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SEO Website Audit

High Rankings Advisor: More SEM FAQ - Issue No. 137

April 20, 2005

~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~

*Introductory Comments:
---->   More SEM FAQ

*Search Engine Marketing FAQ:
---->   Robots Meta Tag
---->   Changing Domain Names

*This Week's Sponsors:
---->   Dan Thies' SEM Kit
---->   SEO Copywriting Combo

*Guest Article:
---->   Can You Lose Weight on Spam?

*Stuff You Might Like:
---->   MassWIT May 12th Networking Event
---->   Website Content and Writing Radio Show with Jill & Karon

*High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week:
---->   Google Negativity

*Search Creative Job Opportunity:
---->   SEO Help Needed - Search Creative, LLC

*Advisor Wrap-up:
---->   HR Seminar Survey

________________________________________________________

~~~Introductory Comments~~~

Sorry about missing last week's newsletter.  There was just too much
to do!  (See the wrap-up for more on that.)

I've got such a full issue for you today.  Just when I thought I had
answered every question known to mankind in regards to SEO/SEM, I
found a few that I had missed.  So the search engine marketing FAQ
continues with 2 additional questions and answers.  Plus, Ms. Scottie
has provided us with yet another fun article, and I have a few other
events and announcements.  Be sure to read all the way through to the
end. Enjoy! - Jill


~~~Search Engine Marketing FAQ~~~

++Robots Meta Tag ++

Q. My chiropractor said that I should add a "robots follow" tag on all
the pages of our site in order for it to be spidered deeply by the
search engines.  She also said that I should put the "revisit after"
tag on as well, to let the bots know how often they should stop by.
What do you think?

Jill: The default for all search engine spiders is to automatically
follow the links that it finds on any given page, which makes any
"robots follow" tag redundant.  If you *don't* want the search engine
spider to follow the links, you can try the "no follow" tag, but it
may or may not be obeyed by all robots.

The "revisit after" tag is not necessary, nor is it helpful.  The
search engine spiders work on their own timetable, and couldn't care
less what your revisit tag says.  I've heard that the tag was actually
created for one specific search engine a long time ago, but I've never
bothered to confirm it.  At any rate, there's no need to clutter up
your code with it as today's engines ignore it.


++Changing Domain Names++

Q. We are changing the name of our company and therefore must change
our domain name to reflect our new brand.  Our Website has been around
for many years and has hundreds of links pointing to it.  How can we
minimize any loss of traffic or search engine rankings once we go live
with the new domain?

Jill:  Normally, this would not be a major problem with the search
engines as you could simply park the new domain name at the same DNS
and people could use either domain to get to your Website.  However,
there are some issues that you may want to try to avoid or minimize.

For instance, if you simply park your new domain, there's really no
way to tell the search engines to start using that one instead of the
old one.  Most likely, the engines will simply keep indexing the old
domain.  That's not a problem in and of itself as people will still
end up where you want them to be, but it can be a branding nightmare.

Eventually if you get more links pointing to the new domain than the
old, your new one may start to be preferred by the engines, but this
could take years, and it's not a given that it will actually work that
way.  You could also send emails to all your old linking partners
requesting that they point their links to your new domain, but that
could be a ton of work, and most likely only a certain percentage of
them will bother to do it.  Even trying to get a large directory such
as Yahoo or DMOZ to change the URLs can be "iffy" at best.

Because of these minor headaches, I'd suggest that you set up a
permanent 301-redirect at the server level from the old domain to the
new.  This is the preferred method of search engines, and it directly
tells them (through the http headers) that the old domain has
permanently moved to the new one.  On Apache servers, these 301s can
be easily set up through an .htaccess file.  On Windows servers, it
may be slightly more complicated, but your server/host should be able
to help you do this correctly.

Be aware, however, that it most likely will take a good 2 or 3 months
for the search engines to fully understand that all your files have
moved.  For a while you may find the old domain is still indexed, or
some of both domains, or even neither of them.  Don't panic when this
happens.  Just ride it out, and eventually all will be well.  Google
is especially good at understanding what to do with the 301s.  Yahoo
has traditionally been slower to come around, but may be doing a
better job with it these days.


(P.S. If you'd like to republish the above Q&A article, please email
me your request letting me know where it will reside and I'll send you
a short bio you can use with it for your site.  If you've previously
emailed me for the bio, you can simply keep using that for future
articles.)


_________SEM Kit For Search Engine Marketers____________adv.

Confused About the Best Way To Run Your New SEM Biz?
__________________________________________________

Dan Thies' new SEM Kit from SitePoint provides you with a book &
CD-ROM that includes a client-management form, SEM sales
presentation, SEM process flowchart, keyword-research worksheet,
sample agreement, proposal, pricing calculator and a whole lot more.

