<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Blog Business World

Blogs in business, marketing, public relations, and SEO search engine optimization for successful entrepreneurs

Monday, May 31, 2004

 

Google backlink and PageRank update

Google watchers are thrilled to notice that search engine leader Google is in the middle of one of its backlink and PageRank updates.

On a fairly regular basis, Google displays a blog or website's incoming links to the public. Those shown links generally have a Google Page of 4 (on an exponential 1 - 10 scale with 10 being metaphysical PageRank).

PageRank is Google's numerical representation of a site's importance on the internet. You can see your own Google PageRank as a green meter on the downloadable Google Toolbar

None of my three blogs shows any major changes. Their PageRanks remain the same as before, with few backlink changes.

Gordon Smith, at Venturpreneur has shown an interest in Google and its updates. He was concerned that his backlink total had not changed from 473 displayed incoming links. He now has 544 incoming links on public display.

Gordon's blog's PageRank remains at a very respectable PR5. Give him a few more links folks. His great blog is almost a PR6.

Way to go Gordon!

All of you should be aware of the fact that Google has already taken these backlinks (and other nondisplayed links) into account.

The links and the PageRank have all been calculated into the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your most important keyword searches. That happens almost from the moment that Google finds them linked to your blog.

The SERPs are updated constantly for your keyword searches. There are no more of the famous "Google dances". In search engine optimization (SEO) circles, this is called "everflux". The term always reminds me of a strong laxitive. Perhaps that was Google's intention!

What the update presents is, in fact, a fait accompli.

Not that it matters to anyone.

We like the eye candy, of the Google PageRank, and the displayed backlinks.

Social bookmark this

Sunday, May 30, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists sets up again

The tremendous business, economics, politics, and legal travelling roadshow, better known as Carnival of the Capitalists has just set up the big top at my friend Anita Campbell's tremendous Small Business Trends business blog.

Anita's great edition of Carnival of the Capitalists includes entries from many of the internet's most knowledgeable bloggers.

Entries cover topics ranging from business to international economics to global politics. Mixed in are some discussions of gas prices, marketing, and blogging. There is certainly a post for everyone's tastes and preferences.

I have an entry this week.

My column entitled "Website marketing plans: You need one", is included in the prestigious collection of posts.

Next week, Carnival of the Capitalists will take the big tent over to Director Mitch's great politcal, business and tech blog The Window Manager.

If you want to send an entry to next week's Carnival of the Capitalists, it's really easy to be included.

Simply e-mail your entries to capitalists -at- elhide.com for inclusion.

Remember, in three weeks time, on June 21, I have the honour of hosting Carnival of the Capitalists here at Blog Business World.

Now, without further discussion and commentary, click on over to Carnival of the Capitalists at Small Business Trends.

Social bookmark this

Saturday, May 29, 2004

 

DMOZ Directory: Include your blog today

Everyone talks about getting their blog or website listed in the Open Directory Project, better known as DMOZ, but not everyone knows what to do about it.

Here's some help.

DMOZ has become very blog friendly as well. Entirely new categories, devoted entirely to blogs, have been added to the DMOZ Directory.

The Open Directory Project is probably the single most important internet directory. Its listings are used by Google, the Google Directory, and by many other search engines and directories, all over the internet.

Many other sites and directories use the DMOZ for their directories. A listing in DMOZ is, therefore, multiplied many times over.

Here is the DMOZ URL:

http://www.dmoz.org

DMOZ is an entirely volunteer edited directory, where every site is examined by an editor for suitability. To get a listing in DMOZ, is to have several legs up, in the race to the top of the search results.

The first step to a listing, is to check the various directory categories, and find the appropriate one for your blog. Be very thorough here, as submitting your blog or website to the wrong category can result in very long waits, and possibly even rejection.

When you have narrowed your target to the most appropriate category, go to it, and click on "add URL". Be absolutely certain to read the instructions very carefully. They are not merely a suggestion. They are an absolute requirement.

Be sure to submit just your blog home page to only one category. Multiple page or category submissions will likely be treated as spam, and your blog might be rejected.

You will be asked to write a brief description of your blog or website. This is not the place to be flowery and biased. Be as objective as possible. If the editors think your description is too promotional, they will certainly change it on you. Your submission may even be rejected entirely.

Your blog has finally been submitted. Now what?

Since the website submissions are accepted on a first come, first served basis, you wait. The waiting period can last anywhere from one week to six long agonizing months.

Whatever you do, don't decide to resubmit your site. I can't stress that strongly enough. Don't even think about resubmitting. At best, your submission will be moved to the back of the line again. At worst, your blog may be rejected.

In the meantime, you won't hear from DMOZ one way or the other. Keep checking their site each week for results. Keep updating and adding content to your website. The editors will like your site a lot better, and your chances of approval go way up.

Be sure you have no pages "under construction", as the editors will reject any sites that aren't ready for prime time.

If you can't stand the wait, you can contact the category editor about your site's status, directly through their Feedback link. A better route, however, is to ask a polite question on the DMOZ public forum.

The DMOZ public forum URL is:

http://www.resource-zone.com

You don't have to be registered to read the forum, but you must register (free) to post a question. As always, be sure to read and follow the posting guidelines.

Happy submitting.

It's well worth the effort!

Social bookmark this

Friday, May 28, 2004

 

A new wiki powered business blog directory

A new business blog directory may not be really important news for many.

It is for me.

I happen to like blog directories.

A lot.

What makes this new business blog directory different, from most of its predecessors, is the fact it includes a wiki.

A wiki enables anyone with access, to add a blog post, to a wiki powered blog. In this case, the wiki lets you add your blog to the directory.

The new wiki powered do it yourself business blog directory is the brainchild of of the very creative Todd at A Penny For....

Todd calls the directory the bizblogdirectory.

If you have a business or public relations blog, your blog should be included within its listings.

Being listed in blog directories boosts your visitor traffic.

Listing your blog gets you listed higher in the search engine rankings for your most important keywords. It also increases your Google PageRank (Google's numerical representation of a site's relative importance on the internet.

While you are listing your blog in the bizblogdirectory, make certain you are included in the following blog directories as well.

They include:

Blog Search Engine
Blogwise
Eatonweb Portal
Blog Universe
Popdex
Blogarama
Blogdex
Globe of Blogs
Blizg
Online Marketing Links
Weblogs Compendium
Octopus Files
Kmax
Open Weblog Directory
Blogs Canada

That is only a few.

Get listed in the many blog directories today.

They are well worth the effort!

Social bookmark this
 

Online petition to credit bloggers for articles

Bloggers deserve credit for their posts.

When we bloggers quote another blogger, we should always link to their blog with proper credit.

I attempt to give double links. I like to link to the blog itself, as a means of courtesy blog identification. I then link to the appropriate post. That post can be linked via permalink or trackback.

The important thing is to establish the credit to the blogger.

The mainstream media is now checking and quoting blogs. They should give credit to their blogger sources as well.

Steve Rubel of the tremendous public relations blog Micro Persuasion has decided to do something about the problem of giving link credit.

Steve has started an online petition for signatories to agree to give proper link credit to other bloggers.

The online petition reads as follows:

To: The Blogosphere Community
In order for the blogosphere to be taken seriously as a news medium, bloggers themselves should commit to crediting/sourcing the other members of our community who break legitimate news. In signing this petition, you indicate that you promise to abide by these practices from today on forward.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned


There are currently 72 signatures on the online petition.

One of them is mine.

I signed.

I agreed to provide proper credit and linkage to the source blog.

I have always tried to do exactly that.

Join with us in supporting giving credit for posts to bloggers.

Sign the online petition.

Make the committment to properly credit all other bloggers.

Right now!








Social bookmark this

Thursday, May 27, 2004

 

Observations from a "new blogger"

Business and public relations blog Buzzcrash has been online for about two months.

As a "new blogger", they have some observations on blogging to share with other new and longer term blog owners.

