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Google’s Update Chaos Continues

Google’s update seems to still be in full swing with chaos being reported on many sites. Check out this thread at Webmaster World to see the impact that some are reporting to their SERP results in Google and the resulting traffic effects. Preliminary results are seeing people reporting both good increases but also some pretty massive losses in traffic.

The results seem pretty diverse with bloggers that I’ve spoken with. Like everyone else they seem to be at the mercy of Google here and some are seeing little change whilst others are seeing both positive and negative swings.

Most of the wise advice around is that its too early to make a call on what impact Google’s update is having on any one individual site. Give things a few more days to see how things settle before making any huge changes to your blog’s SEO strategy.

How are things impacting your blog?

Should You Use Targeted Keywords in URLs

‘Should You Use Targeted Keywords In URLs?’ – This is actually a question I’ve been asked on numerous occassions by bloggers wanting to optimize their blogs for Search Engines. The theory is that if you are writing a blog about matchsticks that your ranking will be higher if you domain name has ‘matchsticks’ in the URL.

Nice theory – but does it work? Has anyone tested it?

It seems that now we can back the theory up with a test run by WebProNews who found that at least in the case of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN that keywords in URL do help.

So how does this impact the way we blog? In my mind there are a number of take home messages in this:

1. Pick your domain name wisely when starting up a blog. I learned this the hard way with one of my blogs which I started on the run one day and later changed the focus of. I now have a blog with a domain name that barely relates to my site – DOH!

2. Try to configure your blog so that keywords of individual posts feature in the permalinks of each page. For example you’ll see that this blog uses the title of each individual post in the URL. When I swapped to this method of setting up my URLs I noticed a 30% increase in traffic inside of a week to my blogs – it really does work.

3. Keywords in URLs are not the be all and end all. I mentioned in point 1 that I have a blog that doesn’t have appropriate keywords in its URL – I should also mention here that that blog is my most highly visited blog and earns more than all of my other blogs put together. The message therefore is to take a balanced approach to Search Engine Optimization. Keywords in URLs are just one of many (some say hundreds) of factors in getting your blog ranked highly on google.

Eight worst search optimization techniques

SEO Chat has another good article today outlining eight of the worst SEO techniques:

‘Some webmasters and SEO companies will use any means they can think of to get a high rank in search engine listings. That’s not always a good idea. Krissi Danielsson gives a detailed list of eight search engine optimization techniques you shouldn’t use, and why you shouldn’t use them.’



Read more at Eight worst search optimization techniques

The Ten Commandments of Keyword Selection

SEO Chat has an interesting article on Keyword Selection which may be helpful for some bloggers wanting to generate quality income around targeted keywords:

‘Is your website getting a lot of traffic, but not a lot of sales? Maybe you need to take a look at the keywords you’re using. Praveen Viswanath walks you through keyword selection process, and sums it up with ten keyword selection commandments to help keep you on track.

A term or a phrase used by a searcher to find information on a particular topic is called a “keyword.” “Keyword selection” is the process of scrutinizing different prospective keywords to select the right ones for your campaign. It is the stepping stone to your success in the Web world. Find the right keyword, and you strike gold. Make a mistake, and you’ve just punched yourself in the face.’



Read more at The Ten Commandments of Keyword Selection

Google Moves to Continual Indexing

‘If you’ve noticed that Google seems to be updating their index more frequently than once a month, you’re not alone. Clint Dixon observed this as well. In this article he discusses how this changes the world for website owners, search engine optimizers, and anyone else trying to get on the front pages of popular search engines.

Google.com took a step forward in offering the most relevant information available by beefing up their mission statement. For a long time Google has updated their database of information by indexing the World Wide Web once per month. In light of recent events I have come to the conclusion that Google is now updating their index much more frequently, as evidenced by server statistics from my clients, and from my own server.

With the November 2003 Florida Update, Google dropped many of the offending webmasters who employed black hat SEO techniques off of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This upset a great many webmasters whose sites sat on the front pages of Google.com for years, and who felt smug without preparing for the future.’

Continue reading Google Moves to Continual Indexing

Relationship Between the PageRank and the Number of Backlinks

How many links to your blog do you need to climb up Google’s page ranking? A recent study titled Relationship Between the PageRank and the Number of Backlinks – Articles about link building and PageRank examines that question and draws some interesting conclusions:



‘- With a few exceptions, whatever the PR is, more backlinks than the month before are required every month to get a given PR.

- As expected, one needs far more backlinks in order to get a high PR than a low one. Even if there may be exceptions, because the study deals with a good number of data, it gives experimental support to the theoretical hypotheses or ideas never proved before but only discussed in forums.

- During this summer (2004), Google changed the behaviour of the link: command which now includes low PR pages. Only PR4 or higher PR pages used to be listed by this command. Conversely since this summer you can also list the low PR pages backlinks, which you can see in the table.’



Get more details of this study at Relationship Between the PageRank and the Number of Backlinks

Found via Micro Persuasion

The Holistic Approach to Search Engine Marketing

Top Hosts have a very interesting article on Holistic Search Engine Marketing which is well worth the read. They suggest a multilayered approach that includes:

- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

- Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

- Website Conversion



‘The fact that these components are most effective when used in concert does not mean that each should not be tracked individually- of course they should. But do not be surprised when your returns on two or more of these disciplines used together are greater than the combined returns from the individual components used separately. And this presents a dilemma- a highly successful holistic SEM approach can make extracting exact ROI figures for each individual component difficult, since “the whole” has become “greater than the sum of its parts”. But as many savvy companies are discovering, this is a nice problem to have.’



Read more at The Holistic Approach to Search Engine Marketing

SEO Strategy – Content or Links?

Blog Business World has a good post looking at two theories of search engine optimization – generating keyword rich content and good linking strategy. Is one more important than the other or do they work together?



‘Keyword rich content will get you part way to your destination atop the search engine results. If you are seeking to gain high search engine results for highly competitive keywords, content is perhaps not enough on its own. The King needs help.

Every King needs a Queen.

In this case, the Queen is in the form of links…’

Read more at Blog Business World

Google Does The Update: What’s New?

‘Google has (once again) updated its search algorithm, panicking webmasters everywhere. What will happen to those high rankings you’ve worked so hard to achieve? Wayne explains what you need to do to raise your score with search engines (and your site visitors) regardless of any software changes.

Google has finally updated its display of sites’ incoming links. Along with that incoming link update, Google has made public some changes in its vaunted Google PageRank. As always, misconceptions, conflicting theories, and webmaster panic are everywhere. It’s time to look past the mythology, forget the quick fixes, and ignore the latest hair pulling and teeth gnashing.’

Read more at Google Does The Update: What’s New?: