Friday, April 27, 2007

If you're good at optimisation its not showing

I have a competitor who claims thousands of organic rankings in SEO when really all that I can see (based on my own detailed and careful research) is that Google Adwords is being heavily utilised instead.

I don't find them a threat mostly as bad vibes are filtering back through to me from clients of mine...

Don't claim to be heavily and expertly optimised if you can't put your money where your mouth is and prove it rather than just make really generic claims.

Using Adwords is not a substitute for claiming Page 1 rankings inside the SEO industry and my clients are finding this out very quickly...


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quick! Theres a fight over at Cutts "Bar", er I mean Blog!

Interesting post from Matt Cutts stating a way to report paid links to Google as it looks like this is something they are wanting to test and more likely cut down on as it likely affects their ranking algorithm.

Whats more interesting is the discussion from other blog users. Made for a decent read!


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A balanced approach to link building?

Link building is important in SEO/SEM, though the quality of links is even more important if you are attempting to generate inbound links to help with ranking.

I believe I offer a well balanced approach to link building... some link builders seem to chase down blogs or forums exclusively which I feel is wrong - especially if Google is examing the quality of the links pointing to a site.

When I use backlink tools to see who links to who I find that a lot of the sites with thousands of links are NOT in number 1 spot on Google... you would expect to find them there but increasingly I see sites in first place with say only hundreds or even tens of links rather than thousands upon thousands.

Its about time then that a balanced approach to linkbuilding is considered - especially important if you are wanting to have your linkbuilding appear "organic" and not flag up on Google's radar as overdoing it.

So what is a balanced approach to link building? Well it goes something like this but not in any particular order (and this is my own opinion, everyone else is entitled to theirs):

Free directories - probably the most popular way to build links if on a budget but they are after one thing - YOUR email! So use a throw away email such as Hotmail, though some directories are getting wise to this and refusing to link if the submitter tries using a hotmail account....

Paid directories - some great ones around including Peter Da Vanzo's - Google holds the paid directories in higher regard mostly than the free directories.

DMOZ - hate to say it but submit to DMOZ and then move on and forget about. Look back in 6 to 12 months to see if its been added, DMOZ has had a bad rep recently for taking too long to have websites entered into its directory, though thats not surprising as I understand they faced unprecedented demand for site owners wanting to be listed.

Yahoo - pay their annual fee its a worthwhile investment.

Forums - again another easy one to game if you find an un-managed or inactive forum thats been left out in the wild but far better to use a suitably active forum as any other member and introduce links to your target website gradually and over time, build up trust in other members and link to competitors occasionally to show you're not biased.

Blogs - either by commenting professionally (not just link dropping) or even better offer the blog owner to do some guest blogging (who knows they might be tired of blogging and looking for fresh content).

Article Marketing - 2 ways here. Write GREAT content on your website - this can generate inbound links to your website naturally though in my experience it takes time to create content AND for others to find it. Sooo take that article, rewrite it but give the overall same message and benefits if any and submit as a news release to sites like - again this can quickly gain the attention of surfers.

Social Media - Digg and Reddit are all popular though you might want to spend some time looking at the popular posts in your field before submitting your post - too may posts are similar so yours is going to have to be very good (use a decent headline to get others attention). I still think its an American phenomenon - if I ask any of my IT Admin friends over here none of them have heard of these types of sites. It is still a field I am researching and at the moment I have my reservations.

Link Text Brokers - I would highly recommend using the services of Text Link Brokers who can place hihgly targeted links to your website from other high ranking websites. Some may feel the fees are expensive but I would recommend that its certainly an option you consider if you wish to see great ratings.

Synergy Links - look for those you can work with and ensure you get inbound links from their sites to yours. If you have to reciprocate then fine, don't worry about it too much, I think reciprocal links are still important if there is an obvious connection between your two sites i.e. web design site > web marketing site

Business Networking Sites - Ecademy has worked very well for keyword rankings for my own site though again take care to ensure your posts and ads are of the highest quality.

