Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Effective SEO Through Good Code Structure

For a successful Search Engine Optimization strategy, take into consideration that search engines look at content and also at the structure of the markup. They emphasize the importance of text content, page titles, keywords rich text, meta descriptions and information architecture. A website where quality of content and code prevails will rank higher in the major search engines.

There are many Search Engine Optimization tactics, but try to find the best combination and don't sacrifice the usability and performance of your website. Here is some basic information about improving your source code from an SEO perspective:

Avoid Classical 404 Error Pages

The 404 - File Not Found - page is presented to the user by the server as an error page. The user gets this message directly from the server of the website he is trying to visit. This error page is supposed to appear only when the server cannot find the requested location and is unsure of its status.

In the vast majority of cases, the 404 error emerges for pages that were moved or even deleted or the layout of the site or page information changed.

Many hosting companies offer a 404 redirect page. This means that when a user enters the URL of any page of your domain, and that page does not exist or can no longer be found, you can automatically redirect the user to a specified page - usually your home page or your sitemap.

Pay special attention when you decide to delete certain pages. Remember to redirect them to a main page of your site using the 301 (Moved Permanently) HTTP response code.

You can greatly improve the user friendliness of your website by creating a custom 404 page.

- Present a message of apology for the inconvenience;
- Try to ease the user's way back to your site. Introduce error messages and include evident links to the home page, sitemap, and contact page;
- Offer assistance and encourage the user to continue to search for the information he needs on your site. You could even include a search box right on the error page;
- Keep the same design for the error page as for the rest of the website.

But remember that the best strategy for a 404 error page is to prevent it from coming up altogether, as many customers might be left with the impression that the whole website does not exist and not just the specific page they were trying to access.

Keep Away From Orphan Pages

An orphan page is a page that is not linked to another one and thus cannot be found by spiders. To avoid having orphan pages on your website, check regularly that all your pages are linked to each other.

Search engines consider sites with orphan pages to be unprofessional, and not worthy of getting a high rank. This kind of website is under construction or is the result of a poor design process. If your pages aren't linked properly search engines won't index them and will consider them irrelevant for the search.

Pay attention to the fact that some search engines don't correctly index websites that use HTML frames. When spiders crawl through your internal pages, they index each individual page and display them as orphan pages in search results. Most frame designs include a content frame and a navigation frame.

Visitors require both frames to navigate through the site. Create a JavaScript to check if the page is loading correctly, and load the frameset. In this way, users won't be able to open pages outside the frame. This is a very easy way of losing clients.

Use 301 Redirect Pages

To avoid displaying a 404 error page, set up a 301 redirect page. The code 301 means "moved permanently" and it's the easiest way to preserve your search engine rankings for that page.

There are two ways of generating proper 301 redirect pages. If your site is hosted on a Linux or Unix server create a .htaccess file to add the redirect to your server's web root.

The .htaccess file contains specific instructions for certain requests, including security, redirection issues and how to handle certain errors. If it is hosted on a Windows or IIS server then the 301 redirect can be set up in the Administrator's section of the server software or through the DNS (Domain Name Server) zone.

Make a habit of reviewing the log files which contain data sent by your server. Search engine spiders often make critical decisions based on what your server tells them through the server's headers.

Pay attention, an improper 301 redirect can cause you big problems, since your website might fail and users won't be able to visit your pages. Setting up a correct "301 redirect" assures that you'll stay high in search rankings.

Create a Sitemap

A sitemap is a web page that lists all the pages on your website. They are intended both for users - to find easier the information they need, and for search engines to index pages.

Your sitemap link should be right on your home page. In this way spiders are sent directly to the place where all your content information is gathered. Sitemaps can improve SEO, however, be advised that they only take into consideration a limited number of links to those pages.

To make sure that spiders check your whole site and have more chances to get indexed, it would be a good idea to use a sitemap generator. You can use ROR sitemaps that are readable by all search engines.

ROR is a sitemap tool that uses XML feeds to describe your website. ROR sitemaps allow search engines to match text search with structured information, thus obtaining more relevance for your site. This kind of sitemap helps search engines to better understand your website content - products, services, images, articles, etc. By creating a file with product names, descriptions, prices, images, availability, affiliate programs, and any other relevant information customers can find you easier.

