RSS Directory

Archive for the 'Search Engine Optimization (SEO)' Category

After i saw the PPC vs SEO post at Shoemoney, i think it is quite useful. I will embed the video here.

Some of the highlights:

SEO and PPC both should co-exists in marketing campaign instead of Either-Or.

SEO

  • Is your SEO bad? Good seo increase traffic and visibility.
  • How competitive is your industry sector? Need to know how many sites are competing for the keywords.
  • How many sites have similar or identical content?
  • What are you doing to stay ahead of your competition?

PPC

  • Work to improve quality score as it will lower your ppc cost
  • With PPC to provide immediate traffic, it is good for troubleshoot. Use the data to tune your organic seo.
  • Paid search is easier to predict.
  • You are in control with PPC.

Blogs should try SEO.
e-Commerce / product sales should try PPC.


26 people had something to say. What do you think?

Google Page RankWith all the recent discussion of Google PageRank downgrade, i cant stop myself from joining the Google pagerank talk. You can see lots of threads about sites dropping PR. You can check out a list of solid sites having their page rank knocked down… Shoemoney hinted that his blog still maintain at nice PR.

From observation, besides the solid sites, lots of sites affected are those directory sites and blogs. Famous web directories such as avivadirectory and alivedirectory now having PR 4. When i do a google search typing their name, they are not even listed in the 1st few pages.

Before this recent PR update, many webmasters anticipating Google to update their PR hoping for the better ever since July/August… never did they know google’s algo change affect lots of sites badly.

PR Drop

Certain sites having penalty directly such as directories, blogs that re-blog other blogs content, sites like statscounter with no true content value besides having lots of backlinks, have been knocked down. You may think why your site which dont buy/sell links also getting knocked. This is actually not really your fault. Your site might probably received lots of PR juice previously… with sooo many sites losing their PR, indirectly your site is being affected… since now you are getting lesser PR juice from lower quality sites perceived by google.

PR Maintain

With so much PR juice being recover by google, for those sites that still managed to retain their high PR (PR 5 and above), they are probably consider quality sites and should consider themselves having “increase” in PR relative to the rest of the sites.

PR Increase

There are still some sites getting PR increase, this is really rare. I guess either the site owner done lots of link building enough to offset the negative impact or lucky enough to build link with quality sites.

I think Text Link Ads must have suffered quite a bit from this recent PR adjustment. Personally, i’ve just cancelled most of my link renewal as most of the site’s PR dropped significantly, typically from PR 6/7 to PR 3/4. The marketplace now probably flooded with PR 4 sites.

Somehow i have a feeling that link building with reciprocal links is more favourable instead… even though everyone underated it. Reciprocal link building is natural, link buying is un-natural. Anyway, i dislike doing 3-way link exchange, i’ve met enough webmasters that said they “accidentally removed” the link. I think purchasing link from very related sites is still viable… but not from directory, directory link are now worthless.

With so many sites being knocked to PR 4 … i guess sites with PR 5 and above are probably even more valuable now. Perhaps this is what google wants. Anything above PR 5 are of high quality content and info… not just having tons of backlinks.

Now… the next task for SEO specialists… speculate the factors affecting the PR.

Anyway…. dont be bothered by PR too much. I have a PR 3 site having over 10k daily visitors and have a PR 5 site having only 500 daily visitors. So PR doesnt mean much except to flaunt it to fellow webmasters 😀 What’s more important is SERP. Work on your SERP, good traffic is more important than anything else for a website.


13 people had something to say. What do you think?

RSS Exploding Popularity

By now most of us should know RSS is a breakout technology for webmasters and internet marketers. If you still do not know what is RSS, check out here.

More and more people are using it to distribute content and to drive traffic to their sites. Readers have the convenience of reading the latest content aggregated in their rss reader without having to visit multiple sites daily. One of the major benefits of subscribing to your favourite news via rss is ….. you will not be having spam mail compare to subscribing to email newsletter. And of cause ….. if you still remember, readers subscribing to rss feed might just unknowingly get rewarded (Hidden RSS Reward).

With the exploding rss concept spreading, every big and small websites trying to include rss for their sites for any crazy purpose. Some have it just for the sake of joining in this rss crazed.

My ex-colleague who is working on one of the small local govt website. Her recent new site requirement, requested by end-user in-charge of that site, is to add in rss feed. She told me that the user in-charge dont even know what is rss and dont know what it does, but just want to have this functionality because every other site has it! I find it hilarious that some people just jump into a ship without knowing where it goes. As long as that ship is going to somewhere seems good 😀

RSS Submission

I have been running a RSS Directory for over a year and consistently review and approve rss feed submissions to the directory. The purpose of my rss directory is to index useful news and content feed so that other less savy webmasters are able to choose these useful rss content from the submitted feeds and embed easily onto their own website.

