Is it too late to help your website in organic search for the Holidays?

There are a few ways to answer that question. First, this is getting posted in mid-December so the answer is no. Unless of course we don’t mean Christmas….there is time to improve for Easter or St Patrick’s Day.

But I think my favorite way to answer is to simply say yes because Christmas comes every year and in December of 2008 you can absolutely effect change for the Holidays…..Christmas 2009 that is…
Perhaps that’s just my nice way of saying “no, you’ve waited way too long to start thinking about SEO for Christmas shopping traffic”.

Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process that takes time to develop and needs to be nurtured. Unless your a site like CNN your website isn’t getting crawled all that often. So the first thing that has to happen is that your pages need to be crawled with your new changes in place. This takes time. Then your changes need to be put into the engines index, (more…)

So I’m driving to work again today and as I merge from I-435 to I-70 (about 1/3 the way to the office) I see a Kansas state trooper will now be behind me on I-70. So my normal driving speed of 75-80 mph will be reduced today to the neighborhood of 70 mph (the speed limit on this stretch of highway) – actually about 1 mph slower than the officer.

Once again I thought about SEO. Everyday I drive about 10 mph over the speed limit. I know there are state troopers out there, or local police. I see them sometimes sitting and shooting radar of course. Yet, I still exceed the speed limit. Maybe because I know of all the cars out there the odds are in my favor of not getting caught. And even if I do zoom by a cop at 80 mph, maybe he isn’t really paying attention or doesn’t really care. Maybe he’s a liberal and happy I’m driving a Prius so he lets me fly by….who knows. And just as an aside, I drive a Prius because I don’t want to spend money on gas. It’s nice that I’m saving (more…)

So I’m driving to work this morning and I notice (because I’m always on the lookout for such things) a state trooper sitting on the side of the highway with his lights flashing as if he had someone pulled over. Since troopers are often like deer, there’s usually more than one I was backing off the accelerator a bit already. As I got closer I realized he (or she I suppose, don’t mean to assume or be sexist) did not have anybody pulled over. Since this at the top of a long subtle hill that blocked the view of the road in front of us I wondered if there was traffic ahead over the hill….just in case I started to move over to the right since I knew there was an exit coming up I could bail out on and avoid the traffic. Sure enough, as I got to the point where I could see over the hill there was a 3 lane wide parking lot on the interstate.

So what did I do? I finished moving to the right to exit, switched to the GPS Nav system in my car and asked for an alternate route to work. (more…)

They are everywhere. In email, on the web and on the phone. My colleague, a fellow SEO guru, just got one of these calls that prompted me to talk a bit about it. Search Engine Optimization gets a bad rap too often and it’s because of these kinds of scams. The reality is that there are a lot of steps that can be taken to help a website be more effective in where and how often they rank in search engine results. This, in a poorly described nutshell, is SEO. SEO is not a trick (although there are tricks – aka black hat SEO but once again a conversation for another time), it’s not a magic bullet, there is no “inside info” or special “hook ups” to get your site highly ranked, quickly and legitimately in Google or any other real search engine.

So if you have a website, or sometimes just an e-mail address you’ve probably seen or heard (they cold call often) something like – GET YOUR SITE TO #1 ON GOOGLE in 24 HOURS! I’ve worked with clients who have had these scam artists contact (more…)

One of the reasons for my purple widget SEO experiment was to gain more knowledge about blogs and how they worked and they performed in search engines. I had a bit of an idea about both but sometimes I learn better by doing (and sometimes I learn by getting punched in the head over and over) so I’ve launched a few blogs including this one and am getting smarter (sometimes my head hurts). One thing I’ve learned that definetely makes my head hurt is that WordPress sure comes out with new versions alot. Seems like every time I log in to post (and I don’t do this as often as I should, but still) there is a new version I should update to. Luckily, for lazy people (I mean effort economists) like me there is a great plugin called WordPress Automatic Upgrade that I absolutely love! It gives me a link right above the WordPress notice telling me to update and then walks me through an easy 7-8 click upgrade process. Presto, I’m upgraded for another 2 days until the next WordPress update. (more…)

Even though it has evolved from the single most important, easily manipulated method for improving search engine rankings it is still important that other sites on the World Wide Web link to your site. It tells search engines that other sites think your site has value. It’s a “vote” for your website. And the more prominent and valuable the originating site is the more value it has for your site as a vote. The art of link building is a unique and extensive part of SEO and this post will not begin to scratch the surface. But I will point out a few basics of link building.

The first of which is to talk briefly about the basic kinds of links – again, this is not all inclusive by any means. One of the most common, and in many cases the least valuable, is a link exchange. You put a link up on your site for me and I’ll do the same for you. There is some value as long as the links are related. For example if your site is about basketball and I sell basketball shoes there is some (more…)

A corporate blog, or any blog related to your website – no matter the subject can be a great tool for your website and your business. In fact, somewhat like purple widget, it can BE your business.

But no matter what you’re using your blog for, don’t neglect it! Don’t do what I’ve done, stop posting for nearly 3 weeks. The reason search engines like blogs is because they provide fresh content, and they provide it often. So when you don’t make it a priority having a blog doesn’t come close to the potential value it offers. So when you’re going to start a blog make sure you’re committed to it so it can work for you the way it’s capable of.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back to purple widget business soon.

The good news is we’re # 1 on Yahoo for the search term purple widget! The bad news of course (besides nobody really searches for purple widget) nobody uses Yahoo! anymore…

But, in about 9 days I’ve launched the website, moved to Google ranking spot # 4 and # 1 on Yahoo. Not bad and just getting started.

#1 on Yahoo for Purple Widget

#1 on Yahoo for Purple Widget

And now, less than a week from launch this website is ranking for the term purple widget. I see us ranking 4th in Google (which is realistically the only engine that matters)!

Purple Widget - Ranked 4th on Google

Purple Widget - Ranked 4th on Google

Sorry about the small image – still learning WordPress. Click to view bigger!

Although Google is king, lets see how we’re doing elsewhere in just one weeks time: – Not in top 50 – but that would be because we aren’t yet indexed by MSN Live Search

Yahoo! – Also not yet indexed.

It won’t be long, I need to create accounts on each sites equivelant to Google Webmaster Tools and make sure they know about us. I may wait to do this in the interest of seeing how long it takes to appear without this step.

No resting on our # 4 ranking! We’ll continue to work to not only maintain the ranking but to move up a bit. I will likely lay low for a while on doing much (more…)

Interesting happenings the past few days. On Oct 3rd I reported that Google had all 16 of our pages indexed, a few days later they had just 1 and now they have 4. Odd. I’ll continue to monitor our indexing.