Category Archives: website principles

The Google PageRank Update

Mayhem breaks out as Google updates its PageRank, Yes a few sites have lost a few digits off the little bar, but some have gained.

Yes it seems to be aimed at websites Google thinks sells links and passes juice, what is the big deal?

Remember once upon a time I was the Googleman, only my signature, a promise, high court injunction and a few $$$ to keep my mouth shut for a few years kept me quite on revealing the SECRETS.

Whatever, PageRank is nice to have, BUT is it the be all and end all, NO.

I have had sites listing #1 for years with a PR2 and only got that through DMOZ, SERPS is what counts, no secrets, good content that is relevant, good internal linking and a few good inbound links should see you list.

Anyway back to the latest update, SERPS have been affected this time, especially if you have links from sites google has penalized, I am sure these will surface over the next week or so, I am seeing these now on a few websites already, no doubt we will have blogs and stories and screams about this next week.

Get it straight, Its not against the rules to buy links, if you buy for the right reason, traffic and not trying to shaft Google for PR or better SERPS, if you do then expect to suffer the rath of the BigG.

The Changing SEO Landscape

With the current debate over Links Versus Content, people are once again asking what works to gain the most visitors, the most attention. While creating content is obviously the only way a search engine can find you, creating focused content is even more effective.

What about linking? If content is the bread of the internet, links are the butter. If those links are relevant and natural (or natural looking), the benefits are outstanding. But what if linking is merely the tip of the iceberg? The SEO landscape looks ripe for change, but just as the search engines are evolving at an ever-growing pace, that which is being searched is also evolving–mutating form, function, and execution almost right before our eyes.

There are five major changes on the way in the online world, which quite simply will revise, refine, and revolutionize our understanding and approach to search engine optimization. Actually, what we call SEO will become a subset of the larger world of search engine usability–no longer will SEO be solely the purview of SEO experts. Normal, everyday users will have more of a hand in shaping the way data is found than ever before.

The following five things are due to disrupt and alter the way in which optimization and interaction are applied.

#1. NGT (Next Generation Tagging) – Imagine objects within video and audio able to be organically and dynamically tagged by parsers directly connected to search engines. Imagine products tagged not only by text but by interactive, dynamic multimedia, which is fed and organized through these parsing agents. Utilizing microformats, hybrid peer-to-peer networking, and new content distribution models, the next movement in tagging is full-embedded content awareness.

#2. ACG (Automated Content Generation) – No, I’m not talking about spam generators, though that will remain part of the search engine equation. ACG in this case refers to content that is pushed through the pipes and passageways of feed servers and mashup generators to become reshaped content. Utilizing massive “rainbow” libraries, content can be matched, parsed, and regenerated as entirely new content that is still relevant and highly focused. You think that widgets blog is run by people? It’s not. Not anymore.

#3. The Web Will Be Reviewed – More products and services are being publicly reviewed by users all over the globe. The emphasis on user-submitted reviews will become more important as marketing to individuals becomes more ubiquitous. In Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat, Globalization 2.0 is where the end user and the front provider share an intimate relationship. Thus, what the end user says about the front provider and its service or product will greatly determine how those services and products are found.

#4. Optimization For Longevity – Social networking sites like Digg and Reddit have fostered the “Get Links Quick” dream of fast and easy exposure, but they don’t encourage long-term optimization. Digg traffic cascades show an extremely low hangtime for traffic spikes, and links are rarely persistent or maintained. Sites that have the most staying power are the ones who will optimize for the long-term. This means looking ahead, spotting trends and changes in the landscape before they happen, and applying that in a sustainable model.

#5. The Semantic Web – As search engines get smarter, the words you type into that search box will actually mean something. Function words will enable engines to read the incoming data in much the same way as a human does, determining not just definition and location, but context and connotation. This means your content generation will need to be even more focused and applicable for human readers–even if some of those human readers are actually human emulators! As the Google guidelines states, don’t build a site for search engines, build it for people.

