SEO Question & Answer Thread

Sep 5th

I need to verify the new CMS is working ok. I figure the easiest way to do so is to do a bunch of stuff with the site. Plus this will help me know what other features should be added. If you have any SEO questions please ask them below. Also if you have any ideas for improving the site layout and feature set I am all ears on that too.

Published: September 5, 2007

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Comments

September 5, 2007 - 1:23am

Aaron, I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for the advice you gave two weeks ago, after making the changes you suggested my site is back at the top 10 SERPs for my keywords, thanks again.

September 5, 2007 - 1:29am

Hey Aaron, just like Guillermo.. I'd also like to thank you for your efforts here on SEOBook.com! One quick question...

I run a fairly small AdSense website that does very well in the SERPs and draws quite a bit of traffic and revenue, but only about 4-5 pages of the site get the traffic. I run a blog on this site and have about 20 or so blog entries and my analytics show that no one visits or reads the blogs. I'm afraid the blog is just adding to the "noise" of the site and that I should contain my PR to those 4-5 pages that draw all the traffic.

Would it harm anything if I were to test out blocking the entire blog section of this website using the robots.txt exclusion? Most of my indexed pages are the blog posts, but like I said.. no one goes to them and they don't rank well at all.. so they are essentially useless. I just don't want to do anything drastic that could set off a flag for my site in google and mess up rankings. If I do block the blog section and it doesn't work.. can I simply unblock it later on without any harm?

Any thoughts or suggestions you may have would greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much for your help and time. A big fan here!

September 5, 2007 - 1:57am

Everything looks great... You might want to draw more attention to the fact that you need to create an account. The last few times I visited I assumed that you closed comments. Only after you had asked for comments on this post did I realize that I needed to create an account.

September 5, 2007 - 2:22am

Great news Guillermo.

 

Thanks Hawaii SEO. I will look to highlight that a bit more in-line with the comments area.

 

Hi Todd Short term, you may want to noindex meta tag in your blog pages, but allow their link equity flow through to the other parts of your site.

 

If a bunch of your link equity pointing into your blog from other sites then I would not even do the above.

 

Also remember that long-term blogs are about building momentum and aggregating an audience. If you can find ways to make blog posts that are appealing to others (appealing enough to get linked at or cause them to subscribe to your blog) then over time those will lift the overall authority of your site. If you just close your blog off and do not have any way to lift your site's authority, then eventually as others keep gaining authority some of them will likely pass you up in the search results.

September 5, 2007 - 2:25am

Aaron,

The drupal registration process is pretty user friendly and the site is clean and easy on the eyes, so no recommended changes from my side. I'm interested in your response to Todd's question. This seems to be related to Rand Fishkin's interview of Matt Cutt's regarding webmasters using no follow to control page rank of a site. Looking forward to your hearing your thoughts.

I did just notice the time stamp appears to be off if you are based in the US. It's 10:19pm EST as I'm making this post now. The posts above me show 1:57am so that would put you somewhere in Europe if the time stamp is correct?

September 5, 2007 - 2:36am

Aaron, working on a redesign for an ecommerce site. The redesign will contain more seo-friendly urls as well as cleaner page code. The existing site has pretty solid rankings, but I know these can be improved with the design improvements we will be launching.

Do you have any advice while we prepare to roll out the redesign? After testing, we were going to make sure we 301 all old urls to their new url target to maintain the link authority of each page. Anything else you can recommend to us so that we do out best to maintain and build on established rankings?

Thanks for keeping it real!

September 5, 2007 - 2:36am

As was previously suggested add some sort of a "Rep point" system. Other members can probably rep each other. It's not the best system and not without its faults, but it will keep the quality of the comments higher in my opinion.

I understand people spam to get links and search love but why not have the links show up when the member is logged in? I often wondered what the sites of the people who are commenting here looked like and how well they're doing.

September 5, 2007 - 2:44am

Hi Rajasekharan
Setting up the links to work properly and link to profile pages was a goal from yesterday, but so many issues with hosting and stuff delayed that feature.

September 5, 2007 - 2:46am

Hi Shawn
Get baselines of how you are doing now, and track how well each page or section is performing if you can. I also like to try to ensure I fix broken links and clean up the site's structure to place more emphasis on key pages. If some sectors of the site underperform others I may depreciate those.