Don't Overuse Dynamic Pages

Dynamic web pages include dynamic content - images, text, etc - which change without the page being reloaded. Client-side languages like JavaScript and ActiveX are usually used to create these types of web pages.

Search engines don't rank dynamic pages with many parameters well. If you choose not to turn your dynamic URLs into static ones, at least put the most important parameters in your URLs first and try to limit dynamic parameters to no more than two.

Spiders can't read the text rendered as graphics. Any text that you want the spiders to read and index should be written out as text. At the very least, put any text that appears in graphics into the images' ALT attribute.

A slightly better alternative is to write your text in Flash, but remember to have a "Skip this intro..." link that takes visitors (and spiders) to the text-rich content of your site. Don't neglect this information if you want to optimize your search engine strategy.

Put .CSS and JavaScript into External Files

For a search engine, improperly formatted code will have a negative impact on your rankings. Since search engines read only a certain amount of information on a web page, you should try to increase the text content to HTML tag ratio.

If you have too much HTML code, the text content won't be seen entirely. For reducing HTML code, utilize hand coding using external .css files and Javascript.

Make Sure You Have Well Formatted [X]HTML

Try to fix as many of the HTML errors as possible. Although the search engines don't rank websites that have standard compliant code better they tend to "read" them easier. Use the W3 HTML Validator to check the validity of your code.

For a successful Search Engine Optimization strategy, take into account all of the aspects presented here. It takes time, effort and patience to achieve a higher rank in the main search engines. The idea is to have a long term strategy that makes your website stay on top for an extended period of time.

Author : Google AdSense News

Managing PPC & Consulting

I alaways use webuildpages tools for check backlinks and the anchor text used in those backlinks.Neat-O Backlink Tool Knowing who is linking to you and what link text they're using is one of the most important aspects in Search Engine Optimization SEO . This tool checks your backlinks (only showing one backlink per URL that links to you) and shows the link text used to link to you.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign Management Services Include:

* Automated bid management
* Budget management
* Keyword research
* Creative editing
* Campaign assessment meetings
* Click fraud negotiations
* Personal account managers
* Advanced ROAS software
* Competitive analysis
* Detailed campaign analysis and reporting
* Opportunity identification
* Offline sales tracking

Overture and Google Adwords

PPC search engines offer instant traffic, completely side stepping the lengthy process of optimizing sites for the search engines. In addition, they allow you to optimize your site for your human visitors and not just those machines that spider your site. In a way it seems you can have it all - traffic and an on-topic site designed for your customer.

Wait, you say...too good to be true! Of course, we agree. After having spent countless hours and recovering from every pitfall imaginable in the Pay Per Click game, we have to say the promise is there, but someone must be willing to do the work. We have done the work over and over. We've read the books, we hang out in Forums dedicated to Pay Per Click topics, we are constantly performing research, but most of all, we are doing it live on many campaigns - and making it work.

But if you're a business prefessional, a site owner, a graphic designer who just wants a little bit of exposure and doesn't really care about the ins and outs of "exact match" vs "broad match" and which partner sites carry one engine's ads or another...you just want traffic...don't worry! Whether you're a seasoned PPC Pro or a "newbie", we can still work with you.

Author : Webuildpages

Monday, May 12, 2008

15 Tips to optimize Your pages

When doing search engine optimization (SEO), there are many aspects to consider. A good keyword selection process is important, choosing a good domain name for your site, link building, writing press releases and articles that promote your website, etc.
Another aspect that is important is page optimization. You need to make sure that your web site’s pages are “bot friendly”. Meaning that your pages should organize and display the information in a manner that the bots used by the major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.) will recognized your targeted keywords and give more weight to your site based on them.

Here are 15 tips to optimize your pages.