While all these coming changes are revolutionary in their own way, they don’t change basic tenets of how the web will work. It will still thrive on and be driven by usable content and ideas. This is the web as it should be.

This is the web as it will be.
Guest post by Jeremiah Lewis.

SEO – Six Mistakes You Should Avoid

For the survival of your blog, website search engine optimization is as important as having a website, especially if you seek targeted traffic from search engines. SEO for me is not simply getting traffic from various sources; it is getting highly targeted traffic. A few mistakes here and there and all your SEO efforts will go down the drain. In fact wrong SEO tactics can sometimes prove costlier than having no SEO strategy. Although there are unlimited things you can do to improve your SEO and unlimited mistakes you can commit in the process, in this blog post I’m going to discuss 6 SEO mistakes you should avoid.

Here they are:

1. Don’t have the same title for every page: If you are a blogger you might not face this problem because most blogging software generates unique page titles (here too you can post blog posts without titles — some people do), but if you run a website make sure all your pages have a unique title. The logic is that every page carries a unique message and the best way to present that message to the outside world is by having a page title that aptly represents the message of your page. On external links people click on your link when they find your page title attractive. People using search engines click your link when they see the title of your link. So have a unique title for every page and make sure the important phrase that represents your page content appears in your title.

2. Don’t spam your pages by stuffing keywords: Your keywords and key phrases are certainly taken into account when search engine algorithms rank your web pages, but it doesn’t mean you insert your keywords everywhere. This will be considered keyword spam and your website runs the risk of getting black listed by all of the major search engines. Your keywords appearing nonsensically in your title, in your description, all over your text and everywhere in your links, is not going to get you anywhere. Even if for a few days you get to the first page of the search result pages your website will be blacklisted the moment it is noticed by someone from the search engine company. Instead, create highly focused, specialized web pages so that they cater to the theme of your keywords. Let your keywords and key expressions appear naturally on your pages. The important thing is not getting ranked higher as soon as possible, what is important is increasing the overall relevancy of your website.

3. Don’t use bells and whistles: The more needless stuff you have on your website, the tougher it is for the search engine crawlers to crawl and index your pages. Run a check on your website and see if there are some JavaScripts, some images and animations, or some CSS definitions that you can get rid of, and if you can, then get rid of them immediately. Make your website as light as possible.

4. Don’t use dynamic URLs: A dynamic URL is something like http://www.yourwebsite.com/index.php?p=345. The search engines simply cannot make sense of them, and even if they can, it takes lots of effort on their part. Instead, use a URL scheme that has your keywords in it. For instance, the URL of this post will probably end up with /6-seo-mistakes-you-should-avoid/. All current content management systems and blog publishing platforms give you the ability to create search engine friendly URLs.

5. Don’t participate in meaningless link-exchange schemes: Inbound links are definitely important for your website or blog, but they should appear on external websites voluntarily and not because you are going to put their link on your website. The entire logic of having inbound links is to convince Google that your blog or website has got content worth linking to and they should be coming from reputed websites. The very fact that the other website is readily exchanging links with you means that it does not get linked to because of its value, and this, consequently, is not going to give you any SEO benefit. In fact exchanging links with disrepute or totally unrelated websites can adversely affect your SEO efforts.

6. Don’t submit to search engines: It’s no use submitting your website to different search engines because the search engines themselves are perpetually crawling the Internet to locate and index new and recently updated pages. It takes its own time for your web pages to start appearing on search engine result pages whether you submit them or don’t submit them. So if you are thinking that by simply submitting your website to “1000s of search engines” your SEO job is over, please do a re-think.

So avoid these mistakes and keep yourself focused. Remember that search engines want to provide the best content available on the Internet to their users so that their users keep coming back to them for their search needs. Create a website or a blog that the search engines will happily present to their users among top results.

The Power of SEO

Optimizing your Web site to take advantage of the power of search engines to put you in front of customers gives you a huge competitive advantage. Even now, only 25 percent of Fortune 100 businesses have completely optimized their sites in this way. If you act now, you’ll have an edge over competitors who haven’t optimized their sites.

Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

Wrong — unless of course your business has a Web site. Search engines like Google and Yahoo troll the Web constantly, categorizing and ranking sites so users can find what they’re looking for.

The Best Exposure Money Can’t Buy
Why should you care? Here are a few reasons:

It’s free.

You don’t have to pay Google, Yahoo and the other search engines to rank your Web site. It’s like a free listing in the yellow pages, except that you get listed in as many categories as apply to you — by product, inventory, service, geography or a dozen other classifications.

Also, it’s a global listing. Imagine paying for an ad in the phone book to cover all that territory.

That doesn’t mean every Web site gets equal treatment. Each search engine uses different methods to rank sites. Understanding how search engines work — and adapting your site accordingly — can move you up in the listings.

Everybody’s looking for something.

Online searching is the third most frequent activity for people who are online — only e-mail and general surfing rank higher. Search engines not only help users find you, they act as virtual tour guides by taking users directly to the page with the information they’re seeking.

People trust search engines.

Studies show that people trust user-based rankings (those based on searches people do on their own initiative) more than paid rankings (those based on clicks on paid ads) by a wide margin — as much as 70 percent. Visitors who come to your Web site through a free search engine listing are more likely to engage in the desired response (make a purchase, request information) than those who come through paid ads.

You can still get in early.

Optimizing your Web site to take advantage of the power of search engines to put you in front of customers gives you a huge competitive advantage. Even now, only 25 percent of Fortune 100 businesses have completely optimized their sites in this way. If you act now, you’ll have an edge over competitors who haven’t optimized their sites.

This advantage won’t be around forever, though. Businesses will get smarter about search engine optimization (or SEO — the art of making sure your Web site stands out in the crowd), so now’s the time to capitalize on it.

The Cat and the Mouse
So how do you go about optimizing your Web site? You probably can’t do it yourself. SEO is just one aspect of search engine marketing (SEM, which also includes such techniques as paying to be listed or to be ranked higher when certain keywords are used).

Search firms are constantly changing their methods to remain competitive among each other, so it takes the expertise of a professional firm specializing in Web services to keep up with them.

However, it’s an investment with a payoff you can’t afford to ignore. SEO is so effective that some companies gain a complete return on their investment in the first month.

Here are four important guidelines that will help ensure potential customers can find you on the Web.

Choose your keywords.

Search engines use keywords and phrases to rank Web sites. You need to define a set of keywords targeted to your audience and based on your business goals, competitive advantages and key messages. Try to think from a user’s perspective: What words and phrases will they use when trying to find you? You may sell hats, but your customers may call them “caps,” “lids” or “fedoras.” Choosing the right keywords is the crucial first step to search engine optimization.

Use those keywords.

Get your keywords into the URLs, page titles and content of your Web pages. There are lots of little tricks to this. For example, the most effective page titles are about 75 characters long and include the most important keywords at the beginning. On each page, keywords and phrases should represent 2 to 3 percent of the total content.

Make links and influence people.

The more links to your site from relevant and trusted sources, the higher you’ll rank with search engines. For example, always list your site with online business directories, even if you think no one will find you through them. Those links may not produce any direct leads, but they could bump you up in the search engine rankings, especially if they are popular or highly visited sources.


Know your audience.

People searching the Internet don’t all use the same search engines. Research shows that older audiences still like AOL, and professional audiences tend to like MSN and Google. Younger audiences often like Yahoo. Only about one third of users use one search engine consistently. Knowing your audience will help your Web services firm decide which search engine to optimize for.

Time, Effort and Money
Those are just a few tips to search engine optimization — there are many, many more. Once your site has been optimized, check to see how you’re doing in the search engine rankings. As time goes by, you’ll need to keep tweaking your Web site to stay on top of the heap. The average user won’t scroll past the first two or three pages of a search listing, so you should aim to be listed on the top one or two pages, typically the top 20 listings in your search category.

