The answer to this question is of course the holy grail when it comes to web design and web marketing.
Keyword focused Anchor Text from external links - this means that when a website links to your website, the visible words contained in the link tell Google what your website probably contains. External link popularity - This means that Google ranks your site depending on the quality and quantity of the external links pointing to your site. Diversity of link sources - This means that the more domains (the addresses of websites) that link to your site the better; many links from the same source do not help as much as one link each from lots of differnet sources. Keyword use in the title tag - The title tag (usually right at the top of your browser window when you are looking at a website) tells Google what your page should be about and it appears that Google cares more about the keywords in the title than about the keywords on your pages. Trustworthiness of the domain - Google attempts to rate your domain for trustworthiness, based on various sources, including where it is hosted (it can be affected by other domains on the same hosting).
If you notice, 4 of the top 5 ranking factors have nothing, in principal, to do with the actual content of your website; they are all based on external links to your website instead. If you own your own business in 2014 there is a pretty good chance that you have a website for that business. If you have any desire to expand your business and presence on the web, you practically have to implement SEO. Many business owners don’t know the first thing about SEO so allow us to give you a quick rundown of what it’s all about.
We could write numerous articles on each of these subjects, but for the sake of this article we’ll just leave them be for now. If you’re unsure about whether SEO can help your business and boost your presence on the web, give us a call and we’ll help you determine if SEO would be a valuable investment for your business.
Are you concerned about search rankings and the future of your web sites and blogs… It seems like everyone is talking about their search ranking these days, and why wouldn’t they? Thankfully there is a wide selection of tools and resources for you to use to track where you are in the search results, and some that will keep tracking reports and progress of your movements. Knowing where you rank in the search engines right now is extremely useful, but knowing where you did rank in previous weeks and month is even more useful. Through the use of the SheerSEO’s rank checker you can track the movement of various sites in the search engine. It’s great to have web sites, applications and resources for pulling up detailed site stats, but what about when you are working within your web browser and looking for some quick stats.
It takes a lot of time for a blog to go from nothing to an authority site that ranks very well in the search engines.
In the end… if you want to make it in the game of online marketing and building a blog into something big, focus on your content and link building methods and not trying to game the system.
Great post Zac, i was looking for this tool , i googled a lot but couldn’t find any good legit serp checker.
I always look forward to posts done by you as it seems you always know what I’m planning to embark on.
It’s one of my favorites too, I love how it shows you the scanning through of results then highlights you listing. Do you think, one can check if he or she appears in Google SEPRs by doing a Google search in incognito mode of Google Chrome?
Brilliant tools, I just checked my ranking for one of my websites and it proved me right, its not bad.
Thank you for those tools Zac, I have to say that I didn’t know about any of them and I have to check those out. I really like the first link you have provided and I think I need to work on that little bit more and doing comments blogging and guest posting for time now but only struggling to get the good search rankings of my site to find out.
There is a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet in regards to how Alexa tracks traffic, how Alexa rankings work and how they impact your SEO rankings (or don’t). Alexa gets their rankings from the Alexa Toolbar, which people install into their browsers and it basically tracks their activity around the Internet, the websites they visit, and how often they visit. This is where they get most of their data from, so they really do have a minute set of data to work with as only a small fraction of people actually have the Alexa toolbar installed (guestimates say around 15-20 million downloads…many of these no longer active), with a good deal of these being people that are Internet marketers who want to track their Alexa rankings. But first, the most obvious way would be to get more website traffic to increase your Alexa rankings right? In my test,  Website A was getting 20,000+ unique visitors per day, and Website B was getting just over 1,000+ uniques per day. I am not going to go into details, but based on my first point there are very few data triggers that Alexa has to work off of that are not publicly available. The traffic data they use is based on their toolbar, so naturally the more people that visit your site that have the toolbar installed will improve your Alexa rank (hint, hint). If you are interested in finding out where your website ranks in Google, an important metric when determining your SEO effectiveness there are tools that can scan Google’s search results and tell you where you are ranked (what page you are on) under specific keywords. On the Alexa website you will notice there are many different services they are attempting to sell you. I also have personally tried these services (Get Certified Metrics)  for testing purposes and can honestly tell you that you are buying into an empty offer.
Recently it appears that many folks have been vastly misinformed as to how Alexa works and what the purpose of Alexa is. So Alexa will not efficiently or accurately track your traffic and they will not be able to serve as any sort of indicator in respect to SEO.
I hope this has added some clarity to the whole Alexasphere and if you do have anything in addition to add, any Alexa experiences or any questions about any of this content, drop me a note below and I will be more than happy to discuss. The reason they are not reliable in terms of their overall rankings is because they don’t have access to actual traffic data from websites (other ones that offer it up).
