Friday, December 23, 2005

Moving At Last, Moving At Last.....

FINALLY!! After a lot of house buying drama, we move in next week. The new carpet goes down Monday and after that, we can slowly start moving in the small stuff. The movers come with the big stuff/furniture January 2.

The cable people won't be around to hook everything up at the new house until Jan 7 so I'm taking some much needed time off from the computer. I wish each and every one of you much success in life, love and whatever endeavor you choose to follow. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Jingle Links.....Yeah Baby....

Dashing through the blogs, I came upon the posts, Dishing about paid links that no one is supposed to host.

That Google it keeps saying, if you host these links, we’ll zap them all and give no love and watch your site sink sink.

Ohhhhhhh ....

Jingle links, jingle links, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it used to be to buy paid links all day – hey!

Jingle links, jingle links, jingle all the way....if Google could I know they would just wish us the hell away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

He Does His Momma Proud.

Yahoo Store whiz and long time friend Rob Snell emailed me with some great news, he's written a book!

He's even added a little blurb in there about me! WHOO HOO!

You know you need links, and sometimes it's just easier to get someone else to worry with the hassle! I'm hesitant to give away one of my secret sources, but I do have one person I completely trust and recommend for high value link development. Debra Mastaler ( is one of my search engine conference buddies. She runs with Jill Whalen and the crew and I can't say enough nice things about her! She's like my Mom away from Mom.

Cyberhug to you for the mention Rob!!
Now go clean your room.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Did You Know This Dog?

Oh lighten up.......

Home Grown Still Best

From the (bold is mine)

....."But what is helping is good content like the articles about non-conforming loans and the new blog on that site. That’s why when I see strong links from Yahoo’s directory, Dmoz, and Wikipedia to Avatar, I’m not very surprised"

Confirmation is kewl.

Content Is Best Kept Close

I'm not a big fan of writing articles and then sending them or other content away from a website. I usually suggest clients write the material and add it to their sites as a way to increase content in the location it will do the most good. Adding the material helps build your site as an authority and/or establish your presence for whatever niche you're in.

Send out releases to key sites and media outlets to publicize the new content and the links will come to you. Not only do you drive links but you set your expertise in the minds of the journalists you contact. They'll come knocking next time they need to know about blue widgets...

Basics + Little Tricks

Link building is two parts creative, one part techincal and one part plain ole' common sense. Unless you're selling a totally obscure product you need them to succeed online from an SEO, promotional and business standpoint. So what are some of the ways to go about getting links? There are tons of ways but let's start with a couple of the better known basics and then look at custom tactics.

I'm a fan of Directories for many reasons but in regards to linking, if you're getting started or want to increase your stable in short order, using Directories is great. There are about 30 good ones (general Directories) and most of these allow you to personalize your anchors and/or descriptions. I always make sure the page I'm adding a description to is in the index of Google, Yahoo and MSN and doesn't use any redirects or frames.

Using competitors to find links has it's good and bad points and I always issue a word of caution with this tactic. Just because your competitor has a link from a site doesn't mean you have to - always check the link carefully and don't raise to their level of mediocrity "just because" they're there.

Search on your keywords and take a look at the top 30 sites listed; if any are hosting adsense type ads it's a pretty good bet they'll sell space to you as well. Negiotate wisely and always for keyword rich anchor text links.

You can swap links if you'd like, but I'd keep it short and sweet and limit yourself to a couple. Remember - like links you buy, reciprocal links can be beneficial since your partner will use the anchors and links you provide. (hint - link deep, link smart).

Those are the basic link building tatics you hear about frequently. More indepth campaigns or what I call custom link building isn't as cookie cutter and is usually created after careful research of a site's stats, customer feedback forms, surveys etc. Armed with this info you can decide how to proceed into markets, what type of promotions to run and whom to target......basically what will give you the biggest bang for your link buck.

Here's several custom programs I've used with success:

Link incentives. Offer free shipping or some other "better" discount only a link partner gets. The offer drives this programs success so make it good. Search on secondary keywords and find sites not directly competing with yours to host the link. For example, if you sell baby cribs and have a model for twins, search out all the sites devoted to twins online and offer the incentive. You stay on topic, have targeted traffic potential, capitalize on a kw term with greater ROI and well..... are probably the only one doing it.

Help wanted ads. If you hire, here's one for you. Help wanted ads can be offered to the all coveted schools/universities (think .edu) who need/want to offer opportuntities to it's graduates. Brainstorm this tactic and you'll see the possibilities are endless.

Craigslist and other classified type sites are great for local links but I've seen listings pop up in the serps for "general" terms as well. Take a look at these wonderful resources and see if there's a category and opportunity for you. There's lots of little tricks out there!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cross Linking

Typically when questions are asked about cross linking they're posed from a search engine standpoint...."how much is too much" or " how much can I link and stay under the radar"...

I always offer the same answer - do it within reason, as a marketing tactic and do it so it doesn't look *stupid*. Not very technical answers but pretty much the way it is.

From what I've seen, cross linking comes in two flavors: the first is the owner with multiple sites who wants to cross promote. He links to and from every page of every site by adding links down at the bottom of the pages.

The other scenario is the site owner who creates multiple sites for the sole purpose of cross linking them which some construe as link farming. (I have an issue with that, I say it can be a smart tactic… but that's for another time.) They too cross link each page from each site to the other, creating a real link web.

Either scenario is overkill IMO as people tend not to look at links found on every page of the site especially if they're way down at the bottom and in small font. I refer to these links as "fat links" or "footer links" since they're all bunched together in rows on top of each other. My eyes have learned to discount their existence since they're hard to read and usually non related.
If my eyes discount them, stands to reason a search bot does the same. Lots of links on the bottom of a page? Probably spam, move along little botdoggie.....

Note I said discount and not penalize. Hard penalties outside of an update are few and far between in cases like this, I've never heard of or known a site to be removed from the index for having bad taste. Cloaking yes.....hidden text yes - fat links - no.

The idea behind cross linking should be about cross promotion - both for visitors, your brand and the engines. Can you cross link non topic related sites? Sure! Even non complimentary sites can cross link, just create a resource page or highlight an area that explains why you're linking out. It gives your visitor a clue and adds optimized content to the site. I'd stay away from linking to and from every page.

Here is the quote from a Google rep I use in all my presentations, read closely:

"My rule of thumb is how it would look to a visitor or to a competitor. I'd be careful with brand-new + lots of sites + lots of cross-linking to make sure that it wouldn't look bad to someone checking out the site. "

My interpretation of that comment is - don't build sites for the purpose of cross linking and if you do, make it look natural, not forced. If we can tell by looking that these sites are cross linked to siphend link pop, we'll devalue.

I don't buy the idea search engines automatically discount links from cross linked sites because they're on the same IP with a number of others or they're cross linking with sites outside their industry. SE don't tell us how to handle our marketing efforts unless we're creating them to manipulate rankings. And when you cross link for promotional purposes, explaining your links and resources isn't manipulation, it's just good customer service and naviagtional options.

One of the least discussed benefits of cross linking is the control you have over linking to internal pages using optimized anchors. Linking into internal pages using highlighted anchors is a solid SEO tactic - and an easy way for your customer to find something *meaty* in your site!

Post to