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In the world of Search Engine Optimization—more widely known by the masses these days as “SEO,” just about everyone and any seo company knows the importance of keyword placement, page rankings and driving traffic to websites. Although this practice has been in active use for quite some time now, the question still remains as to how an individual or company can ensure that their SEO efforts not only places their website high in search results, but maximizes their ROI (Return on Investment), where applicable.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Perhaps the most important lesson all people should keep in mind is the fact that there is no black and white, clear-cut strategy that produces top results each time. In addition to the important SEO factors laid out below, trial and error is almost always a part of the process as well. Knowing this ahead of time will help those attempting to tackle SEO better understand what the potential outcome could be and avoid setting unrealistic expectations.

What You Already Know About SEO (And Why You’re Still Not Seeing Results)

Tags –Including tags into your content is an added benefit that helps search engines determine how to categorize your site and the best way to handle the information. However, the relevance of tags when it comes to SEO has changed dramatically, especially when it comes to search engines and indexing.

According to Search Engine Journal, search engines originally relied on tags heavily to decide where a site will rank in online searches. Unfortunately, this realization caused many to overuse the tags in an effort to get recognized instantly. The end result: search engines deciding they’re not that important after all.

Is that to say you shouldn’t focus on including proper tags into your pages? Of course not. However, it is important to not focus too much of your energy on them. Proper SEO requires more than just concentrated effort in any one area.

Keywords – It is no secret that keywords are the “key” to being placed favorably in online search results and boosting a site’s presence on the Internet. At the same time, the concept of using keywords for SEO purposes has also led to some of the most commonly made mistakes. This includes overusing the keywords to an extent that while it may be fine for search engines to index, it completely makes no sense to the people actually reading it.

As far as how the use of keywords relates to getting results, SeoMoz has found through studies conducted that practices such as keyword density is virtually “a complete myth as an algorithmic component.” The site also concludes that based on the studies’ results:

“While it’s true that more usage of a keyword term/phrase can potentially improve targeting/ranking, there’s no doubt that keyword density has never been the formula by which this relevance was measured.”

To sum it up: use your keywords the appropriate number of times that makes sense within the context of the content. When it comes to keyword variations, stick to using only one or two variations of a keyword term/phrase.

What You Really Need to Know About SEO

While the information above may seem discouraging, it’s vital to see it in perspective. Keywords and tags are still an essential component to SEO and SEM campaigns but they are not the only factors that make an impact. Below are some factors that may be overlooked or even ignored.

Quality Content – For some reason, people still think throwing together a few paragraphs and then hammering them with various keywords is what makes for an ideal SEO approach. Wrong! It is important to understand that the content you’re offering up to the search engines to index are also being displayed to human beings that will be reading what you’ve posted. Content that is engaging, informative and includes the basics of SEO almost always increases the link conversion rate, which is described by SEOmoz as being the “ratio of those who visit to those who link after viewing.” So take the time to craft sentences that are articulate, thoughtful, entertaining and enjoyable for people to read. Without strong content, any SEO efforts will be useless.

Spread The Word – Sure, on-site SEO is the backbone of just about all online marketing efforts but it isn’t the only one. Off-site SEO methods should also be incorporated to cover all of your bases and maximize results. The following off-site ideas come from MrDefinite.com and have been proven to produce favorable results for those that implement them properly:

  • Social Networking: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook—there’s no shortage of ways to get the word out about your site by connecting with people with similar interests.
  • Subscribe to Groups: Become an active member of online groups that are highly visible (i.e. Google Groups). Participate in discussions to create a presence on those sites and leave answers in your posts that include your link.
  • Article Directories: You can’t do SEO alone. Take advantage of article directories and submit to all of the top performing ones. There are tons so chances are you’ll have luck with at least a handful.
  • Contact Site Owners: When done the right way (not appearing desperate or demanding), asking site owners if they’d be interested in one of your articles with your link included or inquiring about a link exchange, could boost your SEO results, especially if the site you’re contacting already has massive online exposure and plenty of readers.
  • Backlinking: Having a link on someone else’s site directing the person who clicks it to your own site is among one of the most effective ways to attract new people.

