Tag Archives: SEO

Is Alexa Relevant Again?

Earlier this evening, while doing some research, I discovered that my primary business is listed at number one on Alexa for business training site against racism. I was feeling pretty good until one of my friends wrote and burst the bubble, saying I’m the only person she ever hears talking about Alexa anymore.

After kind of a snarky response on my part, I decided it was time to investigate Alexa again. Sure, in the world of SEO, Alexa ratings took a major hit years ago, and has been pretty much maligned ever since because they placed so much emphasis on people downloading the Alexa toolbar, which many people really didn’t want to do. Even Firefox came up with a plugin that supposedly could help your sites with it, but I know I wasn’t interested. I’ve talked about Alexa before, once when I was pretty much trashing Compete Rank, but at other times saying that even if people beat up on Alexa, it’s better to have some kind of ranking than nothing at all, and of course the better the ranking, especially without the toolbar, the better your site is performing.

First, a quick “what is Alexa” moment. Alexa is a system that ranks traffic, plain and simple. Traffic equates mainly to visits from others to your site, but it’s really about hits to anything that your site offers elsewhere. This means that if someone is searching for something and your site comes up, it might be counted as a hit, even if they didn’t make it to your page. Also, search engine bots are considered hits, even though a person didn’t actually come to your site. However, since bots only keep going to sites that have new content, it means if your site is ranked low on Alexa that you probably haven’t done anything new to get more traffic coming.

Anyway, it seems that even Alexa realized finally that waiting for people to download their toolbar to try to get accurate stats wasn’t getting it done, and they were falling way out of favor with people who they hoped they could do other business with at some point. So, they changed up how they were going to come up with their ratings by adding multiple other sources for tracking the traffic of all websites. They didn’t tell us who they’re tracking, but it seems that, for the most part, they’ve regained at least a little bit more respect than they had in the past. What resulted was interesting, in that many people with the Alexa toolbar suddenly noticed their rankings dropped, and along with those people were many people who were using the Entrecard program, which supposedly gave false ratings of traffic that Alexa somehow learned how to filter out. Some folks jumped nicely, while others dropped even further.

Two other things also happened. One, Alexa started ranking way more websites than they had been ranking before, so many websites whose sites used to show nothing were suddenly showing up with 8-digit rankings, which was unheard of in the past. Two, many overseas sites suddenly dropped dramatically because now they had to compete with the rest of the world on a more equal footing, and unfortunately there are still more sites in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

I decided to take a quick look at this site on Alexa, and I have to say that the traffic numbers pretty closely mirror what Google Analytics and my own ISP stats are telling me. I’m not sure how it’s done, but I’m believing it’s close to how Cool Blog Links and Winning The Web and other sites like them are tracking numbers of websites, only on a much larger scale.

Finally, I went looking for any new posts or articles on Alexa, to see if anyone was saying that Alexa wasn’t relevant anymore. Seems the last time anyone said something like what was last July, at least from what I could find, and anyone else who’s written on the topic has gone in a totally different direction than the constant derision Alexa has been getting for awhile.

Still, let’s have a little bit of common sense to all of this. As with all the other rating services, don’t go crazy in trying to make more out of the numbers than what they are. Right now this blog is sitting at 127,242, and that’s a fairly nice number. Unless you’re sitting in the top 50,000, it really means little, except you’re probably doing pretty well in optimizing your site. For me, I’m hoping that this new experiment with the robots.txt file works wonders over the next month or so; when does Google do their next little number anyway? No matter; it’s all fun and games overall, except for one thing,… I’m number one! 😀

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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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How To Know If Your SEO Is Working

Since this is about to be my third post, I guess I can officially call this a series on SEO, my first official series of 2009.

There are lots of people who write about SEO, search engine marketing for the uninitiated, and there are lots of tips given. Heck, I gave five tips myself, as well as talked about how multiple web pages can help your efforts on your regular website. So, in one way, I’m like a lot of other people.

But in another, I am my own man. In this case, I’m going to tell you something that I’m not sure anyone else will tell you, another tip if you will, that I know I’ve never read anywhere else, but it’s possibly out there.

One of the questions that may be out there for some folks who aren’t quite up to snuff on SEO is how one knows it’s working. For some, SEO is only working if their websites or webpages are in the top 10 on Google. Since there’s a big world of websites and blogs out there, making sure everything you do ends up in the top 10 is a daunting task. If that’s the only standard for everyone then there’s going to be a lot of people thinking they’re doing a bad job.

