How to Diagnose and Improve Website Crawling

Sitemap Statistics

If things are radically out of whack, you can download a table of pages in the index from webmaster central and diagnose on a page by page level to see what is or or isn’t in the index.

Next, you want to try and do a full crawl of the website using something like Xenu. While it’s usually used to check for broken links, in the process it does crawl the website. If you have a large website, you are going to want to limit the crawling.

Another product that I like to use is Website Auditor. One of the interesting things about using Website Auditor is that you can specify crawling depth, which is how deep you want a crawl to go. Start at the homepage and go only one level. Run it again, this time with 2 levels, then 3. Additionally use your Webmaster Central report on most linked pages (think of them as link hubs). If your important pages aren’t within 2-3 pages of linking hubs on your website, you will have problems. IMHO it’s more important than ever to cultivate deep linking and to use that deep linking to spread your link equity, inbound trust, and authority wisely around your website.

In recent years Google has done away with the term/classification “supplemental index.” IMHO this was more of a public relations move, as they just grew tired of hearing from people who were upset that any part of their site was in the supplemental index–but I digress. There are certain parts of your website that aren’t as important as others or, as in the case of say a privacy policy, are important to people but not for rankings. To help you understand what pages Google thinks are important, you need to look at last crawl date in the Google Cache.

Pages that have the most links are going to get crawled more frequently. Pages that have the most trust and authority are going to get crawled most often. Pages that are linked to from those linking hubs, or trusted and authoritative hubs, will get crawled next most frequently. At each step away from the linking hubs, or authority points, crawl frequency will decrease–think of it like a classic pagerank model.


Michael Gray - Graywolf's SEO Blog

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray | http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/diagnose-improve-crawling/

When you are reviewing a website, whether for your own projects or for a client project, one of the important areas to review is crawlability. In this post I’d like to talk about some of the ways you can look for and diagnose crawling issues.

If your important pages aren’t within 2-3 pages of linking hubs on your website, you will have problems …

The first step to diagnosing a crawling problem is to use a simple [site:example.com] search and compare how many pages you really have with how many Google thinks you have. Now, bear in mind that this number is an estimate. What you are trying to do is get a rough estimate of how many pages Google knows about, as Matt Cutts recently discussed in a Webmaster Central Video:

If you have several hundred or thousand pages but Google only shows 100, then you have a problem. Depending on how large the site is, anywhere from 10-30% accuracy would be a good rule of thumb.

The second thing you would want to look at would be Webmaster Central. If you submit a sitemap, Google tells you how many URLs you submitted and how many are in the index. The closer those numbers are, the better. Don’t worry if it’s not a 100% match because sometimes you include pages in your sitemap that get blocked at the page level with a robots meta tag. At this point, you are just concerned with gross numbers. Leer más “How to Diagnose and Improve Website Crawling”

The Rise of Page View Journalism

In the early days of newspapers, success and advertising was measured by total circulation. The ability to measure how many people were reading just the business section, lifestyle section, or sports section didn’t exist. As more consumers switch their news reading habits to online consumption, our ability to track which section and pages are being read has improved. However, this enhanced tracking has a dark side: the rise of page view journalism. Simply put, page view journalism is the deliberate creation of stories that are designed to increase page views. It often results in an increase of low quality, high volume reporting and off topic stories.
people will have to reach the conclusion that there is some quality news that is worth paying to have access to …

While page view journalism is often attributed as the primary cause of demand media style content, the fact is it’s so pervasive now that it has almost become the norm. Look at the homepage of Techmeme on any given day and you’ll see an increasingly large number of websites trying to siphon off some of that traffic by “reblogging ” the top stories of the day, adding little or no value to the discussion. While rebloggers are at the lower end of the food chain, page view journalism also occurs at the top. Techcrunch, for example, covers with voluminous detail almost every story that is even slightly connected to twitter. It wouldn’t surprise me if MG Siegler did an expose on how Mary in the AP department at Twitter killed the staple market by switching to paper clips. Don’t laugh…it’s not that far fetched.