September 5, 2007 - 2:51am

Hi cmswebsiteservices
If a site is really clean I suppose there is nothing wrong with using nofollow on unimportant pages to flow PageRank toward keypages. But if you start ranking well and are doing anything aggressive the use of nofollow on internal links says "I know SEO", and if you were doing something borderline shady that might also be attribuatable to ignorance, the use of nofollow says "I am guilty and please ban my site". Hand editing is much more common on smaller websites than on corporate sites.

September 5, 2007 - 3:15am

Hey Aaron,

When will your membership packages become available? http://www.seobook.com/taxonomy/term/3

I'm sure you are aware, but just in case you will want to block out all the nodes, taxonomy, etc.. urls to prevent duplicate indexing in the search engines. Haha, I guess that's about like giving golf tips to Tiger Woods, but you never know, even Tiger has a caddy that provides a useful tip every now and then.

Regarding no follow, it would be on pages like the drupal registration page and the taxonomy type urls listed above that would just be categories with little content.

September 5, 2007 - 3:21am

Hey Aaron..

long story short, you inadvertently turned me into an SEO domainer/SEOmainer (and for that I thank you)..But now I need content creation, but cheapish content creation. You have any suggestions on where to go to get the best/cheapest content written?

-peter @ DomainersGazette.com

September 5, 2007 - 3:22am

Hey Aaron,

I work on a site that has both non-secure & secure pages (http & https). Since the site navigation was coded with "relative" links (ie. ../directory/filename.html) you can sometimes get the exact same page with an http prefix as well as with an https prefix (depending upon where you came from on the site). Is this a serious dupe content danger? Is PR being diluted by this?

Not sure how the engines treat a page that has duplicate versions in both http & https.

Thanks.

September 5, 2007 - 3:44am

Hi cmswebsiteservices. I was testing having multiple products. Not sure if I will offer a membership thing for sure...you can see by the screwy prices (corporate membership being cheaper than regular membership) that if I were to launch something like that it would not be a tomorrow item.

September 5, 2007 - 3:46am

Hi Domainersgazette
I like to hire freelance writers from sites like Craigslist. There are markov generators and synonym replacement software programs available for only a few hundred dollars if you are looking to create sites with automated content that you do not mind getting burned.

September 5, 2007 - 3:56am

Hi Garrett
I would suggest using absolute URLs if possible, and even on the secured section of the site I would recommend linking to non secured URLs for the parts of the site that do not need to be secured. If Google is indexing both versions of your site then you are indeed diluting PageRank and causing indexing issues. For larger sites like Amazon.com http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:https://www.amazon.com/&hl=en&rls=GG... they ensure that the links on secured pages point to the non-secured version of their site.

September 5, 2007 - 3:56am

Hi All,

I am starting a new blog… What is the best structure for permalinks? and does it really matter that much?

I think matt cutts is using:
/%postname%

Aaron you seem to be using the default...

What would you suggest for a brand new blog?

Thanks for any input..

September 5, 2007 - 4:03am

Hi wwinger. I like either "name-of-post" or "/2007/09/name-of-post"

September 5, 2007 - 4:14am

A content question.. I see you have seobook and the fattyweightloss site... I am sure you have several other blogs as well..

Do you create all the content for these sites? if not how do you get the content.
Also,
is blogging your favorite way to rank in the search engines?

September 5, 2007 - 10:27pm

Blogging is an easy way to rank because it allows you to pick up subscribers, capture authority over time, build an aggregate audience over time, and be quick with announcing news.

My mom writes Fattyweightloss. I have her that site. I hire writers for some of my other sites.

September 5, 2007 - 5:36am

I was on your affiliate page, http://www.seobook.com/rf/, and I tried to hit the home link in the breadcrumbs and it just keeps you on the affiliate page. I don't know if this is what you intended or not, but thought I would mention it.

September 5, 2007 - 10:28pm

it was designed to do that, but thanks for mentioning it

September 5, 2007 - 5:51am

Aaron, Your book is good, for the last 6 month a was reading different books to get my own idea about SEO, but these one is the best. I have a question, how many links need rank a web page in PR5. Is only an idea. Let me know

September 5, 2007 - 10:50pm

PageRank is only one aspect of ranking. Anchor text is also important, as is site age, and where the links come from - see TrustRank.

