Thursday, March 28, 2013

IM and SEO "Gurus": a Brief Rant

I've been up to my eyeballs in SEO and Internet Marketing tips and tricks and "inside secrets" being peddled by so-called "experts" for nearly half a year now. If I actually read all the e-mails and watched every webinar solicitation I get in my e-mail every day, I would do nothing else. Yesterday, I spent nearly thirty minutes watching a webinar that offered no usable information. I must say, I'm getting pretty disappointed.

Getting visibility and rank on the net is the same as money in the bank, so there must be tens of thousands of people trying to convince other people they can get your site to rank if you just give them your money. Most of us are either new to I.M. or oblivious to how it works, and as a result, we're pretty gullible. It's like the Gold Rush all over again, but in electronic form.  One guy will sell you a pan for $10, someone else will sell you their video on how they pan for gold, another guy will tell you where he found some, and so on ad- infinitum.

What I'm finding is that there is only so much you can do for free. You can build your sites, optimize them, and do everything right and still not rank as well as you'd like. At some point, some heavy lifting needs to be done. This is when you need to pay up.  Even running a Facebook ad campaign is not free.

I was just approached by Vocus, the company which owns Web PR. For $5,000/year you can submit unlimited press releases online.  I'm pretty sure this strategy will work because they have a relationship with Google, and unlike many other free press release outfits, they will actually submit your release and get it online.  Still, $5K is pretty steep, and a big gamble for most of us.

Additionally, I'm currently speaking with a programmer in Pakistan to build a back-link building widget that is really going to be a community of people who will share each other's links on their sites. I'm confident that between a solid back-link strategy and a press-release campaign, you can get the rank you need. Sadly, it will not be free.

If you're one of the few people who stumble across this blog, feel free to send me a message if you'd like to share a subscription to Vocus.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Straight SEO Dope from GoDaddy

While on the phone with GoDaddy technical support today, I got talking about SEO and my tech e-mailed me a really great list of SEO tips. I'm including it for you.

A list off some SEO tools

Matt Cutts Blog:
Directory of Search Quality at

All Top:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Research
A premier online marketplace for aftermarket domains 

Thought Convergence
Monetize, individuals buy and sell, and businesses research domain names on the Internet.
Check for duplicate content and LSI keywords

Nimble http://partners.nimble.comLeverage the latest customer relationship management (CRM) technology to close the sales, marketing & customer service loop.

Submit to social networking sites

Make sure your site isn't being copied and creating duplicate sites and content

Online keyword research to find the right keywords

Google Trends:
See search volume trends

Google Analytics:
traffic measurement and interactive reporting...

Google Webmaster Tools: 
Provides you with detailed reports about your pages' visibility on Google.
Consolidated social networking 
Web Boar http://www.webboar.comSee what search engines see about your domain

Internet Officer redirect status, e.g. 301 redirect, 302 redirect or HTML redirect (meta refresh).

DomainTools: http://DomainTools.comMost comprehensive collection of domain name ownership records in the world!

Internet usage for Web users from most to less percentage of time online according to Google?
  • Search sites
  • Commerce sites 
  • Communication sites
  • Content sites

What is keyword prominence and how does it effect the SEO efforts?

Keyword prominence refers to the fact that keywords placed in important parts of the webpage are given priority by the search engines and are a factor that determine the webpage relevance with respect to the keyword. Search engines give keywords more weight and prominence if they are placed within any of the following locations of the webpage.

As an SEO technique, keywords should be placed in all of the below listed locations to increase the page relevance for the keyword in the SERPs(search engine results page) .

