Category Archives: SEO

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

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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?

Read the rest of this entry

Do You Update Old Posts

Updating Old Blog Posts and Web Pages

The updating of old published posts and pages is a somewhat controversial topic. Some bloggers feel it is wrong to update a published article, others do it regularly. I am one of the group who updates content in posts and pages whenever I find a reason (and the time) to do so.

Updating Old Posts is Good for SERP

Google now looks for “FRESHNESS” as one of the criteria for SERP (Search Engine Results Placement), the position a page or post will get. Fresher content gets favoured over old content. A new post may initially be placed high in their results, then overtime this will drop off, eventually fading into obscurity.

Give your older posts a new life by updating them. Sometimes when I go back to older articles I find the information is out of date, fresh knowledge or developments may need changes to the content to make the information more accurate…

Articles are often posted with unnoticed errors. I don’t mean incorrect information, just the small things like spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – both of which will lose ranking to Google’s algorithm. Even the way we have written an article can often be improved after some time has passed, and we go back and check the content we thought at the time had been so great. With a fresh look at these older posts, we can often see ways to re-write parts (or all) of the content to make it more readable for our visitors.

Read the rest of this entry

The Humble Meta Description

Attract Visitors in 150 Characters

Tell the world about your page or post content in one hundred and fifty characters: That is the power of the meta description HTML head markup. Search engines often use the meta description for a snippet of information to display in search results. The meta descriptions is the first impression a searcher gets about your content when looking through search engine results for required information.

Meta Description – Your Website Showroom

Meta Descriptions in GoogleA showroom, shop window, storefront display and media advertisement; meta descriptions should be used to the fullest.

Yet how often do web content creators ignore this useful tool. Content Management Systems like WordPress often do too much of the work for us, filling the meta description field with an extract from page content. Normally the description is extracted from the first paragraph, so unless we are really clever with our first paragraph, especially the first 150 characters from the paragraph, the result is a SERP snippet that poorly summarises the article content we want to draw people’s attention to.

Worse still, if a plugin has not been installed to extract this snippets, or the theme used doesn’t have this function (most do not – Thesis is one that does), the field is left out altogether. Read the rest of this entry

Forget Google, go Yahoo and Bing

Google’s Latest Faulty Algorithm

Panda 2.5 must rank as the most unsuccessful of all their updates. Speculative estimates of badly affected websites lie in the 60% range. Was your site or blog one of these?

If you have been adversely affected, don’t despair, there are things you can do.

Forget Google for now:

Yes, forget Google. Right now don’t waste your money on SEO services – the next update will more than likely need something totally different and intensive SEO at this point is likely to do more damage than good! (sorry to all the SEO services and specialists out there, part of the reason for Panda 2.5 is a result of heavy SEO). Ensure the other aspects of your site are good. Money spent getting your site builder/manager (not SEO specialist) to check your website will be a better long-term investment.

Concentrate on Bing and Yahoo

Bing and YahooThere are other ways to search the net. Concentrate on the other search engines for now. Both Bing and Yahoo are much more conducive to real website quality than Google has become. They may not index all your pages, nor are they the first choice for most internet users; however with Google now serving up really poor results with shockingly insignificant term matching, a good many net surfers are likely to turn to one of these engines (I have – after getting real trash from very specific search terms these past few days, I am now using Yahoo and Bing as default Search Engines, and finding content I want).

Create accounts with Bing And Yahoo, and list your websites – don’t forget to submit a site map!

Pay Attention to Structure Read the rest of this entry

Pingbacks Gone

All Pingbacks Removed

Ping WordPressWith apologies to those wordpress.com bloggers who have linked to my content, last week I deleted all published pingbacks. This was carried out absolutely ruthlessly, using the comment filter and mass deletion tool.

As well as the pingbacks, a number of comments were also deleted, although these were given consideration prior to removal. Andything that looked vaguely spammy saw the bottom of the rubbish bin, anything that had a link to a spammy website similarly binned.

I will resume approving some pingbacks again, provided these conform as follows.

Accepted

  • Genuine WordPress.com personal blogs. (Bloggers Note: If you refer and link to my articles in your posts without rel=nofollow code, I would much rather give your blog a genuine followable link from my blog – if I can somehow build it into the context of this blog!)

Subject to approval

  • Genuine WordPress.com blogs run by owner operated cottage industries as a primary source of publicity.
  • Genuine blogs operated by other owner operated small businesses. (Not necessarily limited to WordPress.com blogs).

Totally banned: Pingbacks from any blog or site with the following content will not be published Read the rest of this entry

WordPress.com hit by Panda 2.5?

Panda 2.5 hits WordPress.com blogs hard?

Several blogs I follow (as well as this blog), with articles that were doing very well in Google SERP (top 10) before Panda 2.5 have disappeared completely from results. Some of the articles contained useful information, e.g. Malware related articles. The only way to find these articles now is with a search so specific there is virtually no other alternative but to find the content.

This blog is one of those affected. Traffic has dropped off remarkably since Panada 2.5. The infographic below shows the marked decline.Blog views infographic

Yet Panda 2.5 continues to rank POACHED content from these articles: Several of my own articles have been heavily poached and re-posted verbatim on other sites – with external links in place. Can Google no longer detect which was the original content?

Additionally numerous articles have been linked to – one would think all these backlinks should be beneficial, but no, perhaps Google now considers these backlinks as link farming. Hard to reconcile as website owners and bloggers have little control over who links to their content.

Possibly Google decided that a recent spate of heavy splogging (spam blogs), e.g. ‘Kindle Fire Sale’ and 2 or 3 other splogs with similar names by the same crowd, was just cause to downgrade all wordpress.com blogs? I can’t disagree that ‘kindle fire sale’ posting 40 or 50 times an hour with rubbish linking to their Amazon product listings etc should have been blacklisted by Google – and removed from wordpress.com (no, I neglected to report these splogs – next time!). But it’s rather harsh on the genuine bloggers who use wordpress.com.

Lack of Transparency in Panda 2.5 Read the rest of this entry

SEO Sharks

Hiring the wrong SEO company

Hiring the wrong SEO company to optimise your website for search engine results can get your site removed from Google SERP.

Search Engine Optimisation a Boom Industry

Website owners want their websites to do well in search engine results pages. This has led to an explosion of SEO companies offering everything from overnight success to realistic results based on organic search parameters.

Getting a web site to perform well in search results can be extremely important to a business. Unscrupulous practitioners play on this desire to get web site owners to use their service.

SEO Sharks

seo sharkJust like so many other aspects of the web industry, there are good guys and bad guys. The techniques used by bad guys (sharks) in this case are known as Black Hat SEO. This practice includes adding hidden keywords to pages, invisible to human readers but seen by search engines, ‘link farming’ (getting large quantities of backlinks from low-grade websites), spamming blogs comment forms, even attempting to get competitors web sites removed from search engine listing databases. Read the rest of this entry

Google Results – Getting to Page 1

Today I noticed an online ad: “SEO – Need someone to get my website on the top of first Google Search Page results”.

 The second thing I noticed was the advertiser’s budget for the job: £50 to £100 (UK).

Now I had some questions:
Was the budget just for the webmasters time? No, it was the full budget…

No more questions need answering! It cannot be done!

Yes, I am certain there are numerous unscrupulous web designers/’SEO specialists’ who will gladly take the client’s money, and promise things they are highly unlikely to be able to deliver.

Unless the Search Terms required are so unique there are virtually no other possible results for the query, there is only one way to GUARANTEE this result – PAY GOOGLE FOR PAGE RANKING… That is it, no exceptions.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE