Category Archives: SEO

RIP Pagerank – No More Pagerank Updates?

pagerank is dead, no more pagerank updates

Pagerank. It’s a little green bar that can mean the difference between your site earning thousands of pounds a month and nothing. Well, that has been the story up until now. An entire link buying industry has sprung up around the little green graphic.

Google was “supposed” to update the pagerank of all the sites in mid July. Now, 3 months later and there is still no sign of this happening. Pagerank is not being updated.

Further research has led me to conclude that Pagerank as we know it is dead. Google has constantly stated that it doesn’t rank websites according to pagerank (it’s a very common misconception that higher pagerank automatically means higher rankings), and Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google, has said that pagerank is not a big deal in Google and exporting the data to the toolbar is seen as a none event.

There’s no official word from Google as of yet on the status of Pagerank and it’s future, so it might not be officially dead, but they’ve never taken this long to update the toolbar before.

Still, pagerank had it’s uses. You could gauge the level of popularity of a website if it had a high PR and determine whether it was worth getting those valuable backlinks. Now that PR is dead (but certainly not forgotten) it leaves webmasters and internet marketers to rely on other sources, namely Alexa and Compete.

Both of these sites try and estimate the level of traffic to a site and quite frankly, both of them do a rubbish job. They take their sample data from users that have installed their toolbar. This means that if a site gets 100,000 visitors a month but none of them have the toolbar, and another site gets 1,000 visitors a month and 10% of them have the toolbar installed, the latter website would be ranked higher.

So what are we left with now to determine the value of a link or advertising on a website? It’s very difficult. Say what you want about Pagerank, but it was an exceptionally useful tool for determining the cost of a link or advertising.

Does Paying For One Way Links Really Work?

I’ve just signed up to a new SEO service that promises to build hundreds of one way links back to your site. I’m always more than a little bit dubious about such claims so I went out on a limb and signed up. It was only $10/mo for 100 links so I thought it was worth it just to get a concrete answer on whether it works or not.

The website is called One Way Link Exchange

The site that I am optimizing is HYIPJunction. The site is doing really well in Yahoo for various search terms, but not so well in Google and Live :( Here are the current rankings, as at 26th September.

HYIPJunction Google Rankings Chart

HYIPJunction Yahoo Rankings Chart

HYIPJunction Live Rankings Chart

So, one month from now, I’m hoping that my rankings in all the search engines will have improved from using this One Way Link Exchange service. If not…then we know that buying links from this company sucks :)

Creating The Perfect SEO Optimized Website

On one of the forums I visited recently someone asked what was the perfect website design for SEO. It got me thinking because although I have a good idea what makes a perfect (or at least a best guess perfect because who really knows how the search engines work) design, I’ve never sat down and created one.

What’s more, I don’t have any evidence to suggest that a search engine optimized layout will do any better in the search engines than a normal HTML layout. Using an SEO layout could be wishful thinking for all I know.

With that said, here are the ingredients that in theory make up the perfect SEO website layout.

  1. The code has to be as clean as possible. This means using tableless CSS to define the layout rather than tables because it makes the website much ‘lighter’ and the content becomes the dominant factor rather than the table dividers, rows, font attributes etc.
     
  2. The should be as little text and or code from where the body starts to where the content starts. Again, this is the case for using tableless CSS as you can virtually have the content be the first thing the spider reads as it crawls your site while still maintaining an attractive design
     
  3. Your H1 and H2 tags should be as close to the beginning of the code as possible. This is to make sure the spider reads it first as the H1 tag is often given a lot of prominance in the search engine rankings. It’s like a big neon sign that says “this page is about ABC”
     
  4. Make your content appear before the menu in your code. This makes sure the spider doesn’t get distracted by all the other keywords in your menu and indexes all your content before it moves on to another page
     
  5. Use the title attribute in your h1, h2, a and img tags. The title attribute enables you to add a few more relevant keywords about the page and increase the keyword density of the page
     
  6. What ever method you use to code the website (HTML/XHTML) make sure it is valid code. It is often said that Google will rank a valid code website above a non-valid one, however, I don’t have any evidence to support this. But hey, it can’t hurt, right?

Using the pointers above, i sat down and attempted to create my first XHTML/tableless CSS valid website that was extremely optimized for the search engines. Here’s what I came up with…

Screenshot of my SEO Template

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Top 5 Paid Directories

Link directories are becoming (if not become) the number one way for webmasters on a budget to get hundreds, sometimes thousands of one way links. The vast majority of these directories are free to list your site but many offer a paid upgrade with premium options like deep linking to some of your pages.

