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SEO Website Audit

High Rankings Advisor: Link-building and PageRank - Issue No. 048

March 26, 2003
________________________________________________________

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   Cock-a-doodle-doo!

*Search Engine Marketing:
---->   Should One Request Links to Inner Pages?

*This Week's Sponsors:
---->   BannerBooth.com - Need a trade-show display?
---->   Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines

*Guest Article:
---->   Google Nails Copyright Infringers

*Stuff You Might Like
---->   Sound Advice Search Engine Optimization CD

*Other SEO News:
---->   Yahoo Closes Inktomi Acquisition
---->   Google AdWords Power Posting
---->   LookSmart Enhances Small Business Listings

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   Let's Eat!
________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Hey all!  Just a quick reminder to sign up for my search engine
optimization basics seminar, which is coming to Atlanta on May 16,
2003.  You can learn more and register here:
</seminar>.  I've set my email program to
play the sound of a rooster crowing every time I receive a
registration confirmation.  So let's hear some cock-a-doodle-dooing
this week!

On to the good stuff! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~

++Should One Request Links to Inner Pages?++

From: Al Dugan

Can't wait for today's issue of High Rankings, I always look forward
to reading each and every issue entirely.

My question is about link popularity. You probably get similar
questions a lot, and I think I remember something in an issue not too
far back, but I am still a little confused. My home page is optimized
for personalized gifts with other pages optimized for other terms such
as military gifts. For military gifts I have done pretty well in
Google (page 1) because it's not as competitive a keyword as
personalized gifts. I achieved this ranking without any other web
sites linking to the military gifts page directly. However, this month
I dropped down to page 3 in Google.

So far my links campaign has been solely focused on the home page for
the term personalized gifts. I would like to continuously rank high
for military gifts, however. Would it be in my best interest to
continue with this approach or would I see more benefits by trying to
get some links directly to the military gifts page?

Thank you for your help and keep up the great work.

Al Dugan

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Al,

Glad you look forward to the newsletter!  You sent your question at
the perfect time when I was looking for just the "right one" to
answer.

When I first read your question, I was thinking that I was gonna have
to give my lecture on making sure that you're optimizing for keyword
phrases people are actually searching for.  I was thinking that
"military gifts" just didn't sound like a very popular search phrase.
However, a quick search at WordTracker
</wordtracker> showed that it is indeed a
good search phrase, so kudos to you for choosing a decent one!  You'd
be surprised how many SEO company sites I see out there whose claim to
fame is optimizing for keywords nobody searches for.  It would be
understandable for a personalized gift site's owner to do something
like that, but when an SEO company does it, it really gets my goat.
You can be proud of yourself for not falling into that trap!

Anyway...your main question is whether you should request links to
your inner "military gifts" page in order to increase its link
popularity and Google PageRank.  Yes, you could certainly do that if
you wanted to; however, I don't feel it is necessary.  The cool thing
about PageRank is that whatever PageRank you get on your home page
from outside links and the site's own internal linking structure is
passed along to your inner pages.

Therefore, the high-quality links that are pointing to your main page
will *also* help the PageRank of your military gifts page!  It's true
that the inner page probably won't get quite as much PageRank as your
home page, but that's okay; it will get enough.  Make sure that your
main page (and all of the major pages) of your site all have a link to
the military gifts page, to ensure that it gets its proper share of
the wealth.

To illustrate how this is important to PageRank, I once added a new
top-level page to my site and linked to it in my top DHTML menu.  I
forgot to add a link to it in the text links at the bottom of my
pages, or in the noscript tag of my DHTML JavaScript code.  Months
later I noticed that the particular page in question had a lower
PageRank than the other top-level pages of my site.  Once I discovered
my linking error and fixed it, sure enough, in the next Google update,
that page had the same PageRank as the others.

[It's important to note that I really don't pay much attention to my
pages' PageRank and I don't see much correlation between the Google
Toolbar PageRank number and rankings in the search engines for keyword
phrases (except for extremely competitive keywords).  I am much more
focused on ensuring that my on-the-page SEO factors are as good as
they can be.  I just happened to notice that page's lower PageRank,
and found it interesting to investigate.  I maintain that PageRank is
not something to try to manipulate, but something that comes out of
having a great site worth linking to.]

