Saturday, November 1, 2008

Link exchange

I watched SEOmoz education video about their Linkscape page ranking software and was surprised, that in their example one link exchange page got good credit. So, I joined this exchange program and follow, how Google is indexing it. Pity, that it takes so much time...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Link Exchange test

This post is purely for testing purposes


Link2Me Link Exchange Directory - The Best Link Exchange for SEO Professionals
Quality directory of webmasters actively seeking link exchange. Improve your search engine rankings and link popularity the easy way. Work clever not hard.

Online Computer Shopping, Buy Computer
Online Computer Shopping, Buy Computer, Notebook, CPU, MP3, Apple, Monitors, Printer

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nofollow parameter

Three most important factors to gain better page rating: (1) backlinks, (2) backlinks, (3) backlinks.

What one think's is backlink building, other may say it's spambexing. On 2005 Google invented rel="nofollow" attribute. It blocks link juice transfer to linked site and changes visually functional link to no-value link in the eyes of search engines. In practice it means that Your link, provided in blog comment, doesn't count as backlink and doesn't pass any link juice.

Recognizing "nofollow" sites

How to recognise weather the link is "no-rmal" or "no-follow". Problem (or actually its not a problem, but blessing) is thas some blogs, forums and article site use "nofollow" as default and others are not using this blocking measure.  Easyest way is to open comment page and view source html. If You find one of following links:

A. Enjoy my < href="http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/"> SEO blog < / a > and learn new tricks!

B. Enjoy my < href="http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow"> SEO blog < / a > and learn new tricks!

A is normal link and B is nowollow link. So, posting comments in A environment is good idea from the perspective of getting backlinks. Posting to B environment is good idea from the point of traffic, but not backlinks. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tip of the day



Tip of the day is about anchor text in blog comments. As we know, blogs are one way to get free backlinks. My tip is about the blogs, what have at least 4 fields: Name, website, e-mail adress and comment. In these cases Your name will be linkable to website provided. My tip is:
Instead of Your name, use Name + relevant keyword

For example:
Name: Jack SEO consultant
E-mail: jaak_ennuste@hotmail.com
Comment: Asdf asdf asdf ...

So, in the comments Name field is anchor-text linked to promoted website. When search engines find SEO and consulting in the anchor text, they may think that Your SEO blog (promoted website) has valued SEO content.

Always use value-added comment with Your original view, giving new information to readers. In most cases its usless to spam website into comment text, as its not linkable. Even, if its linkable, it's still only URL, what is not highly valued by search engines. Only in very few blogs comments may contain links with anchor.

Example:

Please notice, that this blog uses nofolliw argument and my ancor text actually doesnt work, despite of nice anchor-text link created.


Comment box:


Page source:
class="gcomment">href='http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/' rel='external nofollow'>Jack SEO consultant Says:


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fast, faster and fastest



When I started blogging less than a month ago, I also set up SEO measurement table. Among other parameters I started to write down each day following parameters:

GBL - Google backlinks
YBL - Yahoo backlinks
MBL - MSN/Live backlinks

About a week nothing happened. Then, on the eight day Yahoo indexed first backlink and some pages. Day later MSN found backlink. At last, 19 days after setting up this site, Google indexed first backlink. During that time, Yahoo and MSN had indexed already 200+ and 400+ backlinks.

This test shows once again, that Google is extreamly picky about backlinks. Mostly my URL is in social networks, blog profiles etc. Practically no fixed anchor-text links on proper pages. Google is picky, 3 weeks later I have only 6 backlinks by Google, more than 50 times less than from other search sites.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Commenting gets harder

Today I left comment to Search Engine Roundtable post "How To Optimize for Something New and Unknown" 

And guess what, I got instant reply:

THANK YOU FOR COMMENTING.

Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner. It is very likely your comment will be automatically deleted via our comment spam solution. If you really want your comment to be added, please contact us immediately and we will try our best to get your comment live before it is automatically deleted.

Return to the original entry

Here is my comment:

"First You should start through known and popular, then user-generated, as mentioned.

