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Bracing Your Brand

Internet business and marketing with Robert Kingston

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I published a review about Wordze the other day but this wasn’t any old review, it went out to thousands of RSS subscribers over at Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneurs Journey blog.

I had a quick chance to test out a real keyword research site and poke around looking at keywords for this site and the bike sites. There are a lot of good keywords still out there and I’ll try to put them into practice on this site and the Mini Bike forum I run.

If you’ve got some time, check out my article here for a quick look at Wordze.

Here’s something that many people tend to discount in the Search industry - Yahoo.

I was checking out the stats for one of our websites today which I had been optimising about two or so months ago. I hadn’t noticed too much of a rise in traffic but I did see that traffic had been increasing, slowly but steadily since my tweaks. To investigate further I did some digging around in Google Analytics and found that Yahoo and Live (well, not really Live) were sending us decent traffic for once! Take a look at these graphs:

Here is Yahoo…
Yahoo as a Source for Search engine traffic.
Here is Live…
Live as a Source for Search engine traffic.

However, it’s quite easy to see who the real breadwinner is here. Just take a look at what Google gave us over the same period, will you…

Google as a Source for Search engine traffic.

Regardless, Yahoo’s contribution of traffic to our site is still not to be sneezed at. Of the 2,100 visitors it sent us, they accounted for 16,000 page views that period. This is all up from a trickle of traffic which they used to send our way. Here are some of the things I’ve done which may have impacted the way they rank our site in their SERPs:

  • Added Content relevant Headings to pages
  • Added XML and TXT site maps
  • Improved the internal linking structure with a HTML based sitemap consisting of less than 100 links per page.
  • Tidying up the code on the site a little.

I can’t say for sure whether these changes did anything, but I have no other explanation for the rise in organic traffic. What do you think?

Do you use ‘Yahoo!’?

I Sold My First Website

August 2nd, 2007

That’s right, I finally sold my first website. www.PotentMark.com.

You may recall back a few months ago, I bought some domains but decided not to bother using them at all. Instead of leaving them to sit around and accumulate dust I figured it would be much more constructive to develop them and accumulate Page Rank.

With most of my links centered around marketing and branding, I set about making a general site about personal branding to see how quickly I could get it listed in Google with a decent Page Rank.

All in all, it took about a day or two to get listed and before the end of the month it had reached PR3. I figured that way, with a domain linked to a website which Google had ranked well, I could sell it to someone who found a use for it.

One man found it useful and I sold it to him for a reasonable price. Good luck with the new domain mate!

I met Andrew Poesaste (Poe) over a year ago, but only over the past 4 months have I really gotten to know the guy. He’s ultra enthusiastic and determined to get what he wants. As such, he’s been busy over the past few weeks developing content for his Blog aimed at helping young professionals succeed and he’s finally launched it.

Click Here to goto Businessaire.com - A blog for Young Professionals

There’s a whole heap of content which has been posted so far already, namely an article why you should make your products pink, his application to become Diddy’s next assistant (make sure you vote for him here), a regularly occurring quote of the day and of course a post about his first online business - Onvite.com.au.

I’ve got a good feeling about his blog. Poe is a smart guy and I’m looking forward to checking out more of his posts as they pop up in my feed reader.

Lately I’ve been making a tonne of adjustments to my site and tweaking it to perform as best as it can in search engines. In the process however, I discovered a nasty tick that I’d been harbouring for a while.

I’m using a free WordPress Theme design called “I feel dirty” by some Spanish design firm. Whilst I was tearing the site apart and analysing the code I found that this company had been hiding links in my own blog with style="display: none;". Now, these weren’t just links crediting the theme author, they were hidden links promoting gambling, porn and other unsightly websites for the SEO-minded. Just take a look at this screen shot I took of the site without CSS styles to hide them:

A blackhat SEO Technique aimed at generating backlinks can hurt your page rankings in a number of ways.

Here is another screenshot showing the code and the address of the incriminating website:

HTML of theme spam links.

Now, when you have those links in your website, they serve to impact your search engine rankings on two fronts.

  • It associates you with a bad site.
  • They use sketchy techniques to hide links against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

For instance, notice how you cannot see any links down the bottom of my page in this picture? Sneaky Hidden spam links are bad for SEO.
There is a special CSS attribute that blackhat SEO “gurus” use to hide links from users. When you type style="display: none;" into your link code, they are hidden from users browsing your site, but not from search engines. Google is against it’s unethical use and I’m guessing other engines are too. While they do allow the technique to be used in some circumstances, I believe they might discount the content surrounded by that attribute.

You may call me a little hypocritical, but I use this attribute on my site to hide text as well, however I do it in a way that is useful to my users. In fact, I use it in the box below this post for the related content and post information. It’s just a more aesthetic way for me to provide my users with relevant information in a proper GUI. Google might count that content and they might not, but as long as I’m providing unique and relevant content to my users, naturally, I doubt they care.

So, next time you’re downloading a free theme, why don’t you take a look behind the scenes and scout out those style="display: none;" links!

For software which can disable CSS for you to find those links on your blog, go and grab the Firefox Web developer plugin!


UPDATE:

After some cyber sleuthing, Zen Zoomie has deduced that any theme downloaded from https://www.templatesbrowser.com/wordpress-themes/ are infected with spammy links. Checkout his first post about Infected Free Wordpress Themes and his summation of what we learned.