Frank Schilling's Seven Mile: My Favorite Domainer Blog

I could accurately be described as an amateur domainer wanting to know more of that market. My favorite blog on the domaining market is Frank Schilling's blog. There are so many good posts that it is hard to highlight any of them. He writes about a wide range of topics including the domains he didn't buy (and their prices), how relevant domain names affect PPC arbitrage, and his underlying philosophy on business.

Get Your Blog Out of Google's Supplemental Result Hell

Blog Indexing Question: My ranking for my core keyword went up, but most of my site was recently put in Google's Supplemental Index, and I saw my income and traffic drop sharply. I have not built any links recently or made any changes to my site. How can I fix this and get my site top rankings again?

Answer: Google has been tightening down on their duplicate content filters. They have also been using PageRank scores to determine whether to index a page, if they should stick it in their supplemental results, and perhaps how strongly they should apply various filters (such as duplicate content filters).

Between slightly lower internal PageRank scores (minor issue) and increasingly aggressive duplicate content filters (major issue) and significant duplication from page to page on your site (major issue) much of your site is in Google's supplemental index.

Get Real Links:

Google's Matt Cutts stated:

In general, the best way I know of to move sites from more supplemental to normal is to get high-quality links (don’t bother to get low-quality links just for links’ sake).

Since you said you have not built links in a great deal of time and few people are talking about your site in the active parts of the web the key is to write more about things that people are talking about or would comment on. Great content helps build links. You have to keep blogging if you want to keep your mindshare up.

Others pointing more link equity at your site from external sources should help improve your PageRank scores. PageRank is a large part of what is used to determine if a page is of high enough quality to stay indexed (or put in the supplemental index), and how aggressively duplicate content filters (and other filters) should be applied against it.

If you get strong editorial deep links from other bloggers that should also help search engines crawl that portion of your site better to make up for any information architecture related issues that may be causing certain portions of your blog to be inadequately crawled.

Make Longer Posts:

Since your posts tend to only be a sentence or two long, most of the pages are rather similar to each other. You may want to post more text in each post, and turn comments on to have more unique text on each page.

Reduce Sitewide Repetitive Features:

You need to make your page titles and meta descriptions unique on each page.

You may also want to resort your code order to put unique content higher in the page content and have duplicated and sitewide template related issues occur later on.

Don't Link at Garbage:

Since your site has a rather low PageRank you may want to only list your blogroll on your home page instead of every page of your blog. Take out other parts of your site that heavily duplicate each other from page to page. Also consider removing your sitewide links to some of the unimportant pages on your site to flow more of your link equity throughout your site.

I would also recommend removing the tagging pages on your site as your site is already navigable via your categories, and the tags create low value noise pages that reduce your link equity distributed on the quality pages. I also think it is foolish to link at all those auto-generated Technorati pages...that wastes a lot of your link authority. I would also recommend not linking to some of the pages you don't want Google to index, such as those printer friendly pages. You may also want to block those printer friendly URLs using the Robots.txt protocol.

You have canonical URL issues which can be fixed. If and are showing different PageRank scores 301 redirect the less popular version of your URL to the more popular version.

You also have a few broken links on your site that could be fixed.

All these changes should facilitate better indexing of your blog posts.

Issues for Commercial Sites:

Many commercial sites (especially thin product database sites) also fall into the Google Supplemental index. The above examples all apply to those types of sites, but in addition you could consider the following

  • add an editorial element to your site to improve your sitewide authority score

  • enable customer feedback and reviews to get more unique content on your pages

Keep in mind that if you do not do any offline marketing or much marketing outside of search, your site is more prone to large swings from search related fluctuations than some other sites which have more brand equity and/or do other forms of marketing.

