Category Archives: SEO

Tom Sanders SEO – A Bottom Feeding Specialist

imageOver the last 60 days or so, comment spam here has taken a huge jump. Not a big deal you might suppose – after all, with one or two clicks the damn stuff can be deleted. With 400 or more spam comments every day, I find that deletion is the only sane solution. Taking as little as 10 seconds to peruse each spam comment, would add roughly one hour of unproductive activity to an already full day.

So, the solution to this aggravation is simple enough (or, so it seems) – but, the downside to hitting the “Empty Spam” button is an increased risk of seemingly ignoring a reader’s comment which has been spam trapped. In terms of “blogging sins” – ignoring a reader’s comment, ranks well up on the list of grievous offenses.

The screen capture shown below (taken from my blog’s Dashboard several weeks ago), shows 259 spam comments awaiting moderation.

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I have little doubt, that trapped within these fake comments (such as the one shown below), were bona fide readers’ comments which (as they normally do), would have expanded the scope of the relevant article. The power of reader comments to enhance, and round out an article, is a key feature of blogging in my estimation.

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Which brings me to Tom Sanders (if that’s his real name). Tom is in the business of pissing people off. Tom, like so many of his competitors in the search engine optimization (SEO) business, is an unethical twit – a parasitic ignoramus who is content to feed off, and potentially damage, the works of others.

Sanders, and others like him, ignore the impact their SEO schemes (as illustrated in the following email dated October 13), are likely to have on web content providers. Slimy, sleazy practices, such as this, inevitably lead to an onslaught of spam email which the content provider is then forced to deal with.

Tom Sanders tom193@seo-service.com to me (show details 6:32 AM (47 minutes ago)

Hi,

My name is Tom and I am a link builder. I sell blog comment links for website owners at low price.

Blog comment links can help you in a number of ways. Here are three major advantages:

– Increase link and IP popularity
– Direct traffic to your site
– Higher rankings in search engines

I can do thousands of blog comment links for your site in a couple of days, and they get indexed very fast. If you would like more details about my offer, or would like to ask me anything you’d like regarding this matter, then feel free to reply with a YES.

Best regards,
Tom

Normally, I wouldn’t bother writing an article on what might be perceived to be a “so what” internal issue. Except, my good buddy Michael F., questioned me this morning as to whether I was knowingly rejecting his comments. Which, immediately raised the question – “how many other readers have encountered the same ‘rejection’ issue?”

If you have commented here, and then failed to receive an acknowledgement from me, please accept my apology. Tom Sanders (in reality, just another cyber criminal), and his leech-like SEO industry operatives, have created a bottleneck in the free flow of reader comments. Another obstacle to overcome – created by the marginal morons who slither through the Internet.

Just a passing note – There are bloggers (known to me), who regularly post “edited” spam comments passed off as legitimate comments. Sleeping with the enemy just about covers that. You (and you know who you are), need to give your head a shake.

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Filed under blogging, Comment Spam, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, Opinion, Point of View, SEO, spam

Boosting Your WordPress Blog Site’s SEO And Traffic Tips

imageIt can take some time before you get a large amount of views on your blog, but there are ways to increase the chances of internet users finding your site. You can’t just rely on referrals and traffic links – your blog needs to be optimized.

This article looks at some of the easy and basic steps you can take to improve your site’s SEO and visibility.

WordPress is by far the best site to host your blog. Even if you have a blog on your own site, you can still boost your own site with another blog on WordPress. All you need to do is create links to your original site and all your work on your WordPress blog will be working for your main business website. In this way, you are creating crucial inbound links for your website – all on your own.

So the question arises, how do you make your WordPress blog rank higher? Luckily, there are a number of plug-ins and tools you can use to boost your blog.

Here’s a look at some simple techniques related to search engine optimization that will greatly improve your blog visitor numbers.

