The Almost Perfectly Optimized Website

It’s taken me a while, but I finally found it. Found what? The perfectly optimized website according to Google page rank… for a while at least!

Ever since I’d learned about Google’s page ranking system, which I really don’t trust (and don’t think they now care about anymore), I wanted to find those pages that were at the very top, to see just what it is that they’d done. Sure, by now we’ve heard that Google says trying to attain high page rank is meaningless. Still, it was one of those challenges I put myself on because, well, it’s just what I had to do.

Buddha Quote 62
Creative Commons License Hartwig HKD via Compfight

That search began in earnest, as I first went looking at the top ten sites, based on Alexa’s ranking. Google’s site has a perfect 10, but we can’t count that. Or can we, since none of the other search engines have a page rank of 10? Nope, had to exclude them, if only for bias. I then went through the next 10; nothing.

At that point, I just started searching big name sites at random, hoping I would just happen upon one. But it wasn’t happening, and I was getting depressed. Then I finally decided that there just wasn’t any way to obtain a perfect score, and I would have to be satisfied with those sites I found that had 9’s; that’s very good also.

Lo and behold, I finally found a site that has the perfect 10 rating by Google. I was researching something regarding standards for proper CSS had HTML, and that search lead me to this site: http://www.w3c.org/, or W3C: The World Wide Web Consortium.

My mind was swimming; the perfect website! Not only that, but it had an Alexa rank of 230 at the time; even better. In a weird way, it showed just how diverse ranking properties can be; Alexa says it shows the web prominence of a website, and though 230 isn’t bad, it seems to shake things up, even if only in a minor fashion, because how can such a page be considered as perfect by one company and only #230 in another?

Frankly, I don’t care. I don’t care because I found perfection. And what perfection; why should I have expected anything less than what this pages shows me.

And just what does it show me? Well, first it has lots of content; these people were made to create content, which is easy for them to do because they have so many contributors.

I looked at the source codes; how wonderful they are. When you look at the main page, start in the middle first. This shows how content doesn’t have to be rambling, or even one coherent thought. These people don’t just have a list of content; they have one paragraph explaining what they’re going to give you, with links galore, internal links, which I’ve talked about before. You almost never leave this site.

Along the top and the sides are even more links. Each one takes you to very organized pages, and every single one of those pages have lots and lots of links, all going somewhere else within the site. On the left side of this page all the links are in alphabetical order; on the right, they’re grouped by category designations.

One very special page is their table of contents, which is here: http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/. Every single line in the actual table of contents, which looks like a large outline, is a link. Each link takes you to a page, which leads you to many other links and pages, and it goes on and on. Frankly, I don’t know that one person could read this entire site in a week or a month without having to start again from the beginning, there’s so much here.

This is the icon, the standard upon which we are all based. And frankly, I have to admit that I was elated and sad at the same time. Elated because I finally found perfection (though it’s gone now); sad because, unfortunately, I’m never going to attain perfection, page rank or otherwise.

As a sole proprietor, I’ll never be able to match this kind of content, and I write all the time. Even if I add staff, which I hope to someday, I can’t see where we would ever be able to spend the kind of time it takes to put together something like this. Others may not see it the same way I do, but this is a beautifully put together site; I almost want to cry. lol

I can only hope that one day, when I’m old and gray (technically, being black my hair is white), I’ll remember what it was like the day I saw perfection, and knew it would never be me or my sites; how do you feel?
 

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Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool

It took me about four years to decide it was time to create another product. This time, it wasn’t going to be about leadership or management, but about websites.

This is my first e-book, Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool, and it’s up there in the most prominent sales spot of this blog. The story behind this one starts in November 2006.

I’ve mentioned here and there that I am a member of an organization called the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York; I’m also on the board. What happened is that the Monday before our November meeting that year the president sent out a notice saying that our speaker had canceled at the last minute. He asked all the board members what we should do about the meeting on Friday. I don’t know what I was thinking about, but I volunteered to do a presentation on search engine optimization (SEO).

The funny thing is that I was already giving a presentation on Wednesday on hospital charge changes as it relates to coding that was going into effect on January 1st. So I already had one presentation that I’d been rehearsing for, and here I was volunteering for another one; I must’ve been out of my mind. Still, I was up for the challenge.