Proper Keyword Placement: Turn some of your attention away from the tedious meta tags and make sure to put your keywords where they really count, which is the title, URLs and internal links. Studies show these three basic elements increase the potential a page has to perform well.

No successful SEO campaign is without its flaws. Only through trial and error, consistency and time will relevant results appear. Keep at it and your efforts will definitely pay off.

In sum, we leave you with the following video from Matt Cutts (Google) where he speaks to one factor that may influence SEO, domain registration length.  As you may have gathered, there are MANY factors that go into SEO, and the ones listed here are by far the most important!

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CashQuests Sold For $15k

Posted by Jane on November 19th, 2007

I woke up to find something interesting this morning – CashQuests.com has just been sold for $15,000 on sitepoint.  Given his… errr her income level of $1390 per month, $15k is a fair price. The only reason I find this amusing is because when my partner and I sold one of our large sites earlier this year, Kumiko was very vocal about it. She made sure to post about it in detail and if I recall correctly the tone of the article was condescending. It rubbed me and several people I communicate with in the blogging world the wrong way. She also made sure to comment on this and other blogs to voice her criticisms. So here’s the funny part – she is now “quietly and secretly” selling his/her site when she spent so much time being jealous of criticizing my sale.

Cash Quests Sale

 

I Haven’t Read CashQuests In Months

Being that I haven’t read Kumiko’s site in months, I’m not sure if there’s still some controversy about whether Kumiko is really a female or a male. I’ve subtly suspected the later as well as many others, but that should actually be a compliment to Kumiko. As we all know the internet and especially the “make money online” niche is very male dominated and if Kumiko’s writing quality and knowledge is good enough for people to think that a male is running the site, then koodos to CashQuests.

Overall CashQuests Is A Good Site

Regardless of the debate about the owner, Cash Quests really is a good site. Here are the things I’ve enjoyed and respected about it:

  • Writing has been quality from the first day.
  • Consistency of writing has been great. It is rare to see this type of perseverence these days as blogs come and go daily, but Cash Quests has consistently posted good, quality content.
  • Each post is very well thought out.
  • Resiliance – even after getting banned from adsense very early in Kumiko’s blogging career, she has continued to add different revenue sources to get her monthly earnings over $1300 per month. That’s a great accomplishment.

There are many lessons to be learned from what Cash Quests has done. Congratulations on the sale and good luck to the new owner. I’m sure the high quality writing will continue.

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Which Level Of Difficulty Is Right For You?

Posted by Jane on September 10th, 2007

The online world has tons of opportunities for you to educate, share and grow your revenue. With each money making opportunity comes varying forms of difficulty, barriers to entry, and levels of creativeness required. For those who can master thinking outside the box, there certainly are plenty of ways to monetize your ideas and grow your income significantly.

I Am Just Like You

I started seriously pursuing making money online opportunities about one year ago, but have dabbled with selling products on ebay going as far back as 1998 (haven’t we all? :) . Last summer I stumbled across John Chow’s blog when he was first hitting Digg every week and was just barely turning his blog into an income source. At the time I was very impressed with his $1000 – 2000 revenue months. To be honest, I was amazed.

Last month John brought in almost $18,000.  One site, one man, $18,000.  Unbelievable right? Here’s a screen shot of the revenue breakdown:

John Chow's Monthly Revenue

Six months ago, I would have answered yes. Today I can honestly say that all you need is creativity and you can also reach these levels. Some methods take more risk than others, but this level of income can be reached with several different methods.

What Do You Mean By “Creativity Can Make You Money?”

Here’s an example – remember last month John Chow eliminated his 300 x 250 adsense ad block and offered it up for private sale? In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it happened something like this (exact $ amounts are probably off but I don’t want to go back and find them). John offered the ad for ~$1000/mo. Someone bought it and flipped it for ~$1500/mo. Then that person flipped it or monetized it to bring in ~$15,000/mo. Again, the details might be a bit off, BUT the point is that these people were readers of John Chow dot com and understood the value his ad space has. They took a large risk to initially buy that ad from John. They combined their intelligence and creativity to make a nice profit.