  • Use Your Own Domain Name. Domain names actually can have a lot of influence on the way your blog will come up in a search. Purchasing your own domain name and setting it for your WP blog is very easy. You want to make sure you know how to choose the right name. Do some research before you commit.
  • SEO Tools. There is a range of plug-ins to improve your blog’s onsite search engine optimization. Some plug-ins allow you to track the rank of the keywords you are focusing on, while other sites will improve the way your whole blog is viewed by Google.
  • Video. Videos on Google’s YouTube are a great way to get rapid results and rank high in searches. By posting your videos on YouTube, and linking your blog as a part of your video description, your chances of ranking higher are greatly increased. Always embed your own YouTube videos on your own blog, and make sure you have plenty of content with crucial keywords for Google around your website.
  • Social Media.WP makes it very easy for your blog posting to interact with your social media. Add each of these functions so that you are automatically sharing your posts on your main social media profiles. Adding buttons on each of your blog pages is very simple and will make it very easy for others to share.
  • Commenting On Other Blogs. By commenting on other blogs and leaving your link, you are showing interest in other people’s work, and showing a way for them to see yours. You will find that there will be many comments and links on your own site before too long. Be careful you do not start following the practice of many on WordPress, which essentially equates to spam. Spending the time to create quality relationships is essential.
  • Keep it Regular. Regular posting and interactivity is essential. A new visitor will view the validity of your site by how regular you post. If you have not posted in a while, users may assume you are not there any more. Current content gives validity to your older content. If you don’t have current content, it is easy for users to assume all of your content is no longer valid.
  • Submit to Blog Directories. There is a huge array of blog directories, which allows internet users to see a list of blogs on a particular topic. Constantly keep listing your blog with all and any directories you can find. The more directories you are listed with will mean a higher chance of being found.

Above all, be yourself. Keep your topics fresh. If you are interested in something, your posts will reflect that. Write when something is of interest, and keep those posts for later. Forced writing to keep to a schedule may mean you are not writing good content. Online marketing and SEO is something you build over time. The need for patience and consistency cannot be stressed enough.

Guest article from Sachin.

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Filed under Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools, Free Blogging Platforms, Guest Writers, SEO, Social Blogging, Software, Web Site Design, Website Builders

Bryan Keller’s Web Design and SEO Primer

Guest writer Bryan Keller, gives you the lowdown on how you can improve, not only your web site or blog’s visual appeal but, how SEO (search engine optimization) properly utilized, can drive more readers to your site.

image SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing one’s website to improve the position in which the website will appear within the search results obtained from a search engine based on specific keyword phrases.

The exact formula for achieving this result effectively and efficiently is a much talked about and debated issue.  However, there is at least consensus on the basic approach to improving position and for anyone who owns an online business it is just about imperative to follow these basic techniques for there to be any hope of appearing somewhere on the first or second page of Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

First, foremost and most important is the basic design and structure of the actual website itself.  A carefully planned out, user friendly, logical, and straightforward landing page or home page is essential.  In addition, maintaining a structured, easy to navigate, uncluttered and not overly complicated web design results in lower bounce rates.

It is very useful to actually layout the design of the website on paper before any computer design work even begins.  Using a graphical flowchart also greatly helps keep things organized and makes the design much easier to understand for anyone who will eventually be involved in the design, coding or implementation of the final project.

A flowchart is basically just a simple graphical representation utilizing directional lines, graphical symbols and pointer arrows that is utilized to depict the design characteristics of a websites menu-flow, page-order, and logic path.

In designing the website keep in mind that as much useful, high quality, informative, data about the business or industry the website is focused on should be included throughout the site itself.

A glossary of terms that relate to the industry the website specializes in would be a good place to start.  Another very useful inclusion could be a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page that describes in detail the most common questions relating to the website’s area of business, with descriptive answers.

When it comes to SEO, there can never be too much information included in a website as long as it is all completely original unique content (unless references are duly noted).

Original content means copying pages of data from the Wikipedia, or using content pages found on other websites or even ‘lifting’ excerpts of content from other websites simply will not work.  Plagiarized content ‘lifted’ from other sources without express consent can also be a source of legal concern.

This is one place where Google in particular, is very good at detecting copied content and will give no SEO advancement for such material included in one’s website.  If a business owner is not able to author original content themselves it would be advisable to hire someone to write original content for the website.  Original content is just as important if not more important than any other aspect of achieving good SEO results.

Additionally, there are many so called ‘article submission’ websites that are available to host uploaded content articles written about almost any subject.  As a matter of fact it is very possible that you may be reading this article on an article submission site at this very moment.

The purpose, in SEO, to the process of uploading and submission of articles to these types of websites is twofold:  first, popular article submission sites have thousands of guests each day which is a huge potential market for readers of the submitted articles and second, as an author one is allowed to create a signature that can include a link that directs traffic back to the website of the author’s choice.

