Checking The Competition of a Phrase & Link Tools

Mar 31st

How Competitive Are Your Keywords?

You can not gauge competitiveness of a term based upon the total number of search results for that term. The best way to tell is to evaluate search results. Pages which have had professional optimization done (page copy & linking campaign) are easy to spot after you know your industry well enough.

Three quick ways to tell how fierce the competition is for any word are by checking the associated ads (price, quantity, and search quantity), using advanced operators, and by viewing the linkage data for the top ranking websites.

Checking Ads

Using Advanced Search Operators
A simple mention on a page is not enough data for a page to be competing.

Page Title
A mention of a phrase in the title is a good indication that the page may be competion.
Google Search: allintitle:"seo book"

Inbound Link Text
The words being in the anchor text in the inbound links is an even better indication of competion.
Google Search: allinanchor:"seo book"

Inbound Link Check
Recently I noticed a simple tool at IBL Check.com, which oddly enough checks the number of inbound links to the top few websites. Once you click the link to check who is linking to each site it pops open a little window showing the URL of each of the links.

McDar Keyword + Link Tool
Another link tool which can tell competition by keyword exists at http://www.mcdar.net/KeywordTool/keywordtool.asp. The McDar keyword + link tool checks the the top 10 Google search results for the number of pages in each site, the number of site backlinks, and the position of that site on the allinanchor Google search for the same keyword.

Link Tools to Build a Linking Campaign
A quicker way to build a link campaign is to evaluate link data on a more mathematical or higher level. A couple inexpensive link tools I think are neato are Linktree (free) & Optilink ($149.)

Google New Look Search Results

Mar 29th

After months of testing (and me thinking I was part of another test) Google has unveiled its new look search. The new Google is a less cluttered, more crisp looking search result page. In addition the Google home page has lost its tabs and now just has small words above the search box. The Google Directory no longer is listed on the home page and the Google Directory category listings are no longer appearing in the search results. Google appears to be distancing itself from the Open Directory Project.

Froogle has been added to the home page as well as the SERP pages. To list your products in Froogle for free be sure to fill out your Froogle Feed. Froogle also has a "recent items found" list underneath it's search box.

Google Groups are also showing the new AdWords format.

View the new look Google SERP.

People have been discussing the new look Google at WMW.

One major change which will go highly unnoticed by most people is that there is no longer an interest bar to show relative click through rates between different ads participating in the Google AdWords program.

The single biggest difference with the new Google search is that the ads tend to blend seamlessly into the content. Google is perhaps doing this to fight the potential text ad burnout that we may face in the near future if all text ads look extremely similar.

MSN Search to Launch in July

Mar 22nd
posted in
msn

Quietly at 8:08 pm Friday (Pacific time) MSN announced the launch date for its upcomming search product.

MSN Search Sooner than Expected!

SEATTLE, March 19 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. said on Friday that a new engine for its MSN Search service will start up in July, another step in its plan to challenge Google Inc.'s pole position as the Web's top search destination.

Advertising on the Upcoming MSN Search

Instead of including paid listings within search results, which critics say results in misleading search results, MSN said it will display paid listings separately at the top and to the right of search results generated by its search engine.

Redetzki said MSN will list three paid listings at the top of every search result, of which at least two will be advertisements sold directly by MSN.

(source Yahoo! News thanks to RustyBrick)

You can see how MSN will be displaying search results at MSN Search Beta. People have been discussing the new MSN search at WMW.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!

Yahoo! Toolbar Webrank Beta

Mar 19th
posted in

What is Yahoo! Webrank?
The new Yahoo! Companion Toolbar is providing a ranking system by the name of Yahoo! Webrank. As I read through the details as to how their new ranking system worked they had two words over and over again: anonymous & sophisticated. There was no real description as to whether it worked like Direct Hit or Alexa or how exactly it will influence the search results.

The Web Rank values are calculated using a sophisticated scoring algorithm provides a measure of the popularity of the Web page or Web site that you are visiting.