  • Title of the webpage
  • Header, subheader of paragraphs
  • In the file name (within the URL)
  • Near the start of the page or right at the top of the page
  • In the start of the new PARA
  • Within the meta tags of the webpage (such as the description & keywords metatags)

How should keywords with two or more words be ideally placed within the webpage?
If you are to place keywords that consists of two or more words, such as IQ test (2 words), you must try your best to mention the keyword as "IQ test" whenever possible instead of the situation where you might place the word IQ separetly and the word test separetly. Therefore if your keyword is actually a phrase, always refer to it in the way you would like to target the keyword for the page. The search engine will see the keyword "a test of IQ" very differently from "IQ test" so make sure you always refer to your keywords accurately. If you must split the words within your keyword phrase, always try to keep them as close as possible to one another. This is termed as keyword proximity and helps the search engine to interpret a relationship between the keywords. While discussing the relevance of proximity it must also be mentioned that some search engines also attach importance to the existence of independent words that make up the keyword phrase within the webpage. Therefore taking the above example of IQ test, you should include the word "IQ" at various places within the webpage and the word "test" at other places. Doing this would satisfy the more discerning aspects of the search engine algorithm of various search engines that are looking for more proof than the simple presence of the exact keyword (i.e. IQ test) in the webpage. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SEO Workflow

After implementing my Facebook campaign, I've turned again to regular SEO.   I've found three things to be helpful.

• Using Wordpress plugins to guide me through the process of on-site SEO
• The plugins I've been impressed with are: Yoast and WP Social Booster
• Using to bulk submit to search engines

However, DMOZ, Alexa, Bing and Google require manual submissions. Each site requires submitting a sitemap file and placing a string of code in the header of your site to validate that you are the owner of the site.

Interestingly, I was able to rank on the first page of Google in less than one week after submitting to the engines. (Note how I've cleverly dropped a backlink to my own site)

I submitted  weeks ago, and I was wondering why I'm still on page 2 of Google when searching for my own URL. I noticed my site title was not the same as my URL and so I changed that. Here is what my plugin shows now.

The SEO plugin states my keyword is not in my URL. This is only because my URL does not have any spaces between the words; otherwise it is correct. Again, my URL is:

Create proper continuity between your URL, your page Title Display, Meta Description and Focus Keyword.



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Using Press Releases to Rank on Google

As a student of SEO, I've noticed everyone is selling a webinar or course which takes an eternity to watch so you can get sixty seconds of real content. The latest one was no different, and the sixty seconds of content is this:

You can get a real boost in rank 
if you promote your message as a press release
and use a PR distribution site to publish it.

There, I just gave you what took me hours of suffering to extract from a webinar. The reason why press releases are a new angle for SEO geeks is because Google treats press releases differently than static web content.  How would Google look if it took ninety days to post a time sensitive notice about an event that would be long over before it ever went into the news feed?

Now, the fly in the ointment is how and where can you do this without getting scammed?  I typed my personal information into a couple sites only to find that it was probably a bait and switch gimmick that would not do a thing for anyone unless hundreds of dollars were paid for the distribution service. This is typical of sites which tout "Free Press Release Distribution" and offer nothing for free.

I've found that if you really want to get a press release online, you need to pay for it. Most sites that offer free submissions are really just trying to use that gimmick to get you to opt-in to their list. I submitted a press release on one of the few sites that would even accept a free submission, and after weeks it is still sitting in their holding tank for "review".

To actually get online, you need to pay a lot of money. Vocus, the company that owns Web PR, offers subscription packages starting at around $3,000/year and they go up from there.  My best suggestion would be to team up with some friends and share a subscription, or write your own release and have a PR firm submit it for $100.  I offered that price because you can submit your own for $150 directly on the Web PR site.

I did find an excellent article online that evaluated free PR distribution sites, if you want to try that route. The article is found at Vitis.  The upshot of their study is as follows:

• Out of 60 press release sites tested, only 5% helped get the release onto Google News. The sites that helped the most were: Online PR NewsOpen PRPR Fire

• The best sites for getting the release picked up in Google web searches were: PR Fire and News Wire TodayPR ZoomIdea Marketers 

All in all, I highly recommend going to the source site and checking the detailed findings out.

If you aren't myopically focused on getting onto Google, here are other free submission sources for PR which I believe, fall under the category of traditional public relations rather than SEO.  

50 Free Press Release Submission Websites and 20 Free Best Press Release Distribution Sites (This page is ugly to look at, but the links appear to be good).

I'll let you know more after I test them out.