New(ish) SEO Blogs

I have cut back on my reading quite a bit due to moving, getting a cool girlfriend, taking time to actually live, working on too many projects, and getting more email than I can handle, but there are a bunch of great SEO blogs out there that deserve more exposure. Convert Up - Brian Thibault is one of Andy Hagans friends...which automatically means he has to be good at business. A couple of his posts

DigitalGhost - just found commentful, also keeps us up to date on the changing face of copyright law and orphaned works.

Blue Hat SEO - Eli's blog is actually a year old...his one year anniversary post is refreshing and highlights many cool posts made by him and others, including how to make $100 a day, how to make $200 a day, and these two domaining posts.

Joe Whyte recently blogged about Newsvinne ranking factors.

Stoney G deGeyter's E-Marketing Performance recently launched a free keyword research guide [PDF], which includes great information and links to tools like this Dependancy-based Word Similarity tool.

I also enjoy reading Chris Hooley's blog, Payday Loan Affiliate, and some Tropical SEO.

Any other new SEO or marketing blogs you fancy?

Review Me Launches

We launched ReviewMe today. And reviews are coming in, including one from Tech Crunch. Yippie.

We are giving away $25,000 to help speed along the user adoption and quickly learn from reviews.

The First Ever Blogging Scholarship

My friend Daniel recently announced that he was going to give away a $1,000 scholarship to bloggers from our scholarship website. I think it is the first ever college scholarship for bloggers. Please show some love by doing any of the following:

  • nominating a friend (or yourself) for the scholarship

  • blog about the scholarship
  • vote for the winner (coming in 1 week)
  • Digg it

Dave Taylor's Great Blogging Video

Dave Taylor recently spoke about blogging at Affiliate Summit. Dave posted the video online here. It is a nice introduction to blogging for those who want to understand the benefits of blogging and how it can help improve their businesses.

Announcing ReviewMe!

In April I mentioned that I wanted to create some sort of a social network. I left that description intentionally broad such as to not tip my hand too much. But the idea was a social ad network.

I had a good idea, but hate the idea of having employees and running a company. I want to be able to travel and explore the world, so the idea required a partner. ;) I brought my idea to Andy Hagans, and he was up for running the show. The idea is to create a blog advertising platform that allows advertisers to contact related bloggers to ask if they would review their products or services. Our network is called ReviewMe, and will be launching soon!

While I got into the web as an SEO, I tend to think of myself more as a blogger and viral marketer than an SEO. Viral marketing was the idea behind ReviewMe. It took us a while to get the model and infrastructure down. Since we started working on the projects other blog ad networks launched and one even got VC funding, but I believe our model is going to be somewhat unique and offer a high value when compared to other businesses in the same space.

I think writing a lot and reading a lot about marketing put me in a unique position. After acquiring Threadwatch, while still building this site and others, I started getting pitched more and more frequently. It made me think that there could be a formal marketplace which made it more efficient to ask bloggers for reviews, and also removed some of the potential risks associated with pitching to bloggers. The last thing you want is a popular blogger calling you a spammer, because that stuff tends to rank well.

Four elements which will work nice in our network to filter out bad products and bad offers are

  • bloggers will disclose their relationship with the advertiser

  • bloggers only review things that are interested in
  • we encourage brutal honesty
  • the comment sections on popular blogs will help keep advertisers and bloggers honest

Fraudsters and advertisers with junk offers will not want to risk paying people to write reviews that may expose their business flaws. But, if you have a good product honest feedback and conversation about your business should only help you. Getting great feedback early on in a product's life-cycle can save millions of dollars in the long haul.

I also think this is a more efficient way of selling cost per influence than some of the other networks. Buy a sitewide ad in the right rail of a popular blog. Compare how much traffic that sends to the amount of traffic sent to links in the content area of the blog, and you will see that the influence is in the content area of the site, not near it.

In addition, I think the real value of blogs is the unique feedback you can get from the blogger. Do they like your idea or hate it? And why? What advice can they offer you on how to improve your business?

