Blog Business World

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

Monday, January 31, 2005


SEO: Search engine optimzation made easy

My good friend Darren Rowse of Pro Blogger was thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) in general, and SEO for blogs in particular.

No, I don't think he is entirely crazy.

In fact I think about search engine optimzation too. I have a vested interest in considering the topic a sane one. Somewhere Down Under, Darren is smiling in relief.

I also make much of my income from search engine optimization of client websites.

Anyway, back from the digression.

Darren has this to say about thinking SEO thoughts:

It is easy to be overwhelmed by SEO strategy - I know when I first started looking into it I was totally confused but it is well worth doing a little research and having some of the basics in your mind as you blog. Don't become obsessed by it - but be informed and where you can use the basics to enhance your chances of being ranked highly by the search engines.

Darren is right of course.

It's very easy to become obsessed with your blog's ranking on Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search. With blogs, it's not even necessary.

A blog is naturally SEO related.

Now, you can't beat that, now can you?

Search engines value fresh theme relevant content.

Blogs are built on new posts, usually written on the same overall topic. You can't get much more theme relevant than that. The content itself is SEO powered too. Because the same phrases are used over and over, plus in various forms and word order, the site will be found in searches for literally dozens of phrases. High search engine rankings are a byproduct of regular posting.

Search engines love incoming links.

Bloggers are linkers. Almost every blogger has a nice blogroll, linking to and from dozens of other blogs. Most of the linked blogs discuss similar topics. In search engine language, they are theme relevant; and that translates into high search engine rankings. In particular, link obsessed Google loves to see links to and from your blog. They reward your efforts.

The combination of links and content helps too.

When a link is made within a blog post, it gets even more credit from the search engines. Because the clickable link itself often contains an important search phrase, (called link anchor text in the SEO industry), the search engines value that post and link very highly. Usually both linker and linked blog benefit as a result.

Many blogs have separate pages for each post.

The one post per page, seen in Blogger blogs for example, gives that page a real search engine boost. The page is individually named with its own URL internet address, and targeted phrases. Blogs with categories receive a similar benefit as the posts are kept in tightly themed groups. That is always a good thing in the eyes of a search engine spider.

Blogs are easily indexed and are readily visited by search engine spiders.

Blogs have many incoming links from other blogs, blog and mainstream directories, and traditional websites. The internet search engine spiders simply cruise right in and index every page in the blog. There is definitely no need to ever submit a blog to Google, for example. The Googlebot spider will find and index your blog all on its own. That's the power of incoming links.

Tags could be powerful too.

The emergence of blogs posts with tags, as recommended by Technorati, could assist blogs in the search engines as well. The tags tell the search engines the keywords for the post being indexed. The search engine does the rest.

As you can see, you are already a very good search engine optimzation expert. You have already mastered basic SEO.

All you did was maintain your blog as you normally would.

That, all by itself, is powerful SEO.

There now, no need to obsess over search engine optimization.

We'll leave that worry to Darren Rowse!

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Sunday, January 30, 2005


Optimization for Blogger hosted blogs

Blogs are the fastest growing class of websites on the internet. No longer the sole domain of teenagers and the love lorn, blogs are now an established form of internet communication.

The online business community has recently discovered the power of blogging, and as such are faced with raising the blog site’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). As a direct result of some of the blog characteristics, high search rankings are readily available for the careful blog writer.

Like any other website, blogs have techniques for search engine optimization (SEO), many of them the same as for traditional static websites, and many of them unique to blogs. Among the issues faced by some bloggers is the abundance of free blog hosting sites.

Not requiring any initial cash outlay, the free blog hosts have literally millions of blogs on their books. One of the most popular is the Google owned blog host Blogger.

Note that in this article, the capitalized word Blogger refers to the blog hosting company, while the lower case generic term blogger indicates the blog writer. Confusion between the two words will be avoided as much as possible.

Like all free web hosts, Blogger hosted blogs face unique optimization challenges. Unlike sites where the domain name is owned by the webmaster, free blog hosts maintain ownership of the blog. In fact, the blog name is a sub-domain of the blog host, making value from the blog URL a less powerful optimization tool.

Despite the limitations faced by a blog hosted by Google owned Blogger, there are many very powerful optimization techniques available to the blogger. As we will see, blogs have some optimization methods, that are only available to blogs in general, regardless of host.

When considering the optimization techniques to apply to blogs, the basics of fresh keyword rich content, theme relevance, incoming links, and link anchor text all apply to blogs. In that sense optimization for blogs is no different from other websites.

On the other hand, some additional methods and some restrictions in the choice of techniques are involved as well. The various restrictions are often a direct result of the placement of the blog on the free host.

In this case study, the free host is Blogger. These shortcomings must always be kept in mind, when considering the best course, to fully optimize your blog.

Free Blogger hosting for your blog

Blogger enables you to host your blog on their server for free. As a very simple use interface system, even a novice with absolutely no programming or blogging experience of any kind, can be fully operational in a matter of minutes. The procedure for starting a blog is very simple, and takes only minutes to complete.

The Blogger server offers the choice of having a free standing blog as a separate website, or the option of writing your daily posts on the Blogger interface, and file transfer them to your existing website via the built in FTP feature.

Blogger provides a choice of pre-written templates for the blog layout, but all of them are changeable to include different color combinations and page formats.

Blogger freely permits the use of third party add on features, including commenting systems, track back, visitor counters, RSS site feeds, and most scripts often seen incorporated into traditional websites.

Note that Blogger offers all of those necessary blogging functions, including a site feed through Atom, with the exception of track back, in its blogging service package. Other third party feeds can be freely added to the Blogger template. I use several on my blogs.

The user is under no obligation to use the Blogger supplied versions, however. The company agreement does require that the Blogger logo icon remain on all of the pages, however.

When choosing a URL for the blog, it will appear as http://yourblogname.blogspot.com or if you prefer, as http://www.yourblogname.blogspot.com making the blog URL a sub-domain of the Blogger system.

The main domain is indicated by the “blogspot.com portion of the URL. With being a sub-domain, there are some unique, but not insurmountable challenges to optimization, as we shall see.

A Blogger user is not restricted in the choice of blog titles, and careful title and URL selection can help greatly in the optimization process. Many blogs suffer from having very poorly selected titles, that contain no relevance to the overall blog theme. Keep that in mind when selecting a title.

Keywords within the blog title and URL are very powerful in ranking well, with a blog component, especially as a sub-domain from the Blogger host.

After creating a blog title, and selecting a blog template to be customized later, the Blogger registration process is completed. A new blog writer is ready to begin writing blog columns, which are referred to as posts.

The optimization and search engine power of blogs

Contrary to what many people believe, Google does not give preference to blogs hosted on Blogger, despite Google’s ownership of the popular blog service.

As a result, bloggers using the Blogger hosting system are on even footing with bloggers using other free or paid blog hosting services, and with blogs hosted under an owned domain name, or as part of an owned domain website. The playing field for optimization is as level as possible for bloggers using a sub-domain of Blogger, and for other bloggers as well.

Blogs rank well in the search engines by their very nature. They are regularly updated with keyword rich content. Most blog writers stick to a main theme for their blogs making relevance easy. Because of the blog’s versatility, the blogger can add more themes to the blog and tie them together, enabling a blog to maintain several strong themes.