This brings us to the topic of links, and more specifically ‘backlinks’.  The term backlink refers to a hypertext link, which is located on an external website that links, references, or points back to one’s own website.  A ‘backlink’ is made up of two parts: 1. The ‘URL’ of the destination site (or the site the link is pointing to), and 2. the ‘anchor text’ which is made up of the ‘keyword phrase’.  An example of a ‘backlink’ written in html code would look like the following:

<*a href=”http://www.yourwebsiteurl.com

“>Your Keyword Phrase<*/a>

When displayed this link would appear as:

Your Keyword Phrase

‘Your Keyword Phrase’ would be an active link pointing to the ‘url’ that follows the ‘href’ in the link statement above. (Please be sure to remove the asterisks – I used them only to prevent the link from becoming active.)

In the early days of the Internet backlinking was the holy grail of SEO.  One merely needed to acquire many, many links pointing back to one’s website to achieve a very high position within the result set of a search engine.  At that time it was mainly just the quantity of backlinks that determined a websites PR and not the quality of the incoming links.

Those days, I’m afraid, are long, long, gone.  The search engines are much ‘smarter’ today and the number of backlinks is not nearly as important as the ‘quality’ of the backlink in determining whether or not the backlink will provide a benefit to SEO at all.

To prevent the misuse of link farming and other types of link manipulation the use of the ‘no follow’ attribute has been implemented.  When the use of the ‘no follow’ attribute is applied to a link it directs the search engine to award no PR or ‘PageRank’ (PageRank will be explained in a moment) benefit to the landing site no matter how high the ‘PageRank’ of the referring site may be.  This has been successful in helping to reduce the amount of spamming and ‘spamdexing’.

Other methods that were once popular but are no longer effective include:  keyword stuffing, the use of hidden or invisible text, the use of unrelated hidden content with high search volume, and Meta tag stuffing.  If you are solicited by a business that mentions any of these techniques as a means to improve your SEO be sure NOT to do business with them!  None of these methods work at all anymore.

At this point it becomes necessary to discuss PR or PageRank.  PageRank is the method of grading a websites ‘authority’ or importance on the web and the process was developed primarily by researcher Larry Page (hence the name ‘Page’ Rank) at Stanford University as part of a research project.

Page and another researcher named Brin later founded Google and took the technology with them and it is still the basis of the Google search engine and search tools to this day.

A website’s PageRank is a numerical weight ranging from 0 to 10 that is assigned to a website based upon, among other things, the quantity of and the PageRank of the external websites that link in or have inbound links that refer to the target site.  A website that has many inbound links from websites that have high PageRank themselves will in turn be given a high PageRank as well.  According to Google’s website the PageRank is calculated by ‘considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms.’

Needless to say, trying to understand an algorithm this complex exactly will never be possible but there are still many things that can be done to boost a sites PR and help improve its placement in search engine results.

We have discussed the importance of a high quality website design, the need for very informative original content, article submissions, backlinking and PageRank.  This would be a good time to begin discussing the process of determining keywords and keyword phrases.

Selecting the correct keywords and keyword phrases to focus the SEO efforts on can determine whether or not it will be possible to successfully achieve the intended result.  It is very important to take the time to do some research on competition and keyword popularity.

In general the most common terms that describe a business would be the best place to start.  For instance if you own a business that provides roofing contracting services keywords that you might consider focusing on might be ‘Roofing Contracting’ or ‘Roofing Contractor’.

Google provides a tool that displays the average number of searches for selected keyword phrases.  You can find this tool by searching Google for ‘keyword tool’.  After entering the keyword or keyword phrase and pressing the ‘search’ button a page of results will be displayed that indicate the number of times the particular keyword(s) has been searched for on average each month.

Also displayed are many other similar phrases that most closely match the keywords that were searched for.  Take the time to scroll through this list and many good alternative phrases can be found in this way.  Choosing the phrase that has the most searches and most closely matches the website’s line of business is a solid practical approach.

Guest writer Bryan Keller:

I own a Computer Repair and Data Recovery business in San Antonio, TX, San Antonio Computer Repair. I spent 10 years in database development. I am now also providing Website Development, Hosting, and SEO services. We use the Joomla CMS.

Altogether, I have been involved in computer programming for over 30 years. I was a self-taught programmer back when the ‘Atari 800’ was all the rage! I had an Atari 800 with 16 kilobytes of ram and a 6502 8-bit processor that ran at 1.7 MHz, no hard drive and a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk that stored just 180 Kilobytes of data. Of course there was no internet but we had the dial in bulletin boards that we connected to at 300 baud. lol.

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Filed under Guest Writers, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Web Development, Web Hosting, Web Site Design