Lessons From Buzzcrash:

1. "it's easy"

My comment:

Blogging is easy. Little if any knowledge of computer programming is required for most of the mainstream blog hosts. Because you don't need to know the theory and practice of the html and CSS in your blog, you can start right in posting.

Presto! A new blog is born.

2. "shorter blogs are better"

My comment:

I am guessing that this lesson refers to the length of posts. Some people prefer shorter posts with a link and a brief description of the link contents. Others prefer using the linked post as a starting point for a more indepth discussion.

I don't believe this lesson is quite so cut and dried. Of course, my readers know I write longer posts, so I'm a trifle biased.

3. "update content regularly"

My comment:

Regular updates are a must, especially for a new blog still finding its niche audience of readers. Without new posts, a blog will be ignored. The reader will simply move along to the next blog on the list.

With literally millions of blogs on the internet, there is no shortage of options. By providing regular updates, your readers have a reason to return over and over. It helps if the blog posts are of interest and value to the visitors.

4. "join the directories"

My comment:

Adding your blog link to the many free blog directories is so important that it can't be stressed strongly enough. Directories build traffic as visitors click on directory links and find your blog. Many bloggers use the listings in the directories to find very related link exchange partners.

Directories help in the search engines by providing add Google PageRank (Google's numerical measure of the relative importance of a site on the internet). Directories provide added incoming one way links that assist your blog in ranking higher in the search engines for your blog's most important keywords.

5. "growth is slow but steady (now over 400 hits/week)"

Patience is a virtue as you build your blog readership audience. Over time, more people will discover a blog, and link permanently to it on their link section or blogroll. Those additional links will send more readers your way. As previously commented, directory listings add visitor traffic.

If a blog's content is valuable, a blogger's posts will be linked to by other bloggers. Readers will continue to visit blogs with strong content.

Posting informative and helpful comments on other blogs will often result in visitor traffic. Being a regular poster on the various blog related forums and message boards will also add some visitors.

Traffic to your blog will grow. All that is needed is a little work and a lot of patience.

5. "gotta be a great, traffic building compliment to a corporate web site"

My comment:

A blog will help a corprate website in many ways. Blogs and search engines were made for one another. The regular posts will build site traffic, and encourage the search engines to crawl and index the blog often.

A blog adds Google PageRank and incoming links, to boost the site in the search engine rankings, for your business's most important search terms.

A business blog provides a personal voice to your business, removing the brick and mortar barrier. You are able to develop a long term relationship with potential and existing clients and customers.

Public relations can be expedited with regular and frequent postings of the company's message. The news media regulary visit blogs searching for potential news items.

In every way, a blog is a powerful addition to any business and its website.

One of the most important things, that we all need to remember, is we are all still learning.

Blogging is still in its relative infancy. If we all work together, we can help to benefit one another in achieving all of our personal and business goals.

Keep learning.

Keep blogging.


"> Social bookmark this

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

 

Nigritude Ultramarine

Nigritude ultramarine.

The name sounds like some alternative garage band, or the latest fashion colour from Paris or Milan.

In fact, Nigritude ultramarine is the name of a search engine optimization (SEO) contest.

The object of the contest, is for the many SEO experts on the internet to try to rank Number One on Page One of Google, for the search term "nigitrude ultramarine".

I am part of the nigritude ultramarine competition, as a member of the SEO Chat Dream Team.

As you probably already know, I write search engine optimization (SEO) advice articles at SEO Chat.

The fictional Nigritude Ultramarine Ind. Inc. as our entry site.

The Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Chat Dream Team includes some of the best search engine optimization experts in the business.

I am honoured to be included in their midst.

The goal of of the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Chat Dream Team is to place Number One in the search engine results pages for nigitrude ultramarine by using only proper ethical SEO methods. In SEO parlance, we are "white hats"; the good guys.

As my readers know, I only recommend and condone honest SEO techniques like adding more content to your blog or website, adding more incoming links and linking to other good blogs and sites.

I also suggest changes to your title tags and link anchor text, that help the search engines better discover what your blog topic and theme are, for helping searchers.

Of course, the contest has also brought forth the unethical "black hat" SEO wannabe's as well. They are using every trick in the book to rank well, for nigitrude ultramarine in the short term.

In the longer term, those unethical methods will get a site banned from Google, and from every other search engine. Unethical methods are strictly forbidden by Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

We on the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Chat Dream Team want to rank well for nigitrude ultramarine without employingg those dirty tricks.

So far, the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Chat Dream Team is ranking fairly well, and we are climbing the Google ladder.

June 7 is the first Nigritude Ultramarine contest date for placements.

July 7 is the final Nigritude Ultramarine standings date.

Stay tuned for updates on the Nigritude Ultramarine SEO Chat Dream Team and our progress.



Social bookmark this
 

Bestofme Symphony at WOLves

The Bestofme Symphony, which features great posts from bloggings past, but never got the coverage or links they deserved, is playing sweet music at my good friend Trudy Schuett's WOLves blog.

The WOLves edition of the Bestofme Symphony
features posts from many diverse bloggers, from all over the blogosphere.

The entered posts range from politics, humour, education, to insightful social commentary.

I found many new and interesting blogs as a result of the Symphony tour.

I have an entry in the WOLves edition of the Bestofme Symphony as well.

I included a humourous article about purchasing and setting up my first farm computer.

I sold (yes for real dough ray me money! I kid you not!) the farm computer article entitled "Farm Computers I Have Known" a few years ago, to an agricultural newspaper in Canada.

For a complete list of the many carnivals of blog articles around the internet, click over to Memeblog, the home of all things blog meme.

Thanks to Jay Solo of Accidental Verbosity for the Memeblog link.

In the meantime, be certain to visit Trudy Schuett's WOLves edition of the Bestofme Symphony.




Social bookmark this

Monday, May 24, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists is up and running

That weekly travelling roashow of business, law, and economics, better known as Carnival of the Capitalists has just set up the big top, at my friend Richard Stokes' highly informative Startup Skills.com blog.

Richard is hosting a great lineup at this week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists.

Featuring posts, from some of the internet's finest bloggers, there are selections from the worlds of marketing, economics, global economics, and law.

Be sure to keep checking back at Startup Skills.com because Richard has more post entries arriving at the last moment.

I have an entry this week. My "Links vs. Content: They both count" is included for your perusal.

Next week, Carnival of the Capitalists sets up the tent at my friend Anita Campbell's informative Small Business Trends.

If you wish to send an entry to an upcoming edition of Carnival of the Capitalists, simply e-mail a favourite post to capitalists -at- elhide.com

They also have a mailing list to keep you up to date on where and when the Carnival of the Capitalists is coming to town.

Social bookmark this

Sunday, May 23, 2004

 

Keywords: Is your blog in the search engines?

Do you ever want to know, how your blog or website is ranking for your most important keywords, in the major search engines?

You can find that information with a one stop Keyword Verification checker at Marketleap.

Many of you may already be using Marketleap for their well known Link Popularity tool.

You can also use Marketleap to check your keywords in ten major search engines including Google, MSN Search, AOL Search, HotBot, and ALtaVista.

Simply enter your blog URL address into the space provided. You then put your choices of keyword phrases you want to check into the search box. The Keyword Verification will tell you if your blog ranks in the first three pages in each search engine.

You may rank on page one in MSN Search, but not in the first three pages in Google for example.

What the keyword results tell you is where you are doing well. You also learn where you need to add more keyword rich content to get better placement on some other search engines.

The solution is usually to add more posts, that contain your most important keywords, to your blog. In other words, write a few more posts on your favourite topics.

My chosen keywords usually are well ranked on Google, as that is the search engine I optimize for, as a general rule.

Good search engine placements on the other search engines usually follow a bit later as their search engine robot spiders are not always as active as Google.

Keep posting good strong keyword rich content, and you will rise in the search engine rankings.

Good content, coupled with a strong linking strategy, will propel your blog to the top of the search engines.

You can keep checking Marketleap occasionally, and watch your blog soar.






