Monday, June 11, 2012

Social Networking - Tooting Your Own Horn

Effective Social Networking

There is a difference between social networking and tooting your own horn.  I find several people who toot and toot, or post and post, but never interact with the people on facebook and Google +, for instance.  They bore me to tears, take up too much of my page real estate and what they are doing is a form of spam.  These are the people I ignore and remove from my contacts because all they are interested in is appearing like a know-it-all. 

I read a recent article called "He Who Tooteth His Own Horn," that addresses this issue as regards companies use of social networking.  The advice, which features an ancient drawing of Confucius (so it must be wise), in this article applies to anyone who is using facebook or any of the other social networking services.  Real interfacing with clients, or "friends," requires unique responses to inquiries and posts that they make. 

So, take the time to interact in a genuine manner with people who are on you friend or client list, inquiring and breaking the ice.  These genuine interactions will help you gain respect and pay off in the long run.  Tooting your own horn is okay on occasion, but don't make it the only way that you use your social networks.  Else wise, people (like me) will take you off of their lists.

BTW, my social networks include:
facebook     Randy McLaughlin
Google +     Randy McLaughlin
Zurker:    Randy M.    invite link

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Penguin Update - Ten Things You Can Do to Adapt

The next update, "Aardvark."
Just kidding, Google.
Have you noticed a drop in your traffic and adsense clicks over the last couple of weeks?  If so, then the recent update, called the Penguin update, is probably the reason.  This algorithm change is something added to the previous Panda update to help reduce the amount of grey- and black-hat SEO and link-building that people do.  It is all about what looks "natural."

Some people think that Google has gone too far with this update.  Little people who have been making good original content have been impacted in many cases, as I have read in anecdotal accounts on The Warrior Forum and in other places.

People who are still not disappointed and deterred, to the point of quitting this game, are doing various things to help recover their rankings.  Here are some of the things that are being discussed:

1.) If you have more than one link to a domain in an article, remove the excess.

2.) Using the same ip number for all of your related websites may be a killer for sites that have been targeted.  Diversify your ip addresses in that case.

3.) Instead of using Google Analytics (some see it as an intrusive and damaging insight into your sights), use other resources. 

4.) Inspect your sites and remove spammy backlinks.  Have links in contexts that are relevant as well.  If you can't remove backlinks, relaunch your site and build the links organically

5.) Increase the quality of your articles that you are marketing.  Update them with current content and get rid of out-of-date articles.  Freshen up!

6.) In keeping with point #5, update your sites regularly with fresh content (this is something that has worked in the past as well).  Current content is king.

7.) Instead of exact match anchor texts, use partial match anchor text.  Here is a video that explains very well this concept which makes linking look more natural:

8.)  In keeping with the general idea of exact match vs. partial match, don't overuse exact match domains.  If you have overlapping domain names as sources for back links it may be a good idea to start up new domains to make them fit within the partial match category.

9.) Don't participate in reciprocal linking or in linking networks, which can be easily detected by Google.  If you have, remove these links.  Cutts has made two videos that discuss how to clean up your act in this regard.

10.) Sometimes the best thing to do is non-action.  Some are advising against over-reaction, as there may be problems with the Penguin release, rankings for those who have been following the rules may go back up again after an update.  But, if you feel your site(s) have been wrongly targeted by the algorithm, Google has made a simple form that you can fill out and submit.

Other resources:

Check out this article on SEO Hackers as well, which explains some of the technical considerations in the Penguin update, particularly regarding calculated ratios:


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Patience with Link Building - Go Organic

Patience pays off with link building.  With the advent of Google Panda and the subsequent decline of rankings of a number of web sites that lack good content and have relied on an SEO strategy of building many links on totally unrelated sites.

It seems that many people still don't get the message that automated link building is an outdated strategy of SEO.  If programs like Akismet and others can detect spam content better than 99% of the time, then why can't Google do the same thing.   To these people I say WAKE UP!
Be patient and know that if you do good work, you will be rewarded.  Here are some tips on organic link building and a video session with Matt Cutts is included at the end.


Organic Link Building

This is a white-hat SEO strategy that helps people with sites that have good content become recognized as an authority by Google.

1. Link to sites that have keywords for which you want to rank for, in other words a relevant site.

2. Have a blog or blogs that generate content related to the keywords you are working with.  Hyperlink sparingly back to your site.  One hyperlink per blog entry and no more.  Otherwise it will look like too much self-promotion.

3. List your blogs in directories within your subject area.  The higher the rankings of the directories, the better for you.

4. When possible, do guest blogging with people who have related content.  Of course, you will have hyperlinks to related sites to help create an authority network.

5.  When making links on other sites, make sure that they have a higher ranking to leverage the amount of manual link-building you do.  Comments with significant contributing content to the web page helps as well.