In the late 90’s until about 2006 when Google Analytics began capturing the market, Alexa was the mainstream go-to place for comparison analytics. Your article dispels the myths about Alexa once and for all, is an eye-opener on the commercially available tools, and also hints at how some are gaming Alexa stats.
It is still very easy to game the stats and they are highly inaccurate based on the my website portfolio.
Alexa has no REAL traffic data from websites other than the ones that PAY them to offer up their traffic information.
More importantly, you must have very high traffic levels (say 250k – 500k unique users per month) to hope get any worthwhile relative data from these professional tools. In doing some research I have noticed a drastic difference in what Alexa statistics are for my sites and those that I am seeing in Google Analytics. Exactly, Alexa has very little correlation between a websites real traffic and their suspected traffic. Unfortunately a lot of advertisers or company nowadays still use Alexa to gauge site performance. One thing you are missing in this article is advertisers look at alexa rating to determine if a website is a good fit. For over a year I’ve been using the Alexa rank of websites as an estimate of how much traffic they get. No website other than Google knows how much traffic a given website gets (assuming that people have Google Analytics installed).
Because of this, you shouldn’t be using this as the metric to determine how well your website is doing.
I think it would be quite foolish to hand over your website data to Alexa and serves ZERO value to you. The only data that Alexa has is from (a) people that pay to put their analytics software on their site (b) people that have the Alexa toolbar plugin installed. Like most people who do not know the performance of the Alexa, I have been stuck in your circle of influence to try to get alexa ranking there. It really depends, there is no consistency as your rankings are not based on traffic, they are based on what pages people are visiting that have the Alexa toolbar installed. That is the problem Mike, most people give Alexa far more credit for their analytical data than they are worth.
For a long time I was trying like crazy to push my Alexa rank down and was succeeding by the millions. I can certainly see why now why I should NOT worry about Alexa – especially in view of the fact that they sell you software costing $149 per month that you can obtain free from Google !
They have no way to capture your data unless you pay them (at which time you give them access to your data).
Use Google Analytics to determine what your traffic is and avoid using Alexa as any metric for your website performance.
In these days where business owners are rapidly catching on to the electronic bug, taking their businesses online with the hope to unlock the door to a limtless and boundless customer base, the resultant effect is that the eBusiness space is increasingly becoming cluttered and more competitive to thrive in.
Times like these call for "desperate" innovative measures if one is to stand out of the crowd, pull in customer traffic, and meet those sale figures drafted out in fancy excel spread sheets. We know you want to make the money, and for that reason, we advise that the ultimate goal of every search engine optimization campaign you carry out should be getting your money keywords ranking highly on page 1 of Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The easiest way to trick that out is writing good content, and then ensuring that you include a couple of easy to rank long-tail keywords within the content…can we ever say this enough?
If you do proper keyword selection, then you are likely to get first page of Google quickly.
The benefits of having your website or blog ranked on the first page of Google are bountiful to say the least– all those eyeballs, click-throughs and record sales numbers? It is pretty much agreed that Google can and probably does read metadata embedded in photos, though whether that influences SEO in any way is still disputed. At the same time, the question if text embedded in photos “can’t be read by search engines” remains.
Repeating the experiment for our logo (which contains no embedded text), the search engine did a pretty good job  figuring out that the logo is related mainly to “cognitive seo”, probably by drawing conclusions from the text in the vicinity of various image occurrences and compiling a best guess, based on the visually similar images contingent on the order of the pixels in the image.

