Category Archives: SEO

SEO Doctor

From Kristi’s most recent Fetching Friday post came an article from Search Engine Journal on a Firefox plugin called SEO Doctor. In essence, it gives you a heck of a lot of information on how your SEO efforts are working on your website, and if you know how to dig deeper, might give you some indications of what you can do better.

After checkout out the article, I went to the page, downloaded the plugin, and of course added it to my browser, where it’s sitting at the lower left as I type. The biggies, as it pertains to what you want to know, are: the percentage, out of 100%, of effectiveness your page is in its SEO efforts; the number of external links and links overall on that page; and the number of visits that page has received.

When I go to my main business site, it’s ranked at 96% out of 100%; I like that. Some of my other pages on that site are perfect, and I like that even better. The worst page on that site comes in at 90%. It shows me I have 3 external links and 43 links overall; I had to go counting to find those links overall, but they’re there. It shows me… well, it shows me nothing as it pertains to visits. That’s because you have to belong to Compete, and you have to have an API key to pop in, and of course I’m not signing up for that. I wish I could change it to something else, but I’m stuck with that; oh well…

There are two other things on the toolbar as well. One is something called Flow, which measures the percentage of page rank you’re retaining on your site. Since y’all know I don’t particularly follow page rank all that much, I’m not worried about it, which is why it’s not in my top 3. However, on my business page it says I’m retaining 88% of my page rank. The last thing is this little green tab to the far right, which allows me to track nofollow links if I so choose; I don’t at this juncture, but it’s neat enough to take a quick look at.

Finally, you can right click on any of the information listed and get even more information, which you can download if you prefer in a .csv format. Of course, if you have nothing in Compete, that one won’t work.

Anyway, it’s a neat little tool you might want to check out, but of course you have to be on Firefox to use it.

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Linking To Your Tags

Earlier today I was checking out one of the many blogs that I follow called Online Social Networking. I’m not sure where I originally met Larry online, but we started our blogs around the same time.

I was reading this one particular post, which was pretty good, but that’s not what caught my eye. For the first time, I noticed that Larry has a lot of links in each post. I’d never really paid much attention to it, though I’d clicked on a link from time to time, but tonight it really drew my attention. I decided to hover over some of them, and what I discovered has lit something in my mind.

Before I tell you what, let me mention these couple of things. Larry’s blog has a PR of 4; as I always say, I don’t overly care about page rank, but it’s a number so we’ll use it for the moment. He has an Alexa rank of 52,170. He has 703 RSS subscribers. He doesn’t write as often as I do, his posts aren’t as long as some of my posts are, and he has very little in the way of marketing items.

What he does have, though are those links. And what I noticed today was that many of those links aren’t just internal links, but are links to his tags.

As I’ve said, I’m relatively new to tags. I’ve done more tagging on my finance blog than I’ve ever done here. I have categories here, but not as many tags. Still, I could recognize the importance of the internal linking even more than I have up to this point. I link to much of my content when I think about it. However, there’s nothing wrong with doing some of that internal linking to either tags or categories. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the smartest things I’ve ever seen, and I wish I had thought of it before now.

Of course, I don’t think that’s the only reason his blog is ranked better than mine. He sticks to his one particular topic, which is pretty much anything that has to do with social networking and social media, while I kind of dabble in, well, pretty much whatever I want to dabble in. But one of those things we all need to remember with our blogging is internal linking and SEO, and this is one brilliant step that I’m going to start doing, just as I hope to start tagging some of my missives a little bit more also.

Oh, I still won’t have PR for awhile, but I’ve been wondering if there might be ways to increase my Alexa rank, since they still like me, and this might be the next step in helping to put me over. Also, something else I’m going to start doing is paying more attention to other articles I’m reading on other blogs, and if something fits an old post of mine, I’m going to link to it. Anchor links are important to do, even if the content isn’t on your own site. And other people deserve some love also, as I got this week from Kristi’s Fetching Friday post.