Blogs are also link magnets, mainly from other similarly themed blogs. It is not unusual for a blog to receive a Google PageRank 4 or 5 after being live on the internet for only one month. The theme relevant links are often placed right in blog posts, and contain powerful link anchor text.

One way inbound links to blogs are freely given by other bloggers as many blog writers are not concerned about search engine rankings. As a result, the competitive level of the sought after keywords is not as strong as its overall potential, based on sheer numbers of blogs.

Bloggers maintain large link lists, called blogrolls, that usually sit on the blog’s home page. The weakness of the blog link lists is their volume, providing less than optimal PageRank and link popularity passage, as it’s divided among large numbers of receiving blogs and websites.

What the blog link popularity lacks in amount of what is passed along, is made up for in theme relevance and quantity. Blog links are literally a volume business. Note that reciprocal blog links don’t appear to suffer any downgrading, as is often the case for static sites. Incoming links, including reciprocal links, are effective for blogs.

On page blog optimization techniques

Blogs are optimized using the same techniques as static websites. Keep in mind that a blog is simply another website. What works in the search engines for other sites will also work for optimizing a blog.

Blogger assists the blog writer by building in many optimization features, that enable a blog to compete in less competitive searches, even if no other optimization techniques are applied.

The blog title is important, and should be chosen carefully to reflect the topics and themes of the blog. Many blog titles are frivolous, and provide little search engine value. Including at least one important keyword in the title is recommended.

The title is important as it forms part of the URL sub-domain. Combining a keyword enriched title with the blog URL is often enough to compete for non-competitive searches.

As the regular posts are added to the blog, each one generates a unique page with its own URL. Since the blog title forms part of that URL, it’s important that it contain some keyword, as the blog title is at the front of the URL.

The individual page URL contains all of a short blog post headline, and most of some longer ones. For that reason, place the targeted keywords early in a blog post headline to ensure their conclusion. Blogger publishes the page URLs, with the headline words separated by dashes, in accordance with the Google preference for dashes over underscores.

The blog title tags are readily and easily changed in Blogger, to reflect any targeted keywords and phrases. Because the blog itself is a website sub-domain, altering the title tag is a very powerful option for any blogger to utilize.

The Blogger supplied templates are pre-written with h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 tags. The headings are placed in the heading tags automatically, providing an instant search engine advantage for the blog. The templates are fully CSS compatible and welcome both additional CSS and html coding.

Blogs are well crawled by the major and lesser known search engine spiders. Because the posts are so frequent, the spiders return to reindex the blog, on at least a daily basis.

By pinging the blog, which is notifying the specialized blog search engines and RSS aggregators of an update, the blog reaches a huge audience including media outlets. A good one stop multiple site pinger is Ping-O-Matic.

Three very powerful optimization tools are missing from Blogger templates, and would be very helpful in improving searches for Blogger hosted blogs.

One missing item is categories. Blogger users can't place their posts into theme related categories. The ability of other blog hosts to provide categories gives those blogs a bit of a theme related SEO advantage. That is to say nothing of the benefit to the blog readers of neatly organized categories for related links.

Blogger doesn't provide a related links feature that lets readers find additional posts on the same blog topic. Another benefit to readers, and to the search engines due to the loss of an internal link, is missed by Blogger.

A third issue is the lack of internal "tag" coding. Blogger users are required to write their own tag code for Technorati and other users of post tags for search. As embedded linked keywords, tags are also very powerful for creating themes in search engines.

There appears to be little, if any discrimination against Blogger and other free hosted blogs among the members of the media, and other blog RSS feed subscribers.

The link power of blogs

Much of the search engine optimization power of blogs is through their extensive linking networks. Blog owners are free and generous linkers. They link to other blogs permanently, usually from the high PageRank home page, and freely link to what they consider interesting blog posts.

Not only are posts linked frequently by other bloggers, but the on page link is often from a post to a post. As a bonus, the link is usually dripping with important keywords and phrases.

Links from other blogs tend to be very theme relevant in content, as bloggers link to articles, blog posts, and other blogs that are of interest to themselves and to their readership. One way incoming links are a very frequent event for bloggers.

Reciprocal blog links don’t appear to be discounted by Google or the other major search engines, as the exchanges are usually between theme related blogs. Blog owners should, however, exert some level of caution, regarding link exchanges with non-theme relevant blogs, as those incoming links might not receive full value.

Linking to and from Blogger is easy, and the template provides an unlimited sidebar area for the inclusion of html links, to other blogs and traditional websites. Links can also be coded within the posts themselves, right at the time of post composition, using simple embedded html conversions.

The Blogger posts are archived after a chosen time period of usually one week, into one month long archive sections. Those time frames are changeable in the Blogger settings, for longer or shorter durations.

The internal linking of the pages is precoded by Blogger, enabling PageRank link popularity, and link anchor text to pass freely from one page to another. The pre-written code can also be altered should the blogger prefer a different internal linking structure.


Hosting a blog on a free host like Google owned Blogger need not be a disadvantage to achieving high search engine rankings. Simply apply recommended standard optimization techniques and the blog will do very well in the SERPs.

The Blogger supplied, and readily alterable templates contain many powerful optimization features by default, including h1 tags, CSS, and strong internal page linkage, to name just a few.

Be sure to keep in mind that the blog URL shows a sub-domain. Because of that limitation, care should be taken with the blog title, title tags, and the headlines given to the regular blog posts.

The power of the many keyword rich anchor text incoming links, from theme related blogs and websites, will go far towards reaching the top of the rankings.

The links are to be expected because of the regular posting of theme relevant content. Other bloggers will link naturally to the blog, with the highly potent one way link.

Be sure to add your own tag code for using those powerful search tools.

The blog combination of fresh keyword rich content and relevant incoming links will propel the blog, and a related website, to the top of the SERPs.

While it’s always a better policy to own your own blog domain, don’t be afraid of a free blog host, if you are short of cash.

Even a free hosted blog is highly powered in the search engines.

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Saturday, January 29, 2005


Blog tours as an educational event

Blog tours.

That sounds like one of those "if it's Monday, it must be Scotland" type of whirlwind tours (not to be confused with whirlwind romances, which might make for a good story another day).


A blogger needs to read many blogs in a day. Whether by visiting the blogs live and in person, or by way of an RSS feeder, a tour of the thoughts and ideas presented by other blog writers, is a valuable use of time.

You simply can't keep up with the latest developments in blogging by simply reading your own blog.

I know. I know. Some bloggers are always up to date, or even well ahead of the date.

No...not that kind of date.

By reading many different blogs, and exploring many different points of view on business related topics, some new ideas can take root. Those fresh concepts can help in your own blogging in general, and your own business or career in particular.

For blogging purposes, the more blogs a person reads, the more ideas for blog postings appear. After all, one of the most common problems facing all bloggers is what to use for a topic.

Even the best bloggers have problems finding topics for posts, from day to day.

A blog tour of other great bloggers and their writing can solve that lack of post ideas problem. Of course, it then opens up a new and different problem of too many posting topics.

You will discover many interesting blog posts, that scream to you to link and write about them, and the ideas presented. There is definitely no shortage of worthwhile posts, needing you to sort out the sheer volume of selections, for the day.