The tumbler-wielding youth of today are pretty tired of having to look for hours and hours for that particular funny cat gif (yeah, you know the one, that one) that has something written all over it with none of the desired results. Besides, optic character recognition (OCR)  technologies are already used on a large scale, mostly by Google itself for scanning books in the Google Books service. There are a slew of other image-recognition-related patents, mostly focusing on object recognition (image recognition search patent, image recognition methods patent  , pixel hashing image recognition system , etc.) which cover everything from privacy and social networks to driverless cars. Matt Cutts elusively admits that Google “reserve(s) the right to potentially use” the data for ranking purposes . So, for instance, if you took your picture with a 50 mm primer lens of a certain brand and type, and this information gets recorded as EXIF data, it is possible that whenever someone looks for data about that particular brand and type of lens, they will also be directed to examples of shots taken with that camera, and in particular to your site. With one exception, all the other pictures on top of that search have “PIOMAS” somewhere in the name or Alt Text and “arctic sea ice volume” somewhere in a text in the vicinity of the picture. Unfortunately, the issue of whether or not Google reads text that is embedded in pictures is a much less cut-and-dry issue than that of the melting polar caps. Since it’s easier to disprove than to prove something, we tried a different experiment this time, one that started with an image. We did an image search after an image of the text “Google” (going a bit meta here), fully expecting Google to catch on. It may have reached your ears the fact that brand mentions are considered now the new links. This is also a useful process in trying to find out who republished your image without permission or without giving due credit. Worse yet than someone stealing your drawings or pictures is someone stealing your logo concept. It goes without saying that Google is trying to win a long term battle against those who seek to manipulate the search results for their own ends and provide users with the best results they can. Even more, isn’t it possible that Google’s algorithm uses alt tags, image captions or embedded text in images as ranking metrics? Even if you might have ignored the image search from Google, it might be high-time you used it. Putting this in other words, it’s better to be safe than sorry so the best time to take care of your images is now. There was no doubt that images are being “read” as long as we know that YouTube easily transcribes all YouTube videos, but only a deeper look could show some interesting insights! Visual content isn’t less popular than text and it’s optimization must not be neglected! Second, I find it a bit scary, that google really are able to grab text direct from images.
As a side note, I suppose this page will soon be a runner up for my son’s homework assignment phrase! I wonder whether this has any implications for website that use stock photography, could an image that appears on your site and thousands of others now be considered duplicate content?
Dear Razvan this is the best post I have read in understanding how Google understands the images we post. However, this article will explain why that question is so hard to answer and also why it is not the best question to ask at all. We all want to rank as high as possible and Google must decide, amongst the millions of web pages it crawls every hour, which should appear and in what order. Upon inspection, it is clearly a better model for Google if it judges your website based on how it is viewed by other websites. To be sure, the overall design of a website should follow Google’s best practises, included having correct title tags, meta descriptions and meta keyword tags. However there is also a pretty good chance that you have a hard time ranking on the first page of Google’s search results without a proper SEO strategy. It is nearly impossible to rank a site (even with a small amount of competition) without SEO. Without getting too technical you should expect to see keyword research, on-site optimization, link building, content development, and pay-per-click advertising if you wish to allocate a budget for it. The bottom line is that most internet searchers don’t scroll beyond the second page in search results. With Google throwing web sites and their rankings around like rag dolls, you never know where your rankings might be!
In this post we are going to highlight a few of the best free, free trial, and paid solutions out there for tracking your blog’s movement in the search engines. Seeing your increases or decreases in movement through the search engines can be controlled by your current link building and content generation methods. This is a premium software application, but anyone can download a free 60 day trial version to track and report your site’s search rankings and more. Many people will ask how to make money with their blog or how to achieve top search rankings. There may be some short cuts or creative ways to get ahead at a faster rate, but in the end it comes down to QUALITY links and QUALITY content. When we open a tab in incognito mode, then we are completely NEW to Google (if I am right).
What Page of Search Am I On seems like interesting tools to find out the search ranking of a website. I always used MS to track ranks but this looks way more advanced, especially the previous weeks rank can be very useful. I have found with a lot of free tools that they work for a number of months and then seem to stop.
I have a few websites that I have been remodeling and was asked by a potential advertiser for a couple of my sites.
I actually thought Google took your Alexa ranking into consideration when ranking your website in search engines.
Alexa used to let you search for keywords and then told you how the clicks are shared throughout the listings. The rest of the sites out there like Compete, Moz and Alexa are just estimates and in many cases GUESSES because they don’t have access to anyones website data. I agree that alexa ranking is biased and doesn’t give accurate traffic figures but it does collect figures from those who have the toolbar installed.
I was so pissed because of this Alexa which seems to dip no matter how much traffic I get, but from last few weeks I am examining myself that Alexa is nothing but a sham, false, facade and bogus as you said. In fact, the conventional wisdom seems to be that search engines do not take into account photo-embedded text (assuming they can read it at all) and that the practice of embedding text in photos is generally a bad idea for a series of other non-SEO reasons (mostly having to do with accessibility of the information for the user). There are several intuitive scenarios that come to mind, out of which the case of logos seems like the most obvious. But let’s go back to the original question: why should we care about text that is embedded in pictures (other than logos)?
We probably wouldn’t care about that either, but they are not only the consumers of tomorrow, but already the consumers of today.
Let’s take for instance Google Keep, the note taking service from Google that takes the idea of “note taking” to another level. The main problem OCR developers have to deal with is the less-than-100%-accuracy issue, which is vital for making the process fully automatic. And while Cutts treats the matter in a relaxed, you-have-it-it’s-fine-you-don’t-it’s-fine manner, it’s quite clearly a situation where it’s “finer” if you have it. Is there something more beneath the surface, just like with the overused cliche of an iceberg?