We are not going to try to create the largest and most efficient ad network in the world. That's Google's job. Rather than trying to squeeze a few more cents out of an ad space, our idea is to extend the value of advertising by coupling it with reviews and conversation on popular sites. Brand building is much more about conversation and community involvement than it is about targeting keywords and displaying ads.

ReviewMe hasn't even launched yet, and I am more excited about it than any site I have ever worked on. You can read Andy's official announcement here, and read up on the latest developments on the ReviewMe blog.

Leveraging Comments & the Spelling Police

Occasionally websites get really good comments, but if you get much exposure it is going to take a while to clean up all the overt spam attempts that exposure brings, especially if your topic is SEO...many people are attracted to SEO because they want to make money without doing any real work or creating any real value. I think that is part of why I liked it off the start.

And if you don't keep it clean, the next thing you know people who have made decent comments on your blog devolve comments to the me too level and sign their name as #1 rated Viagra mortgage poker coupon. I just went back and deleted about 30 comments from a person who cleverly hit me up today with about 10 coupon comment spams. Thanks buddy! There are some things large sites can get away with that smaller sites can not. For example, has sections on some of their pages named something like also spelled as. Unintentionally, I slip a number of misspellings into this site, and get roasted frequently for it. Although, nobody has ever told me why the grammar and spelling police typically give dysfunctional useless feedback like "you misspelled a word" often without saying what word / where / how you misspelled it.

But if you left comments on your own blog not under your own name then spelling errors might be more appropriate. I have even seen some people take leveraging their comments one step further and troll on their own site to pick up other keywords, make the blog look active, or create fake controversies.

If you do not actively check out the comments it is not worth even having them on your site. As search engines get better at linguistics (and eventually they will) having a bunch of spammy comments on a site will linguistically link pages to a bunch of other spammed out sites and spammy topics. If you lose a bit of distribution here and there in a couple important channels competing sites get to enjoy self reinforcing market positions.

Awesome Company Blogs

SEOMoz ... obviously most everyone here probably already reads that, but I like the mixed personalities of the various authors of their blog (other than MM), and it was fun hanging out with everyone from there tonight :)

Dreamhost...what other company of that scale (other than Victoria's Secret, Hanes, or Fruit of the Loom) can get away with showing underwear on their site, or attack a perceived weakness and describe it in a way that makes you want to trust them and buy more? And how quality are the pics in this post?

Silent Bob Speaks...a bit crass for some no doubt, but that is clearly part of the appeal.

I recently have been given about 1/2 dozen books on blogging. I hope and mean to read some of them soon.

Jackass Blog Comments

This guy wanted to be seen bad enough, so I may as well feature him

this webmaster doesnt want to help you.....
i have a good website where you may find coupons for google, yahoo, MSN, looksmart, but this webmaster delete my messages all the time....
i wont give up, i will post my messages again and again....

How absurd is it to threaten me with continued spam until I leave it published? That jerk had a new PHPBB driven SEO forum which had one post on it. It offered the opportunity to get Looksmart coupons (affiliate links) after you made 50 posts AND linked at his new forum. He must have spammed my blog about 20 times before I banned his IP address.

Between that clown and some of the other blog comment spam that has been hitting my blogs recently I was becoming quite scared as to the current state of humanity and the concept of evolution. Then I realized I should just laugh at those sort of people and everything was better again.

In spite of having Javascript required to post a comment on this blog, over 90% of the comments fall into at least one of the following categories: pure spam, of no value, unoriginal, point at adult sites or sleazy one page domain lander parking pages or sleazy lead generation / salesletter sites, or have keywords as the anchor text. I wonder if my sometimes infrequent publishing, coarse copy, and political views sometimes prevent some of the better potential commenters from commenting.

I will be the first to admit that I was probably a bit of a blog comment spammer when blogs were new, but considering just how many people are automatically and manually blog spamming right now I thing there is far more value in doing things which make the publisher want to like you and read your thoughts.