Want an example of how to lose your focus? Check out Mashable, a site that regularly stretches to cover things like Tiger Woods and Fashion Week in an effort to bolster page views. The king of page view media is the Huffington Post, which reblogs, over-covers everything, and has gone off-topic so much it no longer has a main topic.
if you aren’t paying something, then you aren’t a customer: you are the product that’s being sold…


In the early days of newspapers, success and advertising was measured by total circulation. The ability to measure how many people were reading just the business section, lifestyle section, or sports section didn’t exist. As more consumers switch their news reading habits to online consumption, our ability to track which section and pages are being read has improved. However, this enhanced tracking has a dark side: the rise of page view journalism. Simply put, page view journalism is the deliberate creation of stories that are designed to increase page views. It often results in an increase of low quality, high volume reporting and off topic stories.

people will have to reach the conclusion that there is some quality news that is worth paying to have access to …

While page view journalism is often attributed as the primary cause of demand media style content, the fact is it’s so pervasive now that it has almost become the norm. Look at the homepage of Techmeme on any given day and you’ll see an increasingly large number of websites trying to siphon off some of that traffic by “reblogging ” the top stories of the day, adding little or no value to the discussion. While rebloggers are at the lower end of the food chain, page view journalism also occurs at the top. Techcrunch, for example, covers with voluminous detail almost every story that is even slightly connected to twitter. It wouldn’t surprise me if MG Siegler did an expose on how Mary in the AP department at Twitter killed the staple market by switching to paper clips. Don’t laugh…it’s not that far fetched.

Want an example of how to lose your focus? Check out Mashable, a site that regularly stretches to cover things like  Tiger Woods and Fashion Week in an effort to bolster page views. The king of page view media is the Huffington Post, which reblogs, over-covers everything, and has gone off-topic so much it no longer has a main topic.

if you aren’t paying something, then you aren’t a customer: you are the product that’s being sold… Leer más “The Rise of Page View Journalism”

How to Do A Content Audit of Your Website

If you have a website that’s been around for a few years and you’re looking for ways to make some improvements, one of the tactics I recommend is doing a content audit.

When you do a content audit you have a few goals in mind:

* Get rid of any low quality or unimportant pages
* Look for pages or sections that can be improved or updated
* Improve your rankings by more effectively using your link equity, internal anchor text, and interlinking your content

Get the Data
your inbound link equity can only support a certain number of pages …

The first thing you need to do is to get an understanding of where your website currently stands. You’ll need a list of the pages of your website, the number of inbound links, and amount of visitors your page receives. If you are using Webmaster central, you can export a spreadsheet of all the pages with the number of links. The next thing you have to do is add a column for page views. I like to use a timeframe between a year and year and half.

Depending on the number of pages your website has, it could take a while to get all this data. This is the perfect task for an intern or outsourced labor from a place like ODesk. I recently performed this task on a website that has 1800 URL’s. It cost me $75, and I had the data back in just over 24 hours.
Identify the Low Performing Pages

The two primary factors I like to look at are how many links does a post/page have and how much traffic did it generate in the past 18 months. Any page that generated less than 100 page views is a candidate for deletion. Additionally, any page that generated less than 25 links is also a candidate for deletion.


Michael Gray

By Michael Gray
http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/content-audit-website/

If you have a website that’s been around for a few years and you’re looking for ways to make some improvements, one of the tactics I recommend is doing a content audit. 

When you do a content audit you have a few goals in mind:

  • Get rid of any low quality or unimportant pages
  • Look for pages or sections that can be improved or updated
  • Improve your rankings by more effectively using your link equity, internal anchor text, and interlinking your content

Get the Data

your inbound link equity can only support a certain number of pages …

The first thing you need to do is to get an understanding of where your website currently stands. You’ll need a list of the pages of your website, the number of inbound links, and amount of visitors your page receives. If you are using Webmaster central, you can export a spreadsheet of all the pages with the number of links. The next thing you have to do is add a column for page views. I like to use a timeframe between a year and year and half.

Depending on the number of pages your website has, it could take a while to get all this data. This is the perfect task for an intern or outsourced labor from a place like ODesk. I recently performed this task on a website that has 1800 URL’s. It cost me $75, and I had the data back in just over 24 hours.

Identify the Low Performing Pages

The two primary factors I like to look at are how many links does a post/page have and how much traffic did it generate in the past 18 months. Any page that generated less than 100 page views is a candidate for deletion. Additionally, any page that generated less than 25 links is also a candidate for deletion. Leer más “How to Do A Content Audit of Your Website”

Can Google Detect an Affiliate Website

Now if the folks at Sitonomy can detect that 4% of the* links on a page are from CJ, I’m positive that Google can as well. I’m sure Google can tell on page level throughout the site and the site as a whole. I’m also quite sure Google has an idea at what point, whether by percentage or by total number of links, that a site becomes an affiliate website. It would also be fairly easy to say, once you cross that threshold, you need a higher level of trust to rank for competitive terms. This is one of the reasons I strongly disagree with Lori Weiman, who says affiliates should never cloak links.

UPDATED: the % is total links scanned not just links on the page, my bad.