Of the images that the search returned, there was one in particular that had this exact phrase inside it, as picture-embedded text.
According to the official story, this is easily explained by the fact that the site had the text “arctic sea ice volume” in the vicinity of the picture, and the picture itself had the title “PIOMAS Spiral”.
Remember, however, that these two conditions only make sure that your images are indexed at all. Some of the most important things related to the brand have to do with an entirely different issue: copyright. To set things even more clear, Google has a patent  where it is written in black and white that brand mentions or citations are “implied links”.
Considering how easy it is to reblog or repost an image without also copying the accompanying text, it makes sense that credit is easily discarded somewhere along the way in a lot of cases.
Google keeps on changing or improving their algorithm in order to stimulate the webmasters to provide the best content they can for their users. In the near future, Google might flag poor or duplicate content in images or might revise the way they “read” and rank images. I have a nutrition webshop myselfe, and we actually have great benefit of marking up product pictures for meta, and doing just a tiny little bit of SEO in them. Thank you for taking the time to put so many different aspects down and ways to find stolen or re-used images. Unfortunately, unless you work in the inner realms of Google, you will never find out the answer. All images should have an alt tag (some text to show if the image is missing or is not displayed on the user’s browser). Unfortunately SEO does not produce immediate results, but if you follow through you’ll reap the benefits in the long run. Google has become extremely efficient at delivering results that a user is searching for and that’s why you need SEO in order to rank. All you need to do is put in the search box the phrase you want to see if search rankings for, then also put in your domain name.
My response is always the same… I tell them that blogging is one of the slowest forms of generating money online, but it can also be one of the most rewarding and lowest cost investments as well.

The obvious, but ineffective way to get higher Alexa rankings would be to get more traffic to your website but this is simply not the case. Alexa ranking may not be totally accurate but it is the closest to accurate tool available.
There are professional competitive intelligence tools like Hitwise, Compete, Comscore, Nielsen, Kampyle, etc.
It is my understanding this will present more precise visitors to your website similar to google analytics. Can it be assumed safely that the figures provided by Alexa are less than actual amount and that the site is question is atleast doing that many pageviews. The best answer is probably that… that’s just how people talk over the Internet nowadays. What we can say with certainty is that in a lot of cases and in most of our experiments, Google turned out to be pretty savvy in interpreting images. It would explain why it interpreted the picture of a rear view of a red sports car as “90’s cars” instead of a new Ferrari, which it is.
According to the data at least, the 18-29 demographic is knocking at 90% Internet usage worldwide.
Perhaps this is something that might make Google deploy the technology regularly for searches, but not yet let it affect rankings.
Which is probably why there’s a site that “EXIF-ies” your photos if they were slighted at “birth” and does it’s best to add EXIF metadata to them as if they were real, straight out of the camera’s mouth. Or is there less than we’ve assumed to the subject, just like with the ever shrinking arctic ice cap? In fact, it went quite a long way around and for reasons that are not entirely clear associated the image with the keywords “eagle eye solutions”.
There are, of course, some other things you can do to try and maximize your chances of showing up at the top of the results page. You draw an image, or take a picture of something that appeases (and pleases) the almighty Internet users. Thereby, finding people who mention your brand in images might come really in hand on the background of these recent changes.
Moreover, it is entirely possible that a republished image will rank higher than its original source sometimes. We went and searched for a logo that yielded two different companies using the same design. So, if Google is focusing on boosting engaging content and penalizing the low quality one, wouldn’t make sense that it would apply the same rules for images and photos? As I was saying at the beginning of the article, Google can and probably does read metadata embedded in photos. It’s better to prepare now for such a thing to happen, because even if nothing comes to pass, you will still have better content. I own a fitness site and started ranking for keywords on webpages that were picture heavy or exclusively pictures. Later this year all danish police cars will have an OCR camera attached with a 360 degree angle, so it will automatically register all cars the policecar passes.
Luckily, many people attempt to reverse engineer search results to try to build a model of how Google probably works. If you need something quick with the opportunity to make a sale today, a PPC campaign is recommended while you build up your SEO. SEO does not happen overnight, but in a period of about 6 months you should definitely see an increase in traffic, rankings and hopefully sales.
This tool is a must for anyone who is addicted to web sites and SEO, and currently has over 55,000 active users.
Instead of a physical dollar amount, you need to invest your time and dedication to finding a quality niche and creating really great content. Not only is it free and gives you exposure on other blogs to new traffic sources, but it also brings traffic back to your site and it creates long term and high quality backlinks as well.
