Blog Archives

Google Bounce Rate Value

Does Google Bounce Rate Analytic Have Any Real Value

SEO experts tell us a low bounce rate is important for site ranking in Google SERP. Bounce rate is an indicator of quality content on our blogs and websites. The lower the bounce rate, the better our sites will rank…

Google Analytics shows a bounce rate statistic for our sites. Just how accurate is this analytic statistic, how much credence should we give it?

What is Bounce Rate?

Simply put, bounce rate is the ratio between visitors arriving on our site and viewing more than one page to the number of arriving visitors who leave immediately. If we have a high percent of visitors who stay around to read more than one post we can assume they found our blog useful and interesting.

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Graphicline WordPress Hosting Faster

Graphicline WordPress Hosting Faster than HostGator

Our client’s WordPress site, JulieMaryCarmen.com, gained a significant speed improvement after moving hosting from Hostgator to our hosting service – Graphicline Fully Managed WordPress Hosting.

The chart shows the much faster page load speeds. The red graph line is the site speed on Hostgator, the green line is page speed since moving the site to Graphicline WordPress Hosting.

graphicline hosting faster than hostgator speed chart

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Built Our Own Link Farms

We Built Our Own Link Farms – Really Bad SEO

A “webmaster” desperate for backlinks decided to build her own link farms for backlinks… No, I’m not talking about 3 or 5 years ago, this was recent, this year in fact. Worse yet, not only one link farm, an entire network of link farms.

“Old McSpammer had a farm, e-i-e-i-oh,
And on that farm he built some links, e-i-e-i-oh

With a backlink here, and a backlink there,
Here a link, there a link,
Everywhere a link, link…”  Video about link farming

Hasn’t the Webmaster Heard About Google Farmer, Panda, Penguin

Maybe because this is a South African webmaster, the news about Google Farmer, Panda and Penguin never reached this far…

Surely, everyone in the web industry knows link farms are useless these days as a source of backlinksBacklinks from link farms can even harm the site. Read the rest of this entry

Google Drops Real Estate MLS Listings

Will Google Stop Indexing Real Estate Website MLS Listings

is google dropping mls links iconIs Google going to stop indexing MLS listings on real estate websites? It’s a rumour we came across recently! Disturbingly, the source of the rumour came from an IDX service provider. (IDX service is an intermediary service between the raw data MLS feed and a realtors website)

The IDX service provider told our client there was no point in having indexable listings on his real estate website as Google was going to stop indexing these listings. The client should instead use the listings on their own domain, and use Google AdWords to drive traffic to their site

In a way this makes sense. Yet the idea raises more questions than it answers.

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Helping Zillow and Trulia

Are You Helping Zillow and Trulia Outrank You

Are you helping Zillow and Trulia outrank you in Google SERP? Maybe you are, then again, maybe you’re not. An interesting article by realgeeks.com suggests these well-known real estate industry sites benefit from the links contained in the data widgets they provide for realtors in the USA.

Maybe you even thought you’d try to take advantage of their name recognition, and add one, two, or a few of their widgets to your site. Little did you know that by doing so, you are giving Zillow and Trulia more firepower to outrank your site.
It’s a brilliant scheme, really. Both Zillow and Trulia provide a full range of widgets for agents to use on their independent real estate sites.  Read more

On first glance the article makes sense, but is it the whole story?

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GNAX Hosting – Early Results

GNAX Hosting – So Far So Good

Last week I moved my domain graphicline.co.za to GNAX VPS hosting. I’ve watched Google page load times get shockingly poor the past four months. Nothing I’ve done on-site to improve performance has made any difference. I’d already tried several caching systems and offloaded some files to a CDN and other fast servers – with no improvement.

Eventually, after trying everything else, the only conclusion I could draw was the long path bottleneck between Google’s Mountain View servers and the data centre servers hosting my domain was the main culprit in the time it took for Big G to load pages.

Average page loads for 2 of the sites (WordPress) on the domain had gone from under 2.5 seconds in May to over 4 seconds in August and over 5 by September, while the main site (Drupal) was approaching 4 seconds from under 2 in May. Minimum page load speed had got to nearly 4 seconds for one site by September.

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No Loss to Penguin

Google Penguin Had Zero Impact on My Sites

google penguin iconApril 24, 2012 and Google hits out against over-optimised sites with its Penguin algorithm. Penguin penalised websites with over optimised anchor text in incoming links – backlinks in other words.

The Penguin algorithm slipped past my attention until I read a tweet from Matt Cutts. I’m nearly obsessive about watching traffic stats for the sites in my portfolio; they get checked daily for activity of all types – traffic, attacks, broken links and so on, and I hadn’t seen any unusual traffic dips on April 24 or shortly after. If anything traffic  has increased to these websites since that time.

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Cache Pre-load Impact on Performance

Cache Pre-load Improves Google Page Load

Using a cache pre-load system can improve Google crawl page load speed substantially as clearly shown in the infographic below. Google considers page load in it’s SERP algorithm as an indicator of site quality: Where two similar ranked sites exist, the site with faster load speed will usually get better SERP than a slower site. With this in mind surely it’s a good idea to make the effort to improve page load speed as much as possible.

Page load speed can be improved in a number of ways;  moving the site to a better hosting service, optimising the site technically, including getting rid of unnecessary plugins, keeping image size as small as possible, and using an effective caching system are some of the things we can do.

No matter how well all the other technical aspects are improved, caching the site, and especially pre-loading the cache, will make a big difference to page load speed.

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Latest Links to Your Site

Google Webmaster Tools Latest Links to Site

Google Webmaster Tools Latest Links to Site iconLatest Links to your site; something new from Google Webmaster Tools. It’s been a while since Google added anything new to their webmaster tools collection, but this new information tool is a “goody”. Latest Links to your site is a downloadable file, in CSV or Google Docs format, providing the site owner with a list of discovered backlinks, sorted by date and date-stamped.

Find Trackback Spam

The first practical use that comes to mind for Webmaster Tools Latest Links is to check for trackback spam. Trackback spam is a black-hat SEO technique to get you to publish trackbacks. The spammer sends a trackback to a post on your blog, hoping it will be published automatically, or approved if comments approval is required. But the black-hat doesn’t actually publish a link to the post – it’s a scam. And being friendly WordPress.com bloggers many of us see a trackback and think, “how nice, someone has given me a backlink, let me reciprocate”.

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WPOnlineStore PHP Fatal Error ‘function.require’

Googlebot Error with WPOnlineStore Plugin

Googlebot triggers a PHP Fatal Error ‘function.require‘ error causing the bot to receive a “500” internal server error when trying to crawl the pages created by the WordPress WPOnlineStore plugin. In my previous post I mentioned this ongoing problem. Today I can provide some additional information.

The problem is not unique to my shop site; initial searches of the internet found only a few references to this problem. for the past two days the hosting company server engineers have been looking into the problem, unfortunately without any success. After disabling Apache mod_secure settings, which appeared to be causing the error, Googlebot still triggered this error.  As previously mentioned in Googlebot has Problems with WPOnlineStore, it is only Googlebot – and there lies the first clue.

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