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When Every thing you do is Spam...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

When internet is flooding with get-rich-quick schemes, dubious products and effortless-business opportunities to make your dream come true, it makes it very easy for people not to trust you and your ideas and services you provide. You are regarded as a sales person who wants to force your visitors in buying some product from him, when your product is genuine and can help them. People tend to keep a suspicious eye on you, as if every time you talk to them, it is your own benefit. When you leave a related URL in a post’s comment which leads to your site/blog, you are doing comment spamming according to the owner to benefit from his blog to take advantage of his page-rank. It is not their or your fault, it is being happening on net over time.

What all is actually Spam?

Spam is forceful propagation of any content. In our world, it is excessive repetition: Multiple meaningless posts to forums and unsolicited mail are two frequent examples. For SEO experts it includes stuffing keywords in their blog/site, duplicate content, unnatural link structures and posting of irrelevant links in comments, forums, guestbooks and membership lists. Normally all onsite spamming is done to either gain links or traffic or both.

Kinds Of Onsite Spamming-

Wikipedia Spamming- Google is biased towards links from wikipedia. So how do bloggers and other website owners get this to increase their rank. Stuff wikipedia with their links because it is a user driven and edited resource. Normally such links get removed but some deeply placed links on the pages with fewer people visiting remain untouched. Others contribute to it just to get their links in the articles written by them.

Referrer Spam- This is the kind that is aimed at search engines.It manipulates search engine rankings by creating what are in effect fake inbound links. It is done by a spammer by making repeated requests to see your website using a fake referrer URL that points to the site the spammer wishes to advertise. For sites who publicize their access logs, end up linking to the spammers site which includes referrer statistics, which in turn would get indexed when search engines crawl these logs. This increases the incoming link count. Some sites/blogs are attacked so much by such spammers that their band width has no space left to handle real traffic.

Trackback Spam- It is again done to receive incoming links. Sites which support trackback are attacked by such spammers. They would either publish an article with no relevancy or usefulness what so ever just to ping to get a link back.

Comment Spam- The very famous and easy way to spam is comment spam. Leaving a comment just to provide a link to their own site whether it is relevant or not, to gain links from high page rank blog is one of the blog spammers favorite.

Everything is spam, if they call it spam

Now that everybody is so troubled and annoyed by spammers and wish to fight spam they have started considering every step you want to take as spam. Specially the big shots of the blogging industry would not include your comment if it contains a link to your blog or website whether it is relevant or not. So, from the next time you put a comment don’t include a link if you are not linking another A-list blogger or Google or Yahoo.

Digg is very conscious about getting spammed. They are by nature anti-marketing and anti-SEO, so the next time you might be writing a story on Search engine optimization beware, you might be tagged as a spammer. With all the earlier evidence they have against such stuff, it is hard for them to believe that you are sincere to your efforts.

The internet can offer an opportunity for companies to market themselves and their products inexpensively and effectively, but you need to exercise considerable care to ensure that your method, or your message, doesn't get you into legal or other difficulties.

The strength of the barrier that Anti-spam filters pose is so low that it can be over-powered by the sheer number of spammers. Spamming is so much economically viable and incur much less costs than advertising that anybody can be lulled into doing so. But beware even you can be termed as a spammer by the overcautious because of the overindulgent.

Divya Uttam
Happy Blogging.

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posted by Divya Uttam, 1:42 PM | link | 10 comments |

Viral Marketing Vs Search Engine Optimization.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Viral Marketing and Search Engine Optimization have the same motive- and that is to bring traffic to your website/blog. Both work on the same goal but have a slight variation in their strategies.

There are three free ways to drive traffic to your site/blog- Organic(that is through Search Engines), Referral(that comes from your links that are on other websites), and Direct(where user types your URL directly into the address bar). How much traffic comes to your website organically depends on how well you have optimized your website for your keywords. For the latter two depends on how many people find your site useful, relevant and usable. Viral Marketing makes others link you extensively, hence increasing your Referral Traffic.

Search Engine Optimization is good for your website/blog’s overall ranking and placement in Search Engine Result Pages(SERP). But if you want to be in top slots of Alexa ranking, you should think virally. To be effective, you should put your viral stimulators at the main nodes, which have their own roots and ways from where your viral marketing propagates automatically. Search engine marketing is just one of the point, where every visitor you get from search engines should take you a step ahead.

This may sound offensive but sometimes you should think like a virus, and get inspired by the way it grows. Your growth should never be parasitic, but you should know how to multiply your results by putting in strategic efforts.