Social bookmark this

Friday, May 21, 2004

 

Website marketing plans: You need one

Every website needs a promotional plan to ensure that the goals and objectives of a business’s website are achieved.

In the make believe world of they movies, they may be able say, “if you build it, they will come”. In the real life of business, however, a much more active approach to marketing and promotions is required.

Your site needs a promotional plan to reach its goals. In order to formulate a strong promotional plan, you need to know what those goals are for you, and your website.

Your website needs a goal and a purpose. What you have to do is to decide what your site is supposed to be doing for you and your business. For many people the website is a tool to gain added business for an offline company.

For others, the website may be the entire venture in itself. Still other websites may be designed as informational sites and targeted and qualified traffic is not a concern. A good promotional plan needs to consider these factors.

You must know who constitutes the target market for your business. If you are going to use your website as a vehicle, to convert those potential prospects into paying customers and clients, you need to identify who they are first. Some preliminary market research will be required to answer that question.

Another need is to decide, where and how you are going to communicate your promotional and marketing message, to your identified target audience.

There are virtually unlimited methods to reach your potential customers. You must select the avenues that are right for you, your business, and your promotional budget.

Once you have answered these basic questions, you are ready to begin developing a promotional plan, for your own website.

A major part of any website promotional plan involves setting the goals your website is trying to achieve.

Without previously decided upon goals in place, your promotional and marketing program can drift aimlessly from one idea to the next. A lack of focus will mean greatly diminished results.

The major categories of website goals include sending traffic to an offline bricks and mortar business, direct product sales from the website itself, and as a purely informational site.

All websites usually employ some combination of any two or three of these purposes. For promotional purposes, a more focussed campaign is best. Failing to target the efforts could result in a dilution of the desired results.

Before you decide on the means, you have to select the goal of your website. If your goal is building offline traffic, you will want to develop a strategy that emphasises the product line and qualifying potential customers and clients.

Since the product and service offered requires qualified prospective buyers, the promotional technique will have to be chosen for the website traffic to self select. Your site will benefit from a strategy that funnels qualified buyers in your direction.

Following that preselection process, your site will then help convince the visitor to choose your company’s products and services. The promotional methods employed should flow naturally into that marketing process, as a logical next step.

Your site should attract the buyer to select your product, if comparison shopping. If your product offering is what is desired by the purchaser, then your offline business should be the point of sale.

If the purpose of your website is the actual end sales point, your promotional goal should be to bring as many prospects as possible to your site.

Selecting promotional strategies, that maximize traffic, will work well for this type of site. Simply target the marketing efforts where potential customers can be found, to improve the level of conversions.

An informational website will benefit most from a less targeted wide ranging marketing and promotional campaign. You want as much visitor traffic as possible to gain maximum exposure for your website.

When you select your various promotional and marketing campaigns, be certain to keep your website’s overall goals in mind. If you are seeking preselected prospects, your methods should be highly targeted to the most effective areas.

For websites seeking a more general readership, with the goal of onsite sales, your marketing strategy should be to gain a wide range of qualified visitor traffic, keeping a high level of conversions in mind.

For informational websites, the best marketing and promotional plan should be to gain the maximum number of visitors possible.














Social bookmark this

Thursday, May 20, 2004

 

Publicity: Press release sites

Free publicity.

Every business, and by extension most business blogs, can use a little free publicity.

By being the subject of a news story, your site and business receive an implicit endorsement that no amount of money spent on advertising can match.

People tend to put more confidence in a business that is covered in a news article than they do in any paid advertisement. It should be part of your business promotional strategy to get your message into the various news media.

The established road into the news media is by way of a press release.

Why send a press release?

Your online business has a newsworthy story. It may not be immediately recognizable, but there is news within your business. Because your business activities have news value to some members of the media, you need to get your story out there to be written.

The standard means is by way of a written press release.

There are many story ideas lurking in your business right now. You may have a new product that serves a specific need. Your website may have been redesigned in a new and unique way.

Your staff may have had additions. Your site may have some special holiday or seasonal value. You may be involved in some unusual promotional or charitable events. There is also the good old human interest story.

The opportunities to find news within your organization are unlimited. It's up to you to let the world know about them. The media exposure will bring in many new and qualified customers and clients.

Some free press release sites are available for you to send your release.

Many of them keep the release on file for months, and often the media finds them later.

If you are needing assistance, with writing your release, most press release sites will provide assistance. Some are free. Some charge a nominal fee for the service.

Some press release sites include:

PR Web
Free Press Release
E-XL
PR Leap
In The Press
Press Box
Press World

All of the above sites are well known to the media and the journalists who cover the stories.

For more information on press releases, check out my SEO Chat article entitled "Promote With Press Releases".

Get your press release out the media today.

Enjoy some free publicity.


Social bookmark this
 

Are bloggers in competition?

The question has arisen lately about whether bloggers, and specifically business bloggers, are in competition with one another.

Rick Bruner of the fast rising and high quality Business Blog Consulting recently posed that question.

He wanted to know if my business blog is a "competitor" for his blog.

The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding NO.

I am not in competition with other business bloggers at all.

There is an entire world of potential customers and clients available. There is more than enough to go around, many times over.

I derive income from freelance writing of articles, copywriting, press releases, editing, and that sort of thing.

I also provide search engine optimization (SEO) services to website owners, who want to rise higher in Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL Search, Teoma, and other search engines.

I am certainly not in competition for business with anyone in the blogging community.

In fact, I happily provide free and easily accessible information on
blog marketing, promotions, directories, and SEO to every blogger on the internet.

All you have to do is read my posts.

I don't believe that bloggers should ever consider themselves competitors, in the zero sum game of what one person gains, the other person loses.

We members of the blogosphere, have so much more to gain, by working together and helping one another.

We should help one another do better, financially and socially, in either our businesses or our careers. We can help one another add more blog visitor traffic.

We often become friends with other bloggers.

I have done that.

I, for one, am not in competition with any other business bloggers.

In fact, I want to assist other bloggers, of all types and subject matter, in attracting more readers to their blogs.

My goal is to help them them grow their businesses and readership, not take business away.

I believe in cooperation and working together.

In the long run, we'll all achieve our goals more easily that way.

And become friends too.


Social bookmark this

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

 

Links vs. Content: They both count

Search engine optimization experts are often seen as roughly divided into two camps, regarding the relative importance of links and content.

Some experts recommend employing a powerful linking strategy to boost a blog in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The other theorists suggest that keyword rich content is king in the quest for high search engine rankings.

A third concept suggests, that both content and linking strategies are equally essential, to achieving top positions in the SERPs.

That idea is more likely the best one for most bloggers to employ.

If Content is King...

You need lots of keyword rich content, as a beginning.

If you aren't sure what a keyword is, it's simply a word or phrase someone would enter into Google's (or any other search engine) search box. For example, if you are writing a travel blog, your main keywords would revolve around travel, destinations, airlines, cruises, etc.

To go back a step, high rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) are the end product of what is known as an algorithm. It's simply a mathematical formula, that varies from search engine to search engine.

The algorithm focuses heavily on your incoming links, your website title and description, your scripting and coding, and your on page written content. While there are a lot more factors than that (Google says over 100), an important consideration are the keywords in your written content.

Search engines love content. Period. The more content on your blog, the better the search engine spiders will like it, when they come to crawl your blog. To make your content even tastier for the spiders, you need to use your targeted keywords fairly liberally on the page.

In other words, sprinkle your content, with the terms people might be searching for, and they will find you!

You can go keyword overboard and keyword all over by keyword covering your keyword page, but that keyword idea is a bit of keyword overkill.

You get the idea.

It also might backfire, as keyword "stuffing" is considered likely to be frowned upon by the search engines, and you might be penalized. A penalty is never a good thing. Being sent to the back of the search results, is not something you want to happen.

Use some logic and common sense in your approach to using keywords.

It's thought by some experts that about 3-4% of your words, should be your various keywords, for good search engine optimization. That is simply a guideline, and you don't have to strictly follow that rule. Blogs have far more latitude in that area, it seems.

