Internet Marketing Professional

Archive for the ‘Search Engine Marketing’ Category

Through my RSS readings this morings I came across a number of places talking about the “Google Boogie” – yep I’s never heard of it before either. From what I’ve read it came from Oyster Web and was then blogged at Spiderwriting (Bill get your permalinks fixed).

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Ok. Was running a quick backlink check on some clients and a legacy client who I used to work for is in there. And there links jumped – nigh on doubled so I get a wee twinkle in my eye and start trying to work out why.

Lo and behold their new SEO company, the one cheaper than I was, have started to spam inbound links from Text Link Ads to the site – call it a guess as sone idiots call the div id where the ads appear as being “TLA”.

Every ad uses the same UL Li system with exactly the same inline formatting on every link.

My first impulse is to go to Google and do a spam report. Second impulse is if this gets tracked back and we lose other work from this client. The SEO company they now use are a big SEO company and I am of the opinion that they are at fault rather than the client for these things.

I think I’m going to build a wee spider that hacks sites to search for Text Link Ads code and where it finds it automatedly reports the links to Google. Does anyone think that Google will pay any attention to a mass of report. Unfortunately my base instinct is that they wont really care all that much unfortunately. Oh well will see how we get on

Ok I am now running out of browser screen – its dying on me. All I have left is a narrow band of screen that displays very little and the rest of my screen has been usurped by Firefox toolbars and plugins. In an attempt to ween myself off these dainty, and ever breeding, Firefox plugins I’ve made a list of the ten that I use most often. These arent in any particular order.

  1. Web Developer Toolbar – Andy over at Oyster Web convinced me to try this toolbar years ago. And what a find it was – header responses, disable javascript and meta redirects (spam detection ahoy), CSS live on screen, view css option and more are all simple with this great little plugin. There is a version for IE but I ain’t going to link to it as I’m on an anti-Microsoft binge after excel just lost a whole pile of data yesterday!
  2. User Agent Switcher – Great for testing domains that you know are cloaked – so if your SEO company has fixed your website and for some reason you have no cached versions of pages better get yourself this and check that they are not spamming your sites with links to everyone on their network!
  3. Screengrab -Allows you to grab whole web pages – not just the visible section. Great during testing and for sending screen grabs to clients. Nice, elegant and simple solution.
  4. Netcraft Toolbar – good for safety online – the netcraft toolbar for firefox has some nice anti-phishing security. Put it on my Dads computer as he keeps clicking on links in emails that take him god knows where. Also has nice little geotargetting window – great for ensuring quickly that .com, .net, .biz sites etc are hosted in the correct location for their geotaregtting.
  5. ColorZilla – grab colors from websites in a flash. I aint a website designer – Colin says all my sites look the same. But grabbing colors quickly is useful even for rubbish web designers such as me. Works just like the color dropper thing in Fireworks and Photoshop.
  6. Search Status – Page Rank. Alexa Rank and Dmoz listings checked for every page you visit. First and Last are good Alexa rank is bit of waste of time but good none the less. Displays of Rank can be numerical or in little green fairydust bar, Alexa is a little blue fairydust bar.
  7. Live HTTP Headers – Great little tool for viewing HTTP headers as they come in – want to check if that redirect is a 301 or a 302, if that error page is returning a 404 header or which images/scripts you’ve left in your web code don’t exist. Just boot this little baby up and away you go.
  8. IE Switcher – Some people still build pages that I cant vies in Firefox something to do with IE using a box model and Firefox now (and yeah I have no idea WTF that means either) but can be a pain. Just clicking on little icon turns Firefox into IE display mode and I can see the pages again
  9. Groowe Toolbar – All your favourite search engines toolbars in one – unfortunately no Google PageRank but good none the less. MSN, Yahoo, Google all by one little drop down saving you untold screen real estate.
  10. Total Validator– HTML Code validation tool. Good for checking your html is correct and valid. And also for doing reports on code quality quickly. As it highlighs all the issues in one place and you dont even need to pay for it – and is far quicker than waiting on the W3 validator.+

If anyone has any other useful little Firefox plugins let us know.

After years of looking down my nose at PPC and seeing it as cheap, easy and little more than a bidding war that burns cash faster than the KLF on a beach I’ve came to the conclusion I was right. Maybe not the derision I feel for PPC but certainly the rest.

The change has been using PPC to amke learning about how to improve the effectiveness of other Internet Marketing channels.

Step One – Abuse PPC to Gain Knowledge

Test every keyword you want to optimise for and every page you think it may be appropriate for. Then use this data to measure, test, refine! You’re investing in the future not just in sales. If you find a keyword has great volume but no sales think about why this is. Could well be the page your sending traffic to isnt great – could just be the keyword is useless or you have broad search on for a keyterm like ‘insurance’. Even if you get no conversions you’ve learned something.

