Official SEO Profiling Protection

Welll.... can't say I don't have a sense of humor!Tongue out

 Just kidding folks! I just think that the whole profiling thing is a joke! If you didn't
think that has gone on since day 1 then you've been drinking from the cooler
on the GooglePlex marked "Purple Koolaid For SEO's Only!"

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July 2, 2009 05:18 by TerryVH
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NoFollow Attribute Added to Href Element In HTML5

Today I read with delight that the nofollow attribute of the href element has been added to HTML 5! Something I was adamant about from the day it was proposed by the Search Engines. Search engines shouldn't be telling webmasters/SEOs how to use HTML attributes. This means that Google's guidelines now conflict, to some degree, with the future HTML standard since they only seem to be talking about "paid" links which is just vague enough as to be less than useful to figure it out. IMO, like the paid blogging fiasco whom you have to wonder how could they be so F'in dumb as to think the FTC doesn't step in. They are all a bunch of johnny come lately's who don't understand this shit runs on protocols and standards not search engine guidelines and edicts from the spam crusaders... been there and done that... "I'm the original" and got the lonely guy Tshirt to prove it!

openWhat are link relations?

Regular links (<a href>) simply point to another page. Link relations are a way to explain why you're pointing to another page. They finish the sentence "I'm pointing to this other page because..."close Bold is my emphasis. Quote from The Road To HTML 5 Link Relations by Mark Pilgrim, Google

This should clean up any doubts as to what should be viewed as a "paid" in the Google Guidelines. It is now up to the webmaster to decide what their intent is not the Google guidelines. Google may choose to interpret and take any action they want to if that is what they deem necessary to protect the integrity of their resource (that is always the elephant in the room), however, that shouldn't include the Google bottom line which in these matters is the elephant in the other corner.

 open"indicates that the link is not endorsed by the original author or publisher of the page, or that the link to the referenced document was included primarily because of a commercial relationship between people affiliated with the two pages."close Bold and red is my emphasis. Quote from whatwg.org

The above quote provides a webmaster with the means to indicate transparent intent of the link because that is what the rel attribute is supposed to do for Search Engines. It could become the law if the FTC who, IMO, could use this to indicate commercial endorsements much like financial analysts disclose their personal and company holdings or that their firm provides services to the company. This could be done by using the page  properties function in the browser.

A Not For Profit Organization with commercial relationships may not be "affiiliated people" and the transaction may not be the primary reason for the link. For instance a SEO directory should use nofollow if it's all about advertising and the relationship is all about commercial endeavor of one or the other parties. However, even an Organization that doesn't vetted the members should consider nofollow otherwise they could be seen to be endorsing the landing location/page and definitely the person adding the is. Whereas SeoPros through adoption of  the OSEOP mandate has a mandate that states first and foremost we're there for consumers. Since the review for the directory is not based on a commercial transaction but rather the Members suitability or a "bonafide endorsement" the $25 review fee isn't the primary concern.

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April 23, 2009 05:28 by TerryVH
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Do Domain Names Raise Rankings? Yes!

Today I'm beginning a series of posts on launching a website. Domains are part of my strategy but the domain name is less important than site architecture. I'll explain fully when I discuss website information architecture in an upcoming article. All of the techniques will be outlined as soon as I implement them. Hopefully those who are watching the rankings of the site will see the effectiveness as they are completed. This will slow down the postioning of the site but... what we'll learn is worth more down the road.

Why? Because most of my techniques except for the social stuff is old school. I know because these are techniques I've used for 15 years! Some like referential integrity are just being talked about now. That is the main reason I thought optimization through IBL's was not needed. Why? A link is a stinkin' link... Google doresn't care what site it's on so long as you don't screw yourself using spammy linking schemes which I'm convinced do little good and raise a big red flag on all your work. IMO, they know who deoes it and the degree to which they do it.

Do Links From Expired Domains Count With Google? by Danny Sullivan is interesting in as much as it is more "Googleze" where GoogleGuy Matt Cutts assumes situations that are not so routine. There are some assumptions made that when considered make the "Googleze" less useful, in fact it takes a legitimate tactic out of the SEO arsenal. It assumes there are no flags of imminent domain demise, there are! You see the opportunity for the leaches when you do the domain name availability searches. For a few bucks you can know when the domain is available, who owns it (whois is a search tool on any registry) likely information available through a domaining service, etc. and the $'s at risk are low. Then you can obtain the name cheaply, after all, it is expiring... I'm not going to tell you what to do bevond here just assume I'd arrange for the domain not to expire and gain control of it without the ownership in the domain registration changing. Domain renewal or changes I know beyond a doubt trigger domain snooping by Gpoogle.:-)

Is this a legitimate tactic? Yes, because in the real world that is the natural course of business. If a business is "done like dinner" you know that "goodwill" and inventory are at their lowest value. You could buy a location and the public would be none the wiser, unless, they knew the previous owner. This inevitable course in business preserves capital and resources and that is the way capitalism is supposed to work. Capitalism in and of itself increases an economy's efficiency and productivity.

