Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I recently watched the movie "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days" and
thought it was quite funny. The movie is about a girl who is going to write an
article on the Top 10 Mistakes women make in relationships. Women make these
mistakes and them ask themselves why the man has suddenly ditched them. It got
me thinking. I see websites make the same mistakes over and over again and then
ask why they have lost their rankings. Why they have been banned from Google. So
here we are! How To Lose Google In 10 Days. May not happen in 10 days but you
get the point.

1. Doorway Pages - Doorway Pages are pages that have been written
specifically for the search engines and not for humans. Doorway pages focus on
keyword phrase and not quality content. Then these pages want you to click here
to go to the page written for humans.

Quoted from Google "Google does not encourage the use of automatically
generated pages that are designed for search engines instead of users. We want
to point users to useful content pages, not to doorways or splash screens."

Notice that Google specifically mentions that they want their users to go to
useful content pages. Content is key with search engine optimization! Google
also mentions this again on the Webmaster Guideline Pages and states
"Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and
accurately describe your content."

2. Broken Links and Incorrect HTML Coding - We see alot of incorrect coding
with Yahoo Stores. Many owners will put head, body, and html tags in the caption
field of their store. This is a HUGE mistake. The Yahoo Store already has these
tags in place and by placing these tags in your caption field you are creating
duplicate tags. This can cause the search engines to be easily confused and not
index your page correctly or can cause the search engines to skip the page
entirely. We also see a META tag placed in the body section instead of the head
section and this can cause the search engine spider to ignore the tag. This will
reduce your relevancy and ranking.

There are several programs out there that will assist you with checking your
site for these common errors.

3. Using Dynamic Pages Instead of Static - If you decide to use dynamic pages
(i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every
search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to
keep the parameters short and the number of them few.

4. Hidden Text or Hidden Links - The use of hidden text or small text that is
unreadable to the eye looks very deceptive to the search engines. Anything
deceptive will get you banned quickly. Recently a friend of mine attended an
Ebay Event and they told her to get listed higher in Google write your text in
the same color as your background. WRONG! This will get you banned quickly. Do
not ever follow this advice. Write good content for your customers. They will
see the difference.

5. Not Having A Sitemap - Although this will not get you banned, it certainly
can hurt your rankings. A Sitemap will allow the search engines to find
all of the pages within your website quickly and easily.

Having a difficult time with your site map? Try Google Sitemap! It's free!

With Google Sitemaps you get:

  • Better crawl coverage to help
    people find more of your web pages

  • Fresher search results

  • A smarter crawl because you
    can provide specific information about all your web pages, such as when a
    page was last modified or how frequently a page changes

6. Duplicate Content - Again this is a deceptive practice. Google wants to
show unique results in the top 10. If you have 50 competitors using the same
information on each and every page, only 1 of you will get listed. But take the
time to create unique content for your pages and you will be moving up the
search engines in no time! This is mentioned twice in the Google Webmaster
Guidelines. Quoting Google again, "Avoid "doorway" pages created
just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as
affiliate programs with little or no original content."

7. Participating in Link Schemes - Exchanging links WAS a great way to have
your site found by the search engines. However, this was taken advantage of
severely by link farms. Don't get involved with link farms and link schemes.
Focus on getting nonreciprocal links for your website. Directories are an easy
way to accomplish this. Also write articles and include your website link in
your article. Submit your article to several different article directories such

8. Using Images Instead of Text - Search engines can not read images.
Although those buttons look great, they do nothing for you. Using buttons for
your navigation will only hurt you. You can use text and have your site look
great too! Use the button images as backgrounds and place the text on top of

9. Not Using Correct Title or Alt tags - Again google is looking for quality
and descriptive content that is relevant to your page. Let me repeat an
important part of that statement....relevant to your page. Let's say that right
now the number 1 search term is Joe Smith and you try to add Joe Smith to your
Title Tag and Alt Tags on a page that is about Tiffany Jones. Will this work?
No. It needs to be relevant.

