2011 has been another very busy year on the SEOptimise blog, with nearly 400 posts generating over 400,000 visits and well in excess of half a million pageviews (oh and one best blog award).
With the year drawing to a close, and Christmas just round the corner, I thought it would be a great opportunity to try and summarise the best and most popular posts of the year, and hopefully give you a few early SEO Christmas gifts. While I am personally not a fan of list posts, judging by the most popular posts a lot of you are. So ever eager to please, here is a list of the 58 best/most popular posts of the year.
Our 10 most popular posts
What better place to start than the most popular posts of the year? Between them, the posts below generated almost 100,000 pageviews. So, working on the basis that 100,000 people (ok, maybe not people) can’t be wrong, there must be some awesome SEO gems contained within them.
- 30 Web Trends You Have to Know About in 2011 – the first post of the year is also the most popular, with Tad’s post about what was going to happen to search and social in 2011 receiving over 17,000 pageviews. As you would expect, there were a few predications that didn’t come true, but a fair few that did.
- 30 Ways to Use Social Media for Business People – with businesses seemingly falling over themselves to become more social, it’s good to know what you can use it for, and this post rounds it up.
- 30 (New) Google Ranking Factors You May Over- or Underestimate – a one-stop guide to some of the more misunderstood Google ranking factors: link decay anyone?
- What Happens When You Build 10,000 Dodgy Links to a New Domain in 24 Hours? – this post got a fair few mentions at conferences, on other blog posts and even in the mainstream media. While the answer may seem obvious, you never know until you try, and Marcus did.
- 30 (New) SEO Terms You Have to Know in 2011 – this was the most shared post on our blog in 2011 and, amongst other things, told everyone what a content farm is shortly before Google tried to destroy them all. Still, there are always the 29 other terms.
- High Risk SEO: 33 Ways to Get Penalised by Google – a post that summarises ways to get penalised by Google. Best used as a “how not to guide”, but I’m fairly sure people will still try a few and cross their fingers.
- 36 Must-Read Local SEO/Google Places Resources from 2010/2011 – with Local and Places results becoming ever more prominent in the SERPs, it’s best to know how to master them. This post did the hard work and aggregated lots of the best sources for you.
- 30 Web Trends for 2012: How SEO, Search, Social Media, Blogging, Web Design & Analytics Will Change – despite only being published in late November this still made the top 10 list. Judging by the accuracy of the one Tad did for 2011, it’s probably worth a read.
- Can You Get a New Domain Ranking Using Just Facebook Likes & Tweets? – there was a lot of talk earlier in 2011 about the potential use of social signals in Google’s algorithm, so Marcus tried to find out if there was anything to back up the chat by experimenting.
- 30 Link Building/Link Baiting Techniques That Work in 2011 – With the Panda update (potentially) devaluing a lot of low quality links, Tad refreshed our memory about some of the great link building tactics that are still available.
The 20 posts that got you sharing
The later half of the year has all been about one thing – social media, largely fuelled by Google’s latest attempt at social media, Google+. Bearing this in mind, we had to check what got our readers sharing during 2011.
