Monthly Archives: August 2013

Wrong Ways To Use Hashtags

Hashtags are amazing. Not just because they offer such a clever way of grouping content, searching and adding context. Not even because they were used on IRC long before Twitter even thought of. It is because they have invaded the public consciousness in an irrevocable way that will continue to affect our world for generations to come.

Bethoven Using HashtagThink about it, when was the last time you made a hashtag reference and someone didn’t know what you were talking about? What do you think of every time you see a # sign?

How many websites are now using this format, including sites that were straight up against the idea like Facebook?

But for all the attention it has gotten, we have been remarkably careless with our hashtags. Many people don’t seem to understand how they work, and they misuse the tool. Which is a fast way for them to suffer a backlash, sometimes without even knowing they have.

Here are a few common ways people abuse the hashtag system, and what should be done instead.

Make hashtags natural part of the tweet:

Hasgtag Bracelet

  • The Bad: Using a bunch of hashtags in every single tweet in order to attract the attention of anyone who might possibly be able to benefit from it.
  • The Good: It might seem like a good idea to stuff a tweet full of every possible relevant hashtag. But this takes up your precious character limit and looks tacky. Instead, use one or two hashtags in a tweet, and if possible try and hashtag a word in the tweet itself. For example, you could write “I found the best #vegetarian pizza recipe ever!” Now you don’t have to add #vegetarian to the end of the tweet. 

Hashtags should make sense:

  • The Bad: Using random hashtags that may or may not be important in the tweet itself, just because it is slightly related.
  • The Good: Getting over zealous with your hashtagging is easy to do. I have seen people hashtag every single word in a tweet, just so they came up on a search for every one. This is ridiculous…a hashtag should only be the subject, genre or emotion behind a post. So saying “I #found the #best #vegetarian #pizza #recipe ever!” is not at all what you should be going for. However, you could say “I found the best #vegetarian pizza recipe ever! #yum” and it would be fine. 
  • The Bad: Hashtag hijackers will take random hashtags that have gained popularity or are trending and use them to piggy back for views. Their tweet has nothing to do with the hashtag itself, and it causes problems for the original person who penned a specific keyword.
  • The Good: Feel free to use a hashtag that has gained popularity. Even if the actual meaning of your tweet is slightly different in context. Just be aware of the purpose to the tag, and don’t swipe it in a desperate attempt to become visible. It makes you look like a spammer, and it is bad twitequette.

Hashtags should have a purpose:

  • The Bad: Being at a special event can be exciting, and tweeting about it is a great way to share the experience with others who are both there and couldn’t make it themselves. Using the hashtag too often and without purpose, however, is never appreciated.
  • The Good: Avoid flooding your Twitter feed with updates using the hashtag, even if you are continuously tweeting about it. Instead, save the hashtag for special tweets or more important updates, and refrain from using it on others. The only exception is if you are holding a live chat during an event or a Twitter chat, in which case you need your own hashtag anyway.

Tweet FaceConclusion

We should all be using hashtags regularly, both on and off Twitter where relevant. But we should be using them in the right way, otherwise the whole process is counterproductive and potentially harmful to your social media efforts. No one likes an impolite or aggressive hashtagger.

Luckily, it isn’t that difficult to avoid the worst offenses, and most others can be forgiven. Follow the advice above and you should be just fine.

Have some tips on using hashtags correctly? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: tweet face, bethoven hashtag, hashtag bracelet.

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Create an Overview of All On-Page Links – Featured SEO Tool of the Week

Today’s featured tool is quick and easy but it’s also so valuable: Internal/External Link Analyzer Tool

The tool will crawl any web page and create a clear list of all external and internal links plus the anchor text for each link.

  • Create a quick on-page link report!
  • Quickly see which links are nofollow
  • See links that have no anchor text (those might be hidden or overlooked)
  • See total number of internal versus external links on the page
  • Identify badly optimized or over-optimized (as much as I hate that word) links
  • Quickly go to any link
  • Hover over any link to see the full path

Internal/External Link Analyzer Tool

Check out the previously reviewed tool: Compare on-Page SEO of Two or More Pages (Featured SEO Tool). It also returns the list of internal and external links for several pages you point it to!

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Compare on-Page SEO of Two or More Pages (Featured SEO Tool)

This week in our “Featured tool” column we are sharing a neat online on-page SEO comparison tool that lets you quickly get an idea of how each of them is optimized and how the on-page tactics differ. Use the tool:

  • To grab top Google results competing with you and compare their on-page tactics
  • To compare your own pages if one seems to be performing better (for an unknown reason)

On-page SEO in numbers

The tool will give you a quick overview of basic on-page stats:

  • Words on each page;
  • “Linked” words on each page;
  • “Unlinked” words on each page;
  • Total links on each page;
  • Page size
basic on-page stats

Basic but essential numbers

Plus you’ll get a bird’s view of most essential meta tags (title and meta description)

(Sub)heading structure

Heading structure of each page (H1-H6 subheadings and their contents)

(Sub)heading structure

The overview of H1-H6 subheadings for each page

On-page keywords (Gold!)

Keyword usage of non-linked words on-page: one-, two- and three-word phrases (This one is gold for identifying ranking differences for internal pages!)

On-page keywords

Most frequent three-word combinations retrieved from each page

On-page links

The tool will list all links it could find on a page and break them into internal and external groups.

Finally the tool will provide you with the full CSS- and HTML-free text for all pages as well as full HTML code for each. Everything on one page!

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Analyze Google SERPs with Smart Page Keyword Density Tool – Featured This Week!

Today’s featured tool is a smart keyword density analysis utility that you can use to analyze SERPs (search engine results pages)!

The steps:

  • Run a search on Google and copy-paste the results URL
  • Remove s from https of the URL (to make sure the tool can access it)
  • Add &num=100 to the results to make sure the tool has a ton of text to analyze
  • Run the URL through our tool

Suddenly you have the whole list of keyword suggestions to work with:

Google SERPs analysis

Google SERPs analysis

Mind that the tool takes all on-page content and analyzes keyword co-occurrence – which means you get a good glance of your core-term keyword context.

If you scroll a bit, you’ll see further analysis of non-linked content (which in this case means analysis of meta-descriptions and parts of the text Google thought was closest-related to your search term):

Analysis of non-linked part of Google SERPs

Awesome use of an old tool. Can think of any more?

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