Archive for the ‘1’ Category

How To Avoid Getting Banned or Penalized By Google

December 10, 2008


How To Avoid Getting Banned or Penalized I get many people contacting me asking, “Why is my site not listed in Google?” or “Why am I ranked 387th in Google for my most popular search term when I’ve been optimizing my site relentlessly?”. More often than not the reason is because the website in question is suffering a penalty of some sort.

Search Engines Don’t Like SEO
It’s no secret that search engine operators don’t like people manipulating the results through optimization, but this is exactly what search engine optimizers (SEO’s) do. So if you make it blatantly obvious that you are performing SEO on your website then the search engines are going to penalize your website. Therefore when performing SEO for your website you must always make sure what you’re doing is not frowned upon by the search engines.

If your website gets banned by the search engines then it means you’ve probably done something drastically bad to the extent where they don’t want to list your website at all.

So how do you know if your website is banned?
So how can you check whether your website is banned by a search engine?

Check the search results

If you go to Google and simply type the URL of your website

If you enter your domain and you get a message saying “Sorry, no information is available for the URL: xyz” then chances are your site is banned.

The only other time you may receive this message is if your website is brand new and hasn’t been crawled by the search engines yet
Check the PageRank Bar
If you download the Google toolbar (http://toolbar.google.com) then you can view the PageRank of every website you visit. If you navigate to your website and you see a gray bar where your PageRank would normally be displayed (as the graph above displays), then this is a very strong indication that your website has been banned.

So what are the tell-tail signs of optimization, and how I avoid them?
When you optimize your website you should always think about how your website will appear from the point of view of the search engines. There are six common pitfalls that people fall into when optimizing their websites, and will usually account for 99% of all problems:

No diversity in Anchor Text

Search Engines like natural linking, that is where a website links to another out of choice, so if a website has 100 inbound links that all have exactly the same anchor text, is that natural? No, quite the opposite, it’s highly unnatural. In order to avoid this pitfall, you should vary your link anchor text for each link partnership you set-up, or each time you submit to a web directory. If you’re smart about your link anchor text then there is no way your linking strategy will look unnatural

Getting Backlinks Too Quickly

If you operate a new website and you get backlinks too quickly then this is often a clear sign of optimization tactics. Even worse, is the situation where all of these backlinks contain exactly the same anchor text (as previously mentioned). If you operate a new website you should build links slowly. As I’ve mentioned already, the search engines like to see natural linking, if your website is only a week old and already has 200 backlinks, is that natural? Link building should be a gradual process, and you should resist the urge to try to get thousands of links as soon as you launch your site. Although your intentions may be well intended, you may actually be doing more harm than good.

Keyword Stuffing

Another important step to prevent being your website being penalized is to ensure you don’t over-optimize your website. That is to say don’t ‘keyword stuff’. Keyword stuffing is a form of spamming where you use your keyword or keyphrase over-and-over again in your web page in order to increase the keyword’s weighting in the body text. The search engines can spot deliberate spamming quite easily, and as a result, should be avoided.

Usually if you write a well written, informative web page then there is no need to ‘optimize’ a web page, as you will have naturally mentioned your keyword/phrase in the text. The only thing you should consider optimizing is the Title tag, this should always contain your primary keyword or phrase.

Title Tag, Meta Tag , Image Alt Tag Spamming

In addition to over-optimization of your body text, you can also be penalized for spamming your tag attributes. For example if you create a title tag that looks like

Doughnuts, DOUGHTNUTS, Doughnut, Doughnut flavours, doughnuts doughnuts doughnuts, Doughnuts, DOUGHTNUTS, Doughnut, Doughnut flavours, doughnuts doughnuts doughnuts

Then the search engines are likely to take a dislike to this and may penalize your website.

