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Search Engine Optimization for MSN Search

One of the nice surprises that we’ve had over at the Breaking News Blog collective over the past few months has been the way that MSN Search has ranked our blogs highly. Even though the blogs are new and are yet to have the many links that their competitors have pointing at them – we have been on the receiving end of some pretty decent traffic from this new search engine.

A number of times I’ve asked why this is so – I’m not sure how long it will last but we’re making the most of it while it does and doing our best to optimize the blogs for MSN and the other Search Engines.

Search Engine Journal has a helpful article on Search Engine Optimization for MSN Search which might give some hints as to why we’ve been so highly ranked on MSN Search. here are a few of the key points that they make that might help you optimize your blog for MSN search – a growing force in the Search Engine wars.

- ‘MSN readily admits that MSNbot will actively be using Meta tags for part of its web site analysis.’

- ‘Similar to other search engines, the ‘title tag’ again appears to be the most heavily weighted within the algorithm, followed closely by the Meta Description Tag’

- ‘The Bot does not read text within a graphic’ (rather it likes simple and plain text best)

- MSN Search calls for pages to be under 150K in size

- Words (even keywords) within headers, footers and tables will not be read. Again, simple text is the rule of thumb.

- Linking, as per usual, will be an important part of MSNBot’s equation. (particularly internal links from the main page are powerful. They suggest that every page on your site should be accessible from your front page by three clicks only).

If you want more information on SEO for MSN search you might want to look over the MSN Search section for Site Owners.

Siemens Flies Blogger to Germany to Cover Show

Joel at Gizmodo just posted that he’s being flown to Germany for the upcoming CeBit show. His flight and accommodation is being paid for by Siemens. This is just another example of how blogging can bring other non monetary perks. Joel writes of the details for transparency’s sake:

‘Siemens offered to pay for my flight and hotel at CeBit, which I thought was pretty nice of them, especially since I wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise. They seem pretty progressive about the whole thing, really, saying they had considered setting up their own press outlet during the show, but thought it would be easier just to show Gizmodo what they were launching and get it out there. I accepted their offer, of course, so I thought it was important to let you guys know the details. We’ve got no agreement to treat them with kid gloves, so I’ll be as objectively off-the-cuff and misguided as usual.’

I’m sure Joel will receive some criticism for his decision to take up this offer but I don’t really have a problem with it if he’s being open with the fact that they are paying his expenses. If his readership keeps this in mind they can filter out any bias that may or may not end up in the commentary Joel does on Siemens products at CeBit.

Read more about it at Gizmodo Germany: CeBIT Bound : Gizmodo

Update – As one would expect, not all bloggers agree with Gizmodo’s acceptance of Siemens offer – in particularly Weblogs Inc top guy Jason Calacanis has a few things to say on it and sheds a little more light on what else Gizmodo might have been asked to do in order to get the CeBit deal. And Nick responds.

Maybe its time we got Nick and Jason in a room to beat the hell out of each other for a while til they get it all out of their systems?

Interview with Joel Comm

Joel-CommA few weeks ago I stumbled across a thread on a discussion board discussing the success of a website owner who was claiming that he was earning $15,000 per month ($500 per day) using the Google Adsense program – not only that but he had released an E-book about it. The guy being discussed was Joel Comm, the owner of the successful Worldvillage.com, blogger at joelcomm.com, co founder of ClassicGames.com which was bought by Yahoo and is now Games.yahoo.com and author of What Google Never Told You About Making Money with Adsense and Chitika eMiniMalls Secrets“>Chitika eMiniMalls Secrets (aff. links). Joel is a net entrepreneur who has been making a living online for 10 years and who has a story that inspires me every time I read it.

The more I read about Joel the more I wanted to interview him for this blog. Whilst he’s not making a living from his blog – Joel has a decade of experience from making a living online and has a lot of great advice for bloggers trying to make money from their blogs.

ProBlogger – Joel thanks for giving us your time this way – can you briefly tell us a little about yourself? Who is Joel Comm?

