David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Great SEO tools blog

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Every now and then there is another SEO blog worthy of mention here.  One such is Oliver Tani’s blog, which in 2007 posts has often focused on handy, free SEO tools like keyword research tools, backlinks analyzer, etc.  Just thought I would mention it.

 


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Blog Optimization – Contextual Related Posts

Friday, August 31st, 2007

I just added a plugin to this blog.  It’s great for users and it’s great for SEO.  The  Contextual Related Posts Plugin adds to the bottom of this post a list of related posts based on the content of the post.  If you are reading thsi on a page that incldues other posts, click on the title of the post to go to its own page.

For readers, this is handy, because they can quickly read more on the same topic.

For SEO, this is handy because it creates automatic links between similar relevant content.  This is definitely a tool every blogger who wants to rank well should install. 

And by the way…a blog is increasingly something that every website should have.

 


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Reciprocal Linking Versus Triangular Linking

Monday, August 13th, 2007

When emails like this come from amateurs it’s one thing, but when they come from so-called SEO professionals… 

I came across your site ( http://www.seo-writer.com )  whilst searching for potential link partners for a client site I am currently promoting (name withheld to protect her innocent client). My client’s site is thematically relevant to your own without being competitive.

I would be more than happy to offer you a quality one-way link from our site ( name withheld, well, just out of politeness) in return for a one-way link from your site to my client’s site (from a page with a minimum pagerank of 2+). This linking arrangement avoids reciprocal linking which Google has devalued, giving instead a more valuable one-way link.

Google devalued reciprocal linking?  This is news to me.  What Google has devalued is unnatural linking patterns – anything that can be recognized as a plain attempt to fiddle with their rankings.  If all your links are reciprocal, well, that’s a pretty unnatural linking pattern.  On the other hand, if all your links are triangular, that’s an even more unnatural linking pattern.  What’s more, whereas reciprocal linking can be for traffic reasons and/or better search engine rankings, triangular linking is a pretty transparent attempt to control Google’s rankings.   

To sum up, here is how I responded to this so-called SEO: 

That myth about reciprocal linking is certainly getting around.  It’s basically bunk.  If you follow natural linking patterns, Google will love you.  Triangular linking is less natural than reciprocal linking.  Anyway, this particular arrangement doesn’t interest me.

Best of luck.

 


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Managing an X-rated reputation

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

First, this post is not what you think it it.  By the way, just what do you think it is?

This post os about My Aunt Is Hot, a blog with a stated purpose to manage the reputation of the blogger’s family name.  It seems that his “aunt” stole his name (Ziering) and he wants it back: www.MyAuntIsHot.com – Because Ziering on Google doesn’t have to be porno.

It’s actually a story worth reading.  However, I did a Google search for Ziering and so far the aunt is still hot and the blog is not.  It looks like Mr Ziering could use a fair amount of SEO to reach his stated goals.  In the meantime, at least he is having fun with the concept…and I like that.

 


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Long Tail Search Terms

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Is bigger really better?  Well, there is one advantage to having a bigger website – more long-tail search terms, which translates into more traffic.

Most website owners chase after the “big money” search terms: top ranking for “china dolls” or “Barbie dolls”, for example.  Yet the traffic form hundreds of less-searched “long-tail search terms can be just as impressive…terms like “china dolls red and green” or “doll china miniatire umbrella”.

As I mentioned earlier, I am recommending the use of Hittail to all my clients.   Reviewing the data from one client, whose website is fairly well ranked for some competitive search terms, I can see that of the 14,059 searches that brought traffic to his website in the past 19 days, 95% are three or more words long.

How do you capture long tail search term traffic?

  1. Create many pages, each about a slightly different topic.  For instance chnia dolls with umbrellas, china dolls with hats, china dolls with baskets, etc.
  2. Use lots of text.  The more text on the page, the more words will be searchable.  For example, if someone searches for “china dolla with fruit baskets” and you have the word “fruit” on the china dioll with baskets page, you stand a chance of getting traffic from theat search. 
  3. Make sure to have frequent uses of typical support words, such as colors and locations, “men”, “women” and “children”, and words like buy, find, hire, get, my, etc.

Cover as many bases as possible and you can benefit from the long-tail search traffic.

 


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Microsoft Surface

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Get ready for a brand-new wave of computing, and yes, this will affect how we market over the Internet.  Microsoft is letting people know that it is ready to move forward on a computer screen that looks like a coffee table…but more importantly, where you can move objects and images around like pieces of paper on the surface, plus manipulate them (rotate, enlarge, merge, etc.)  Watch the Microsoft Surface: Hands-on First Look video.

It’s a very small leap before web programmers will be designing websites with elements that can be manipulated in this fashion.  For instance, if you like this blog post, you might wish to place it in a collage or flip-folder on your coffee table along with my other posts that you really like.  Or you might want to rotate it to be read by your business partner sitting on the other side of the table.  Or you might want to zap it (through no specific connection) onto a portable digital storage to bring it along with you, without having to copy and paste and save with a new filename.

From an SEO perspective, we might have to start considering that a web page might not be the same to everybody viewing.  Already there are ways to filter our most ads, most pop-ups and all images.  But people could set criteria for what they do and do not want to see, and SEO might be about how to reach the most number or the most targeted of visitors to the website.

 


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HitTail – long tail keyword research

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Not long ago I blogged about Crazy Egg Website Conversion Tests, which I thought was a pretty neat little tool.

One of our readers suggested trying HitTail, which is certainly not the same thing, but is very, very useful for anyone trying to learn something about a website’s visitors.  It is a long-tail keyword research tool.

While I am logging in to HitTail, I should explain that this requires placing a little snippet of code in the template of your website, to capture every visitor landing on every page of your site.  Now that I am logged in, let me describe to you what I see…

The first view “search hits” shows the last 15 visitors from the search engines and the exact date and time..real time coverage of the crowds moving through this website (except the blog; I just realized that I did not place the HitTail code in the blog template, so I will add that to my to-do list).  For each visit, the search URL is provided, clickable so that I can visit the actual search (to see where my website ranks for that search, for example).  Hmm…a search for SEO tips at Google and it appears we are #4.  Not bad!  Note that the keywords searched are actually highlighted so that it is ever so much easier to see than in regular log files.

I switch now to the “keywords” view, and the same information is provided in even easier to read  format, listing each keyword and the engine it comes from.  This time if you click on the keyword, you can move it into the “suggestion” view, for later consideration.

My favorite mode is to use the Excel option, so that I can manipulate the data, group some of the long tail search terms, and mark them in various ways.  From a practical perspective, it seems that a lot of people are getting to my site using queries with the words “hire” and “looking”.  So if those search terms are getting me traffic, and I am only in the top 20 somewhere for those search terms, maybe I could tweak my pages, build a few keyword-targeted links, and increase my traffic measurably. 

I should note that the account is free, but HitTail also offers paid subscription services for enterprise websites and those who want to crunch some serious numbers.  But for the average website owner, the free subscription will do fine.

 


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Link Exchange No-nos

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Yes, even The Happy Guy can fume…but this blog post will turn a lemon of an experience into lemonade for all of us to drink.  The most frustrating, if nevertheless polite, lady I think I have ever met will give us all a lesson in how not to conduct a link exchange. 

She approached my client about doing a triangular link exchange.  Whereby our site (A) links to her site (B) and in exchange, her other site (C) links back to (A).  The concept behind this is the she can fool Google into thinking she is not doing reciprocal link exchanges.  Lol 

I have no problem with doing triangular link exchanges, but don’t think Google’s mighty computing power missed that all the sites linked to from (C) just happen to also link to (B).  