After the presentation I gave on that Wednesday, I came home and I sat at my desk trying to figure out exactly what I was going to talk about for my presentation on Friday. Late that evening, I came up with an idea that was going to put something together, and I went to bed around 4 AM, woke at 9 AM, and spent the next seven hours putting it together. I thought it was pretty good, and then did a little bit of rehearsing to get the time down, figuring that just because I was doing a last-minute presentation didn’t mean that I had the luxury of walking in and not being prepared. I do consider myself a professional after all.

The next morning I gave my presentation, and let’s just say that it went over very well. It was like I was bringing a whole new concept to these guys, and seeing as how at the time I was probably the youngest person in the room, I can understand that; isn’t that a shame? Anyway, afterwards I ended up having some of the members of the organization asking me if I would do some things with their websites. I thought that was pretty cool, and I realized there was another way I could generate some income. As you know I’m a big proponent of The Secret, where it says that you never know where an opportunity for success will come from, and I figured this might be one of those ways.

At that time I also decided it was time to create a new business website, so I came up with the name SEO Xcellence; actually, all those letters were initially linked together, but for some reason people couldn’t see the one word without seeing the word “sex”, even though I couldn’t see it. So it took me about a year but I finally made the change to what you see above (as of December 2014 the site has been shut down).

A year later I created this blog, and a few months in, with very little traffic and a whole lot of chutzpah, I decided to see if I could do a legitimate product launch. Truthfully, I had no real idea what I was doing, and the truth of the matter is that I didn’t have enough people following me on this blog or Twitter for that matter for it to have had a chance at success. Yet, I still gave it a shot.

I wrote the book, I sent it out to a few people I not only trusted, but figured might learn a couple of things about the topic. I got positive reviews from everyone, and luckily one guy really scrutinized it and saw some typos in it, and once I get those corrected I was ready to go. So I announced that the ebook was coming, and five days later I had the product launch.

In retrospect it was a moronic way for me to do it. You don’t do a product launch with only five days notice because there is no way you can build up enough enthusiasm in only five days. Also, you need followers, or at least some kind of big list of people you can send something out to, and I had neither. So on the day of the launch I sold two books, then didn’t sell another book for about a year and a half. Still, I have made some sales, and it’s a product that helps me advertise how I can help small to medium-size businesses with their websites and internet presence.

There’s the story of Using Your Website As A Marketing Tool. It will be interesting to see if the search engines think that the title indicates that this is a duplicate or triplicate post, since I’ve probably had at least two other posts with the same title on them; probably not. I made sure when I wrote this not to make it too complicated, so it’s not overly long. But it is about 56 pages worth of information, and if you’re new to the whole thing I think if you liked how I write explanations on this blog of things you will like that ebook.

And that’s that; one more product to go.
 

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SEO Is A “Practice” Like Medicine, Not A Science

Every Wednesday on Twitter there’s something that goes on that originated here in the Syracuse area. It’s called Community Manager Chat, and it’s actually geared towards people who handle the social media processes at their particular companies, or for someone else. I get to be a part of it because social media is my thing, or at least a big part of my thing. If you ever decide to participate it’s at 2PM Eastern time, and you use the hashtag #cmgrchat to follow along.


Searching by Josh Heilaman

Last Wednesday the topic of discussion was blogging, which y’all know I thrive on. It was actually the second week on the topic because it seemed like it was very popular and there were so many questions being asked. I answered a bunch of questions, and on that day and the day after I got a bunch of new followers; I could see that a lot of people were interested in what I had to share.

Anyway, what happens is that one of the moderators throws out a question every 15 minutes or so, then the responses fly out. One of the questions asked what people did for SEO on their blogs. I stated that my SEO strategies are to write as much content as I can and to, for the most part, write about certain types of topics more often than going off the grid. I actually do that if you check my centennial stat posts from time to time.

As normal, there were a few people who went into the direction of having to not only write niche blogs, but to make sure to stuff your posts with keywords and keyword phrases so they could be found easier on the search engines. I read that stuff all the time and for the most part I think it’s garbage. After all, if I write 100 posts on roses and suddenly decide to stuff a post with the phrase “brown picture frames”, it’s not really going to mean anything to anyone, including the search engines. Those 100 posts on roses are going to fare way better.

After seeing some of those posts, I wrote the line that this post is based on: SEO is a “practice” like medicine, not a science. It got retweeted a bunch of times; I think people liked that phrase a lot.

And of course I believe it’s true. There are a lot of great SEO practices, which I’ve even talked about on this blog, but the truth is that not every website is going to end up on the first page of Google or any other search engine just because one’s site is optimized well. If you decided today that your goal was to be in the top 10 for the term “shoes” you probably won’t have a chance unless you can produce close to 900 pages of blog posts in a year or so. That’s because there are so many people already writing on that same topic that have beaten you to the punch. You can get creative to find your little niche in that group and that might put you on the first page; otherwise, you just need to be the best you can be and hope to compete in another way.

