Tag Archives: Tips

When It Comes To SEO Services Be An Educated Consumer

Just because you receive an email from a firm saying your website is poorly placed organically or has supposed SEO issues does not mean that you have to take action. First off, I have a high ranking on Google on many of my services, and nearly all of my business comes in via my organic placement efforts, and I still get these letters!

If you do decide to work with an SEO firm, that is fine, just make sure that you are getting what you pay for and are an educated consumer about what they say they can do. Here is just one case study that should help you to be aware that you need to be careful, aware, and vigilant when you are shelling out your hard earned cash for SEO services.

Fees: Six months expense for a local business for SEO services $400 a month or $2,400 already spent

Services: SEO work plus articles to garner inbound links.

Review: After six months of service Google shows the site as having 223 links. Many of the links are from link farms or off-topic locations. As comparison we did a report for one of our long time blogging clients the same day we looked at this other client’s results, our client had 70,000 links. A different client we also reviewed for links had 11,000 links just from on-domain blogging. 223 links for $2,400 is not a lot of links. When challenged by the client, the SEO firm said typically they get results in regards to links in the ninth month. My analysis of this is that I have seen it take 90 days for links to happen and start building with an article program, but my next question would be let me see some of these articles and where are they syndicated. You may get better overall performance with your on-domain blogging efforts as our own clicnts have than with poorly written articles that may actually give you a black eye with consumers if they are not up to snuff.

Services: Website work for SEO – installed Google Analytics, created sitemaps…

Review: Yes these are all good things and should be done, but as a consumer you need to know that in many cases, and certainly in this one, Google Analytics was installed via a WordPress plug-in that took less than 12 minutes to install and once installed Analytics code appeared on all pages. WordPress will build a sitemap without your involvement once you install a plug-in. Don’t let SEO firms bill you big money for these things. Yes, they are important, yes they should be done, but when the report comes to you stating that these things took hours to do and were labor intensive, know that this is simply not true in most cases and certainly not if a WordPress plug-in is used to do the work or code installed in a footer include.

Services: Add keyword dense image alt tags and link title tags to website.

Review: Yes these things may be extra ways to capitalize on SEO, but did you know that most browsers now do not show an alt tag on mouse over. The information is only shown if you use a title tag. If you are paying for these things, go to your own home page and right click “view source” do a control + F to find title or alt. Is there even anything there? In my case study situation,  the SEO firm said that this was one of the things they had done. After six month of payment, at least the home page should reflect these items, and there was not a single keyword dense alt tag or link title tag on the page. With the home page being crucial for SEO placement, one needs to wonder why this is on the supplied services list and not visible on the home page of all places!

Services: Increase website traffic

Review: The case study client thought that the Google Analytics report showed good traffic. They were pleased with 250 visitors in a 30 day period. This is about 9 visitors a day! Good grief, that is awful traffic for having spent six months of $400 a month. This money would have been better spent on Google AdWords to drive qualified immediate sale generating traffic.

Our case study client has gotten in fairly deep with an expenditure of $2,400 that really has not given them much of anything. There are surely some SEO firms who will deliver what they say they will and are, but you as an educated consumer need to be aware of what you are paying for and confirm that you are getting it. In this most recent case the client did not get value for a $2,400 of expenditures with their SEO firm. Make sure you are not being charged for things you are not receiving.


CHMOD Server Setting For Improved Security

If you need to keep your blog secure or just want to make sure you are doing the most to keep website hackers at bay, you’ll want to review these Apache server settings to keep your content and website safe.

CHMOD Explained
“CHMOD is a UNIX term for a server operation to set or change the mode of the file access permissions. When executed, the command can change file system modes of files and directories. The modes include permissions and special modes.”

If you click into the CHMOD Server Permissions website linked above you will be able to read what permissions should be used for which cases.

As a rule of thumb typical website pages should be a CHMOD of 644. Your blog’s wp-config.php file should be 600 or 660 to keep secure. The bottom-line on CHMOD is that using your FTP agent you can right click on any file or directory and change the file or access permissions. Make sure before you start changing things that you review CHMOD Explained and keep track of what you have changed so if need be you can revert back to a prior setting if needed.


