Blog Archives

Centenary

The First Century

100 blog postsThis is my 100th post on this blog! Wow!

One hundred posts (well really only 99 as one of them was my Christmas image post, so that doesn’t count in my mind, but WordPress tells me this will be (is) number one hundred and who am I to argue…

When I started this blog did I think I would ever get to 100? The thought never crossed my mind. A few posts back when I noticed the new WordPress.com results (that side panel thing) for the first time and it told me I had achieved the milestone of 95 blog posts I was amazed.

Where did I find the inspiration, let alone the time to do all this writing? The time: Long hours behind the monster box, taking time out from other more mundane work activities, late nights… The Inspiration: Not always easy; there have been times when I simply cannot find anything worth writing about. Other times there are so many topics, often work related, that I don’t know which one to choose. Sometimes other bloggers give me an idea…

Worth it. Oh Yes! This blog has become an enjoyable activity. People actually seem to want to read my articles for some unknown reason! Some people even follow them. WordPress tells me more than 100 people follow me – another Wow!

So I guess I have to consider this blog a success. All these followers alone make it a success.

Centenary Successes

Lets look at the other successes this blog has achieved in getting to 100 posts

Read the rest of this entry

A Blog Worth Mentioning

KL Makes Sense about “Optimisation”

This article caught my attention;  Content Optimization vs. Search Engine Optimization Well written, with an eye for human readability (I seem to remember reading somewhere this is exactly what Google is developing their algorithms to find).

KL’s logical approach makes sense with a balanced discussion of practical ways to establish web site authority.  “Content Optimisation” in my opinion is going to become the cornerstone of the industry in a post Panda 2.5 world. A good proofreader is of greater benefit to the website owner than a fortune spent on optimisation services

If Google is looking for well written content for human readers, this blogger has the formula. I glance through Readomatic regularly, seldom going any further unless something grabs my attention. This one did. There you have it, it caught my “mental algorithm’s” attention. Not an easy task either; some days my eyes grab snapshots of several hundred articles on diverse topics, only those that stand out get speed read,  only the good ones from those get studied. Not much difference between me and the Google search spider these days.

Not SEO Shark Trash

Read the rest of this entry

Back in Google after Panda

Blog back in Google SERP

Finally, after almost a month of no results from Google, GraphiclineWeb is back in Google SERP and getting placement in the first page of results for several articles. Since yesterday I noticed an increase of traffic referred by search engines, and this morning the green, red, yellow and blue icon made an appearance again.

Google and Stumble results for weekOnly in a small way, but I had come to the point of moving this blog to a self hosted domain; yesterday I began the process by setting up a WordPress installation.

Perhaps I should have been more patient, but after 3 weeks of getting more traffic from StumbleUpon, Bing and Yahoo, I had concluded there was no other option. Yesterday I started a post announcing the decision, and only held off publishing until the new blog was online.

Clean-Up Efforts Succeed

Did the drastic measures taken to clean up the blog pay off; I would like to think so. The action taken included removing external links from sidebar widgets and menus, removing external RSS feeds from appearing on the blog, and a look at content to correct spelling and grammar mistakes.

Even the twitter feed had to go. Anything I could not set rel=”nofollow” for was removed, except in the case of a few links from content, and even here many of these links have been “nofollowed”.

Content Editing for Panda 2.5

Read the rest of this entry

Panda Help for SA Bloggers

Panda 2.5 – Free Help for South African Bloggers

Beating up the Panda

Beating the Panda

If you are a South African based Small business entrepreneur, and your wordpress.com blog site has taking a severe traffic drop as a result of Google Panda 2.5, I can possibly help.

To help these SME’s I am making the resources of my company Graphicline.co.za available with a PRO BONO offer to help move your blog to a self hosted domain.

The only way you have a realistic chance of recovering is to move your blog site to your own domain. I fully realise many of you do not have the technical skills to do this without help. The process of setting up a WordPress CMS is simple to us web people, but complicated for the uninitiated.

Transferring an existing site poses additional challenges. WordPres.com happines engineers will do this for you for a fee, to one of their partner hosting services. For South Africans, a .co.za domain is cheaper than a dot-com or other international domain, and not necessary for those of us conducting business in South Africa – When a visitor sees .co.za they know straight away this is a South African web site, a dot-com could be anywhere in the world.

Having a self hosted WordPress site gives the advantage of total control over the site structure, with the long-term benefits of making your site (blog) as Google friendly as possible.

Pro-Bono to Beat Google Discrimination

Read the rest of this entry

Fix the Panda

Yes you can recover from Panda 2.5

If you have a site or blog that took a big hit from the latest Google algorithm update, don’t panic (Yet!).

It may take time, but it can be done. Now is the time to pay attention to basics. In some ways if your site was one that got hit very hard, possibly even de-listed, you could actually have an advantage going forward. You can now take drastic action to fix up all the errors and problems that accumulated over the years, or even months…

Broken links and missing content no longer has any relevance. Therefore you can get rid of bad content, plagiarised content, duplicate content, spam, and anything else that has no value, or may be damaging the site’s reputation with the search engine.

Be Absolutely Ruthless

Look at every piece of content on your site. Be absolutely ruthless. If it lacks quality, or does not add value – DELETE it now. If you really must have that trashy article, or near duplicate content, then add Robots Meta tags noindex, nofollow” /> These tags are used in different ways to limit what search engines do – “noindex” tells SE’s to ignore the Do not followpage, “nofollow” tells it to ignore outgoing links. (For more information about these meta tags and others – Metatags.info has plenty of information).

Be particularly ruthless using the “noindex” term – why have all the junk pages indexed by Google? Including “noindex” will stop Google from adding these irrelevant pages to their index database.

“Nofollow” Meta tags: Use this as well on any page (or other content TYPE) that could get your site into trouble. If you have an RSS feed – this can really cause problems (read this article Too Many Backlinks are Bad News). Placing the Robots nofollow meta tag in the HEAD part of the page containing the RSS feed will stop search engines from following all outgoing links from that page (CMS users add this to feed aggregators, feed categories etc). Read the rest of this entry

Too Many Backlinks are Bad News

Backlinks can harm your Website

I’m listening to all those backlink farmers screaming. But it is a fact, too many backlinks from a single domain will not do your site any good at all.

Consider this example. A site with more than 5700 backlinks from 51 domains, several considered authoritative sites. Wow you say, that must be a really strong site. Well yes it was. It got clobbered by Panda 2.5 – In one day from page 1 Google SERP to who knows where!

Where’s the problem you ask. The problem is simple; 5432 of those backlinks came from a single domain – wordpress.com

Google right now is not looking at subdomains of wordpress.com – your blogs, it is aggregating all links from all blogs on the platform into a single domain.

The backlinks are to 45 pages on the site – more than 100 links per page. Now if that was from 100 sites it would be better. But 5400 links from a domain equals heavy link farming!

5432 backlinks

5432 backlinks

Where did these links come from?

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

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