Can anyone do something like that? Absolutely NOT. You have to be aware of how the online industry works, keep up with trends and valuations, read your butt off, spend hours testing your ideas and THEN, you CAN make transactions like these or create large revenues.

How To Find Your Profitable Niche

We all prefer one thing over another when it comes to online opportunities and that is a good thing. The key is to enjoy the area you decide to pursue. For example – I don’t have my own blog because I don’t really like to write on a daily basis and I don’t have the extra time to write for an hour or two per day, so I eliminated the thought of making money via a blog. On the other hand, marketing and advertising have always appealed to me. I took much of what I’ve learned from the countless hours of reading, researching, designing and testing sites, and applied it to the world of affiliate marketing.

Last month (Aug 1 – 31), my revenue matched John Chow’s revenue but from a completely different method. This will be the first and last time I publish revenue numbers because I’m here to try to provide ideas to help DWI readers generate revenue, but I know seeing numbers can motivate people to see that the opportunities do exist.

 

I encourage you to think about which online activity you enjoy the most. Then call on all the hours of material you have learned through this blog and the few other good ones and create a strategy on how you can tie everything together. It takes a strong desire and patience, but it can be done.

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A Blogger’s Worst Mistake! Routines Count!

Posted by Jane on August 7th, 2007

In the middle of June when I launched a new blog, I wrote about a blogger’s worst nightmare. Today, I’m going to write about a blogger’s worst mistake!

On Tuesday morning, I arrived back in the UK from my two week business trip. It was a fun trip, with the Web hosting conference, HostingCon, at the center.

While I was there, the plan was for me to record a couple of video blogs and write each day for my own blog. In fact, the *real* plan was to record a vlog from the highway when my business partner and I drove to Chicago for the conference (just because it would have been cool.).  However, as is quite often the case with trips like these, I barely had time to breathe, let alone write record vlogs and write blog posts. The only point where I had time to record a vlog came after I left my laptop power cable in the Chicago hotel (We were five hours away in Sandusky, Ohio by the time I realized)!

So, now that I’m back and I’ve had my 18 hours of sleep to get over the jet lag, it’s time to start writing blog posts again. However, I have found it *incredibly* hard to come up with ideas for new posts, and even harder to find the motivation to write about the things I want to write about.

The fact is, before I went away, I was in a routine. I would work my Web design and hosting job from 9am-9pm, then I would take the time to write a blog post. But for two weeks I haven’t been able to do that, which has resulted in that routine boarding another ship and going as far away from me as possible! Since I started blogging two months ago, it has been very hard. However, coming back to daily blogging after blogging only three times in a two week period has been the hardest challenge for me so far.

The single, worst possible mistake a blogger can make is breaking their blogging routine

There’s no question about it. When you break your routine for a lengthy period like I did, there is nothing harder than getting back in to that routine.

It’s like when you go to the gym. You may go to the gym four times a week, then you go on vacation for two weeks. When you return, it is incredibly hard to get back in to that four times a week routine.

Of course, the solution to this problem is simply not to break the routine. Until I came back to the UK on Tuesday, I didn’t realize how breaking my routine was such a big problem. Now I know, and I’ll never do it again!

However, if you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation, the only advice I’m able to give is to chew it up as a lesson learned and force yourself to write that first blog entry. Earlier today, I wrote my first entry since arriving back home and all of a sudden the ideas for new blog posts were flowing around my head. In the half hour it took for me to research my blog post, write it and publish it, I came up with three new titles for blog posts.

As the Nike slogan goes… “just do it!” The hard part is taking that first step. Once you have, you’ll feel like you’ve never been away.

Have you ever broken your blogging routine? How did it affect you?

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Everyone Needs A Keyword Tool!

Posted by Jane on August 1st, 2007

This is a continuation to the Keyword Analysis series I recently did. Now that I have walked you through 3 phases of doing a keyword analysis, what do you do next???

