If you’re like me, you first started with a single domain. That one website that you’ll never forget. It was something you were interested in and really enjoyed. Mine was a forum/community about something I am passionate about. After I made a few dollars I bought two domains about something I thought would be profitable. Then I moved from a subpar hosting company to HostGator. Their unlimited addon domains seemed like a challenge so I started buying domains and 7 years later I haven’t stopped. I now have a beefy VPS (still with HostGator) and over 300 domains.
With the history behind us, it’s important that every year you take time to evaluate your portfolio, settings, linking strategy in light of what’s new in the SEO industry. 7 years ago everything was expensive, whois privacy was outrageous, unique IP’s for your domains were cost-prohibitive, and even hosting accounts were really expensive. Today you can get IP’s for a few bucks, free domain privacy and really good hosting accounts for less than $10 per month.
So here are some of the most commonly overlooked SEO settings that you’ll want to use as a checklist for your portfolio.
1. Network Linking Strategy
7 years ago, reciprocal links and linking your sites together worked for great rankings. Today that will most likely end up doing the opposite. This year, links from unique class-c IP’s are important, 500 links from one domain is a waste. Manual link building has been working wonders for about 18 months, and automation is starting to fade away. That’s a lot to take in, but if you want to compete with professionals you need to be on the same playing field.
2. Hosting Diversification
5 years ago I had 7 different hosting accounts. Each of these accounts hosted a few websites. I did this so I would be able to link my sites together and make it look like different people owned them so the links would carry weight. Now I know more and have more real world experience. I’ve realized that it’s not necessary to go through all that hassle and now I have a single VPS.
A simple .htaccess setting will ensure that everyone is building links to the correct website address. Some people might visit your website at example.com, but others type www.example.com. If each of those people link to your website, you have two links pointing to different pages (although identical). Here is some easy code for your .htaccess file. If you use WordPress, you can go to Settings > General and type “http://www.example.com” into the two URL boxes.
>> Google’s Web Master tools can also set the canonical domain for you in Google.
4. Link Building Strategy
A written link building strategy is crucial if you have more than 10 domains. Less than 10 domains and you can keep more of the info in your head, but you’re going to forget what type of linking you’ve done for each individual domains. My action plan is always to get the easiest links first. I always grab links from DMOZ, Ezilon, and a few other high quality (manually edited) directories. After that I start focusing on the links that return the biggest bang for the buck. The specific types of links I go after change a couple of times per year. I make sure I’m always chasing what works as opposed to what everyone else is doing.
Let me know in the comments how many domains you have and what strategies you employ to make sure all of them are making money!
A lot of the mystery about SEO can be solved simply by getting the information straight from the horse’s mouth. Yes, that’s right! One of the best SEO resources comes direct from Google. Specifically Matt Cutts. For a few years he has been uploading very helpful videos on the GoogleWebmasterHelp channel on YouTube. There are over 300 in fact. If you haven’t subscribed to the channel, I recommend doing so. It’s personally one of my favorite resources and something I place the a lot value in.
The channel has a variety of different videos, but the ones that I like the most are the QNA videos done by Matt Cutts. In these videos Matt answers questions that people have sent in. Matt has an excellent way of explaining things. He often breaks things down in ways that everyone can understand. You can quickly tell that it’s important to him that his message is understood well. The videos are recorded in a very relaxed and casual setting which really allow you to concentrate and absorb the information being shared. Here are a few examples.
