Link Generating Articles Take 4 Months to Reach Google

I’ve been very closely monitoring links and organic activity on Google for a client that we have been aggressively been writing feature articles for directory syndication. What I have found out about the process is interesting. There is about a three to four month delay before the results hit Google. So you must be patient with the process and continue to write while waiting.

Specifically, we have been writing 800 to 1,000 word articles typically focused for this client on bringing traffic to his website through broad syndication. He is a bed bug exterminator and the articles have been focused to the real estate and property manager industry as well as providing interesting information to home owners on the topic of bed bugs.

It has taken Google four months to really show a difference in his number of in bound links. Last month he had 600 links reported by Google and this month there are over 3,000. We have written a total of just under 10 articles so far and the increase in the number of Google reported links has positively impacted his organic placement on top terms in Google finally this month.

The bottom line is that feature article writing for directory syndication is an excellent way to get one way in bound links, but that you should expect to wait 120 to 150 days or more for the results to really impact your website’s organic placement on Google.

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The Economic Down Turn and Petroleum Costs Hurt Everyone!

Several months ago our Realtor clients and mortgage broker clients were really hurting and unfortunately for many, that situation has simply not changed.  What I am seeing is that this slow down and cut back of expenses is now migrating out of the real estate and mortgage industry into broader market sectors.

We are seeing many clients in many types of businesses tightening their belts, stopping peripheral services, and actively working to trim the expenses that they can control. You can’t easily control what you spend for gas, for electricity, or for food, but you can trim, or bring in-house, certain services that you typically outsource. This is what I am seeing finally in our my service industry.

Many clients who have employed our blogging services are tasking a junior team member to start blogging. Some are moving to Indian firms, and some are stopping blogging altogether.

As the cost of petroleum and mortgage crisis impacts more businesses and causes commodity prices to rise, I expect to see more cut backs and more do-it-yourselfers trying to take over webmastering their website, cutting back on their website updates, and bring their blogging services and pay per click management services in house.

My firm has been in business for nearly eight years and we are in this for the long haul. We will continue to offer value and practical solutions to all clients. Trust me, we’ll be ready to help you when you have the need and desire to outsource these areas that you may have had to pull closer to yourself for the time being.

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Why Using a Hyphen Is Better Than An Underscore

I use hyphens only in all I do. I’ve done this for years both in content and in the naming of links, creating website architecture, and for search engine optimization. Specifically that is only using hyphens (-) instead of an underscore (_).

Here’s a quick note from Webmaster World forums on that issue:

Key-word

A hyphen (as is probably consistent with language use) returns a mix of results for the words both used separately, and joined together – somewhere between [key word] and [keyword]. It’s the preferred word separator within website URLs, since other punctuation characters that are treated as a word-separator have specific functions within a URL.

Key_word

Underscores are treated as a letter of the alphabet, which is why you can [url=http://www.google.com/search?q=_]search for an underscore directly[/url]. Use underscores in content if your visitors include an underscore when searching (e.g. if you had a programming site).

 

Note the important information on hyphens here that search engines will return both the separate and joined together word. So if you want to match more searches it is hyphens all around. I even use this same technique when it comes to selecting a domain name where writing it out and keeping it short are not important.

It actually used to be that underscores in URLs were considered stop characters by search robots. Google did announce this past year that they have surmounted that obstacle and were not equally indexing underscores AND hyphens. For me, I simply use one syntax and for ease of use only use one way which is hyphens on everything. You’ll find no underscores on websites that I design or optimize for that matter a stronger match to more keywords is just simply better policy.

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The Yellow Pages are Dead, Really? Well Maybe…

I have heard this more than once from clients – they have stopped or cut way back their Yellow Page advertising to fund focusing on web advertising or web placement.

When I managed a paint and wallpaper store years ago, it was not uncommon for us to spend over $5,000 each month for Yellow Page advertising. If you weren’t there (in the Yellow Pages), customers just did not find you. The $5,000 we spent (on Yellow Page advertising) was probably even on the low side. The web has changed all that. Now, the mantra is if you’re not on Google, customers just do not find you. Well, they can find you with sponsored search, but that in itself has truly changed how many firms choose to promote their businesses.

In fact, I was just searching for information and professional services today, and when I did use the yellow pages online, the results were so lame that I went back to Google for more research and review. I did find resources via the pay per click ads, but I started with the organic results rapidly scanning the descriptions for my top phrases, then used search and find to find my phrase in the actual document. Did I pick up the Yellow Page book from my cabinet – NO I was totally online.

I am just one of thousands of searchers using the same techniques. So, is it still viable and beneficial to advertise in the local Yellow Pages. I think that it depends on what you are providing and selling.

I look for beauty salons in the Yellow Page print version and not on the web as I want just local results. When local search results get better on all the search engines, I may fore go the print Yellow Pages all together. How about you? When do you use the print Yellow Page and when do you use online searching?

I think you will find yourself to be like me, for search and to find out of area resources I use Google.com. For local businesses, like hair salons, I like to see the print ads  in the print Yellow Pages and gravitate to the larger ones, bypassing the small ads. I typically do not search the local online search engines for purely local business results. As local search results get better this is sure to change which will nail the coffin lid on the Yellow Pages for sure.

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Google Drops Pay Per Action Program

On the Google AdWords blog this past week, Google announced that it was dropping its pay per action program.  If you never used pay per action, here it is in a nutshell.

With pay per action, you decide what you will pay, amount and action – you cannot do an action for a sale if you do not have access to your shopping cart code. Then publishers can pick up your code to show ads on their sites and can get paid when the action happens.

I found from using the program for a client, that pay per action was just not embraced by the publishing network. If you were only offering under 1 dollar or so for the action, publishers did not pick you up. Publisher came and went and so the ads were on and off again.

Although it sounded like a good idea, publishers really want to be paid for clicks as it simply was easier money.

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