And that's just the CD! The book is chock-full of SEO/SEM strategies.

Order now for $197.00 with free shipping for a limited time:
</semkit>.
__________________________________________________


~~~Guest Article~~~

++Can You Lose Weight on Spam?++

I'm sure today's newsletter has been filtered out by email programs
across the world due to the content of Scottie's article, but it was
just too true and on the mark for me not to run it!  Enjoy - Jill

Can You Lose Weight on Spam?
By Scottie Claiborne

Search engine optimization is a lot like weight loss.  You've got some
things that are effective and some that are not, and it's hard to
trust the claims of one over the other.  You want to believe the
great-results-with-no-effort claims, and you hope they are true... but
are they worth wasting your time and money on?

Fad Diets and Quick Tricks Spam

It seems every month there is a new fad in weight loss:  protein-only,
all the grapefruit you can eat, or high carb/low carb.  All offer fast
results if you'll just stick with it.  They usually do achieve some
results; however, they aren't lasting.  As soon as you kick back into
your old habits of potato chips, hamburgers, and ice cream, the weight
comes back.

Similarly, when you use "quick results" spam techniques, you may see
some fast results.  Mini-networks, keyword-stuffing, and cloaking can
work for a while.  However, when you base your search rankings on a
quirk of the SE algos, you have nothing left when it stops working.

Weight Loss Programs and Traffic Companies

Some companies will keep you pointed toward your goal with weekly
weigh-ins and a diet of protein shakes or prepackaged foods.  These
programs can work... while you're on them.  When the money stops so
does the program, and since they haven't taught you how to change your
lifestyle, old habits drift back in -- along with the weight.

"Optimization" companies that don't touch your site but send you
traffic based on their offsite doorway pages are similar; their
techniques may work, but they haven't improved *your* actual site or
helped it to rank well.  When you stop paying them, your traffic goes
to someone else.

Pills, Patches, and Submission Programs

You can't open your email or read a magazine without being bombarded
by ads for amazing weight loss pills, patches, and creams.  We want
SOOOOO badly to believe these will work to give us the body of our
dreams with little to no effort. Surely they wouldn't be allowed to
make these claims if they weren't true, right? Each month we spend
money on these treatments and wait for them to kick in, yet they never
do.

Submission companies suck us in with claims of submitting our site to
hundreds, no THOUSANDS, of search engines.  They guarantee great
traffic, getting your site noticed, and a one-click trip to search
stardom.  All for the low, low price of $29.99 a month.  Sounds
reasonable -- after all, they couldn't make these claims if they
weren't true, could they?  So we keep paying and waiting, but in
reality, all these programs do is drastically increase your email
spam.

Buy Your Way In

If you've got the money, you can buy a better body through surgery.
Stomach stapling, tummy tucks, liposuction... if you don't like it,
surgery can fix it!  However, it is usually expensive and often
painful, plus it can backfire.  Results are often achieved, but if you
don't change your habits, you will find yourself back in the same
predicament as before.

If you've got enough money, you can buy your way to the top of the
search results.  PPC advertising and buying links on a range of sites
can put your site at the top of the listings.  While you may gain
traffic from this, you may not make sales.  Buying your way in does
not address any underlying usability or marketing issues with your
site.

The Right (but Boring) Way

Deep down we all know the key to long-term weight loss is to eat less
and exercise more.  Change your habits to eat healthier foods and be
more active.  If we'd follow those rules, we'd be healthier, look
better, and create a healthy lifestyle.

The key to great search rankings is just as simple.  Create a great,
usable website with useful content, and obtain more relevant incoming
links.  By addressing any site issues first and constantly making it
better, your future search marketing efforts will return more results.

Why don't we do it the right way from the start?  The right way is
boring.  It takes hard work, creativity, and long-term commitment.  We
want that magic potion that will make us thin and put our website at
#1 without having to work so hard.  The reality is that long-term
results require hard work.

I'll admit to reading those ads that claim to perfect my body in hopes
that they are true, and I also read the latest SEO techniques with
interest, hoping for that quick fix that will send my sites instantly
to the top.  But the only sure, long-term answer is to spend the time
to do it right.  It's not the instant fix I'd prefer, but the ultimate
success is sweeter when you know that you earned it.

Scottie Claiborne

Right Click Web Consulting
http://www.rightclickwebs.com/

Successful Sites
http://www.successful-sites.com/


_________Powerful SEO Copywriting Combo______________

Your site's only as good as its writing. You need the "write" skills.
__________________________________________________

If your site is poorly written, your sales will be slow.  You *must*
speak to your target audience with each and every word you write.
At the same time, keeping your keywords featured prominently is
a bit of a juggling act.

Save $10 on the most powerful copywriting combo available today!

Karon Thackston's Step-By-Step Copywriting Course & Jill Whalen's
Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines.
</combo137>
__________________________________________________


~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~

++MassWIT May 12th Networking Event ++

My Search Creative, LLC division is sponsoring a women's networking
event put on by the WorldWIT Boston Metro area chapter (MassWIT) on
Thursday, May 12th from 6-8PM at Sun Microsystems in Burlington, MA.

My friend Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profits will be
presenting on the topic of "Blogging for Business."  Judging by the
number of emails I receive which ask about blogging, this is one very
hot topic.  Amanda's presentations are always lively and fun, so if
you're in the area it should be well worth the effort.

You can learn more or register (only $15!) here:
<http://www.worldwit.org/Chapters/MassWIT/Events/>.  This is a great
opportunity to meet like-minded women in the Mass. area.  (And I'll be
there too ;-)


++Website Content and Writing with Jill & Karon++

Karon Thackston and I will be interviewed live on the eMarketing Talk
Show from World Talk Radio on Friday, May 20th from 7-8PM EDT.  You
can learn more about what we'll be discussing here:
<http://www.worldtalkradio.com/archive.asp?aid=3885>.

I'll remind you again as it gets closer, but if you want to listen to
it live and perhaps call in with a question, be sure to put it on your
calendar now!


