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Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category

Aaron Wall founded SeoBook.com in 2003 and has worked over 20,000 hours in the SEO field. His site is known for its popular online SEO training program and the SEO tools they offer. He has consulted for small mom & pop businesses right on through to fortune 500 projects. He also runs a bunch of sites that are not in the SEO space.


I was in the military and loathed the lifestyle. On the submarine you could go month(s) without daylight and basically every aspect of your life was managed in ways that were arbitrary, illogical, and flat out stupid. One such example would be how they would allow oxygen to run a bit low out of spec & then disallow you from exercising because they feared running the oxygen scrubbers a bit more would create too much noise. Then the next day would be “field day” – a 4-hour clean up day where they would crank up the oxygen level & instruct you to use an industrial strength vacuum cleaner which was shorting the sound to the hull.

There were tons of other such examples, like on one underway when they lost all my stuff in Puerto Rico (offloaded it with the SEALs) & forced me to re-buy a full set of uniforms. On that same underway I came back to get told that my car was towed off base (into a ghetto, where it was broke into & I had more stuff stolen). The people who told me my car got towed told me it happened a while ago and that it would cost me a lot, while laughing at me. If you have ever watched the movie “Falling Down” that really encapsulated how I felt at that point in time. On that underway my pre-tax income was less than what the military cost me in lost or stolen goods tied directly to their incompetence. So they charged me to steal a few months of my life & I really hated everything about the military lifestyle from that point onward. When I got out of the military my first website was an ugly looking rant site about my loathe of the navy…followed quickly by a low quality affiliate website (hey, when a person is new, naive, and ignorant they often think their stuff is more brilliant than it is). :D

I tried to hire a person to do SEO for that affiliate site & of course nobody who was of any quality would want to work for dirt-cheap on a crappy thin affiliate website (if they were smart they would have built a better one themselves). The person I hired failed & so that was no good. That company is still selling garbage SEO packages to this day.

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7 things to avoid when doing SEO

1. You have a big mouth about your SEO tactics
loud mouthA sure-fire way to get the attention of a Google engineer and potentially have your rankings manually reviewed, is to blabber away about all of the SEO tactics and tricks you’re using to get ahead.

For example, John Chow, the infamous make money online blogger, openly exchanged links with his readers on his blog to rank for “make money online”. While it did work initially, Google quickly made an example of him and penalized him hard. John recently got his rankings back after cleaning up his act, but for over a year, he didn’t even rank for his own name.

Similarly, a very well-known SEO mentioned to his readers that his affiliate links were designed in a way to pass weight back to his site. For whatever reason, someone decided to report this to Google spam king Matt Cutts, and unsurprisingly, those links no longer pass any weight.

If you have an SEO blog or are involved in the Internet marketing community, be careful what you tell others – either privately or in public. It could come back to haunt you.

2. Your sites are all tied together = easy target
network targetLike it or not, the big G has a lot of information about you and your sites. Google runs the most popular contextual advertising platform, owns a free analytics package that’s better than most paid versions, has access to all WHOIS information and IP addresses, and can analyze sites that you interlink. Not only that, but Google has access to your email, documents, and browsing history. Sound scary? That’s what I thought.

If you can, it’s best to separate your sites as much as possible (e.g. different IP addresses, no interlinking, etc). Why? If Google suspects something about one of your sites, they’ll probably look into your network for other sites you’re involved with as well. That’s definitely not something you want. If I can find your network of sites using a free tool like SpyOnWeb.com, you can bet Google can easily do it too.

Unfortunately, completely separating your sites isn’t always possible especially with Google’s growing dominance in so many verticals. This makes avoiding the other red flags even more important.

3. Your site is over-optimized for certain keywords
yellow flag refereeOptimizing the content of a page for SEO has always been pretty simple – target 2 to 3 keywords per page and place them in title tags (preferable the beginning), header tags, URLs, and on-page body content. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy anymore as Google automatically filters and penalizes sites that it thinks are “over-optimized”. This isn’t an exact science, but Aaron Wall of SEO Book explains how he got a ranking filter removed by mixing up the keywords and being less aggressive.