In the world of SEO, often you hear about link building. It’s an important aspect of SEO. It’s so important that there are a slew of products, services, and tactics that claim to help people with building backlinks. Some of these products may work, but it’s a safe guess that many do not. Most of the services are very expensive, and I suspect that most fail to deliver what is expected. Lastly, it seems that there are only a few tactics that are truly effective. That said, have you ever considered learning more about different ways to build links yourself? Matt Cutts has recorded an 8 minute video that talks about just that. Here is the video below:
What about keyword spam? Specifically using multiple versions of the same phrase and rewording it multiple times in your content? (i.e. SEO Hosting, Hosting SEO, Search Engine Optimized Hosting, Optimized Hosting For Search Engines, etc.) In other words, does Google consider it keyword spam when you target multiple variants of the same keyword phrase? The reason why people do this is because in most cases each variant can return different results in the SERPs. Let’s see what Matt has to say about that:
A couple of years ago there was a lot of interest with converting a standard WordPress blog into a DoFollow blog. Meaning, the nofollow tag is either manually removed from the code or a plugin is used to achieve the same result. The purpose is to reward people by passing PageRank in exchange for leaving a comment on your blog post. This is still done today. But what does Matt Cutts have to say about this? Let’s find out. Pay attention to the point made at 2:00 minutes into the video:
Have you ever wondered why it takes a long time for Googlebot to come back to your site to reindex it? I have personally played around with this a few years ago and jokingly have called this Training the Googlebot. In other words, after Googlebot crawls your site, a short period later it will return to check for new content or changes in existing content. Over time, if new content isn’t available, or if the existing content hasn’t changed, Googlebot will stop visiting as often as it did before.
Knowing this, I “trained Googlebot” to visit many of my sites quickly by controlling the flow of new content being published. Meaning, if I wanted Googlebot to index new content FAST, I would train it to believe that my site was busy simply by published new content very often. The result ended with new content getting indexed within minutes of being published. A great example of a site that has a fast recrawl rate is Digg.com. New content on Digg will get indexed almost instantly. A great of a site that doesn’t get recrawled very often would be an old GeoCites webpage –if they still existed of course. Here’s what Matt Cutt has to say about Googlebot recrawl rates:
These are just a few of 300+ videos that can help you with solving the mystery with SEO. Many of these videos have less than 10k views. I really find that strange because the information is extremely valuable. The great news about the low view counts is that you will be learning from a resource that many other people don’t know about. This gives you an advantage over your competition. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I strongly recommend subscribing to the channel. It’s a very valuable resource to have if you’re interested in learning more about SEO.
Recently, WordPress.com launched two brand new mobile viewing options that automatically display when a blog is accessed using a mobile device. For iPhone, Android, and other similar mobile devices, a modified version of WPtouch will be displayed. For older, less capable mobile devices, a very stripped-down text only version is shown. These options can be turned off by the user, but remain active by default.
Automattic volunteered some astounding statistics, revealing that thousands of people have been using iPhone and Blackberry applications to publish and moderate content on WordPress.com. Secondly, it was said that WordPress.com, as a whole, receives over 60 million page views a month on mobile devices. There’s no doubt that Automattic has an interest of being the hero in your pocket. There is a much different story with the millions of self-hosted WordPress users. As it stands, if you’re running a self-hosted WordPress blog, making it mobile friendly doesn’t come quite as easy. And also, it’s not done automatically as it is for WordPress.com users.
But that’s ok! Fortunately for self-hosted WordPress users, making your WordPress blog mobile friendly isn’t too difficult at all. Here are a few options available to you that will help you get started on the right foot.
With 300,000 downloads, WPtouch has become one of the most popular and widely accepted WordPress mobile plugins available. WPtouch gives you the ability to convert your blog and optimize for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and BlackBerry users. It was modeled after Apple’s app store design specs, and is geared towards helping you make your blog load fast, and to make your content display beautifully for viewers using modern mobile devices.
WordPress Mobile Edition is a plugin, with over 100,000 downloads, that shows an interface designed for a mobile device when visitors come to your site on a mobile device. Mobile browsers are automatically detected, the list of mobile browsers can be customized on the settings page. One of the more appealing features of WordPress Mobile Edition is that it serves a mobile interface to Google and Yahoo mobile search crawlers. You can also add any others by adding their user agents in the plugin’s Settings page. All in all, WordPress Mobile is a mobile/phone/PDA friendly interface for your blog with progressive enhancement for advanced mobile browsers.
MobilePress is a WordPress plugin that has been downloaded 40,000 times and will render your WordPress blog on mobile handsets. It also offers owners the ability to use customized themes, in addition to allowing specific themes for specific devices, such as iPhone, Opera Mini, Windows CE Mobile and other mobile browsers.