September 5, 2007 - 9:59am

Hi Aaron,your site looks fine.I have a question,I want to sell an e-book about something....well this is the problem:i am not great at anything so i will research day and night about something,but what do you think i should research ...I mean:I want a profitable niche ,also not much competition and it must be something i can learn ( don't tell me to research about c++ programming)

I was thinking seriously about creating a guide that shows how to get rich creating and publishing e-books.a guide that shows every step...how to research,write it,publish it write a good sales letter ..a very detailed guide.I was thinking to sell it using keywords like "make money,make money online,free money"(for first maybe using google adwords

so do you think my idea has potential?
and if not give me a good idea please

Thank you very much

September 5, 2007 - 10:56pm

Hi Xmage
I think you have to decide where your interests are. Start from there and work out toward a profitable market. I generally have not been that good at doing it from the other way around.

September 5, 2007 - 9:59am

Hi Aaron,

I'd like to make some comments on the site structure etc.

1) The more full posts you have (as opposed to 'Continue reading ...') the better. It takes time to open up new tabs - it's ten times easier to skim down one long page of full posts and then go to the comments if I feel strongly about something.

2) Posting in blocks (nothing for three or four days, then a whole load of stuff) is obviously valid as you have a busy life but means that somedays there's four or five posts plus their links to wade through and notes to write up in my 'library' first thing which can easily take an hour or more and throws me out of synch. If I don't read them I never catch up - and basically I only read your blog plus occasionally SEL so God knows how other people manage.

3) Your links to other sites are usually interesting, but not always (obviously). I do get fed up of non-descriptive links that only hint at things - yet more tabs (or Clueviewer) and more time spent. Can you make your links descriptive for readers, please - or have a descriptive phrase in bracket after them? Someone on a forum for a common blog platform once responded to a plea for help with a reply along the lines of, 'What do you expect us to do? Predigest it all for you?' To which the reply should have been, and is, Yes please, anything to make life easier so that I can be more productive and not waste time.

4) No rep points, please - Nooo! One of the strengths of this blog is its informality. I fled forums long ago. One reason is the status points / reputation points, whatever you want to call them. It changes the whole atmosphere. I hate regimentation. At it's most extreme you end up being surrounded by 'experts' subtly fighting each other to be 'experts'. 'Experts' can be extremely off-putting to some posters (like me). Sure, if this was a PHP forum it would be an easy short-cut to figuring out who knows what, but what I'm getting out of this blog is the Art of marketing as well as the science and Art doesn't need those sort of 'experts', it needs people who are willing to take risks and do dumb things and question everything and look stupid.

5)Membership ...ooh. That makes me think of WMW and all those dumb results at the top of the SERPS that went to a 'Join us' page. Sorry - in the context of SEO it just does. It makes me think of Rand's membership - nice bloke etc., but another firewall, an exclusion zone. If you've got something that's working, don't break it. It's not the numbers you have to worry about - the numbers will look good, at least for a while. It's the corrosive attitude change underneath, the Us and Them, the interpolation of Money between you and your readers (Us), that will change You, and change the readers you attract.
Steve Pavlina (off-track, a bit) used to have comments on his posts. Then he tried to funnel his users into forums. Bang! I was out of there. The informality, the focus that he'd created had changed. I see membership in the same light. I'll pay I suppose, because your blog's so good, but something negative will have been introduced.

Anyhow Aaron, can you explain this to me? If pages aren't being indexed, where do they get their link equity from?

September 6, 2007 - 12:32am

>1) The more full posts you have (as opposed to 'Continue reading ...') the better.

gotcha

>2) Posting in blocks

The reasoning is two fold. I am so busy, and because I have a spurt type personality.

>3) Your links to other sites are usually interesting, but not always (obviously). I do get fed up of non-descriptive links that only hint at things - yet more tabs (or Clueviewer) and more time spent. Can you make your links descriptive for readers, please - or have a descriptive phrase in bracket after them?

I will try to work on this.

>4) No rep points, please - Nooo! One of the strengths of this blog is its informality.

I won't implement reputation points anytime soon.

>5)Membership ...ooh. That makes me think of WMW and all those dumb results at the top of the SERPS that went to a 'Join us' page.

If there is a membership it will not be a forum type thing. And is not something soon.

>I see membership in the same light. I'll pay I suppose, because your blog's so good, but something negative will have been introduced.

I think some forms of filtering actually improve site quality. Like these comments are more valuable than the comments I was getting from the comment spammers.

>Anyhow Aaron, can you explain this to me? If pages aren't being indexed, where do they get their link equity from?

A page which has a noindex tag can still pass link equity on toward other pages. Is that what you mean? Also, of course internal links send link equity.