Search Engine Optimization on the other hand makes your site more spider likeable. Those tiny creatures crawl your site to check its relevancy so that it can pop up in the SERPs for the related search. Creepy but profitable. It increases your Web visibility, Theme based page rank, and the much obvious after all that traffic.

The title may suggest that either of the two will have a winning hand. At a certain level both are very interconnected, like link baiting is one advance or more refined way for your viral link building, which is also a part of your viral marketing for search engine.

For any business establishment, to be successful, it must carry the viral self propagating feature from the starting.

It all started from Hotmail, whose proprietors coined the term viral marketing.

It’s not just the buzz, but the hidden ingredient of benefit put deep inside your whole viral idea is what pushes it best. Viral feature is established from the point it started. It benefits the person when he forwards it. Each promotion should carry a direct benefit for the promoter as well as for the person he promotes it to.

Points to start your viral marketing:
Viral marketing best works when it starts from the time it s first contact of their prospects.
  1. Freebies- “Free” is the most powerful word in a marketer’s vocabulary. All viral practices are mostly free of cost, inexpensive is good, free is better. Free reports, free “buttons”, free information, free software which have powerful features. Though Paid Stuff has better quality but free stuff is more useful for the first impression.
  2. Be Creative- Innovative ideas in your ezine, will make your ezine more popular and wanted in your niche.
  3. Have your very own affiliate system structured, so that promoter gets benefited for promoting you.
  4. Getting to the nodes. Promote your Big Viral Idea through Pushed Press releases, doing worthy JVs.
  5. Anything that is cool, tells how easy, how beneficial and profitable it is to be part of your business or being customer of your business.
  6. Be first; be innovative by attacking the biggest problem brings in the best viral marketing features to your business.

Think different think viral.

Many case studies can be found on this. Hotmail with its first ever-free email just tagged “Get your free email” at the bottom of each email sent. Similarly when most music companies were under big losses, even Rhapsody and Napster were not making good business, Apple i-tunes made a record business by bringing viral features at their business i.e half a million songs downloaded in just two days.

Viral marketing can make your website optimizations more powerful, lot more effective, and is must.

Warning: Any Viral Strategy would fail if Search Engine Optimization is left behind. Search engines bring those first visitors to your site/blog, that will be the starting node of Viral Marketing.

So make it an ongoing process.
Happy Blogging,
Divya Uttam.

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posted by Divya Uttam, 12:42 PM | link | 7 comments |

Blog Optimization: Its Just not Page Rank

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Power of Keyword Optimization for your Blog.

Page Rank defines your importance on net but it is very general overview of any webpage. Google’s Rank Analysis is far more complex than what you see in your Google Toolbar and it is definitely not all about 0 to 10.

Now a days even personal blogs have a high page rank. They have page rank because they are healthy and updated regularly and are recommended by many other personal blogs but from Search Engine ranking and visibility point of view they are found only by the name of author. Their ranking is not based on any specific keyword but it shows the overall structure of the blog.

Google Page Rank is the most generalized average of the various Ranking Factors. Your website ranking might be ‘six’ but it may not be found in the Search results related to your site theme, and a blog of page rank 4 might be on the top results. Sometimes you can find 0 page rank blogs on the top results according to their themed keywords.

So its not about Page Rank, its about Theme Sensitive Page Rank. It is web visibility, on your keywords.

With already available content and high paged ranked pages makes it practically impossible to start a blog. So how can you go for already existing competition or move ahead in business. The concept of page rank put forward by many search engine experts is far from reality. We have been discussing various trends in our previous posts. The extract from them is that the latest positioning of blogs/websites in Search Engine Results Page is based on Google’s new technology Topic Specific Page Rank, which can only be obtained through developing keyword relevance and keyword optimization of your blog/website.

Keys that indicate your Topic Specific Page Rank

  • Focused and targeted niches in large market.
  • The Title tags that are specific to each page and not common for the whole site.
  • Targeted keyword optimized webpages.
  • Inbound links from related authority sites.
  • Inbound links from the very related categories of human edited directories like Yahoo Directory and DMOZ.

Keyword optimization is not restricted to only onsite factors but also to overall structure as well as offsite factors of your blog. It depends on how effectively your blog handles your business issues. It is the tool through which you can relate your visitors to your business. How effectively it is told to them about your blog and market you deal with, through your keywords effects your success invariably. Only a good marketer will tell you how important a well keyword optimized webpage can be to your online business.