MobilePress also allows WordPress theme developers to create custom mobile themes for WordPress blogs using the MobilePress plugin. Theme designers can also then create specific iPhone themes or generic themes. The plugin also comes with mobile SEO features which automatically detect Google and Yahoo mobile search bots. These mobile search bots will see the mobile version of you blog which allows your blog to optimized and indexed on Google and Yahoo mobile search.
In my opinion, I like WPTouch the best. However, the other two plugins offer some SEO features that shouldn’t be ignored. Google Webmaster Central Blog just released some tips on how to help Google index your mobile site more easily. If you discover that your blog isn’t index in Google Mobile, you might want to spend some time correcting that. And using one of the two latter plugins may help.
I am real excited about sharing this tip with you, because figuring this out, for me, was a huge. Recently Google updated Google SideWiki to include the option of sending comments to your Blogger blog. However, at this time, there is no option of sending comments to any other blog platform, more commonly, self-hosted WordPress.
While I was excited to discover that Google included an option of porting comments to Blogger, for me, it simply wasn’t enough. The comment I create in Google SideWiki are ones that I’d like to share with readers on my dot Com blog, rather than my personal Blogger blog. At any rate, here’s the steps on how you can send your GoogleWiki comments to your WordPress blog.
Visit Blogger.com and create a new blog. Name the blog whatever you want, but I would name: Your Name SideWiki Comments. And give it a permalink structure the same: yournamesidewiki.
On the “Choose Your Template” page, scroll down to the very bottom and choose “Simple II” Created by: Jason Sutter. The reason why you you’re choosing this template is not for looks, it’s because there is no sidebar. I’ll explain in more detail in the next few steps.
Create and publish a test post. Don’t worry about what to say, just say anything and speed through this process. The reason why you need to quickly create and publish a post is so that you can have an active entry in your RSS feed, which you will be using in the next steps.
Next, click on Settings and then Formatting. You’ll want to change the Show post on main page count from 7 to ZERO! The reason why you want to set this to ZERO is because you don’t want the content to appear on this blog. In fact, you don’t want ANYTHING to appear on this blog, thus the reason for choosing the theme without the sidebar. I’ll explain more in the next few steps. Don’t forget to scroll down and save your modified settings.
Next, click on Layout and proceed to REMOVE all of the Gadgets in your template. As mentioned in the previous step, you do NOT want anything to appear on your blog, and for sure, you do NOT want your Google SideWiki comments to appear live on the blog.
The only gadget remaining is the Blog Posts gadget because this can’t be removed. However, it doesn’t matter, because previously, showing ZERO posts was set. View your blog live to verify that your published test post is not displaying. Click the RSS icon and copy your RSS Feed URL to clipboard and save it for the next upcoming steps.
Next, login to your self-hosted WordPress blog. Navigate to the Plugins / Add New section and search for wp-o-matic. Install and activate it.
Copy the cron instructions and from cPanel, open your Cron manager, click advanced, and paste the cron string in. Add a campaign and in the Basic tab, title it: Your Name SideWiki Comments. In the Feeds tab, PASTE your Blogger ATOM RSS feed. In the Categories tab, I suggest creating a category called, SideWiki Comments. This will identify to your readers that articles published in this category are your Sidewiki comments.
Nothing needs to be done in the Rewrite tab, you can skip that. From the Options section, adjust the frequency to a time which fits your post frequency. If you know that you’re going to be creating a new SideWiki comment every four hours, then you might want to set the frequency to match that. You don’t need to Cache Images because there won’t be any.
I would suggest CHECKING the Use feed date option. You can leave Perform pingbacks UNCHECKED. You’ll want to leave the Type of post to create set to Published, unless you want to manually go back to your post editor and publish them. The Max items to create on each fetch, I have changed to 0 for unlimited. I would leave the Post title links to source? UNCHECKED and keep the Discussion options setting OPEN and CHECK Allow pings. At this point, you’re done. Click submit.
At this point, you’re going to want to FETCH the RSS data. When this happens, your data will automatically be published into your self-hosted WordPress blog.
Final product is a beautiful article that you retain complete credit, copyrights, as well as what I call, “indexable ownership.” Using Google SideWiki is a great way to express your views and opinions about web pages you visit. However, I believe that writers should retain ownership of their content contributions.