Something to important and yet to simple; oy! 😀

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GoogleRankings Is Dead; For The Most Part

One of those little inside things I’ve always had going for my SEO business is that I had a Google API so that I could use GoogleRankings. This little tool allowed me to put in keywords and see where I was ranked for those keywords (SERPS); that was wonderful. When I wrote a post about this little SEO Project I undertook, which actually ended up working pretty well but took longer than I had expected, the way I was able to check my rankings was through GoogleRankings.

Now, why I was ahead of a lot of people is that Google had stopped giving out APIs some time in 2006. They said they weren’t really going to support it anymore, but would continue running the service. I thought that was great since I had my number.

Suddenly, it stopped working. I had thought that maybe there was a glitch somewhere, so I didn’t worry about it. However, when I checked again today, now I was wondering what was up. So I did my search on Google, and lo and behold I learned that they’ve totally shut down my SOAP API service. This meant I could basically check GoogleRankings for Yahoo and MSN, but nothing else. Because they weren’t updating it, they weren’t ever going to add Bing, and actually MSN had pretty much shut down, as well as Ask. And then, just after midnight, they shut down the site totally; GoogleRankings is no more.

So, what will I use next? I’m kind of at a loss. I found a couple other sites, but none of them worked. And I mean that literally; it’s not that they didn’t give me what I wanted, they just decided they didn’t want to play. I will find something, though; I have to have my information. Anyone have any ideas out there?

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SEO Project – The Update

For those of you who remember, I wrote a post on April 7th titled An SEO Project I’m Undertaking. I was going to try to raise my search engine ranking for three websites using traditional SEO techniques for certain keyword phrases.

A brief history first. I decided to undertake this after Khaled wrote me and had an idea on how I could do this. I figured I was ahead of the game generally, since one of my businesses is SEO related, but usually I work on sites that have pretty much nothing going for them at all, or brand new sites. I don’t do a lot with sites that, for the most part, are optimized for their own reasons.

In any case, I decided to try. Here are the results of that trial; they’re not pretty.

Starting with this blog, I said I was going to try to get ranked for the term “affiliate internet marketing.” At the time, I was only showing on MSN search, and in position 825. Now I’m only showing on Yahoo, dropping off MSN altogether, but in 231st position. That’s interesting, but not quite what I was shooting for, as I’m still nowhere in Google’s top 1,000.

What did I do? I went back through all my posts, all 400+, looking for everything in categories related to “affiliates”, “internet”, and “marketing”. Then I started all my internal linking, using the search term I wanted by slightly rewriting some copy, and linking to articles that helped support that term. This was the longest part of the project. It didn’t end up working, but at least if people decide to read any of the old stuff they’ll be linked to newer stuff also.

Next, for my SEO site, I wanted to get ranked for the term “internet marketing consultant.” Before I started, I came up 54th on MSN and 14th on Yahoo. Right now, I only come up on Yahoo, in 479th position. Man, that’s a royal drag. How the heck did I drop so far? No real idea on this one.

What did I do? I first wrote an article on what I thought an internet marketing consultant was. Then I went through my pages and added that search term to them, linking back to the article. That was pretty much it; I added the term to maybe 1/3rd of the pages on that site, including the meta descriptions and in meta keywords, which supposedly work better on other search engines than Google; nope, nada. Now, oddly enough, my Alexa ranking did go up, so it wasn’t a total loss.

The final attempt was for one of my monthly clients. I was hoping to move his rank up for the term food doctor I didn’t think I was going to be able to do much for him, since he doesn’t have a lot of pages, but I slightly rewrote his copy to fit that in better. Initially he was 106 on Google, 45th on Yahoo, and 60th on MSN. Now he’s at 110 on Google and 54th on Yahoo; MSN stayed the same.

So, what does this tell us about SEO? I’m not quite sure. Well, I am, and I’m not.

One, trying to change things with a blog that hasn’t been geared towards a certain topic in the past is difficult, and could actually be impossible, without some drastic rewrites and possibly killing some older posts; that’s just not going to happen.

