CSULB’s Web Administrator Robert Moushon Shares His SEO Secrets
by Nathan Ibarbol
The secrets behind Google’s search engine procedures and algorithms are unknown to the
public; CSULB Web Administrator Robert Moushon knows how to improve your site’s rank in the
world’s biggest search engine to bring your business or client to the forefront.
Moushon dropped in on a public relations course in CSULB’s Department of Journalism and
Public Relations to host a guest forum on the best SEO practices from his experiences as a
“Ninety percent of Google searches do not go past the first page,” Moushon stated. “And fifty
percent of searchers end up choosing one of the first of three results.”
If you are looking to improve your ranking on Google search and make it to the first page of
search results, here are a few hacks to improve SEO for your brand, client and business.
1. Find blogs and well-established media organizations to write about you
Moushon discussed the importance of being a top result when searching on Google and also
being on the first page of search results. His first piece of advice? Getting featured on notable
blogs and well-established media organizations. It also helps having these outlets include your
site links. Moushon gave the example of a user trying to find the best donuts in San Diego. The
first results for searching “best donuts in San Diego” on Google will showcase curated lists from
San Diego Eater, Thrillist and the San Diego Union Tribune. These results include headlines
such as “Here Are San Diego’s Best Doughnut Shops,” “Best Donut Shops in San Diego,
California,” and “A Baker’s Dozen of San Diego’s Best Donuts.” Would it not be great to have
your donut shop listed in these blogs? These blogs have garnered large followings which in turn
may lead people to your donut shop. The first true search result for a brick-and-mortar donut
shop is the sixth result on Google displaying Donut Bar. Acquiring articles and features for your
client or business will drive traffic and attention to your business.
He also pointed out that one of his favorite shops, VG Donuts, is on the third page of Google
search results despite being featured in the mentioned curated lists by established blogs and
“If I’m on that third page, nobody is coming to me,” Moushon concluded. “I’ve got to work on our
social media content and word-of-mouth techniques.”
Moushon believes in optimizing SEO for your business’s website to improve its place in Google
search results. He suggests creating unique and incredible products, creating buzz for your
products, being readily available on every platform and associating with the right crowd in a
given location. To boost your site’s SEO, Moushon suggests creating incredible content for the web and social media that creates buzz via outlets and notable blogs linking to your site. In
addition, Moushon says having a desktop site, friendly tablet and mobile sites where your pages
are easily accessible is also key to optimizing your SEO. Location marketing is another tactic
Moushon discussed to improve your SEO. VG Donuts is currently located in the city of Cardiff,
California. Have you heard of it? It is unlikely. However, Cardiff falls under the county of San
Diego. According to Moushon, “VG Donuts, a shop based in San Diego” would be a better way
to market its location and content than “VG Donuts, a shop in Cardiff.”
2. Acquire reviews on a frequent basis with strong keywords
Moushon also discussed the importance of SEO coming into play with review sites such as Yelp
and TaskRabbit. Moushon stated that having strong, positive and frequent reviews on review
sites will increase not only your web ranking on such sites but also for Google searches.
Moushon additionally stressed that including keywords someone is most likely to type into a
search bar would additionally improve your ranking. During his forum, Moushon did a live
search for “best tacos in Huntington Beach” right on the Yelp website. The first few results? Ads
for Rubio’s and El Torito, two major restaurant chains. After the ads, true Huntington Beach taco
restaurants popped up that rank above other taco restaurants in the area. According to
Moushon, Sancho’s Tacos is the number one search result due to a high number of recent
reviews that also match the keywords in prospective Yelp searches and a high number of
external reviews with links from other people’s outlets and blogs.
Businesses should always be striving to receive positive reviews from customers. One way to
do this is to offer some form of compensation for a customer’s effort to write a review. People
love free things!
“Here’s a free taco, can you write a review for us on Yelp?” Moushon demonstrated.
Moushon said the more reviews a business has acquired with keywords people are most likely
searching for will additionally help your search result ranking.
3. Links, Blog Posts, Page Titles and Metadata
As mentioned above, Moushon stated it helps your business or client when they are featured
and mentioned in blogs and articles. Titles are used by search engines to display pages in
search results. Having relevant and concise keywords in titles and headlines improves SEO and
can boost your ranking.
Moushon said, “If you’re talking about the best donut shop in the San Diego area, your main
website title should say “VG Donuts - San Diego’s Best Donuts” or something along those
He also suggests not only having your main keywords in your page title but also in your header
Moushon discussed the importance of utilizing metadata within sites to improve your SEO.
Plugging in specific and hot keywords in your site’s metadata descriptions will speak to your
audience and boost your SEO.
Moushon said, “If the NY Times links to your blog, that’s great because not only does it bring
you traffic but it brings the credibility of an established site linking to your site.”
Google notices this and realizes there must be something important with your site’s link which
will improve your SEO. Google wants to rank the credibility and relevance of your site from the
amount of times it has been mentioned by other established parties. According to Moushon,
Google looks for three key areas of external link structure. Relevance, platform diversity and
velocity. Relevance refers to industry-related blogs and outlets linking to your business. Platform
diversity refers to not only being linked from notable web pages but also getting hits from social
media users. Velocity refers to the frequency of engagement and web traffic to your site.
Moushon says Google is monitoring these three factors and using its algorithm to decide if it
wants to boost your ranking and site importance. Google is also monitoring these factors to see
if anything suspicious is happening with your site. You do not want to get penalized for
tampering with SEO. If you are a blogger or content creator, Moushon said Google appreciates blogs and posts with a 2,000 word maximum.
4. See what competitors are doing
If you are ever looking for inspiration on content production, Moushon says to see what
competitors are doing and how it can inspire content and blogs to help boost your SEO and leap
over them in ranks of search results.
These are some important tips and practices anybody can start doing at this very moment
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