Yahoo! Companion helps Yahoo! find new content
This new tool has a feedback loop which can be used to alert Yahoo! of the existance of new content which is not yet in the Yahoo! Search index. Want to know more about Yahoo! Webrank? Yahoo! gives very little data on how Yahoo! Webrank will work, but you can visit the Yahoo! Companion Webrank FAQ page.

Install the Yahoo! Companion
With many webmasters already having the Google toolbar it remains to be seen what type of distribution Yahoo! will be able to obtain with it's new toolbar. Download the new Yahoo! Companion with Webrank features.

Link Building Tips for Advanced Google Search Engine Placement

Mar 17th

Part of the time consuming process of the link building process is that we can spend 10 minutes just looking for a site that links to our competitor that could link to us. There are techniques to speed up this link hunt. These link building tips can allow you to get the most powerful links with the least amount of effort.

  • after you search Google place &num=100 at the end of the address bar. This will show 100 results per page. Since Google clusters search results by site this will make scanning the link list rather easy.

  • Boolean search operators are link builders friends. Searching for links using link:blasite.com might work, but you also can find the links which have certain text in them. For example, a search for a common authority in your field of study AND "optimized link text." This will show you where most of the topical hubs for your field are. You can also search for different optimized phrases in the same field. This will show you where lots of the quick and easy links are.
  • You can take link building one step further by also clasifying the TLD domain type or page title. For example the following search would give you educational institutions which link to Search Engine Watch with the phrase "search engine watch or searchenginewatch" in the text and resources links or partners or engines in the page title.

    inurl:+".edu" AND (intitle:links OR intitle:partners OR intitle: resources Or intitle:engines) AND ("searchenginewatch" OR "search engine watch")

  • You can also search for links by keywords and specify differnt filepaths or page elements. For example, you can find out which .htm or .html filepath extension pages have the words "search engine marketing" in a the page copy which also have "link partners" in the page title by using the following search: "search engine marketing" intitle:"link partners" (*.htm OR *.html)
  • A site keeps screwing up my link building. If there is a specific site which is still overcrowding the search results even after you do all the above you can filter is out. Place -site:your-link-blocker.com at the end of your search query.

Using the above ideas in a creative way can allow a person with no automated software, no money, and a good idea worth spreading to quickly dominate search results. You are now an advanced Google link building stud :)

Cybersquatter

Mar 16th
Cybersquatter
- Person(s) who grab a domain name which could be of certain potential value based on other aspects of the internet. In the past some cybersquatters would take a domain the day it expired on some people. Many cybersquatter sites also place porn where an original high traffic domain existed. The other common cybersquatter technique is to use misspellings to ruin the brand image or monitize a small amount of traffic.

If the domain SEO book was available about 5 months ago then why in the hell would I make an offer to this cybersquatter who spammed me wanting to sell SEObookS.com?

I take it as a compliment that he recognizes I am building a website that is starting to get a fair amount of traffic. I will not pay him 1 cent for his domain though.

Perhaps I am not concerned with my brand image, or my brand image may be a lack of concern... INBOUND SPAM:Dear Mr. Wall,

Hereby I would like to invite you to make an offer on the domain name
SEObooks.com.

As you know, SEO is the abbreviation for search engine optimization, which is
currently a booming market. Since almost every webmaster wants more traffic,
they will want to buy books that cover the subject of SEO.

Please send your offer by April 1st, 2004. Should you have any questions, please
don't hesitate to contact us.

I look forward to your prompt response.

Best regards,
Quincy Beeker
Founder of DNKing.com

Korvezeestraat 12
2628DA Delft
The Netherlands
Email: sales@dnking.com

REPLY: Hello Quincy
how much would you be willing to pay for dnkings.com?
thanks
aaron

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Server Side Includes, Search Engines, and SEO

Mar 15th

What does a Server Side Include do?
Server side includes allow you to (dare I use the word) include a remote file in the current page. The server constructs the page on the fly. When a browser or search engine spider comes through they see the whole page as one unit.