In fact, the amount of keyword saturation is a debate in and of itself. What you do need, however, is to optimize your search terms, by using them freely throughout your page content.

If possible, fit your chosen search terms into your blog’s title, description, title tags, and URL. After that, place them in the headlines of your articles, and highly positioned on the page, whenever you are able.

When you write your content, be sure to use your targeted keyword(s) on your pages. In longer articles, you can slip them in as phrases two or three times. The search engine will calculate them to be important search terms for your search. As a result, your blog should rank much higher for those words.

Your site will rise higher in the various search engines.

Then Links are the Queen...

Keyword rich content will get you part way to your destination atop the search engine results. If you are seeking to gain high search engine results for highly competitive keywords, content is perhaps not enough on its own. The King needs help.

Every King needs a Queen.

In this case, the Queen is in the form of links.

You want your blog to rank highly, and content alone is not enough. Your blog needs a good linking strategy to add incoming links to your content. You also should consider linking out, to good quality blogs and other sites, that are of help and of interest to your visitors.

With newer algorithms thought to be taking link context and site themeing into consideration, you will want to be sure your linking policies take them into account. Consider the needs and requirements of your visitors first, and you are unlikely to go wrong.

Search engine algorithms not only consider the number of incoming links, but also their quality.

It is thought that links from blogs, with a similar topic or theme to yours, will carry much more weight than links from highly dissimilar sites. Some thought has also been given to the value of linking out to sites with closely related themes.

Make certain as well, that your blog maintains a strong ratio of incoming links to outgoing links. For every link going out to other sites, be sure to have several websites linking into your site.

Incoming links increase your blog’s Google Pagerank, which is the measure of the relative importance of a web page on the internet. A higher PageRank gives your blog a boost in the Google algorithm.

While PageRank is only one factor in the calculation, it is part of the algorithm, and therefore requires some consideration.

For off page linking benefit, it’s considered good practice to use theme related anchor text to lead to your blog. The anchor text should be some targeted keywords, specifically directed to the page being optimized.

While SEOs disagree as to the extent of the algorithm working against too many keywords used too often as off page anchor text, it’s easier to be safe than sorry. Varying the keywords in the off page anchors should help to eliminate that problem.

The Royal Couple work together for your blog

Since you can control the on page content of your blog, it is tempting to let King Content rule the Kingdom alone.

Content alone may be enough, to gain high search engine rankings in lightly contested, and perhaps in moderately competitive keyword situations.

On the other hand, avoid a strategy that considers only the Queen, and emphasises links at the expense of content. You will not get the full benefit from the search engines either, as the algorithms consider both links and content to be important.

Working with the strong content idea, links will be naturally attracted to your blog.

King Content and Queen Links working together as a Royal Family, will get your website to the Palace, in the form of high search engine rankings.

Let the King and Queen work in harmony for you.
















Social bookmark this
 

Title tags and anchor text: A real world example

Title tags and anchor text are important to gaining good results in Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL Search, Teoma, and other search engines.

I have conducted the tests to prove it.

As most of my regular readers already know, I write a daily roller derby blog. I post fresh roller derby news and commentary about the sport, on that blog every day.

For weeks now, the roller derby blog has been Number One on Page One of Yahoo Search for the blog's most searched keywords: roller derby.

The top spot on Yahoo can be achieved with strong content and strong incoming link popularity. The 553 Google listed PageRank 4 and higher incoming links is by far the largest total of any roller derby related website. Mine is the only roller derby blog.

On the other hand, the blog was mired between Number Four and Number Six on Page One of Google. That ranking never seemed to budge, despite the constant daily addition of fresh roller derby related content, and the strong link popularity.

There was simply more to the Google ranking equation than simply content and incoming links.

I decided to try some changes.

Normally, in an experiment, a person should control for only one variable at a time. That way, the correct conclusions can be drawn from the results.

I cheated a little on my use of the Scientific Method.

I changed my roller derby blog title tags from simply the blog title: Wayne's Derby World to Roller derby news and commentary - Wayne's Derby World.

At the same time, I changed the link anchor text on some of my forum post signature lines. I had previously used the blog title, but changed them to begin with "roller derby" and added varying extras like "news and commentary" or simply "blog" or "news blog" to the always present "roller derby".

Some link text remains with the blog title of Wayne's Derby World.

I consider it a wise choice to vary the forms of link anchor text used for any blog or website. Variation prevents the search engines from considering the links to be "keyword spamming" or "keyword stuffing". Instead, the link text informs potential visitors, that my blog is all about the sport of roller derby.

In terms of search engines, anything that is designed to "trick" the search engines is considered to be "spam" and is against their posted Guidelines For Webmasters.

As a result of the changes to the anchor link text and the title tags, my roller derby blog has risen from Number Four, and then to Number Three, a couple of days ago. Today, the blog reached its all time high ranking of Number Two on Page One.

I may even reach Number One on Page One on Google some day, for my most important searched keywords.

Keep that discovery in mind and check over your title tags and incoming link anchor text.

Make certain that your most important keywords are included.

Your blog will rise in the search engine rankings as a result.

Do like I did.

Skip the Scientific Method, and change both at the same time.

Social bookmark this

Sunday, May 16, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists tent is raised

The weekly fair circuit of business, law, and economics popularly known as Carnival of the Capitalists has landed at political and culture blog www.d-42.com.

Jeff Cohen has found some great posts from some of the leading economics, business, marketing, and legal bloggers on the internet.

There are informative and interesting articles covering the fields of American Economics, Business and Businesses, Ethics, Inefficiency,Investments, Job, Marketing, World Economics, and Wal-Mart.

I have a post included in this week's Carnival of the Capitlists as well.

My post about using viral marketing for you blog and your business, entitled Viral Marketing: Catch it today, is included.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at the great business blog Startup Skills.

If you wish to participate in the next Startup Skills hosted edition, send your entries to to capitalists -at- elhide -dot- com for inclusion.

If you wish to host a future edition of the COTC, surf on over to the official Carnival of the Capitalists home page.

Instructions for hosting and contributing to a future Carnival of the Capitalists are all right there for you.

It's that easy.

Social bookmark this

Saturday, May 15, 2004

 

Crosslinking your blogs

Many people have more than one blog.

I have three, for example.

One thing you can do, to help boost their traffic levels and search engine rankings, is crosslink them.

What I mean by crosslinking, is linking one blog to another as you would link any other blog or static website.

If you also have a traditional static website, be certain to crosslink it with your blogs too.

There is some thought that Google might not like crosslinking. That is not really a problem for blogs. I have crosslinked my three blogs, with very beneficial results.

There are some tremendous advantages from crosslinking.

First of all, you will gain extra traffic. Readers of your Blog A might also be interested in what you are writing on Blog B.

Google (and the other major search engines) value the number of incoming links. The added links add to your backlink total.

The search engines also value quality of backlinks. Because you write the anchor text leading from one of your blogs to another, you can control the quality of link text.

Link text, also called anchor text, is the keyword phrase you place on the clickable link. In most cases, it's the blog title. You can change it to "cat photos" or "Chicago Bulls news blog" or anything you want. The search engines value anchor link text very highly.

You can also boost the link power of your crosslinks by "theming" your blog posts to make your blogs "similar" in theme content. By writing a post in one blog about the other blog's topic, they become essentially themed the same way in the eyes of the search engines.

As you can see, there are many reasons to link your blogs and websites to one another.

Simply make them cover the same "topic".

You'll get double the bang for the buck.

Social bookmark this
 

Keywords you are targeting

Every blog has some main keywords.

For example a baseball blog would want to rank highly in the search engines for the search term "baseball", or perhaps for a certain Major League Baseball team.

In your own blog, you have important keywords that find your blog, when someone enters a phrase of words into the search box.

Because of the importance of those words to your blog, you want to be certain to use them on a frequent basis. Keyword density on the blog page counts.

Keyword density is the number of times your most important search term appears on your blog page.