Well, after you put together your keyword list, the next step is to use a keyword tool and other services that are available for webmasters. Looking at a keyword tool will enable you to discover additional terms you haven’t thought of before and help you determine which terms are most important. Essentially, it’s looking at which terms are used most often by people looking for your website or keywords.

Both free and paid versions of keyword tools are available. For the most part, free products are all you really need when first starting out, but there are some really good tools out there that you can pay for. Two good ones that come to mind are Google External Keyword Tool and WordTracker. For the more advanced bloggers, these are great options to check out. If you do have the extra cash, I recommend that you fork over the dough and use Wordze, one of the world’s top search engine keyword tool.

Free Keyword Tools

And now for the freebies, the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool is a great option. Overture is a PPC service. Overture is a free tool that allows you to see how often a search term is used each month.

Here’s how to find and best use this tool:

  1. Point your browser to http://inventory.overture.com/.
  2. Type a search term and press Enter.

That’s it! The tool tells you how often that term was searched for during the previous month. The number isn’t too important, but what it does tell you is that some keywords are more popular than others. For instance, if one word was searched for 35,000 times last month, and another one for 10,000, you can be sure that the first term is the most important one.

Overture provides other search terms, too. It looks for similar and related terms, lists them, and also provides the number of times that those terms were searched for. This can also help you come up with additional terms for your list.

Other keyword tools

http://www.iwebtool.com

Iwebtool is great because it gives you multiple webmaster tools, not just a keyword tool. For example, the site provides you with a pagerank predictor, link popularity, keyword suggestions, keyword density checker, and much more. It’s one of the better free tools you can get.

Google Webmasters is also a great tool to use if you have a blog, website or an online business that you are want to SEO.

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Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis Part III

Posted by Jane on July 27th, 2007

This will be the last post of the Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis series.  I left you with part II of doing a Keyword Analysis where I explained the differences and opportunities there are by having misspelled words.   Today I want to briefly talk about other keyword considerations as you are finalizing your keyword list.

Hyphenated words

Let’s go back to your list of keywords that we’ve been working with throughout this series.  Take a look at it and see if you have any hyphenated words on your list that could be used without the hyphen, or vice versa. Some terms are commonly used both ways, so find out what people are searching most for and stick to that one.  Here are two examples:

Two terms that come to mind are ecommerce and e-commerce.  Both of these words are fairly similar in how many people search for these terms.  A little over 50 percent of searches using the latter term.

The dash in “e-mail” is far less frequently used, with “email” being the most common term.

Essentially, find hyphenated words, add both forms to your list, and decide which one is more common because search engines treat them as different searches.

Web Tip:

Search engines generally treat a hyphen as a space. So searching for sock-puppets is the same as searching for sock puppets. However, there is a real big difference between e-commerce and ecommerce.

Geo-specific terms

Geo stands for Geography.  Is you website or business heavily reliant on geography? Are you selling shirts in Seattle or socks in New Mexico? Don’t forget to include terms that include your city, state, or other nearby cities.

A good example of this is Nate Whitehill.  He’s based out of Arizona and advertises his Infinfx web hosting business as Scottsdale Web Design & Hosting.  If you do a google search for “Scottsdale Web Hosting” Infinfx shows up #2 for that search.

Other company names

If people will likely be searching for companies similar to yours, add those companies and products to your list. That’s not to say you should use these keywords in your pages. But it’s nice to know what people are looking for and how often they’re looking.  It’s a competitive analysis sort of speak.

If anyone else has different strategies as to how they do their analysis, I’d love to hear about them.  I am always learning new things everyday :-)

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Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis Part II

Posted by Jane on July 25th, 2007

I’ve received a lot of great feedback on the Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis post I wrote about a week ago. I want to expand on that post and take a closer look at your keyword list once you have actually put it down on paper. Now that you have done your brainstorm, looked at access logs, looked at competitors, and asked friends for their feedback on what they would search for, lets get down to business.