September 5, 2007 - 10:00am

P.S What happened to my line breaks?

September 5, 2007 - 10:03am

P.P.S What happened to my quote?

And how can I edit my comments?

September 5, 2007 - 11:04pm

Comment editing currently is not enabled, but the other stuff should be fixed now.

September 5, 2007 - 10:08am

Greetings Aaron! I've provide seo services, and I actually have a website, and a blog. Do you recommend just working off a blog where content is always being updated, and forget the website all together?

I have a link on my blog point to me website for seo services, and my website has been published since 2006, so I hate to just let it go to waste and not keep it active.

Any thoughts on this delimma?

September 6, 2007 - 12:38am

Hi Seoscale
Well it depends on a number of factors, including

  • how brandable is your old domain vs the new domain
  • will placing your blog on a subsection of a services site make it harder for others to follow it? in some cases yes. SEO Book was a continuation of a blog that was on another site. You may or may not know the old domain, but lots of webmasters know this one.
  • how good at you are building up a brand and a following
  • what are your goals of the blog (to build rep? to sell services? etc.)
  • the blog section can make it easier to rank the other parts of your site if the blog becomes authoritative, but it may make more sense to add a site to the blog rather than adding a blog to the site

A name is important. Don't just think of this issue as an SEO issue. Think of it from an overall marketing strategy perspective.

September 5, 2007 - 11:31am

Are site-wide text links pointing into one site from many respectable domains (clients) good or bad? All the text links use the same anchor text with a relatively long and descriptive title tag. The sites are off topic. (i'm worried it could affect the site the links are on rather than the one that's being pointed at too)

September 6, 2007 - 12:42am

Hi TripleOx
They can be good, but they can be bad as well.

Likely they will all pass pagerank, but if too many of your links use the exact same anchor text it may make it harder to rank for that keyword unless that keyword also matches your domain name.

Another thing to think of is that it is all about mathematical ratios. One time I got a lot of links by handing out an award but the site was penalized for a while because about 98% of its inbound links were reciprocal. The stronger your site is away from these sorts of things, the more aggressive you can be with the aggressive link building tactics.

As far as the outbound link hurting the host site, at the very least it is passing out some of your link equity (PageRank) which may make your sites rank a bit lower. Also using a bunch of irrelevant text on every page makes the pages less optimized and less focused than they might otherwise be.

September 5, 2007 - 1:12pm

Hey Aaron,

Thanks for the great content you provide - it's totally inspiring - even for a goose such as myself. Since I consider you to be one of the top SEO (and all that goes with it) authorities on the web - I was wondering if you have a resource (other than your SEO book which I have) where you list guys,gals,blogs,sites,etc. that you consider to be authorities in the areas of seo and directly related? I try to keep up with your authority references from your blog and sort of keep a 'running log' of those.

Thanks,

Ed

September 6, 2007 - 12:45am

Hi Ed
I have a list of some of the sites I subscribe to, but I often think of people and authorities as being quite transient.

What I mean here is that many of the original SEO experts are still considered experts, but have limited experience in the current marketplace.

Also, people can change over time. A person who was ignorant about a topic can learn to become a leading authority, and people can change what topics they are interested in.

And the last factor here is that I sometimes admire people for being really good at something even if that is not what they are publicly well known for.

As far as making a generalized list like that...I likely will not be doing that anytime soon, but you can see who the people you trust reference in their content over and over again. Visit those sites and see if you find those voices trustworthy and follow the ones you like and/or find interesting.

September 6, 2007 - 12:48pm

Thanks Aaron:

I really appreciate you, your thoughts, this blog, your wisdom, expertise and the time (that you don't have) but always seem to make for guys like myself. Not to get all mush - I just need to say how I feel.

Sincerely,

Ed

September 5, 2007 - 1:21pm

Hi Aaron,

I have a question i've been turning over in my head a bit lately. It is part strategy, part seo so of course I expect you'll just talk about the SEO side of things.

When I started the website I work on (a charity fundraising shopping and search site) I chose a somewhat long but brandable domain name, which has been active since late 2002. It did pretty well with 1,000s of UVs and a pr of 5-6 with a few academic links to boot. However in late 2004 the domain was banned with a hand job - i was never quite sure why as I hadn't done anything *that* naughty. Reinclusion requests were pretty much ignored or just pointed me to the guidelines when i felt the site was already clean.