Two, SEO onto itself isn’t always enough to start ranking for something new, something you’ve never tried to rank before. In this case, for my SEO site, I either needed to write more things about being a consultant and the internet in general than I actually have on the site.

Three, I also probably should have run an Adwords campaign, not necessarily to drive traffic to the site, although that’s a big part of it, but those impressions showing up on other sites with my link couldn’t have hurt.

Four, I didn’t have the time to try to incorporate a link building strategy into all of this, which might have helped. I tried doing it all with internal linking and changing copy; I think this experiment shows that’s not enough to conquer the world.

Anyway, that was a lot of work for a lot of nothing, and I don’t see myself trying anything like that again around here. Oh yeah; my Alexa ranking here stayed pretty much the same, as it did for my client’s site.


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SEO Is Easier With Websites Than Blogs

If you remember, back on January 1st I had a pretty comprehensive post on Page Rank and SEO, where I did an examination of this blog, and another blog, to figure out where page rank and SEO might have some sort of affect on the pages within a blog. I pretty much came to a conclusion that it was hard to to proper SEO to a blog because even if you only write on one thing, there are so many other variables on a blog that it’s hard to get a good page rank; that is, if you really care. I decided to do another long project, adding something else into the mix. So get something to drink, sit back, and either read or listen, via that Odiogo button there at the top left of this post, because this one’s going to be long.

What I’ve done is gone through this blog, my business blog (Mitch’s Blog), and my main business website. I’ve selected the top 10 visited pages, or articles, for each of these entities, based on Google Analytics. I’ve checked them for page rank, and then I’ve checked them on Google Rankings to see, based on the main search terms, where they might come up, if at all; only the top 500 this time, though, so I could get through it all. My point, which will be proven, is that SEO efforts for websites can bring some nice results, much nicer than with blogs, even if the niche is more defined. Yeah, there’s a lot of link love I’m giving myself, in case you ever decide you’d like to see what all I’ve been writing and creating over all these years, but hey, it’s also a research project, so forgive the indulgence. I do this for you, my faithful readers. My story and I’m sticking to it. So, let’s begin.

Let’s start with this blog. To begin with, it’s not always easy to figure out which search terms to try to find blog entries for. This means that the ranking figure might be skewed too far one way or the other. But we’ll take it as it’s worth. Here are my top ten articles, my Google rank, and my Yahoo rank; none of these pages has a Google page rank, so why even chart it. Here are the other numbers:

9 Instant Tips On How To Leverage The Power Of Squidoo (used to be 1) 4 Google, 0 Yahoo

Be Responsible For Your Own Life Google, 0 Yahoo 0

A Point About Commenting On Blogs Google 0, Yahoo 0

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird (this page has a 0 page rank, instead of being unranked) Google 6, Yahoo 2

Another Rant On NYS Internet Taxes Google 48, Yahoo 0

Dofollow/Page Rank Discussion Google 31, Yahoo 1

My First Week In Reno Google 0, Yahoo 0

Kontera -Performancing Ads And TTZ Google 0, Yahoo 32

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest Google 0, Yahoo 1

The Dance-Off Google 0, Yahoo 0

Out of those 10 posts, I think only two can really be considered as legitimate as far as the search engines go, those two being the one on Google Desktop and NYS Internet Taxes. The rest,… well, iffy at best.

Next, let’s take a look at my business blog. This one, it’s slightly easier to see how the SEO efforts went, but this time some of the posts do have page rank, so it’s included this time around:

RAC Audits – A Commentary PR 0, Google 1, Yahoo 1

My Personal And Business Goals For 2009 PR 0, Google 19, Yahoo 1

Did Martin Luther King Jr Believe In Our Future? PR 1, Google 18, Yahoo 0

PR 1, Google 2, Yahoo 0

The 7 Habits Seminar PR 1, Google 1, Yahoo 0

Is Fox News Anti-Obama? PR 0, Google 14, Yahoo 0

Am I An Invisible Man? (this is actually one of my pages on that blog) PR 2, Google 53, Yahoo 24

Group Think Doesn’t Always Work PR 0, Google 3, Yahoo 1

Quotes I like (another one of my pages) PR 2, Google 0, Yahoo 0

Evaluating Employees And Yourself PR 1, Google 4, Yahoo 0

As I said, more of these work as far as being able to see how my SEO efforts worked, but probably four of them aren’t all that valid.

