David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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



Archive for July, 2008

Google Cache Gets Style

Friday, July 25th, 2008

OK, so it’s not much style, but it’s certainly a cleaner look than the previous mess.  Much easier on the eyes.  For those who don’t know what this is, the Google Toolbar has a handy quicklink to the cached view of any page.  Simply go to the little downward arrow next to the PageRank bar and from the drop-down menu, click cache.  This shows you what Google has on file about the page currently in your browser window.


No changes to the look when Google has not cached the page; just a regular search window. 







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Making Your Blog a Destination in Your Niche

Friday, July 18th, 2008

One of my clients wants to create a blog that will really stand out in her niche and become a destination.  She asked for a few tips, so here is what I suggested: 

1. Unique topic – anything that people have not heard before, surprises or even shocks, cuts through the clutter and gives practical advice (where people usually find a 20  minute speech), or is edgy or controversial. 

2. Participation via comments – invite participation and get people returning. Although my blog is almost a hobby (when pressed for time, client work comes first, so sometimes I go as much as a month between posts), I have done three things technically that have increased participation: 1) I made it a do-follow blog, so more people come to comment on it, making it a more happening place.  2) I am trying to respond to comments with follow-up comments, for the same result. 3) My WordPress sends me two notices, one when a comment is posted for me to moderate, and a second when the comment goes live.  To this second email, I respond with a note like this:

I approved your comment, so please don’t forget to social bookmark the post.  Because mine is a DoFollow blog, your website will benefit from the SEO-friendly link.  It is therefore to your advantage to give this page some link juice by social bookmarking it.  You will see at the bottom of the post some icons for one-click social bookmarking:
Or it would be even better if you could share some of my ramblings with your readers by blogging about them and linking back to the original posts.  :-)

This has gotten me some social bookmarks and also has lead to a few other link exchanges. 

3. Social bookmarking – I have a free script for that at http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php 

4. Building big communities at MyBlogLog.com, BlogCatalog.com, SpicyPage.com, and probably a few others.  There probably is a good way to promote it also through article directory communities such as EzineArticles.com .

5. Guest post exchanges can be good, bringing new perspectives to your blog and reaching out to the audiences of other blogs.

6. Posting really insightful comments on well-read blogs can also lead to others following your link — but you have to get there early, before the crowds have come and gone.

7. I have found that just visiting blogs listed at MyBlogLog has resulted in the bloggers visiting my blogs.  A lot of bloggers watch for a new face to show up on their widget, and they visit the blogs in return.  If you have great content, they’ll be back.


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How not to sell SEO

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

I just have to share this email with you as an example of how not to sell SEO.

Hello and Good Day! OK, so it’s not a bad start.
I am [name withheld], SEO Manager

I was surfing through your website and realized that despite having a good design; it was not ranking on any of the search engines for most of the keywords pertaining to your domain. Let’s get one thing straight: the site in question was designed to practce HTML several years ago and certainly does not have a good design. On the other hand, despite a certain amount of neglect over the past couple years, it does retain good rankings for major search terms.
I was wondering if you would be interested in getting the SEO done for your website. Did he do any research on me?  Come on!
There is a simple equation that is applicable to the online world.
Ethical SEO -> Better Traffic -> Higher Sales. Ethical SEO? Spam is ethical? Hopefully that is a big enough clue for the newbiest of newbie website owners to delete this email.
We are an ISO Certified, SEMPO registered Online Marketing firm and have over 5 years of working experience. All the techniques used are ethical and proprietary. If this is true, ISO and SEMPO have some explaining to do.
In case you require any additional information, it shall be our pleasure to furnish the same.
I look forward to your mail.

Basically, this was a bulk mail sent to a mailing list scraped somewhere on the Web. Given that SEO is more like a sport than a science, every website needs its own custom approach. A cookie-cutter email will not make the sale, because it will never address the particulars of my website.

Well, maybe it will make the sale in some cases, where the website owner falls for such a pitch. Such is the law of the jungle, I suppose, where the lions pick off the weakest members of the herd and enjoy a tasty dinner. Just make sure you are not the one they pick off.


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Who you link to matters

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Some people might wonder why I do not approve their blog comments. There are a few reasons.

1. The comment is pure spam. Sorry, that does not contribute to this blog so the comment gets nuked. Kaboom!

2. The comment is pretty useless, not contributing much and it’s pretty spammy and I am not in the mood to give a free keyword rich link to someone who is not really contributing. Sorry, but that’s my prerogative.

3. The link is to a website that is either in itself distasteful (my personal, subjective opinion) or is in a category that I don’t want to link to, either because of personal views or because of the message it sends the search engines (such as gambling, for instance).

Point #3 should be noted. From an SEO perspective, who you link to matters. A lot of people comment on this blog because they know I use the Do Follow plugin or because they found me on the list of Do Follow blogs.

On another note, if you do come here to comment because you know the link is good for SEO, please do me the courtesy of either linking back to my site or at least social bookmarking the post. When you social bookmark the post, you are also helping yourself, because it increases the authority of the page that is linking back to your site. And it is sooooo easy to social bookmark each post. See the icons across the bottom of this post? Just click those icons at the bottom of any post and you can bookmark at dozens of popular sites. If you want to make it easy for your visitors to bookmark your blog posts or web pages, you can get this social bookmaking cut-and-paste script at http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php.


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Google Indexes Flash

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

OK, so before all you Flash-crazed developers get too excited, what Google specifically will index is two things:

1. The text content in .SWF files.
2. URLs can now be followed.

This means that Flash websites can indeed be made SEO-friendly, although I am uncertain how much Flash designers would want text content in their files – specifically enough text content to really make a page SEO-friendly.

In any case, you can read more about this development at the Google blog post on Flash indexing


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