Internet Marketing Professional

Content is what drives visitors to your website. Interesting content will keep people coming back. I see no problem with joining an online debate and starting a similar thread. But for god sake please be original.

I just got a comment by the guy/gal that runs howtogettrafficonblogs.blogspot.com. Decent enough little comment. Unfortunately for them I’m a bit of a comment checker. All links are treated as spam until I’ve checked out where they point – I dont want to link to porn or Rx by mistake and devalue any post I make – simple as.

So I read the comment and visit the site and there is my content – I mean verbatim! I’m now getting a bit pissy. So I start looking to see if its got a citation at the bottom of it. If you wanna use my stuff and cite that its mine I don’t mind. But nothing, not even a god forsaken trackback is there.

So comment goes bye bye. At present Google only has the content as being mine in the SERPS (Google search) . But I’m still niggled. Now all I need is a way for people to be able to report content theft to search engines.

So My Rule 2 of Blogging is write your own content and if you do want to join a conversation or use someone elses content at least cite it with a link.

One thing I love about blogs is there conversational nature. I find it great that people can share their opinions and thoughts on your blog and you can share on their blog. This creates a sense of community – as at the end of the day is what we are building. You want to build a community, this will form the core of your readership. Read the rest of this entry »

Just noticed that Pete Hoggans blog at justseo.wordpress.com has been taken down. So as you can see he’s no longer in my blog roll – Felt like a bit of an idiot when someone emailed me to let me know. So if you’ve clicked on the link sorry. and I’m just away to build a bot to keep testing my links for veracity as I hate clicking links that end up pointing nowhere. Does my head in so sorry!

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.

Brain is kinda dead and the body is not willing but we’ve driven through to provide a list of the five things we’ve found in our RSS inboxes this morning that have interested us.

  1. Yahoo must get its social media shit together – I dont know about you but this kind of headline in an RSS subscription is pricesles. I dont even care what the content is when I get it I just know that I have to read it. Contains nice little description on Why Yahoo! should be getting into bed with, or buying, FaceBook as part of its Social Media Strategy.
  2. Spice up your blog posts – Nice little piece from copyblogger on how to make your posts/SEO copy more interesting and usefule. OK its a bit Yankified but some nice little bits and pieces. Most certainly from the Veloso school of thought on writing copy
  3. Axis of Evil Toys – Gotta get myself one of these axis of evil toy sets. 5 toys : George W Bush, Tony Blair, Kim Jong Il, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. AS Saddam is deadhe’s a special glow in the dark version to represent his ghost.
  4. I Phone  Trouble Shooting Tool – the best piece of viral link bait I’ve seen in ages. If only I could import this into the UK could make a killing
  5. Falkirk Sit top of SPL – After horsing the Greatneans on Saturday (4-0) Falkirk sit in their correct placing in the SPL – at the top. All we have to do is play Rangers and Celtic in the next fortnight and win both games and we’ll remain there…

Thats all for now. If I find anything else will let you 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.