We can all live with that problem though.

As well, reading other blogs can lead to many new and previously undiscovered blog gems. I have often written about how I like to randomly click on unknown blogs on other people's blogrolls.

It's fun in a fresh discovery kind of way.

Occasionally, the practice is extremely rewarding as a truly superior blog is discovered at the other end of the click.

I am always struck with the "how did I miss that blog before" slap up against the side of the head feeling, on those magical occasions.

In any case, take a tour of the many bloggers on your own, and on other people's blogrolls. Imagine a voyage from one random blog to another to another. See how soon you discover a blog that links to all of your personal favourites as well.

Make the blog tour a regular weekly game.

You will never be short of blogging ideas, or posts for linking and discussion.

That time spent blog touring just made blogging easier and much more fun!

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Friday, January 28, 2005


Small business from blog business

Business blogs can lead to some very interesting business arrangements between business bloggers.

Truly wonderful friendships often result from the interaction between bloggers on blog commenting systems, via e-mail, over the telephone, and in person.

Blogging is all about communications, and a successful blog is an ongoing conversation between the writer and the readership.

Bloggers are natural networkers and connection makers.

As a business building networking tool, blogs have yet to achieve even a tiny fraction of their full potential.

Along with these friendships, many mutually beneficial business partnerships are created. With the unlimited range of skills offered by bloggers, and the myriad of blogger personalities, business relationships are inevitable.

With bloggers writing about marketing, public relations, accounting, law, finance, search engines and search engine optimization, direct mail, e-mail newsletters, copywriting, book and iinternet publishing, web design, computer programming, and human resources, the talent pool among bloggers is very deep.

Like an ocean of management personnel.

Because of this bottomless sea of business skills, it was only a matter of time before various bloggers met up themselves, or through the good offices of one of them many blog "connectors".

Some of the more noted blog connection makers are Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing Group, Peter Caputa of pc4media, and Jeremy Wright of Ensight.

There are, of course, many more connection building bloggers, who are introducing future business associates and partners to one another, on a daily basis.

In fact, the blog connection concept might eventually turn into a business all by itself.

Bloggers looking to form business arrangements, of either a short term or permanent type, could register for a fee. The connector business would screen the possible blog partner options, and set up a number of meetings.

Meetings could be arranged by e-mail, telephone, or conference calls. Perhaps even a web cam could be used to help the bloggers become more familiar with their possible future business associates and partners.

It would be up to the participants as to whether they wanted to pursue forming a formal business arrangement, of course. Some new businesses could result, rannging from a one time short term project, to emergence as a a budding corporation.

The same connection idea could be used to introduce business owners and managers, to some highly skilled sub-contractors, for projects of varying time duration.

Blog connections are one powerful means to create businesses of the future.

Get connected with other bloggers today.

You might have the startup of a successful business on your hands, as a direct result of becoming a business blogger.

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Thursday, January 27, 2005


Voting continues at Business Blogging Awards


2005 Business Blogging Awards voting has now begun.

Voter turnout appears to be quite strong at The 2005 Business Blogging Awards.

High levels of voter participation is good for all of the nominated blogs, and for business blogs in general.

A few good business blogs have opened up some strong leads, and many other very good business blogs are lacking support.

On a personal note, I noticed that Blog Business World is trailing in both of its nominated categories:

Best SEO Blog and Best Overall Blog

Perhaps a few of my kind and generous readers might be encouraged to vote for Blog Business World.
A vote with heavy turnout and many possible winners is always more exciting than a runaway.

So, in the spirit of blatant self promotion (you can do that when you are behind in the vote totals), vote for Blog Business World for Best Overall Blog and Best SEO Blog.

Let's get some heavy voter turnout, and some really tight races going.

It's better for all blogs, as voters meet some new bloggers, and that makes it all worthwhile.

You can vote once a day, every day, until Februrary 9.

Vote for Blog Business World now!

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The 2005 Business Blogging Awards voting opens


The 2005 Business Blogging Awards voting has now begun.

The polls are now open at at The 2005 Business Blogging Awards website.

The field of first rate business blogs, in all nominated categories, is very strong.

The nominations were done very well, with some very fine blogs well deserving of recognition, being included. A quick check of the nominated blogs is a tour of some of the best business blogs in the entire blogosphere.

Let's have a tip of the cap to Jeremy Wright and Darren Barefoot of Inside Blogging for setting up this first ever business blogging awards. Without their tireless efforts, these long overdue awards might never have happened.

I was pleasantly surprised and privilieged to find Blog Business World nominated in two very strong categories.

Blog Business World was nominated for Best SEO Blog.

Blog Business World was also nominated in the very prestigious Best Overall Blog category.

As with all awards, the true honour is in being nominated.

Voting for The 2005 Business Blogging Awards is open until 12:00 noon Pacific Standard Time on February 9, 2005.

You can vote once per day in as many or as few categories as you choose.

Be sure to vote and support The 2005 Business Blogging Awards. For far too long, business blogs have been ignored by the regular blog awards events.

Let's show the entire blogging community, and the internet at large, that business blogs are important and a rising force.

Vote now.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005


DMOZ Directory: Advanced submissions

The Open Directory Project (ODP), often referred to as DMOZ, is probably the single most important directory on the internet.

You want your website to be listed, and you are probably well versed in the basics of submissions. You want to know how you can enhance your listing opportunities in the DMOZ directory, and perhaps even multiply them.

There are some advanced techniques available, but as with anything involving DMOZ, you have to be very careful to follow the published rules.

As you know, I have written in the past about getting a basic listing in the DMOZ Directory.

You might not be aware of this, but DMOZ has added a special blog category. They are a very blog friendly directory these days. Be sure to get your blog included in the listings.

The DMOZ submission basics

Before you can go on to advanced DMOZ submission concepts, you need to be fully conversant in the basic submission procedure. A trip to the Open Directory Project “Add URL” page provides step by step instructions for you to follow.

Read them. Study them. Follow them.

The instructions are not simply a guideline. They are an absolute requirement, for getting your website listed in the Open Directory Project.

Start by finding the proper category. That sounds simple enough on the surface, but you need to explore each category, and dig ever deeper within it. Find the category or sub-category best suited to your website.

Submitting a site to the wrong category is one of the primary reasons for rejection. Choose the correct category before you submit your site and your success rate will be greatly increased. Select the wrong one, and your submission is likely to be delayed.

Make certain you write an objective description of your website. The description should be completely free of sales and marketing hype.

If the description is simply a keyword spamming device, the category editors will simply change it to a more suitable one. You probably won’t like the description the volunteers write for you. It’s better if you write a good one in the first place.

If you follow the instructions, and submit a quality professional looking website, you will likely be included in the DMOZ Directory.

Advanced DMOZ submission techniques

After your site’s initial inclusion, you may have improved your site. You have probably added additional content, or perhaps even changed the focus of your website completely.

Your DMOZ listing information is not carved in stone. You can update your listing title and description, change categories, and even add your website to other additional subject categories.

As with all submissions to DMOZ, care must be taken to follow all of the Directory rules. With additional listings, and changes to titles, categories, and descriptions, there are even more guidelines to follow.

Here’s some help in that regard.