Blog can be keyword optimized by usual routine activities
  1. Developing focused category based folder and sub folder. http://www.yrdomain.com/index.php?action=resource to better ones like yrdomain.com/blogging/secrets.
  2. Getting links only from websites and blog themed to your blog, otherwise those Links are discounted by Google and other search engines.
  3. Getting various anchor text inbound links from websites related to your niche.
  4. Providing theme based and targeted, specific tightly keyword based Feeds from your site.
  5. Submitting your blog to multiple Search Engine Friendly Directories.
  6. Overall Website Structure should be evenly divided on all your important keywords.
  7. Use your keywords while you link to internal pages for more targeting.
  8. You should address to the deep issues in your niche, and not just the general ones. This would help you to become an important site regarding that niche from SEPV.

For the people who are really serious about their online business and have long-term plans for their blog should look ahead than just blogging platform and move forward to Content Management System. We will be dealing on these issues in upcoming posts.

For now,
Happy Blogging,
Divya Uttam.

Related Posts:-
Keyword targeting and understanding trends.

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posted by Divya Uttam, 11:25 AM | link | 3 comments |

The Great Deal Of Duplicate Content.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Someone is stealing your content.

Over the time we had a lot about content. Content is important and owns a key-role in the optimization of our blogs and websites. Web has even evolved with the concept of user-developed content. Different formats of content have been evolved under same medium of Internet like never before.

Being in a pool of Internet content it is even more important for us to have it unique and fresh. Much of the content on Internet is not original, it is either duplicate content or near Duplicate content.

What is Duplicate Content?

We all know about viruses and how they propagate in web. Content propagates in web in the same way. In the mean time many copies of content are formed. User developed content on net with no special addition of information or value to the real information is known as Duplicate Content. Sometimes this is done giving credits to the original websites and sometimes it’s just ripped of.

What are different types of Duplicate Content?
  • Content that is syndicated and re-branded for different users and different market like Private Label Articles.
  • Websites/Blogs developed by just aggregating the content from different websites from around the web.
  • Plagiarism: Copying from Public domain websites like Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg.
  • Web press releases are most often are duplicated in many blogs and other web media sites.
  • Businesses in quest of building brand image and protecting their Trademark ownership, register all domains related to their main domain and build near duplicate, or similar websites with no new content.
  • Auto generated content from different types of content extractor software.
  • Many registered domains either containing keywords or optimized for different keywords, redirected to same website. This type of optimization is dangerous as content of the main website can be taken as Duplicate content.
If we leave some business compulsions, most Duplicate pages are generated to develop content rich websites and generate a passive income, by placing contextual ads and manipulating search engines for high search engine rankings and optimizing their main website, taking the un-authorized credit.

Most times this is done without providing any valuable unique content for the visitor, neither giving credits to the real owner of the content, nor putting any useful inputs in it.

Duplicate content may be good for many big firms in the way that their name is attached with the content, and even though the content is duplicate, there is no harm to the real owner/source of content as it is providing inbound links to the main site of the real content owner. But this is not always the case.

Why should we be concerned?

Most often when we write even about latest news or info, chances are there its been discussed at many other websites. Search engines try to ignore or even sometimes de-rank the sites, which have very little original content.

Using 301redirects is also an important ways of telling search engines that page have been shifted instead of developing similar page. But using too many redirects to a particular page may make search engines take your website content duplicate.

Latest trend of Page Jacking is really getting furious for new and small websites. Sometimes owners of authority websites with good page rank take the content from smaller sites/blogs and use them in their websites. Being white listed they have more relevant content at their website, and this ripped content looks more natural to that website. Now this may make search engines think as if the original website have duplicate content and it may face consequences.

You, now don’t have worry about things like http://domain.com and http://www.domain.com

How do Search engines look for Duplicate Content?

Google, Alta Vista(now owned by Yahoo.com) have many patented technologies with them to find duplicate content and it’s not matching word by word content but finding similarities.

  1. Google looks for subsets of other content sources. It checks the for how recent the information has been showed and also checks the previous authority of blog or website.
  2. Yahoo compares the outbound links from the content
  3. Public Domain websites and other high page authority sites are very well crawled by these search engines. Most of the content optimized websites have similar or just copied content from these websites are easy prey of the search engines.
  4. Similar title tag, Meta tag description, with similar content are easily identified by search engines, are noticeable traces of content by automated systems.

How to find if your content is duplicated?

  • Check by taking any 3-4 lines at random or taking important phrases from the article, and Google them by putting them in inverted commas.
  • Use service called “copyscape plagiarism” provided by www.copyscape.com.

More information and protection laws can be found at CreativeCommons.org and also at DisclosurePolicy.org.

