Archive for September, 2008

Creating SEO-Friendly Websites
September 30, 2008

SEO is one of the most important online marketing trends available right now. Almost everyone knows that you need good quality text, keywords and links combined with lots of popularity and a good reputation to make it big. But it’s also important to take a holistic view of your online business pages. Your website is a valuable SEO tool in itself. By building (or remodeling,) your website so that it’s more easily accessible to spiders, you can boost your search engine score astronomically. It’s also important to have the “SEO-friendly website” conversation with your website design company and/or SEO firm if you have one to make sure that they on the same page as you. So with out further ado, here are some things that you should keep in mind when building or redesigning your website:

1. Content, Keywords and Links. As always ensure that your content, keywords and links are unique, of good quality and relevant to your business. Your back links should also be relevant so be sure to look out for and reject illogical links. Use absolute links which are less likely to have issues, but also allow you to get more backlink love if your content gets scraped. Remember that when it comes to keywords there is such thing as “too many” so don’t overdo it.

2. Make your links and keywords easily accessible to spiders. Drop down menus make the website user friendly, but they aren’t spider friendly. Somewhere on the page you should be placing good old-fashioned text links so spiders can find them. Also, be aware that SPIDERS CAN NOT CRAWL IMAGES OR FLASH. Be sure to label everything with text and include text descriptions so that spiders can find it more easily. Use minimal AJAX and Flash, and you shouldn’t be using frames at all.

3. Viral Videos and Pics. Enable the “Enhanced Image Search” option and list a video sitemap in your Google Webmaster Central account. Also, get your videos played on viral sites like YouTube, AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Metacafe and MySpace. All these places are crawled by Google. When posting captions and descriptions for pics and videos use words like “image” “pics” or “video” since many searches for pictures or videos include obvious words like that.

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Link Building: The Future Of Relationships
September 25, 2008

Link building is hard work. Have you ever tried to get people to link to your pure commerce/commercial brochure-web site? You know how tough it is out there.
The Future Of LinkingThe link economy has become so established, we’ve even got strategies built around the idea of never linking out. Once people perceive something to be valuable, they’ll think twice about just handing it over for nothing.

So what is an SEO supposed to do?

The key to linking in an environment where there is high value placed on links is to think of linking less as a process, and more in terms of building relationships.

Here are a few linking ideas designed to reduce the pain and increase the effectiveness of your link building campaign.

Relationship Link Building 101

The first step in your link building strategy occurs before your site hits the web.

If you’re thinking of launching a static brochure-ware site, and link building is part of your marketing strategy, think again.

Why?

There is less chance for relationship building.

Preferably, you want a site with plenty of potential for on-going community involvement and interaction.

Examples?

News Sites. Social sites. Blogs. Frequently-updated information sites. Teaching sites. Advice sites. Q&A. Wikipedia-style sites. The static brochure website will still have a place, but those sites with higher levels of user engagement will trump it.

Produce Really, Really Interesting Content

Posting what everyone else is posting is not interesting.

Look at what everyone else is posting and take a new angle on the the topic. Don’t just go one better, go ten better. Learn the lessons of The Purple Cow. Be worth remarking upon. People are hungry for unique, quality content.

They’ll link to you if you have it.

If your competitors are spending ten minutes on their posts, you spend a day. Spend a whole week. Cover areas no one else is covering. Make your posts game-changing posts. You’re going to need not one, but a consistent body of such posts. Think about the sites you link to. You need to aim to be better than those sites.

At very least, you need to offer a point of difference in order to be linkworthy.

Link Out

If you’re new, you’re going to need friends. You’re going to need influential friends.

A link out to sites run by influential people becomes an advertisement for your site in their referral logs. People will follow the links back to see who is talking about them, and if you’re got an impressive set of articles/posts, you’ll be on their radar in no time.

Give Forward

Most modern marketing is based on the idea of reciprocation. If you do something for others, without requesting something in return, most people feel they should reciprocate.

Give something valuable. Give wide. Give freely. Some of it will eventually come back.

Give nothing, and you’re guaranteed that nothing will come back.