Jack "
Whats possibly wrong with that? No website links or other spam..

Monday, October 13, 2008

Google, Yahoo and MSN power struggle

Looks like there is no competition soon. Google's share in web searching is raising slowly, Yahoo is losing share (was 20%, now 12-13% or so), Microsoft has really tough uphill battle with 5% or so. But, actually Live search is sneaking in from the back door. Live signed contract with Blackberry to provide mobile search. We know, that its default search engine in Mobile Windows smartphones. Microsoft is expecting to grow search traffic, coming from handsets. So, be aware SEO consultants, game ain't over yet.

Google, link directories and DMOZ


We know, that Google hates all kind of web directories. We heard lately, that there is even high quality, but paid Yahoo Directory, U$ 299 per year and DMOZ ODP, are not recommended anymore by Google. Still there is ONE exeption Google admits, it uses data from DMOZ Open Directory Project.

For some reason this PR8 directory, edited by 80 thousand editors, containing over 4,6 million sites, is apprised by Google. Actually, Google directory mirrors the one. The Open Directory Project is the largest human edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by global community of volunteer editors. Google uses DMOZ data in addition to sites metadata. 

Getting listed in DMOZ is almost impossible. You may have high-quality, information-rich site, still it's not listed in years. There is lot's of speculations about corrupted editors. In general, webmaters are quite frustrated about the situation. 

My recommendation for DMOZ is:
  • take a minute and choose right topic
  • write really good description, no typos
  • submit it
  • forget it, don't resubmit it, editors don't like recurring submissions 
  • look after year, two, three -- may-be You are lucky
  • don't get angry being not listed, no big deal.
My personal opinion is, that DMOZ is not so important. Why?
  • It provides just a juice-less link, homepage has PR8, but directory content pages have much lower PR's, in some cases they are even not ranked, like http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/Hardware/Systems/Workstations/ ;
  • If Your website has full set of meta-data, Google has no need to fetch more info from DMOZ;
  • Very few people really uses Directories as start page to find so general information, most use search.
So, feel free to submit, it's Google friendly, but don't expect to be listed there at all...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Backlink is THE currency of the WEB



In the WEB-world links are everyhing. Without links, nobody will find Your web page, your services, goods and yourself. First, nobody is directed to Your pages, secondly no search engine will think You are reputable enough to get any attention. You'r missing in SERP-s. 

Not every link is good, valuable desireable. Links to Your web-page show's that somebody likes or needs Your page for some reason. More links, driven by genuine interest, more internet currency You have.

how to build high-quality links?

1. External links
Link has to come from other website, from the different domain. Internal links are not treated as so valuable as external links. You may inter-connect all Your website pages in numerous ways, it doesn't generate extra value.

2. Links having anchor-text
It's much better then someone links Your web-page using anchor-text, than just putting You URL on the page. Best Ice-Cream in the world link tells something about Your web page and is considered to be neutral or objectice opinion (if this is external link). Clever search engines compare words in the anchor-text with the content on Your page (title, description, keywords, headings and body text) and evaluate, is this relevant link or not. Thats why the meta-data quality is so important.

3. Links from high-ranked pages
This is obvious, that higher-ranked pages have more right to say, who else should be valued and promoted in WEB-world. Google is very critical about linking pages and ignoring low PR pages at all. Very good tools to determine donor site quality are SEOmoz Linkscape and Google PR.

4. No link spam
Links from blogs, forums, social networking profiles, comments etc are low-quality links. Often treated as link spam, often equipped with "nofollow" attribute and not counted at all. Genuine links from high-quality content pages are taken much more seriously. Link farms, link directories, having thousands outbound links are not passing almost any value at all.

5. Avoid "nofollow" linking
Few years ago (probably on 2005), Google started initiative, there links with "nofollow" attribute will not pass on any value or rank. Many blog environments and forums started to use default "nofollow" linking in comments and posts to avoid link spam. So, be sure, if You are setting up links, that no "nofollow" attribute is used.