  1. Make sure each page have a title tag. Your targeted keywords should be as much as possible at the beginning of the tag. You can leave your web site’s name in the title, but it is recommended that you leave it at the end.
  2. Have a meta keywords and descriptions. Although, not as important has other aspects, the description text is often used in the search engine results pages to describe your site. It should be well written and also not too long.
  3. Meta keywords should contain your primary keywords as well as common typos and grammatical errors.
  4. Use only one H1 tag by page with keywords similar to the title tag.
  5. Use sub-titles (H2 and/or H3) before each paragraph or logical section of your page. This helps readability and helps define your content for search engines.
  6. Use bullet and numbered lists and bold text to clean up the page’s content and make it easier to read.
  7. Use text links as much as possible. Image and Flash links should be avoided when possible.
  8. Include a site map with links to each of your web site’s pages.
  9. Make sure each page is unique. Don’t duplicate your content!
  10. Write content for your visitors, not for the bots! If not, your site might become difficult to read and it could get penalized.
  11. Images are never read by the bots. Avoid using images for text and titles. The same goes for Flash.
  12. When using images, always add an alt tag to describe the image. The alt tag should contain keywords related to the image and the page.
  13. Your page’s content should always contain some of your keywords. Always make sure the content of your pages remain relevant.
  14. Your home page should have links to the most important pages of your site. These links should also contain your keywords.
  15. Your site should be easy to navigate for visitors and for bots. Place links at the bottom of each of the web site’s pages to the important sections of your site. Also place a link to your site map so it is easily accessible to bots.

Matt Hudson writes on Internet marketing and search engine optimization related issues. You can learn more by visiting my blog Search Engine Optimization for Beginners. http://seofornewbies.blogspot.com

Top 8 Google AdSense Money Makers

The following is a list of the Internet’s eight biggest Google AdSense Money Makers publishers. The information was compiled from interviews and articles found on the Internet. This is a list of individual site owners - people just like you and me. Big corporate AdSense publishers like AOL are excluded.

1: Markus Frind: PlentyOfFish.com - $300,000 per month

money makers Markus Frind is a local Vancouverite who is turning the online dating world upside down. His site, Plentyoffish.com is the biggest free dating site on the Internet. Plentyoffish.com receives up to 500 million page views per month and make over $10,000 per day for Markus, who runs the site from home.

You think a site this big would be staffed by a hundred people but the only employee that Markus has is his girlfriend, who helps to answer the emails. Markus coded Plenty of Fish all by himself. The site is lean and mean and requires only four servers to handle all that traffic.

Doubts about Makus’s Google earnings were silenced when he posted this $900,000 check from Google. According to Markus’s blog entry, the check represented two months of AdSense earnings.

2: Kevin Rose: Digg.com - $250,000 per month

Money Makers Kevin Rose started Digg in December of 2004 with just $1000. Today Digg is one of the biggest news sites on the Net, with over 400,000 members and over 200 million page views per month. According to this article from Business week, Digg will make Money $3 million this year from a combination of Google AdSense and Federated Media ads. Unfortunately, only Mr. Rose and his accountants knows how much came from Google and how much came from Federated Media. I can try to take a guess based on the number of times I have seen a Federated Media ad vs. a Google ad on Digg but, being in Canada, it’s almost 100% Google ads Money Maker.

Whatever Google’s share of Digg’s $250,000 per month in ad revenues may be, one thing is for sure, it is not small.

3: Jeremy Shoemaker - $140,000 per month

Make Money From Home Free With Pay-for-performance or Affiliate Marketing
Pay-for-performance or Affiliate Marketing is a form of online marketing where an advertiser pays for results rather than paying to reach a particular audience. A Web site (the “publisher”) advertises products or services offered by another Web site (the “advertiser”) in exchange for a commission on leads or sales. The publisher displays banners, ads, text links or products on their Web site and is
paid a commission by the advertiser when a visitor takes a specific action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. Adsense Money Makers Check Jpg

If ever anyone can be considered an Internet marketing superstar Money Makers, ShoeMoney would be near the top of the list. Jeremy Shoemaker is a search engine marketer who knows how to take advantage of both Google AdSense and AdWords. In the above photo, you see him with the biggest Google AdSense check he has ever received from Google. The income was earned back in the month of August 2005. Since then Mr. Shoemaker has moved to wire transfers. No doubt, he got tired to dealing with the bank tellers when trying to deposit $100K plus checks every month.

Unlike the other Google whores on this list, ShoeMoney, as he likes to be call, does not own just one site. He makes his enormous Google checks using hundreds of sites and thousands of domains.

4: Jason Calacanis: Weblogs, Inc. - $120,000 per month

Money Makers Before Jason Calacanis sold Weblogs, Inc to AOL for $25 million, he got the network of blogs making over $4,000 a day from Google AdSense. So impressive was his AdSense performance that Google used Weblogs for a case study.

