First Page SEO Basics

Two weeks ago I was having an interesting debate with a guy on LinkedIn. It was supposed to be on the subject of social media and SEO, and instead it turned into a debate on SEO and what’s important.

He was saying in this group that it wasn’t important to optimize one’s home page anymore because we were all under an illusion if we thought that most of our visitors came in through the home page. In his opinion, optimizing all the other pages were more important to attracting visitors than anything you might think of doing on your home page.

I of course countered, saying that without optimizing and working on your home page that your other pages don’t really have all that much of a chance to get you anywhere. The bots sent out by search engines start off with your main page, “index” if you will, and if you haven’t taken care of that then the bots get confused as to what your site is all about and almost nothing else you do will overcome that lapse.

Strangely enough, I was talking to my wife about it, someone who knows nothing about computers or coding or SEO or anything related to technology, and she said “Don’t you need a foundation before you do anything else?”

Exactly! It’s like what many people write about when they’re talking to brand new bloggers who are getting into the game to make money. The recommendations are always the same, and they’re true; think about content and building up a community more than the money part initially. If the day you start your first blog post your site is already loaded with all sorts of banner and affiliate ads all over the place and your articles are geared towards the “make money” market, you’re going to look at little bit goofy. This isn’t saying you can’t have anything, but unless you’re someone like John Chow, who was already rich before he started blogging, you’re not going to come across as well.

Anyway, back to SEO and foundation. If you’re putting together a site, it works best if you decide what your site is going to be about and then try to figure out what you want to be found for before you even begin constructing your site. Doing that research helps you write your copy, and make it as natural as possible so the search engines have no problems reading your site and determining what it is you do. Sure, you could try to go the backdoor route, and you might possibly succeed in some fashion, but it’s not the best way to do it.

Optimize every page on your site as much as possible. But always start with your main page.

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Images Used By Permission & Copyright Laws – Guest Post

Following up on my post yesterday titled The Quest For Legitimate Images, I was able to convince my friend Scott Thomas to write this post explaining his position on the topic as well as giving us some insight into the issue.

Used by permission of Scott Thomas Photography

Mitch and I were discussing the use of photos on this blog a couple of weeks ago. I told him he should find the person who took any photo he uses on his blogs to ask permission to use it. What he said disturbed me and I find it is a prevalent attitude found around blogs, websites and even in advertising and other media. He said if he can not find the person who created the photo and sees it in other locations, he saw no reason not to use it.
Continue reading Images Used By Permission & Copyright Laws – Guest Post

Formatting Your Images On Your WordPress Blog

I’ve seen this often enough, and I decided it was time to say something about it.

When you add images to your WordPress blog, do they show up like this:

Notice, it’s sitting out there in its own netherland, not quite falling into place with the rest of my text? That has to be somewhat irritating, because it takes up space and, well, it just doesn’t look all that good. No matter the size of the image, having it pop out like this makes it seem like it’s not a part of the post. WordPress seems to do this as a default for many blogs. There are certain themes that will render the images properly, but for the most part I don’t see that happening with a lot of people.

You’ll notice that when I post images, they’re part of my content. it wraps around the image, and is under some kind of control. It’s integrated into things, and I can move it left, right, or in the center if I so chose, although I’ve never wanted to have an image in the middle as far as I can remember.

How do I do it? I add a little bit of HTML code to my posts, and whether or not you like doing it or understand it, I think by showing you what I do that you might like how it looks in your blog posts. And then if you can’t remember it, or even if you do, all you have to do is remember to go back to posts where you’ve used the code, copy and paste it into your new post, and then just change the image link. Having said that, I decided it was easier to show it to you as an image, and this time it’s intentionally in the middle so you can see the code without it disappearing:

As you can see, at least I hope as you can see, it’s not difficult code, but it’ll wrap your text around your image and thus blend things in better; at least that’s how I see it. I hope it’s a helpful tip; any questions, just ask.
 

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Facebook Like Button For WordPress

In my continuing quest to work on spreading my influence, I figured I may as well add another thing to help figure out just what kind of influence I have, at least through this blog.

Back in June, before really thinking much about this project, I added Topsy, which allows people to retweet my blog posts if they like them without having to sign up for a service like TweetMeMe. This time I’ve installed the plugin called fbLikeButton. You have to put it in just like that, because there are a lot of plugins for the like button for Facebook. However, this one was the highest rated by people who have tried others, and I know why. It was the only one that didn’t require me to go to Facebook and set up a script to use it.

You’ll notice at the end of the post that the “like” button shows up just under my copyright notice. You have the choice of having it at the top or bottom or in both places, but I chose the bottom because it interfered with my “listen” button, and I figured having it at the end of the post make it easier for anyone who liked it and didn’t want to go back to the top. Of course, it would be nice if my Topsy allowed me to do that as well, but I think I like it just the same. You can also make it wider or thicker, so to speak, and you can select “recommend” instead of “like”; I stuck with the regular one. And if people click on it, their names and image will show at the end of your post as well; you get to determine if you want faces to show, and I decided to go that route for now.

What the like button does… heck, let’s just show what Facebook says it does:

When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.”

And there you are. I hope you “like” this post.
 

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Blog Ranking Systems; Do They Mean Anything?

Suffice it to say, I’ve been writing a lot lately about influence, especially influence online. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that there are ways of tracking how one’s blog is working online. Now that I think about it, I’m not so sure that most of these are all that effective.

I’m not sure if y’all remember my post talking about Technorati’s new ranking system some time ago. Before they made the change, you knew that if you could get your blog into the top 100,000 that you were doing pretty well. Then they changed it and, at least for me, it became impossible to know what was good. However, at the time they made the change, this blog was ranked at 491, and since the high was 993, I figured I was at least in the top half. It’s been awhile since I took a look at Technorati, and where am I now? I’m at 128; what the hey?

I don’t know how Technorati works, but I can’t believe this blog has fallen in influence that far. A look at my Analytics stats says my traffic has drastically increased over the last six months, and my ranking fell? My Alexa rank has improved and my ranking fell? Now, comments have stayed the same, but do comments actually drive Technorati that much?

It’s reminded me of other blog ranking systems that at one time or another I’ve belonged to, including Sire’s Cool Blog Links, where out of not so many sites I’m ranked down in 6th place. What’s even weirder is that his blog is ranked 10th on that site, and his Alexa ranking is 30,000 points better than mine. Strange, right?

There have been other blog ranking sites that I’ve joined and unjoined over the years, mainly because the rankings seemed, well, arbitrary. On one I was in the top 50 out of 250 while in another I was sitting around 315 out of 400, and one other I was around 275 out of 500. What did any of them mean? I didn’t have a clue.

There’s also always the question as to whether the measure of a blog is the amount of comments it gets. I even debated another blogger through my blog when he stated he believed that people’s content stank if they weren’t getting a lot of comments. I love comments, as I feel it means I’ve connected with someone on a particular post, but Seth Godin gets people quoting him all the time and he doesn’t even allow comments; I’m thinking that’s proof that comments aren’t a measure of influence at all.

I believe blog ranking systems are fairly arbitrary in what they mean to bloggers in general. If there was one standard that all the systems agreed with, then it might mean something. I get locked into Alexa because it’s not a blog ranking, but a website ranking, and at least it gives you a real tool of comparison to use. Don’t get caught up in blog ranking systems as a true measure; use them for entertainment purposes only, and you won’t get caught up trying to rank for things you can’t control.

Iron Man 2 (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy)








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