Its really important for us to make information easily accessible as well we add valuable content to the web. Sooner or later most attempts of stealing content would be countered by search engines with better evolving technologies.

To your Success,
Divya Uttam
Happy Blogging.

Further Reading on Google Blog:- Deftly dealing with duplicate content

Related Posts:-
Neither Content Nor Links
Blog Optimization- Is Content the Only Real King online?
Blog Optimization- Content and its Supremacy.

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posted by Divya Uttam, 5:52 AM | link | 2 comments |

11 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic using Feedburner

Friday, December 22, 2006

In the post Analytics for Better Optimization I told you that you can use Feedburner is a free service which also offers Feed Analytics, where you can track your traffic and other useful stuff. It would not create a feed from you from a scratch but would modify it and add it own services with it. One important point that I missed to mention was you can even use it to increase traffic to your blog, apart from just keeping an eye on it.

After you start using Feedburner you will yourself find the difference. People have almost doubled their traffic. Mr. Gary of Phoenix Realm SEO increased his traffic from 650 unique visitors per day to 1000+ unique visitors per day with doubling his RSS feed subscribers.

So now lets get to optimizing and publicizing your RSS feed to increase your Blog traffic.

Here are 11 easy and most useful ways of doing it.

1. Make you feed compatible- Some people or platforms have older version of RSS or Atom feed enabled, users of Blogger like me will be aware of this, where RSS is used more often. Don’t panic. Make your feed compatible with all feed subscription services using SmartFeed. Go to the optimize tab in FeedBurner, you’ll find a tool known as SmartFeed that will ensure maximum compatibility, and will convert it to any version the end user’s tool is asking for.

2. Explain what RSS feed is- Though it would sound odd but even today only a percentage of people who surf net know what RSS feed is, and how to use it. So, when new people click on your feed, without having one single idea about it, will know how to use it. Believe me a raw XML file is not very appealing to look at, if you are not a programming geek that is. FeedBurner knows that. All you need to do is to link the FeedBurner version of your feed rather than default. Use Browser Friendly option under Optimize tab to do it. You can even choose one of the different languages it provides and it is quite self explanatory.

3. What if your audience sends you more traffic- Nothing better than that I would say. Get your visitors spread a word about you using FeedFlare. Within the optimize tab, you will find this option. It will help you to create a community of your own around your content, and you’ll not have to touch a single line of code. Using it you will be able to provide your subscribers a way to act on your content. Now they will be able to Digg it, Del.icio.us it, email it and number of other things. Go on start spreading your content.

4.Notify all RSS and Blog tracking automatically with PingShot- Under Publicize tab, you’ll find the PingShot Service, which will save your time by automating the process and will ping all the top blog notification sites. This will be very helpful if your blog platform won’t let you to customize what services to get pinged.

5. Display your Headlines on other parts of your blog or other sites- Under Publicize tab you will find yet another cool feature, with the name of Buzz Boost. This will show part of your feed content on other parts of your site by posting a little JavaScript. This will be very useful if your blog is in a sub-directory of your site, and you want to put headlines on your Home page.

6. Catch the attention with your Headline Animator-This can again be found under Publicize tab. It is a Little Hypnotic button and it rotates headline which could be placed on your site or the forums you often visit. Clicking on the Headline will take you to the post. Something like this.

Blogging to Fame!

7. Get the RSS buttons for the sites of your choice- Chicklet Chooser under Publicize Tab is the way to do it. Provide your readers Feeds their way. You can find yours in my sidebar and subscribe for this blog’s feeds and be on the way of Blogging to Fame.

8. Feed Analytics- Though I already dedicated the last post about it but as I am talking about FeedBurner it would be hard to miss this point. Analyze your daily subscribers and daily click-through. This would help you know the time of the maximum visits of your audience to your blog and you can post accordingly.

9. Brand yourself through your feeds- Use Feed Image Burner under Optimize tab for this. Branding is so very important now a days and it is indeed fruitful to build your brand through your feeds. Include a smaller version of your logo, or even a special version just for your feed.

10. Include Media RSS Information for Yahoo Podcasts- Podcasting is the in thing today, and ofcourse if you are providing feeds for it you need to convert them to 2.0 instead, in order for the SmartCast option to work instead of the SmartFeed we talked before about. FeedBurner wi;; remind you which to pick.

11. Provide Summaries of your feed so that your subscribers visit your site to read more- Providing either full-feeds or a summary is totally upon your discretion. Providing just a summary sure will drive subscribers to your site to read the rest. You would ask that they may not- leave a teaser at the end of this summary so that they are bound to come to get the whole story and yes the first 200 words of your posts should be hypnotizing enough to drive them curious.

