Google Gunning For Directories?
Why is it that webmasters are so quick to blame Google if their website falls down the search rankings, or out of the rankings altogether? Can it never be their own fault?
I read an amusing forum post headed "What's up with Google?". The writer had a website just 2 months old, which had only had 2 visits from Googlebot, a Google robot. The poster was a bit grieved, and was blaming Google.
It seems they had extrapolated their own situation into one they had witnessed with other webmasters on another forum. They were also upset, this time by Google's latest update, as their websites had been badly hit. Of course, the drop way down the rankings had seriously affected their income; what right had Google to do that to them, they were demanding to know?
So grieved were this group of webmasters they were trying to drum up support for a boycott of Google. Big G was too big for its boots and was going to be brought down by these few innocent souls. Who were they trying to kid, apart from themselves?
What was it these webmasters had in common that brought them together in this "bring down Google" brigade? Apparently, their websites were directories.
Now, let's apply some intelligent marketing thought to this little situation as Google faces obliteration by a few small directory owners. As a company, Google has a tendency to get its basic marketing right, eventually. In the case of search, its customers are those using the Google search facility, as many millions of us do every day. So, Google's first duty, when someone makes a search on a particular keyword or phrase, is to supply a list of what it considers the best websites for that search. Does that make Google the big bad monster? No, of course not; it's trying to look out for its search customers.
I have been searching on the internet for many years. If ever I have searched for the omnipresent "widgets", then it has been "widgets" I have typed in. Not once in my memory have I typed in "widget directory." I have never even wanted to use a directory online; they take too long drilling down to find anything useful. As for the proliferation of online directories recently, they are often junk sites, using some automation software to create them in the first place. Many have been set up to deceive search engine robots into "thinking" they are valuable sites.
It is absolutely no surprise that Google has found a way of homing in on directories, if that is what they have done, and given them a shove down the rankings with their latest algorithm change. If their customer does a search on a keyword or phrase, that's what they are looking for. They are not looking for a directory which, more often than not, is just a whole load of other links that may be related. I find such sites extremely irritating if I'm searching; am I the only one? I doubt it; people want to get directly to a site that has information on what they are looking for; something with added value.
No directory owner has the divine right to syphon off Google's hard won search customers. Google is doing a decent job at marketing: trying to look after its customers. The directory owners calling for a boycott of Google are doing no such thing. They had found a way of getting high rankings, and now that method may have gone down the pan.
It is up to webmasters to do their own marketing, and Google is an important part of our market place. In the long run, we need to see Google as a customer and partner, as it sees us a customer and partner. Google is actually a very helpful company to webmasters, Google Sitemaps being a recent example of their desire to co-operate.
While some blinkered webmasters may see Google as an enemy (friend when they have a high ranking), it is up to the rest of us to try and apply some basic marketing practice. That means understanding what Google is looking for and trying to supply that need. After all, that is what Google does so successfully. We can all learn something.
Just look at Google's Home Page. The message is: "Ok, we know you're here to search, so get on with it. Here's the search box."
The message is not: "Hello, look at my pretty page. Do you like my Flash, and my clever graphics? And what about those links all over the place, aren't they nice? You want to search? Hang on a minute, there's lots of pictures for you to look at lower down, and how about going off to read about loads of other products. Oh, alright, you want to search; there's a search box somewhere; near the bottom I think. You'll find it?.eventually."
The secret of real marketing is to understand your marketplace as it is, and how it is likely to develop. Google has made it obvious for a long time what they want; quality content that fills the needs of their search customers.
Hands up anyone who's really searching for a directory?
This Google search engine article was written by Roy Thomsitt, owner and author of the Change Direction website.
King + Queen = Royal Success
Ever wonder how or why your competitor gets better search engine rankings than you do? Does he know something you don't? Well, maybe he actually does?And that's where I come in. I'm here to unveil the secret tricks of the trade that may be giving your competitor that much-needed edge in search engine rankings and to show you how you can reclaim your position without skipping a beat. Quite simply, I am going to give you the key to unlocking the secret chest of information that your competition is using to get better rankings.