Seeking multiple Directory listings

A goal of many webmasters is to place their website into more than one DMOZ category. Since there are many sites, that have received two or more listings in the Directory, it makes sense to try to achieve that goal.

The DMOZ Directory is designed to place unique content sites into the various suitable subject categories. How a website can find its way into a second, or even a third category, is something to be examined. Be certain you are not spamming the Directory by sending multiple submissions at once. Always submit one site at a time, to one category at a time.

Always resist the urge to resubmit your site. It will only be moved to the back of the line, as DMOZ operates on a first come, first served basis for maximum fairness to all.

Your site should already have a listing, in the DMOZ Directory, before you attempt any additional category submissions. If you submit a new and not yet listed site, to more than one category, it may be rejected for spamming the Directory.

Treat submissions to additional categories the same way. Avoid the mistake of submitting them differently. Always follow the Directory submission rules, each and every time you submit a website.

The DMOZ directory is user oriented. It is designed to help the searcher of information. That means a site must provide clearly unique content, to improve the Directory user experience. If you are already listed in one category, your site is considered unique and important information, on that topic.

The Directory does not need your site to achieve its goals, but always welcomes sites that enhance the Directory content. Be sure to keep the Directory’s goals in mind when you attempt to add additional links.

How to get a second category listing

To gain a second listing, you must be able to clearly demonstrate that your site offers additional unique information. By unique information, I don’t mean one or two articles, in the middle of your site, on another topic. That is not enough. It will only be rejected.

For example, let’s say you have a travel information site. Your site was previously submitted and accepted under one of the travel categories. Over time, you may have developed an entire technical section of your website, on the aircraft used by the airlines. You may be able to get your site listed under one of the Aerospace categories as well.

It’s very important to note that if you are seeking a second DMOZ listing for your site, that it contain enough important and useful content, to be included in a second category. The information provided by your site must almost amount to a second website. A few articles on the subject will not qualify. The content must be substantial and unique, and in keeping with the policies of DMOZ.

The same principles of submission apply for a second DMOZ listing, as to a first Directory listing. Your site must contain useful and unique content, to gain entry into the second category.

The information provided must be of real value to the ODP user. Remember, submitting your site to a second category is considered the same, as gaining your site’s initial inclusion in the Directory. The same rules apply.

Before you make a submission for an additional category listing, be absolutely certain you have the quantity and quality of unique content to do so. Now is certainly not the time for unrealistic thoughts about your site’s content. Be objective. The secondary information, provided by your website, must be able to stand as if it were a full website on its own.

Getting an added listing in the regional categories

Along with your main submission, you can also get your site listed in the Open Directory Project’s Regional Directory.

If you have an offline bricks and mortar business, that serves a mainly regional market, you may be able to get DMOZ to add a locally oriented listing for your site. Of course, there is no guarantee that it will happen, but it’s definitely worth an attempt.

When you apply for a regional listing, be sure that your site has a clearly marked physical address, displayed prominently on your site. It almost certainly has to be easily seen, on the home page of your site, and preferably on the inside pages as well.

That doesn’t mean you can get away with your address written in tiny print at the bottom of the page. Display it prominently. If your site does a lot of locally based business, your site should qualify for a regional listing.

Be sure your site contains a large proportion of added local and regional content. The information provided, should reflect the local area, and be of interest to the residents. In many cases, local and regional customers and clients will be the main users of your website.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a regional is listing is less important. The people living in the area think the region is important. You should consider the area important as well, by providing a lot of content, specifically for local visitor traffic.

With enough local and regional content on your site, you can be included in the DMOZ Regional Listings. A second regional listing is certainly worth having for your website.

Non-English language sites

If your site has a substantial amount of content, in a language other than English, you can make a submission of your site to the appropriate World Languages section.

Be certain that your site contains a lot of information to non-English speakers. A few translated pages are not enough to qualify. As with adding a site to a second category, the DMOZ World Languages categories require the equivalent of a stand alone website, to be accepted by the editors.

Updating an already listed website or blog

If your blog or site is already included in the Directory, you can always update your website title and description.

To request an update, you must complete an “Update URL” form. Follow the rules and requirements carefully, as you would with any other submission.

If you believe your site was included in the wrong category, you can e-mail one of the category editors, and explain your disagreement. Politely request a change of categories for your website, and provide good reasons for the change.

You might also try posting in the DMOZ Resource Zone forum. Be sure to follow the forum rules to the letter.

Note that you must register with the forum (free) to post. As with all DMOZ rules and regulations, they are not just suggestions. They are absolute requirements.

Do be polite and professional in all of your correspondence with the volunteer editors. They are providing a valuable service to the internet community, and deserve everyone’s courtesy and respect.

You are not e-mailing to a “faceless organization” but to a real people who are dedicated to performing their editorial duties, to the best of their abilities. Be professional at all times.

If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive from an editor, you may then use their “feedback” link to appeal the decision. The feedback e-mail is carefully examined and considered by the DMOZ staff. Their decision will be weighed for the benefit to the Directory and its goals. Keep that in mind.

Don’t attempt to pressure the editors into any decisions by contacting AOL, Netscape, Google, or any other users of DMOZ listings.. It simply won’t work. At best, it will slow down the process. At worst, it may get your site removed and banned from the Directory entirely.

Summing it up

If you always read and follow the DMOZ submission requirements, you can find your site added to second, and even third categories.

You can have a site added to the Regional listings, if you can show a substantial local focus to your website.

There is a good World Languages section for non-English websites, and for sites that have an extensive non-English component.

Changing your blog or site’s title, description, and category are all possible as well.

As with your initial submission to the Open Directory Project, be sure to follow the rules and regulations.

It’s definitely worth it!

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Monday, January 24, 2005


Carnival of the Capitalists at Business Opportunities

This week sees an opportunistic adventure for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a stop at a blog where all things are related to starting your own business and becoming a successful entrepreneur.

This week's tremendous lineup of posts feature a business and entrepreneurship flavour as we once again visit Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog.

When Dane Carlson isn't offering business ideas to budding and established entrepreneurs, he is helping to get business people connected with one another, and find help with financial assistance.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, spam, insider trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, politics, and technology.

As you would expect from Business Opportunities Weblog there are many discussions of business, entrepreneurship, and technology ideas.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Blog visitor logs as helpful assistance" where I suggest many additional ways to make your blog's visitor referral logs work for you, beyond simply the traffic numbers.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will return to a political blog as Ashish Hanwadikar of the interesting Ashish's Niti takes over the centre ring.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Business Opportunities Weblog hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesnt do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to find some business opportunities. (groan)

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B. L. Ochman provides writing gold

Noted public relations blogger B.L. Ochman of Whatsnextblog has some sterling advice for writing better blog posts.

Always a talented and accomplished writer for many business websites and blogs, B.L. shares her writing advice freely with other bloggers.

I would recommend strongly that you take her advice for copywriting for websites to heart, along with her blog writing tips.

They are gold.

Don't let the fact that I have violated her rules dissuade you. I just happen to like lots of adjectives.

You can do much better than me, however.

Skip on over to BL Ochman's Whatsnextblog and read for yourself.

Your writing will be much stronger as a result.

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Sunday, January 23, 2005


Group blogs: When more heads are better than one

Group blogs are always of interest to me.