Want to Check Your Backlinks Here is an Easy Tool

If you are concerned about organic search placement, then you need to keep an eye on your website’s backlinks or more commonly known as inbound links. I’ve found an easy to use free tool that allows you to check your link numbers quickly and even review links that are follow and nofollow. The tool is called the Open Site Explorer and can give you a snapshot picture of link on the Web being pointed back to a page or domain.

As you review your statistics and numbers you may wonder what a nofollow or follow link are. A nofollow link is one that a search engine robot will not be following to discover your site. You receive no search engine “juice” from this link. You may still get site traffic, but no organic placement benefit. On the other had follow links are goldmines. That means that the search spider will follow the link all the way to your website from the original website. You may get an authority rank benefit as well as a link number benefit that may raise your own organic search placement. Follow links are good as long as they are from legitimate non-spammy sources.

Try the tool out for yourself and see what you think. I think it is pretty cool!

I am not receiving any compensation for writing this blog post from the site owner. I just found the tool, like it, and wanted to let you know about it.


Keep an Eye on Your Website and Blog for Hidden Spam Parasites With This Tool

In today’s world, you’ve got to be proactive about protecting your online search engine capital. One way to keep an eye on your website and blog are to routinely review both for hidden parasitic spam hacks that will sap your search engine placement and could actually end up getting you banned (temporarily) on Google.com. Here is one tool you may want to do a few scans with to make sure that you are clean.

The tool is called Unmask Parasites. This free online tools scans a few random pages on the URL you input and then gives you a pretty fair report on activity, links, and if your site is carrying parasites. It is important if you feel you have a problem that you not just scan your home page. Do some directory scans as well to see if deeper in your site you have a problem.

Additionally I highly recommend that you review at least monthly, your Google Webmaster Control Panel and review the keywords that Google is finding on your website. If you are finding a prevalence of casino, gaming, or mortgage related keywords, your site has been hacked and needs a thorough cleaning.

Although Unmask Parasites may not find an all hidden parasites as it only scans random files, using it in conjunction with the Google Webmaster Control Panel will allow you to keep tabs on the security of your site and work to monitor others cracking in and using your site to funnel hidden spam links forcing your placement down in the organic search results.


Add a Star or +1 on Your Google Searches to Share What You Like

Google has made some pretty cool updates on their search engine recently namely the +1 and the star option. These new enhancements to personalized your search results allow you to highlight what you like and then share the information with others in your social network.

As for stars, you don’t have to keep track of the things you star, Google does. In fact when you star something Google synchs it with your Google Bookmarks and Google Toolbar. Once you star something, the item will appear at the top of your search window allowing you to find the information you want to revisit quickly.

Google says: “With stars, you can simply click the star marker on any search result or map and the next time you perform a search, that item will appear in a special list right at the top of your results when relevant,”

Pretty cool! With stars you are actually ordering your search results the way you want! I am seeing stars now on my Google.com search pages already. Another thing Google rolled out recently was the +1. Now this enhancement I have not seen yet, but it looks powerful. The +1 is kind of like stars on steroids. Here, your social network will be able to see what you have +1’ed. Websites will even be able to add +1 buttons almost like Facebook Like buttons.

What I find interesting about both new enhancements is that Google will be using this aggregate information to move search results higher on the Google.com organic placement page. Based on that information, you’ll want to keep an eye on stars and +1 activity as this new technology matures and becomes more widely used on the Web.


Get An Early Invitation to the Google +1 Website Button

Plus-OneDon’t be left behind, you can use our link to be an early embracer of the Google +1 website button. Google announced this past week that it would be rolling out this new enhancement to allow you to +1 website searches and share them within your Google social network, but now you can get on the waiting list to be an early embracer of +1 for your website.

To find out how the +1 button works you can watch the video from Google. Google says that not only will the +1 be seen on search results on Google.com but will even appear on search ads that you or others in your network have clicked. +1 allows you to receive a personal recommendation from others in your network, which we know will carry more weight in regards to buying decisions.

Personally I feel that the +1 button is big news and will be an early embracer of the technology. Google has also stated that the aggregate information supplied via the +1 button will impact organic search results. So get in the queue before others do, visit our link to get an early invitation for the +1 button for your website now.