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Formatting images for SEO

One of the most commonly known Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips that go around has to do with the way you name and tag the images that you use on your site. Its fairly commonly accepted by most SEO experts that Google not only looks at the text on your blog in order to measure its worth but that Google’s spidering bots also take a look at the code you use in your image files.

Over the years SEO techniques have been developed to abuse this fact and webmasters have ‘stuffed’ their ‘alt tags’ with all kinds of keywords – however Google has found ways to combat this and treats such strategies as spamming their bots now – however it is still legitimate to put keywords in you image tags and I would recommend that you do (within reason).

If I’m writing on one of my technical blogs about a product and want to post a picture – I always make sure that the file name of the picture includes the name of the product (with-hyphens-between-words). The system I use (ecto) to publish my blog uploads photos automatically to set the file name as the ‘alt tags’ (which are the words that come up as your picture loads) and uploads the picture to its own URL with the file name in the actual URL. This ensures that when Google’s bot spiders through your site it sees your keywords an additional few times per picture.

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Blogging for Dollars Presentations at IIMA

Roland Tanglao’s presentation on Blogging for Dollars at IIMA this week looks like a pretty comprehensive presentation and one I’d have like to have heard and had a chance to interact with. Also presenting was Arieanna and Tris – both quality bloggers in their own right.

Sometimes I wish I lived in (or at least a little closer to) North America to be able to get along to these types of gatherings (but then again on wonderful Melbourne days like today I’m also quite glad to be where I am). Maybe its time for a ‘Blogging for Dollars’ workshop here to see who comes out to play.

Soldiers earning Money from Blogging

There is an interesting article in the Army Times about soldiers in Iraq who are turning to blogging to make a few dollars in their spare time whilst there.

‘Finding paid advertisers may be too time-consuming for soldiers in a combat zone, so several Internet companies sell advertising for bloggers. However, bloggers receive only a percentage of what the companies bring in from advertisers, but the companies do the sales legwork. Many of these companies will even provide bloggers with free server space.

Some soldiers are selling T-shirts, bumper stickers and hats on their sites. Some bloggers say so many readers ask what they can send to show their support, they have posted wish lists on their sites. Others have set up ways for readers to send them money.’

Read more at Some troops make money from blogs

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How Many Posts do you Need in your Archives to earn Money from Blogging?

Someone asked me just now -‘how many pages do I need on my blog for it to earn $XX.00s per day?’ Its a pretty common question and one that I’m going to tackle below – but first let me ponder another related question from Thomas who in my recent call for feedback on this blog asked:

‘Is there a direct and predictable relationship between the total income of a blog and the total number of blog posts?’

Its a good question and one I’m sure I’ve talked about before in my archives somewhere – but that I’m happy to write a little about again.

I’m going to generalize terribly here and give you a very short and blunt answer to your question Thomas – and I’ll expand upon it some more for those who want to journey with me some more on it.

The Short Answer – My generalized answer is ‘yes’ – I do believe that in most cases there is a relationship between the number of posts on a blog and the income that it currently generates.

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Michael Jackson Responsible for Blog Traffic Growth

Server-3Michael Jackson’s late appearance to court today brought a deluge of traffic to the Michael Jackson Trial Watch blog that we’ve been experimenting. It was quite amusing to watch the hits start rolling in as it got closer to him not showing and then especially as the deadline passed before he showed up wearing pajamas.

The experiment has been reasonably successful so far, although we’re only really seeing traffic from MSN search at this point – Google has shunned us thus far but we’re hoping that their next update will remedy this. As you can see from the stats above – the last three days have seen more and more interest in the site as the trial heats up and as the media whip things into more and more of a frenzy. I can’t imagine what it will escalate to if he’s found guilty at the trial’s end in a month or two.

Customize Google News – to a Point

I welcome the new customizable Google News – but have to admit that I’m not as excited about it as I first was when I heard about it. The changes that they’ve made don’t really change the way I’ll use the service. It all seems a little cosmetic to me – yes they allow me to have a bit more control over what is viewed on the page but it seems like largely the same features which can be moved around the page a little.

When they let me track RSS feeds like on MyYahoo! and when they allow me to track my News Alerts via RSS rather than via email or manually going to the page – thats when I’ll be excited. For now I still prefer using Topix which allows me to watch my selected news alerts via RSS. I’m sure Google will catch up eventually.

Increase Traffic to Your Blog from Search Engines – The Top 5 Tips

Tinu Abayomi-Paul post an article over at Search Engine Guide on how to Increase Traffic to Your Blog from Search Engines – The Top 5 Tips. Might be useful for some – although nothing really new here – you’ll find it all in my SEO archives too.

Getting Yahoo Traffic for your Blog

One of the constant frustrations that I’ve had with blogging over the years has been my inability to rank well in Yahoo’s search engine results. Despite the fact that Google seems to love some of my blogs – Yahoo has always been rather standoffish with them. It does seem to index my sites but it might as well not have as the percentage of traffic it sends is miniscule. This is until recently.

A few weeks ago I saw a number of bloggers talking about a technique that promised to get Yahoo indexing blogs better – so I gave it a go and have had some moderate success. Its still not traffic in the levels that Google sends (but I guess that would be hard as more people use Google to search the web) but its better than previous levels.

Really the strategy is simple and it involves signing up for a MyYahoo page and using the RSS Headlines feature. This feature allows you to track a variety of blogs via RSS. Simply add your own RSS feeds and it seems that Yahoo adds them to its own tracking system which must be linked to their indexing system.

Just a day after adding the feeds to my MyYahoo page I noticed an increase in my traffic from Yahoo. Since then as it has indexed more pages it seemingly is sending even more traffic across to some of my blogs.

No guarantees but Its worth a try if you’re looking for more traffic on your blog (and who isn’t).

Relevant links on this topic include:
- How Yahoo’s Recent Facelift Can Mean More Traffic to Your Site
- My Yahoo RSS Headlines Module – FAQs
- My Yahoo RSS Upgrades Officially Live

Yahoo! Publisher Network

Anyone know what the Yahoo! Publisher Network is? Could it be the rumored competition for Adsense that seems to be being talked about more and more these past couple of weeks? What does Yahoo themselves have to say about Yahoo Publisher Network? Not a lot – but here is what they reveal:

‘To support the publishing community, Yahoo! will be introducing new products and services-including publishing tools, advertising products and access to our Yahoo! audience. Our products will leverage the Yahoo! network to provide the most value for small publishers. If you are interested in being notified when they launch, please provide your information below.’

Read more at Yahoo! Publisher Network

found via Research Buzz

Blogger Fight Club Proposal

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

A couple of posts ago in an update I suggested that perhaps we should lock Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis in a room together and let them have an all in brawl til they get their issues with one another off their chests. This comes after their latest spat over Gizmodo’s decision to accept an offer from Siemens for an all expenses trip to Germany for the CeBit show in return for posts on the blog. Follow the latest disagreement at Gizmodo sells out to Siemens, then Calacanis transparency policy and then My comment policy.

So after suggesting the fight club solution above I got to thinking – maybe we should have a debate?!? I mean there is already one going on – but how about we actually have a formal Pro Blogging debate between Nick and Jason?
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