FeedBurner has lot more options, so go sign-up and explore them to bring traffic to your Blog.

Till then Happy Blogging,
Divya Uttam.

Related Posts-
Optimize your blogging and blog for more traffic and profit
Give the power of RSS to your Blog

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posted by Divya Uttam, 10:56 AM | link | 8 comments |

Analytics for better Optimization

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

After we had all the talk about how the blogging technology is evolving, content overload and getting traffic to your blogs/websites, it was inevitable to tell you that you have to track your conversion rate, your most efficient traffic source and keywords that are clicking with your audience. Remember, you cannot improve what you cannot measure and blogging is no different. This is about how to let others in the blogosphere find you and promote your content with you keeping a track of it.

Analytics have its own real advantages. Good practitioners always go for establish business models and this comes only from experience and a proper testing of different methodologies and business appeal. For business is becoming more of becoming type of open source, where improvements come from interaction and others experience, web analytics can surely boost your business than imagined if information available there is used as your business education and just not just mere facts.

You have two kinds of audience, your online readers/visitors and your subscribers. In order to measure analytics, you have to keep a track of both. A software that allows you to keep a track of your audience and analyze them is called an “Analytics” package.

Web analytics implementation strategy-
  • Improving Keyword optimization.
  • Developing keyword specific landing pages. Identify those keywords, and which appeal of your business goes with which keyword.
  • Track repeat visitor information and look for keyword or places, which provide maximum repeat visitors.
  • Getting visitors may not be the problem over web. Its getting targeted visitors which will improve conversions. Tracking the information will help you in getting information which source is providing you targeted traffic and which just chucks your bandwidth.
There are different packages for both websites/blogs and your feeds. It is very easy to find these on internet. You can find one dedicated to either of the above not both. A few company’s offer paid services, but not everyone can afford them. Fortunately, Google Analytics is a good tool for web analytics is a free service and Feedburner also offers a free service for feeds analytics, which can be upgraded by paying a nominal cost if needed. Alternatively many other sites offer free and upgradeable versions of such software.

Google Analytics-
It is free and very easy to implement. Sign up for your account and you will get a JavaScript to insert in your website or blog coding. After this you’ll need to click on the “Check Status” button to see if the JavaScript is installed properly and Congratulations! You are done with integrating your website/blog with Google Analytics. It helps you track:-

  1. Daily Number of visitors and page views- In the graph you will easily able to figure how many visitors came to your website as well as the number of pages they saw, within the given time frame. It will not only help you find the traffic but also the page views will help you to know there how much content they consumed from your blog/website.
  2. Geographical positioning- In what parts of the world are your visitors situated.
  3. Returning/New Visits- That’s quite self explanatory.
  4. Visits by source- Now that’s very important, the source of your traffic.

Google Analytics also helps you to know the bounce rates, conversion and the content summary. On which keywords did visitors searched for and came to your site/blog. You can know the placing of your site in the search engines this way. It gives you option to view as an executive, a marketer or a webmaster and has detailed options as per your choice. It also gives option to know the top entrances, top exit points and top content consumed. You will know about the sources, campaigns and last but not the least keywords, that make your blog visible to people. You can also do Goal tracking and watch your conversion rate.

It is also as easy to implement. Don’t believe me? Go to Feedburner.com and tell them I have sent you. No they don’t have any idea who I am, and guess it does not matter till you benefit and be sure you will do. You can find:-

  1. Total no. of feeds- In given time the total no. of feeds consumed by the readers. This can be found in the dashboard option.
  2. Subscribers are using which aggregator to subscribe your feed.
  3. Live hits will tell you last 25 visitors visited your site in how many hours, with their location, time of visit and user agent.
In my upcoming posts I’ll soon be taking up how to increase your traffic using Feedburner. Apart from the above you can also find how many email subscribers you have.

These software will together help you know the major metrics you need to measure to analyze your blog’s exposure. It is important to check daily trends and create reports to optimize overall campaigns.

There could be a trend you can probably check like you are getting traffic even from free SERP but they are not converting well, instead those keywords which are getting fewer placements converts well. Therefore testing is important. This could help in identifying keyword that convert well and it will help in your pay per click campaigns.

Testing is always a winner’s tool and web analytics makes all this a lot easier. With such powerful tools in hand you will always have competitive edge

Happy Blogging,
Divya Uttam

Related Posts-
Optimizing Blog by Developing Keyword Relevance
Optimizing Blog by Developing Keyword Relevance-II

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posted by Divya Uttam, 11:26 AM | link | 1 comments |