I have found that a balanced mix of links from different sources allows me to position sites with decent search engines rankings without having to chase down or manipulate 1000's of links to game a search engine....


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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How to create a "Sticky" Landing Page


Topic: Landing Page Optimization Tested: How to Create a "Sticky" Landing Page

When optimizing your landing pages, what is the best way to keep
visitors continuing through the sales "funnel" instead of "bouncing"
off of the page to a competitor?


Starts at 9PM GMT - UK time (I think thats 4pm EST) and covers:

Identification of the essential elements of website conversion
Use of design to create "sticky" landing pages that maximize clickthrough to your order process

I for one highly recommend Marketing Experiments!

If you would like to participate, please visit:


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I've been busy...

Apologies for the past few days of no blogs... I've been swamped!

I have a whole raft of blog articles planned for the next few days and then it may go quiet again for the first week of May - but rest assured I'll be then blogging like mad during the rest of that month!

Thanks for your patience.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fluffing up your keywords

Ooohh I like this site! Fluffing up your keywords really got my interest. :)


Monday, April 16, 2007

Just a sign of our times? Or have we lost trust?

Bit off topic from SEO tonight...

I was driving the wife home this evening around 06-50pm and on the side of the road we both spotted what looked to be an elderly gentleman collapsed on the ground by a bus shelter.

I could not believe the 6 cars in front that just drove past and did not stop. I drove up the road a little more and then pulled over to a safe parking spot and ran back to check - though with a warning from the wife to "be careful"...

Another driver had also spotted this gentleman on the ground and pulled over right alongside on what is a busy road. Both of us stated to each other how amazed we were that on the edge of rush hour and in clear sight, tens if not hundreds of drivers must have passed this man who appeared to have collapsed on the pavement.

On closer inspection I noticed a can of "Ace" - a cheap alcoholic beverage - which made me wary, but the guy looked reasonable clean and tidy so I thought well it may not be his so gave him the benefit of the doubt.

The other driver knelt down and prodded the guy to see if we got a response. We did as he opened his eyes and we asked if he wanted an ambulance. He refused and then sat up but he was quite clearly drunk as a skunk. Again we both asked if he wanted an ambulance which he then said he was trying to get the bus (the reason for being in a bus shelter) as he had to see his "efffin Mum" (his words not mine).

He then asked us if either one of us was going to Cricklade and then I began to suspect he had pretended to be collapsed to get the attention of someone, seeing as the bus wasn't due for another hour.... when prodded he opened his eyes way too quickly which made me suscipicious about him and then I realised he had propped his arm under his head like a pillow which someone who had collapsed was unlikely to have done.

I refused to take him (even though I was heading towards Cricklade) and so did the other driver... but it got me thinking that on one side some people at least still care to check on a fellow human being even when it what turns out to be some stupid drunk's way of getting a free ride to the next town? But what about the others who did not stop... have we so little time and trust for others we would just drive home past some old guy lying out on the street who appeared at best unconscious, or at worst dead?

Food for thought....


NEW SITE from All Things Web

Not many posts last week due to being so hectic in getting a website completed for a client of mine.

I'm pleased with this one - it went together well and I am pleased as it far outweighs what the client was offered from a third party (a very poor ecommerce system for a lot of money).

So.... here it is... Cartridge Wizard... a little link loving won't go amiss so...

Buy Original and Compatible Inkjets online.

I love the look and feel of the site - easy to navigate and user friendly. I'd love your comments and for those in the UK who need cartridges I'd recommend Lynda and her inkjet specialists.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

5 Reasons Why I (Hate to) Blog

Actually I enjoy blogging rather than hate it - its the lack of comments that I hate... I know people read this blog but some input would be great, even if its something you strongly disagree with... hell you can even flame me if you think it will help! ;) Lets have some fun while we're at it!

OK it looks like its the start of the season round of blog tag and I am trying to be really original and tag other sites I think my readers might not know about... I have some but I'll hold em close for the moment.