Now that AOL controls Weblogs, you can bet it is making a lot more than a measly $120,000 a month.

5: David Miles Jr. & Kato Leonard - $100,000 per month

Money Makers According to this Washington Post article, David Miles Jr. and Kato Leonard, claims they make $100,000 a month from their site, Freeweblayouts.net, which gives away designs that people can use on MySpace.

The only problem with the revenue figure is it is not 100% AdSense. Free Web Layouts use other advertising networks in addition to Google. However, with a claimed $100,000 per month in revenues, I am fairly confident that the AdSense portion is higher than our next Google whore.

6: Tim Carter: AskTheBuilder.com - $30,000 per month

Money Makers Tim Carter is a licensed master plumber and carpenter with his own radio show. He also makes frequent television appearances. He founded AsktheBuilder.com in 1995, The primary focus has been catering to an avid following of fellow builders on the site. According to the Google case study, Mr. Carter did such a good job tweaking the Google ads on his site that it now makes $30,000 a month.

Tim’s AdSense revenues now average $1400 a day and growing. Overall, Carter is enthusiastic about AdSense: it allows him to focus on content development, and gives him built-in tools to measure ad performance and make changes to maximize revenues. “People come to me for help,” says Carter. “They get what they need from my columns and advice - and also from ads delivered by AdSense.”

7: Joel Comm - $24,000 per month

Money Makers Joel Comm is get rich quick guru. He wrote the best selling e-book, What Google Never Told You About Making Money with AdSense. The e-book, along with the website that promotes it has a screen shot of Mr. Comm AdSense earning from November 19, 2005 to December 15, 2005. Whether or not Mr. Comm still makes this much from Google is anybody’s guess.

8: Shawn Hogan – DigitalPoint.com $10,000 per month

Back in January of 2005 the New York Times had an article about AdSense, featuring Shawn Hogan, founder of DigitalPoint. The article states that Mr. Hogan makes $10,000 per month from Google AdSense using a very unique revenue sharing model.

Google pays Digital Point about $10,000 a month, depending on how many people view or click on those ads, said Shawn D. Hogan, the owner and chief technology officer of Digital Point.

Mr. Hogan said he started the revenue-sharing approach in 2004 “as kind of a marketing gimmick.”

“But everyone seemed to think it was a cool idea,” he said. “I saw a lot of other sites doing the same thing maybe six months later.”

Author : AdSenseOnFire

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Top Reasons Commenting is Good For Bloggers

Please try this. For the next week make an effort to comment on more blogs. Each day post more comments than the last, on more blogs. Comment well, not just “ditto”. Add something of value, your own thoughts.

So what was all that about?

I don’t think we comment enough and I put that down to bloggers not realising the benefits. Here are the benefits as I see them, let me know if I miss any:

  1. It’s the right thing to do - people complain about not enough comments on their own blog but don’t take enough time to comment on others. We all like some attention or an occasional pat on the head for a job well done. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself!
  2. Make friends and influence people - Blogging is partly a networking activity. People are more likely to link to you (or more) if they have heard of you. Get yourself out there, make friends.
  3. Clicks - People click your link to see what other interesting stuff you write about. Obvious but true.
  4. Develop a Bloggers Eye - Find the point of interest in a story. By commenting you are training your brain to think of something interesting.
  5. Create Commentable Content - By observing which posts you commented on and which you did not (or couldn’t no matter how hard you tried!) you develop an awareness of what works to attract comments.
  6. Comments = Ideas - You managed to comment. Could your comment be expanded into a post …?
  7. You never know who is reading - It amazes me who reads my comments on obscure blogs that I thought only myself and a handful of others read. My comments on one blog lead to a consulting gig. You never know unless you try.
  8. What you give you get more of - I strongly believe what you put out comes back to you. You will get more comments yourself. Try it.
  9. Keep Match Fit - Exercise your writing muscles, the more your practice the more you improve. Comments should be short, fast, to the point and make an impact. They are excellent tests of your writing skill.
  10. Comment on Fresh Blogs For Fresh Perspectives - If you are always among the same crowd you will find inevitably the same thoughts being reflected back over and over. Break out! I advise people to comment on new blogs every day. By not commenting on the same old blogs, or especially setting a goal to comment on more blogs than the day before, you will be forced to leave your blog-reading comfort zone and visit new blogs. This exposes you to new ideas, different ways of looking at things, and hopefully a way out of the echo chamber.