So, here’s an easier way, and all it takes is Google Adsense. Yup, that’s what I said, Adsense. Google has set Adsense up so that it’s supposed to bring up ads that are related to the content on your webpage. If you’re checking your main blog page, which will usually show multiple articles in some fashion, you may not be getting exactly what you’re hoping for, which will happen if you write on multiple areas of a topic. However, if you check individual posts, you should notice that the advertisements showing on Adsense are related to what your post is about. As a sidebar, you might have to sign out of your account to see the ads from the point of view of your visitors.

I decided to look back through my last 20 posts to see what came up on Adsense. I used IE, since it’s not my main browser, and therefore I’m not signed into it, to view them. Out of those 20 posts, 17 of them are optimized properly. Well, let’s define that; there were 3 posts on blogging, so my ads were about blogging, and I guess that’s standard. On my blog, whenever ads don’t quite match up to what I’m writing about, Adsense shows posts on either blogging or Adsense; I wonder how much Google pays itself when their own ads show. 🙂

Anyway, if I wanted to, I could go back and change the language of my posts somewhat, or maybe add something different into my All In One SEO Pack, to see if that might change some things up eventually. Or I could just move on, because, let’s face it, we all hopefully know that not every single one of our articles is going to knock the ball out of the proverbial SEO ballpark (that’s a baseball reference, for those who aren’t from the U.S. and may not understand the reference). Sometimes, it’s best to move on and work on the newer stuff, or maybe, if the article was a particularly close one to your heart, then do something with it.

Anyway, that’s a quick down and dirty way to check your SEO. Give it a shot and see if your SEO efforts are working; that is, if you’re giving it any effort. 😉


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SEO And Multiple Web Pages

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When I wrote my online goals for 2009 post, one of the things I had down as a goal was to come up with three more series of posts I could do for the year. I thought that I would write a series on SEO, or articles that are related to SEO in some fashion, although it’ll probably not start out as a series, but will end up being a series for the year. I also write articles for my other site, so I’ll want to balance which articles I’ll write for here, and which articles I’ll put on that site.

How to seo your website Google
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There was a question that came up on Twitter earlier today that somewhat relates to SEO and marketing, and I thought this was the perfect place to address that question. It actually came from a marketing friend of mine who didn’t understand something. She found a website that supposedly was listing the 50 Top Websites Of 2008. It’s a nice article, but they only talk about one website per page, and she wondered why they would do that. I agreed it was irritating, but I knew the answer.

The basic idea of marketing online is, obviously, to make money. With a website, the more pages you have, the more opportunities you have to make money by advertising. It’s easier to get an advertiser to pay money if you can tell them you can put their ad on 100 pages as opposed to 10 pages. And, with each page that you can add to your website, you have the opportunity to optimize that website using traditional SEO (search engine marketing) principles, which also includes deep linking principles. More pages also helps build up your prominence online.

If you notice, the top 10 webpages on all the ranking companies have tons and tons of pages, probably in the tens of millions at this juncture, and always adding more. Even our local newspaper’s online site will do a trick where they have a limit on the length of an article that they’ll allow to be on one page, and often they’ll make you go through multiple pages just to read that one article.

However, they, like some other online newspapers, also always offer you the chance to click on a link that will give you the “printer version”, which means you can get the entire story on one page. And you don’t even have to print it; you just have to find the link, which isn’t always easy.

So, even though many of us would like to see all 50 of those websites listed on one page, or maybe even 10 or 5, the truth is that it behooves the site to have only one per page, and to write content on that particular site for that page that they can optimize. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember whenever you’re creating your own websites; more is better. However, if you’re writing short articles, breaking them up over multiple pages is just going to drive people nuts. So, do it judiciously.

Now, a question you could probably ask me, knowing this, is why, whenever I write really long blog posts, I don’t break them up into multiple pages. I’m thinking that to do that with a blog would have to get really irritating. If a long post, such as the one on the psychology of gambling, were broken out on a blog, would anyone really read both pages (for that matter, how many folks actually read that article in its entirety, and I mean those of you who didn’t comment on it?) if I put it on two pages, but posted both articles at the same time?

If it were really one complete article, and I posted the first part at one time and the second part at another time, wouldn’t that irritate you also? To me, I’d rather the one long article, which also allows it to be printed if some feel that’s necessary.

