A database program HyperCard was released in 1987 for the Apple Macintosh that allowed hyperlinking between various pages within a document. In 1990, Windows Help, which was introduced with Microsoft Windows 3.0, had widespread use of hyperlinks to link different pages in a single help file together; in addition, it had a visually different kind of hyperlink that caused a popup help message to appear when clicked, usually to give definitions of terms introduced on the help page. The first widely used open protocol that included hyperlinks from any Internet site to any other Internet site was the Gopher protocol from 1991. It was soon eclipsed by HTML after the 1993 release of the Mosaic browser (which could handle Gopher links as well as HTML links). HTML's advantage was the ability to mix graphics, text, and hyperlinks, unlike Gopher, which just had menu-structured text and hyperlinks.
Google updates its search algorithm frequently. For example, on February 23rd, 2016, Google made significant changes to AdWords, removing right-column ads entirely and rolling out 4-ad top blocks on many commercial searches. While this was a paid search update, it had significant implications for CTR for both paid and organic results, especially on competitive keywords.
Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant result for any given query. Their entire business model relies on them being able to do this, consistently, across hundreds of billions of searches. For that reason, they’ve invested heavily into understanding the intent of queries, i.e., the reason a person typed a specific thing into Google in the first place.
Expertise and authoritativeness of a site increases its quality. Be sure that content on your site is created or edited by people with expertise in the topic. For example, providing expert or experienced sources can help users understand articles’ expertise. Representing well-established consensus in pages on scientific topics is a good practice if such consensus exists.
Basically, what I’m talking about here is finding websites that have mentioned your brand name but they haven’t actually linked to you. For example, someone may have mentioned my name in an article they wrote (“Matthew Barby did this…”) but they didn’t link to matthewbarby.com. By checking for websites like this you can find quick opportunities to get them to add a link.
The tip that resonates with me the most is to publish studies, which you back up by linking to the study you collaborated on. That is spot on. It feels like having genuinely useful in depth content is THE strategy that will not be “Google updated” at any point. (Because if you were building a search engine, that’s the content you’d want to serve your users when they search for a topic.)
If you've never been on Product Hunt before, it's like a daily Reddit feed for new products. Products get submitted to the community and they're voted on. Each day products are stacked in descending order based on how many votes they've had. Ranking at the top of the daily list can result in thousands of conversion-focused traffic to your site, just as the creator of Nomad List found out.

Hi Brian, great list. I noticed you mentioned using Kraken to optimize your images. A couple other tools I’ve found to work really well are ImageOptim (an app that you can download for your computer) and Optimus (a WordPress plugin that will optimize them when uploaded to your site). I’m not sure what your policy is on including links in comments so I won’t link to them here (even though I have no affiliate with either one.) Hope those resources can help someone!
A few links down and I've noticed that Brian has a link from WordPress.org. Not bad! Turns out that his content has been referenced within one of WordPress's codex posts. If I were to reach out and offer some additional insight, citing one of my articles, there's a chance I could bag a similar link, especially considering they have a 'Useful Resources' section.
Hi Brian – I couldn’t agree more on the tip “delete zombie pages” to raise rankings. We’ve been blogging for 11 years now, and have been through the dark times when you were supposed to publish 400-600 blogs posts per minute in order to rank. Needless to say we had a lot of thin content… A few years back we embarked on a journey to cut out the dead wood, combine the good stuff, and create the long form content you espouse on your website. And guess what? Over those 2 years, traffic us up 628%. We’re down to around 72 pages / posts and couldn’t be happier. It gives us time to update the content when necessary and keep it fresh, rather than scratching our heads trying to figure out what new and exciting way to spin divorce mediation!
Thank you Brian. This is SOLID stuff. I appreciate your mindset for SEO and SEM. What’s the use of SEO and all of this backlinking effort if it can’t stand the test of time? Plus these back links are like little promotions, little ads throughout the internet vs. just a backlink. Plus it makes a lot of sense to maximize promotion efforts to have our on page stuff liked by search engines but also have our on page stuff maximize clarity to what the user is looking for getting them excited to share and link back. Man I’ve got a lot of work to do! Thank you!
To find the right people I downloaded a list of some of the most popular users within the community. To do this, I used Screaming Frog SEO Spider to gather a list of all the URLs on the website. I then exported this list into an Excel spreadsheet and filtered the URLs to only show those that were user profile pages. I could do this because all of the profile pages had /user/ within the URL.