So what are the takeaways here:

* Use a tool like Sitonomy to check your most important pages and see what they are able to find as far as affiliate links
* Look into redirection tools that mask your links, and make sure you block them from search engine spiders
* Obfuscate some of your other links as well even if they aren’t affiliate links: people should always be unsure of your intent
* Always make sure you comply with FTC regulations for disclosure. If needed, use a nice non-machine-readable graphic for maximum stealthiness


Michael Gray

By Michael Gray
http://www.wolf-howl.com

One of the questions that often comes up is does Google hate affiliate websites, and are they penalized in the algorithm?

I’m also quite sure Google has an idea at what point, whether by percentage or by total number of links, that a site becomes an affiliate website

The answer to that is slightly nuanced but, for simplicity’s sake, they don’t hate affiliate websites. Nor have I seen any evidence that shows affiliate sites are penalized. What Google does hate is thin affiliate websites with little or no trust. However, a better question to ask is can Google detect affiliate websites, and can they make it harder  for affiliate websites to rank … ? But those are entirely different questions.

If you’ve read the leaked quality rater guide from 2009, you’ll see that Google has set up lot of hurdles specifically making it harder for affiliate websites to “pass” the sniff test. One of the quickest and easiest ways that Google can determine an affiliate website is through “naked” links to common affiliate programs like Linkshare, CJ, ShareASale, and others. But, really, how good can Google be at detecting those links? Well, here’s a publicly available free tool put out by Sitonomy that checks what types of programming tools are being used by a website. Leer más “Can Google Detect an Affiliate Website”

Adsense: Why Bloggers Don’t Get It

You may post about commercial related subjects like your job, what you like to buy, or even your hobbies. However these posts are all about your life, they are no more commercially viable or attractive than say Aunt Millie’s Holiday Newsletter. Yes we all have an Aunt Millie in our family, every year she sends out a finely crafted newsletter in a coordinating envelope she ordered from paperdirect.com telling us all about her family. We learn how hard her husband works, how many activities her kids are in and how good they are at them. We also read the details of how her scrapbooking business hasn’t taken off yet, but she promises to spend more time on it right after New Years. So if you were a business owner would you want to advertise anywhere on Aunt Millie’s Newsletter? Then why would a business want to pay you top dollar to advertise on your blog? What’s that, you say your blog gets (insert a high number here) of readers per day, surely that has to be worth something? Well did you know Aunt Millie sends out over 800 copies of her holiday newsletter to 17 countries, on 4 continents? Now before you get all fired up about it, understand that I don’t have a problem with you having a personal blog or sharing it with the public. However your expectation that it has value outside of your family/friends/community, is a serious misconception.


Michael Gray

By Michael Gray | //wolf-howl.com

In doing the research for my series of Adsense articles, two common ideas kept getting repeated:

  • My Adsense ads are horrible, they only pay out (insert low dollar figure here)
  • My Adsense CTR is horrible, I only get a (insert extremely low CTR here)

To be fair these comments weren’t coming just from bloggers, but bloggers did make up an overwhelmingly large percentage. I think this stems from a misconception on the part of the bloggers that they are entitled to high payout and CTR. I’d like to spend a little time to share my feelings on this subject. In the early days a blog may just have been an online diary or journal, but like the days of the Nehru jackets, they are gone. What a blog is now is Chronologically Structured Content Management System, as opposed to the classic web hierarchical structured implementation. Let’s be clear, you can still use a blog as your online diary or journal, but nowdays it’s just as likely to be used as a commercial blog. Yes, I did just say commercial blog, and no the earth didn’t open under my feet and swallow me whole for saying it. Let’s take some time to look at a your typical blog. Leer más “Adsense: Why Bloggers Don’t Get It”

Your Facebook Fan Page – 5 Ways to Make the Most of It

If your business targets consumers, do you already have a Facebook fan page? If not, why? With more than 350 million active Facebook users, it is time to embrace social media and let it help grow your business. Not only is Facebook a great place to expose yourself to thousands of new customers, but Google is now using content from social media sites in their search results. Once you have created a fan page, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of it. Here are some tips and guidelines to use.


Curtis Stevens

By Curtis Stevens | //wolf-howl.com

If your business targets consumers, do you already have a Facebook fan page?  If not, why?  With more than 350 million active Facebook users, it is time to embrace social media and let it help grow your business.  Not only is Facebook a great place to expose yourself to thousands of new customers, but Google is now using content from social media sites in their search results.  Once you have created a fan page, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of it.  Here are some tips and guidelines to use. Leer más “Your Facebook Fan Page – 5 Ways to Make the Most of It”

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”

Natural Link Building: Past, Present and (Predicting) The Future

I am pretty sure Google will start treating Facebook shares/Twitter re-tweets as more than just 1 ordinary link from a same domain. These links will probably become more important for ranking in the SERPs.