After putting together that initial list, you should go through it looking for more obvious keywords to include. Don’t dwell on this if you’re struggling because all you’re doing is creating a draft list to run through a keyword tool. This tool will show you how many people are actually typing in those keywords that you have on your list into search engines. The higher the number that shows up on those results, the more people are searching for that keyword and the more popular it is.

Obvious Spelling Mistakes

Scan through your list and see if you can think of any obvious spelling mistakes. Some spelling mistakes are pretty important, with 10, 15, or even 20 percent of all searches containing the word being misspelled, sometimes even more! For example, the word calendar is misspelled a lot! About thirty percent of all searches on the word calendar are misspelled!

Web Idea:

If the traffic from a misspelled word is high, you may want to create a page on your site that uses that misspelling. Or even better, create a separate domain for that specific misspelling and use it as a landing page for some sort of affiliate marketing campaign. Some sites contain what I call “Duh” pages. Basically, Duh pages are those that have misspellings in the TITLE tags, which can work very well. These don’t have to be pages that tons of people see. After all, the only people who will see the misspelled titles in a search results page are those who misspelled the words in the first place! So they’ll never know its wrong :-)   Kinda evil huh..hehe

Synonyms

Sometimes similar words are easily missed. If your business is a home-related business, for instance, have you thought about the term house? Americans may easily overlook this word, using home instead, but other English-speaking countries use the word often. Still, add it to the list because you may find quite a few searches related to it.

Split or merged words

You may find that although your URL name is one word — SockPuppets, for example, most people are searching for you using two words, Sock and Puppets. Remember to consider your reader’s point of view.

Also, some words are used in two ways. Some people use the term knowledgebase, while others use knowledge base. Which is better? Both should be on your list, but knowledge base is used around four to five times more often than knowledgebase (and if you type into a Word document, most likely it will be underlined as one word. If you optimize your pages for knowledgebase, you’re missing out on around 80 percent of the traffic!  Pretty big!

Web Tip:

You don’t need to worry about upper- versus lowercase. You can use sock or Sock or SOCK, for example. Most search engines aren’t case sensitive. If you search for sock (and probably almost 90 percent of all searches are in lowercase), virtually all search engines will find Sock or SOCK— or sOCK or SOck, for that matter.

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Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis

Posted by Jane on July 17th, 2007

With any blog or website that is trying to increase their traffic there has to be a keyword analysis done. What is a keyword analysis? Well, it’s a check of what keywords people use to search on the web. If you don’t do this, you are losing on some valuable potential traffic. Imagine spending hundreds of hours optimizing your site for a keyword you think is good and you find out that another keyword or phrase gets two or three times the traffic. I don’t know about you, but that would tick me off.

What to do first

Identify the obvious keywords. Start by brainstorming the keywords that first come to mind. When brainstorming, include keywords that you have already thought of, or, if you haven’t started yet, the ones that come to mind first. After you write them down, take a few minutes and look the list over. Is there anything else you can add? What similar terms come to mind? Add them, too.

When you do your analysis, you’ll find that some of the initial terms you think of aren’t searched for very often, but that’s okay. This list is just the start, what else are brainstorms for right :-)

Look at your site’s access logs. Take a quick look at your web site’s access logs (this is usually found on your stats program. It is often called hit logs). You may not realize it, but most stat tracking programs show you the keywords entered into a search engine that brings people to your site. Write these keywords and phrases down because they are the ones that are bringing people to your site.

Here’s an example:

Sample Access Log

If you look at the Query, that is what someone entered into Google before coming to Daily Web Ideas. This is great because I know what people are searching for and I know what keywords to target. From this example, I would consider using “Web Idea” and “Network” as some potential keywords for this site. And having Web Ideas in the domain of this website, that can only help.

Examining competitors’ keyword tags. You probably know who your competitors are, if you don’t you should. Know what is popular in your niche and what to emulate. What you want to do is go to their sites and open the source code of a few pages at each site. You do this by choosing “View Source” from your browser’s menu bar to get a sneak peek. Look for the <META NAME=”keywords”> tag and see if you find any useful keywords there. If the blog has an All-in-one SEO plugin, this is where you will see it. Often the keywords are garbage, or simply not there, but if you look at enough sites, you’re likely to come up with some useful terms you hadn’t thought of.