You know the blogs I'm talking about. They are the blogs that have several or even dozens of different writers and contributors.

The most obvious advantages of group blogs are the sheer numbers of contributors. By having many writers adding posts to the blog, the pressure is somewhat removed from the principle blogger to post.

As many bloggers know all too well, that pressure to post can be immense. No one wants to let their loyal readers down by leaving the blog unposted for any lengthy time period.

On the internet in genral, and in the blogosphere in particular, two weeks is like an eternity in the three dimensional world. It's at least very close to an eternity anyway.

No fresh updates means a potential loss of readership and visitor numbers. That's a nightmare faced by many bloggers as well.

The group blog removes that pressure to post, but replaces it with other problems.

Sometimes the quality of posters is not comparable. Some people are simply better writers or more interesting and informative than others. Many bloggers can't be depended upon to contribute their minimal number of posts, or to blog on their assigned days or topics.

Holes can develop in the team fabric very quickly as a result.

The onus is on the team formulating the group blog to select quality bloggers, from the very beginning.

Choose quality over quantity every time.

In fact, choosing well known quality bloggers and forming a team, can bring an instant ready made readership. Each blogger in the group provides a percentage of their own readers to the new group blog, simply by many of the regulars following their favourite bloggers.

Don't expect a complete transfer of readership, however. Many readers prefer to stick with their regular blogs, and won't visit the new group blog very often.

That problem is offset by the other members of the team sending some of their main visitor traffic to the new group blog.

Links to and from the member blogs help develop visitor traffic and higher search engine rankings from the date of the blog's initial launch.

A group blog is a great way for a band of like minded bloggers to work together for the benefit of all.

Consider starting a group blog today.

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The 2005 Business Blogging Awards need nominees

The 2005 Business Blogging Awards need more nominees for many categories.

While there are many first class business blogs nominated, there is always room for more.

The following categories need more nominations:

Best VC/Entrepreneur Blog
Best Personal Finance Blog
Best Technology Company Blog (oddly, I’d have thought this one would have been huge)
Best Real Estate Blog
Best Manufacturing Blog
Best Business Humor Blog
Best SEO Blog
Best Project Management Blog
Best Leadership Blog
The John Kerry Award (Most Long Winded)
The Woh? Award (Worst Grammar / Spelling)
The Peacock Award (Most Self-Important)
The Ballmer Award (Craziest CEO blogger)
All of the International Categories (except, oddly, Australia/New Zealand)

Here is the entire list of categories, and they are still open for more nominations as well:

Overall Categories

Best Overall Blog
Best Group Blog
Best New Blog (Established 2004)
Best Law Blog (Blawg)
Best VC/Entrepreneur Blog
Best HR/Recruiting Blog
Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog
Best Personal Finance Blog
Best Small Business Blog (any industry)
Best Technology Company Blog
Best Media Blog (magazines, media organizations, etc)
Best PR Blog Best
Best Real Estate Blog
Best Manufacturing Blog
Best Marketing Blog
Best Business Humor Blog
Best SEO Blog
Best Project Management Blog
Best Leadership Blog
Best Time Management Blog

Speciality Categories

The Picasso Award (Best Design)
The John Kerry Award (Most Long Winded)
The RageBoy Award (Best Rants)
The Woh? Award (Worst Grammar / Spelling)
The Peacock Award (Most Self-Important)
The Ballmer Award (Craziest CEO blogger)
The Paul Bunyan Award (Blazing a Trail for Business Blogging)
The Chris Pirillo Award (For Shameless Self Promotion)

International Categories

Best American Blog
Best Canadian Blog
Best UK Blog
Best European Blog (non UK)
Best Asian Blog
Best Middle East/Africa Blog
Best Australia/New Zealand Blog
Best Central American Blog
Best South American Blog

There are some tremendous prizes being offered for the winners.

Thanks to the many generous donations of prizes, the winners are going to be very, very happy!

If you can't find a blog to nominate, send in your own!

Self nominated entries are very welcome.

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NewComm Forum 2005: Blog University

The New Communications Forum 2005: Blog University information courtesy of New Communications Forum 2005

The information for the various sessions can be found at the Sessions Page.

The blogging sessions include panel presentations, workshops, and discussion sessions. In short, there is something for everyone.

Note the lineup of many of the leading bloggers in business, marketing, and public relations blogs are listed as presenters. Many of the presenters are good friends of mine, and I can guarantee their talent and wisdom will be helpful, to any and all bloggers.


Here is the conference overview:


America - January 26-27, 2005

Europe - April 5-6, 2005

Event Overview:

A year ago, many people would have been hard pressed to describe a weblog, but today the impact of blogging is felt across our society. Whether it's the latest news leak, a new outlet for more traditional media, or a discussion about politics, technology, business trends, or a global occurrence, blogs are rapidly becoming an important part of online and in-person discourse. As media companies begin to adopt ways to accommodate this new medium, corporate blogs and blogs authored by individuals are finding a place in this growing online community.

Undeniably, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasts and other new technologies are quickly becoming crucial for your communications toolkit. These new tools have the power to strengthen overall marketing and communications efforts to your customers, journalists and other key audiences. If you are considering starting a corporate blog, want to learn how to maximize your current blog, or more about wikis, RSS newsfeeds, podcasts and more, you should attend the New Communications Forum.

New Communications Forum is an intensive new conference series specifically designed to bring journalists and marketing and PR professionals together to learn how to use new media tools such as blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and podcasting for media communications, corporate branding, marketing communications, public relations and employee communications initiatives. It will provide you with an in-depth, hands-on exploration of the future of communications. Our instructors are leading bloggers, journalists, marketers, PR experts, and senior executives who have pioneered the use of these new tools and technologies. They will share their in-the-trenches experiences as early adopters of these new communications tools.

New Communications Forum 2005 will be held in two venues:

NewComm Forum America 2005 will be held in the US in Napa, CA, January 26-27, 2005

NewComm Forum Europe 2005 will be held on April 5-6, 2005 at Eurodisney in Paris, France

New Communications Forum: Blog University is not a traditional conference. It is an interactive, international forum, comprising an extended, meaningful conversation and the sharing of ideas and theories about the future of communications.

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Saturday, January 22, 2005


Blog Business Summit Schedule

The full schedule for the Blog Business Summit for January 24 - 25, 2005 in Seattle, Washington.

Schedule information courtesy of Blog Business Summit.

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Reception Location

The Reception, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Monday night, is at the Marriott Waterfront, right across the street from the Bell Harbor, in Salon A of the Grand Pacific ballroom.

Sessions Locations

All sessions will be held in the Bay Auditorium with the exception of the Corante (webcast) session which will be held in the Pacific Board Room.

Session Topics and Schedule

Monday January 24, 2005

9:00am to 10:00am

Keynote Address: The Blog Advantage

Robert Scoble

Simply put, Blogs are eating the lunch of many traditionally architected sites. In terms of reach, influence, cost and convenience, the advantages are indisputable and significant. For those still building sites the “old” way, this hour will reveal why the future belongs to Bloggers. Robert Scoble, who FastCompany Magazine claims “may well be one of the most powerful people in Redmond” has helped shape Microsoft’s blogging strategy, and has advised Bill Gates on the market opportunities. Robert will reveal why this new architecture rules and how to take full advantage of it.