It takes time, effort, and money to optimize your Web site for search engines. However, what’s the cost to your company if you don’t optimize? Lost revenue? Decreasing brand awareness? Unlike other investments you might make, it’s easy to measure the results of search engine optimization — more clicks, more visitors and maybe more sales of that new, improved mousetrap

SEO and Web Design – The Eternal Debate

Having a beautiful website no one can find is like having a store and keeping the doors locked. You know it is there, you’ve done a great job decorating it, the products are waiting for the customers, yet no one comes in.

Web design focuses on appearance and aesthetics. SEO focuses on text quality and quantity. Web designers don’t really like to clutter their designs with text. They prefer to see the images stand out on their own. SEOs on the other hand don’t like images that much. Sure, an image can be optimized for the search engines by adding relevant alt attributes and titles, but this is not enough for a site to be properly optimized. Page copy still plays the most important role in website optimization for Search Engine Optimisation.

As a business owner you are caught in the middle of this conflict. For your website to convert you need both design and optimization. There is no middle way. You cannot have a little bit of this and a little bit of that and still be competitive. You cannot have just one of the two either. Without optimization your site is invisible to the search engines, hence to your potential customers. On the other hand, without a good design your site, although not invisible, will get nothing but hits. Web users are picky and if they find nothing of interest on your site they will just surf to the next site.

When you pay for web design don’t automatically assume that by paying thousands of dollars on a layout you’ll be a hit on the Web. The Web is a highly competitive place. There are already thousands entrepreneurs who, just like you, invest in design and hope to become the new “it.” Without online marketing (SEO being an important part of the discipline) all these entrepreneurs will remain in the shadow, with their beautiful websites closed to the world.

SEO is the key to that virtual door you need to open for your customers. It is important that you consider this tool when you first conceive your site. Web design and SEO don’t need to be enemies. There are enough professional agencies that employ both web designers and SEOs who work together to develop a good business website, a site that is SEO ready, accessible and readable with any browser. You just need to take your time, research and send a few inquiries. Then choose the company that answers your questions in a timely manner, basically choose the company that proves a clear ability of designing with W3C standards and a clear understanding of the online trends and realities.

Then balancing content with visual appearance shouldn’t be such a difficult task. Aside graphics and artwork you have to choose proper font types, in a readable size, with colors that harmonize with the layout of the site and so on. If your site is not SEO ready from the first stage of the project you’ll face additional costs after you launch. SEO ready means a site that is properly coded (errors in the HTML code might stop some search bots from crawling and indexing your site correctly), with good navigability and good internal linking structure.

On the other hand, SEO and appearance are not the only traits of a good site. Brand conscious companies should look at the broader picture: instead of debating what is better online entrepreneurs should ask themselves what works best to convert visitors into clients.

Studies show that an over optimized page might hurt the user-experience of people with disabilities. For example, many SEOs stuff the image alt attributes and their alternative titles with keywords. Blind and other visually impaired people who use screen readers to access the Web and read the pages cannot see the images and, instead of listening to a relevant image description, they’ll hear… nonsense.

Usability and accessibility are equally important as design and optimization. Strangely enough images are better for usability. They give focus to the design and when properly optimized they provide for less cluttered website content. The problems appear when the images slow down the loading times, but with the use of CSS loading times should not be a big concern.

As search engines prefer fast loading sites it is easy top understand why good coding and optimization are so important. Poor coding raises many other problems aside loading times and might increase costs when you need website updates, especially when your website administrator is not the one who created your site.

These were the words from Mihaela Lica.

SEO Warning for Business

“I would say that the most important policy regarding search optimisation is never allowing your programmers to try any kind of SEO at all.”

A free tip for business owners, you need to be aware of what your internet staff are doing, because programmers are constantly learning new methods, new techniques and tips from each other and from the web. “They would not give a second thought to using this new but perhaps untested and dubious technique on your live website just to hone freshly acquired skills or to appear to be a bit more professional in their own minds.

Afterwards, if Google blacklists you, the only thing to do is to close your old domain down and start again, fresh.

My advice to company’s seeking an SEO Consultant

Check the SEO company you intend to use is listed on Organic Search (not PPC or Adwords) on Google for what they do, check out a few common keyword terms, if they cannot get there own site listed, how can they do yours?