Here is an example of what a source code and keywords looks like (if you can see it):

HTML Source Code

 

As you can tell, this information isn’t seen on the actual web site, but only in the coding. So a human eye can’t see these keywords, but robots sure can.

Brainstorming with colleagues. Another method of identifying keywords is by talking with friends and colleagues to see if they can come up with some possible keywords. Ask them something like, “If you were looking for a site (what ever site you have), what terms would you search for?” That should get you to a good start.

How do some of you identify your keywords and how do you do your keyword analysis?

I will be continuing this post in Part II. Stay tuned.

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7 Ways To Increase Your PageRank

Posted by Jane on July 16th, 2007

PageRank. The illustrious tool from Google Stanford University that formed the basis of Google. A man (and a women. Sorry Jane!) should always know the tools with which they work, so a little background info before I carry on. ‘PageRank’ is the brain-child of Stanford student and Google founder, Larry Page. Hence the name PageRank. PageRank wasn’t initially intended to be used on the World Wide Web. In fact, it was PageRank which sparked the idea of Google. A new form of search engine, which allows it’s users to rank content and therefore control search results (Web 2.0 in 1995, anybody?).

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weight to each hyperlinked document. Kinky, eh? Maybe Jeff Kee may think so, but I don’t. At least not on the face of it. But what we really have with PageRank is a tool that allows us, the Google users, to control the results that are outputted by the search engine. That means, unlike the general conscientious, Google isn’t operated by robots that crawl our Web sites. Quite the contrary. It is in fact controlled by us. It is that reason, that targeted humans really control the results, that Google is the No.1 search engine on the Internet. No robots guessing at what the best results are. No humans sat in a cube guessing what results are best. The results are driven by real world recommendations from targeted Web site users. But as bloggers, how do we use this complex yet powerful tool?

Links Links Links

PageRank is all about incoming links. In short, the more Web sites that link to your Web site, the higher your PageRank is going to be. But that’s just the start. Each link to your Web site is given a particular “weight” (value). This value is determined by the PageRank of the Web site that is linking to you.

For example, a link from a Web site with a PageRank of 6 which links to your site will carry far more weight than a Web site with a PageRank of 2 which links to your site. The more each link weighs, the higher your PageRank is going to be.

As we have come to expect from Google, it doesn’t even stop there. As well as looking at incoming link volume and the PageRank of those incoming links, Google also uses text-matching techniques to determine how relevant the Web site linking to you is to your Web site. A PageRank 5 Web site about football linking to a Web site about football is far more useful, in PageRank terms, than a PageRank 5 Web site about football which links to a Web site about real estate.

Of course, all of this information is useful because Google uses PageRank to determine the results it displays when somebody searches for a key word or phrase. All other variables aside, if somebody searched for “football”, a Web site about football with a PageRank of 5 will rank higher than a PageRank 4 Web site.

How can we improve our own PageRank?

  • Write Blog Comments – There are an ever increasing number of blog owners who are removing the “nofollow” tags from links in comments. By posting comments on these blogs, your PageRank will increase (There’s another business idea, by the way. A Web site which displays a list, split in to topic categories, of blogs with “nofollow” removed from comments. I’ll let somebody else start that one!).
  • Purchase text link ads – Purchasing text link ads doesn’t have to be expensive. Spend $30 a month to get two or three links from some PageRank 4/5 Web sites. Web site owners will often publish adverts on forums such as WebHostingTalk and SitePoint to try and find new advertisers for their Web site, so keep an eye on the forums to find new places to advertise.
  • Order a Review – Not only are these great ways to generate targeted traffic, but they are also a great way to get a good link to your site.
  • Exchange links with related Web sites – Contact Web site owners and ask to exchange links. This usually works better when you already have some established PageRank, because you’ll have more to offer.
  • Post on Forums – Most forums allow links in signatures to be followed by Google. Post enough on a relevant forum with a good PageRank, and you’ll reap the rewards.
  • Web Site Network – If you have several Web sites, link to each site from all your Web sites. I have about five main Web sites which I link to each time I create a new site. By doing that, I usually receive a PageRank of 4 straight away.
  • Quality Content – Eventually, writing quality content is going to generate a buzz and other bloggers will link to your site without you even asking.