If you’ve tried optimizing a page for a keyword without much success in rankings, try taking this approach. Shift the focus away from your targeted keywords and don’t be so overly aggressive in your on-page efforts (i.e. forget about things like keyword density). Google actively tries to neutralize SEO, so this sort of filter is no surprise. You just need to be able to adapt to improve your rankings.

4. Your link profile is unnatural
link to meIn the same way that you can over-optimize for on-page SEO, you can also over-optimize for off-page link building. I wrote about this topic in my article, The Secret to Making Every Link Count For Your SEO Rankings, so be sure to read it before you move on.

In a nutshell, Google filters out sites in the rankings when it thinks the sites’ link profiles seem unnatural. Some examples include:

* too many links too fast
* link anchor text too similar
* not enough deep links to other pages
* too many links from low quality or unrelated sites
* too many reciprocal links
* all links are from the sidebar or footer of a page

Again, it’s Google’s goal to neutralize any sort of manipulation. If you want to be a successful SEO, you have to take this into consideration and appear natural in everything you do. Ask yourself the following question – how would normal webmasters with big sites obtain links? Then seek to emulate their links.


Springleap is currently having a competition which is awarding the user whose website ranks the highest for the keyword ’springleap’. Basically, get those SEO tools out, on the 1st of April the judges will do a google search for springleap and the top three SERP ranked sites will win cash prizes :)

The prizes are as follows:

* 1st SERP result - R2500
* 2nd SERP result - R1000
* 3rd SERP result - R500

It’s a clever idea, as most people will be linking back to Springleap inside their posts, therefore securing the keyword for Springleap.com ultimately ;)

I do see that the following domains are open:

* springleap.info ($2.99)
* springleap.net ($9.99)
* springleap.org ($8.99)
* springleap.mobi ($7.99)

The actual Springleap website is rather badly SEO’d, so if you go ahead and register one of these domains and SEO it up correctly, you could easily easily win - Unfortunately I just don’t have the time to do it, otherwise I would! Me thinks..

1. Register domain
2. Install wordpress
3. Write 3 posts
4. Simple metatag usage
5. Inbound link structuring

.. and you could probably win 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize! Someone do it, I want to see someone win doing this!

Many people have emailed me asking me different questions related to search engine optimization, and I do try and write a decent article now and then. I received a question earlier about Technorati and how one could go about increasing ones technorati ranking. Great question and a question that many people over look.

There are a number of different strategies available on the net and some unique ones that I use myself, so I’ve had a think about it and here’s a strategy, which I know works extremely well.

The easiest and most important step is getting Technorati to recognise all the links over the Internet which are associated with your website and which links are available on your website. Technorati often over looks hundreds of potential links and this will naturally damage your ranking. So let’s get started.

First off we need some software, something like Xenu will work. Xenu is a wonderful piece of software, which will crawl your site for links pointing towards it and links available on it. Download the software, enter in your website address and fire away.

Once the program is finished doing its thing, a website will popup - Scroll down to just over half way and look for ‘List of valid URLs you can submit to a search ening’. Once we have that list, we need to copy it to notepad. The next step is to use the technorati pinger, to ping all these URLs, you might want to remove all the external links from the list before you start pinging (http://technorati.com/ping). For sites with lots of links, obviously pinging each link seperately would take forever, so you can try Autopinger (http://autopinger.com/). Another way to submit multiple links is to use (http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping)Â with your blog to automatically ping on page loads - let’s take a look at auto pinging with Wordpress:

  • Log in to your WordPress weblog.
  • Select “Options” from the top menu.
  • Select “Writing” from the sub-menu.
  • The last option on the page is “Update Services.” Add Technorati’s ping server (see address above) as a new line within the Update Services text box.

Applying this method to your website should see a lovely increase in recognised incoming links and therefore a stronger technorati ranking.

Give it a bash, let me know how it goes :)