I have seen many kinds of feed submissions. News feed, blog rss feed, e-commerce item feed, article feed, video feed, etc. Because rss feed is so popular and effective now, everyone is trying to use it for site indexing purpose. RSS submission spam for my directory are growing over the past few months. Besides rejecting those adult, gambling types of rss feed, I also usually reject those feeds which use it as a sitemap, listing just all the pages in their site, reject those feeds from e-commerce affiliate sites having rss feed item all containing their affiliate links. And i hate those sites with dynamic rss feed. The webmaster will try to spam submit all kinds of keywords for their dynamic feed. Eg. rss-feed.php?keyword=seo, rss-feed.php?keyword=business, rss-feed.php?keyword=home-business, rss-feed.php?keyword=whatever-business, rss-feed.php?keyword=make-money, rss-feed.php?keyword=how-to-make-more-money …

One other thing that i’ve realized. There are many webmasters quickly create some blogs with a few posts at blogspot.com / blogger.com related to their niche and then spam submit rss of those blogs. Usually those posts contain tons of links to their own sites. I’ve also receive rss submission spam from pages quickly created at squidoo.com

Do they really think i am going to approve and index their thousands of spamming submissions? How are these going to be useful for readers? The wonderful value of rss and its main purpose is to distribute latest content or news feed, NOT abusing it to use it as an indexing tool!

Feel free to submit your rss to my PR 5 RSS Directory. However, as i’ve mention above, please do not spam submit if your rss feed has no readership value.


14 people had something to say. What do you think?

Many website owners find themselves having more trouble than they originally planned when attempting to rank well in the search engines. Others don’t understand why their AdWords campaigns charge so much for their keywords. The reason could very well be that the website is using a homograph. 

A homograph is a word that has the same spelling as another, but different meanings. For example, if you owned the domain “LeadInformation.com”, would you be providing sales leads to business people or giving warnings of the dangers of lead paint in toys from China?

The problem with homographs is if you are trying to optimize your website in the search engines for a specific niche, you could be competing with an entirely different market at the same time. This could put a big dent in your marketing plan!

So, before you register your next domain name or jumpstart your next advertising campaign, check twice to be sure you’re not using a homograph or you could find yourself competing against an entirely different market than you had planned on!


15 people had something to say. What do you think?

With today being Google’s anniversary, I might as well keep all my posts about them today. In the heated debate of whether or not Google penalizes sites for paid links, I gathered some information for your review.

The most notorious sites for having paid links are paid web directories, who charge you a fee to include your site in their directory. Most people understand that they will not see much, if any, traffic from these sites, but the reason they purchase the links is to accumulate backlinks for their sites in efforts to boost their Google PageRank.

Well, Google has no problem when it comes to paying for links in efforts to drive traffic to your site. For example, if you paid for a sitewide link to your site on my blog, you would be doing so in efforts to draw traffic to your site- not in efforts to boost your PageRank (PR). Google also prefers for site owners to flag paid links with a “nofollow” attribute so that their spiders can ignore such links.

Google understands the real reason why people pay for links in many of these online web directories, and they seem to have begun to penalize them for it. For example, I’ll name seven very popular web directories:

Aviva directory
Zorg links
Alive web directory
Big web links

Forplex
Directory dump
Elegant directory

Any website owner understands that its pretty much a given that your site will show up #1 in Google’s search results for its own name. However, if you click on any of the links above, you will see that none of these well known web directories appear in the search results for their own name! Oddly enough, if you do the same exact search in Yahoo, you will find that those sites will appear as the first listing for the same search term!

Is this just a common change that a site’s indexed pages go through just before a PageRank update, or is this something long term? Google has been reaching out to the public for quite a while asking people to report paid links to them so that they can use that information to “improve [their] algorithmic detection of paid links”.  You can read Google’s policy about paid links here.

Now, many web directory owners disprove this by saying that their directories have seen no change in SERPs (search engine results page). However, the directories that have seen no changes seem to be of much smaller scale than some of the larger directories mentioned above. Google can’t pick up on every single link that they wouldn’t particularly care for, so it seems that theses smaller directories are flying under Google’s radar. Get too big and you get noticed.

The twist on all of this is that if you search for the term “web directory” in Google, what comes up as the first result? Check it and see. (That particular directory is free, however.)

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this? Have paid web directories become a thing of the past, or is this just jumping the gun on something temporary? Has the years of hard work from the owners of these paid directories now gone to waste?

