Montreal SEO - Local Search Engine Optimization

by Montreal's SEO specialist, Gabriel Goldenberg aka Bookworm-SEO.

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Monday, June 26, 2006
City SEO: Site SEO Review - Business Opportunities
I recently reviewed the Business Opportunities website's SEO strategy. If you find this review helpful, you'll want to take 30 seconds and subscribe to my free newsletter.

As I explained in the two posts I wrote on site SEO review, there are 5 basic points that must be covered in any site SEO review. They are backlinks, keywords, link structure, content analysis and current SEO effectiveness.

Here's what I found in conducting my review of the Biz-Ops site.


  • Backlink quality: Dane Carlson can be very proud of his site SEO strategy in this area, because Google, which doesn't show all the links to a website that it has indexed, returned 6,260 links for Business Opportunities!
  • Like I mentioned in my first post on how to conduct a site SEO review, it's important to know just how many of those links Google considers important, though. The number suddenly becomes less impressive: 313 links are taken into account by Google. This is still great however, indicating a highly developed backlink and inbound link network.
  • The next thing I did in reviewing was to look at the first page's results for the link:domain query. Here's a sampling of what I found, which should help explain how Dane has a PageRank 7.
The first page that shows up linking to Dane's blog is an PageRank 6 page! It only links to a handful of related blogs, including his, which is important to search engine optimization.

The second page is a blog in Dane's network of PageRank 5. Unfortunately, it isn't clear if Google values the sidebar link, or the link from the comments...
The third page is the ever-weighty Yahoo directory presenting a PageRank 5 link to Dane's website (though here the numerous links on the page suggest each link isn't valued for standing out as in the About case where only a few other blogs had links to their websites).
The fourth and fifth page have PageRanks of 3 and 5, respectively. This may be surprising at first glance, but this can be quickly explained when one looks at other attenuating factors (which I'll leave up to Dane to disclose if he wants to; he's getting a more detailed version of this review).


  • Keyword Density was not great at first glance on the Biz Ops blog. The most common two-word keyword phrase was 'June Comments'. 'Business Opportunities' was second best, but topped out under 1% density, well below what search engines tolerate. On the other hand, 'business' was at 3.52% density, which is great. Also, 'business' was part of two other common phrases on the site. Keyword density looks good.

Note also that this assesment of Dane's keywords ignores meta tags, because I want to consider how Google sees the site. MSN still considers meta tags, but they're likely on the way out there too.

  • Keyword visual presentation was pretty solid. Business opportunities is in the title (the words that display in the blue band at the top of the window), the words "business opportunities" are dead center in the site (it's an image, but the image's alt tag reads "Business Opportunities"), and link to the homepage, reinforcing their importance. Business and related words are elsewhere above the fold (the line below which content can only be seen by scrolling down) too.

I noticed business and bizops bolded in sidebar header text. The words business opportunities are part of the anchor text of a link above the fold that goes to Dane's archives. Strong marks overall in the keyword presentation department.

  • Keyword placement could have been a bit better. For instance, Dane mainly quotes stories for his blog content (a practice he should rely on much less, but more on that later), and his lead sentences aren't all that great, as they mainly consist of saying "John X, of YZ magazine, wrote: '...'" On the plus side of things, Dane's quotations cut off at the right time, with the effect that his concluding paragraphs frequently have the words 'entrepreneur' and 'business' in them.

Another issue I had with keyword placement was the navigation. It's a lot of code, highly placed in the page... but none of the navigation has "business opportunities" in it, nor any related keywords (entrepreneur(ship), small business, etc.)!

External Links and Link Structure

  • The functionality of the Business Opportunities blog's links is excellent. External links I clicked on were all working, as are the internal links.
  • External links' anchor text aptly described where you were being taken, but could have been better. For example, many personal names were used for blog authors, when in fact linking to their blogs by their names would have been better. This may have been intentional, though, to avoid having an excessively high keyword density (many of the external links go to business blogs).
  • As mentioned above, the navigation is a questionable use of valuable real estate. Better use might be made by the blog's well-optimized content. So internal Link Structure was okay, with room for improvement.
Content Analysis

As mentioned above, Dane's content is mainly quoting sources, and mentioning press release type stuff. I understand that's what gives the blog focus, but a little extra time writing would be time well spent. Consider:

  • Post Titles rarely have keywords in them. That's a HUGE missed opportunity. Covering more business to business opportunities might help with this. Besides, they're listed in the sidebar, so it's a double opportunity for keyword optimization that's being missed.
  • The introductions aren't much to speak of. They don't grab you, and that would likely be an easy way to get people reading quoted stories more, besides getting comments and links back. Even the original content I saw (about Dane's children watching "educational" tv for toddlers) wasn't so strong in the grab-my-interest-and-do-seo department.
  • The relative shortage of original content means Dane isn't getting as many backlinks as he could. Ideas for content might include favourite biz-ops, what makes a good franchise op, how to market franchises, and so on.

However, the sidebar (yes, this is content too) has massive amounts of external links to relevant sources, which is probably a huge help for SEO. Additionally, Dane updaes the blog several times a day, which is great. There may be some duplicate content penalties risk, though, because of the excessively high percentage of quoted content.

To summarize:

Content updates several times daily. Excellent.
Content quality: variable from below average (quoted) to above average (original posts) to ordinary (biz-ops). It's helpful though, overall, so it's a passing grade for content quality.
Breadth of appeal/link magnetism is hard to establish. Dane's traffic is huge, but I doubt he has much link magnetism. Rather, many of the links he's built up seem to come from link exchanges, though I do see some people frequently mentioning the opportunities. Anyways, there's potential to broaden the appeal and get more links, especially considering the wide audience which means huge potential for link love.

Current SEO Effectiveness

The site SEO review I've conducted has led me to grade Dane's SEO strategy as follows:
Backlinks: A-: They're plentiful, and come from great sites. However, a little more diversity would be nice, as many of the links are similar and thus ignored. 500 counted backlinks is probably achievable by year's end.
Keywords: B+: Business is plentiful, but opportunities could be more so. The blogroll needs work, as do intro paragraphs, post titles and navigation.
External Links: B: Functional, but text isn't as descriptive as it could be in the blogroll. Dane gets it right within posts, though. They're all relevant, too.
Content Analysis: C-: Too often unoriginal, too often from USA Today, too often with a so-so leader that doesn't grab readers or spiders.
SEO effectiveness: B+: Dane's obviously got a lock on his top keyphrase, but he could do much better and move to dominate other phrases. Look up 'Small Business Opportunities' on Google, and isn't even top 10! Home business opportunities: Neither, though he is #12 for both (I doubt #12 gets much traffic in such a competitive market, though). That said, Dane is number one on Google for Business Opportunities. He's number 2 on Yahoo behnd the Small Business Administration and some sponsored links. Overall, the strategy is very strong, but the content could really be improved, and certain coding concerns (which I'm emailing Dane about privately) are a problem.

Tomorrow I'll be posting the results of the site SEO review I conducted on Work Boxers.

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City SEO: Site SEO Review - Business Opportunities posted by Bookworm SEO @ 2:51 PM  
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