The only problem here is spam. If Google starts giving greater importance to Facebook/Twitter, they know people will start spamming these platforms like crazy and new markets will emerge where people will sell re-tweets/Facebook shares depending on the profile ‘authority’.

I hope you found this post to be useful.


(…)
wolf-howl.com

Many people wondered whether natural link building was really dead and what was the future of building natural links. I’ll try to answer some of those questions in this post. The statements below are a mix of my opinion/my personal observations.

1. Is There a Universal Definition of ‘Natural Link Building’?

There’s one thing I’ve learned from some of the reactions of my previous post: Not all people have the same definition of what natural link building is.

Put in simple terms, a natural link is a link you get from someone who found your page and decided (on his/her own volition and  without any direct influence from you) to link to it.

Why did the person decided to link to you? Some of the possible reasons include:

– Not necessarily for the content but because you’re an authority in that topic

– For the valuable/controversial/funny content

– Or maybe s/he had a good day and wanted to link to a bunch of random folks on the web :)

As you can see, there are many reasons why someone would link ‘naturally’ to you. Valuable content is only one reason. Leer más “Natural Link Building: Past, Present and (Predicting) The Future”

Repeat Business: There’s More of You to Love

Are you familiar with the following concept? It is much easier and more cost effective to sell to existing customers than it is to acquirer a new one. Which one would you rather have? Sell 50 items to 5 people or 50 items to 50 people. When you are designing and tweaking your marketing campaigns, be sure to include your current customer base and maximum their profit potential. Here are several ways to do just that, give your customers a reason to come back for more.

Special Discount Offers

I recently purchased something from an online retailer. When I received my package, I noticed there was a discount coupon inside that I could use on my next purchase. I’m a sucker for coupons and many consumers are. It is a great way to encourage and entice your customers to order again. For best results, the coupon should have a higher discount value than what is normally offered to the general public on sites like Retailmenot.com. The discount should also be a one-time use coupon. This will prevent others from sharing it online and reduce the perceived value.


Post image for Repeat Business: There’s More of You to Love

Curtis Stevens

By Curtis Stevens

Are you familiar with the following concept?  It is much easier and more cost effective to sell to existing customers than it is to acquirer a new one.  Which one would you rather have?  Sell 50 items to 5 people or 50 items to 50 people.  When you are designing and tweaking your marketing campaigns, be sure to include your current customer base and maximum their profit potential.  Here are several ways to do just that, give your customers a reason to come back for more.

Special Discount Offers

I recently purchased something from an online retailer.  When I received my package, I noticed there was a discount coupon inside that I could use on my next purchase.  I’m a sucker for coupons and many consumers are.  It is a great way to encourage and entice your customers to order again.  For best results, the coupon should have a higher discount value than what is normally offered to the general public on sites like Retailmenot.com.  The discount should also be a one-time use coupon.  This will prevent others from sharing it online and reduce the perceived value. Leer más “Repeat Business: There’s More of You to Love”

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”

Keep Your Articles Narrowly Focused and Keyword Centric

By Michael Gray

One of the mistakes I feel many people make is that they write articles or posts chasing very broad topics. IMHO it’s much better to write narrowly focused posts, pages, or articles and tie it together later on. This is a concept I call head and tail content that I touched on in my How I Manage a WordPress Website.

In my experience converting long tail phrases is easier, especially if they answer a question or solve a problem …

So what is an example of content that IMHO is too broad? Something like “how to plan a Disney World Vacation.” While this is a good topic for a an article it’s far too broad for you to cover it in depth with one article.

My preferred method is to attack this from the other end by creating much more in-depth, narrowly focused “tail” articles first and backing your way into the main or head article. So what are some tail articles I would prefer to start with? How about these …


By Michael Gray

One of the mistakes I feel many people make is that they write articles or posts chasing very broad topics. IMHO it’s much better to write narrowly focused posts, pages, or articles and tie it together later on. This is a concept I call head and tail content that I touched on in my How I Manage a WordPress Website.

In my experience converting long tail phrases is easier, especially if they answer a question or solve a problem …

So what is an example of content that IMHO is too broad? Something like “how to plan a Disney World Vacation.” While this is a good topic for a an article it’s far too broad for you to cover it in depth with one article.

My preferred method is to attack this from the other end by creating much more in-depth, narrowly focused “tail” articles first and backing your way into the main or head article. So what are some tail articles I would prefer to start with? How about these … Leer más “Keep Your Articles Narrowly Focused and Keyword Centric”