- 30 New SEO Terms You Have To Know in 2011 – shared 1,510 times
- 30 Ways To Use Social Media for Business People – shared 1,284 times
- 30 Web Trends For 2012: How SEO Search Social Media Blogging Web Design Analytics Will Change – shared 890 times
- 30 New Google Ranking Factors You May Over or Underestimate – shared 678 times
- How To Write a Social Media Audit – shared 599 times
- Can You Get a New Domain Ranking Using Just Facebook Likes Tweets – shared 597 times
- High Risk SEO 33 – Ways To Get Penalised by Google – shared 582 times
- 30 Link Building & Link Baiting Techniques That Work in 2011 – shared 406 times
- What Makes a Real SEO Expert – shared 404 times
- 30 Google Quality/Panda Update Resources for Content Farmers and SEO Practitioners – shared 397 times
- 30 Efficient Web Tools That Save Time and Make Money For Power Users – shared 369 times
- 30 Google SERP Changes that Impact Your SEO Strategy – shared 357 times
- 157 Awesome PubCon 2011 Takeaways – shared 346 times
- What Happens When You Build 10,000 Dodgy Links to a New Domain in 24 Hours – shared 322 times
- 30 Web Trends You Have To Know About in 2011 – shared 285 times
- Google Dropping Analytics Keyword Data: What Does This Mean – shared 273 times
- 30 SEO Myths That Are True or False Depending on Who You Ask – shared 247 times
- 30 Ways To Optimise Your Site for Speed – shared 235 times
- Experiment Do Google+1S Impact Your Rankings – shared 229 times
- Social Media Why an SEO Background is Better Than PR – shared 229 times
The three best experiments of the year
Due to the secrecy behind Google’s algorithm, a lot of popular SEO theory is based on anecdotal evidence and guess work. But, every so often Marcus, our resident SEO mad scientist, likes to don his lab coat shark outfit, lock himself away and get experimenting. Below are three of his best experiments from 2011 (no animals were harmed during the making of these posts – but a few sites were).
- What Happens When You Build 10,000 Dodgy Links to a New Domain in 24 Hours
- Experiment – Do Google+1s Impact Your Rankings
- Can You Get a New Domain Ranking Using Just Facebook Likes Tweets
The 10 greatest SEO tool posts
The one thing common to all SEOs is that we like our tools, whether it’s to crawl a site or just optimise it. In the SEOptimise office we like to try everything out, and the good news for you is that we love to write about them too. So here are the 10 greatest posts about SEO tools we wrote this year.
- Top 20 WordPress Plugins 2011 Edition
- 30 Efficient Web Tools That Save Time and Make Money for Power Users
- 10 New Google Tools Products and Services Every Business Person Has To Know About
- Five Low Profile SEO Tools
- 30 Very Useful Twitter Tools You Must Be Aware of
- Google Webmaster Tools: A Beginners’ Guide to Installation
- More Than 30 Google Tools, Extensions, Tutorials and Other Resources
- Simple Goal Conversion Tracking With Piwik, the Open Source Google Analytics Alternative
- 30 Social Search Tools SEO Resources For Power Users
- Salespeople The Free SEO Tool Every Agency Has
10 awesome SEO conference posts
As an agency we get like to go to and talk at as many conferences as we can (especially if they are in Vegas). But we also know that not everyone can go to them all, and even if you do there is a lot to remember, so we always try our best to post a round-up of the stuff we hear. So below I have summarised our 10 most viewed conference related posts.
- 157 Awesome PubCon 2011 Takeaways
- Using Social Media for SEO Benefit: Travel Presentation SAScon 2011
- How Important Are Facebook Likes for Search Presentation From SMX London
- BrightonSEO 2011 Roundup Who Said What and Why
- Post Panda Affiliates’ Guide to Surviving Google, a4uexpo London 2011
- Keyword Research SMX Advanced London 2011 Presentation by Kevin Gibbons
- Top 65 Takeaways From a4uexpo London 2011
- SearchLove 2011: Top Trends
- 28 Top Takeaway Tweets From SAScon Mini 2011
- London SES Day 1
Five wicked polls
We love a good bit of crowdsourcing in the SEOptimise office, and we are very lucky that we have followers who like to get involved and share their opinions. Here are five of the best and most interesting polls we ran this year.
- 74% of SEOs Buy or Would Buy Links
- Google Dropping Analytics Keyword Data: What Does This Mean
- Quick Poll Is Google AdWords Remarketing (A) Great for ROI or (B) Annoying
- Poll What Are The Most Important Factors That Make a Blog Post Go Viral
- Think Visibility Voted 1 UK Search Conference by SEOs
So these are our greatest hits of the year, hope you all found some cool stuff. Next year there will be more of the same, plus hopefully a few more video blogs as well. If there are any blogs that we haven’t included but you think deserve a mention, let me know in the comments section.
Finally, we are always happy to take requests, so if you want us to blog about something in particular you can add those to the comments too.
*Image credit: negatendo on Flickr (I had to use a cat picture once this year).