Anyway, the SEO part of this is easy. Each page gets to stand on its own because each page gets optimized, but each page is also linked internally to multiple other pages in some fashion. The reality of what a lot of people like to call “link love” is that a website can attain a page rank of 5 or higher without even being linked to other websites. What they need to figure out are better ways of linking internally to themselves and finding ways of making each of those links relevant to each other.

Don’t believe me? Look at this site. Notice that it’s got a page rank of 5. Except for listing a few events on its main page, it’s not linked to any other site throughout the rest of its pages. And there are over 550 pages on this site; I know this because I did an evaluation of this site. The topic also isn’t something that’s common; this company pretty much has an exclusive on what they do.

But here’s the other thing about this site. The main page has a page rank of 5, but most of the internal pages don’t have a page rank at all. And it’s got a terrible Alexa rank. However, the main page still gets a 5, and since it’s the main page that counts, this site is a great example of what can be achieved with great internal ranking. It could be better, but that’s a tale for another time.

And there you are. I hope it’s helped to enlighten a few people, and I also hope this is the start of a fun series that I can compile later on in the year.
 

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Why I Love Blogging – Guest Post

Ever since I wrote a guest post on another person’s blog, I’ve hoped to be able to return the favor in some fashion to someone else. Actually, I’m still hoping the author of the other blog one day writes a post for my blog, but business always comes first.

So, I’ve requested my friend, known as Sire (hey, it’s the internet, so he’s allowed a touch of anonymity), to write a guest post today, asking him to talk about his love of blogging. He has many blogs, some of which he mentioned below, and some he didn’t mention. If he mentioned them below there are links to them, including one that, well, in America has a questionable title (he’s Australian, so if you’re also Australian and questioning the spelling of some words, I Americanized them), but I’m going to link to it anyway, just not say the word. The two blogs I didn’t see him mentioning, which I will now, is his latest blog, called Wassup, and SBizzTech. And now, without further ado, the guest post:

If one were to wander around the World Wide Web these days, you wouldn’t get far without stumbling into the plethora of blogs that are in existence. Several of those belong to me, but the reason for me becoming a blogger has changed from one of blogging for SEO strategies to one of blogging for the sheer love of it.

It all began not so long ago when I started theelusivepotofgold.com and I was trying one of many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to get my first website noticed by the omnipotent Goggle. One thing I came across was the fact that search engines liked changing content and I found that the easiest way to do this was by having a blog linked to main site, and so WellBlogMe was born. To cut a long story short, it actually worked, and the site jumped to PR4 within a fairly short time.

Shortly after, I discovered that it was actually possible to blog for money through certain sites that acted as go betweens for advertisers and bloggers. I was actually making up to $600 per week at one stage until Google, who felt threatened by the many bloggers taking on paid assignments, decided to penalize bloggers by stripping them of their PR, which in turn reduced the blogs earning capabilities.

I decided to start up a few more blogs, build up their individual PR, and tackle the ‘paid to post’ route, but this time I was going to be smarter and not make it so obvious to the Google bots as to what I was doing.

The thing is that although I try to make my blogs profitable, it is not all about the money. I have actually come to love blogging as it has provided me with a way to express myself, something that I am not normally comfortable with when in a room full of people. Yet through my blogs I can virtually reach thousands and I have no qualms at all about the way I express myself.

When I now start up a new blog, I try to come up with a topic that will provide me more enjoyment, and possibly my readers as well. My BS blog will not make me any money via the normal means as those sites don’t like to be associated with anything pertaining to profanity, but I chose that route because it gave me the capacity to go out on a limb, so to speak.

My Scenic Adelaide photo blog allows me to show the world photos and stories of the City that raised me as well as surrounding areas that I find interesting. Photos2Blog allows me to display photos that do not fit in with the Scenic Adelaide blog. Just yesterday the editor of an Australian magazine called Discovering Stone, which is aimed at the natural stone industry, contacted me. They are publishing an article on stone monuments in Adelaide and they wanted to source a few photos of the Three Rivers Fountain in Victoria Square that were displayed on my blog. If it wasn’t for my blogs I doubt very much that this opportunity would have ever eventuated.

Blogging is no longer all about the money, it is more of a passion, a way to put myself out there, to discover new ways of expressing myself and to meet some of the myriad of other bloggers along the way, for I have discovered that bloggers are part of a community, one willing to share ideas and interact via their blogs and their comments as they visit their blogging neighbors.

Wonderful job, Sire. And I hope all of you check out his blogs; they’re all “do follow” blogs, so if you comment, you’ll benefit yourself also.
 

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