How To Silo Your Website:The Sidebar


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Michael Gray

By Michael Gray o

The following post is part of a series on How to Silo Your Website. You should review, How to Silo Your Website the Masthead, How to Silo Your Website the Breadcrumb, How to Silo Your Website the Content. For this part, we’ll be taking a look at the sidebar.

You want to keep the sidebar content dynamic …

IMHO the sidebar is the second most abused and misused part of a website (the footer is the most abused which we’ll talk about in a later article). The sidebar is so abused because people stick too much third party content, widgets, social blocks, and simply too many links. In the past year I have worked on 5 client sites with between 300-500 links in the sidebar. No, that’s not a typo. That’s over 300 links in just the sidebar.

My first bit of advice: do some click tracking to see what people are clicking on. I like to use crazyegg (full disclosure: they are an advertiser, but I used them before they became one) or similar service that actually tracks X/Y coordinates on a page. See what people are clicking on and remove the elements that people don’t use. Leer más “How To Silo Your Website:The Sidebar”

The SEO Community – A Tale of Friends and Scorpions

This is a post that may anger you and piss you off, but hopefully it makes you think a little. But I think a lot of the people in the SEO community are short sighted and are willing to sacrifice themselves and the community as whole if they see the chance to get a link or exposure. Much like the scorpion in the tale of the frog and the scorpion, they can’t help themselves even when it means their own self destruction.

I’ve been in this field for a log time. I’ve seen a lot things and gotten a lot of help from people who came before me, and I appreciate the value they contributed in teaching me a trade that allowed me to start my own business. This is why I am so disappointed by the current trend to sacrifice yourself, someone else, a tactic, or even a whole community in exchange for a short term goal that, in the end, isn’t worth it.

I was an editor at threadwatch for a number of years. You could argue that it was at Threadwatch and WebmasterWorld where I paid my dues, cut my teeth, and got my exposure (and officially became a pain in Matt Cutt’s ass ). I learned how to write front page promotion worthy posts and how to craft click enticing titles. It was sad when Threadwatch became a victim of its own success and the site owner had to make the tough call and cut people out, but it was a necessary move. Sadly Threadwatch eventually consumed itself and needed to be shut down. To be honest it was overdue, but it was still sad and, like a self asphyxia masturbation session, the last moments weren’t pretty.


Post image for The SEO Community – A Tale of Friends and Scorpions

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray

This is a post that may anger you and piss you off, but hopefully it makes you think a little. But I think a lot of the people in the SEO community are short sighted and are willing to sacrifice themselves and the community as whole if they see the chance to get a link or exposure. Much like the scorpion in the tale of the frog and the scorpion, they can’t help themselves even when it means their own self destruction.

I’ve been in this field for a log time. I’ve seen a lot things and gotten a lot of help from people who came before me, and I appreciate the value they contributed in teaching me a trade that allowed me to start my own business. This is why I am so disappointed by the current trend to sacrifice yourself, someone else, a tactic, or even a whole community in exchange for a short term goal that, in the end, isn’t worth it.

I was an editor at threadwatch for a number of years. You could argue that it was at Threadwatch and WebmasterWorld where I paid my dues, cut my teeth, and got my exposure (and officially became a pain in Matt Cutt’s ass ). I learned how to write front page promotion worthy posts and how to craft click enticing titles. It was sad when Threadwatch became a victim of its own success and the site owner had to make the tough call and cut people out, but it was a necessary move. Sadly Threadwatch eventually consumed itself and needed to be shut down. To be honest it was overdue, but it was still sad and, like a self asphyxia masturbation session, the last moments weren’t pretty. Leer más “The SEO Community – A Tale of Friends and Scorpions”

How To Silo Your Website: The Breadcrumb Trail

In Part 1 we looked at How To Silo Your Website: The Masthead. In this article, we’ll be taking the next step and looking at the breadcrumb.
Adding extra layers to crawl through never works to your advantage … ever …

For those of you who don’t know, the breadcrumb is the small text usually found under the title on the page (not the HTML title). The breadcrumb shows where you are in the website hierarchy AND (this is the important part) it is hyperlinked to pass internal anchor text. I can’t stress enough how important it is that the words be linked.

With the exception of things like your customer service, privacy, and contact us pages, all of the pages should be under the main sections of the masthead we talked about previously. Unless you are going to have more than 150 pages in each section, don’t add an extra level. Yes, I know Google says 100 links, but you can easily stretch to 150 without much need for concern.


Post image for How To Silo Your Website: The Breadcrumb Trail

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray

In Part 1 we looked at How To Silo Your Website: The Masthead. In this article, we’ll be taking the next step and looking at the breadcrumb.

Adding extra layers to crawl through never works to your advantage … ever …

For those of you who don’t know, the breadcrumb is the small text usually found under the title on the page (not the HTML title). The breadcrumb shows where you are in the website hierarchy AND (this is the important part) it is hyperlinked to pass internal anchor text. I can’t stress enough how important it is that the words be linked.