Get Listed in Google Without Submitting Your Site
With Google delivering so much traffic, it is only normal to be eager to submit your page and have it indexed as soon as possible. However, submitting your page is not your only option, and it's not the best one. If this sounds strange keep reading.
Why Is SEO So Important To Your Site?
You have heard the phrase LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. But wait, this is online! You don't have to worry about location... or do you??!! Location is everything! Let's take a moment to really think about this. You need to find something. What do you do? Most people will go to their favorite search engine and input what they are searching for. They will type in a few words that describe what they are looking for. The Search Engines come back with the most relevant websites for your search. However, your search for a keyword can result in thousands of links (if not millions).
Do You Submit Your Website To All The Search Engines?
There is really only one search engine to worry about submitting too and that is Google and you should only submit one page your main once and maybe a sitemap a week later but never more than once a week. If you have a link coming to your new site from a site that is currently listed in Google then Google will find you quicker.
Directories and Their Importance for Search Engine Rankings
.com Not Listed in Regional Yahoo? Don?t Despair!
If you're a non-American business with a .com web address, and your regional Yahoo ranking is important to you, then my story might interest you.
Breaking the Myth About Page Rank (PR)
The most difficult challenge most web designers face is getting traffic to your site. There are plenty of companies who promise to send traffic your way. Sadly, most of this traffic is not qualified. Yes, your hit counter will move higher, however, if its not qualified, you may find you have unhappy visitors to your site. Unhappy visitors will not click on your ads or purchase your products.
5 Qualities to Look for in a Search Engine Optimization Program for Your Website
These days with millions of websites out there, you need a way to get noticed. When your company website is ranked highly in the major search engines, customers from all over the world can find your front door. suddenly, your virtual storefront becomes prime business property and you are making sales 24/7.
META Tags Explained and How To Use Them For Ranking
The META tags are used to provide extra information about a web page. There was once a time where a good search engine ranking could be achieved by simply changing the value of the META tags. However these days are long gone. Nowadays the META Tags are decreasing in importance in the eyes of the search engines who are using more sophisticated methods of ranking pages (namely link popularity, optimized anchor text).
The Search Engine Optimization Game Is Getting Tricky
For more than 4 years now I have been modifying my work from home based web sites trying to optimize for the major search engines, Especially Goggle. Today with much disappointment I have come to the realization that search engine traffic alone will not make me rich. Yes my search engine rankings are now worse today than when I started 4 years ago.
The Matrix Help For Keyphrase Analysis
Keyword analysis is a major part of search engine marketing.Choose the right key phrase,check the market and calculate the ROI in terms of time and money.
SEO Expert Explains on how to Restore a Website and Remove Sandbox Effect from Your Website
The sandbox effect or (site getting banned on google) has been prevalent in google for quite a long time, and many websites are falling victim to it.
The Google Sandbox ? A Frustrating Inevitability or a Golden Opportunity?
Google - PR & Backlinks
Here are some observations that I have made recently:
Utilizing Popular Directories as Free Link Sources
If you're a webmaster, you've probably spent almost as much time going after link exchanges as actually building your website. Gaining in-bound links, especially from websites with a higher PageRank than your own, can increase your own PageRank on Google, and help your site attain a better overall ranking in Google search results. Proposing link exchanges with other sites that have similar content to your own is a good idea, but the process can be terribly time consuming. So what else can you do?
Keyword Research Made Simple!
Keyword Research is the first task in optimizing your web site and pay-per-click campaign. Here you need to know what keywords your target group is using.
Search Engine Optimization :: The Basics and Why Websites Need It
We all know that the most targeted traffic we can get for our websites is from search engines. If you have a little patience and time to set websites the right way you can have a great source of excellent traffic and, best of all, you get it for free.