Keyword density is one of the major considerations taken into account by the various search engines. Their computer program, called an algorithm, calculates where a web page should be placed in the search results.

One of of those factors, and with search leader Google they number around 100 in all, is keyword density.

Because of that inclusion, you will want to take steps to ensure those important words and phrases appear on your blog.

A phrase can be in any order.

For example, "cat photo blog" might be your most important phrase.

It also works as "photo blog cat", "cat blog photo", and even shorter as "cat blog".

The difficulty lies in the fact that the variants are weaker than the most important phrase. They are, however, still valuable.

To gain their benefit too, in case searchers enter the terms in that manner, be sure to include the many phrase variations in your posts. By writing the variable forms of your main keyword phrases, you accomplish three important goals.

The first goal is to get the maximum density of the words themselves on the blog page.

The second goal is to have them in various word orders, to score high search engine rankings on all of them.

The third goal is to make your writing interesting to your visitors by varying the way you structure your sentences

Be sure to remember, however, to write for your readers and their interests first. Write your posts normally and naturally.

By writing your main keyword phrases, in more than one way, you gain three benefits at the same time.

While your readers will notice your writing to be more interesting, they will be more inclined to link to your blog. They will also be more anxious to return to read more of your interesting posts.

The unseen benefits, at least to your readers, will be the higher search engine results for your main keywords regardless of order.

Good writing will pay off in more ways than one.

Use those important keywords in your blog posts.







Social bookmark this

Thursday, May 13, 2004

 

Viral Marketing: Catch it today

Your blog could use a little viral marketing.

What? You don’t want your blog to catch a cold?

While you might be able to catch a bad flu bug, viral marketing for your blog is a good thing.

What viral marketing means is getting other people to help market your blog for you. If you provide the right idea, it will spread all over the internet, faster than the common cold.

Because interesting and fun ideas are highly probable to be sent from one person to another, you should catch the viral marketing fever. The great thing about it is the low cost, which may in fact be zero cost, and the fact that other people are sharing your marketing workload.

You are, in fact, utilizing other peoples’ internet resources, including their websites, blogs, and e-mails, to do your marketing for you.

What is viral marketing anyway?

Viral marketing seeks to spread the message of your website or product, from person to person, in the same way as cold or flu virus. One person catches the viral marketing concept, and then passes it along to one or many other people. In fact, viral marketing messages have been known to spread around the entire world, in less than a day.

Many companies, both large and small, have used viral marketing, which is simply good old fashioned word of mouth, in many new and creative ways.

Perhaps the single most famous case of viral marketing is that of Microsoft’s Hotmail e-mail system. By simply placing a link, at the bottom of the Hotmail based e-mail, many people signed up for the free service.

Since e-mail is such a ubiquitous use of the internet, the idea literally flew around the world. As a viral marketing campaign, Hotmail was a tremendous success.

Bloggers, as usual, are also on the cutting edge of viral marketing campaigns. By means of highly mimicked ideas, referred to as “memes”, bloggers are able to use viral marketing techniques to enlarge their readership.

People will happily relay your marketing message for you, if you satisfy their basic human needs. Those personal motivations may include being popular, being part of the in group, or simply wanting to get things that are offered free of charge. A strong viral marketing tool will tap into those human emotions.

How do I start my own viral marketing program?

To start your own viral marketing campaign, you need to reach out to your readers. You must provide them with an idea they will want to share with everyone they know. That desire on their part, to spread the word even without asking them, is at the heart of viral marketing.

Viral marketing is based on word of mouth. To achieve that favorable and much sought after free advertising, it is essential to provide a reason for it. Give them a good reason to send your word to their personal networks.

The viral message must be simple and have widespread appeal. It must also be easy to send, to many other potential viral senders, without complicated instructions. If it is too hard to forward, it will stall out on you.

Other ways to utilize a viral market campaign

If you write internet articles, for other websites or e-mail newsletters, offering the free reprint rights to everyone will help spread the word.

Freely available articles with a link back to your website, may be picked up by hundreds of websites, and will result in an enormous increase in visitor traffic. People who read the article will often refer it to their friends, either by forwarding the newsletter or recommending the website.

Bloggers are heavy users of viral marketing devices. In blog terminology, they are called “memes”. Usually appearing in the form of online quizzes and questionnaires, the blog memes spread rapidly from blog to blog. Because of the powerful and generous linking practices of bloggers, the viral marketing tools send traffic back to the referring blog.

Most people have a close network of ten to twelve people, with many people having far larger networks, to whom they regularly forward website URLs, and e-mails.

Those numbers can cause your viral campaign to multiply exponentially, in a hurry. The use of other peoples’ internet resources, along with your own website, blog, and e-mail, can create an explosion of traffic.

Beginning a viral marketing program, by offering a free item or service may not pay off immediately. In viral marketing, which is what offline marketers might consider word of mouth or creating a buzz, a longer term view is the best position to take.

The idea is to develop a relationship with your viral marketers so they become your volunteer marketing force. That relationship won’t happen overnight, but will have tremendously long term benefits for everyone involved.

Catch the viral marketing bug today!




Social bookmark this

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

 

Search engine questions answered

Many of my readers write to me with various questions about search engines, linking, and blog promotions.

I am very happy to answer your many questions on any subject relating to search engines, search engine optimization, Google, Yahoo, and getting more visitors to your blog.

Whether you want to know more about Google PageRank, or what search terms will help people find your blog, I can help you.

Simply e-mail your questions to blogbusinessworld@yahoo.com

Don't worry that your question is "dumb".

I want to make one thing very clear.

When it comes to discussing search engines, there are no questions that can be considered bad ones.

They are all important.

In fact, most people are completely unaware of what search engines do at all.

Everyone has questions about them.

Even the experts!

Often, you simply type your search terms into the little search box, and some listings pop up. They didn't arrive there by magic.

The pages returned on the search engine results pages (SERPs) were ones that met the requirements of the search engine's computer formula. Sometimes, that involves more than simply posting on your blog.

The search engine computer program is called an algorithm. In the case of Google, for example, about 100 different variables are taken into consideration as to which pages appear on Page One of the results. They also pertain to the results on Page One Hundred.

Many of the variables include on page keywords in the written content, incoming links, the link anchor text (the words that appear on the clickable link), the Google PageRank, the blog's title tags, and so on.

One thing I will never tell you is how to do things that are considered dishonest or unethical. I only recommend what the search engines suggest in their own guidelines.

Good SEO is NOT unethical.

Many of you will have questions on increasing your number of visitors to your blog.

First of all, most bloggers want more visitors or "hits".

Do not ever feel bad about that at all. Some people think it is a bit underhanded.

It's not.

It is merely promotions, publicity, and marketing. There is nothing wrong with any of those things.

I will always point you toward free (as in no cost), and relatively simple ways to get more traffic.

I will also show you, if you want, some more complex marketing and promotional techniques.

So....

My e-mail is blogbusinessworld@yahoo.com

Ask away!

Social bookmark this
 

Real estate blog nets innovative realtor award

Business blogs pay off for their users in more ways than one.

When we look at business blogging, we are usually thinking in terms of marketing.

We occasionally forget the public relations aspect of displaying innovation among your business peers.

Real estate blogger, John Mudd of Tampa Bay's Inside Real Estate Journal was awarded the "Real Estate CyberSpace Specialist" (RECS) Designation by the Real Estate Cyberspace Society, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.

John Mudd writes about real estate issues across the United States in general, and the Florida market in particular.

John resisted the obvious temptation to use his blog solely as a real estate advertising flyer.

Instead, John has captured a useful format for a business blog. By doing so, his blog is informative to all members of the real estate and wider business community.

The members of his profession, in awarding the internet designation, obviously agreed.

There are three important business blogging lessons that can be learned from John Mudd of Tampa Bay's Inside Real Estate Journal.

One lesson is the power of a business blog, to reach potential customers and clients, while being informative about your industry to a wider audience.

John's blog has clearly led many print and broadcast media to seek him out as an uthority on real estate.