Anyway, I re-launched the website under a new name in June 2005 - a shorter domain but i've come to realise unmemorable and far from ideal. However due to getting a grant from an NGO for publicity PR got me featured on BBC uk and World, as well as some other authority sites like CNET. It has remained on that domain until now, when I've noticed the old domain is no longer PR 0 but PR 5 once more, still holds many backlinks and of course has a couple years more age than the current one.

I'm now torn as to which direction I should 301 the domains. One has had media coverage, a certain amount of link pop but to be honest the name probably isn't all that memorable, the other has a better name, age and good backlinks but has been banned once before so may carry some bad mojo too. Currently the old domain has nothing but a holding page on it and I believe I could benefit from combining the strengths of the two domains. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?

September 6, 2007 - 12:53am

Hi Jonnyplatt
In this case I might be inclined to keep them separate for a while and track how they perform. The reason being is that if both are similar and one has been penalized it is probably not in your best interest to associate them together.

It is also hard for me to give you any recommendation to combine them because that puts all your eggs in one basket. Perhaps I would change the focus of each site a bit.

Both sites can target different markets, or one site can be consumer facing while the other is a corporate site that may link to the other. Also note that if you link heavily from risky sites back and forth (like numerous sitewide links, for example) it might also add risk.

Short term I would probably use the profits from the one I didn't want to keep to push the domain that I though had better long term strategy. Also you can ask some of the people linking to the lower potential site to link to the higher potential site.

September 5, 2007 - 1:28pm

Aaron

Are you therefore saying that copious usage of the no-follow tag might do a site long term damage?

September 6, 2007 - 12:55am

Hi BobbyN
I am saying that much of Google's relevancy process is hand review and hand editing. IF your site is borderline shady and gets reviewed and you are also using nofollow to sculpt PageRank then the site stands a greater chance of getting a hand edit, because at that point you are a known SEO, and some search engineers think SEOs are manipulative scum.

September 5, 2007 - 2:49pm

+30 position google filter/penalty

You mentioned some time ago about the google +30 filter
http://www.threadwatch.org/node/9302

Whats your take on the issue now, what have caused the problem and how would you suggest getting around the problem.

Is the filter/penalty algoritmically activated or a handjob?

Is there any other way to escape the filter without a manula reinclusion request?

What would be your suggested strategy for escaping the issue?

/P

September 6, 2007 - 1:13am

Hi Per
I think some of the +30 incidents are due to manual editing. Some are algorithmic as well (like too many reciprocal links, for example). I would clean up my site as best I could (fix duplicate content issues, get rid of off topic reciprocal link directories, etc.) and build quality inbound links (some links from inside the community too) and see if that fixes the ranking issues. If not then it is likely a manual issue.

I just wrote this post about manual vs algorithmic for you.

September 5, 2007 - 3:04pm

The new site is ***much*** slower for me. All the other sites I just tried load virtually instantaneously, but this post, for instance, took almost 30 seconds to even start loading.

September 6, 2007 - 1:17am

Hi Shane
The old pages were static, but the new pages require MySQL hits to load each page. We are working to fix this. We have made lots of server changes already.

September 5, 2007 - 5:07pm

Hi Aaron,

An SEO Question:

If Site A links to a page on Site B and that page on Site B is excluded from being indexed by search engines by a noindex directive in robots.txt or by an on-page 'nonindex' meta tag, does site B receive any benefit in terms of link authority/search rankings in Google from that link?

(The new site is loading a bit slow for me right now.)

Thanks

September 6, 2007 - 1:16am

Hi Chris
If it is blocked in Robots.txt they may still show it in the search results if external sites link to it, but I do not think that allows page B to vote for other pages.

If the page uses an on page noindex tag I believe it does not get indexed but it can still vote for other pages.

Sometimes sites or pages that are robots.txt blocked still rank in the search results because sometimes people accidentally block them, and Google still wants well cited pages to show up in case they were blocked by a human error or technical error.

September 5, 2007 - 5:33pm

Aaron,

I love the blog and the site.

A suggestion would be to start a discussion forum on a subdomain.

What I would really like is to be able to post questions (like on this thread) and get you as well as others in the community to chime in with advice.

Also, although I am an SEO Book affiliate, I gave you a free PR4 link on my directory due to the fact that you let people show their links in their posts here. I appreciate that.

Thanks!

September 6, 2007 - 1:18am

Hi animegirl
I have no intent to start a forum at the moment.

I edited out your link because my goal is not to create an atmosphere that fosters a link farm, but to create an atmosphere that fosters discussion.