Regarding your link building campaign, you don't need to go out and
start an entire linking campaign around that one military gifts page.
Having most links point to your home page is perfectly fine and works
very well to build your PageRank.  That said, if there are specific
military sites where it would make more sense to have them link to
your military gifts page rather than your home page, then that's fine
too.  You may very well find lots of site owners who would be happy to
link to that particular page, even though they may not have been a
good fit with your home page.  In fact, with all the scary war stuff
going on around us right now, there are probably a whole lot of
patriotic sites that might be interested in your military gifts page!


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__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++Google Nails Copyright Infringers++

Today's guest article is from Debra O'Neil-Mastaler from Alliance-Link
<http://www.alliance-link.com>.  Debra is my link-building campaign
specialist, and a good friend.  When she recently noticed that other
sites were stealing her carefully crafted Web site copy, she was in
quite a tizzy!  We emailed back and forth about it for days, and I was
glad to see her get everything resolved in the end.  Around the same
time, I found several sites that had stolen MY content!  (Just checked
and much of it is still up.)  Because this is such a common thing, I
asked Debra to share her experience with all of us in hopes that we
can all catch some more thieves in action!

Here's Debra to tell you more...

Guest Article
Google Reacts to Copyright Infringement
By Debra O'Neil-Mastaler

That old saying about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery
is often true, but not when it comes to stolen website content.

When I recently discovered an entire page of my Web site copied on a
competitor's site, I wasn't flattered.  On the contrary, I was
downright angry.  How could anyone take my words, thoughts and ideas
(even my formatting) and try to pass it off as their own?

If you chuckled at that last sentence thinking me na´ve, you're right.
If it's na´ve to want to be professional, original and decent, then
that's me.  I know the Internet is a big place and host to millions
and millions of websites; the likelihood of someone stealing my
content is a greater probability than not, but that doesn't mean I
have to like it -- or take it.

Since this was a first experience for me, I wasn't sure what recourse
I had to get my copied information removed.  Especially since even
after I contacted the offending web site owner by email and phone, it
was clear that he was not going to remove it.

So now what?  After some in-depth research, calls to a couple of my
trusted SEO colleagues and to my attorney, I came up with a plan.

First I sent a second, more detailed email to the offending company
asking them to remove my content.  But this time, I cc'd Google's spam
report division.  A couple days later, Google replied and asked me to
fill out a detailed multi-page form to describe the copyright
infringement.  I did as instructed and faxed it to their California
office.

Several days later I received a notice from Google telling me they had
removed the infringing Web page from their search results and replaced
it with a notice in Google's search results making users aware that
the site had been accused of copyright infringement.  YEESSS!

In a few days I checked the infringing Web site and found that it had
been replace with a brand-new page.  They even changed the
formatting... ;)

In an email from Google, they wrote they were "processing my copyright
infringement complaint in accordance with the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (DMCA)."  After researching the DMCA and talking with
fellow forum board members, I found out I could have also contacted
the offending company's ISP and provided the same information in the
hopes they would remove the site completely.  But I have to admit, the
pleasure I received seeing Google in action was far more satisfying.
(You can learn more about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act here:
<http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/iclp/dmca1.htm>.)

If you're wondering how much time I invested to make all this happen,
the answer is way too much.  Some of it can be chalked up to being a
first-timer, but even so, to do this with any regularity would be a
time-buster.  Which is probably a good reason why so many site owners
steal content.  Content thieves think they can get away with it
because site owners don't want to invest the time and resources to
make them stop.  Or they think the Web is such a big place no one will
stumble upon their plagiarism.  They are wrong on both counts as a
simple search at the search engines can tell the whole sordid tale.

To check whether your content has been stolen by another Web site is
easy.  Select two or three sentences of unique verbiage from your
website, put quotation marks (") around the text and insert into your
favorite search engine's search box.

Happy hunting.  What comes back may astonish you!

Debra O'Neil-Mastaler
Alliance-Link
http://www.alliance-link.com


__________________________________________

Are you one of those SEOs who can't figure out where
to place those pesky keywords?
__________________________________________

You can stick 'em in the Title tag.
You can stick 'em in the Meta tags.
You can even stick 'em in Alt tags.
But you won't see high rankings, unless you stick 'em in the copy.