10:15am to 11:15am

Blog Business Models: What Strategies Make Money

Brian Alvey and Marc Canter

Business people worldwide are asking “where’s the ROI in blogging?” This session will show the tangible bottom line advantages to posting relevant information your customers can make use of. From revenue-generating sales sites to cost-reducing support portals, see how corporations are measuring the success of their efforts.

11:30am to 12:30pm

Building Traffic: Posting isn’t Enough!

Molly Holzschlag

You’ve got a fantastic blog. The design is beautiful, the content rich and relevant. But your stats are showing that only three people have visited since last July. What can you do? In this session, long-time blogger Molly E. Holzschlag will show you some of the best ways to build blog traffic quickly, increase interest in you and your product or service, and improve your bottom-line results. * The pros and cons of comment systems * How to use Trackback and Pingback to rapidly extend your blog’s reach * How content aggregation technologies can quickly get your blog content to a wider audience * How to improve blog ranking with both standard and blog-specific search engines * Tips and tricks to keep your visitors coming back for more

12:30pm to 2:00pm


1:15pm to 2:00pm

True Voice Webcast

Stowe Boyd, Robert Scoble

Corante's Stowe Boyd will be hosting a True Voice webcast entitled "True Voice: The Business of Blogging" and will involve various panelists from the conference addressing the themes now surrounding the exploding use of blogs in the business context. The webcast will include conference attendees and people who will call in via telephone.

2:00pm to 3:00pm

The Entrepreneurial Blog: Monetizing Your Interests

Brian Alvey and Glenn Fleishman

Knowledgeable bloggers have discovered that it’s possible to make money (and in some cases BIG money) from posting frequently about the topics they obsess about. What are the ways to take advantage of this entrepreneurial model? Two of the pioneers in this space will show you how they have been able to manage multiple blogs for profit and the practical realities of the game.

3:15pm to 4:15pm

Picking a Platform: Blogging Engines Compared

Molly Holzschlag and DL Byron

There's more to a Blog engine than just price. Once you've made your choice, transitioning can be a challenge—so you'll want to pick the optimal platform. If you have chosen, it's not too late to move to a more robust environment. This session will cover all the major issues in selecting and migrating to the best system. Molly and Byron will cover: * Insuring scalability * Spam prevention * Workgroup options * Feature sets * Pinging, publicity, and broadcast features * Extendability, plug-ins and upgrades * Being “orphaned”, and how to prevent it.

4:30pm to 5:30pm

True Voice: The Art and Science of Blog Writing

Stowe Boyd and Halley Suitt

Writing is the pivotal element in becoming a well-regarded and influential blogger, but good writing is much more than grammar and word choice. Discovering your “true voice” — a writing style that connects directly with others and reveals your character, passion, and perspective, as well as telling a story — can be challenging. And, of course, it is more than artistry: there is a science to making sure that Google likes your headlines, and tactics to mix up the kinds of posts you make so that others will come back frequently. This session will help you refine your writing to engage in a richer dialog with your community of readers. * First read, then write: being engaged in dialog * Write about what you care about: be passionate * Why not to use Journalistic style * Blog entry archetypes: what are the different kinds of entries, and what are they good for?

6:00pm to 8:00pm

Blog Business Summit Reception

Mariott Waterfront

Mingle with your fellow bloggers and share some beverages and munchies. We’ll be holding the party at the swank Marriott Waterfront across the street from the conference center. The reception is free for all conference attendees.

Tuesday January 25, 2005

9:00am to 10:00am

Good Blog Design: Speed, Accessibility, Transparency, and Clarity

DL Byron and D. Keith Robinson

Good content is a requirement, but there’s a lot more to a good blog than just the posts. Standard templates are fine, but there are a myriad of reasons why you’ll want to customize and enhance with a unique layout. Proper blog design can insure your branding, position, and message are optimally projected. Beautiful, cross-device, navigable, and fast loading sites that search engines love are a must. This session will cover what top bloggers do to get the best of all possible worlds.

10:15am to 11:15am

Corporate Blogging: Strategy and Policy

Lenn Pryor and Matthew Oliphant

Before you flip the switch and encourage employees to blog about the business, it’s critical that you set the stage for responsible posting. Resolving ownership issues. It’s equally important as an employee writing about your employer to be aware of potential “land mine” issues that could affect your job security. This panel of experts will cover the most critical policy areas, and how to deal with them. * Integrating blogs and confidentiality agreements * Accuracy mandates * Do disclaimers help? * SEC and “quiet period” restrictions. * Reconciling personal opinions against implied corporate representation * Competitor linking and dialog—how open do you want to be? * Screening and editing posts..

11:30am to 12:30pm

Marketing Strategies and Tactics: PR and Beyond

Buzz Bruggeman and Pete Blackshaw

Millions have chosen the Web as their default news source, and the number grows every day. With the growing adoption of RSS readers, the trend is accelerating toward blogs as the essential Web resource. How can you leverage this movement as you plan your marketing and PR campaigns? This session will teach how to leverage the self-publishing efforts of employees, executives, partners, and customers to your organizations advantage. * The death of the press release * Using blogs to get media placements * Community building techniques * Positioning yourself or your company as an “authority” in your chosen field. * Presenting an “authentic voice”.

12:30pm to 2:00pm


1:30pm to 1:55pm

Lunchtime Demo: Blog-Based Project Management Using Basecamp

Jason Fried

Basecamp is a simple blog-based project-management application that's billed as a "client extranet tool for creative-services firms," but its user base is much broader than that. It's also used by accounting firms, banks, public schools, and wedding planners. With Basecamp, project communication and schedules are centralized, automatically organized, archived by date and topic, and accessible from any computer with a web browser.

2:00pm to 3:00pm

Dealing with Bloggers: Partnering and Defense Strategies

Robert Scoble, Buzz Bruggeman, Anil Dash

PR professionals worldwide are learning (sometimes the hard way) that bloggers are a serious force to be reckoned with, and essential to have on your side. Organizations like Dr. Pepper, Kryptonite, and CBS News tried to ignore the negative messages being put forth by bloggers and discovered that proper action was mandatory. In this session, the best leverage and damage control techniques will be revealed. * How to get the bloggers to deliver the right positive message(s) * Prioritizing the bloggers * The power of linking to your critics * Saying you’re sorry—what the Lawyers don’t know

3:15pm to 4:15pm

Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More

Nick Finck, Biz Stone, and Mary Hodder

With so many virtual teams today, along with what some are calling the “collapse of email”. Organizations are looking for new and innovative ways for teams to communicate. For many, the integrated communication and information-sharing system that inexpensive Blogs and Wikis provide are just what the doctor ordered. In this session, attendees will learn: * What tools provide what benefits * Real-world examples of organizations leveraging these applications * How to overcome organizational resistance to new systems * How self-organizing communities can benefit your company.