Stars .com is a classic example of a useless expired domain name for "obtaining links". Why? Simple it makes sense if the original content which was advanced "web development" and internet marketing was related to the new content. That domain I believe was called stars .com because it was mainly tutorials from talented web developers and a directory of resources (you might even have seen me in there). Before stars it had the words virtual and library but that's all of the domain name that pops into my foggy memory.

Through the years I have been very interested in how domain names affect rankings. Do I think they matter? Yes, I do... International Website Builders has no external links except for in the results for Canada on SeoPros. The domain is about a year old and has only been "finished" for about two weeks (April 5/2009) but was likely picked up when I posted a tutorial on this blog for a client months before (sloppy but useful ...). 

Note that the ranking I see is likely a little different than what you will see due to Google's personal and Universal/Blended SERPs. Would it make sense if I didn't own T's World to buy the domain? Also interesting is the indented result was added after the text on the home page was changed to test "referential integrity" that was an almost instant change to that SERP and the site moved to the #2 position with the indented result. My next Promotional task will be a business listing on the major Search Engines.

The fact Ts world is above the International Website Builders site is likely due to the International Website Builders reference only being edited occasionally to change the date. International Website Builders is not exactly a hamster/strawman term if it results in targeted traffic. I don't believe there is a single link on or to T'sWorld with the link text "International Website Builders". There is a lot of web development and website builder info on the site and the copyright is identified as International Website Builders. I am going to link this up first ala' link condom and then without. First I have to get it out of the penalty box by going to webmaster central's kangaroo court (I'm innocent!) and grovel away. It will be interesting to watch this SEO experiment play out.

Yes, adding referential integrity to a new domain makers sense. Since IWB does "International"... especially NA website building this is a "relevant site". Whether it has "referential integrity" and the corresponding "authority" is another question altogether. I will be "hooking" IWB up with TsWorld using a "nofollow". Every search engine out there knew the original site was dead (even before I finally killed the site) and Ts world was where the fresh relevant content is. Google thinks Ts World is spam because I did what was right for the user. Of course, Google assumed I was spamming and buried Ts World years ago... unless the page is linked to by a "legit" authority site.

Yes, it has 000's of links T's world is 12/13 yrs old with an older version, the reason why it's boxed even though it's likely one of the oldest resources for SEO techniques available. Interesting in that 90% of the document structure and HUB strategy that Webmaster T touted are still successful techniques that work as well today as he theorized they did in 95/6. To date I have let great domain names expire... a few times, and repurchased them, more on that later. 1 will blow your socks off;-)

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April 22, 2009 05:31 by TerryVH
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Is The Rate of Rising PPC Costs Susutainable?

I was going through my edition of SearchCap today from SearchEngineLand and came across this great article Paid Search Moving Beyond The Keyword by John Federman. It is very timely as it mentions how fast PPC costs have risen due to competition. It is the opinion of IWB that competition will top bid prices out in about a year or so if it continues at this pace. A lot of this is based on an IWB case study of a 3 yr. Payday Loan PPC campaign. Not included in the document is my belief that PPC pricing is not sustainable at the current rate of price inflation! IMO, that inflation is the direct result of Quality Score.

 openAccording to the latest Forrester research, online shopping is growing five times faster than brick and mortar stores, with a projected growth of 14 percent by 2012, a trend that the economy will no doubt fuel further. Knowing this, savvy marketers have begun to incorporate paid search as part of their internet advertising strategy as a means of reaching the buyer while they’re online. However, the cost of doing so has risen exponentially year over year, with more and more companies competing for similar keywords and market share.close

John does not go into the competition issue but IWB believe we need to look at this because we may be putting clients into a short term solution when an SEO campaign isn't used to augment and backup a reliance on PPC. I have strong feelings about Google's Quality Score and how PPC has gone from a non optimized pure marketing technique to figuring out the "black box" that is Quality Score! Mind you it isn't SEO but many of my favorite techniques were used to get rid of the nags and "irrational pricing" that QS produced. How can a program say something isn't well targeted when it is converting at over 30%? You make the changes and the prices barely move and conversion doesn't change even a tad? IMO, QS is very close in the way it works to those "black boxes" that generate bank profits or losses. Mystifying algos with  assets hidden off the balance sheets. Anyone with half a brain saw what was coming from the US banks. As a former RE agent I was shocked at how houses were appraised in the USA. A house with a crackhouse view was priced the same as the house across the street with an Ocean View! Just another example of the over commoditization that is the marketplace for everything in the US.