With the exception of things like your customer service, privacy, and contact us pages, all of the pages should be under the main sections of the masthead we talked about previously. Unless you are going to have more than 150 pages in each section, don’t add an extra level. Yes, I know Google says 100 links, but you can easily stretch to 150 without much need for concern. Leer más “How To Silo Your Website: The Breadcrumb Trail”

Thesis WordPress Theme Review

By Michael Gray

I’ll admit that when I first saw the Thesis wordpress theme I wasn’t really keen on it, in fact I really didn’t see the point. While I’m not a programmer by trade, I know enough HTML, CSS, and PHP to make things happen in the code. However after seeing some of the behind the scenes stuff on Rae’s blog I finally gave it a try, and PURCHASED MY OWN COPY. I can now say that I’m a big fan of Thesis, and am probably what you’d call a brand advocate. If you’re like me and can do your own programming, or just don’t get why Thesis is cool, then read on, and I’ll try to explain some of the benefits.

If you are a novice programmer of have no programming experience, Thesis makes it really easy to dip your toe in the water, since Rae did an excellent job covering that in her Thesis review I won’t rehash that it here. But what about those of us who can do some coding, are developers or publishers, or have more than one website whats the advantage? Chances are you’ve graduated past the free themes and you are using a premium theme like someplace like solostream or woo themes. They are nice looking themes for sure, but they have their limitations. Lets imagine you want to customize the look and feel a little, add or remove things, I can tell you from firsthand experience it’s not an easy task, sometimes it can be excruciatingly difficult, because you have to start modifying the core theme files. Every few months the theme will get an update and therein lies the problem, you’ve now got two choices, stick with your old version of the theme which has your customizations, or migrate all of your changes back into the new version of the theme. If the theme has updated because of a wordpress update, your’re pretty much screwed (I speak from first hand experience here).


Post image for Thesis WordPress Theme Review

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray

I’ll admit that when I first saw the Thesis wordpress theme I wasn’t really keen on it, in fact I really didn’t see the point. While I’m not a programmer by trade, I know enough HTML, CSS, and PHP to make things happen in the code. However after seeing some of the behind the scenes stuff on Rae’s blog I finally gave it a try, and PURCHASED MY OWN COPY. I can now say that I’m a big fan of Thesis, and am probably what you’d call a brand advocate. If you’re like me and can do your own programming, or just don’t get why Thesis is cool, then read on, and I’ll try to explain some of the benefits.

If you are a novice programmer of have no programming experience, Thesis makes it really easy to dip your toe in the water, since Rae did an excellent job covering that in her Thesis review I won’t rehash that it here. But what about those of us who can do some coding, are developers or publishers, or have more than one website whats the advantage? Chances are you’ve graduated past the free themes and you are using a premium theme like someplace like solostream or woo themes. Leer más “Thesis WordPress Theme Review”

Personalized Google News – Will That be on the Test

By Michael Gray

For a moment, I’d like you to think back to high school. Remember how there was always that one kid who would raise their hand and ask the question “Will that be on the test?” Now, thanks to Personalized Google News, we have the answer.
… If Google News was limiting the news sources I read I never would have seen that article or had that idea …

Last week Google announced they will be bringing personalization to Google news. I have no love of Google’s personalized search, but I understand that Google thinks it gives them a POD (see point of differentiation). The problem with this personalization is that if you limit your news only to sources you agree with, you’re missing the whole picture. Like that annoying kid in high school, you’re so focused on passing the test and getting a good grade that you’re missing the bigger picture and the opportunity to think and learn.

Since I got the iPad, one of the things I’ve started doing again is reading the news via newspaper apps. They expose me to ideas and concepts that I wouldn’t see if I read only SEO blogs and forums. Hopefully they make me a more educated and well rounded person, but I know they allow me to be more creative: I take things I read and use them as starting points for the projects I am working on. For example, this article about the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town car being discontinued gave me the inspiration to write a social article about the Prius and other “green” cars becoming taxis for an automotive website I work on. If Google News was LIMITING the news sources I read, I never would have seen that article or had that idea.
… by limiting your input you limit your perspective and your ability to better understand an issue …


Post image for Personalized Google News – Will That be on the Test

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray

For a moment, I’d like you to think back to high school. Remember how there was always that one kid who would raise their hand and ask the question “Will that be on the test?” Now, thanks to Personalized Google News, we have the answer.

… If Google News was limiting the news sources I read I never would have seen that article or had that idea …

Last week Google announced they will be bringing personalization to Google news.  I have no love of Google’s personalized search,  but I understand that Google thinks it gives them a POD (see point of differentiation). The problem with this personalization is that if you limit your news only to sources you agree with, you’re missing the whole picture. Like that annoying kid in high school, you’re so focused on passing the test and getting a good grade that you’re missing the bigger picture and the opportunity to think and learn.

Since I got the iPad, one of the things I’ve started doing again is reading the news via newspaper apps. They expose me to ideas and concepts that I wouldn’t see if I read only SEO blogs and forums. Hopefully they make me a more educated and well rounded person, but I know they allow me to be more creative: I take things I read and use them as starting points for the projects I am working on. For example, this article about the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town car being discontinued gave me the inspiration to write a social article about the Prius and other “green” cars becoming taxis for an automotive website I work on. If Google News was LIMITING the news sources I read, I never would have seen that article or had that idea.

… by limiting your input you limit your perspective and your ability to better understand an issue … Leer más “Personalized Google News – Will That be on the Test”