SEOmoz Linkscape or Google PageRank?


SEOmoz introduces their new metrix -- Linkscape MOZrank. Its actually very similar to Google PR. Methodology is similar and both Linscape MOZrank and Google PR are 0-10. Both tools emphasize on incoming link quality.

When Google PR is integer number and every change in PR is huge thing, Linkscape MOZrank has also 1/100-s, 2 digits after the comma. Its easier to see change in the right or wrong direction. Linkscape is still in the Beta, buts seems to function pretty well.

Its very useful also to see their educational videos about the Links :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More about Google CSI-s



As 10 years old Google is by far dominant from SEO persective g search engine and search authority, its very important to use it right, tuning SEO. Usually I take 3 search engines in account (also Yahoo and MSN/Live), but this post is all about the most important.

Usually I measure 3 critical success indicators (CSI-s) in the order of importance:

  • GBL - Google Backlinks link:http://www.mysite.com
  • GIP - Google indexed pages site://www.mysite.com
  • GSR - Google search results, total number, just type "www.mysite.com" to Google

They all give some idea, how good Your site is doing and how wide-spread and known it is. 

GBL is by far most desirable index and very hard to get as Google is very sensitive and has trained nose to spam. When MSN/Live and Yahoo index backlinks coming from blog comments and social network sites, again Googel is clearly ignoring all that "spam"-like linking attempts. True links from high-quality pages, using relevalt keyword-rich anchor text are counted. Therefore Google gives much less backlinks using "link:" parameter, than other major search engines. Last 
 
GIP in general is giving some idea, how massive the site is and is it all indexed by Google. In general, bigger sites are getting better results ang higher PR's.

GSR is just a nice number, how many occurencies of Your site Google finds in the world. But GSR in nothing more than for ego tripping. Here You see all blog spam etc, what is not accepted as backlink. 

Strategic numbers for my Dell websop website are: 126 - 5 450 - 11 100
Same strategic numbers for www.galerii24.ee are: 69 - 10 800 - 55 800 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to get correct number of MSN/Live backlinks?


click to enlarge

This MBL is not going to be easy. No tools are showing correct reesults. Usually 0 or 1. Live query link:shop.it.ee, link:http://shop.it.ee or link:it.ee replies zero result, what is not true. Undocumented linkdomain query doesnt work either. Only way is to sign account in Live Search Webmaster Center (image above).

click to enlarge

Click Backlinks tab. Exclude links coming in from Your domain: "Filter backlinks by top-level domain, subdomain or subfolder" . And voilĂ ! I got 226 baclinks. Problem is, that it's not possible to benchmark them against Your competitors, as far You are not able to hack into their Webmaster Center. So, good to record for own knowledge and keep eye on the trend, but thats ptetty much all the joy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How to measure correctly backlinks in Yahoo


Measuring correct backlink number in Yahoo (YBL) is not as simple as it looks like at first glance. Many sites providing YBL numbers are showing different numbers. What is the right method? I never use Baclink tools or dedicated web-pages. I rely only on rearch engines readings. Let's take my Dell webshop website http://shop.it.ee/ and check it's backlinks.

First, type query link:http://shop.it.ee/ into Yahoo, using Your site name indeed:

Yahoo re-directs You to Site Explorer page, not to traditional search result page.

Now You see 2 important numbers. 

Pages means Yahoo indexed pages -- YIP. In Google You may query site:shop.it.ee, so You can do in Yahoo, but directed to the very same Yahoo page. 

Inlinks show incoming (back-) links -- YBL. From SEO perspective, it's important to take account true incoming links, so exclude Your own domain links "Except from this domain", from other pages of same website. As You normally optimize whole site, not only main page etc, choose "Entire Site", to get all external incoming links to Your site. Normally, title page is main linking subject, still considerable amount of links are landing to sub-pages.

So, the right answer is YBL = 714, by my personal interpretation. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Introduction to linkbuilding

Every link, coming in from other sites, increases Your site's rating. This post is not how and where to get inbound links. 