The Forrester research is also pretty interesting in that it shows how ecommerce is a juggernaut that won't be stopped, or will it? Well no point in doing the net if the costs are so high that most people are shut out or worse can't make a profit. The rush from PPC to SEO will be awe inspiring when people realize that PPC pricing is not sustainable. I was surprised lately to conclude that in Canada Ecommerce just isn't being taken up like it should be. I was doing a little work for a client who has a number of partners in other geographical locations across Canada. All I can say is it is computer related. Of the 9 vendors only 3 had a website. One didn't even have email! This is likely going to be a topic for some further research!

openthis vendor was looking for ways to engage browsers and buyers at the point of purchase. In store, they are known for purchasing eye-level shelf space, interactive kiosks and end-caps to fully demonstrate products. Online, creating awareness and differentiation is a challenge, and the notion of attaining premium position by applying cost-per-click bids was worth a test.close Excerpt from John's article

Will this kind of innovation exist if the costs are prohibitive? I'm thinking no because in the current downturn merchants are being squeezed at the margin by the rise in PPC costs. I have watched as clients have watched profits erode as PPC prices go up 20-30% yr over yr. Consider that margins on big screen TVs can support this kind of strategy but how many products have the kind of margin that consumer electronics have? So is the rate of bid inflation sustainable... we'll see!

openWithin the first month of the campaign, this consumer electronics vendor saw its average position rise from fifth to first, and with the ability to bid by SKU, the number of products represented in premium positions on SERPs increased three-fold. In terms of clickshare, the measure of success for the campaign, the advertiser’s mix of products yielded a 30% increase and a 220% jump in clickshare; while the competition’s share dropped by 63 percent.close Excerpt from John's article

Ahh yes! The strategies that take share away from finite resources (prime display areas) are competitor killers. Basically if you look at the content network most of the placement is in the less desireable places like at the end of the page. There are very few prime locations and they require more than just text to get them. In reality there is little of this kind of placement because generally that is sold in-house. So the above strategy is actually fairly simple for most marketers to put into play.

Note: I built this payday loan portal to use some of the knowledge I picked up while manageing the PPC campaign. Anyone looking to use the strategy above there I'll gladly give Google the boot and you'll be getting in on a ground floor opportunity.

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April 19, 2009 12:14 by TerryVH
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Embed YouTube Videos with Standard Flash Player

How to Embed YouTube Videos in a Blog!

The video provides great info on some of the how but I found it a little clumsy so I decided to add a little more detail for those who don't use blogger or want to add another way. I'm using blogengine and it took me a couple of tries to get it to add the code in a manner the code was written and accepted. The reason being the way I have things set up the editor wouldn't accept code. In the end I had to tick the "use raw HTML editor" option.

Preparing to Embed Your Video

I suggest that you start by logging into your blog or website or HTML editor of choice. Open the page or post you want to embed the video on and find the position on the page you will want to embed the code, place your cursor at that point.

Get The Embed Code

Follow the instructions in the video, She made a comment about the area turning blue, not always. Actually if you click the word embed it highlights the entire embed code, then right click the mouse choose copy from the dropdown and the embed code is on your clipboard. Go to the page you prepared and paste the embed code.

Publish The blog or Page

Publish the page or post and you should see the video!

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February 20, 2009 07:11 by TerryVH
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Search Engine Optimization- the Age Of Innocense

The age Of Innocense The picture at right was taken a looooong time ago and actually appeared on the front page of my local newspaper in St. Thomas Ontario. Back in those days I was young and innocent with a dream to pull the magnificent blue and white of the Maple Leafs over my head! Much like this picture the indusrtry I've worked in for the last 15 years has a reputation that is weathered and worn. How could this happen so quickly even telemarketing didn't take it on the chin this fast!

Simple... opaque billing so there is no way to distinguish a $300 service from a $3000 service. No bar for professionalism in fact you could say the industry has no interest in setting a bar for professionalism, best practices or business ethics. Nowhere to complain or alert the rest of the public to the snakeoil salesman among us. In fact if you "out" you are villified often with no reason other than you outed a shady service.

Think about it if your telephone company sent you a bill each month with no documentation of the calls would you pay it? Sure but you would also be suspicious of it. Why should SEO be any different? Other than myself I have never encountered another comapny that fully documented what they do with a cost for each task. My clients love it they know what I'm doing, they get all the data and they know exactly what they are paying for. Should a client accept any less from an SEO then they would from a phone company?

I have been around this and can easily say I've almost seen it all from Galaxy to Google and back! I hate to think that this magnificent ride we've been on could be halted by something as stupid as billing and... as we say in Canada... a bunch of hosers who'd likely sell their mother down on the corner for a few easy dollars!

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January 22, 2009 06:15 by TerryVH
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