Step Two – Reabuse PPC for Conversion Tweaking

So you know where and what to point – so you know where you should be monitoring your SEO campaign. Next get onto conversion and start testing your page layout! Get booking forms, calls to actions, font sizes, web layouts etc all tested and keep results for every test.

Step Three – Get Your SEO Flying

Get your SEO flying. Get your good links, fantastic content and a strong following of incremental visitors and sit back and enjoy the money that you’ve earned by using your PPC budget tactically.

Step Four – Retest, Reabuse and Realign your PPC campaign

Get your PPC budget reinvested in new terms and turn off old campaigns as pages get SEO rankings. Every penny you spend from now on in PPC is only one tactic within your internet marketing arsenal of techniques You are no longer relying on your PPC to drive sales and giving Google, Yahoo and MSN your money.

Get started, get testing, get PPC down to being a tactic and not a strategy and if anyone tells you PPC is an investment remember they could be right – but only where PPC is used as part of a wider strategy and the tactic for your PPC is for you to learn how to make more money. Its your money spend it wisely and make every non-earning penny earn you more in some other way.

Here endeth the Gordon Gecko Post of the month.

Have just been hacking away at back link stuff in Google for the basis of monthly reports and I keep getting multiple result sets for each back link query! AAARRRRGGGHHHH

Below I’ve posted a list of Data Centres that I use for checking across the web. I got his list from another website a while back and I can’t remember where. If you know tell me so I can reference it effectively 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »

Hmm. Ok so I’ve just been checking backlinks for sites, as the Google index has just updated them, and at the same time my RSS reader sends me a message from spiderwritingseo. And hereBill starts to discuss Supplemental results – and what Google is going to be doing with them.

At various times we’ve had Matt Cutts suggesting that we’re all too hung up on supplementals and even that Google might remove the supplemental indicator from the site: command results

SpiderwritingSEO

So Guess whats happened – yep Bill the harbringer of doom and advocate of burning everyone who created IE at the stake was right. I’ve just done site: commands on fourteen sites and no Supplementals are showing! God whatever next – showing indeterminate numbers of backlinks with the link: command, making an related page search related:, or even better getting everyone to believe everyword that Matt Cutts say (OK so they managed all these things already).

So now guys you have no idea if a page is in the supplemental index any more. Next thing you know Google analytics will break for a couple of days and then we’re all kinda stuffed (bugger that happened too). Damn that Google and their inability to help us make sites better for the right reasons. Am sure it’ll all be sorted soon but knowing the ratio between supplemental pages to non-supplemental pages was a great insight into the strength of a website.

Supplemental results are dead – long live SEO Post Update:

Just got the following update from Bill via Yahoo! Instant Messenger:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/07/supplemental-goes-mainstream.html
Bloody idiots!

Way to go Bill!

Every day I’m hacking Google, MSN or Yahoo! for things that will make my life simpler. So I thought I would stick some in here for todays post. Oh and they’re also free – I do have some paid for things and things I’ve built maybe another day I’ll give these up!

Keyword Research

Keyword research is a pain. Its dull, its boring and it takes time. I hate it. But we all know that its a must. Using overture is fine – if you dont mind hitting the refresh button 400 times a day, Hitwise can be good but we dont all have clients with a couple of grand spare to let us get access to it.

So often I’ll resort to using Good Keywords, installable on the desk top. Simple to use and saves and lets you export to Excel. Unfortunately bulk keyword searches aren’t doable but you can’t have everything.

Backlink Research

Gone are the days when you could hack about in MSN and rip competitor backlinks down in full and then surf about for the juicy ones and get them. Even Yahoo! site explorer can be a pain when it stops at 1000. You can of could build a system to query Technorati and get the additions to the authority score for a site that Technorati thinks is a blog and keep getting these but that can be a bit of a pain – as smost blogs are rubbish 🙂

So I often resort to using a backlink analyser – not the best in the world but for a quick overview of competitor backlinks does the job. If you can get it Google webmaster tools is far superior and quicker for the domains you own but other wise SEO Book have a nice one and you can download the source code and mess about with it to your hearts content – assuming you can program it in PHP.

Other Stuff

For intelligent research, or checking out some competitors or even just to get ideas I had been using spyfu – but I have to admit to getting a bit bored of it! Sorecently I started messing about with Zippy, its pretty funky – once your query resolves and often its a pain at loading. But at the same time it can give you some juicy bits of info (the sites on IP number is a bit iffy and I’m not convinced by its veracity).

So here are some queries I made earlier:

So I think thats enough for today. Away back to mess about on Stumbleupon.