10. Trying to Deceive the Search Engines - This can be done a number of ways.
Of which one of them is called "Spamming the Search Engines".
Basically over repeating keywords. Remember always that you are
writing for the humans and not the search engine bots.
Write clear information and give your readers (and the search engines) good
quality content.

If you think about it, keeping your Google rankings is alot like keeping a

You need to be honest and sincere

No cheating allowed

Be thoughtful and informative without nagging and repeating yourself

A relationship takes time to doesn't happen overnight

You have to always work on your relationship.

You MUST have patience


by: Shawna Seigel

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Monday, October 24, 2005
We recently discovered that our blog has not been sending out the emails as they should so we are reposting for our subscribers


The October Ystore Newsletter is now out and has exciting news about our new services that any Yahoo Store Owners have been asking about!

If your site is not ready for the Holiday Season, read our Newsletter for important updates that you can do to your site and bring in more sales!

Most store owners know that the way to get number one in the search engines is CONTENT! Content makes up for at least 60% of your search engine optimization grade. Are you updating your site adding new content weekly? If not and your competitor is, you are losing valuable SEO rankings! Why keep paying for clicks when you can have them coming to your site for free??

Check out our new content packages and link management programs! This is the first of it's kind for Yahoo Stores and we are excited about being the one and only RTML Programming company that offers this type of service!

Come visit this months newsletter at

Some of our recent postings include:

October YStore Newsletter

How Do I Remove Yahoo Shopping From My Navigation Bar

Affordable Small Business SEO + 5 Common Website Errors and How to Fix Them by Brian Carter

Blogs with Purpose Part 1

Christmas Season Is Coming Fast

by: Shawna Seigel

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Sunday, October 23, 2005
Looks like Google is back with an update again. Seems that it started around the 20th and is still continuing.

Some speculate that the update has been going on for some time now and that Google has been doing smaller updates instead of the usual big one.

We have been saying for several months to be EXTREMELY careful with reciprocal linking. To focus more on nonreciprocal links. We do hope you were listening!

"Looks like it is going to be an interesting week in SEO as I think we are looking at a Google algorithm update which some are claiming has hammered sites with lots of reciprocal links or that have most of their links with Link Vault or DigitalPoint Coop." as stated by

Each time Google Updates we hear the same things in the forums about how someones site lost page ranking or their site has fallen out of the search engines.

As store owners we must be able to ride the Google Update ride. MSN currently has a pagerank of 2. It happens to good sites! It also happens to sites that are deceiving the search engines.

For more information on the Jagger Update:

by: Shawna Seigel

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Friday, October 21, 2005

1 Choice 4 YStore October newsletter is packed full of information and tips for Yahoo Store Owners including:

Holiday Sales - Is your website ready? - Important Tips on Preparing Your Site

*How To Change Your Title Tag In Yahoo Store

*How To Change Your Keywords In Your Yahoo Store

*The next Google Update is coming soon. Is your site ready?

More Tips and Tricks for Running Your Yahoo Store - SEO Tips as well!

Also included:

*What is good SEO?

*Using smaller search engines for more profits

*Using FREE content

*Maximize Google Adsense

*The best way to monitor your rankings

*Classified Google Rumors

*Microsoft and Yahoo Combining IMs Deal

Why Google Blog Search Matters To Your Business

and much more!

The October Ystore Newsletter also has exciting news about our new services that many Yahoo Store Owners have been asking about!

If your site is not ready for the Holiday Season, read our Newsletter for important updates that you can do to your site and bring in more sales!

Most store owners know that the way to get number one in the search engines is CONTENT! Content makes up for at least 60% of your search engine optimization grade. Are you updating your site adding new content weekly? If not and your competitor is, you are losing valuable SEO rankings! Why keep paying for clicks when you can have them coming to your site for free??

Check out our new content packages and link management programs! This is the first of it's kind for Yahoo Stores and we are excited about being the one and only RTML Programming company that offers this type of service!