Reciprocal Linking Scams, What to Look for and How to Avoid Them
Reciprocal linking scams have increased immensely during the past year. Initially we thought that this problem only related to gambling and casino related websites but an audit of our commercial link partners suggests that it is a serious problem within the broader online community.Over the past eighteen months, we noticed that our page rank was slowly declining despite the fact that we were continually adding new link partners to our link directory. We had slipped from a five down to a two before we finally identified the exact cause of the problem.Out of the first 100 links on our anchor site, only seven were still being reciprocated. We recrawled the sites where no link was found with a second spider and got exactly the same result. Then we started manually checking the sites where no link back was found and started discovering patterns of deliberate link fraud. The scams in order of popularity amongst the scammers ?1. The link on the home page to the link directory remained but clicking on it or specific directory links produced a template style page with a few casino banners or simply a page with no directory content ? This scam was most popular with the owners of multiple domains with the .co.za and .co.uk suffixes2. The link on the home page to the link directory remained but clicking on gambling or casino related links returned a list of links to sites owned solely by the same person or company. The worst offenders in this group preferred domain extensions of .biz, .us and .md3. The link directory index page remained but the link directory had been severely pruned and most remaining links were to the site owners other sites or to casinos. This one is common across all suffixes.4. Links not clickable ? links to the directory and various pages within the directory remained intact. At the time of their link exchange campaign, their links were clickable but at some stage after that the code that makes the link clickable was removed and the site name was placed in bold text so at a glance it appeared to be a legitimate clickable link. This scam is most favored by sites that place a miniature screen shot of the index page of your site beside your back link.5. A variation of the previous scam. When you run your mouse pointer over the page, the 'links' change color but no URL displays in the search bar at the bottom of your browser window. Right click has been disabled on the page so that most people looking at the page cannot see the code. If you use Dreamweaver MX or later, highlight the part of the page you want to look at and then using Control C copy it to the clip board and then use Control V to paste it into the design side of a basic Dreamweaver page. When you click on code you can see what they were attempting to stop you seeing. It may work in the later versions of similar authoring programs. Worst offenders are a poker room and a media company operating out of India.6. One way link exchanges ? usually you are contacted by a search engine optimization company or the SEO person for a large group of websites offering you multiple one way link exchanges with half of their sites if you will link back to the other half of their sites. After a few weeks or months the links to your sites are deleted. The worst offender in this group is a prominent search engine optimization company located in India.7. Your link starts out on a page with fair page rank usually attached to a domain with high page rank. But after a few weeks is moved to a boon docks page with no page rank that will never be indexed. ? common amongst higher PR sites.8. The link directory is on another domain with no page rank. When you click on the link to the directory on the home page, always watch the bar in the bottom of your browser window and see that the link you clicked is in fact on the domain with which you are exchanging links ? watch especially for domain names that are very similar e.g. one letter different in the spelling or a .net instead of a .com and link pages that are hosted on the domain of a link management company. Also watch for redirects. If suspicious go back and click the link again. Often the redirected URL flashes up for only an instant or it just takes an inordinate time for the page to load compared to other pages on the site. If in doubt search for a site map - very popular with some owners of multiple bingo sites. 9. Sub domains of domains with no page rank. Sub domains are supposed to always rank lower than the parent domain. (Of late I have found a few sub domains with up to PR3 attached to a domain with no page rank) If the parent domain has a page rank of zero then link pages attached to that sub domain will almost always be zero so why trade a good link for a dud link?10. We have never fallen for any in this group but many novice webmasters do so regularly. Beware of high PR sites offering you a link exchange on one of their inconsequential internal pages with the same PR as your index page in return for you placing a graphic link to their index page on your index page. This is a deliberate attempt to steal your hard earned traffic. A variation of this one is they have a number of new sites listed on their index page each month and visitors are encouraged to vote for the site they consider to be the best and you are asked to ask your visitors to vote for your site at the high ranked domain. The purpose is still the same as in the first example in this group.11. We no longer trade links with sites using Linksmanager unless the link to our site is to be on a hard coded page. You can search in their search box for their link to your site and if they are still linking to you, your URL and site description will be returned but no information to show which page your link is on. Google usually indexes only a few pages in each category of dynamically generated link directories. If your link has not been added to an indexed page, it is unlikely to ever end up on one. When we had a large number of indexed back links, no link manager links were ever returned in a back link querry. 