~~~High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week~~~

++Google Negativity++

Lately I've been seeing a whole lot of negativity towards Google on
many Webmaster and SEM forums.  Some if it is justified, and other
parts of it seem more like "wishful thinking" to me.  I was wondering
what other people in the industry thought, so I posted a thread at the
forum:
</forum/index.php?showtopic=13816>.

So what do you think?  Is Google getting unnecessarily crucified
because people love to smack down those at the top, or is their
dominant role and darling image starting to fade?  Be sure to read and
post your thoughts in the thread!


~~~Job Opportunity~~~

++Search Creative, LLC Seeks SEO Helper++

My Search Creative office in Cambridge, MA is seeking someone to work
full- or part-time on a few SEO projects to handle some overflow.
This is a position for someone with previous SEO experience who
understands and practices the "Jill Whalen method" of SEO.  We often
need help with keyword research, link building, proposal writing,
copyediting/copywriting, client communication and general project
management.

Salary is commensurate with experience and the number of hours you're
available.  You must be local, and we would prefer you to work in our
beautiful Cambridge office overlooking the Charles River (as opposed
to being a telecommuter).

Please email me your resume and/or work history to
seojob@searchcreative.com.


~~~Advisor Wrap-up~~~

That's *almost* it for today.  What, there's more, you say?  Yep.  As
I mentioned in the intro, there's just been so much going on lately.

We're trying to get a jump on the next TWO seminars, and it's very
difficult to know where exactly to hold them.  We would like to
maximize the number of attendees that show up to these events, and
therefore we've placed a survey online to get your feedback:
<http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=528131019133>.

If you'd seriously like to attend a future High Rankings Seminar,
please click on the survey and answer a few (4) questions for us.  It
will take only a minute of your time.

Okay, so why so busy all of a sudden?  Well, first there was all the
catching up from the Seattle seminar a few weeks ago.  Then last week
I was speaking at an event in Sarasota, which took me out of town
Thursday and Friday.  I have to say that I did enjoy myself at that
event, mostly because I got to stay at The Ritz!  There's something
about impeccable service that even someone like me (who is pretty
low-maintenance) can enjoy.  It makes you realize that it's often well
worth spending extra money on the hotel room to not be
nickel-and-dimed later on for little things.  Of course, with two
great hotels in a row under my belt, I'm completely spoiled and will
never appreciate any other hotels!  The hubby isn't gonna like this...
:-)

Once I got back from Sarasota, the next night was my belated 25th
highschool reunion!  I've never been to any of the past ones as they
usually fall during Thanksgiving when I've got other plans.  But since
I was free this time, and I had heard that a couple of my close high
school friends would be there, I decided to give it a whirl.  I'm glad
I did, as it was great seeing those 2 old friends.

I was still mostly too shy to just go up and start talking to most of
the other people (HS was not one of the favorite times of my life!)
but had a good time anyway.  For the most part, there weren't a huge
amount of balding, overweight people like I expected.  In fact, we had
a very nice-looking class considering it had been 25+ years!  (Of
course, I imagine that it's only natural that the better-looking
people will be more apt to show up than those that have let themselves
go!)

Okay, time to *really* wrap this up.  See you next time! - Jill
 
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