New SEO best practices
Search Engine Optimization is an art which continues to evolve and improve and if you want to be serious about keeping your site top notch you must ensure that you keep up to date with the most recent SEO practices. The following is a list of modern practices compiled by SEOmoz.
Title Tag Format
Primary Keyword - Secondary Keywords | Brand
Brand Name | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keywords
When you are trying to rank highly for a particular keyword / phrase, it is best to include it in the beginning of the title
The Usefulness of H1 Tags
H1s are important for users but not necessarily for search engines anymore.
They are very important for establishing information hierarchy and helping with algorithmically determined semantics, but they seem to be less important for search engine optimization.
The Usefulness of Nofollow
We recommend using rel= for thwarting would be spammers of user generated content. You can also use it as an incentive for creating active users.
The Usefulness of the Canonical Tag
The canonical tag is still young and is only useful as a hint to the search engines to prevent duplicate content. It is not the silver bullet that webmasters are looking for.
The Use of Alt text with Images
We recommend including alt text for all images on all publicly accessible pages. We also suggest adding images with good alt text to pages targeting competitive rankings. This is an essential thing which you should be doing anyway.
The Use of the Meta Keywords tag
If it is not a problem to let your competitors know your keywords and you are trying to rank highly in, the Meta Keywords tag can be useful. Note: This is different from what we have recommend in the past.
The Use of Parameter Driven URLs (I.E. www.example.com/index.php?option=com_conent§iondid=0)
We don’t recommend using them. Mask parameters by creating Search Engine Friendly URLS
The Usefulness of Footer Links
Use footer links sparingly. We recommend no more than 25 relevant internal navigational links.
We have seen many examples of Google penalties tied directly to abusive footer links (that "magically" lifted upon removal of the keyword anchor text stuffed footers). Manipulative links in footers are easily detected algorithmically, and appear to have automated penalties applied to them by Google.
The Use of 301 Redirects
Use 301 redirects as the best way to redirect webpages but warn that they do have disadvantages.
Blocking pages from Search Engines
The Meta Robots tag (noindex, follow) is generally a better option than robots.txt. Robots.txt files are useful but should be used sparingly and only if a meta robots tag is not an option.
Google Search Wiki's Affect on Rankings
We don’t recommend spending any time or resources on search wiki.
The Affect of Negative Links from “Bad Link Neighborhoods”
Link neighborhoods are a real thing but the affect of links from bad neighborhoods on good neighborhoods is minimal if the links are not reciprocal.
The Importance of Traffic on Rankings
The metric of visitors to a given site is not used to help determine rankings.