Building Web Authority with Feature Articles or Link Bait Articles

Nancy McCord is in Russia for the next several weeks. This article is a reprint from one of her published articles.

If white papers are not for you as mentioned in our previous post then feature articles or link bait articles may be the best option for you. With these types of articles, you can easily pay a good web content writer to create a 600 to 800 word article for you on topics that dovetail with the services you provide.

Once created, you can register the articles with a variety of article directories for syndication on other websites, in ezines, or on other blogs. The articles will provide a one-way inbound link back to your website and will appear in Google on the article directory site.

For some clients, we recommend the additional installation of an article directory back on their website as a repository for this created content. If your blogger has written these articles, the research and topics will provide additional content creation opportunities. Additionally these articles can be pointed to by links from within your own website and blog either at the article directory or in your online article repository.

By cross linking all you do with specially created content, you help to point search engines to the content that builds your own authority.

Personally I have found that Google does not really factor in the one way inbound links that you get from article directories to improve your organic position with this technique, but Yahoo and MSN will move you up on the search results page with feature articles registered at the various article directories.

Now the very pointed question, if doing articles, which can be costly, doesn’t help you with Google placement why do them, you should do them to create authority for your website. This is one reason why we recommend an article repository back on your own website; so you build credibility in your readers’ eyes as well as for search engines. We know that articles of this nature do not give you an important immediate organic boost, but much of what builds authority and organic placement is not about immediate results but long-term results for readers PLUS search engines.


Building Web Authority with White Papers

Nancy McCord is in Russia for the next several weeks this is a reprint.

Content, style, tone, and message are king on the Web. If you have great content and market your website through a variety of channels you will build web authority as well as website traffic over time. Getting one way inbound links is just one great way to build web authority for your website, but this may take an investment of your own personal time.

White papers are typically researched and documented unique content. Typically one that you or one of your employees has done based on the unique trends of your business or marketplace. It is very difficult for a professional writer to write a whitepaper for you. White papers will usually document data that has been accumulated over months of observation and then savvy analysis that pulls it all together proving a conclusion point. A whitepaper is not a derivative work of data that is available on the web; it should be unique and created about a specific topic.

The time that you invest in researching and writing a whitepaper for your business can turn into a marketing goldmine. At my firm, I will typically write one in-depth whitepaper once a year. I tie a subscription to my monthly newsletter to the whitepaper, meaning that you will need to give me your email address in order to download my free whitepaper. In a short time I have added several hundred names to my e-newsletter subscription list effectively extending my reach. Some white papers I offer free and other websites and web authorities drive traffic to my own website just for this content. One in particular is a paper that I did on how to stop spoofing of your domain name. Internet service providers routinely link victims to my site for our research and commentary on what to do when you are spoofed.

I have found that not only creating white papers on topics that interest me that I would like to learn more about, but by archiving them I am providing very authoritative quality content that not only provides a service to readers, but educates them, is widely discussed on the Web, and adds to my own personal knowledge base. I have never sold access to my white papers but do use them as marketing vehicles and promote them on my website, blog, and e-newsletter.

If you don’t have the time to invest in research and writing of a whitepaper, don’t despair feature articles written by professional writers may be the alternative for you. Check out our post tomorrow for more information on how you can build web authority with this technique written by professional writers.


Use CSS for Print Friendly Pages

Nancy McCord is in Russia for the next two weeks. This is a reprint.

It used to be that if you wanted a print friendly page version of each page of your website you made one and blocked the search engines from indexing them as duplicate content by blocking them in your robots.text file, but now you can get your printer friendly page with just a wee bit of CSS code and a print style sheet.

With all custom web sites that we design now, we include the CSS to create a printer friendly page, just by clicking print – no new URLs just smart coding. It’s a fairly simple thing to do and yet so very elegant and much appreciated by readers.

In our print friendly versions, we block out colors, navigation, and sometimes images. If you have a website in design right now, make sure to ask your web designer will they be doing CSS print version pages for you as well.


Is Your Website Spewing Malware?

