looking for, just a bunch of keywords scattered all over the page, or worse, mixed with Adult content.

IP Delivery

The use of IP Delivery today is for determining the location of the visitor via his IP and deliver content specifically written for that country (i.e. German written content for visitors with IPs from Germany). Some webmasters today still use this technique to fool Search Engine bots by presenting them with properly optimized content while they redirect human visitors to another page filled with unrelated content.

What do Black Hat Webmasters gain by doing this?

While some webmasters stumble upon these unethical techniques by experimenting, others do them purposely to gain money paid to them by their clients or just to ruin a competitor’s reputation. You can never be too sure where your link is placed across the World Wide Web, so it’s best if you check your backlinks every now and then. These basic SEO mistakes can easily land your website’s rank down to several pages in SERPs and can even have your website deindexed.