So, those are the two blogs, and truthfully, though some of the numbers on this blog look pretty good, I don’t think they’re valid. And for my business blog, more are valid, but I’m not sure anyone would be looking for the keywords I used to search for those articles.

Now, though, we’ll take a look at my business website, where most of the pages we’re going to look at would offer legitimate search terms I might be found for. Notice the PR difference, as well as the more legitimate search term rankings:

Employee Evaluation Module (this is actually my most searched and reviewed product page, which I’ve never mentioned here because I doubt there’s a single person who visits this blog who could use it, as you’d need to have employees) PR 2, Google 1, Yahoo 1

2009 CPT Code Changes (one of my healthcare newsletters PR 2, Google 2, Yahoo 4

Tribute (this is a tribute I wrote to my dad when he passed away) PR 2, Google 122, Yahoo 0

Records Retention PR 2, Google 106, Yahoo 0

Free Newsletters PR 3, Google 1, Yahoo 1
( for this one, since I offer two newsletters, I also did a second search term, for free healthcare newsletter, and it came up Google 6, Yahoo 2)

Biography PR 2, Google 0, Yahoo 0

Chargemaster Consulting PR 2, Google 6, Yahoo 2

Charge Capture Consulting PR 2, Google 8, Yahoo 0

Healthcare Consulting PR 2, Google 221, Yahoo 0

Executive Coaching PR 2. Google 0, Yahoo 253

As you can see, every page here except for my bio page is ranked by either Google or Yahoo (I didn’t even know what kind of search term to use for my bio, so I left it alone), and the search terms are more accurate because, on a website, it’s easier to define what each page should be about. Now, many people forget two important things about internal pages. One, to optimize them at all, which is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. That would explain why so many internal pages aren’t ranked on most websites; I’m happy to say that the majority of my pages have a page rank of some kind, if only because it shows that they have been optimized. Two, if they optimize, most people use the same exact meta description and keywords on every page of their site, which is a mistake because every page on a website isn’t optimized for the same thing, and the search engines will ignore pages where the optimization doesn’t match what the page is about.

Now, let me be clear here; I still don’t care all that much about page rank. However, unless they’ve banned you for some reason, it’s still a nice indicator of whether or not you’ve optimized your site pretty well. It still doesn’t mean anything as far as visitors or even making sales or more money, but it does mean you have a better opportunity to be found on the search engines, if only because someone just might put in search terms that will lead them to you. Just like we look at Alexa and Technorati, or any of the other little things we can choose to view (see the two ranking icons to the upper right, above the Twitter bird) that rank us in some fashion. It’s better being on a list, or a ranking of some sort, than not being noticed at all.

I believe I have achieved my purpose, but I need to define it a little bit better. There are things we can do on our blog to help generate more interest, to get people to read more of it, and hopefully to get it to rank in some fashion, long term, on the search engines. But when all is said and done, it’s quite possible that blogs are just so active that posts don’t really get a chance to get rankings, even posts that continue getting visits years after they’re written, if you’re lucky (that’s where internal linking might be able to help), so don’t kill yourself trying to make every one of your blog posts optimal. If you can stay somewhat consistent on a topic, as I do with my business blog, you will have a better chance of attaining and keeping a page rank, because every blog post I mentioned on my beginning of the year post, at this point, has lost its page rank. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

However, when it comes to your real websites, using good SEO skills can help your pages get ranked, which means you’ve probably optimized them well enough to have a legitimate chance to be found on the search engines. With blogs, it seems to be more important to generate visitors in other ways, such as commenting on other blogs, and many of the other ways that so many people have written about that I’m not going to bother going into it again. When it comes to your blog, just write, and write as well as you can. It’s a blog; have some fun with it.

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