September 5, 2007 - 5:41pm

What about sites that use no follow incorrectly? Put them on pages to stop pagerank leaking or to use content from others and then no-follow the bio? Does Google punish them or are we to lose out on pagerank because of it.

September 6, 2007 - 1:20am

Hi Frankeverson
I think that Google is unlikely to punish sites for using nofollow unless they are already doing other things wrong. Google is trying to spread widespread adoption of nofollow right now, and because of that business agenda they are unlikely to penalize anyone just for using it, at least it is unlikely anytime soon.

September 5, 2007 - 5:54pm

I just thought of a question...

Does canonicalization affect page rank?

For example I have a website that has 663 sites with 2800 links linking to http://fervorsingles.com and 198 sites with 9680 links to http://fervorsingles.com (no www). Does this affect my page rank negatively by dilluting it when all could be going to www.fervorsingles.com etc..?

Thanks!

September 6, 2007 - 1:22am

I would 301 redirect the less popular version to the more popular version.

September 5, 2007 - 5:55pm

Another nice feature would be to be able to go back and edit your posts! I made a mistake in my previous post - I forgot to add the www to the first URL.

September 6, 2007 - 1:23am

Good idea. I might add the ability to edit posts for some amount of time after being published, but it wouldn't allow editing other than right away.

September 5, 2007 - 6:04pm

Hey Aaron, do you think that in the future it will be viable to be a one man SEO?

In the offline world, you don't see many one man marketing teams. Now it seems that things like the number of links required to get into competitive industries, the need for social media accounts, and the amount of noise on the Internet are making it harder for one person to stand out.

As the SERPs get more competitive, will it take teams to do successful SEO, or will the Internet and computer-aid continue to act as a multiplier to people's effort allowing individuals to continue to make a living online?

September 6, 2007 - 1:28am

Hi James Dunn
I think, based on my own experiences and seeing what my friends are doing, that many of the best SEOs are building assets and teams and partnerships.

You can still compete solo, and it will stay that way for at least another 5 years, but creating a team allows you to do so much more.

When one of my recent sites got nailed that team shifted to building up another site, and that (fairly new and quickly growing) operation paid for itself even in the month when the leading site got killed. Every SEO should have at least a COO, a writer, a designer and programmer (I still outsource these for now), and a link builder.

September 5, 2007 - 6:57pm

Hi Aaron,
thanks for sharing all this infos, great work, etc, etc...

A question here: I'm SEO working for as small site in Portuguese, and got some links from pages with good PR, good contextual relevance, but they're in other languages, like English and Italian. Does it help me or not at all??

Thank you!

September 6, 2007 - 1:29am

Hi Apieve
Yes links will still pass on their PageRank (global authority). But you also need to make sure you get some decent local links (local authority) as well or look for other ways to develop other signs of quality that help Google understand that you should be ranked well in your local market.

September 5, 2007 - 8:41pm

Might I suggest a private bulletin board that is run a decent and fair manner - and NOT free.

Years and years ago I ponied up the $$$$s to "join" a private SEO Bulletin Board that was an add on to a general public BB - I'm sure the BB needs no mention here - (now that TW has gone ;) ) we'll leave him alone.

Basically a pleasant place for us folks to meet and learn with out a$$hole moderators taking the piSS out of every post...

A BB would be a welcome addition here - I'd cough up the dosh as I'm sure many would.

David
Charlotte NC via Torquay, UK

September 6, 2007 - 1:34am

Hi David
I don't think I would want to do a paid forum just yet. There are a couple big problems with creating a paid forum on this site

  • I have so little time, am going for my wedding in a week and will be gone for over a month, and am launching a huge brand not related to SEO in a couple months
  • I think Sphinn is actually a better version of a forum in the current marketplace, and that is available free
  • this site was originally built around selling an ebook. that commerical intent hurts the development abilities of a forum like community unless it is open and publicly accessible
  • many of the best people who participated at Threadwatch would not want to participate at a paid forum...that was part of the attraction of Threadwatch
September 5, 2007 - 9:27pm

Hope the new CMS is working out for you. It seems pretty clean, but is a tad slow.

Cygnus

September 6, 2007 - 1:30am

Hi Cygnus
Thanks for signing up buddy. :)

We are trying to work on speed issues. We have lowered server load recently and will look into a few more things that help improve site speed.

September 5, 2007 - 11:23pm

Please include Next/Back links for your posts.