Duplicating Content

Search engines like unique content; they don’t like seeing the same information being duplicated across multiple domains. I have seen instances where websites have been dropped from the search engines for doing exactly this. If you must insist on duplicating content from other web pages then you should disallow access to it using your robots.txt file to avoid any potential problems. To do this create a file in the root of your website so that it can be access by going to http://www.mydomain.com/robots.txt

In the robots.txt file your can disallow access to particular files on your website

Disallow: myduplicatedpage.html

Or you may also specify directories:

Disallow: /mycontent/

Hidden Text

Hidden text is where you create text on your web page that is the same colour as the background colour, so it is in effect hidden. This allows you to enter your target keywords and phrases without the viewer of the website aware that the text is there.

If I then select all of the text on the website by pressing ctrl-a I can see that the website has a lot of hidden text at the top of the page

Drastically Changing Your File Structure

By drastically changing the file structure or filenames of your website, you run the risk of damaing your search engine rankings. Although there’s no actual reason why search engines would penalize for this. However, I have seen occassions where websites have changed their file structure and filenames and have seen their search engine rankings take a big hit because of it. One way around this is to redirect your old pages to your new pages, in time the search engines will update their listings and you will not suffer any adverse affects
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Advanced Keyword Optimization – Utilizing Keyword Patterns

December 5, 2008

When you’re choosing the keywords your website will target you should always bear in mind the adage “less is more”. Sometimes selecting the keyword that will bring you the most traffic is not always the best option, in fact if you have a new website it could be a big mistake. Also, if you optimize your website for just one keyword, not only are you narrowing your market but you’re also waving a big flag to the search engines saying, “Please Penalize Me”. Remember, search engines don’t like SEO – they don’t like the idea of people manipulating the results. If you target only one keyword it will be very obvious that you are performing SEO on your website and chances are you’ll be penalized as a result.

If you have a new website then the chances are your website will be “sandboxed” for eight months for any popular keywords. So if you target your website solely for the most popular keyword then a) your website won’t even appear in Google’s search results (due to being sandboxed) and b) the competition for such a popular keyword will be very tough so getting a good ranking will be difficult. It is always better to have some traffic as supposed to no traffic.

The key to successful keyword optimization is to optimize your pages for a relevant keyword pattern, not just a single keyphrase. So how do we decide upon these ‘Keyword Patterns’? Lets assume you want to rank highly for the terms “Debt” and “Consolidation Loan” – both of which are highly competitive terms as these keywords generate the most traffic. How would I combine these to maximize my success using a single pattern on a single page? Easy, I combine the unique patterns into one: “Debt Consolidation Loans Lender”.

These important pattern words should be used in my title, in my description, in my keyword phrases, and in my body text. Using a combination of this phrase in some form within the title/meta tags is good because they are the most competitive for the industry I have chosen and require prominence in my site.

So I now have the potential to rank well for a wide variety of phrases such as Debt, Debt Lender, Consolidation Loan, Consolidation Loans, Consolidation Lender, Debt Loan, Debt Loan, Debt Loans Lender…. and any other combinations of these phrases that you (or people using the search engines) can string together.

So now what we need to do is create page content and an internal linking structure that will compliment my keyword patterns. Remember, I’m not targeting the phrase “Debt Consolidation Loans Lender”, but different variations of the words that make up this phrase, so all I need to do is create pages that are optimized to contain these words. Because I’m not targeting one specific phrase there is no chance of the website appearing to be “spammy”. Instead, it will make my website appear to be entirely natural to the search engines without any blatant SEO taking place. To do this I must create pages that contain a mixture of these words in the Title, Meta keyword/description tags and the body of the page and also in the anchor text that I use in my internal linking. This will ensure my website is extremely well optimized for any combination of my keyword pattern. In many instances, simply having a good linking structure and well-written content will be enough to get a good ranking for some niche keywords that will bring traffic to your website.

Keyword patterning should not only take place on-page, it should also be off-page as well, primarily in the anchor text of the links that point to your website. As I’ve already said, the search engines don’t like SEO, they want natural results, so if they see that 90% of all anchor text is exactly the same, e.g. “debt consolidation” then it’s pretty obvious SEO is taken place.