6. Submit articles to article submission sites like Ezine. 

7.  See the video below where Matt Cutts is answering a question about how to build links that meet Google's ranking criteria.  I have covered a couple of his points, but he also talks about occasionally using contoversy, participation in related social groups, giving away free stuff and making tutorials and videos.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Update Web Pages for Better Rankings and Increased Traffic

Getting increased traffic is and better search engine rankings can be the result of revising your blog posts and web pages.  Your site content may be stale and your keywords irrelevant.  If you update web pages by changing or adding fresh content, it sends a flag to the search engines that something new has been added to the page.  If you re-orient your page to more common search terms, more people will find your web page.

Revisions for Improving Your Content.  Re-reading your content may reveal grammatical and style errors.  Correcting these will make for higher quality content and better reading.  This will make it more likely that people will read your content.  There is always room for improvement.  As a boy, I used to walk along the railroad tracks picking "dewberries," a diminutive blackberry that grows wild in a part of rural East Texas.  Dewberries make a great cobbler desert.  I would pick in one direction and return along the same side of the bush and find more berries that I missed.  Re-reading your web posts is very much like this, you always find new berries when you return to the same place and view it at a different time.

Keywords.  You can use Google Adsense or Market Samurai to inspect the keywords for your site.  There is also the possibility that you may want to add more keywords or change the SEO focus of the article to a new set of keywords.  I did that recently on a health article, which was perfectly good as far as content goes, but it was lacking in keywords that people use in their searches.  Now that it has been changed, it is more likely to be found and read.

For more specific tips on updating web pages, I recommend that you visit this Hub Pages article: Updating Your Hubs to Increase Traffic. Other tips that are included on this site include updating your keywords, changing the title, adding new content to reflect the new keywords and title, and fixing broken links.

So, my advice to all is to tend your garden of web posts.  There are several advantages to updating your web pages and your efforts will very likely that grow your web traffic because of your efforts to make your content current, more readable and more relevant.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Creating Links with Photos

All types of links help your web page's position.
Creating links with photos is a resourceful way to increase your web site's visibility on the Internet.  Up until recently, I haven't used this technique.  Now, when I am in Photoshop, I click on File > File Info and fill out the information for each photo that I upload.  The copyright information for each photo refers back to the site which the photo or illustration relevant to, so I have an automatic link in the photo after I upload it. 

Sites for putting in these links include Red Gage, Flickr, Facebook, Google Plus and any other sites where people upload photos. If the photos are special, reduce them in size so when people copy them (it's a tought act to control what happens once they are on the web) they won't get a high-resolution photo like the one you have on your computer.

Regarding the photo information:  Put in a description in the photo to make it unique.  Use at least 3 sentences in the description and don't copy the information from other sites. 

Another advantage of uploading photos with this information is that you can increase the visibility of your work when people are looking for images.  Good keywords are important.  Good information leads to more people being familiar with your work.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Google Adsense Placement Under A Wordpress Header

I have been trying to find the code and the where to put the adsense code below my header in the Wordpress 2010 theme.  I had read that Google Adsense Placement under the header (for a 728 x 15 link unit) is optimal for getting people's attention and potential ad clicks.  So, I finally found the solution.

Go to and you will find both the code to enter and where to put the code. There are two parts to the code, the ad code goes in the header.php file and there is some code to put into the style.css file.

I had to also go to my adsense site and create the code for the 728 x 15 ad, but that is really easy. So now, I just sit back and see if the site performs better. Hope springs eternal!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are You Sure You Want to Do This - Please Try Again Failure

I have a wordpress blog site where I wanted to change the them to use more of the page and arrange some other items to my likings.  So, I downloaded Atahualpa theme, put it in the appropriate folder on my web site and installed it.  Then I tweaked a couple of things on it and clicked on SAVE, but the dreaded message "Are You Sure You Want to Do This - Please Try Again" showed up. 

I made several attempts at changing some minor features, and still got the same message.  I looked on the Internet for other people's experiences with this issue.  Based on this advice, I tried the following things:

reloading the page,
different browsers,
restarting the browser,
using different browser on both a mac and a pc,
deleting the update file within my wp-content directory,
re-installing the wordpress,
changing back to the old theme,
discussing the problem with Host Gator
and a couple of other things that did not work.  24 hours had passed........

I then deactivated all of my plug ins (and I have a considerable number of them), and then reactivated 3-4 at a time.  After each reactivation, I made a small tweak on the theme to see if it would accept it - like the background color (the 2010 theme has wide, unused borders).  So, I did this reiteration about 10 times before I got to the problem, the Shared Items Post plug in.  Not a very important plug in, so I will keep it deactivated.

So, here's to not seeing this frustration message again:

Are You Sure You Want to Do This - Please Try Again !!!!!

So, what does this have to do with Internet Marketing?  Well, certain themes and layouts are much more amenable to optimizing advertisement layout.  So that is my goal.  We can talk about that later, I wanted to get this off my chest!