SEO Gold Coast - SEO is the acronym of Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is the practice of trying to improve a website's organic search engine rankings for a broad range of targeted search queries

Webmaster David Thatcher Hard Web Gold Coast

The aptly named "Google one page SEO starter guide".
Click on text or image above for enlargement.

The graphic above was originally a PDF found on the Google help page linked below.

For more of the straight skinny from Google's very own mouth see the best Google information regarding SEO or search engine optimisation including about how to find a reputable SEO (like me) and how to ask the right questions to an SEO agency you are considering to perform SEO on your website.
Graphics above are copyright © Google Inc

Hard web provides SEO services to Gold Coast and other Qld businesses.

SEO is the practice of improving the organic (unpaid) ranking of websites in the search engine's listing pages.
In Australia the focus of SEO is on the biggest search provider which is Google but also to a lesser extent Yahoo and Bing.

Hard Web knows that SEO's clear objective is to improve the organic rankings for your website for the targeted keywords that I will research and decide to be of high volume (lots of people use the keywords) and that are closely aligned with the actual services or products you are selling.

As my SEO customer you must be willing to provide me with quality content to fill specific webpages on your website. This will be done under my guidance but I cannot write your quality content for you.
See below for adapted questionnaire you must answer regarding what is quality content?

I provide SEO for not only new websites but existing websites where I didn't design the initial website.

I have now decided to limit my offer of SEO services to HTML based websites and only two CMS (content management system) based websites, those made with WordPress and Bigcommerce.

The experiences I have had with trying to do SEO on the myriad of other CMS's is that success depends too much on the CMS not on my skills, I also I wasted a lot of time familiarising myself with a CMS which may or may not provide the capability to do effective SEO.

Search engine optimisation (or optimization) is a special area of interest and one where I have had some spectacular results for my clients (even if I do say so myself!).

I specialise in integrating your website into the Google ecosystem which includes installing Google Analytics, registering your website with Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools) and making sure the Google+ for business page (now updated with a very good "My Business" interface) has accurate information and is being listed favourably.
Note that the Google+ for business page is where your Google maps listing's information is drawn from.
The maps listing info was formerly taken from Google Places, then both Places and G+ and now thankfully it is just Google+ or more properly as of June/July 2014 Google My Business.


David from Hard Web talks about SEO on the Gold Coast to celebate Hard Web's #1 ranking for the search for 'SEO Gold Coast' on 16 Oct 2013

Tip: Videos help rankings, even though this is a not professionally produced (no kidding!), the content is original and it has a text transcript which Google likes very much.

I believe that the only long term SEO strategy that works is by legitimate means or what is called in the trade; white-hat SEO which involves regularly producing fresh, original and what Google calls quality content for your website and it's pages.

In Australia the search engine user base is overwhelmingly dominated by one search engine Google, so I place great importance on following and implementing the clear guidelines set down by Google for correct web design & SEO practices, please see Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

If you wish to further your SEO knowledge you must also read the legendary Google SEO primer called the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
It is a 32 page .PDF first published by Google in Nov 2008 and updated in Sep 2010.
After you have read and absorbed those two sources you will know more about SEO than 99.9% of the world's website owners and about half of the world's SEO experts!

Here is new Google series specifically for beginner web-masters regarding how to get found in the Google search engine and even how to improve your website's position/ranking/listing in Google - gee why didn't they just say how to do SEO? because that's what it is!

Further down on those pages linked above you can see some of Google's tips for experienced webmasters, mainly about Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools).

FINALLY a great video on that same page about why businesses should get online, it is also in the same series and narrated by Texan AdWords and Analytics expert Anastasia Holdren whom I have met at a few Google Engage (now called Google Partner) conferences and is very nice.

Use the form below to submit your website for a free SEO, web design or Google AdWords assessment.

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SEO News
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land answers the question on everyone's lips...
What is Google's Rankbrain?



Google's link: search parameter is gone!
See a recent article I wrote about the useful SEO tool that is the Google search link: prefix which is now apparently not available and may have become links: You can use this Google search prefix or suffix as a tool to see which outside domains are backlinking to your target domain. It appears to have transmuted into it's plural links:. i.e. link:www.hardweb.com.au is now giving zero results but links:www.hardweb.com.au seems to be about what is usually returned.


Pigeon update changes local search results The pigeon update is still not officially acknowledged by Google but the changes in the SERPs speak for themselves.