With so many directories to choose from, how can you know which directories are the best ones to part with your hard earned dollars?

Well, here’s run down of what I consider to be the top 5 paid directories…

#5 Alive Directory
Cost: $49.95 (per year) or $74.95 (per year)
PageRank: 6
Page Strength: 7.5
Alexa Traffic Rank: 16799
Alive Directory has just had a facelift (about time) and is run by dedicated owners who ensure timely approval of submitted links. However, as with most paid directories their standards are high so don’t go submitting knock off adsense sites! Expect to be approved within 24-48 hours.

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Top 5 On-Page Optimization Tips

When most people think of search engine optimization (well ok, only those that are actually nerdy enough to know what it is of course!) they immediately think about meta tags, keyword density and doorway pages.

Like many things when it comes to SEO, what once worked no longer does.

Take meta-tags for example. Way back when the internet was still a baby, meta tags were introduced to help search engines (at the time the big search engine was AltaVista…Google hadn’t even been invented) work out what the site was about. It wasn’t long before people started abusing the Meta Tags and when the next generation of search engines came about the importance of the meta tags diminished forever.

There are some self styled gurus that will tell you that you need the optimum keyword density to rank well in the search engines. The truth is, if there were an optimium density then it would be very easy to rank in the search engines. The best thing to do is to keep your writing natural and focus on the reader first, search engine second.

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Are You Making These Top 5 SEO Mistakes?

To the average internet user the acronym SEO is just yet another bit of gobbledegook internet jargon tossed around by web geeks and nerds. To some of us web geeks and nerds SEO is the be all and end all of internet promotion. The holy grail of appearing at number one spot on Google is a dream many of us aspire to bring in to reality…but often fall dismally short in Supplemental Hell.

So often the different between getting a good ranking and a bad ranking is down to how you approach the optimization of your site. As with most things in life there’s a right way and a wrong way. Do it the wrong way and you’re looking at a life in Supplementalville, do it right and you get to live on the converted home page bringing in so many visitors you won’t know what to do.

Sidenote: Google’s Supplemental Index are results that it gives when it can’t find anything definite that you are searching for. Web pages in the supplemental index are pages that don’t have enough inbound links for Google to ‘trust’ the page enough to serve it up as a main result.

If you want to get good rankings, then make sure you avoid these top 5 SEO mistakes:

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Dontcha Wish You Had Hot Traffic Like Me?!

OK, so I’m no Pussy Cat Doll, but I do know a thing or two about getting fantastic traffic to my site. Where many people are struggling to get any hits (or maybe you get three visits a day, you, your girlfriend and your mum – it’s nothing to be ashamed of…even my mum visits this site), I set out last year to see if I could take a website from zero to hero.

The website in question is www.ocarda.com and I chose to make it on something that I knew a lot about and have a rather nerdy passion for. I discovered a while ago that unless you make a website on a topic that you are passionate about, then you quickly lose interest. For example, car insurance might pay well in terms of affiliate programs and adsense, but if you don’t know your 3rd party cover from your fire and theft cover (hey, I know nothing about it…I don’t even own a car!), then you will quickly lose interest.

Anyway, I chose free templates and free themes for various CMS’s, shopping carts and forums for my niche. I’m always on the lookout for great designs so in the end I thought why not make a website out of it. I started back in September 2006 and have kept it very basic, everything on the site is done manually.

However, since that time I have been consistant with adding new content and promotion and the traffic has grown steadily over the past 11 months or so. Infact, check out a screenshot of my traffic below…

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SEO Elite Review

When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) I’m a bit of a self confessed SEO nerd. I check all the latest techniques, tips and pointers that are thrown by the gurus of SEO – I have folders overflowing with SEO articles that I print out. I check every tool and every bit of software. I’m even subscribed to goodness knows how many SEO newsletters.

SEO Elite ReviewNow there are some decent freebie tools out there that can help you with optimizing your website. The tools on SEO Chat and iWebTool spring to mind.

There’s also a plethora of paid seo tools available on the internet, choosing the right one is essential for your search engine rankings. Some seo software is quite cheap and others are rediculously expensive. If you are on a budget you need to get one that packs maximum punch for what it costs.