Blogging is not just about saying your piece, it is also about going out and joining the conversation where it is happening. It’s about reaching out to people and exposing yourself (steady!) to new ideas. Some giving as well as all this taking back we focus on.

Ask not what the blogosphere can do for you but what together we can do for the blogosphere.

I didn’t manage to comment on more blogs every day, but I did make a ton of comments. It sparked ideas, conversations, new contacts, opened up opportunities, attracted more subscribers and I had a lot of fun.

Those of you who tried it, what did you find?

author : Crisg

Monday, May 5, 2008

How to Engaging Readers

Blog Content Ideas

If you are blogging for a purpose it is not enough just to attract attention, we need things to happen as a consequence. That means at least providing the right content to the right people.

As I have said many times before, while many people are looking for “traffic”, you can often be more successful with a smaller audience.

One of the challenges we face when launching a new blog is what our theme or subject should be. What will attract a good audience for what we have to offer?

The simple answer is to follow the diagram at the top of this page

  1. Find out what readers want to know
  2. Narrow it down to what you can credibly provide
  3. Provide it
  4. ??
  5. Profit

It can be that simple, but to be truly successful, and to really stand out from the crowd, and actually achieve the goals you set out, you need to do more.

What is that missing element? Engagement.

What is Engagement?

I was going to say “not in the marriage sense” but actually that’s not a bad way of looking at it. You want your audience to stay with you in a relationship for the long haul, not be casual here today gone tomorrow flings!

Most blogs, in fact most websites, have that hit-and-bounce-away effect. We need to create an environment where people want to stay around.

Attract attention, employ occupy (person, powers, thought). Emotional involvement or commitment
– Oxford Illustrated Dictionary.

the act of sharing in the activities of a group; “the teacher tried to increase his students’ engagement in class activities”
– Princeton.edu

Engagement is simply the elements of your blog that cause readers to be more involved:

  1. Motivation - Rather than talk to “interest”, can you answer a real need?
  2. Attraction - While traffic isn’t the only answer of course it is part of the mix
  3. Incentive - What do the visitors expect to receive in return for giving you that attention?
  4. Encouragement - How well do you get your readers involved?
  5. Interaction - Is the blog a two-way discussion or a one person soap box?
  6. Value - Are you providing real and original value?
  7. Community - Do people feel a part of something?
  8. Loyalty - Is there a willingness to return repeatedly or even bring friends?
  9. Connection - How much of a connection do people feel with you?
  10. Experience - Most important, is frequenting your blog a positive and rewarding experience?

If you can answer all of those ten points positively and confidently you are onto a winner. Otherwise you need to work on developing your blog into a better culture. Blog culture begins with you and it requires you to be

  • Present
  • Involved
  • Interested
  • Open

It’s about putting yourself into your blog and not seeing it purely as a cash delivery device but as a way to interact with your audience and provide them with what you promise. It’s about valuing and respecting your reader.

When you succeed in creating a valuable, interactive, welcoming resource that meets your readers real needs that is when you create an engaged and loyal community.

source : chrisg

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Boost Your Technorati Rank

My Technorati Authority seems to have been stuck for months. Luckily I might have a solution!

Now before I tell you the “secret”, I have to inform you that this will only work for an established blog. A brand new blog will have to focus on gaining new links.

With that caveat out of the way, what is this big trick?

It seems that Technorati misses a lot of the links pointed at your blog. This leads to a familiar frustration for many bloggers who feel that they are not getting the recognition they deserve.

To be fair it is not Technorati’s fault if the people who link to you do not make their blogs known to the service. That’s where you can help them, you and Technorati at the same time.

When you get a new referrer that isn’t noted by Technorati, submit it so that it shows up.

How to Get the Technorati Rank You Deserve

  1. Gather a list of blogs linking to you - you can use a tool or a Yahoo! link: search
  2. Submit the list to Technorati - manually or using a service

Easy, eh? :)

To make it even easier, there is a tool over at Sebastian’s Pamphlets to make submitting to Technorati as simple as copy, paste and click!

I’m going to try it and hopefully I should see a small jump in my rank!

Source : Crisg