Why Should I use Server Side Includes?
They make it extremely quick to update navigation and other common page elements by only changing one file.

Are Server Side Includes Evil?
Server side includes were a bad thing in the past. Slower server speeds would sometimes cause errors when a spider spidered the page. With faster server speeds the server side include is no longer a problem. On sites with a large amount of traffic SSI will slow down your server speed ever so slightly.

What do Server Side Include Requests look like?
<!--#include file="navigation.htm" -->
if the SSI file is in the same directry as the file calling it, or
<!--#include virtual="/globalnavigation.htm"-->
if the SSI file which is to be included is in the root directory. Using virtual causes the server to look for the file location based on the root URL.

How do I use a Server Side Include?
To use server side includes you must change your file path to .shtml .shtm or something with the .s at the begining to tell the server it needs to construct the page. Place the include file in the code where you want it to show on the page.
Note: you can controll the layout using an external CSS sheet if you like.

Why Changing Filepaths is Bad
The problem with changing filepaths is that you can lose much of the inbound link popularity you have built up with your site. Any links to the root domain will still be there, but interior links fall away. Blindly changing filepaths is extremely bad:

  • You lose link equiyy.

  • People who were linking to you end up owning a bunch of broken links.

How do I Use SSI without Changing FilePaths?
Our good friend .htaccess is here again to save the day.

Here is the .htaccess file you should use to allow a server to parse .shtml and parse other file extensions as .shtml

AddType text/html .shtml

AddHandler server-parsed .htm (.htm is whatever extension you are using)

AddHandler server-parsed .shtml

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes

301 Redirects - What is a 301 Redirect?

Mar 15th

301 redirect is a catch phrase often used in SEO where nobody really explains how to do it. Many people feel too dumb to ask "how do I do a 301 redirect?" because they feel they should just know what one is.

Use a 301 redirect to move a site from
http://www.oldurl.com/uncool/ (root of the old homepage)
to http://www.newurl.com/cool/

Create a .htaccess file in your root directory. If one already exists then you can just add this line of code to it.

Redirect permanent / http://www.newurl.com/cool/

in addition you can use a 301 redirect to move any given page.

Redirect permanent /bla/bla.html /newspot/bla.html

301 redirects are used to permanently move a site to a new location. Search engines do not apply penalties to 301 redirects the way they apply them to many other types of redirects.

When you create a .htaccess file make sure you transfer it in ASCII and not binary. You will probably want to CHMOD the file to 644 for security reasons as well. .htaccess is an Apache technology and not a windows server technology. Learn more about .htaccess

Google AdSense AutoClick Software

Scumbag of the Year Award

I know its a bit early to give this one out, but there is a guy who has taken autoclick software to a new level. His new software, which goes by the name of Google Clique, is based on the Holland Engine - the mass email spam software.

  • Holland Engine was the originaly written to allow spammers to conceal thier orginating IP from mailservers and to keep it from apearing in email headers.

  • Holland Engine is the core of LincolnSX, the most powerfull mass-emailing software, running at rates of 5 Million emails per day per machine.
  • Holland Engine will actually tunnel through the internet and connect to the desired IP address from, not your IP but rather from another, the one at the end of the tunnel. It is this tunneling that makes LincolnSX so valuable, and now we bring it to you with Google Clique.
  • And for you technicaly challenged, NO, THIS IS NOT PROXY/SOCKS, and maybe you should be looking elsewhere if you are looking for such an amatuer solution.

Notice he is selling software for $1,000 down and is too damn lazy or cheap to hire a proof reader. Granted I am a horrible speller, but I am not trying to get you to spend a grand as down payment for software that steals. This is from his "interview" with Google.

I take this two mean one of two things, either they were feeling me out to see if this was for real or they are just oblivious as to how serious this software really is.

He also plans to launce a product by the first of April which goes by the name of Reaper. Reaper will aggressively autoclick on a competitors site to get them removed from Google AdSense program.

here is his WhoIs data.

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