So, just as you’ve done with the text on your pages, you need to vary the anchor text of your backlinks using different variations of your keyword pattern. So for example we could use these different anchor texts for our backlinks:

Debt Lender,
Debt Management
Consolidation Loan,
Consolidation Loans,
Consolidation Lender,
Debt Loan,
Debt Loan,
Debt Loans Lender
… Etc. Etc.

and we’d still be targeting our initial key phrases of “Debt” but also our secondary patterns of “lender”, “loans”, “debt lender”, “debt management”, “consolidation loans”, “debt loan”. These are natural patterns that you would expect a website to receive from natural linking and are extremely powerful for getting better search engine results. Ideally, try to create a different, unique anchor text variation for every link you create that will point to your website.

By applying natural linking to your web pages you will avoid many of the pitfalls that websites often fall in to, such as, “why am I ranked 384th when I am 1st for allinanchor?”, the reason – unnatural linking, the solution: linking patterns. The reason why a particular website might rank at #1 for a variety of popular search terms is not just a fluke, it’s because they use keyword patterns extensively when optimizing their website.

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The Spectacular Tricks of Pinging

December 4, 2008

In this newsletter, we will explain what pinging is, how it helps your blog, and what the best pinging services are. After you’ve read this newsletter, you’ll know exactly how to use pinging to make your blog popular.

What is pinging?
When a blog is pinged, it essentially tells a web blog tracking system that the blog has been updated. Thus, pinging is the process of telling tracking services that a site has been updated.
So how does pinging work? Well, a ping service scans regularly blogs for updates. Whenever there is a new update for a particular blog, that is reported back to the pinging service’s site. You can almost think of ping services being just like search engine spiders—both scan sites looking for information, and both report that information back to their specific site. The difference is, a ping service only reports back new blog posts.

Why is pinging useful for my blog?
Pinging, in effect, tells people that there is a new blog posting available. Those who are loyal followers of your blog will see the ping and want to visit your blog. Those who haven’t read your blog before will see the ping and perhaps think “hey, there’s a new blog I haven’t been to before, I think I’ll check it out”. Pinging helps to increase your traffic because it tells people when your blog is updated. Those who visit sites with pinging services will see this information in the form of a scroll on the left or right side, or top of the page. The scroll is usually in XML format and typically includes the title and URL of your blog, as well as the date and time of the update.

OK, so now I know what pinging is. Who offers pinging?
The answer is, there are several pinging services available which you can use to have your blog pinged. We’ll go over some of them right now.

Weblogs.com
Weblogs.com is probably the most well-known pinging service. Weblogs.com monitors sites for updates and then pings whenever there is an update to report. Virtually every blog software is available to use Weblogs.

Yahoo’s Blogs
Another popular pinging service. This one is offered by Yahoo and has a built-in integration with movable type and other tools. One cool thing about this service is that it offers the ability to give out updates via Instant Messaging services like AOL and ICQ. It is a direct pinging service, so those who sign up for subscriptions to your blog will be sent an email anytime your blog is updated.

Blogrolling.com
Blogrolling allows its bloggers to manage their blogrolls(updates) through a web-based interface. Recently updated blogs are also highlighted on Blogrolling’s web site. Data is automatically retrieved from other sites like blogger.com and weblogs.com every 5 minutes. Often times your blog is already being pinged by Blogrolling, so you might not have to sign up for it. Search on the site first for your URL before signing it up.

Technorati
Available at http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping, Technorati is another service that pings blogs. It gets its data from a variety of places and is definitely a site you should go to for blog pinging.

These are just 4 of the many different blog pinging services available. A quick search on Yahoo or Google will reveal many other possible blog pinging services to use for your blog. It is best to sign up for as many as you possibly can to ensure that your blog is well-pinged. A well-pinged blog will definitely help your blog attract more visitors. So sign up for as many as possible and watch your blog traffic increase.

Pinging tells people when your blog is updated. It is an incredibly useful, and easy to sign up for service, so be sure to sign your blog up for pinging!

