Have a thing or two to say to The NEWS? By all means, let’s hear it. We want to publish your messages, concerns, etc., in the Letters section of The NEWS. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium. We regret that owing to the volume of correspondence, we cannot reply to every letter. Please know that The NEWS shall have the right to publish your submission.

SEO Strategies

Thank you so much for including a cover story on search engine optimization (SEO), “Study Provides Contractors a Road Map to Stellar SEO,” by Kyle Gargaro in the Aug. 19, 2013 issue. SEO is incredibly important for HVAC contractors, but also equally difficult to understand and stay on top of. Google is always changing the rules.

Your article is a great resource, but I would like to address a few points.

I definitely agree that breaking out content to address more specific user queries is a good strategy, but I would also suggest that website owners should be weary of spreading themselves too thin on content in the process. The last Google Panda update was aimed at targeting thin content and lower-quality sites. So, if webmasters plan on segmenting their content among pages, they should also plan on having enough relevant content to satisfy the user’s query and appease the search engines in terms of thin content.

I agree that traditional advertising should never be overlooked as a source for backlinks. However, website owners should be aware that any connection that search engines (Google) can make between a link and payment for that link is frowned upon — even if the payment is indirect. Since no one really knows the complexity of Google’s algorithm, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google connected the dots and issued a penalty. With that in mind, I recommend any links on digital advertisements (texts and banners) should be tagged with the “no-follow” attribute as suggested by Google.

Press releases have recently been considered link schemes by Google as cited on the Google webmasters page, and links in those press releases should be no-followed. No-followed links pass little-to-no SEO value and, therefore, might not be worth mentioning as a strategy. Although, I do feel that a diverse backlink profile is important for any website, so press release links should not be disregarded completely, not to mention, press releases are still a great way of pushing positive content about your company online.

Michael Trang
SEO Manager
O’Fallon, Mo.

Standing Out in a Field of Job Applicants

In this current economy, I can’t help but wonder how the job market for our field is. I recently had a change in my life and was ready for a career change as well. I knew that I had to be competitive and be able to stand out against the competition.

I chose to go back to school and become an HVACR technician. I joined a junior college that is well-known and respected around the area that I live. I see many things that have changed throughout the years and will change in upcoming years when it comes to things like refrigerant.

My questions are: How would someone stand out if you, as an employer, were looking for a possible employee? How can someone on the job market stay ahead of all the competition?

I know that a technician has to be punctual, dedicated, and courteous to customers as well as co-workers, but what leads an applicant to be an employee?

Ricardo Rodriguez
Fresno, Calif.

Publication date: 9/16/2013 

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