What’s a good PageRank?

Generally, a PageRank of 4 is relatively easy to achieve and is what most people end up at. A ranking of 5 isn’t too far fetched for the average user, but probably qualifies as being just above your average PageRank. A rank of 6 puts you on par with John Chow. Generally, the step from five to six is very hard, and the step from six to seven and above is almost unheard of unless you’re the New York Times, MSN, Amazon etc.

Now might be a good time to generate those incoming links. Apparently, Google is on the verge of doing another public PageRank update. If you’re looking to get a prediction of what your PageRank will be next time an update occurs, check out the IWebTool.com PageRank Prediction tool. Nobody is really sure how accurate it is (Google don’t release all its information about PageRank, so we can only go on what very little we know). However, Kevin at BloggingTips aims to find out how accurate this tool is. Even if it doesn’t come close, it makes for some good fun.

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3 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid Like The Plague

Posted by admin on July 13th, 2007

In my experience as a blogger, I have learned the hard way of the common mistakes that many bloggers do when they are beginning or when they are trying to make money online from their blog.  I want to list a couple and save you some time trying to figure out why your traffic isn’t consistent or no one is returning to your site.

1. Inconsistent Publishing.  Establishing a goal for yourself prior to writing your first post should be the first thing you do.  Nobody knows when you will be publishing your next post other than yourself.  Having people guess when you have new content is an extra obstacle you are putting in front of your readers blocking the way to your site and being engaged.  You want it to be as easy for someone to come to your site and read new content as possible.  Readers should be able to anticipate when and how often updates occur.

For most blogs, daily updates are probably best, but weekly updates work as well, depending on your topic.  Keep in mind that the less frequent you post, the better quality your posts have to be if you want your readers to return.  That’s like you promoting a party for next Friday; people show up on Friday and they see you sitting on the sofa, party hat on your head, popcorn dish in your hand, and an alarm clock for a radio.  Not much of a party if you ask me.  And you can bet I won’t be coming back to the next one you have.  In either case, pick a posting schedule and stick to it.

If you usually post daily but sometimes let weeks go by without new content, you’ll lose a lot of readers.  A way to battle against writer’s block is to use the time when you are motivated and have tons of ideas to create drafts for future posts.  That way you have them in your manage folder and you can just time-stamp them for those stagnant times.

2. Having A Wide Range Of Topics.  If you haven’t really focused on a niche yet and you’re across the board with different topics, you probably are less likely to attract and maintain a loyal reader base. You might hit on a topic that interest many people, but unless you have similar content that retains the reader and encourages them to come back, that’s probably the last time you’ll ever see that person on your blog.  You may luck out and you may attract those people with too much time on their hands. I wouldn’t mind having those people here on my blog, but the more focused your content, the more focused your readers. The more focused your readers, the more influence you have in your niche. If you have the urge to write about both American politics and the affiliate marketing, then establish two blogs because the same people are not going to like the other topics.

3. Remember Your Kids Will One Day Read Your Posts.  Whenever you post anything to the Internet, regardless of where it is (blog, forum, MySpace), think about how it will look to your children ten or fifteen years down the road. Once stuff’s out, it’s archived, cached, and indexed in many places that you might never be aware of.  Years from now, a college picture you took of yourself while running the “naked mile” across campus might turn up somewhere unexpected.  Why risk having some offensive nasty flames published under your name?  Keep it safe to attract readers.  Although there are plenty of websites out there that are not safe and get tons of traffic.  It’s all about image and the image you want to portray online.Think twice before posting. If you don’t want your future (or current) kids to read it, don’t post.

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