Come visit this months newsletter at

by: Shawna Seigel

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Thursday, October 20, 2005
Have you tried to remove the Yahoo Shopping Link on the left side of your navigation bar only to find the thing will not go away?

Well that is because you need to do it in 2 places and not just one!

We get asked this question alot! So here is an easy fix!

First go to your home page and click edit. Look for buttons and click Change.

Right in the middle you will see Mall. Remove any number that is showing. Click Update
Now click Update again.

This removes the mall link from your home page.

Now let's remove the link from all other pages.

Click on Variables and again let's do the same thing.

This will remove the Yahoo Shopping Link from all interior pages.

And that is it!

You have now removed the Yahoo Shopping Link from your store! Click Update and Publish!

by: Shawna Seigel

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Don't put the cart before the horse.

You can't do SEO (optimize your web site for search engines) until you've
researched keywords. You can't research keywords without a clear view of your
target market, your prospect types, and how your offerings fill their needs.

Affordable Small Business SEO

Affordable small business SEO not only uses the same old business and
marketing basics, but also leverages the depth of accessible metrics for
creating increased online traffic and better web site ROI.

When small business people ask me how their web site could be improved by SEO,
I give them some version of the following list of questions. When you know the
answers to these questions, you're much less likely to waste money on SEO
efforts, and more likely to succeed online. You might even pull off some of this
stuff yourself- and that'll save you big in consultant fees!

To find the right keywords to target with SEO and/or PPC, consider the

Goals: How much monthly traffic and sales do you get now? Where would you
like these numbers to be? What are your most wanted responses- what do you want
your ideal prospects to do on your site? (e.g. buy something, sign up for your
ezine, etc.)

Market Segmentation: Who's your ideal customer or target market? If there is
more than one group, characterize each.

Keywords that work: How do people find your site? What search phrases show up
in your web logs?

PPC Metrics: Do you already use pay per click (PPC) advertising? What are
your conversion rates? Are your bids profiting, or at least breaking even?

Getting more traffic is pointless if your site isn't an efficient sales

Profit Margin: What is your online profit margin for each offering?

Conversion Rate: What percentage of your offline prospects make the purchase?
(to gauge expected conversion rate for your services and find disparity in
online results)

Customer Loyalty: How many people are on your ezine list? How often do you
email them? What do you send them?

5 Common Critical Website Errors and How to Fix Them

About 75% of the web sites I've seen make all of these mistakes. As a result,
their rankings and traffic suffer, and they lose potential sales revenues.

No Sitemap. No matter how well your pages are designed and no matter how nice
the graphics are, every site need a good 'sitemap' page for search engines to
index it more easily. This is a simple page of links- no frills except perhaps a
bulleted outline structure. Even better, you can use the new Google sitemap xml
template, and upload it to Google to increase the chances they'll index your
whole site.

Insufficient Search Engine and Directory Submission. In the ideal cyberworld,
you wouldn't have to submit your site anywhere- it would just get indexed and
put where your prospects could find you. The reality is we still have to meet
these services halfway. There are only a half dozen super-big sources of traffic
(e.g. Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.), but you have a better chance of showing up in
them if you've submitted your site to the 100-200 minor directories and search
engines. Also, there are niche directories that will help you rank on your best
keywords and attract more prospects directly. Submit your site to these places
with a free tool like WebCEO.

Mysterious Website Owners. Your visitors want to know, "who are the
people behind this website? Can I trust them?" Unless you have a
particularly snobby target market, put your picture and brief bio on the very
first page of your site (if not every page). Let them know who you are. This
might be taboo in offline marketing (not really- look at Ben & Jerry, Steve
Jobs, Donald Trump, etc.), but online, genuine personality is a competitive
advantage. It fosters trust, creates credibility and emotional bonds, and
bridges the cold gap of cyberspace. You can do it appropriately for most target
markets. The real question is: are you ready for the prime time?