The correct way to get higher Alexa rankings is to get more people to visit your website that have the Alexa toolbar installed. I mean if its more than what alexa is reporting then good for the website but knowing at least number of pagviews does seem helpful to me. For instance, the basic keyword yoga hong kong has almost 27000 allintitle competition in Google. Sure, it’s probably just another iteration of the brand name in many cases, but it’s a relevant reiteration of it. Probably because in most places the similar images were hosted, the text surrounding the image talked about 90’s cars.
So being able to put text on images as opposed to below or near them might just be the next best thing. Speaking of which, how do we know  how much ice there  is in the polar caps at any given time? But on your way home, take into consideration the fact that of the seven top pictures, five also happen to have 4 of the 5 search words as embedded text, and two pictures have 3 of the 5 search words as embedded text. Give the file a name that is directly related to the image content and a description that makes it easier to understand for your readers and place it on a page where it actually belongs and enhances the text (avoid keyword stuffing for the image ALT). They then have a myriad ways of sharing that image (reblogging, reposting, retweeting etc.) to their own pages and websites. As we can see in the screenshot below, the process of finding mentions of your brand can really make your communication manager’s day better.
Since there isn’t any automation on this yet, your best chance is to keep a close eye on the free flow of information.
The trouble with logos, of course, is that there is always a chance that the part of the logo we might be interested in is itself “embedded” in (or simply part of) bigger pictures, that include embedded text or additional graphics.
Judging by the way Google keeps on sweeping algorithms, we can expect  a public response in the near future form the big G representatives, informing us that images are taken into consideration when deciding the list of rankings. Image best practice should probably involve checking G for keyword images before trying to get creative. But I didn’t hear that Google can capture the text from scanned PDF documents in search results -not able to be believed.
This info can be used for a whole lot of purposes – also the scary ones to normal non criminal citizens. However, looking at the ranking factors, it is much more beneficial, once the website has been constructed properly, to spend time (and sometimes money) on promoting it to as many good websites as possible.
And I don’t mean that in the classic “an image is worth a thousand words” metaphorical sense, but in that so much of the content and of the way content is structured has to do with the use of images as lines in an imaginary dialogue, with text embedded in those images. Admittedly, the design is fairly reminiscent of that era’s particular brand of ostentatious sport cars. The big G was able to digitize the content and returned the exact phrase that we were looking for, even though that text was actually in a scanned PDF, basically an image.
Not enough to prove the case, but enough to support it in the light of the fact that there are quite a few search results, but those particular pictures came up first. The image results are somewhat varied, but if we were to guess, we’d say they were most likely the result of a basic similarity algorithm done at a pixel and color level.
Whether or not you use an Image Sitemap, how much metadata is attached to your image or whether or not you mark an image as adult-restricted will also influence how often and how highly ranked it will turn up on a given search.
Not only did the search engine “guessed” what symbol I was looking for but it helped me to easily figure out the pages that include the image, new or old mentions of the brand. Keep in mind that if this seems like too daunting a task for some images, you can combine image and text as search criteria for a more refined, targeted inquiry.
If the big picture is indexed and crawled as such, there’s a much higher chance Google will not return it as a top result, or as a result at all. However, Matt Cutts himself mentions  that there is no impact on the organic web ranking if you use stock imagery versus original imagery.
Anyhow, Google always bringing new changes in their search algorithms and pushing the webmasters (those who really don’t follow Google’s guidelines) in to trouble Thanks for sharing this post! It is very affordable and does an excellent job and just like SheerSEO, Traffic Travis lets me know at a glance if my position has increased or decreased. Other brand-related examples come to mind, mostly in the form of online image advertisements.
The adjacent text theory also explains the other misinterpreted image, the one with the “Try it for free” text.
Aside from the perk of being an interesting piece of trivia, this is also useful to our SEO-related queries.
And remember: while you have nothing to lose from embedding some text in your pictures (and potentially a little to win), you should not embed important text that you don’t have  written somewhere on the same page as well. But insofar as most logo thieves steal because they’re lazy, the most common scenario is that logo designs are stolen as such and you can at the very least sift through the most blatant cases of theft.
It also supports the idea that although reading image-embedded text may be in the books for Google, it’s not yet at the level of mastery needed to be universally implemented. If you’re simply curious about how far your fame has spread, you can do an image search with the actual image you’re interested in.
Google will turn up the various uses of the image across the web, including its presence on social sites. From there you can check out each search result to see exactly the context in which the image appears. You might even use a different phrase for title, subject, tags, and comments to see which if any or all are used.

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