Expertise and authoritativeness of a site increases its quality. Be sure that content on your site is created or edited by people with expertise in the topic. For example, providing expert or experienced sources can help users understand articles’ expertise. Representing well-established consensus in pages on scientific topics is a good practice if such consensus exists.
One of your tips is “Make your content actionable”…I feel like this is not always the case depending on the context of the blog post. If I am to write a post on, say, “35 Incredible Linear Actuator Applications”, I feel like that’s something extremely hard to be actionable about. Rather, I feel my purpose is to be informative. Both of us are going for backlinks, but your blog I feel is more aimed towards giving awesome tips & advice for SEO’s. Whereas MY BLOG is about informing people about “linear actuators and their applications”.

The document containing a hyperlink is known as its source document. For example, in an online reference work such as Wikipedia, or Google, many words and terms in the text are hyperlinked to definitions of those terms. Hyperlinks are often used to implement reference mechanisms such as tables of contents, footnotes, bibliographies, indexes, letters and glossaries.

In a graphical user interface, the appearance of a mouse cursor may change into a hand motif to indicate a link. In most graphical web browsers, links are displayed in underlined blue text when they have not been visited, but underlined purple text when they have. When the user activates the link (e.g., by clicking on it with the mouse) the browser displays the link's target. If the target is not an HTML file, depending on the file type and on the browser and its plugins, another program may be activated to open the file.
Hi Brian! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while and had a good amount of success. 🙂 I have a request, similar to what someone else mentioned. It would be nice to learn the HOW to the tips you give, including details like which pro designer you hired, or at least where you found them, what their credentials should be (for which tasks), etc. Example: you used a custom coder to change the “last updated” date. So how do we find our own custom coder, and what coding language would they need to know. Same thing with jump links. Also, which pro graphics designer do you use, or at least, where did you find them, and what type of graphics skills do they need?

While most of the links to your site will be added gradually, as people discover your content through search or other ways and link to it, Google understands that you'd like to let others know about the hard work you've put into your content. Effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject. As with most points covered in this document, taking these recommendations to an extreme could actually harm the reputation of your site.

This is a great list of SEO tips. One tip you can add to your broken links section is that there is a free tool called Xenu Link Sleuth. It will automatically crawl your website (or a competitor’s site) and find all the broken backlinks (and lots of other things). It’s very helpful if you have a large site or need to find broken links you aren’t aware of. (like images and .pdf files)

One of my favorite ways to give content a boost is to run ads on Facebook targeting people with interests that are relevant to the content. It’s fairly low cost since you are offering a free piece of content. By targeting people with relevant interests to your content, you drive the right people to the content and into the top of your funnel. And if your content resonates with them, they’ll share, link, and engage with the content in ways that will help Google see its value.


The term "hyperlink" was coined in 1965 (or possibly 1964) by Ted Nelson at the start of Project Xanadu. Nelson had been inspired by "As We May Think", a popular 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush. In the essay, Bush described a microfilm-based machine (the Memex) in which one could link any two pages of information into a "trail" of related information, and then scroll back and forth among pages in a trail as if they were on a single microfilm reel.
Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages. Note that we say "might" because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page's visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user's query. Adding description meta tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet. The Webmaster Central Blog has informative posts on improving snippets with better description meta tags18 and better snippets for your users19. We also have a handy Help Center article on how to create good titles and snippets20.
One of my favorite ways to give content a boost is to run ads on Facebook targeting people with interests that are relevant to the content. It’s fairly low cost since you are offering a free piece of content. By targeting people with relevant interests to your content, you drive the right people to the content and into the top of your funnel. And if your content resonates with them, they’ll share, link, and engage with the content in ways that will help Google see its value.

