March 25, 2008
Link building, an essential strategy to an internet marketing campaign, can be one of the most tricky tasks. Why will a webmaster link to you? Do you submit your site to 800 directories? Do you buy links to climb the search engine rankings? Do you buy links/banner advertising for traffic?
There are 3 different types of links:
1) Organic - sites that link to you due to your good content
2) Manual - searching for sites that will list yours for free, including directories.
3) Link Advertising - buying links on sites or in Directories to help with a) targeted traffic and b) search engine rankings.
Today I want to discuss what you need to look out for when buying a text link (link advertising). Google respects your site more when sites in your niche link to you, but why would they want to do that? They would prefer a reciprocal link exchange - you place a link on your site and they’ll return the favour. Although reciprocal links are great for traffic, they are not as powerful as one-way links to climb the search engine rankings at Google.
It’s a tricky situation. However, there is a solution: buy link advertising on sites within your niche.
Here are 4 excellent tips on what to look for when buying links:
1) Age of Domain - How long has the site been online? Google respects sites that are older, and are updated on a regular basis, compared to a month old site.
2) Is the site indexed in Google? Type the domain in Google’s search box to see if the site is listed. If not listed, forget the link advertising opportunity.
3) When did Google last crawl the site? Visit the cache page on the site listing in Google’s search results. If Google hasn’t crawled the site is a few weeks, Google thinks the site is not worth re-visiting due to lack of updates. A site that Google visits regularly is a site that’s worth advertising on.
4) How many back links does the site have? This is the most important aspect: The more back links the site has, the more trust Google will give. Type link:
http://www.examplesite.com - site:www.examplesite.com
into Yahoo to find the number of back links. This command will remove any links that are within the domain using site:
Did you notice one variable I do not take into account when measuring the quality of a link? Page Rank.
March 24, 2008
More and more business owners are turning to the internet as a route to market their product or service. As a result, businesses are in need of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation/Optmiser) services to help with generating targeted traffic and a strong online presence.
As with any industry, there are SEO’s that are worth every $ and there are many that are just interested in your money.
In order for you not to get burned if you decide to seek an SEO, here are 10 excellent tips on how to determine whether a SEO is worthy or not:
1) Ask what in-house sites they promote and where they rank in Yahoo and Google for which keyword terms. Any SEO who knows their stuff will have their own portfolio of sites. If they don’t, this is immediately a red flag.
2) Check their sites by typing the keyword(s) in each search engine, take note of the amount of results/competition (In Google, you will see the amount of results in the top right hand corner of the search results) In general, the higher amount of searches, the more difficult it is to reach to the top. Above 50,000,000 search results is a good sign.
3) Ask the SEO why they want to work on client’s sites rather than his own. Do they want to gain more experience within different industries or don’t they like the commitment of working on their own sites?
4) Find out what techniques they use to generate inbound links - Manual or Organic? Anyone can manually build inbound links (there’s nothing wrong with this technique). However, a good SEO will concentrate more of their efforts on generating organic links via quality content, social media/book marking sites. Find out what ideas they have for your site. Ask to look at their previous link building strategies and results.
5) The simple marketing test: If you have a set of links in your navigation bar, ask them their thoughts on what order they should be in and why. This will show if the SEO puts the end-user experience first, and you will also see some of their marketing thoughts and styles.
6) Find out exactly what you get for your money and the time lines they will be delivered in. Will the SEO work on a performance basis?
7) If possible, try to arrange a face-to-face meeting or at least a telephone conversation. Do they sound enthusiastic about SEO, online marketing? Have they got good ideas that will help grow your online business? Do your personalities match?
Ask how many other clients they’re currently working with, how many staff they have (if any). This will give you a good indication if theywill be able to put the required level of commitment/effort into your project.
9) Are their rates to low? This may sound crazy, but any SEO worth their weight in gold will not offer rates lower than what they can generate by promoting their own portfolio of sites. Why would he?
10) Ask the above 9 questions to at least 3 SEO’s, more if time permits. You will get a good feel on what SEO’s can add value to your business from the questions above.
I hope the above will prevent you selecting an SEO that is just out to make a quick buck from inexperienced webmasters.
March 16, 2008
Google have just launched the most popular search terms that was used in 2006. Something tells me they have censored the results as I can’t see any porn or gambling related keywords on the list.
March 15, 2008
It’s great to see a big company like Phillips taking viral marketing seriously, and most importantly, doing it how it should be done - skilfully, funnily and interestingly. I have seen many big companies attempt viral marketing ideas over the internet with poor ideas which, I’m sure, pulled in poor results.
Here’s the plug - Don’t forget that we offer Viral Marketing ideas for your site!
March 12, 2008
The age of a domain is an important ranking factor in Google, where older sites generally rank better. You can outrank an older site if you’ve got the right trusted links and good on-page SEO, but, all things considered, old sites tend to do better. Since these sites have been around a long time, Google knows they aren’t just part of some spammer’s short-term “pump-and-dump” ranking strategy, so they’re viewed as being more trusted.
Beyond Google’s preference for old sites, there’s also the fact that older sites have had longer to build links. So if your competitor’s domain launched in 1996 and yours started in 2004, they’ve got an 8-year head start on link-building and content creation. That’s a significant advantage.
The Wayback Machine will give you an idea of when search engines first started indexing pages from a site. The drawback to the Wayback Machine is that it only goes back to 1996, so if a site came online in 1994 the Wayback Machine will still show its birthday as 1996. However, that doesn’t much matter because you’re not really concerned with a site’s specific birthdate, just with whether it’s a old site or a new site. Any site from the 90’s is officially
old by Internet standards.
To put things in perspective, a site launched in 1996 will not have much advantage over a site launched in 1998 (other than 2 additional years to build content and links). But it will have an often significant advantage over a site launched in 2004.
The other problem with the Wayback Machine is that some sites block its crawler. This means that site won’t be listed. In that case you can sometimes use Netcraft.com. For example, here’s where you can find the NetCraft birthdate for Google.com.
If that doesn’t work, you can always go with the date their whois info reports, such as that provided by domaintools.com:
However, this isn’t a very reliable way to get a site’s age since the domain may have been purchased long ago but never put online. For example, we have several domains we bought in 1996 that were never turned into sites. If we were to create a site on them today, search engines would consider their birthday to be 2006, not 1996.
March 8, 2008
About 3 months ago I read an article in my weekly magazine that a film company is seeking actors for a new movie called Back to the Bronz Forest. I applied for an audition and got accepted. During the audition I had to read a script in front of many people and learnt about the character:
He’s a Karen, just trained to be a mahout (elephant’s trainer), he’s in love with MALEE, his teacher’s daughter. He has the nature of a proud young man, and he thinks the world exists for his amusement. He does what it takes to get what he wants.
Yes, the audition was scary but a lot of fun. They have said that they will let me know if I get accepted so will keep you informed.