Archive for December, 2008
You might have noticed the new header photo at the top of all the pages. I’m trying to remain seasonal with the look of things, but I’m fairly sure that’s going to backfire when I get caught up with projects and I’m still wishing you all a Happy Easter during the dog days of August.
Ah, well. It’s Christmas now and even tho Enchanted Airlie is over, there’s a Flickr group with some nice photos. Just try to pretend that most of them weren’t taken in 70 degree weather.
Inspired by some horrors I’ve seen this past month. Good SEO is not:
- Stuffing the description meta tag with so many keywords that it looks like jibberish
Really, aren’t we past the days of this? Stuffing is the reason why the keyword meta tag is pretty much useless anymore, so why are we trying to destroy the description tag? Furthermore, this actually shows up in the search results for people to see. Do you really want to look like you have no command of the English language?
- Having two meta description tags
Sloppy… Just sloppy.
- Building hidden link pages that are only linked to from other hidden link pages on other url’s
It doesn’t technically violate Google’s guidelines, but it certainly isn’t in the spirit of keeping them. If you have a hidden link page on your site that looks like a mini link farm, I’d be expecting the Google Police to be taking away privileges or putting you in a time out.
- Pointless internal linking designed to influence page rank & not help visitors
Multiple links at the bottom of pages that all point to the same pages… that’s a no-no.
- And here’s the big one: Targeting key-phrases that no human being will ever type into a search engine
There are several keyphrase research tools out there, so there’s no excuse for this one except for someone to say, “Hey, look! You’re ranked #1 for ‘Wilmington, NC repair of Motor Vehicles” when most people are searching for, “Mechanic in Wilmington, NC”.
Here is a quote from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:
Quality guidelines – basic principles
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
- Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
Now, all this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build without search engines in mind. Man, that would be just goofy. However, it also doesn’t mean that you should be building your site for search engines at the expense of your visitors. Remember the rule of thumb above, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
I got the below item from Chris Andrews at City Buddha today (disclosure: City Buddha is a client) :
I would like to take this last oppourtunity to remind all of you about the fundraiser we’ve been having here at City Buddha.
We’ve joined forces with some of our fellow downtown business’ to help provide a little support to two very important organizations here in the Wilmington area. We’re accepting womens and childrens clothing, as well as personal type items for the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services. In addition to them, we’re also accepting pet items for the Pender County Humane Society(a no-kill shelter), pet food, collars, used blankets(can be used as bedding), as well as monitary donations for either group.
We know it’s tuff times for all of us, but please consider those who are less fortunate then us, and let’s try to pitch in. In return for helping out, we here at City Buddha are willing to give you 5% off your entire purchase for every item you donate, up to 8 items(or 40% off). Also for every purchase you make with donations, we’ll give you an entry for a chance to win a free nite stay at the Wilmingtonian B & B, a gift certificate at Caffe’ Phoenix, and a gift basket fillied with goodies for you to enjoy! Other partcipating business’ include,
Dog Gone Crazy
Edge Of Urge
So you can also go into any of these business and take advantage of various discounts with them as well. The drawing for the above mentioned prizes will be held this Sunday, Dec.21st, at 3:00pm at Slice of Life, 122 Market St. and Mayor Bill Saffo will be there to draw the lucky winner!
So again, you have thru this Sunday,to take advantage of this discount reward, and a chance to enter the contest. But more importantly, let’s try to help these people and animals out.
Chris Andrews / City Buddha
… and testing to see if I broke things.
I need to test the image upload as well, so this is my new twitter wallpaper… feel free to take and use as your own.
That’s me looking like I just broke into my own truck on Google Street View. Man, how did I shut the door on my seat belt?
Wilmington (as well as a heck of a lot of other places) has been added to Google Street View. Real Estate Agents, rejoice.
I was browsing through the racks at Barnes & Noble one evening when this guy standing next to me strikes up a conversation.
Stranger Dude: “One of your parents is Japanese, right?”
Me: “Um, yes. My mother is.”
And so we talk a little bit. He was of Japanese descent and worked as an engineer at one of the local manufacturers in town. ‘Seemed like a nice enough guy. I though maybe he just struck up the conversation because we had something in common. Then he gave me his card and said,
“I’ve got this side marketing business that I’m starting. Give me a call sometime. Maybe we can meet and I can go over it with to you.”
I was instantly deflated. I think I might have thrown his card away on the way out the door because I knew that “marketing business” was code for Amway. They would never say it was Amway because the training literature told them not to, but it was still Amway.
Here is the problem with participation in most all Multi-Level Marketing; It forces you to turn every single one of your personal relationships into a mark, it reduces your friendships to potential clients, and it makes you look at strangers as revenue streams and not as human beings.
I’ve got to confess that many times I feel the same way about some people that I see marketing their wares on Social Media sites.
It’s not that I have a problem with people mentioning things about their business or throwing in the occasional link to something that they are trying to sell. What bothers me are the abusers; the ones that are on social media sites not because of the human interaction, but solely for the chance to make some money.
These people are easy to spot. They sign up for Twitter accounts and start out following over 1000 people before they make their first tweet. They never respond to a message unless they can throw a link in to something and they never disclose that they are getting a percentage of the sale on that new product they are recommending as the solution to your woes.
It’s all very schlocky and it has nothing to do with the spirit of community that is such a large component of what makes social media successful. It’s neither genuine nor honest.
It’s my belief that all good marketing tells a story and marketing online is no different. We get enough of “Buy now and change your life!” from the TV-Industrial complex. Shouldn’t Social Media be something different?
Please tell me that I’m not the only person completely creeped out by this commercial. If my thumbs start to read what I’m texting, I think it’s time for professional help & some serious meds.
I got a email from Ty Downing last month asking me if I was willing to participate on a website review panel at this month’s SEO meeting. Without hesitation, I said “yes”… not realizing at the time that it meant I would have to get up in front of people and actually try to sound intelligent.
I think I might have pulled it off at least half way. I was ok until near the end when someone asked a question about all Flash websites. Suddenly, I became a raving lunatic.
I don’t consider SEO to be my strong area. There are some things I do as a designer to make my sites more search engine friendly like avoiding table based layouts and using the proper tags in the proper places. However, I really consider that as a base for guys like Ty to come in and work their magic.
A big high five to Ty and the other panel members (Jason Conway & Megan Criss) for organizing this and passing along some very good information to those who attended.
If you’re interested in attending future events, check out the Wilmington Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing Group on meetup.com.