Search Engine Land (SEL) reported that after talks with Google the message from Google was that the Pigeon algorithm changes

"aim to deliver improved local search results with enhanced 'distance and location' ranking parameters."

Which I assume means distance from the searcher's location.

SEL also said Google said that Google told them that the new local search algorithm which SEL dubbed "Pigeon"

"ties deeper into the site’s web search capabilities, leveraging hundreds of ranking signals, along with search features like spelling correction capabilities, synonyms and Google’s knowledge graph."

My interpretation of that gobbledygook is: "local Google search results are now weighting a website higher in the algorithm and the website's associated G+ map listing (My Business) lower in the algorithm"

but that does not seem to be the practical result. The major changes to Google's search engine results pages (SERPs) that have been reported include that the directory websites have jumped up in the rankings and small business websites have commensurately fallen in the rankings. Directory websites I have noticed to increase their rankings include Truelocal, Yellow pages, LocalDirectories, HomeImprovementPages, Gumtree and Whereis.

The 2 main parts of SEO are commonly called on-page & off-page

My advice is to know the difference between on-page SEO and off-page SEO.


The job of SEO can be divided into two parts called:

On-page SEO
This involves optimizing the actual website and all of it's 'pages' including the page's underlying HTML code and also the text and pictures that make up the website that everyone can see.

Some tips for writing copy for your website, with SEO in mind.

Always start with keyword research which I do via the Google keyword planner tool formerly known as the Google keyword tool and now only available to use from within an AdWords account but which fortunately you can sign up for at no cost.

If you think that certain words are relevant to the searcher trying to find your product then try to include those words in the text on the webpage.

SEO has become more subtle these days as Google recognises synonyms more effectively and allows a search for something where the text may not necessarily be on the page but where synonyms are on the webpage.

Google hates keyword stuffing so try to deliver what Google wants which is fresh, original, insightful text with no lines or ideas copied from anywhere else unless explicitly attributed.
Write about what you know with relevance to the customers you want to specialise in.

The text should be relevant to the what the user is looking for with no deceptive tricks such as adding words that are not part of the field you are in, just to try and boost rankings.

If someone is searching for something then the searcher in general realises what they are looking for but may not know an exact description so you can exploit the fact that people use different words.


SEO for new business websites.
Maile Ohye from Google advises on how to do SEO if you have a new website (or startup) in a super concise consultation. Full of Juice!

Google also realises that websites may try to optimize for terms they are not actually selling - in order to get traffic - but Google hates that because in it's eyes this is an attempt to outwit the system and unfortunately Google is smarter than us and in the long run this tactic will fail.

Google seeks to deliver relevant websites in answer the user's query.
The list of 10 or so organic results that Google shows on the first page of results after a query are there because of their particular relevancy to the user's search query.

The rewards for playing by the Google rules in the game that has taken over local small business business advertising (from Yellow Pages) are huge.
Achieving highly ranked organic (free) listings for your website are "money in the bank" to your business because of the leads that good rankings generate.

The penalty for failed black hat SEO is eternal damnation in Google's eyes and that place is where we do not want our websites to end up.

Off-page SEO
This is more difficult and involves managing the websites "popularity" and "relevance" which are Googly terms meaning how much other websites "like" the website we are trying to optimize. It boils down to how many other "popular" websites or blogs "link" to or "like" or "plus" our website that we are trying to optimize.

Getting a link (or hyperlink) to your website has certain rules that Google insists we follow, for instance we are not allowed to buy links to increase the website's popularity. This is against Google's guidelines for SEO.

The website has to earn it's popularity!

This reminds me of popularity in the schoolyard - not that easy to attain!

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Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools)

Googlebot doing it's job of finding, copying, sorting and then indexing and ranking  websites

Googlebot doing it's job of finding, copying, sorting and then indexing and ranking websites

Since I gained my Individual Qualification in the Google Analytics application (here is proof of my Analytics IQ qualification here) - I have applied Google Analytics to many websites and it is simply the best tool for analysis of the way visitors get to your website and what they do when they get there.

The hard data of how the potential customer is interacting with your website, which is representing your business online, is an invaluable source of information for how to improve your website in the many ways it can be improved.

I also integrate Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools) with Google Analytics (GA) which I believe is absolutely essential.

All new websites of mine get the GA, GWT and SEO treatment because I believe that a website is worth next to nothing if people can't easily find it via search and not just for obvious search terms like the business name I mean real traffic generating search phrases.

What is SEO?