Lose The Ads

The less commercial you appear, the more likely you’ll get linked to, especially from .edu and other authority information hubs. Few people want to link to sites plastered with advertising unless that site already has established authority.

You can introduce advertising once you’ve built up link authority.

Flattery Gets You Everywhere

Make people feel important. Make them look good. If you make them look good, they’ll want to point that fact out to others. They’ll do your marketing for you.

Look For Companies With “In The News” Pages

This tip flows on from flattery. Write about companies in a good light. To find companies that have “in the news” style pages, do a Google search for -your industry + “in the news”-.

Use Meme Trackers

Monitor upcoming news stories. Use Google Hot Trends, subscribe to Google Alerts, and check out Twitter stuff like Twitter Search and Twitscoop.

Write stories about fast-breaking events that have little competition but high interest levels. If the meme gets big enough, news sites will look around for content to quote, and, given a lack of competition, hopefully they’ll quote yours.

Get Seen In The Community

Participate in answer sites, forums, article sites, Wikipedia, Squidoo, Amazon et al. Contribute something of real value. You’ll get direct links in some cases, but at very least you’ll raise awareness, which can translate into links down the line.

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Google Patent Hints At More Linkage Penalties!
September 23, 2008

Tedster, administrator of the WebmasterWorld, recently posted a thread at WebmasterWorld. The thread was related to the discussions that were going…
…around an updated Google patent named Information retrieval based on historical data.

In any event, Tedster has indicated a lot of abstracts that are new in this document. I would like to extract some of them.

if the content of a document changes such that it differs significantly from the anchor text associated with its back links, then the domain associated with the document may have changed significantly (completely) from a previous incarnation. This may occur when a domain expires and a different party purchases the domain All links and/or anchor text prior to that date may then be ignored or discounted.

So now you got it right! It states that it is not just about changing the domain name registration information. It is because of this fact that a lot of people who buy sites, try to keep the same form, same style as well as the same category of content on that domain.

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SEO Merits of Interlinking
September 19, 2008

Many webmasters spend a lot of time optimizing their home page only. They do this by optimizing on page factors like H1 tags, title, keyword density, alt tags, etc, and off page factors like the number and quality of inward links from other sites. That’s fine and is something you should definitely do, but you should also take some time to optimize all of your inner web pages as well.

This is because if you can get a good pagerank for all of your inner pages, as well as your home page, it increases the chances of these pages being ranked highly in the search engines for their chosen keywords, and increases the number of visitors you could get.

So how do you achieve this? Well firstly I recommend that all of your main web pages are just one click away from your home page. You should have a well-structured navigation menu on your home page. Each link within the menu should be an anchor text link containing your main keyword(s). For example, let’s say you had an inner page about hair loss. Now you may have done keyword research and found the term “hair loss” to be too competitive, so let’s say you have decided to optimize your web page for the less competitive term “male hair loss”. In this example, your link from the navigation menu should be “male hair loss” rather than “hair loss”.

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10 Ways to Drive Massive Traffic to Your Website
September 18, 2008

Targeted traffic is the lifeblood of any successful business. In this article, I’m going to show you how to get laser targeted traffic in just a few simple steps.
1. Article Marketing – One of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your website is through the use of article marketing. This is one of the oldest techniques for generating traffic, but it’s still one of the best.

Once you have written your article, you can then submit it to some of the top article directories like EzineArticles, GoArticles, Buzzle, the American Chronicle, ArticlesBase, and SearchWarp. For a list of the top article directories online, go to…

Article Directory List | Article Directory Rank | MasonWorld Internet Marketing Strategy | Internet Based Marketing Blog

You can also publish your website to Web 2.0 sites like Squidoo, HubPages, Zimbio, and Gather.com.

For a complete list of Web 2.0 sites, go to… Web 2.0 Directory : eConsultant

Article marketing is even more powerful when you submit exclusive articles to bloggers and owners of newsletters. This technique has sent me thousands of visitors with a single article. The key is to find the right distribution outlets.