A second lesson to be learned from John is the value of contributing articles, on your area of expertise, to various online and offline publications.

Articles provide tremendous value to your blog, from increased visitor traffic, and from the recognition of being an expert in your field.

For those interested in finding out more about writing articles as a marketing and public relations vehicle, be sure to read my "Internet Articles for Backlinks and Traffic" at SEO Chat.

A third lesson is the power of sending out press releases to advise the various media of happenings in your business and profession.

John sent a press release about his award to the highly regarded press release website called PRWeb.com.

By doing so, John has had his business story covered by journalists all over the United States.

For further information on using press releases in your business, check out my recent "Promote with Press Releases", also at SEO Chat.

I am covering John Mudd's story, from a business blogging point of view.

Note the power of the business blog, article writing, and the press release.

You should use them for your business too.


Social bookmark this

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

 

Google PageRank and backlink displays

I welcome search engine optimization (SEO) questions from my readers.

I write numerous idepth articles on various search engine optimzation topics at SEO Chat, a forum and information site on SEO.

I also contribute many posts to various internet discussion groups and message boards on SEO topics.

Search engine optimization forms a large proportion of my daily posts on Blog Business World.

I have started to receive search engine optimization questions, in my daily e-mail, from my readers.

Gordon Smith, of the University of Wisconsin Law School, who writes the highly informative Venturpreneur blog wrote me with a couple of questions.

He wanted to know why, on his Google search engine results pages (SERPs) standings for his displayed keywords, his number of displayed incoming links never changes.

Gordon Smith reports no change, in the number of incoming links, even though he knows he has far more links to his blog than Google is showing.

That is a very frequent question on every SEO discussion forum. The mysteries, of how the dominant search engine Google displays its backlinks, leaves many people puzzled.

First of all, let's clear up some search engine terminolgy.

The position of your blog, in the search engine results for your blog's keywords, is called "search engine results pages" or "SERPs) for short.

Your blog's ranking in the SERPs will change up or down based on your content, your number and quality of incoming links, your blog's title tags, and almost 100 other variables. The SERPs for any keyword (or search term), entered into the search box, is measured by a highly complex computer program.

The computer calculation program, that determines your blog's position in the SERPs, is called the search engine's algoriithm. Every search engine uses a slightly different one. None of the search engines will reveal its secret mathematical formula either.

We are all left to educated guesses.

That doesn't mean we are left to chance, however. There are many tried and proven methods for developing strong placements in the SERPs for your keywords. While the search engines keep tweaking their secret formulas, fresh keyword rich content provided by blogs, will always get good results.

Another term to consider is Google PageRank. Note that PageRank is one word, and refers to the relative importance of any web page on the internet, as caculated by yet another Google formula.

Google PageRank is also one of the about 100 components of the Google SERPs calculation for keywords.

Are you confused yet?

Google PageRank is NOT the same thing as your blog's ranking for your most important keywords in the SERPs. The two names are often confused.

Google PageRank is shown on a logorithmic scale, ranking from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest, and almost impossible to achieve top of the ladder. Most blogs fit into the moderate to solid range of PR4 to PR7.

I have written an indepth article on Google PageRank for SEO Chat called "Google PageRank Primer".

Your Google PageRank can be seen as a level indicator of green on the Google Toolbar. You can download the Google Toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com/.

As a matter of interest, the Google Toolbar also functions as a pop-up ad blocker.

Now, after that lengthy digression, back to Gordon Smith's initial question.

Why does Google only display a few of the incoming links, even though there are many more links to his Venturpreneur blog.

A quick backlink check of Venturpreneur shows 437 backlinks according to Google.

The links can be checked from the Google Toolbar or by entering link:http://www.venturpreneur.com/weblogs/ into the Google search box. Both methods provide the same result.

Sure enough, 437 is the number of links that Gordon lists on his Venturpreneur home page readout of his SERPs positions.

The links displayed by Google must have at least a Google PageRank of 4 or higher. Lower PageRank links do not appear, but they are all taken into account by Google for both PageRank and SERPs calculation.

Google likely has even more PR4 or higher links for Venturpreneur in its caculations, but often elects to display what it calls a "sampling" of backlinks.

Google uses all incoming links, whether displayed or not, in both its SERPs and PageRank calculations.

They just don't show them all.

As far as Google PageRank is concerned, Venturpreneur enjoys a solid PageRank 5. With a few more quality incoming links, Gordon Smith should see an increase in his PageRank to PR6.

The update of Google backlinks and PageRank usually occurs every three weeks or so. The time table for updates is never precise, to prevent it being predictable.

Watching for when the next major update will occur, is a favourite sport, of many search engine optimization (SEO) professionals.

Even I do it.

The next update should take place next week some time, as the most recent one happened in late April.

At that time, we'll see if the displayed backlinks for Venturpreneur will go up or down.

One way or the other, there will be a Google backlink and PageRank update.


Social bookmark this

Monday, May 10, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists sets up again

The very popular business and economics travelling fair, better known as Carnival of the Capitalists has pitched the big top at the insightful political blogger Clay Whittaker.

Clay has done a great job with this week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists, which features amny of the leading business, economics, and legal bloggers on the internet.

The topics range from business ideas and issues, to the economy, to education and health care, to government.

I have an entry in this week's edition as well.

Clay was kind enough to include my post on "Blogs and non-profit organizations".

Next week, the Carnival of the Capitalists moves the tent to Josh Cohen's d-42.com blog.

If you wish to have an entry of one of your own great posts, included in Carnival of the Capitalists, simply e-mail it to: capitalists -at- elhide.com.

That's all that's required.

Except for writing the actual post of course.

But you knew that already!

Social bookmark this

Saturday, May 08, 2004

 

Blogs and non-profit organizations

Blogs are an ideal addition to any non-profit organization.

Blogs work well, either as a blog section within the site, or as a free standing blog linked to the organizational website.

Non-profit organizations include charities, industry organizations, trade unions, and Chambers of Commerce.

The goal of any non-profit is not to turn a financial profit in the generally accepted sense. Their goal is to put forward the causes and interests of the organization's membership.

For a great example of a non-profit organization's use of a blog is found at Yuma Tech Consortium, a committee of the Yuma, Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

The lead blogger for the Yuma Tech Consortium is my friend, Trudy Schuett of WOLves, Food Basics, and several other blogs.

The value of blogs to any non-profit is almost unlimited.

First of all, a blog provides a powerful informational vehicle for the association. The Board of Directors and association staff can keep the membership up to date with the latest initiatives and activities of the organization.

Because a blog is constantly updated, with fresh content, the organizational leaders can maintain up to the minute contact with the members.

Since one of the major difficulties faced by many non-profit organization is membership recruitment and retention, a blog can display the benefits of membership, in real time. Regular postings of how members benefited tangibly from joining the non-profit, can be a useful and interesting series on the blog.

Blogs help the organization in recruiting volunteers for its many activities, from policy committees to fund raising to membership recruitment drives. Openly posting notices of upcoming association events will attract volunteers from the readership.

A blog serves avaluable public relations function for both local and regional news media. Even the national media may pick up stories from a non-profit organization's blog.

Journalists are known to read many blogs on a daily basis, searching for newsworthy article ideas. By posting the policy positions on the blog, as well as distributing them by way of traditional press releases, the story has a greater chance of coverage in the media.

Constant updates about activities and initiatives, on the blog, can go far to helping journalists write about your organization.

Often, non-profit organizations fall victim to some bad press coverage. A blog can get the organization's message out to the media in a hurry. A rapid response, to real or perceived problems, will go far in enhancing the association's image and reputation in the community.

Fund raising can gain a boost from the blog as well.

By regularly highlighting how the money raised by the organization, has helped real people overcome their challenges, the blog will make raising donation levels much easier. Fund raising volunteers will be another result of the charity's success stories.

Chambers of Commerce, attempting to gain public support for business, will do very well with blogs. By showing the general public and their elected representatives, how a strong vibrant business community benefits everyone with more jobs and a stronger local tax base, support for business will grow.