SEO is like medicine because it’s really a guessing game after a certain point. Doctors guess all the time as to what’s wrong with us. I bet every person who reads this post knows someone who had a doctor tell them “I don’t know what’s wrong with you,” or something to that effect. I’ve heard it myself. And these people go to school for 8 years, then do 2 or 4 years of clinical before they’re allowed to be out on their own; I don’t know anyone who’s truly been doing SEO for more than 7 years or so.

Does this mean one shouldn’t try to be as effective as possible in trying to get their blogs to perform well on the search engines? Absolutely not. What it does mean is that one shouldn’t kill themselves trying to write the perfectly optimized post every time out. To me, based on history, one gets way more juice by trying to put out as much good content as they can. That’s always my goal when I decide to write a post, no matter what the topic is on.

Trust me, there’s really nothing wrong with practicing; you might not end up being a concert pianist like Andre Watts, but you could be Liberace, and he made a lot of money in his lifetime.

Delicately Carved Wooden Handle Magnifying Glass and Letter Opener Set 10″


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The Debates About SEO

Search engine optimization is an interesting concept, one that I’ve been dealing with for almost 4 years now. It’s interesting because you never really know where discussions on the topic are going to take you, and often people love to disagree on things concerning different aspects of it.


Debating Creationists
by the mad LOLscientist

I recently wrote a guest post about this subject on another blog. My general premise is that people shouldn’t be stressing themselves out about using all sorts of SEO tactics when it comes to blogging because it’s better to make your content look smooth and sound seamless than it is to worry about too much of the SEO involved in trying to get people to your blog. In my view, you don’t totally throw out SEO, but don’t overly worry about it because, for blogs, it’s not as important as the breadth of your content if you’re a niche blogger.

Of course I encountered disagreements on the post, which I kind of expected, because there are many others who would say I was stark raving mad for saying that. However, I stood my ground. Based on research and real evidence, if you have at least 100 blog posts on a subject all the SEO sculpting in the world isn’t going to make a blog post stand out from any other in the search engines. Having a consistently good pattern of writing on your niche will work wonders, though.

An interesting way to show this is to look at this blog’s top 10 keywords from January of this year through August 31st for how people found this blog on search engines and see if the posts they might match up to were all that optimized. Here we go:

1. Cleavage – well, that’s still my most popular post for some reason, but in a post that was almost 1,350 words I used that one word less than .7%, even if it’s in the title.

2. Ultra Diamonds complaints – I wrote one post about this back in 2008 and I mentioned it twice, and not even in a row.

3. sensors quality management scam – I’ve never written a single post on this topic, and I have no idea what it even means. I wrote a post on secret shopper scams, and someone wrote that line in a comment.

4. forcefield.exe – mentioned once in a post I wrote about Zone Alarm.

5. do they still make zima – I wrote that comment once in a post on, well, Zima.

6. pdf my url – I wrote a post on this software, but I used the term “pdf” twice and “url” three times.

7. favorite classical pieces – I wrote a post on my favorite classical pieces, but I only used the phrase once, not including the title.

8. obsession with numbers – This is the first post where, as I look at it now, one could say I optimized it, although it certainly wasn’t intentional.

9. google desktop thunderbird – This one is also inadvertently optimized, and when I look at it, probably very well indeed.

10. mystery shoppers corp scam – once again this phrase doesn’t show up anywhere in the post I wrote on secret shoppers, and I have no idea where the word ‘corp’ comes from.

What’s my point? Out of my top 10 keywords, only two posts are actually optimized, and that occurred because of natural writing rather than any attempt to provide proper SEO to the posts. And the two posts that are optimized are #8 and #9 on my list; how do we explain the top 7?

As I said and will reiterate, I’m not saying that if you wish to take the time to do it that going through the process of optimizing your content might not be a worthy goal? What I’m saying is that, at least in my opinion, writing your content so that it makes sense to your readers, and eventually search engines, seems to work just as effectively if your topic in some way matches up to what people are looking for. At least for blogs; we can talk about websites another time, unless you read the article I just linked to. lol

Or I could be wrong… nah! 🙂

Wwe-Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80'S

WWE Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80’s








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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.

Star Trek Waterglobe Holiday Style

Price – $21.95






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