5 reasons why I blog

  1. I do actually enjoy it.
  2. I can post thoughts and articles that could not fit easily onto my website
  3. I work on my own (quick out with the violins!) and its nice to feel I am communicating with an audience
  4. It proves to be an enjoyable distraction
  5. It helps with my ultimate plan of global domination for All Things Web


Making Easy Money with Adsense

Yes my friends you have found the secrets to making money the easy way with adsense - in facts its soooo easy you can earn thousands of dollars whilst you sleep...

Sound familiar?

I have to admit I am keen to build more websites and make use of Adsense however there is one thing that I do know and that its hard work to:

  • design,create and build the website
  • create inspiring content
  • source powerful images
  • optimise around targeted keywords
  • build links to the website

If you as a friend of mine so eloquently puts it "just want to fill up the internet with crap" (nice one John, I know you're reading!) then I can guarantee your website won't generate many visitors and no traffic is gonna = no Adsense income.

For success with Adsense I would recommend you concentrate on a niche product or service, I found mine by spending an hour conducting some research online using Wordtracker and a bit of savvy.

Then start researching your niche to see who your competitors are and what it is they are doing so that you can better that.

Make sure you include relevant space inside your website to carefully place Google Adsense to get the best response from your website visitors. That does not mean to con or fool your users into using Adsense which will only get your Adsense account suspended or closed by Google.

I'd stay away from adult content... from my own experience (ahem!) I have seen plenty of ads blocked on a page I thought would be suitable. Keep it clean and legal for best results.

A carefully placed search box for Adsense can also prove useful to your users - make sure it features in your website.

Well thats it for making money superfast and easy with Adsense... as you can see its not as easy as it seems (so welcome to the real world online!)



Saturday, April 07, 2007

BBC showing how to 'cheat' the search engines...

A decent article from the BBC talking about SEO and cheating the search engines.... nice to see the BBC covering this but c'mon for most of us its old news!



Reciprocal links aren't dead yet....

SEO Pond's first guest blogger, Kes Phelps, is the author of this guest article (Cheers Kes!). He is an experienced SEO Consultant and provides a link building service to clients who are seeking to outsource all, or part, of their off-page optimisation campaign. I'll let Kes get on with the article:

Reciprocal links aren’t dead – just don’t over do it.

Before the Google update in November 2003, dubbed Hurricane Florida, reciprocal links were an easy way to boost search engine rankings. Link exchange programs enabled webmasters to acquire high volumes of inbound links from largely off-topic sites in a bid to artificially inflate rankings.

After the update, the word ‘reciprocal’ became an obscenity in the search engine world, and anyone offering to swap links was seen as behind the times and given a wide berth.

However, this generalisation is partly unjustified. Of course we all know that reciprocal links carry less value these days and those that still participate in link exchange programs risk a complete ban. But reciprocal links do still play a part in search engine optimisation.

The original ethos was that if two sites had information relevant to each others visitors then they should swap links. The idea being that each site receives traffic from the other, and hopefully, a slight boost in rankings.

This philosophy is still true in today’s search engine climate. Why shouldn’t two sites form a strategic partnership? Why shouldn’t a golf club website swap links with a golfing holiday’s website?

The goal of SEO is not just to improve rankings, but to drive targeted traffic. If the information is relevant to the visitors of both sites then both sites will receive targeted traffic and, therefore, the link is justified.

In this case Google will not penalise the two sites for swapping links. Also, if the two sites are relevant then the link will still be classed as relevant and therefore, improve rankings.

It might not be as powerful a link as it might have been pre-Florida, in terms of rankings, but it will be just as powerful for driving targeted traffic - and even if it only creates a small boost in rankings, a boost is a boost.

When seeking strategic partners for link exchanges, find sites that offer complimentary, but non-competing services. These will be more willing to link to you. Check the back links of the site in question, and then the back links of the back links, to make sure the site is a trustworthy source. Also check their rankings for their target keywords and see how well they perform.

If the site meets all the above criteria then approach them for a link exchange but don’t over do it. One way Google identifies websites that rely on this tactic is by measuring the percentage of reciprocal links in the overall link count. If the percentage is above the threshold then these links may be devalued.