I personally use a tool called SEO Elite. I came across this tool after being thoroughly fed up with some other software (that shall remain entirely nameless, but if you replaced the ‘S’ in SEO with a ‘C’ you might be close). Doing what all good seo people do when researching a keyword, I went to Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines and typed in seo software and looked which sites were ranked in the top 10 of each. I found that SEO Elite was ranked in the top 5 of all the search engines so it seemed to me that not only did they talk the talk, but they walked the walk too.

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Keeping a Promise – SEO Secrets

Ah, I remember a while ago that I made a promise. A promise to show you how I got abchyip.com to the top of the search engines.

The first thing that I did was to optimize my home page with my main keywords: HYIP Scripts

So what does optimizing the homepage include?

Well, you have to get your hands a little bit dirty and start playing with the HTML code.

First off, the TITLE TAG which is very very important. Too many people do not enter a title for their page name. Just do a quick search on Google to find that there are over 116 million web pages out there with no title.

Choosing your title is very important too. The more words you use, the less effective your title becomes. Therefore it is imperative that you do not use unnecessary words like “and” or “Welcome To My Site” (using “Welcome To…” is such a waste, do you really think someone is going to search for “Welcome To…”).

It is becoming common practice amongst SEO geeks to use the pipe symbol “|” to seperate keywords in the title – you don’t even need to mention your website name! Use your three main keywords in the title, seperated by the “|” symbol.

You can add your meta description and meta keyword tags in the HTML header part, but the major search engines largely ignore these as they have been abused in the past.

The next step is to use the <h1> header tag. This tag tells the spider what the website is about and is the 2nd most important tag in the HTML (the title is first).

By default the <h1> tag makes the text really big and can distort or ruin the appearance of your website. It is always good practice to use CSS to help you control the look of your <h1> tag.

As an example of how CSS can be used to change the <h1> tag, have a look at my HYIP Monitor site. The text at the very top which says HYIP Investments | HYIP Forum | HYIP Rating is a <h1> tag but using CSS to control the look of the text.

If you view the source code for this site, you will see:

<h1 class="sitename">HYIP Investments | HYIP Forum | HYIP Rating</h1>

The CSS code simply tells the browser how to format the <h1> text.

The third most important thing to consider when optimizing your website is the navigation/menu system.

This is an area all too many people don’t do correctly because they don’t understand how spiders and search engines work.

For a start, where ever possible, use text for the links rather than images. This is because you can use keywords in your anchor text which actually helps your search engine ranking, because each link to a page counts as a “vote” which in turn increases your pagerank. If you had a big enough website (10,000 pages) and no inbound links other than on your own site, it’s very possible to have a PR of 5 or maybe even 6 (as long as all those pages are indexed).

Instead of using the word “home” as the anchor text in the link, consider using your main keyword. This all counts towards your SEO and backlinks. The same method applies for all your other links. Where ever possible, use your keywords for the anchor text.

Another important factor to consider is to use the rel=”nofollow” attribute in your links on non-essential pages such as the disclaimer, privacy policy, TOS etc. This stops you from passing on page rank to non-essential pages and increases the page rank you pass on to the important pages.

My final top tip for optimizing your website is don’t put your copyright information as the very last think on your page. Many search engines (especially MSN and sometimes Yahoo) tend to use a combination of your title and the text at the bottom of the page for the site description in your search results.

Although you should include a copyright notice, make sure the last block of text at the end of your page contains one or two sentences with your main keywords in it.

Of course, there are lots of other website optimization methods, such as naming your images with keywords, using the title and alt attributes, considering your keyword density etc. But these are all secondary to what I’ve discussed above.

I’ll give some more SEO tips later on this week.

SEO is easy!

Well that title might ruffle the feathers of a few SEO experts out there that charge the world to rank your website higher up in the search engines.

Check out the following screen shots from Google, Yahoo and MSN for my website, abcHYIP.com and check out where it is ranked for it’s primary keyword: hyip scripts

abchyip at number 2 spot in google

Here you can see that abcHYIP.com is ranked at number two in Google.com for the phrase: hyip scripts.

abchyip at number 1 spot in yahoo

Here you can see that abcHYIP.com is ranked at number one in Yahoo.com for the phrase: hyip scripts.

abchyip at number 1 spot in msn

Here you can see that abcHYIP.com is ranked at number one in msn.com for the phrase: hyip scripts.

As you can see, I’ve clearly dominated the search engines for the keyword I have chosen. So how did I achieve this?

I’ll reveal a few secrets tomorrow :~)