*For information on Text-Link-Ads and Google, go to this post.


12 people had something to say. What do you think?

As I brought out in chapter 2 of Blog Traffic Made Easy, statistics show that you only have about 3 seconds to capture the attention of your website visitors before they get bored and go somewhere else. You have a lot to do within those first 3 seconds, and you don’t want to waste it all on having to wait for your page to load. I’ve received a few emails from people telling me that they’ve done all they could think of, but their site still takes too long to load. Even John Chow is tweaking his new theme as much as possible to improve its load time.

As I was designing SiteFever’s new theme, I wanted to optimize it for speed as much as possible. I ran speed tests during each stage of the optimization process to record the effects it had on my site. Here’s what I came up with:

NOTE: To test my page load time, I used Numion’s stopwatch tool. The average page load time before I did any optimization was 4.268 seconds.

1. Cache static objects
The first time a person visits your site, the page requested may have to make many HTTP requests for stylesheets, images, flash, etc. By instructing your site to cache certain static objects, a browser will only have to load these objects once. Subsequent pageviews by the same visitor will require much less requests, thus significantly reducing your page load time. 

Here’s what I inserted in my .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 2 weeks”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 2 weeks”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access plus 1 month”

The above code will cache my stylesheet and all javascript for 2 weeks and all .png, .gif and .jpg images for 1 month.

After making this optimization, my average page load time took 3.214 seconds.

2. Merge all stylesheets
It’s a proven fact that a browser will load one large stylesheet much faster than multiple smaller stylesheets. I noticed that the threaded comments plugin came with its own comments.php file and stylesheet. This meant all of the comment styles in my original stylesheet were no longer being used. I removed all of the unused styles and moved the new threaded comments styles from briansthreadedcomments.php to style.css so that I now only have one stylesheet to call.

After making this optimization, my average page load time took 2.637 seconds.

3. Display 7 posts per page
This is a technique that John Chow also mentioned he used to help reduce his page load time. I was displaying 10 posts per page (including my homepage), now I am only displaying 7.

To change these settings using WordPress, login to your admin panel and go to Options > Reading > Blog Pages.

After making this optimization, my average page load time took 1.811 seconds.

4. Compress images
Using XAT’s Image Optimizer program, I was able to reduce many of my image sizes by about 40%. I then re-uploaded the newly compressed images and measured my load time.

After making this optimization, my average page load time took 1.653 seconds.

5. Cleanup code
Lastly, I simply went through all of my theme’s files removing duplicate and unused code. I also removed unnecessary comments and line breaks throughout the files thus reducing the size of each file. I would only recommend you try this step if you are familiar with PHP and HTML, otherwise you could really mess up your blog! Even if you do feel comfortable doing this, you should always backup your files anyway.

After making this optimization, my average page load time took 1.493 seconds.

In the end, five simple optimization techniques that took me no longer than an hour reduced my average page load time by 35%! Not bad.

Be sure that you optimize your blog to load as fast as possible. Doing so will allow you more time for the real “meat and potatoes” of your site to make a good first impression and will keep your regular visitors happy.


16 people had something to say. What do you think?

Have you ever wondered exactly what kind of power lies in the hands of anchor text? Let me enlighten you:

Back in 2003, a bunch of people who didn’t like George Bush too much got together and inserted links everywhere they could that looked like this:

<a href=”http://www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html”>miserable failure</a>

Eventually, enough websites linked to George W. Bush’s biography using the words “miserable failure” in their anchor text that the page ranked #1 for the term in Google. It may have worked because it’s not a very competitive keyphrase, but it’s still a great example of how anchor text can affect your search engine ranking.

Googlebombing, or link bombing, has become common in web culture. The SEO community has sponsored contests in order to manipulate ranks for nonsense, noncompetitive terms. It’s a subject of some controversy, raising questions of whether the search engines should remove these kinds of pranks from their results, whether it’s just harmless fun, and whether it still works the way it used to 5 years ago. Whatever your opinion is on the subject, facts such as this should open your eyes to the importance of choosing the right anchor text for your links.

Instead of falling in the habit of linking to your site like this:

If you’re interested in SEO & Internet marketing tips, click here!

Try choosing your anchor text to be relevant to your site:

Check out my blog for great tips on SEO & Internet marketing!

Believe it or not, “click here” is listed in Google more than 1,530,000,000 times! You would have a better chance ranking #1 for “Internet marketing” with about 20,300,000 results.

So let this be your lesson: When linking to your site or paying for link ads, don’t forget to use relevant anchor text!


8 people had something to say. What do you think?

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