Ask for references from clients they have done work for.

If your still unsure, leave them alone and find someone else.

Google Breaks Own Guidelines – Sells Links for $1,995

Google, Google, Google… what am I going to do with you? As most of you know, Google recently updated their Webmaster Guidelines, including a new page on why one should report paid links to Google. The new page included this snippet :

However, some SEOs and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying links in order to improve a site’s ranking is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

So, one would expect Google to abide by their own rules and guidelines right? Well, as Scott from MarketingPilgrim points out, that’s not exactly the case. Apparently if you’d like a PR7 link from Google, it will cost you a mere $1,995. To make the offer even more appealing, they’ll throw in a Google Mini as well! Now that’s what I call a bargain.

Want to see a list of all the websites that are, along with Google of course, currently in violation of Google’s newly updated Webmaster Guidelines? No problem, Google’s provided it for you.

As if that weren’t enough, Google’s also breaking their own Design and Quality Guidelines. Hey, I mean if you’re gonna go, go all out right? As you can see, Google clearly states that “If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.” Now, I’m no mathematician, but even I know that page has more than 100 or so links.

So, will Google deindex themsevles? Will they remove all the offending sites that have been caught red handed? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Posted in Google by Skitzzo

The Definitive Guide to Building Quality Inbound Links

Every web site needs links, rather a lot of links to improve there link popularity which in turn leads to higher search engine ranking. Higher search engine rankling will drive more traffic and more sales and profit. Inbound links can be created by link exchange, buying links or making a site so useful that other website owners should link it naturally. Links from similar theme based sites drive more relevant traffic which is interested in the product and services you provide and also result into more sale conversions. There are various question while getting inbound links i.e. Is link quantity important or is it quality? or What should be the theme of the site giving inbound links and many more. We have made the following quality guidelines which must be followed while buying a link or getting inbound link by other means from other web sites.

· First of all you should get One Way Links Try to avoid reciprocal, if this is not possible you can go for three ways links.
· Links must be from closely related or complementary websites to the theme of your website. You should consider the theme of the whole site which is more important but if the website falls in broad match theme you can consider the theme of the pages from where you are getting your inbound link.
· You should not get more than one link from one domain.
· The more outbound links a page the less value the link has. Please ensure that there are not more than 30 links on any page from which you are getting inbound links.
· Links should contain the target keyword or key phrase as a text hyperlink and you must vary the link text.
· Links should contain the target keyword or key phrase as a title tag on the text hyperlink.
· Dont get only links for a home page you must have deep linking to sub pages which are important on your site to make the link building strategy more natural.
· Links should be followed by a short description of the target website it should also contain related keywords.
· You should make sufficient randomization in the anchor text and associated link description text so as to not have a set pattern of linking.
· Staggered deployment of the links to avoid any search engine penalties no more than 30 every 4 weeks.
· Link should not be from framed page or java scripts.
· Links should not be through redirection script i.e jump.cgi , out.php it should be direct so that search can consider it as vote.
· Links should not include a “nofollow” tag or any other robot tags.
· Links should not be on Flash sites or pages.
· Links should not be on a links page excluded by a robots tag.
· All Links should not be on a site penalized or banned by Search Engines.
· Links not from link farms or link exchange sites, FFA’s, linking clubs example: or any free sites.
· Links should not be from same IP – from sites with unique c-class IP addresses only.
· Link should be from pages which are already indexed by search engines.

If you follow the above quality guidelines we ensure that your link building campaign will give the maximum possible benefits to improve you link popularity and search engine ranking. Be sure that link building campaigns are spread over a time so that there should not no sudden surge in the incoming links count.

Call for a free consulatation at www.freshtraffic.co.uk

The 10 Commandments of Search

And the search god spoke all these words saying:

I am the god of your search, who brought thee to the land of good traffic, out of the house of the sandbox. Thou shalt use no other engine before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee a doorway page, nor any manner of cloaking, of any thing that is on your page, or that is on your site, or that is in the coding behind your site;

thou shalt not hide your content , nor serve different versions; for I the god of thy search am a jealous god, visiting the iniquity of the previous owners upon the domain to the 3rd and 4th generations and showing mercy only to those that doth file a re-inclusion request.

