Traffic Power & Cold Call SEO

A good SEO has enough ideas in their head and enough things to work on to not need to call you. If they are calling you it most likely means that they do not understand the concepts of reverse broadcast networks and they are no good at their job.
I just got a phone call from Traffic Power (read the Traffic Power review).

He saw one of my crap websites from when I first started playing on the web (It is super duper bad). I then told him to try "my other URL." I had him enter my http://www.search-marketing.info into his address bar and then stated if he searched Google or Yahoo! for "search marketing" I would rank #1. If he searched for "search engine marketing" I would be in the top 10 on both.

I then told him that good SEO's have no reason to call people. I told him that I get plenty of phone calls from the web. The power of search and the internet is that my targeted traffic comes to me without me needing to waste my time on Traffic Power cold call garbage.

It's funny how their site does not even come up at #1 for Traffic Power if you search Google for Traffic Power. In fact I am willing to bet this post will rank at #1 for traffic power within a few weeks.

He wished me a nice day and I wished him one too. Would you buy a diamond from a person who cold called you? Would you bet your financial future on a random telemarketer who knew nothing about marketing or your life?

Traffic Power did earn a link from me though. I created the Cold Call SEO category of black hat SEO just for them.

My favorite part about the Traffic Power website is the link to the clients page has an almost nuclear trifoil type looking symbol and says "you have reached this page in error." Indeed being on the Traffic Power client list is an error.

Google Sandbox Effect (Google Hilltop & Buying / Renting Links)

May 6th

Google has made a change to it's algorithm which is making it much harder (or more expensive) to outright manipulate it's search results. I believe the discussion started by SEO Guy over at SEO Chat. From there he posted it on the Search Engine Roundtable weblog. The idea has since been talked about at most of the major SEO forums.

Garret French of WebProWorld wrote a synopsis article quoting some of the more common theories.

John Scott had a talk with a fellow who used to work with Krishna Bharat (Google engineer who worked on Hilltop) at another company (not Google).

"The probation does not apply to new sites. It applies to links. When the algorithm was deployed certain older links were grandfathered in. After that, links will be (are being) given partial credit, and be essentially on "probation".

It applies to links, not sites. And the age of the link is not the only factor. The IP range of the links and other considerations are made, and the person who I discussed this with said that Krishna Bharat is at Google primary to develop and implement this new algorithm. It is supposed to radically change the way links are evaluated...

Disclaimer: This is my opinion and that's all it is."

This will allow new sites to still quickly gain PageRank as displayed, but ranking for competitive terms via quick link purchase is becoming exponentially more expensive.

Google Search w PR (PageRank) Displayed

May 6th

Cool new Google search result scrapper. It may soon get banned, but if it does not then it will be an awesome tool for SEO.

Proogle shows search PageRank with search results. This can quickly give you an idea of how competitive a search term phrase may be. In addition you can add a couple features to your search to make it super useful for SEO.

Instead of looking at a search phrase you can see who is linking to a site (using link:www.blawhateversite.com). In addition you can also add &num=100 at the end of the address bar to view 100 results per page.

here is an example search on SEO Inc.'s backlinks

Proogle will allow you to quickly find your competitors most valuable backlinks. It is not quite as powerful as OptiLink, but pretty damn darn cool for free!!!

May 20, 2004 Update: Proogle was rebranded to Prog.

  • 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!

Seth Godin's Bull Market

May 5th

So Seth released another free eBook.

On the web, when you get above self sustaining you can further elevate your position by creating conglomorate information products which you give away. Some of the companies listed in Seth's eBook will be so stoked that offer him free links, and in every copy of his book people will know who created it.

What happens? His name spreads even more, he wins even more. I have not yet read his Free Prize Inside yet, but still have a couple extras of his last book (Purple Cow). If you would like a free copy of Purple Cow then please email me your address with purple in the subject line.

Black Hat SEO

So I made a directory of bad SEO services (Black Hat SEO.com) and tools. It sat dormant for a great length of time. I told a few people about it and it did relatively nothing.

