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BlogSpot Spam Blogs

Geektronica makes a few observations about the growing fat of BlogSpot:

I’ve been cruising the Blogspot world lately looking for cool stuff that the bigger geeklogs might have missed (and I found some cool knitting sites as a result last time I did this). What I’ve found, though, is that a large percentage (maybe up to a third) of all Blogspot blogs are spam-logs – sites created to increase the Google ranking of some other site (which is itself usually a Google-spamming site). The ultimate purpose of these spamlogs is usually to drive traffic to a commission-paying pharmacy, pr0n, or casino site.

I can’t wait until they start creating spam podcasts. Though I’m sure it is already underway. Idiots.

Google Sitemaps

Yesterday Google launched Google Sitemaps which they describe as follows:

‘Google Sitemaps is an easy way for you to help improve your coverage in the Google index. It’s a collaborative crawling system that enables you to communicate directly with Google to keep us informed of all your web pages, and when you make changes to these pages.

With Google Sitemaps you get:

  • Better crawl coverage to help people find more of your web pages
  • Fresher search results
  • A smarter crawl because you can provide specific information about all your web pages, such as when a page was last modified or how frequently a page changes’

You can read a little more about it at the Google Blog.

Looks interesting. Once again I’m running out of time to check it out but would be interested in the opinions and experiences of others. Are you going to give it a go?

Google Page Rank Reappears

SEO addicts are breathing a sigh of relief today after the Disappearance of Google Page Rank seemingly being rectified in the last few hours. The green bar on the Google Toolbar has returned.

For the average web surfer and blogger the loss of PR would have had little impact but I know a few SEO experts whose businesses rely upon it who will be very relieved today.

Update: Reading between the lines on what ‘Google Guy’ has to say on the WebMasterWorld forum it looks like this was just an upgrade of infrastructure that was timed to coincide with a holiday weekend in the US. It is not an roll out of ‘Trust Rank’ or even an update of PR. Things should be back to normal by now.

Google Page Rank Gone?

Discussion forums around the web today are buzzing with talk of major problems (or are they just changes) at Google. Earlier in the day Google’s cache server was down and more recently people have started noticing Page Rank has disappeared on many sites – including Google itself.

Of course this has caused a lot of discussion and rumors – ranging from Google scrapping Page Rank, to Google having some sort of melt down, to changes about to be rolled out to Page Rank.

They say ‘no news is good news’ – but I’m suspecting that changes like these put the SEO industry into a spin as they try to work out what’s going on.

Stay tuned for future reports on this issue as they come to hand.

Update: It’s been over 24 hours now and some are starting to panic. Check out some of the following discussion forums for the latest speculation:

- Webmaster World
- SEO Chat
- Cre8aSite
- Search Engine World
- Digital Point
- Web Workshop
- SEO Guy
- SitePoint

Update II – PR seems to have returned today over two days after it went away. No news yet as to what the issue was.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Adrian at Be A Design Group has a good post on Search Engine Optimization Secrets which is a good, non hyped, well thought through and easy to read post full of good common sense Search Engine Optimization goodness. He gives five tips (and writes a bit on each):

  1. Don’t Fake Your Content.
  2. Avoid Flash
  3. Start a Blog
  4. Search Engine Optimization Isn’t Magic
  5. Link Management

The importance of Title Tags in Search Engine Optimization

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A few days ago I was moaning to a mate about the fact that despite thousands of inbound links and a page rank of 6 – ProBlogger.net is still yet to rank highly for many of it’s relevant search terms in Google – as a result I rarely get any traffic from Google on this blog. Even for a term like ‘Blog Tips’ (something I write about a lot) I only ranked around 60th on Google.

My friend asked a simple question that made me realize how blind a blogger can be when they stare at their own blog all day and lose objectivity. He asked:

‘What is in the title tags of your blog?’

As soon as he asked the question I knew how stupid I’d been. This is a question I often ask other bloggers but had not asked myself!

The title tags of my front page had been ‘ProBlogger: Helping Bloggers Earn Money’. A good descriptive term – but not including some of the key terms that I was wanting to get hits on – particularly ‘Blog Tips’.

[Read more...]

New Google update

For those of you who watch such things – it seems that Google have just started a backlink update.

MSN Search Updating

I’m noticing significant shifts in MSN search results today on most of my blogs. They must have just done some sort of update. I can’t see any discussion of this in forums however so it could be just on my domains.

Since its inception the results were artificially high (for example I ranked number 1 for some very popular search terms on some brand new blogs) – so I was expecting an adjustment – today it came.

Whilst its sad to lose a little traffic (it never sent a huge amount) because of it I’m also happy because it shows MSN are becoming more accurate with their rankings – my blogs didn’t deserve the position that they had this early in their life.

Where to Put Keywords on your Blog

Getting your blog ranked highly in Search Engines can be a complicated task – so can sifting through all the theories being espoused by SEO ‘experts’. Everyone has their theory. As a result I like it when people put together simple well thought out lists that even a non technical person like myself can get his head around at the end of a hard week’s blogging.

SEO and Online marketing have put together a helpful list of 8 places to put your keywords in your blog if you want the Search Engines to look favorably upon you. Being smart about using keywords (the words you want people to find your blog with in Search Engines) – is generally accepted as important factor in SEO.

Here’s the list (each point is expanded upon in their post):

1. Use Your Keywords in Text Links for ALL Links – Inbound and Outbound.
2. Use Your Keywords in the Page’s Title Tag.
3. Put Your Keyword in Your Description Tag.
4. Place Your Keywords in a Keywords Tag.
5. Make Sure You Use Your Keyword in Your Heading Tags.
6. Put Your Keywords in Bold Text in Several Places on the Page.
7. Use Your Keyword in Text Early – and Often.
8. Use Your Keywords in Alt Tags.