In short, press request alerts are requests for sources of information from journalists. Let's say you're a journalist putting together an article on wearable technology for The Guardian. Perhaps you need a quote from an industry expert or some products that you can feature within your article? Well, all you need to do is send out a request to a press service and you can wait for someone to get back to you.
An inline link may display a modified version of the content; for instance, instead of an image, a thumbnail, low resolution preview, cropped section, or magnified section may be shown. The full content is then usually available on demand, as is the case with print publishing software – e.g., with an external link. This allows for smaller file sizes and quicker response to changes when the full linked content is not needed, as is the case when rearranging a page layout.
Hi Brian, a very useful post, thanks for sharing. These things turned to be very useful for us: blocking thin content/pages from Google index, adjusting meta titles/descriptions and content of popular articles, improving internal links, improving page speed, implementing schema (didn’t notice a big difference here), optimizing images and their alt tags, making sure the site is mobile friendly and there are no accessibility issues (Lighthouse in Google Chrome helped a lot), some link building activity (long term) and of course keyword research and mapping. Thanks again for providing valuable info, regards.

Another reason is that if you're using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don't recommend using too many images for links in your site's navigation when text links could serve the same purpose. Lastly, optimizing your image filenames and alt text makes it easier for image search projects like Google Image Search to better understand your images.


The first step that I take is to do a quick Google search to find pages on my domain where I've mentioned the keyword in question so that I can add an internal link. To do this, I'll use the following search query, replacing DOMAIN with your domain name (e.g. matthewbarby.com) and KEYWORD with the keyword you're targeting (e.g. "social media strategy"):
One of your tips is “Make your content actionable”…I feel like this is not always the case depending on the context of the blog post. If I am to write a post on, say, “35 Incredible Linear Actuator Applications”, I feel like that’s something extremely hard to be actionable about. Rather, I feel my purpose is to be informative. Both of us are going for backlinks, but your blog I feel is more aimed towards giving awesome tips & advice for SEO’s. Whereas MY BLOG is about informing people about “linear actuators and their applications”.

Brain I got a question. I will be glad if you could answer it. So, you said that it is important to use keywords in the title and headings. But sometimes I observe that plugins like Yoast will recommend us to insert keywords in more and more subheadings. For example on a long post if I have 50 subheadings and 8 of them have my target keyword. Yoast is actually not happy with it and it wants me to add keywords into more number of subheadings. I felt that 8 itself is a bit too much. Does Google also looks at my content in the same angle of Yoast?. Ideally, as a good practice how many subheadings should have the target keyword?.
You may find that your business doesn’t appear for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often your customers see your business in local search results, complete the following tasks in Google My Business. Providing and updating business information in Google My Business can help your business’s local ranking on Google and enhance your presence in Search and Maps.
Another example when the “nofollow" attribute can come handy are widget links. If you are using a third party's widget to enrich the experience of your site and engage users, check if it contains any links that you did not intend to place on your site along with the widget. Some widgets may add links to your site which are not your editorial choice and contain anchor text that you as a webmaster may not control. If removing such unwanted links from the widget is not possible, you can always disable them with “nofollow" attribute. If you create a widget for functionality or content that you provide, make sure to include the nofollow on links in the default code snippet.
In short, press request alerts are requests for sources of information from journalists. Let's say you're a journalist putting together an article on wearable technology for The Guardian. Perhaps you need a quote from an industry expert or some products that you can feature within your article? Well, all you need to do is send out a request to a press service and you can wait for someone to get back to you.

I am reading your emails from long time and tips and techniques are always wonderful, I have used many suggestions and also highly suggest others using the same, really seo is like playing with search engines and keeping your eye on everything going on and the changes and even implementing our own sense of humour while preparing metas, sometimes guessing what users will use to search products or services.


One of my best pieces of advice when it comes to SEO for small businesses is to truly spend some time understanding your audience and their intent. Even if your website is perfectly optimized, if it’s done for the wrong audience, you will not see good traffic. Google is taking audience intent into account more and more, as updates like RankBrain try to understand the semantics of a search query and not just the literal definition of the words. If you can comprehensively answer the questions your audience is asking, your site will rank highly in Google organically.
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