Out of nowhere I looked today and saw that I have been serving thousands and thousands of page views on that site...almost exceeding bandwidth limits in a few days.

Alexa is unreliable, but it works somewhat decently when your page is in the top 10,000 or so. Out of nowhere the page went to 2,505 when I checked today. The page may soon fade, but that directory has drummed up some good business for me. More potential leads in one day than most individual SEO's probably get in a month.

It's a Seth Godin type Purple Cow example. My very own Banana Guard. It certainly is an ugly cow, but it is still purple.

It is much easier to promote an idea worth promoting than putting tons of effort in promoting something not worthwhile. How can your site attach to an emotion? How can you make people want to link to your site free of charge? If you find ways to answer these questions then your ideas spread and you win.

Google AdWords Coupons - UK 50 Pound Coupon Vouchers

Apr 21st

If you are from the UK and are debating giving Google AdWords a try then you probably should. Currently Google is giving away free 50 pound AdWords coupon vouchers at services.google.com/marketing/links/uk_adwordsfifty/ to new UK Google AdWords customers.

Update: the above link has expired, but you can get a free $75 AdWords coupon here (or here or here or here) ... many options linked, as some of their coupon offers expire over time & we update this page periodically. The Google Partners Program also offers coupons to consultants managing AdWords accounts.

Bing also has a number of great coupons available.

Bing Ads: get a free $50 Bing coupon today.

Meta Refresh vs 301 Redirects

Apr 21st

Why use the Meta Refresh Tag?

Many people use meta refresh tags to tell the search engines that their pages moved. It is not the most elequent way to do so though.

What does the Meta Refresh Tag Look like?
Place
<meta HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" CONTENT="0;URL=http://www.redirectsite.com/">
in the head of your page copy. The number is a measure of time to redirect the browser to the new location (I believe in milliseconds.)

What is the problem with using a Meta Refresh Tag?

One of the bigger problems with this is that it is a common spam technique. Some people suggest setting the meta refresh to at least 5 seconds to avoid any ranking penalty.

In addition Google will show the URL of the original page in the search results if it has a higher PageRank than the location of the destination page. Last month they discussed Google's problems with the meta-refresh tag at WMW.

What is a 301 Redirect?
A 301 redirect is a perminant change of location code. It tells a search engine spider that a page or website has moved.

What does a 301 Redirect look like?

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

The 301 redirect code goes inside a .htaccess file either at the root level or in a local level. You can also use a 301 redirect to move just a single page.

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

Other 301 redirect info
Yahoo! Slurp has been having trouble resolving 301 redirects for a while now, but when they work correctly they garner no penalty and all the link popularity is parsed through to the new location.

How Does Landing Page Effect Conversion Rate?

Apr 20th

GoToast is one of the more well known pay per click search engine management software providers (free 14 day trial). Recently they offered a real quick witepaper covering the topic of conversion.

In this study, we classified 1,000 reasonably well-trafficked search listings representing a broad cross section of industries and approximately 250 distinct Web sites. 4,880,209 clicks/visits were analyzed as the basis for this research.

How Does Landing Page URL Affect Conversion Rate?

Type of Site Landing Page Conversion %
Lead Generation Sites Doesn’t Match Keyword 0.79%
Home Page of Site 6.31%
Matches Theme of Keyword 9.28%
Specific Match to Keyword 11.81%
Product/Service Sites Doesn’t Match Keyword 0.85%
Home Page of Site 1.26%
Matches Theme of Keyword 1.33%
Specific Match to Keyword 2.26%

Does It Make a Difference If the Visitor Has the Capability to Convert on the Landing Page?

Type of Site Landing Page Conversion %
Lead Generation Sites No Form 8.75%
With Form 8.73%
Product/Service Sites No Order Button 1.44%
With Order Button 2.08%

That data is almost motivational enough to make me want to create lead generation websites.