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07050 - costing me 32p per minute!

I received my cell phone statement this morning and noticed it was 60% higher than normal so checked it out.

I was shocked to find that somebody had given me a number that was supposedly their "mobile phone" when in fact the number they had given starting with 07050 was a highly expensive re-direct that o2 (my phone provider) pass the charge on.

If anyone gives you an 07050 number as their cell/mobile phone number I'd recommend you don't call them on it... its landed me with £20 wasted in just one phone call when normally phoning mobiles would cost me nothing with my packages inclusive minutes.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

10 GREAT tips on lying to your audience.....

Here's my top ten tips on lying to your audience:

1. DON'T

2. DON'T

3. DON'T

4. DON'T

... you get the drift but I'll give you an example that happened to me this morning... trivial but left me annoyed...

I'm fed up with Radio 1 and GWR Swindon radio stations so found a local based radio station on my drive home this morning. I am not normally a fan of local radio but the music sounded ok... so I kept them on.

Their traffic guy eventually came on and reported something like:

"...the A419 is currently extremely busy, we're getting reports of caravans and motorhomes on the A419 all heading south to the M4 motorway in early anticipation of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend..."

Well I was on the A419 at that moment, waiting in line to cross the oncoming lanes, watching traffic moving southbound towards the M4. I sat there for almost 3 minutes waiting for a gap in the traffic and never saw a caravan or motorhome... not one! Just heavy trucks, vans and commuters...

It wasn't even that busy... normally I can cross quite quickly as the traffic is mostly stationary and most drivers form a gap for you to cross... but the traffic was moving at 50mph... something quite rare at 07-15am!

Why then did the radio station seem to lie to its audience...? They might say they were "misinformed" but from my marketing perspective I lost all faith in them as a trustworthy radio station and flicked back over to Radio 1... so I'm still stuck listening to Chris Moyles and his team going through one of their "off the cuff" and "risque" conversations (which is so obviously scripted its pathetic and rarely funny...)

The local radio station (whose revenue is built through radio advertising) lost a potentially valuable listener this morning by getting their facts (IMHO) wrong. Make sure you don't. Ensure your copy and sales pitch is ethical, factually true and correct. Stay away from "bending the truth" - it will come back to haunt you and then destroy any integrity, trust and faith you built up with a client.


Ps this is also me getting fed up with the media manipulating the truth to create hype, or worse "hysteria", instead of just reporting the facts plain and simple.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Google Reader set up... hmm we shall see how things go...

I set up Google Reader recently... I guess everyone else has been doing it but I waited for a while for the buzz to die down before jumping on the bandwagon.

I've used it briefly and must say I'm happy with it so far... I like the fact you can choose between having a brief or expanded view to read posts from your favourite blogs.. though the brief one line view as just one line rather than a heading and a few lines can make the screen seem "untidy"...

I'm not certain about the starring of items, perhaps a gimmick, I'll play around with it for a while and see if it works for me.

I'll be sticking with Google Reader for the time being though I've used Thunderbird's newsreader for so long I may find it hard to break the habit!

If anyone has any tips on Google reader I'd love to hear them!


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Tuesday, April 03, 2007 I'm in a Bristol office location

Having worked from a dedicated home office for the past 5 years I am now based in a commercial office location in Bristol which is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time.

All things Web will retain its identity but will work with a team of people who are dedicated in providing support and growth to the company.

Likewise I will be in a great position to refer the team back to my clients as there is a great level of synergy between our two companies.

I'll still use my office up near Swindon as I invested a lot of time and money into having a completely dedicated office for my work at home but its also great to be able to have a city presence.

I can't say right now where the office is - early days and perhaps slightly political so the location reamins somewhat cloak and dagger. I'll keep my cards close to my chest for now but I can see highly positive things happening this year!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Did Googles April "Fool" you?

I spotted this on Google - I guess its 1st April fun!

Almost fell for it...

Happy April Fools Day!


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