Thou shalt not take the name of thy competitor in thine ad text; for thy competitor will not hold him guiltless that taketh his trademark in thine ad text (and may very well sue thine ass).

Remember the page titles and meta tags and keep them unique.

Honour the robots and the spiders with fresh content and inbound links, that thy sites’ days may be long atop the SERPs which the god of search giveth thee.

Thou shalt not let your search results be indexed.

Thou shalt not keyword stuff.

Thou shalt not sell links.

Thou shalt not link out from thine site to a bad neighbour.

Thou shalt not copy thy neighbour’s content;

thou shalt not spam thy neighbour’s blog, nor his forum, nor his contact form, nor his inbox, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

And all the webmasters perceived the thunderings of an update, and the changing of their PageRank, and the voice of the engine, and their rankings sinking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off.

I cam across this in April by Skitzzo and thought i would share this with you.
www.freshtraffic.co.uk

Feed the Search Engines! Content…Content…Content

Just as our bodies need food to fuel us everyday your website needs fuel to feed the search engines for placement and inclusion.

There are many different factors to consider when trying to optimize your website but one of the easiest and most successful ways is to feed the search engine with content.

The engines thrive on seeing that you are adding new content to your website very often. As a webmaster, I have seen the results of many of my customers’ sites climbing to the top by adding good industry related content to their site. You may feel you neither have the time or the content to add to your site but in today’s competitive web world how can you not justify taking the time or creating content. There are many different ways to add content to your site that may take as little as 10 or 15 minutes a week to do so.

Here are a few ideas, and if you can apply one or all of these to your site you will be feeding the hunger the search engines are craving for …Good Quality Content:

Industry Related Articles – There is no better way to earn creditability with your customers then writing articles about your industry. Your article does not have to be long it just has to give good quality information about your industry. Once you write an article, not only do you want to upload it to your website but you need to submit it to one of the many article submission websites. Don’t forget to add your name and URL to the bottom of every article you submit to build your link popularity.

Products Reviews – This is one of the easiest things to add to your website. No one knows your products like you do. Give your visitors a complete detail of how to use, what to do or how your specific product or service can help them.

Blogs- Blogs can greatly increase your visibly but they have to be created and used properly. Blogs do require a commitment from you but remember this; the search engines just love them. Your blog needs to have a specific reason, a draw for your visitors, a reason that they would bookmark it and come back and read it time and time again. Whatever you decide to blog about it needs to be updated on a daily or every other day to make it work for you.

Customer Testimonials – What a great way to show your potential clients the confidence your past customers have in your products or services. Ask all your clients to provide you a short testimonial. It is an easy way to add current content to you site often.

Industry Tips & Ideas – You are the true expert in your industry and your customers want to hear what you have to say. Everyone likes to get something for free, so share a bit of your knowledge with them by providing free tips and ideas on how to better use your products or services.

Newsletters – E-Newsletters are a great way to keep your name in front of your customers, but what many website owners fail to do is to add those newsletters to their websites. With the over abundance of junk email we get many people opt out to receive e-newsletters on a regular basis. In this case it would benefit you by adding those weekly or monthly newsletters to your site so they can be read there.

A couple things to remember when adding new content (pages) to your site:

Don’t forget to make your title tags captivating.

Keep your keywords toward the front of your title, description and keyword tags. (Even though very few search engines take into account the description or keyword tags anymore it is always best to still add them.)

If writing an article take one of your keyword phrases and write a specific article about that, keeping in mind keyword density.

Which ever of the above ideas you choose to use keep in mind your target market and create your new pages with it in mind… Remember industry related content!

Don’t forget to update your site map with your new pages.

Update your Yahoo urllist.txt and your sitemap.xml file with Google as well.

Lastly…add a new page to your site every week better yet every day!