When it comes to your website you don’t want to be going “viral” by spewing malware. In the last month, I have helped two website owners whose blogs and websites were infected and had been banned by Google get back in business. It can happen to the best business really.

In fact, in the last two months two of the problems have been clients who have been hosted on Network Solutions. That’s a big firm and you would think that your website would be safe there, but in one case we found that the infection and re-infection was not coming from the outside but rather from Network Solutions internally. It appears that their systems had been compromised and the source of intrusions were coming from their own servers. That’s really a terrible situation and devastating to their own web hosting business.

One of the other sites was hosted at a small webmaster either in a privately branded enterprise or on a server in his own office. We’ve also seen sites on GoDaddy be compromised as well recently.

So what’s the best solution? I tell my clients that really any host could have this problem, but you have a better chance of being malware and hack-attack free when you use a mainstream host. Personally, I like Hostway. My own website has been hosted at Hostway since 2001 and many of my own clients. I have not had a single incident on my own site or on my Hostway hosted client sites. Yes, you will pay for improved security when you work with a quality mainstream webhost, but ask any of the victims I have worked with recently and they would have paid it willingly if they could have only known what problems being infected would cause as well as the expense to repair the damage.

In some cases Google will tag a site in the search index if it spiders malware spewing code on a website page. There is nothing more devastating than seeing your site with a warning on Google. You literally will be shut down and may even take a “black eye” with customers when this happens to you.

One of the best ways you can make sure you aren’t spewing malware is to list your site in the Google Webmaster control panel and keep an eye on your own organic search placement. In the cases I have worked on, two had the warning notice on and only one had a notice in the webmaster control panel. But there were other signs such as funny keywords appearing as queries in your Google Webmaster results, and funny code appearing as your meta description in search results.

You’ve just got to keep an eye on your own web presence and use any tools you can to make sure you don’t become the next victim for the criminals that want to use your site to spew their malware. Be vigilant to be safe!


How Do I Get in Google’s Top 10 Results?

Boy, that is the million dollar question isn’t it? How do I get in the top 10 search results? First, not every website realistically can get there. Sometimes the competition for the top spots is so fierce that a new website simply can’t break in.

This is particularly true with new small websites of under 10 pages in most business sectors. The key to garnering top organic placement, or at least improved organic search placement (that is placement you don’t pay for), is to create a plan and then work your plan.

These are the things that I know will help improve organic search placement:

  1. Make sure your content is original and is keyword dense but readable.
  2. Create a strategy to add new pages to your website every month.
  3. Get blogging on your domain. (ie not and certainly not on Blogspot or
  4. Work on creating value for readers. Provide free information not just about your services. Give in-depth knowledge on topics and show your expertise.
  5. Make sure your home page is not all images or Flash. You’ve got to have content!

For some websites you have to work your plan to build web authority. Suddenly it seems that you hit a tipping point and start to get placement. In some cases you must lower your expectations and work to own smaller local markets before you move to the state and then national level if you can even move to a higher level.

Additionally, there are some markets that are really tough to own, take real estate for example. A five page website, no mater how pretty or optimized, will ever bump a national firm out of top Google placement. However that site may be able to place for city and county searches organically.

When it comes to moving up in the organic results, you have to take a long range view. You’ve got to be doing everything right over time to really see progress in your placement on the search engines.


Sometimes SEO May Not Be Right For You

Sometimes SEO source code optimization of a website to improve organic search placement may not be the right choice for a project. In some cases content creation for the website, blog writing, and a focus on Google Placements (Google Maps) may be a better use of funds.

Organic code optimization of a website may sometimes run over $2,000 to $3,000 – and that’s for a relatively small website. When keyword research shows very little volume of searches on keyword targets and the client sells in a local geographic area, spending cash to optimize may simply not be a wise investment. Especially when the keyword targets in a very specific market don’t show statistically in the keyword research.

In this case, a program of content revision and creation with a focus on location additions, blogging with location targets, and work in Google Maps may actually generate the results the client really needs and be less expensive.