Many businesses already maintain blogs, and will happily link to the Chamber's blog. Small businesses, in particular, will benefit from being part of the Chamber of Commerce reciprocal links from its blog. Association with other businesses, and the networking opportunities afforded through working together, can form another frequent posting idea for the organization.

As you can see, blogs have much to offer to non-profit organizations.

The benefits of a blog to association leaders and managers are endless.

It's time your non-profit organization added a blog to its program.




Social bookmark this

Friday, May 07, 2004

 

Blogs and themed links

Themed links. What are they?

A themed link is an incoming link to your blog that is on the same topic or "theme" as your own blog.

For example, you write a car blog. If you trade links with another automobile or car related blog, that is a "car themed" link.

There is some thought, in search engine optimization (SEO) circles, that Google in particular is not giving full credit for non-themed links. Some experts go more extreme in their thinking and even say Google penalizes link exchanges and non-themed links.

I disagree with that thinking of Google penalizing links, at least for blogs. After all, Google's algorithm for calculating search engine results is based heavily on links and link anchor text. Google PageRank is link based entirely.

Let's consider the more likely possibility, that Google gives more value to theme related links. That seems much more likely.

How can blogs gain theme benefits from their incoming links?

Theme your blog to include that incoming link.

We'll return to our car blog example. The car blog has a link from a travel company in Florida. It is not especially on topic.

Theme it.

Write a post about taking a car trip to visit Florida. Discuss driving as an alternative to flying on the major airlines or taking the train or bus. Suddenly, your car blog now has an additional travel related theme.

You can do that, with any incoming links, that are not especially closely related to your blog's subject matter.

You can easily include a post on that topic on your blog. Finding a topic to write about, is one of the most commonly heard problems, faced by bloggers. Theming your links solves that major difficulty as well.

Theming your incoming links can also give you a boost, on all of the major search engines, because your blog now includes some brand new searchable keyword phrases.

You get a double bonus.

Links are worth more in the search engines, due to being on topic, and by giving you more search keywords.

You also get some additional topics to write about in your daily blog posts.

There should be no concern, among bloggers, about whether or not your incoming links are themed to your blog topic.

You simply make them so by blogging about them.


Social bookmark this
 

Anchor text and linking

Anchor text has nothing to do with boats.

Ensuring you have good anchor text, will raise the tide for your blog, on the major search engines including Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, AOL Search, and Teoma.

What is anchor text?

Anchor text, which is also often called link text, is what appears on your incoming links from other blogs and static websites.

It is also something over which you have limited control. After all, when I put up a link to your blog, I'll usually place the name of your blog in the little text space.

What you can do, and it is especially helpful when you are making a mutual link exchange, is to request how your link anchor text should read. While many people will not use your requested text choice, many will.

Another option is to write out the html code yourself, and send it prewritten. ready to load in the template. Again, not everyone will use your prefab coding, but some bloggers will happily honour your request.

Other bloggers who you know really well, will often be very happy to change your anchor text, to the keyword search terms you are targeting. It doesn't hurt to ask. Perhaps they would welcome the idea of you changing their anchor text as well.

One place where you can control what is written in the anchor text is in your forum signature file. Instead of simply using your blog name, or worse your blog's URL, use your main keywords instead. It may give your blog a little bit of a link text pop.

Why does anchor text matter anyway?

The anchor text should highlight the main keywords that people use to find your blog.

If your blog is called ABC Blog and your main blogging topic is about tiddlywinks, you will score much higher rankings on the various search engines with "tiddlywinks blog" than "ABC Blog" in the anchor text.

The search engines consider the anchor text, especially on another site, to be an endorsement of your blog's main theme. You get even more benefit from that anchor text if the linking blog is also about tiddlywinks, but theming is a discussion for another day.

Suffice it to say that a link from a blog on the same topic on the same topic as yours (in this case tiddlywinks), has more value from one on say, whales or gardening.

Think of getting your anchor text, on other people's blogs, to include your main keywords.

Having strong link anchor text, on the incoming links to your blog, strengthens the power of your links many times over.

As you already know, more links from good solid blogs and websites will help boost your blog in the search engine rankings. Good anchor text multiplies that boosting energy.

As with all search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, it will take them at least two weeks to a month or more to show up in the search results. In the meantime, keep adding more incoming links to your blog.

Don't let your blog leave the harbour without good link text.

Your blog will rise higher, on the search engine seas, if you carefully weigh anchor.




Social bookmark this

Thursday, May 06, 2004

 

Title tags: Give your blog a search engine boost

Title tags.

No, they are a not the ones hanging on that new suit you hated to buy for your cousin's wedding.

They are the words that appear, on the very top bar of your web browser, for every page on the internet that you visit.

They are extremely important to gaining strong search engine results page (SERPs) results for your blog's most important keywords.

Mainly, I have been focussing your attention on your on page copy and developing your incoming link popularity. Those are still very important and should never be neglected.

Some search engine experts claim title tags are equal in importance to content and incoming links. Title tags are certainly an added booster shot, for your blog's placements, in the search results.

What are title tags anyway?

They are the name of your blog, as appears on the clickable link in the search results. If your blog title is in your title tag, that is what will appear in Google, Yahoo, MSN, Teoma, AOL, etc.

What we want to do here, is to make some improvements on what appears on the top of your browser bar.

I use the blog title Blog Business World as my title tag for this blog. It covers the main search terms. I may make some changes to reflect some other search results that found my blog.

On my roller derby blog, the title tag reads "Roller derby news and commentary - Wayne's Derby World".

It reflects the fact that the most important keyword phrase, by far, is "roller derby". Note that the keyword phrase appears at the front of the title tag.

I left the blog title up there, as many people search for my roller derby blog, by its title. It's becoming a bit of a brand name in roller derby circles.

To find your title tags in your blog template, they are located in the HEAD section like this:

HEAD>
<>ABC Blog Title
HEAD

Note: The word "TITLE" should appear inside the <> and . The word HEAD should be enclosed in to close all of the tags. Be sure to properly close your title tags in correct html. Blogger won't publish let me publish them directly, as an example.

The title tags are generally followed, in the HEAD section, by your META description and META keywords. Different blog templates and web page building software will place them in slightly different spots. Don't worry about that.

What is important is what is written in the title tags.

Let's say your title tag reads:

<>ABC Blog Title

Is that how people find your blog in a search. Check your referrer logs for the most numerous search terms. We are talking about the top two or three keywords only here.

For example, you are a political blogger. That is certainly a competitive area. There are many political blogs, publications, websites, everything else related to politics on the internet.

All of them are competing with your blog to appear on Page One of the SERPs.

In our example, we are going to use the example of the Iraq War. That keyword combination will generate 7 million results on Google.

7 million!

Your blog, with ABC Blog in the title tag is not going to be found in the first 100 results pages, if at all.

What you can do, is change your title tag to this option:

<>Iraq War News - ABC Blog Title

You may have a specific area of the Iraq War that you study more carefully.

Your title tag would then become"

<>Iraq War News - hostages - ABC Blog Title

Note that your specialty is now included.

Always use hyphens as the search engines see them as blank spaces. They do NOT see under_scores that way. The search engines view under_score words as one word: underscore.

Don't use all capital letters in your title tags either. It doesn't look attractive, appears to be shouting, and the search engines consider it to be "spammy". Simply write the words as you would normally see them written in a sentence.

By making changes in your title tags, and adding your very most important keywords to the front, you will rise in the search engines.

It won't be over night. It might take a couple of weeks to a month, but the improvement will happen.

Think title tags and move on up!





Social bookmark this

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

 

Carnival of the Canucks goes to Cowtown

Among the many great blogger carnivals on the internet, there is one area that features Canadian bloggers.

Like me.

It's called, appropriately enough, Carnival of the Canucks.

This time around, leading Canadian blogger Vicki Smith, of Just In From Cowtown is hosting Carnival of the Canucks.