Just imagine if you spend just one hour each day writing and distributing one article. In three months you would have 100 articles all sending you traffic on a daily basis.

So get out there and start syndicating your articles, submitting guests posts, and writing for online newsletters.

2. Viral Ebooks – Why not bundle your articles together and create a viral ebook? Giving away free ebooks is one of the best ways to generate traffic online. It’s also one of the best ways to build your mailing list.

You can submit your PDF ebooks to Scribd, eSnips, DocStoc, Calameo, Issuu, Yudu, FreeIQ, and ButterflyReports.

For a complete list of ebook directories you can submit to, go to Free Ebook Directories

Quick Tip: You can also convert your ebooks to exe files and submit them to all the different software directories online. You can convert your ebooks using afree piece of software called WebsiteZip Packer.

3. Blogging – Blogging is one of the best things you can do for your business. Blogging is a great way to get to know your readers. Plus, blogging can play a major role in getting valuable search engine traffic from Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

4. Submit your articles to Blog Carnivals. A blog carnival is a collection of blog posts on a particular subject. They are then posted together on on blog – called a host. The host (who is also a blogger), publishes the carnival on their blog, with links to each blog post that has been submitted.

This creates an excellent opportunity to get your blog posts shared on other blogs.

There are a number of benefits to participating in blog carnivals. Not only will you generate extra traffic, but it also provides you with quality backlinks and an excellent opportunity to connect with other bloggers.

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SEO losing out to paid search budgets
September 17, 2008

British firms will spend a quarter more on search advertising this year than last, a new report released by E-consultancy predicts.

The online marketing maestros have published their Search Engine Marketing Buyer’s Guide, which forecasts search marketing spending will increase by 24% this year.

It asserts that, despite the possibility of a recession hitting ad spend, firms will keep upping their search marketing budgets.

This year, E-consultancy anticipates companies will dedicate £2.7 billion to search engine promotions.

Of that, it estimates £2.42 billion will go on paid tactics, while £330 million will be spent on search engine optimisation.

I do not find this surprising. Both tactics have pros and cons but search marketing is easily measurable and that is why it is so commonly used.

Obviously, firms like to be able to measure their return on investment – that is how marketers justify their spending and, to be frank, existence to their bosses.

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Getting Your SEO Education
September 15, 2008

Almost unequivocally, when I speak with someone about the search industry this question arises: “How did you get into search marketing in the first place?”

Normally this question isn’t asked of teachers or engineers or even traditional marketers. Why? Because all of those professions have recognized college and university degree programs to help people get into those lines of work. It’s pretty obvious how they got into it — they went to school!

But SEM (define)? Not a chance. I was lucky enough to find a mentor way back in my university days who showed me the ropes and helped me get started in this space. If it weren’t for Darlene Moore of DriveTraffic, who incidentally provides excellent training in search marketing, I’m not sure if I would have ever gotten into this industry. I might not even be in the online space.

Why is it so difficult to find solid SEM programs? This industry has been around long enough for some sort of training to surface, and there is definitely enough of a demand for skilled search marketers that training is desired.

Perhaps it’s due to the ever-changing nature of this environment. Imagine trying to write a text book on search. Next month, no wait, next week, half the information could be totally obsolete. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for a career in SEM, it can be very difficult to get the education you need to secure the knowledge and credibility to get clients to work with you.

Although there are no post-secondary studies to be had in this sector, there are some industry-recognized programs that seem to hold some clout. Because I’ve been asked more than once about how to get into search marketing, I’m offering a short list of programs to look into if you’re considering a career in this field. I scoured the Internet for more to suggest — and there are many out there — but these will lend a bit more clout to your résumé.

Here they are:

Google Advertising Professionals: paid search certification for Google’s AdWords program. If you’re already familiar with the interface, it’s not difficult to pass. Newbies should study and make use of the tutorials on the site. With exam being cheap to take, the key benefit is a neat logo you can put on your site that says you know your stuff. Note that Yahoo closed a similar program, called the Yahoo Search Marketing Ambassador, in May of this year … interesting.