I can’t say that Google quickly recognized that, but I can say that it’s great that they opened up the feature to port SideWiki comments to Blogger. However, I also feel that it’s important to allow users the option to port the comments to other platforms as well. I also feel that my contributions on places such as in Google SideWiki can earn revenue.
I am a professional blogger and it’s important that I have methods for earning revenue on the content I publish on the web. By porting Google SideWiki comments to a self-hosted WordPress blog, the author has full control over displaying contextual based ads. On average, I earn $20 to $25 on each article I publish per year and annual revenue double each year.
Back in May of 2009, Google launched Search Options, which is the side panel that lets you apply filters and view search results in different ways. This might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but Google actually put in quite a few long years into the development of this technology. The concept surfaced in 2001 and was later unveiled in May of 2007 as universal search. Fast forward two years, and today we have very enhanced and beefed up search options available at only a few mouse clicks away.
So you may be wondering what can you do with the new search options. The simple answer: a lot! The better question to ask would be what can’t you do with the new search options. The more important question to ask yourself – assuming you’re a site owner interested in increasing organic search traffic – is how can I enhance my SEO to capitalize on these new features. Let’s look at a few of the new features and then I’ll offer some suggestions on how to take advantage of them.
The search options available are as follows: All results, videos, news, blogs, books, forums, reviews.
Additionally, you can add these filters to the first six: Any time, recent results, past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past year, specific date range.
On top of that, you can then filter your view: Standard view, related searches, wonder wheel, and timeline.
The last filter allows you to change your view even further: Standard results, images from the page, fewer shopping sites, more shopping sites, and more text.
So now that we’ve broken down the search options and defined each filter, let’s talk about some SEO tips. Here are a few things that you can do to make the most of the new search options in Google.
Videos: Creating and uploading a videos in YouTube and embedding them in your web pages will increase your chances of pulling up in the video results.
On video sites, such as YouTube, be sure to put the URL of your web page into the description. People as well as spiders will be able to travel from the YouTube video page to your web page. Both activities influence your web pages rankings.
Blogs: Creating and maintaining a blog, and publishing unique and high quality content related to your brand, business, products, and services can help you increase your chances gaining top ranks when users filter and show blog results only.
Don’t discount the possibility of running multiple blogs. The cost and time invested into maintaining blogs is much less than most people believe. Also, I recommend running blogs using multiple platforms. For example, you should have a blog on self-hosted WordPress, WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and LiveJournal. Lastly, I suggest that each blog appear independent and seperate from the others.
The most successful blogs are blogs that grow off the reader’s activity and contributions. Try to write content in a way that captures attention and makes readers feel compelled to take an action. The desireable actions you seek are backlinks, comments, and social network sharing. These are all activities that influence how well your blog post ranks for keyword phrases in search. Also, content can be carefully shaped and molded in a way to attract the attention of people as well as search engines. And that leads to my next tip.
Reviews: Adjusting your writing style can influence your chances of ranking in the reviews only section. Google looks for common writen trends that typically reflect written reviews, such as product reviews. Spend some time studying the content on some of the pages found in the search results and adapt some of their style into yours.
Index Frequency: You should constantly monitor how quickly new content gets indexed from your site. If content gets indexed within a few minutes of publishing, then you should take advantage of that and publish more content. I recommend publishing new content immediately after the most recent content has been indexed. In other words, everytime web crawlers come back to your site, you should have new content ready to be crawled for indexing. Doing so will increase your chances of pulling up in after the past hour, past 24 hours, and past week filter has been applied.
Another obvious reason why I recommend posting new content as frequently as possible is because doing so places your mark in hundreds and in many cases thousands of search result pages. A great pioneer in this strategy is Chris Pirillo. He has multiple blogs, forums, and sites, each being updated almost hourly. Secondly, these updates aren’t done just by hired or team writers. Most of the updates are user generated content. Chris Pirillo’s earns revenue by displaying contextual advertisements off the content created by community members within his network.
Adjusting how you do things and puting yourself more in-line, and in the same direction as Google, can make a significant difference in the amount of organic search traffic your site receives. Just being aware and perceptive of how Google presents information to users via their search results alone can help a lot. And with these new search options available, instantly there is a new resource of traffic that you can be tapping into.