Yahoo! Search Engine Optimization Tips

Apr 17th

Recently Mike Grehan interviewed Jon Glick, who is Yahoo!'s Senior Manager for Web Search. You can read all the good Yahoo! Search stuff (note to self: stuff is a generic word to use in anchor text) in it, or look at my synopsis below. Yahoo! Search
How was Yahoo! Search Made?

The goal in creating Yahoo! search technology was not, you know, let's take a piece here a piece there...AllTheWeb was very, very good at was rebuilding indexes and keeping very high levels of freshness...Alta Vista had a really good core technology called MLR (machine learn ranking).

The best of breed parts of those engines were included with some of the best parts of Inktomi to make the new Yahoo! Search.

Meta Keywords
How is Yahoo! Search using the meta keywords tag?

Each keyword is an individual token separated by commas...For best practice you just need to remember it's for matching - not ranking...‘laptop computers’ will count for ‘laptop computers’ and not ‘laptop’ or ‘computers’ separately.

Essentially this is a good place for synonyms & misspellings (I tend to have some of them in my copy anyway)...Each keyword phrase is unique and separated by commas, so you will not have set off a flag for laptops if you use a meta tag such as
<meta name="keywords" content="Yahoo! laptops, computer laptops, compaqt laptops, compak laptops">

but you will also want to get words such as "lap tops" and "compaqt lap tops" in your meta tags. Each version helps to get your file included in that specific subset of search results, but has no influence on rankings.

Meta Description
How does Yahoo! Search use the meta description tag>

Yes we do use meta keywords. So let me touch on meta tags real fast. We index the meta description tag. It counts similar to body text.

Page Title Tag
How should I write my page title tag?

The title tag? My biggest recommendation is write that for users! Because that's the one real piece of editorial in the search listing that you can absolutely control...We typically show, roughly 60 characters. That's the maximum we'd show. I'm not a professional copywriter, so I can't tell you "is short and punchy better than lots of information..."

Affiliate Marketing
Why does Yahoo! hate affiliate marketers?

Well let me just say first that, in that sense Spam has gotten a lot better over the years. You don't really much have people trying to appear for off topic terms as they tended to. You now have people who are trying to be very relevant. They're trying to offer a service, but the issue with affiliate Spam is that they're trying to offer the same service as three hundred other people.

They also touch on Site Match, search personalization, SPAM, linkage data and other hot search topics...also linked to this visual thesaurus tool at the end of their eMarketing News newsletter.

Amazon A9 Search Engine Launch

Apr 15th

Amazon quietly announced the beta launch of their A9 search engine. Currently A9 appears to be a cross between Amazon and Alexa, while not being as commercially built up or invasive as either of those sites. A9 outlines many of their cool features on their "A9 cool features" page, and a more in depth review of A9 is listed below.

A9.com's service currently relies heavily on a partnership with Google, which supplies many of the search results, and Amazon's Alexa subsidiary, which provides traffic, other sites of interest and additional information on specific Web sites.

Search results also include text ads from Google's sponsored links program.

Alison Diboll, an A9.com spokeswoman, declined to say whether the company eventually plans to create its own search technology. She confirmed that Amazon plans to use the technology to serve both its online store and the rest of the Web. source: The Seatle Times

A9 has a couple interesting features that many other search engines do not. Their new A9 toolbar allows people to jot down notes about a website which can be viewed later on anywhere.

The site, and its accompanying toolbar, pull together various elements previously available on Amazon.com in a unique way. Data comes from partner Google, the Amazon.com site and its Alexa division. Three separate columns of results include natural search results, the ability to access Alexa's "what's related" features, book excerpt results from Amazon.com's offerings and the user's history. Personalization features, which use the Amazon.com login and cookie, are probably the most revolutionary part of the offering -- not because of their current form, but because of their potential. source: ClickZ

One of the more interesting things they did at A9 (as far as PR goes) is that they had John Battelle discuss it before any other news outlet so that the blog community could get their hands on it before some of the larger media outlets.

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