4:30pm to 5:30pm

Media Blogging: Podcasting and Beyond

Lenn Pryor, Chris Pirillo, and Jake Ludington

The 17 billion dollar a year radio advertising market is growing at a healthy 10% a year because drivetime listeners are an increasingly valuable resource. Imagine being able to capture the attention of a targeted slice of this audience for little to no cost. That’s just one of the reasons Podcasting is getting so much attention these days. This session will teach how to get your content into audio format immediately, and the considerations for video broadcasting. * Receiving video and audio feeds * Recording your own podcasts * Serving audio and video content * The future: Blogging for TV * Revenue models for audio blogging

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Thursday, January 20, 2005


My Interview about business blogs on Blogosphere Radio

Business blogs need more publicity and exposure to the wider business community.

To that end, I had the privilege of being interviewed on the topic of business blogs by up and coming radio host Mack Male of Blogosphere Radio.

We discussed everything from starting that very first business blog to getting writing ideas for regular blog posts.

Blogosphere Radio is a growing voice (literally and figuratively) in getting the message of blogs out over the airwaves (or in this case, the internet).

I just love those cliches.

Don't you?

But the facts remain.

A business blog is the fast track to better marketing communications with customers and clients. Blogs provide higher search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search. Blogs assure better and more open public relations with the media and the general public.

Listen now to my business blogging interview on Blogosphere Radio.

While you are there, listen to the many other great interviews, with other very well known and knowledgeable bloggers.

They are all well worth tuning in for their blogging expertise.

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Professional Blogger's Association Board elected

The Professional Blogger's Association elected its first Board of Directors on January 20, 2005.

The Professional Blogger's Association is the brainchild of self proclaimed "blogvangelist" Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing Group.

The concept is to bring all bloggers, who earn a living as professional bloggers, under an all encompassing association umbrella.

The purpose of the association is to help facilitate the addition of professional bloggers to businesses wanting to start blogs, and to create a registry, support, and referral system for blogging members.

The highly professional Board members are as follows:


President - Paul Chaney - Radiant Marketing Group
Vice President - Anita Campbell - Small Business Trends
Secretary - Tris Hussey - View From The Isle
Treasurer - Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing

Board Members:

Amy Gahran - Contentious
Dana VanDen Heuvel - Dana's Blog
Jeremy Wright - Ensight
Steve Rubel - Micropersuasion
Yvonne Divita - Lip-Sticking

With a powerful and talented Board of Dirctors like that, the PBA is definitely off to a tremendous start.

Paul Chaney has more information on the Professional Blogger's Association on his blog as well.

For a complete list of the founding members of this tremendous fledgling blogger's association, be certain to read more of Paul's powerful ideas for blog promotions and networking.

I understand that the Association website and blog will be online very shortly. I look forward to seeing it as well.

Witout a doubt, we will be hearing much more from this great blogging organization in the very near future.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Blogathon for tsunami relief January 20

Tsunami relief is one place where bloggers can make a real difference.

Well known Australian blogger Darren Rowse of Pro Blogger will be doing his part for the victims of that terrible disaster.

On January 20, Darren will be participating in a non-stop 24 hours of blogging, in a real Blogathon, to help raise money for tsunami relief.

Darren plans two write 100 posts in 24 hours, so he will be busy.

He is looking for pledges, donations, paid advertisements, and whatever you can do to help:

If you want to make a donation per post, per word, per cups of coffee drunk, per use of the word ‘cactus‘, per comment left on the site over the 24 hours or per anything at all (or just a one off donation) just let me know or do it directly by using the ‘make a donation’ button in the right hand sidebar. I’m also still selling text links on the blog sidebar for $40 (US) (or more) a pop.

Here’s another idea - how about you commission a post on a topic of your choice? Remember I’ve only got 15 minutes for each post (plus I need to eat and toilet myself occasionally) so don’t make it too big a topic but name your topic and how much you’ll donate if I answer it and I’ll do my best!

Aid funds raised will be sent to the tsunami relief agency Tsunami Appeal under the auspices of The Oak Tree Foundation.

I authorized Darren to use any of my posts as starting points for links and comments should he be short of ideas.

Be sure to drop by the Blogathon today, and tomorrow, and pledge your support.

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Blog visitor logs as helpful assistance

Blog visitor referrer logs are one of my favourite topics.

I admit to looking at my visitor logs several times a day. In fact, since I have two visitor counters on my blogs, I get to have a few extra peeks.

Yes, I knew you thought it was naughty.

After all, only hit chasers, and a few other less polite terms, check their visitor logs on a frequent basis. Right?

Well, even nice bloggers look over their visitor records, and the reasons are not entirely ego based. In fact, those trackings can be very helpful for both the blogger and the readers.

When you look at the the referrer portion of the visitor logs, it lists how a person found your blog.

They might have clicked from a link on another blog. A search on one of the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search may have turned up your blog as result. A blog directory, where you dutifully submitted your blog information, might have sent a visitor your blog's way.

A message forum posting you wrote might have encouraged a message board reader to check out your blog for more of your writings and ideas. You might even have readers who arrived from an e-mail recommendation or the signature link placed on your own outgoing e-mail. As expected, you will even have some visitors who accessed your blog from your Atom or RSS feed.

All of those routes to your blog can and will appear in your visitor referrer logs.

Okay, so what does it all mean?

Well, I'm glad you asked. I like co-operative and helpful readers like you.

First of all, you know from links from other blogs, which blogs with whom you share a common readership. That reason alone could encourage you to link back to their blog. I like to click back through to any and all newly linking blogs to mine. I have found some of my very favourite blogs that way. All I did was notice that they had found me first.

It might even suggest that you contact the sending blogger with a personal e-mail introduction of yourself. It could lead to friendship or a business association.

I always believe that sending out an e-mail opens up an entirely new future, as an alternative timeline. Send the e-mail and you meet a new person, and possibly sending your future into an entirely new direction. Don't send the e-mail, and nothing happens at all.

One action. Two entirely different futures.

You will also have visits from search engine results. By receiving visitors to your blog from real life searches, you then know that your choice of blogging topics and posts are of interest to people in the real world. You know you are not sending out unread posts into the great unknown, never to be seen again, by any human eyes beyond your own.

Blog directory referrals are nice as well. You know that the time you spent submitting that blog description and even a keyword list was not wasted after all. Real people search for blogs in those free blog directories. I get at least one or two visitors from blog directories every day. So should you.

If you frequent the various blog message forums, and I know that you do, here are a few:

Blogger Talk Forum

Blogger Forum


Bloggerhub Forum

Weblogs Forum About.com

Yahoo Blogging Community

if you provide a signature link back to your blog, many readers of your posts will want to visit your blog. They will be interested to find out if your blog is as interesting and as informative as your forum posts.

Note that on forums, you should always be polite and strive to be helpful. Be sure to answer other bloggers' questions as freely and honestly as possible. Your reputation as a professional blogger could depend upon it.

Of course, a blog with an RSS or Atom feed will also find many visitors who visit their blogs in that manner. When you see the number of visitors who subscribe to blog feeds, it underlines the power of those information sending vehicles. They are very important, and getting even more so all the time.

Keep an eye on your visitor referrer logs and how and from where your blog visitors arrived.

There are many very interesting people on the other end of them all.

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Monday, January 17, 2005


Internal blog links: Staying inside the lines

When website owners and bloggers think of linking, they are usually referring to inbound links from external websites and blogs.

While adding more incoming links from pages in external sites is very important, it’s very easy to forget the internal linkage factors at work in your own blog.