What is quality link?
  • Your page is linked via anchor text, not just url
  • Page and/or domain, what is linking to You, has PR>3
  • Page, linking to You, has same keywords that Your page, relevancy
In general, more backlinks You got, better.

Anchor text
If the link is built using relevant anchor text, like excellent SEO site, then searh engine will find . Posting just Your hopmage url http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/ may give the backlink, but search engines are not going to value it much.

Donor's PR
Google PageRank is complex mathematical model

Image from Wikipedia

Shortly, when high-PR sites link to Your page, Your pages PR will increase. Having lot of links from PR=0 pages, doesn't increase it. Having links from black-listed sites may hurt Your page's rank.

Link age
Search engines value old links, but also link popularity trend. So, If Your page is getting more and more links, it should be quality site.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Introduction to quality of website metadata

We know, and it's said so many times earlier by many experts, website popularity relies mostly on inbound links. Still, the content is the king. Metadata is part of the content. Very ofter metadata fields are empty and not optimized at all.

SEO-relevant metadata fields
  • Title
  • Descriprion
  • Keywords
  • Headings (H1, H2 ...)
Metadata is describe in HTML code in the beginning of each web page. Usually it's filled by web page designer, but they do nothing, until told exactly what to put there. If You write web pages using WYSIWYG editors, You also might not find these fields, but they are there in page properties etc.

Title
Title data is shown on web browser title bar and in search engine results. Its good to have few relevant keywords in the title. As title is short, don't use over 60 characters, be focused. Title is very inportant meta element from SEO prospective.

Description
Description is max 200 characters long abstract descriprion of the page/website and is shown in SERPS right after the title. Description should correlate strongly with Title, Headings and page content.

Keywords
Keywords are not so important, as people tend to think, Still, add some 5-20 keywords or phrases, not more. Some sources say, that overall keyword's size can't exceed 800 bytes. Using too much keywords seems like keyword stuffing and Google does not like it. Good trick is to add some specific and original, not so universal keywords. Some keywords can be so-called "poison words", You may check them using metadata tools below.

Headings
Every page may have many H1 - H3 headings. It's important, that headings contain relevant information, containing keywords and professional words from pafe content.

Google advises -- if Your page is well written for human, focused and using good professional language, the is no need to look further. It's kind of true, but still, check meta-tags.

There is 2 ways to check meta tags:

Easy - use web tool like:

Complex
Look Your web page HTML source. All browsers enable to "view source".

Meta tags builder
Meta tag builder automates HTML code writing

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Best Link Popularity tools

Here is the list of link popularity tools, I found most convinient to use. Its quite elaborate to run between 3 search engines, type in "link:" queries and count the results. Instead, You can use 1 service what automates queries from different pages. 

My requirement is, that it should give popularity for Google, Yahoo and optionally MSN/Live.

My 2 top Picks:

+ precise results 
+ some history records
- poor benchmarking capabilities

+ 3 website benchmarking
+ history
- dont believe MBL, its just MIP (indexed pages, not backlinks)

The rest:

As I mentioned before, different tools give different results. Over the time You have to use results from one tool to get meaningful data trends. As You see fron the table, GBL data has very low standard deviation, opposite to YBL and MBL. Read, how to get correct YBL measure...

MBL MSN / Live Backlinks

MSN / Live is one of the three most important searsh engines to be presented. To check MSN Backlinks You have only 1 option, query from Live Search  link:www.yousite.ee doesnt work. So doesn't work appropriate websites, for example:

So, the only option is to set up account in Live Search Webmaster Center

Saturday, September 27, 2008

YBL - Yahoo Backlinks


Lets say that Google, Yahoo and MSN the only search engines, what You need to keep in mind, optimizing Your site SEO. Yahoo is definately one to be represented in.

1. Most accurate way is to query directly in Yahoo:

2. Some websites, reporting YBL

3. Setup account in Yahoo Site Explorer, but You have to bear in mind that its takes ages, before Yahoo Site Explorer really activates ans starts statistics.