You need "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines"
</issue043.htm#stuff>.
__________________________________________


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++Sound Advice Search Engine Optimization CD++

You know the Sound Advice audio clips I've been feeding you one by one
for the past few months?  The entire bunch of them is now available on
CD for your listening pleasure -- in your car, at your computer, while
you exercise or wherever you like to listen to your CDs!

You'll get the full 26 common-sense search engine optimization tips
and techniques which I've compiled from my SEO seminars and articles.
Taken all together, listening to these 26 tips is similar to attending
one of my live SEO presentations, only a lot cheaper!  These tips will
provide you with a basic overview of what to do and what not to do to
stay focused on a successful search engine optimization campaign for
your Web site.

If you previously listened to any of the tips, you know that I can
pack a lot of information into a few minutes, with each one providing
you with a no-nonsense approach to SEO that you can use right now.
Personally, I prefer to learn by reading and doing; however, I know
that many of you learn best through listening and hearing a real
person behind the words.  Still, others may like hearing the tips and
also reading them.  For you guys, as part of my introductory offer I'm
throwing in the written transcript that the CD was based on --
absolutely free!

Not only that, but I've decided for a limited time to offer the CD and
the written transcript for only $29.95.  Eventually it will list for
$49.95.  I know that as subscribers to this free newsletter, you can
be a frugal lot and I don't want the price to prevent you from hearing
and learning all the tips.  So I talked my producer, Richard, into
offering this special introductory price.  He's the one who has to
create the CDs, take the orders and mail 'em out and stuff, so I'm not
sure how long he'll agree to keep it this low.  (Meaning, don't
dawdle...if you think you're interested!)

You can learn more, hear samples or buy now at Richard's "What's
Working in Biz" site here: </soundadvice>.

Hehehe...after reading this again, I realized it sounds a bit like an
infomercial.  I've really gotta stop watching those while I'm at my
exercise machine on the weekends!  I've been sooooo close to buying
those knives...


~~~Other SEO News~~~

++Yahoo Closes Inktomi Acquisition++

Yahoo officially owns Inktomi!  What's this mean to your Yahoo
listings?  Will Yahoo dump Google?  Will they use Inktomi listings AND
Google listings?  Will they ever feature their directory listings
prominently again?

Stay tuned...I have a feeling we'll be hearing some news on this over
the next couple of weeks.  It's quite the soap opera, no?


++Google AdWords Power Posting++

Did you know that you could set different minimum bids for different
keywords all in one Google AdWords campaign?  I didn't!  I'm sure you
power users may have known about this, but it's news to me.  I could
have used this function before I lowered all my bids to the minimum 5
cents!  (I use Adwords mostly to gain newsletter subscribers so I
really don't want to pay much more than that per click.)  However, if
you have a ton of keyword phrases in one campaign and need to set
different prices, this is a handy-dandy feature.

Basically, you just have to compile your keyword phrases and your bid
prices in a spreadsheet and then paste them into your Adwords campaign
manager, as outlined on this page:
<https://adwords.google.com/select/powerpost.html>.  Happy bidding!


++LookSmart Enhances Small Business Listings++

Looks like LookSmart has finally figured out a better tracking and
reporting mechanism for their Small Business Listings, as announced
last week.

Here are some of the new features:

*Enhanced campaign tracking and reporting
*Advanced campaign management functionality
*Reduced fees

I checked out the interface and it looks fairly simple to use.  I
don't have any paid accounts with them, so I can't say how well
everything works, but since it was a long time coming, it's gotta be
better than what they had before!  (Which basically had amounted to:
"Hey...we said you got X number of clicks...so you did!")

While browsing around the LookSmart site to find out more info on the
new features, I caught a glimpse of this headline:

"Pricing you can count on!!!"

Am I the only one who sees the irony in that?

Anyway, you can learn more about what they're up to here:
<http://looklistings.looksmart.com/help/faq.jhtml>.


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

That's it! Our local Dairy Queen has re-opened after a long winter's n
ap, and it's time to go pick up the Brazier burgers and chicken finger
meals! - Jill
 
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