September 6, 2007 - 1:27am

these are coming soon MD. Sorry about that.

September 5, 2007 - 11:28pm

I think a private bb is a good idea. Considering you can find some "not a$$hole" moderators for it.

September 6, 2007 - 1:26am

Hi Mack
that is the problem though Mack. The people who know the most also value their time (often beyond what they could be paid to want to moderate unless the consumer price point is quite high).

Moderator positions are very transient. I used to moderate at about a half dozen different forums. Now that I am married I moderate at none, in spite of being offered to moderate just about anywhere and everywhere.

September 6, 2007 - 2:37am

Hi Aaron,

I recently started (3 weeks old) site for a popular TV show. My website is indexed by Google and it appears in search results for certain terms as first page in SERP but for my main term, it is listed on the second page. I am wondering what strategy should I adapt to move it to the first page.

My site:
Some keyword for which my site ranks well:

1. results voice of india
2. Harshit star voice of india
3. toshi star voice of india

The main keyword for which I want to do better is:
star voice of india

If you see SERP for any searches related to my niche, you will find that starvoi.com does very well even though it has zero backlinks. Also, amulstarvoiceofindia.blogspot.com and aspisdrift . com does well even though they don't always have ideal results for the search query. [For example, 'Harshit voice of india' search shows aspisdrift.com page but it doesn't really have that much detail about the person Harshit.] I have created a site wide link from my PR5 blog and I still can't see Google showing those backlinks using link: operator. You can see those backlinks in Yahoo Site Explorer though.

I get a feeling that Google ranks blogs hosted on blogspot higher than those independently hosted blogs. Is that true?

Any tips/advice is highly appreciated.

J
P.S.: If you could remove the actual URLs from my comment, it will be great.

September 6, 2007 - 5:00am

Hi J
It sounds like you just need to get a few more organic links. If you are already on page 2 for the core term only 3 weeks in that is great.

September 6, 2007 - 2:46am

Aaron,
Thanks for this awesome blog, I love reading it. Very creative and thoughtful content.

This whole paid link debate is driving me crazy. I've got a very legitimate site that sells a real service that real businesses use. No affiliate / adsense / advertising etc on the site. So I'm not too worried about a hand edit. (Maybe this is foolish). What I am worried about is getting some sort of algorithmic penalty from buying links. I have about 1500 organic links to my site (mostly to a blog I write that has tutorials and tools). I have about another 1000 paid links (payperpost + textlinkads + reviewme marketplace). I try to mix up the anchor text as much as possible. At this point I've stopped buying new links because I'm scared of getting a penalty. Do you think it's safe to buy more links right now from sources like those? I have no idea how to get enough links with the right anchor text organically. I'm hoping I can buy more links with targeted anchor text.

Question 2 if you have time: I just bought a site in my niche that has about 900 links / PR4 / 8 years old. Is 301 redirecting it to my home page the right way to use it? Or will that be wasting the authority?

September 6, 2007 - 5:06am

Hi Jlaing
If you already have 1500 organic links I would keep building the type of content that was building those links. In the long run it will likely have a lower risk profile and higher return than renting links. You may also want to read my post on how to buy links without being called a spammer.

You also have to look at how many links competitors have and how much risk you are willing to take when buying links. It is typically better to buy a few ads from trusted related sites than it is to cast a wide net of link buys.

On question #2, that answer is rather subjective. Of course you can try that, but it is not without risks. A tip if you do that redirect is to not discuss those URLs publicly.

September 6, 2007 - 5:22am

Thanks Aaron for taking time to reply. I will work on getting more organic links.

September 6, 2007 - 5:42pm

Thanks Aaron for the answer.I have some more questions for you

First how many books are you selling a month?

And if I want to create and sell an ebook do you know what i would need to make it legal? what rights do I need?

And also do you know any trusted source that shows a top of best selling ebooks that teach you something?
Beacause I could use it to find a profitable thing to write about

Thank you very much

September 6, 2007 - 7:29pm

Hi Xmage
I wouldn't disclose my sales volumes because I don't have much to gain in doing so, plus it changes a lot from month to month.

I offer free tips on creating an information product here. There is nothing needed to make it legal. There are some steps you can look at to increase distribution if needed, but in most cases you do not even need to get an ISBN unless you want one.

I am not sure how substantial and useful the information is inside each of these ebooks, but Clickbank lists top selling items (here are top sellers for the keyword ebook), and Amazon lists top selling regular books.