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Firefox Suffers Chrome’s Bite
September 10, 2008

A comparison of the past two weeks of traffic on Tectonic.co.za – a period that covers Chrome’s launch – shows that in the week of September 1 to 8 Chrome jumped from 0 percent of browsers used to an above-average 2.98 percent.

Last week Internet analysts tracked a one percent market grab by the new browser. So a 2.98 percent share of the browsers visiting this site means that Tectonic readers are clearly extreme early adopters.

In the same period Firefox use among Tectonic readers dropped from 72.9 percent to 67.5 percent.

Opera also suffered – albeit in smaller shifts – in the past week, dropping from 3.51 percent of visitors to 3.47 percent.

The surprising change, however, is that Internet Explorer jumped from 18.18 percent to 20.08 percent in the same period. Some of this growth may be attributed, however, to the Internet Explorer 8 second beta which was released a week ago. Internet Explorer 8 users increased from 0.58 percent to 1.51 percent in the two-week comparison.

Of course, the shifts in browser preferences may well be temporary as users, keen on trying out something new, give Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 a spin. On the other hand it may not be temporary. Day-by-day comparisons of the past week show Chrome topping 5 percent of the browsers used towards the end of the week.

The flux in browser usage probably also reflects the nature of Tectonic readers who tend to be willing to try new software well ahead of the average user.

By way of comparison, our sister site, Treevolution has a different audience and there Chrome was used by just 0.43 percent of users in the past week.

The trend that ought to be worrying Firefox fans is that its base is built on early adopters and the Net-savvy crowd. Chrome is in exactly the same market and poses a bigger threat to Firefox than to Internet Explorer at this point.

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Who cares about Chrome? The SEO mindset.
September 9, 2008

How many browser wars are we on now? I make it at three and counting, each one won by achieving a different objective.

Browser war one, the war to control web standards, saw the massacre of Netscape by Internet Explorer in the late 1990s, followed by a strange lull in which Microsoft convinced itself it had won for good and scaled back development to a bunch of guys in thatched hut.

Skirmishes started again in 2002 with the rise of the intellectual’s favourite Firefox, and an Apple Mac propaganda tool called Safari. Microsoft rebuilt its team and spent more money, mostly on the new neurosis, security.

On February 1st this year, Netscape was officially made extinct, and that seemed to be that until, this week, a bunch of ex-Mozillers surprised everyone with something called Chrome.

This third war has a number of fronts, but being Google its main battlefield is all about the commercial power of information. Having spent years worrying about the code security of IE and Firefox, we now have a legitimate new concern, that of privacy and user independence. Microsoft never managed anything as brilliant.

The cleverest thing about Chrome is the way it resolves the address bar (‘OmniBox’) to searches so that typing in a company name is enough to get you to the right website. People have wanted that for years but it does mean that Google can direct users to sites it thinks are the important ones. Crucially, it can also send this data back to Google (though that can be disabled).

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Do Search Engine Optimization Companies Pay Attention to Google
September 8, 2008

Nope. It doesn’t look like it. While Google has openly talked against active link exchange solicitation, some SEO firms are not listening.

There was a day in yesteryear that you would install a link exchange partner page on your site as an SEO tool as necessary as a sitemap. You would solicit links to your web site and then, in return, link to somebody else.

I won’t deny participating in such an event myself. For years, this was sold as a beneficial way of building links. Such link exchange services like Linkmetro, BRL, Telalinks, and so on (all of which now useless in my opinion) popped up and started automating the link exchange process.

To those SEO companies that get their ethics and strategies from the tubes (GOP synonym for “interwebs”) I invite you to visit the law giver. The knower of all things in the search engine optimization “rightosphere”. I introduce you to Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Google Webmaster Guidelines is where you learn the rights and wrongs of search engine optimization. Don’t know where it is? Well, there is no easy way to get there except Googling “Google Webmaster Guidelines”. Once there, type in “links schemes”.

A couple bullet points down you will see on the list of do nots “Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)”. Whaaaaat? You mean my link partners page is useless? Those countless hours of spamming link exchange partners done in vein? Those beautiful two way links for nothing?

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