So I posted a link to (B) on our site (A) and also on another site (but I will leave that out to avoid confusion), PageRank2 and PageRank 3 pages.  She reciprocated with a link at (C) pointing to our site (A).   

So far, so good?  Not quite.  The page where she placed the link to our site (A) was a PageRank 0 page that was not cached by Google.  Now I don’t make too big a deal about PageRank, but not cached by Google means that Google will never even see it.   

So I suggested she find another page to place the link to our site.  I’ll let her own words explain her position: 

I’m sorry, I am only authorized to add links to our link pages, which have no PR. 

Maybe I can add them to some other pages (sill with no PR) to make it more worth your while and so more people will see your link? 

Let me know what you think! 

Which is just what I did.  I suggested their main links page, which still had PageRank 0, but was cached by Google and is hyperlinked from the home page through a tiny, obscure link at the bottom.   This was a superb idea that she jumped on immediately….NOT! 

I’m sorry, but [Link URL suppressed] also doesn’t have a PR. I would gladly add them there but please understand, my admin system only allows me to add links on the link pages. 

In any case, people looking through our links pages will see your link.  

OK, why do we build links.  So people can see them.  So search engines can see them.  So…well, that’s pretty much it.   The pages she had been offering were completely hidden from the search engines and almost completely hidden from humans.  Anyway, at this point it sounds like she is ready to place my link on a page that is only mostly hidden from the search engines and mostly hidden from humans.  So I ask her to confirm when it is live.  Yes, she comes back with more (very polite) excuses.  

I’m sorry, but, as I have stated, my admin system won’t allow mw to add links to any other pages apart from the link pages (the links mist go under a category) 

I hope this is ok. 

Of course, this is not OK, which is what I say. I point out that there are links right on her PR2 home page, and ours could just as easily go there, so could she please get whomever is in charge of placing those links there to put our amongst them.  What an obvious solution.  But (You knew there would be a “but”, didn’t you?)… 

1-       I don’t see any links from other companies on our link page. 

2-       I am the person who adds the links it is my job within the company, and I have an admin system which only allows links under the categories… I cannot add the links anywhere else!!!!!! 

Now, if you want remove our links because you are not happy with this you may, I hope you don’t but I’m sorry, there is absolutely nothing I can do about adding links to our home page! could lose my job! 

Please accept my apologies, I hope we can reach a cordial agreement on this matter. 

Ever polite, it still does not erase the fact that she came banging on my client’s door asking to exchange links, and then showed empty palms when it was her turn to reciprocate…and has proven to be the most steadfast excuse maker I have ever encountered. 

Oh, and yes, as a matter of fact I did remove her links.

 


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SEO website audit available

Monday, June 4th, 2007

We have just added a new page to the website, offering an affordable, customized and comprehensive 99-point SEO Audit Checkup for your website.  This is a superb way to begin an SEO campaign for an established whose owners need to know where to start.  Whether doing the SEO in-house or outsourcing it, an outside audit is a good way to get a handle on the size and direction of the SEO needs.

 


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Self-serve blog links

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Rick Hendershot, a fellow Canadian has come up with an interesting idea…not just because it is new and innovative, not just because he’s Canadian, not just because it’s a really useful idea, but also because it is something I had thought of earlier (same concept, different business model) but have been too busy to give it any serious thought.

You will find Rick’s self-serve blogging service Linknet2 an attractive alternative to the pay-per-post model, where you have to wait for someone to jump on your opportunity.  Unlike the pay-per-post model, you have very little control over the content and the link text, and even the number of links you garner.  So you control boith your reputation management and your SEO.  This is a great way to build those elusive deep links.

Self-serve blogging means that you write the post, you insert the links, etc.  Right now he has 13 blogs going as part of his system, but he soon will have more.   The key to how valuable this will be is whether he can keep the quality of postings high and get inbound link juice to each of the blogs. We’ll check in again to see how this new service is doing.

 


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