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Professional Networking Online – A Career Essential

December 1, 2008

How an Online CEO Directory Can Boost Your Professional Reputation
In any kind of profession or business, having the right reputation can do much for your professional life. If you have a clean reputation, then, your colleagues can provide you with their trust and confidence. If you are reputable in your specific skill and expertise, then, the entire field of profession will definitely show respect and recognition. If your reputation as a professional service provider is impeccable, then, common people who can serves as your client source and base will know you more and avail of your services more. Thus, having a clean, respectable and qualified reputation is necessary for you to survive this competitive world.
Having the right and perfect reputation needed for your business or profession is not simply gained with a wave of a hand. In most cases, it takes years to build and a number of qualifications to complete. Also, having an impeccable reputation is not enough. There are times when you have to take specific steps and measures to either build it or strengthen it.
One way to build your professional reputation is through professional or executive networking. One way to apply professional networking is to have yourself listed in an online CEO directory. If you are the Chief Executive Officer of your company, being known by your people as their big boss is simply not enough. Building the right reputation in your field of expertise is also necessary. Letting other CEOs and other companies know about you is essential to maintaining your business or company reputation.
There are very good online professional networking sites which offer CEO directory enlistment. This service answers to the need that professionals, businessmen and executives of particular fields must be connected to each other and strengthen professional ties through network building. Being part of a CEO directory ca assure you of a professional network that is recognized by many other professionals in your field.
These online CEO directory listings can do much for your reputation as a professional and also can do great wonders for your company. Being part of an executive directory can not only provide you with sufficient exposure and advertisement, but also provide you with a wider network of business friends and acquaintances.
With CEO directory listing comes other types of professional and executive networking methods. Another effective way to build a strong professional network and client base is to have yourself featured in an online network website. These days, people use the internet as part of their basic tools every single day. While many still recognize the impact created by actual print publications, online journals or publications which carry your name or company can have a very positive effect to your company’s and your reputation as a professional.
If you want your professional or executive reputation built or further strengthened, then, consider the enlistment in a reputable and established online CEO directory. This will not only assure you of maximum professional exposure to prospective clients but will also help you gain recognition from other executives and professionals.
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Understanding What a Safelist Is

November 30, 2008

Before going on to specifics, I will explain exactly what a safelist is. I will also cover the differences between web-based and group-based safelists, and explain the difference between free and pro safelists. Let’s start with what a safelist is.

In the simplest terms, a safelist is a members-only mailing list where all members have agreed to receive emails and ads from everyone else on the list.

Think of a safelist as a giant email marketing co-op. The benefit is that these members who have joined the safelist can then send their emails to other list members.

The majority of these emails are promotional or advertisements. Where does the term “safelist” originate? Well, a safelist is a list where members can safely post ads and messages which are not considered spam.

Spam is always unsolicited email. The act of joining a safelist indicates that you are agreeing to receive emails from the other members – and they are willing to receive emails from you.

Spamming doesn’t work – it simply ends up in the trash. Safelists have been proven to be effective if you are looking to attract targeted prospects. This is because virtually everyone on a safelist is attempting to make a profit online.

This gives you literally thousands of potential prospects receiving your advertisement or promotion. There are some extraordinary benefits to belonging to a safelist. First of all, you are in direct touch with a targeted list of members who have usually paid to join, which means they are serious about marketing and they are serious about finding out about other services and goods.

Another benefit is that all emails are protected from being denounced as spam, as long as the rules of the list are followed. Some safelists give you unlimited space to send your emails.

This gives you a lot of room to explain your business in the kind of detail it deserves. Some safelist even offer you the ability to send graphics and text in HTML format.

Safelist messages are sent quickly, and included links to your websites have the potential to draw quality traffic within minutes – which translates into rapid sales. As an extra benefit, many safelists offer extra features, such as free software, tips and advice, and other benefits.

Web-based and Group-based Safelists There are basically two different types of safelists, web-based safelists and group-based safelists. Remember the basic function of joining a safelist: it allows you to send emails to a large database of members who have all agreed to receive your emails, which means your emails are not considered spam.

The difference is that in a web-based safelist, you first log onto their website, and then you send your email or advertisement directly from their server. Recipients of your emails automatically recognize safelists messages because they are sent from the safelist address.

Group-based safelists work by allowing you to send your emails through a special email address, which then distributes your email to all the members of the group. Again, each of these members has opted-in to the safelists, so your emails will never be accused of being spam.