There are slight differences in backlink number reporting, so its wise to use only one meter to analyze data over long time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

GBL = Google BackLinks


Number of Google backlinks is the most important factor, rising Your web page PR and visibility. It is important to maximise GBL number. Still, You have to keep in mind following:

- Backlinks from high PR (more than PR3) sites are valued
- Linking should be done via relevalt, keyword anchor text, eg
not http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/,
but Good SEO service site  
- No links from paid directories and link farms (with some exeptions, explained later...)

How to measure?
There are at least four ways:

1. Type in link:www.yousrite.com to Google and find the number of pages found - this is the number of GBL;

2. Use some SEO website, what gives You information about link popularity. Usually You get also backlink numbers from other search engines, like MSN Live and Yahoo. In some sites You can compare Your link popularity with other (competitor) site popularity.
Some examples:
SEO Centro (pretty good one!)

3. Download SEO software. Some examples:

4. Set up account in Google Webmaster Tools

It is very important to GBL number up. How -- in future posts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to measure Quality Visits


Quality Visits can be interpreted in many different ways. In the best case, these are the visits that bring in business. In simplified manner, it's the number of visits, what last some time. eg people look around in Your website.

Google Analytics
Best free tool today to measure traffic on Your site is Google Analytics. It gives to You quite good set of traffic data, including comparisions, keyword analysis and more. 

Quality Visits = Total Visits * (100% - Bounce Rate)
If Analytics reports that You had 1320 visits and bounce rate was 72%, then  72% of visitors are not staying on Your site and "bouncing back" where they came from. Only 100% - 72% = 28% of visitors were more-or-less interested and stayed on Your site long enough.
Why is important to measure Bounce rate and Quality Visits? We had 2 different 1-day campaigns, directing potentional customers to Our web-site.

Campaign A, cost U$ 1000
21 400 visits, bounce rate 60%

Campaign B, cost U$ 1300
18 300 visits, bounce rate 23%

Witch campaign was better? Answer: B, You got 1 interested visitor for $ 0,09. Cost of the potential customer in the case of A was $ 0,12 eg 26% higher cost.

Please don't mind that I mess with visits and visitors at this point. In the future we go into it, but in our case It's almost irrelevant difference.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to measure Page Rank (PR)



There basically 2 ways to measure web page PR:

1. Easiest way is Google Toolbar, it shows in real-time each page PR, You open in the browser.

2. If You don't mind to install another screen-space robbing browser add-on, You can use one of following sites and there are hundreds more
http://www.checkpagerank.net/
http://pr.blfree.com/multiple-pagerank-checker.php
http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/pagerank-lookup/
http://seopen.com/seopen-tools/pagerank.php
http://www.mypagerank.net/service_seostats_index
http://www.directorycritic.com/google-pagerank-checker.html

Keep in mind, that PR is changing quite slowly. For new sites without very good quality donor outbound links it might take 4 months to half year to achieve decent levels PR=3 or PR=4. Hot to make it grow, it upcoming posts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First things first

First I check few basic things:
Then I start to measure. If You don't measure, You are not going to get results. Start measuring your website CSI-i (critical success indicators).

CSI-is I use:

So, main CSI is link popularity in general

Secondary CSI-s, what I also follow, but not so important:

  • GIP -Google indexed pages
  • YIP - Yahoo indeced pages
  • MIP - Microsoft Live indexed pages

When I start new SEO project, lasting 6-12 months or so, I set up spreadsheet to record each month all these CSI-s. Usually compare them with closest competitors.

In the next post I will describe where to get these numbers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This is all about SEO demystified

I have 2 websites, shop.it.ee and Galerii24, relying totally on good quality visits. These websites serve very little local Estonia market. Total population of whole market is about 1,3 Million. If I miss single client, I miss roughtly 250 times more business than doing business say in USA.

So, this blog tells how I rose both websites to PR4 and top-of-the search engine results in Estonia.

My sites are:

http://shop.it.ee/ Dell websop
http://www.galerii24.ee/ Art gallery in the web