The blog’s incoming links provide Google PageRank to the receiving web page. The inbound links boost both the page itself, and help the blog overall, receive additional link popularity boost. The links received from external sources are only part of the overall linking program for a website or blog.

Some very important link popularity increases will arise directly from a website’s internal linkage system. In fact, some improvements in the site linking and navigation can give a site a major boost in the search engines. This very important optimization technique is often ignored by link seeking website owners.

Think inside the box, and check over how the internal linking of the site is working, or not working, on your website’s behalf. It’s not a complicated procedure, but is one that can pay large dividends in better search engine rankings and stronger sales of products and services.

The revenue increase will result, from the site becoming easier to navigate, for to the benefit of the site’s visitor traffic. If a site is difficult to move around, the potential customer will simply leave, and seek out a site that is provides better usability.

Several factors require examination for improving a website’s internal linking system. As a starting point, every website needs a good, easy to navigate site map.

The site should also have easy to read, understand, and use menus, to enable the visitor to get to where she wants to travel within the site. If flash menu buttons are used, additional html links should be included as a precaution against possible search engine spider omissions.

Footer links, while not the most powerful of navigational tools, will help provide additional links to the site’s pages. The various clickable links should contain keyword link anchor text relevant to the receiving web page, to emphasise the page’s theme for the search engines.

By setting up a solid easy to use internal linking system, with proper use of keyword anchor text, a site will gain higher placements in the search engines. The improved usability will result in much stronger online sales because of the ease of site navigation for the potential customers and clients.

Setting your sights on a site map

Having a good easy to understand site map is an essential element of any good website. Not only does the site map help boost a site’s search engine rankings, but helps the visitor traffic find the information they seek while clicking around the site’s pages.

Surprisingly, not every website has a site map as part of the overall design. Those website owners should be rectifying that situation as soon as possible.

As with any linking structure, the first consideration for the site map should be the website users. If they can’t find the information required, they will simply leave the site, and give their money to a competitor.

Fortunately, that scenerio doesn’t have to happen to your site. The site map remedies part of that problem with one fell swoop.

When setting up the site map, group the various internal directories into overall themes. Put related topics together, to reinforce one another’s theme relevance. By doing so, you are helping the search engine spider recognize the overall themes and topics of the website.

A well developed site map also enables the spiders to crawl deeper into a site’s directories by providing entries to those deeper web pages.

The close interconnection of themes means better rankings in Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search. Site themes are a very important part of the search algorithms of all major search engines.

A well designed site map also means easier usability for your potential paying customers. More convenient site navigation means your visitors can more easily purchase products and services from your site. Talk about getting good bang for the buck.

When setting up the site map, make certain that each link to the receiving page contains link anchor text specific to that page. For example, if the receiving page is about blue widgets, place the keyword phrase blue widgets in the site map link. The additional anchor text, pointing to the desired page, targets that page for that search term.

The added link anchor text reinforces the theme of the receiving page for the search engines, providing an added boost in the search rankings. The keywords also aid the site user by providing direct information about the content of the page being linked.

Ordering off the menu

Every page of the website should contain an easily located and simple to use page menu. Without a menu, of course, no visitor could ever find their way around the website. A well designed menu should also be helpful to the search engine spiders as they crawl around the site.

Like the related site map, the more pathways available to the spiders, the more deeply and completely a site will be crawled and indexed. Having more pages indexed, on a regular basis, assists in search engine rankings as well.

When designing menu buttons for a site, the best ones use simple html coding to reach the other site pages. Often, a site designer will use flash buttons to create a more exciting look to the site. While perhaps appealing to the eye, the flash button menu might not be the choice of the search engine spiders.

While it’s believed that the various spiders can and will crawl flash links, they will find it more difficult. It’s far easier to provide html links, even as a backup system.

Making life easier for the spiders pays off in the search engine results pages (SERPs). As with all links, make certain that descriptive keyword anchor text is part of all page connecting links, to reinforce theme relevance.

Using footer links to get an extra kick

Footer links are almost standard at the bottom of every web page. They are placed there for a reason. Should the spiders not be able to fully crawl a site, or the visitor not be able to easily navigate the site, the footer links ensure that movement around the site is facilitated.

As an opportunity to use good keyword rich link anchor text, footer links are a real boon to the site optimization efforts. In fact, the anchor text choice can enhance even the often neglected Home and About Us pages. At the very least, the anchor text for Home should be Business Name Home. The anchor text for About Us should read, at minimum, About Company Name.

While more powerful link anchor text than the site title would be a better choice, at least use of the company name points those pages out in a clearer fashion, for the site visitor.

If the company or blog name includes a targeted keyword, some added search engine benefit is derived as well. In any case, the better link anchor text will assist in maintaining the overall site theme. Note that the footer anchor text places some extra keyword density on the page.

Link anchor text ties the blog themes together

When creating internal site links, the single most important thing to remember is to always use keywords in the anchor text, that reflect the theme of the receiving page. The use of keyword relevant link anchor text is especially important to link obsessed Google, but is also valuable for higher rankings in Yahoo and MSN Search.

The choice of wording for clickable links on the site map, the site menus, and the page footers should reflect the targeted keywords for the linked to page.

The link anchor text tells the search engines what is the important theme for the page being reached by the link. If the receiving page is targeted and optimized for red widgets, the link anchor text should reflect that goal.

Link text for blue widgets would only be half as effective, and should be reserved for linking to the blue widget page. Don’t use the link text of red widgets for the clickable link to any pages other than the red widget page.

Diluting the anchor text drops the total value to the receiving page by sending what amounts to mixed messages to the search engines. Keep the anchor text relevance clean and concentrated to the targeted page only.

The link anchor text is even more effective, if the page receiving the link has the anchor text in its title tags, and even in the page unique URL. Of course, the on page content should include the keyword phrase at the appropriate density. The overall benefit is derived from the concentration of theme relevance.


While gaining benefits from the search engines, a properly linked site aids the users of the site as well. Better site navigation helps visitors find the desired information, resulting in longer website stays. As a result, more opportunities for conversion from visitor to paying customer are created.

A proper internal blog link structure assists a site or blog in both the search engine rankings and in overall website based sales.

It’s time to redesign your blog’s internal linking structure and improve the existing link anchor text to better target your most important keyword phrases for each linked page.

It pays dividends in more ways than one.

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Small Business Trends hosts Carnival of the Capitalists

This week sees the first hosting of 2005 for the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a stop at a blog where all things related to small business, present and future, is the order of the day.

This week's tremendous lineup of posts feature a business, management, and economics flavour as we visit my friend Anita Campbell's must read Small Business Trends blog about everything small business and entrepreneurship related.

When Anita Campbell isn't writing about small businesses, she is writing books and articles, and she is well known and much sought after conference moderator. In fact, Anita is a woman of unlimited talents.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, education, legal issues, spam, insider trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, politics, and technology.

As you would expect from Small Business Trends there are many discussions of business, entrepreneurship, and technology ideas.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.

We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Viral marketing and e-mail newsletters" where I present some ideas for using viral marketing to increase the subscriber numbers for an internet e-mail newsletter.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will take an opportunistic turn as we revisit Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Small Business Trends hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesnt do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer you a chance to set a small business trend. (groan)

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