Joel – I am a 40-year old computer enthusiast from Illinois, happily married since 1989 and father to two beautiful children. I got bitten with the computer bug at the age of 16. I remember my mother asking me, “What in the world are you going to DO with a computer?” Many years later, she finally understands! I remember dialing out on my 300-baud modem (the kind where you have to place the phone receiver on the the modem in order to use it) and thinking that I had “arrived”. Little did I know what the coming years would bring, as computers became more a part of my every-day life….

[Read more...]

2005 Business Underblogger Award Winners

More blogs have been nominated for the 2005 Business Underblogger Awards and are listed as follows. Keep those nominations coming in! [Read more...]

MobileTracker combats Feed Hijacking with Summary Feeds

Jon at MobileTracker has just announced that he’s switching his RSS feed back to a summary feed rather than the full feed due to copyright violations and a number of sites who were publishing his full feed without permission. I’ve also had this same problem and found that a summary feed is the only real way of stopping the violation which not only breaks copyright but also creates duplicate content for your blog (and that of the one copying you ironically).

Read about it at MobileTracker – RSS feed update

Divester – 74th blog from Weblogs Inc

Divester

Weblogs Inc have just announced their 74th blog Divester which could become better known as ‘that blue blog’. Jason writes that they are spending more time on design which is pretty evident with this one. I think that this is a wise move as using the same blog template on a variety of blogs can mean they all start merging into one. Although this design shows what can be down with a few tweaks because in essence they are using a pretty similar tried and true layout.

Good stuff Weblogs Inc team!

Apple 1, bloggers 0

I find this finding by a San Jose judge to be quite puzzling. It seems bloggers are not held under the same law as journalists. I’m sure there will be an appeal of the decision – perhaps as bloggers we should pass around the hat to help fund it – this is not the type of precedent that would be in the best interests of bloggers.

‘In a case with implications for the freedom to blog, a San Jose judge tentatively ruled Thursday that Apple Computer can force three online publishers to surrender the names of confidential sources who disclosed information about the company’s upcoming products.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg refused to extend to the Web sites a protection that shields journalists from revealing the names of unidentified sources or turning over unpublished material.’

Read more at Apple 1, bloggers 0

Found via Business Blog Consulting

Yahoo to Invest in Blogs, Analyst Says

A quick quote from an article found on Yahoo! News written about Yahoo!

‘Internet media company Yahoo Inc. is likely to build and buy tools that help its users create, publish and search blogs, Susquehanna Financial Group Marianne Wolk said in a note on Friday.’

Read more at Yahoo to Invest in Blogs, Analyst Says

$500 Per Year from Adsense

A VC has decided to go public with how much he’s made with the Google Adsense program in a post titled $500 Per Year. I guess the title answers the question of ‘how much’. $500 a year isn’t really a lot when you break it down, less than $2 a day. My guess is that this is perhaps an average sort of level of earnings for a blog using adsense – in fact its probably a bit above average.

Of course I wouldn’t recommend you do what Fred did in revealing his Adsense stats – its probably the fastest way to get banned from the program. I know of many bloggers who have suffered from doing this – especially in the details that Fred has done.

Anyway – his post got me wondering – how could he increase his earnings (which he generously donates to charity)? I took a quick look at his blog and I think I could double his income, if not triple or quadruple it with just a few simple tweaks and changes to his blog.

I’m not writing this because I don’t like what he does – but rather saw it as a little bit of a challenge – and plus I’d love to see his charity benefit a bit more. So here is how I think he could write a $1000 or more cheque to his charity in his second year (if Google doesn’t ban him):

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ecto for Windows 1.5

For all you Windows users – can I suggest you check out the new version of ecto for Windows 1.5. I won’t rave on about ecto again because I have many times before – but I would highly recommend it. If its anywhere near as good as the Mac version that I use it will save you a lot of time and make your blogging a lot more professional. In short – ecto is a way of publishing content to your blog that you can do without actually logging onto your blog’s back end. Check out its feature list here.

‘After a longer than anticipated development and testing period, here is the new version 1.5. Most of the bugs have been caught and fixed, including those from the previous version 1.0.8.x. The main omissions of this release are Japanese/French localizations for the new features which will be provided in future updates. You can download this new version here, and read the changes and known issues in History.txt file. For existing ecto users, please read the Upgrade.txt file for important information on installing version 1.5 over 1.0.8.’

Read more at ecto blog: ecto for Windows 1.5