In fact, Vicki loves hosting the event so much, this is her second Carnival of the Canucks at her blog.

Canadian bloggers are featured with posts ranging from Canadian and world politics to technology to dust bunnies.

I have a post included as well, but there is no way I can compete with dust bunnies. Who can?

Next time, which is Tuesday, May 18 by the Canadian calendar, Carnival of the Canucks will be hosted by the eclectic Ghost of a Flea.


Social bookmark this

Monday, May 03, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists time again

Once again, the big top of the ongoing business and economics series Carnival of the Capitalists, rolls into town.

This week, the big tent is pitched at Brain Brew Radio Blog, where you can peruse their great hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists at your leisure.

Included this week are blog posts from some of the leading business, legal, political, and economics bloggers on the internet.

I have an entry in the mix this week as well.

My rather lengthy (some would say long winded) post on posting on internet message and discussion boards as a way to promote your blog appears this week.

It's entitled "Blog promotion: Message boards".

Be sure to cruise on over to Carnival of the Capitalists at Brain Brew Radio Blog and read away.

There are so many good posts to read, you'll be lost at the Carnival of the Capitalists for hours.


Social bookmark this
 

Renaming your "links" lists

Most bloggers have a section on their blogs named "links" or "blogroll".

Those are standard issue terms for your...well...links and blogroll.

There is a reason to change those names, however.

It is thought, by many search engine watchers, that the dominant search engine Google may be discounting or even ignoring links pages. Whether that possibility applies to blogs is unknown.

The reason links pages on tradtional websites are losing their Google PageRank (Google's numerical measure of the importance of a website on the internet) is link exchanges. As we all know, link exchanges are a backbone of blogging. We don't want that valuable blogging tool discounted in any way.

Of course, we are not sure if Google has any concerns with the terms "links" and "blogroll" on blogs. No one is certain and Google isn't talking. Google never does.

I do know that at present, on the blogs that I have randomly checked, Google has counted the blog links as normal.

With the search engines constantly changing their algorithms (the mathematical calculation of where a webpage is positioned in the search results for the term entered into the search box), the possibilty of discounting and ignoring still looms.

What I have done, on all three of my blogs, is take a pro-active approach.

I have changed my "Links" to "Directory" and "Resources". Whether the change has had any real effect, I can't say for sure. I do know that Google counts my links, on all three of my blogs, with no problems.

If you change the term "links" to something else, it should prevent any ignoring of your links by the search engines. Because of the changing nature of blogrolling, I don't forsee a problem there for the forseeable future.

Besides, changing the name of your links list gives you a chance to be really creative, while preserving the power of your links.

That sounds like a great idea to me.

"> Social bookmark this

Saturday, May 01, 2004

 

Blog promotion: Message boards

Everyone is searching for ways to promote and market their blogs. I’m sure you are no exception.

Simply building a blog, and placing out there on the internet, doesn’t guarantee success in internet marketing. In fact, by failing to publicize and market your blog or any other website, it is almost certainly doomed to failure.

The old idea of “if you build it, they will come” might work for a movie script writer. It won’t likely work in the real world. You need to find simple, low cost ways to promote your blog to potential readers. For a business blog writer, those readers are also potential customers and clients.

One proven technique, that is well known and practiced by the internet marketing pros, is posting on internet message boards and forums. By posting on the message forums, savvy marketing people gain visitors, establish themselves as experts in their field, and multiply their success many times over. You can too.

All you have to do, is start to think like a marketing professional. The internet discussion boards, and even some of their other members, will do much of the marketing on your behalf.

Internet message and discussion forums are everywhere. Their many members discuss topics ranging from baseball to photography to crafts to search engine optimization. Whatever your business or hobby, there are numerous internet message forums awaiting your membership.

There are also some very good and active blog specific message boards. You will want to make a point of joining and participating on them.

Blogger Talk

Blogger Forum

Forum4Bloggers

Yahoo Blogging Community

About.com Weblog Forum

To join most message boards, you will have to register as a member. The membership process usually requires you to provide a user name.

You may use your real name, or if you prefer, you can create a fictional pen name, called a “handle”. You will be required to provide a valid e-mail address for communications.

Some forums require some additional personal information, to protect the message board, from those who might wish to destroy their online community. Your information is almost universally protected by a password.

Once you have that information in place, and had your membership approved and confirmed, you are almost ready to post.

You are not quite ready yet, however. You still have a few things to do, in order to have your message board postings help market and promote your business and your blog.

In order to gain new visitor traffic, develop a solid reputation, and gain search engine optimization benefits, you must create what is known as a signature file, or “sig line”.

What a signature file does, is create a live link back to your website, from the message forum itself. That link into your website is very important.

The signature file for your link should not simply be your website’s URL. If at all possible, avoid that type of signature as it doesn’t describe your business. It also provides less than the desired level of search engine optimization. Using your blog title is better, but still is not what you want to use.

Use a your targeted keyword phrase as your signature. If you can use the keywords, right in the live link, that is the best possible signature. It provides a keyword inbound link to your website.

Many message forums permit the use of additional descriptions, brief offers to visitors, phone numbers, and even physical and e-mail addresses. Take advantage of these free promotional vehicles.

By targeting your most important keyword phrases, you accomplish several important goals at one time. You successfully describe your blog or business, and possibly what your blog offers for anyone clicking on the link.

You also gain powerful keyword rich backlinks to your blog, enhancing your incoming link totals. Incoming links help raise your blog in the various search engines for your keywords.

Armed with a message board membership and a signature file, you are now ready to begin posting on the forum.

When you post, you want to be polite. Ask good questions seeking any information that you require. There are no foolish questions. Everyone was a first time poster at some point, so don’t be shy.

If you are able to answer other members’ questions, feel free to do so. By providing good informative answers that seek to help others, you will develop a reputation as being an expert in your field. That will go far in enhancing your business reputation as well.

As you develop a reputation for providing informative and helpful postings, your opinions and posts will almost always be read by other members.

Since the members of the message board are also interested in the same subjects as you, they are all potential readers for your blog. Their families, friends, and business associates are, by extension, also your potential blog readers.

By becoming well known to the board membership, your reputation and that of your business will grow. People usually prefer to do business with people whom they know. That would be you, if you have been writing good thoughtful and informative posts.

They will click on your signature line and check out your blog, your business, your products, and your services. Many will become customers and some will even recommend you to others as well.

Most blog message forums are search engine spider friendly. It is important to note, however, that not all message boards are crawled regularly by search engine robots; but most are. Make certain that you check the search engine friendliness of the board prior to joining.

The backlinks created by your signature file will be crawled by the spiders. Google often includes forum posts in your backlink count. Since Google only displays incoming links, with a PageRank 4 or higher, those are very good incoming links indeed. Posting on forums simply increases your number of incoming links.

By placing your blog’s most important keyword phrase in your signature file, your keyword power in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is enhanced. The more keyword rich links you can create, that are pointing toward your site, the better.

As you post on a regular basis, and establish yourself as an expert in your industry, you will find a number of other members linking their site to yours.

These natural links are a tremendous boost to both your site’s Google PageRank and to your search engine placements for your keywords.

The potential for additional natural incoming links, makes posting on a message boards a powerful technique, for increasing your backlink total.

You will also find theme related blog owners who will want to engage in traditional link swaps as well. These exchanged links are still helpful to your blog. They are especially beneficial if they are from sites that are related to your own.

Seeking out a number of message boards, related to your area of interest, is a powerful way to market your blog.

Your marketing efforts will be greatly enhanced through your participation, as an active contributor, to your various discussion boards. Members of those forums will see you as an expert in your field, making it much more likely that they will become your customers and clients in the future.

Your search engine marketing will improve as well. The additional incoming links, resulting from your post signature line, will enhance your Google PageRank and your search engine results.

Keyword rich incoming links will raise your blog higher in the search placements. You also have the potential to receive many natural incoming links, along with a number of themed link exchanges.

Join those internet message boards today and start posting your way to success.






Social bookmark this

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?