12. Be wary of link exchange requests from webmasters using anonymous e-mail addresses because when they delete your back link they also delete the anonymous e-mail address.13. Beware of webmasters with PR 5 or above sites offering you a link exchange with a high PR site and an inspection of their link directory suggests that your link will end up on a non indexed page i.e. a useless link that is unlikely to ever improve. If the link exchange was with a PR 2 or 3 site there is at least reasonable potential for the PR of the page to increase if the link directory has been fairly constructed.Reduce exposure to link scams To reduce your exposure to such scams it is essential to carefully vet all potential link partners in the first instance. Enter link back partner details in a database. As an absolute minimum, enter their URL, the location of the link back on their site, the page rank of the page on which your link is located, the date of the link exchange and a real e-mail address for the contact person.Use a good link checking program monthly and contact offenders as soon as you find your link is missing from their site. This is now essential to keep link partners honest. This problem is a direct consequence of the current page rank system and fierce competition for top rankings. It is easier to retain existing link partners than to continually find new ones. Points to look for when Assessing Potential Link Partners Before trading links, look carefully at the other site ?1. If there is no link to the link directory on the index page ?Reject. You will get no traffic from that site.2. Look at the structure of their link directory and count the number of clicks from their index page to where their link to you is likely to be located and then deduct that number from the PR of the site's index page. If that page is PR3 and there are three clicks to get to the page on which your link will be located, that page will have a PR0. That link will be worthless unless the site gets a minimum of a PR4.3. If you have not already done so, download Google's tool bar. If the page rank bar is grayed out, when you are looking at a site, never trade links with that site. The grey bar is said to indicate that the site is banned by Google. I do not know if that is true but I have only ever seen two sites produce grey bars. 4. A growing number of sites with dynamically generated link directories have no page rank on any link pages even though the directories are often constructed in such a way that you would expect the page to rank to be 2 points below the home page. I do not know how most are achieving this. The visible way is to have multiple folders and index pages leading to the links pages and the number of clicks from the home page destroys any potential page rank for the link page. A rare method is to add a no index command for the link directory in their robots.txt file. Just remember links to such sites are one way links from your site to their site. You give them a good link and they give you a worthless link. A link on a page with a PR0 is a non indexed link and carries no value regardless of the page rank of the index page of the site to which it is attached. When you do a back link check on your domain in Google, you will notice that very few links to your domain that are on Google indexed pages with a PR of less than four are returned in your list of back links. This is why I and others consider that Google now discounts the value of such links. For indexed pages, count the number of links on the page. The first factor in determining the value of the link is the page rank of the page on which it is located. The second factor is the number of links on the page. The value of the link to you is roughly the page PR divided by the number of links. Of course no one outside of a chosen few at Google knows the actual formula but that is a rough approximation and the reason most webmasters will not trade links with sites with more than 40 links to a page unless the page has a very high PR. A link on the bottom of a good content page is always better value than a link on a directory page as more people are likely to click on it. When on the receiving end of a link exchange request, do not hesitate to ask for your link to be placed on a specific page and do not hesitate to reject link requests from sites that do not adhere to basic acceptable linking practices.When considering link requests from new sites, look at any other sites that belong to or have been built by the webmaster proposing the link exchange. Most importantly, look to see if existing link pages have been indexed and the structure of the directory. This will be a good indicator of what to expect for the new site.When you create your own link directory, consider a hand edited directory with the links at the same level as the rest of the pages on your site. That way your link pages will be only one point below your index page and you will attract more link requests because of that. Many high PR sites will not trade links with you unless you can place their link back on a minimum of a PR4 page. That way you can start shooting for the top once your index page makes a 5 as opposed to a 7 with the way many link directories are set up.When you are shooting for the top, it helps you get those high pr links you need to make it to the top.
Do the Search Engines Know Your Website?
Are you considering a search engine promotion campaign to improve your website's search engine visibility? To aid in your decision, have you checked your website to determine its search engine awareness?
Design A Spider Friendly Site
To be successful in the search engines it's important to design your web site with the spiders in mind. Using the latest in web page design is not generally the best way to go. Spiders don't view web pages like humans do, they must read the HTML in the page to see what it's about. Below you will find tips on how to best design your web site with search engines in mind.
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