Matt Cutts (above) is the face of Google SEO.
Matt's actual job title is head of Web Spam at Google.
He is Google's SEO advice guru and in this video he answers a question about the biggest SEO mistakes.

SEO (Search Engine optimisation) is altering a webpages code, content and structure to help a search engine such as Google, to be able to index (rank) the website accurately and hopefully highly against it's competition.

The aim of SEO is to get high rankings for as many targeted keywords as possible.

It is difficult and time consuming but I believe it is the best money a customer of mine can spend with me as my SEO methods have worked consistently for years and are still working well.

I am basically following the guidelines set out by the search engines as well as keeping up to date with what the SEO community is speculating about what changes are occuring in the world of SEO.

For more SEO information up to the expert level see Google employee Matt Cutts blog and also the Google webmaster blog
I also like the SEO section of Site Pro News as well as the killer Vertical Nerve blog.


Below is my modifed excerpt from the Google webmaster central blog dated 6th May 2011 which advised us that when trying to answer the vexed question...

What is quality content?

We must ask ourselves the following rhetorical questions about our webpages.
(Note that the questions below have been slightly modified to make better sense, see link above for original questions)

If you were a new visitor to a page within your website:

  • Would you trust the information presented on the page?
  • Does the page appear to be written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant pages on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving the credit card information to the site?
  • Does the page have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by the imagined genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the page provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to the other pages in the search results for your targeted queries?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Is the page edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • If the site was a health related website and the page was ranked for a health related query, would you trust information from the site?
  • Would you recognize the site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does the page provide a complete or comprehensive description of the targeted topic?
  • Does the page contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does the page have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Do you think the page would be good enough to be published in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the pages on the site short, insubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail or do they seem they are produced with less attention to detail?
  • For whatever reason would web users be likely to complain when they see pages from the site?


Author: David Thatcher

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I thought Google didn't want to fill the results with directory listings?
What is going on?
See a letter of parody regarding Google's relationship with directory websites and maybe something we all need to know about called barnacle SEO.


Google finally gets it right with My Business


My Business section of a Google+ business account is very positive.

Firstly it signals the end of Google Places which is very welcome and is long overdue. Having Google+ local business pages as well as Google Places accounts had meant a lot of confusion regarding duplication.

My Business attempts to bring together other parts of the Google universe into one page and hopefully it will be expanded further.
At the moment it includes Google Analytics, Hangouts, Insights (into the Google+ page not your website), and easy ways to post to your Google+ stream and to access and respond to your reviews.

If it expands to include a Gmail interface and maybe access to AdWords (other than express which is bogus), Google Calendar, Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools) and YouTube then it would really be a rocking interface!

15/6/2014
Excellent SMX Seattle round up by Search Engine Watch, my favourite sessions were;
- Big movers in SEO factors
- Backlinks
- SEO for Mobile devices
- Structured data markup

Hard Web is a Google Partner click to see Hard Web listing on Google Partner search

In 2011 Hard Web qualified to become a Google Partner.
To enquire about AdWords, Web Design or SEO
Call Office: (07) 5526 2939
or Mobile: 0401 352 269

or email
Use the form below to submit your website for a free SEO, web design or Google AdWords assessment.

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  Enquiry:

Established in 1999 2013 is Hard Web's 14th year of trading!
Hard Web is now in it's 14th of Trading on the Gold Coast!
The Web is now being served in many different hardware devices inluding tablet, mobile phone and ultrabook
The Web is now being served in many different hardware devices including tablet, mobile phone and ultrabook...
contact Hard Web to find out how you can optimize your website to suit different delivery devices.
Top 3 useful Google list pages which list a lot of other related Google services
(All Google links below open in new tabs or windows)
Google Help lists Google help pages for all Google products
Google Product Forums lists all help forums
Google History lists many of your interactions with Google. You can listen to all of the voice searches you have ever made!? Spooky.

Top 15 free Google business products

Calendar (and tasks or reminders)
Chrome (browser)
Gmail (webmail)
Google Keep (notes)
Google Search (Aussie ver.)
Google Analytics (website stats)
Google My Business (free business listing)
Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools - essential for SEO)
Google Plus
Google Drive (cloud base - includes the following 5 tools found within Drive
Google Docs (cloud word processing)
Google Sheets (cloud spreadsheet I love it!)
Also see Google Slides, Forms and Drawings (Drawings is within Docs).


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Call 07 5526 2939 or 0401 352 269