June 8, 2005
~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~
*Search Engine Marketing:
----> Good Content
*This Week's Sponsors:
----> SEO Elite
----> Dan Thies' SEM Kit
*Stuff You Might Like:
----> Listen to Jill on Search Engine Radio
----> The Now and Future of Search (event in Boston)
----> New MarketingSherpa Buyer's Guides
*High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week:
----> SEO - Easy To Sell - But Can You Deliver?
----> Congrats to the Graduates!
Finally, it feels like summer has arrived in New England! We've gone
from having the heat on one day to the air conditioning on the next.
Oh well, it's nothing new around here, I guess, yet each year it still
seems to surprise us.
I've got no guest article today, so you're stuck with just 'lil 'ole
me. Don't forget that I'm always on the lookout for guest articles.
If you have an idea for a guest article that you think the High
Rankings Advisor readers would be interested in, please pitch it to me
in an email and I'll get back to you if I think it might work.
(Please don't send me ones you've already written and published
elsewhere, even if it's just on your site.)
Okay, let's get straight to the good stuff! - Jill
~~~Search Engine Marketing Issues~~~
++Good Content or...?++
Can I ask a question about my website? I am very worried. I had about
200 pages on my site and recently added about 300 more pages of good
content. I did have lots of very good top 10 rankings, but they have
all disappeared and now traffic is less than half of what it was.
I don't do anything that would get me banned, but since I added pages
I have fallen. I submit to paid directories and get good links from
Do you think the pages and ranks can come back? Would you have any
idea why this happened?
I really appreciate any help you can give.
My first question to RK was to ask what sort of content he could have
added to his site that could take up 300 pages? Was this unique
content he wrote himself?
RK wrote back to say that the content was articles that he had written
himself. However, I was extremely suspicious as to how RK could write
300 "good content" articles all at once, since I know how difficult it
is to write even *one* good article. So I clicked over to his site to
learn exactly what these articles were about, yet I couldn't find them
Turns out they were linked from some sort of "sitemap" link at the
bottom of the page, and that's about it. These were definitely not an
integrated part of his site, and they were far from being "good
content." They were really nothing more than the junk an automated
program could have churned out, with each page focusing on different
variations of keyword phrases.
So was RK trying to "spam" the search engines?
I don't really think he was; I just think he didn't get it. He
probably read at some forums that the more content he had on his site,
the more likely he would get found.
But pages generated solely for the search engines do *not* constitute
Sure, RK claimed that his <cough> articles were helpful to his site
visitors, but really, they weren't. They were nothing more than
1997-era doorway pages, created to blanket the search engines with
every combination of keyword phrase that might possibly be related to
RK's site. I don't know if RK created them by hand or through an
auto-page generator, but the consequences are apparently the same. Now
his entire site doesn't show up in the search engines, and RK doesn't
I'm not sure that the "why's" of the situation are that important, but
perhaps the fact that RK didn't feel his <ahem> articles were
important enough to link to through his global navigation should have
tipped him off? If they were so useful, wouldn't he want people to
easily find them? I was specifically looking for them and couldn't
find them, so how would someone who didn't know they existed ever find
Good content is not content that is just there to target specific
Good content is information that people visiting your site will find
helpful in some way. It might help them in their purchasing
decisions, or it might teach them something they never knew. Good
content is also stuff that is completely unique and original. It's
not a page that is basically the same as another page (on your site or
someone else's) with a few (or even many) words substituted here or
Good content is definitely *not* pages that are created first for the
search engines and next for the users who might read them. This is
one reason why I've never bought into the whole "information page"
concept, and much prefer to optimize existing pages of a site. Most
sites have good pages; their creators simply hadn't thought about the
search engines and appropriate keywords.
Once I delivered RK the bad news that his alleged articles really
weren't good content, and that they may have been what was dragging
his rankings down, he wanted to know if removing them would help his
site to be found again. Unfortunately, I couldn't answer that
question. I don't work for the search engines, nor am I privy to
their rules and regulations. I couldn't even say for sure that the
pages were really and truly the problem. It may very well have just
been a coincidence or part of the latest algorithm du jour.
But that's the point; you don't need to know whether something you do
may or may not be penalized by the engines. You only need to know
what makes your site better overall for all interested parties. As
long as you always do that, you can never make the wrong decision.
There will be times when you really do need to add good content to
your site. Just make sure that you do it for the right reasons!
(P.S. If you'd like to republish the above Q&A article, please email
me your request and where it will reside, and I'll send you a short
bio you can use with it for your site.)
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~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~
++Listen to Jill on Search Engine Radio++
I'll be a guest at Search Engine Radio on Tuesday, June 14th at 12:00
PM EDT <http://www.seoradio.com/20050614-jill-whalen.html>. I'll be
discussing the latest and greatest news and information in the search
engine optimization world with the show's hosts, so please tune in!
++The Now and Future of Search++
Don't forget about the June 16th (next Thursday) Boston Interactive
Media Association's (BIMA) live in-person event which I will be
moderating called "Eyeballs: The Now & Future of Search." It will be
from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Sullivan & Worcester, One Post Office
Square, Boston, MA.
Hope to see you there!
++New MarketingSherpa Buyer's Guides++
MarketingSherpa has just come out with their new Search Engine
Marketing Buyer's Guides. This year they have created 2 separate
guides: one for those looking to purchase organic SEO services, and
one for those looking to purchase PPC advertising services.
I've only had a chance to quickly browse through them, but they look
like they will be very helpful to companies who have come to the
conclusion that they need to hire a search marketing company, but
don't really know enough to speak intelligently about it to their
You can learn more or purchase the guides here:
One note about this is that my company is not in this year's guide.
By the time I had heard about it, I was just too swamped to fill out
all their questionnaires and decided to pass. If you do purchase
either of these guides, remember that the companies listed in them are
simply a representative sampling of potential vendors for you to hire.
Be sure to research beyond the guide as well!
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~~~High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week~~~
++ SEO - Easy To Sell - But Can You Deliver?++
Let's face it, SEO is getting harder and harder these days. Aging
delays, spam-clogged results, and millions of pages all vying for the
same keywords...what's an SEO to do?
Many who read articles and forums can easily sell SEO to nearly anyone
if they want to. They know all the right things to say, and know
exactly which buttons to push to get a client to sign on the dotted
But what happens after you make that sale? Can you deliver on your
promises? Do too many SEO companies sell stuff that they really
shouldn't be selling?
Read more of my thoughts, as well as those of the other High Rankings
Forum members here:
sure to share your own comments too!
It's only June 8th, but it's already been a busy and exciting month!
Corie's graduation from high school was this weekend, on the hottest
day of the year (of course). I'm still a wee bit sunburned from
sitting on the bleachers, but it was well worth it to witness the
great accomplishments of Corie and the others in her class. My
parents even came in from Hawaii to partake in the festivities.
Then yesterday Timmy graduated from his Montessori school where he's
been since pre-K all the way through 6th grade. It will definitely be
weird not driving there every day next year, as it's been a routine
for quite a number of years.
I also had Jamie's IEP meeting this week and was thrilled that we were
able to cross off certain skills for Jamie to work on, as she has
mastered some of them over the past 2 years. Everyone has been very
pleased with her progress and her blossoming maturity this year. Our
next big graduation will be hers in just 2 short years!
Catch you in 2 short weeks! - Jill