Another option for finding out what will work well for you is to start a personal blog and keep track of what you write about frequently.

September 7, 2007 - 9:52am

ok Aaron, thanks a lot

you're actually the first rich person i saw to answer to ordinary mens :D

September 7, 2007 - 2:21am

Hi - I'm a bit of a newbie, so sorry if you've written about this elsewhere on your blog.

I'm wondering about strategies for choosing which domain name to develop.

I'm working on a modest informational website about a health care topic. I've bought several relevant domains (both .com and .org). They all receive some traffic, but one is the clear leader for type-in traffic.

My question is would it be best to develop on this domain (a .com) that has the most traffic currently - or perhaps to develop on a .org (one that I think has a better longterm name) and redirect all traffic from the other urls to this one?

Also - are there SEO/pagerank implications for doing this (pointing traffic from one domain to another)?

Thanks - this blog is invaluable for someone starting out - I think this particular discussion thread (both its tenor and content) is a great new feature ...

September 7, 2007 - 4:02am

Hi Locomo
I tend to favor going on the strong .org over a weaker .com. If you build a brand you increase the value of the .com matching your brand, but unless you have a boatload of cash something has to give off the start.

Traffic and PageRank are not one and the same. Unless a site you are redirecting has inbound link equity you do not have to worry about any PageRank related issues. Either way the best way to redirect is usually a 301 redirect.

September 8, 2007 - 2:37am

thanks Aaron!

September 8, 2007 - 7:06am

hey aaron. this may seem like a nooby question but everytime I publish a new post on my blog it seems to rank very well in google. I even get some good traffic from the new post. Then within 2 days the post is nowhere to be seen in google's SERP. Do you have any idea what is going on? This seems to happen with all of my posts.

Thanks a lot!
Shaun

September 8, 2007 - 8:08am

Hi Shaun
There is a variety factors that could lead to this:

  • now content may receive a bonus, but that should not affect you in only 2 days
  • another factor is that as sites age the freshness bonus falls off and the page gets less PageRank than it does when it is on your homepage, but that should not affect you in only 2 days
  • if you use Feedburner or another site for feed management and publish full feeds they might get credit for your posts, especially if your site has little inbound link equity.
  • if your search traffic drops to near 0 then someone might be scraping your content and getting credit for it. you can detect this by searching for "unique chunk of text from one of your posts that no longer ranks wrapped in quotes"
September 8, 2007 - 9:16am

Hi Aaaron,

It's Enrico from Italy. I've read your Seobook and applyed your link build tips...my site is increasing -Now I'm top 20

Have a look:
Sicily tours

Sicily holidays

Sicily hotels

But i have some question:

1) What do you think of the website and the blog ?

2) To gain more rank for the query above I'd like to use directories and "tool building + PR" is it worth, I've noted it's diffucult and time consuming to contact directly the webmaster of the websites that link to my competitor

3) If you look some websies on the serp above, why there are ranked in the top positions poor websites?

4) I've read the last guide of seomoz about web 2.0 etc...I've found that for specific destinations, market them by travel 2.0 and web 2.0 is diffcult...what do you think about?

Thank you
Enrico

September 8, 2007 - 2:41pm

1) What do you think of the website and the blog ?

I did not read the content. But two obvious glaring issues are that the designs between the two are inconsistent, and that you have AdSense above your content on your home page. I can't think of many authoritative sites that get away with that type of ad placement unless they are really old authorities.

for 2 and 4, the fact that something is difficult should not deter you if you want to be successful.

3) If you look some websies on the serp above, why there are ranked in the top positions poor websites?

You are the one who needs to research that. Then duplicate their best bits and do some stuff that they haven't thought of yet.

September 8, 2007 - 6:15pm

Ok Aaron thank you ;-)

Enrico

September 9, 2007 - 3:27pm

I'd like to see seobook adopt this seomoz functionality: when you are logged in you can decide whether to see full posts on the blog homepage or the excerpt - when available.

September 12, 2007 - 12:51pm

HI Arron,
I find the site really useful and I've learned a lot so far.
As a recent beginner in SEO, I'm finding that sites like this and forums such as Digital Point are proving invaluable when it comes to learning these topics.

However, I recently applied for and came close to getting a permanent SEO position. the reason stated for me not being successful was that my server side skills (particularly scripting) weren't up to scratch.

After searching about, server side SEO scripting, it's not a topic that seems to be that well documented.
Can you point me in the right direction?
Thanks,
Craig

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