Confusing Site Structure. Does your site confuse people? Do you know where
they want to go, what they're really looking for? Where do you want them to go?
Good site structure both guides your various prospect types to the places you
want them to go and satisfies their needs. Get some of your target market to sit
in front of you and use your website- watch what they do- it'll surprise you.
And put a search engine on your website that gives you reports on what people
search for- you'll get clues about what else to put online.

Ezine Neglect. The ezine signup form isn't prominent on some sites - make it
obvious and 'sell' your visitors on signing up. Tantalize them into ezine
subscription with a free bonus. Why? Not everyone will become your customer the
first time they reach your site. They may like your offerings but not trust you
enough yet or be ready to buy. They may have questions. Once you have them on
your list, you can sell them on you and your stuff (by helping them with tips)
every week or two until they buy.

Not only do they need a free bonus to stimulate them to sign up, they also
need to know what kind of thing you'll be sending them, that you'll keep their
email address private, and that they can unsubscribe anytime. And I'd suggest
using double opt-in to avoid spam- that means they sign up (you don't add them),
and they confirm via email before they ever get an email from you.

About the Author

Since 1999, San Diego SEO Consultant Brian B. Carter, MS, has reached more
than 2 million readers online. His most popular site ranks in the top 1% of all
major websites. Brian's second book, "How I Made $78,024.44 in Six Months
Using the Newest Secrets of AdSense and Overlooked Keywords" will be
available in October, 2005.

by: Shawna Seigel

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Few people can dispute the power of blogs. We saw how they

affected the U.S. presidential election of 2004. When used

correctly, blogs can have an amazing effect on your Web site. In

fact, I would go so far as to say I believe every business site

needs a blog . . . if used properly and in the manner in which

they were designed to be used.

What are Blogs?

Blogs are online journals that can be used in a variety of

different ways. In a personal sense, families can keep track of

each other across the globe by posting to a family blog. One

family member posts, then another member adds their comment

underneath the post, and so forth.

Businesses can announce new products and services, discounts,

discontinued items, or holiday promotions in their blogs. I'll

cover additional ideas for the use of a business blog further in

this article.

The biggest challenge is to get your target audience to read your

blog. That's why you need a "blog with a purpose." You need a

reason for your audience to visit your blog on a regular basis.

What would make your blog special to your audience? Why would

they want to bookmark your blog? Why would they want to link to

it and tell others? That should be your ultimate goal.

Think about your own site, and let's start talking about "blogs

with a purpose."

Five Example Blogs with a Purpose

1. Free Directory Listings

For some time now, I've been steering people away from reciprocal

linking, due to the inherent problems associated with it.

Submitting to directories can certainly help your Web site from a

link popularity standpoint, which we all know is crucial, but how

do you know which directories to submit to? There are a lot of

scammy directories out there, so you need to know which ones to

stay away from. Plus, it can cost you a lot of money to submit to

directories. What if your pocket book is a little tight at the


Martin Preece at WebSEODesign came up with a novel idea. He

decided to submit his site to free directories, and then keep

track of when the site was accepted into each directory, the PR

of the directory, whether he has to link back, and other

statistics. He shares all of his experiences on his Web site for

readers to follow. All you have to do is follow in his foot

steps. Here's the link to the actual listing of free directories:

Then, he set up a free directory listings blog where he reports

on the progress of his free directory reviews. He also writes

"how to" articles in his blog, such as how to submit to


Martin has created a "blog with a purpose." People visit his

blog, because it benefits their Web sites and their link

popularity building efforts. Why should they spend the time

finding and researching directories when Martin will do it for


How does it benefit Martin? He's getting traffic to his site,

building link popularity, gaining potential clients, and getting

visibility from the search engines. It's a win/win situation for


Plus, his free-directory-listings.htm page isn't doing too badly

in the rankings. It's #1 in MSN for "free directory listings" out

of 6.5 million, and #14 in Yahoo! out of 130 million.

What has he done, in part, to achieve those rankings? He's linked

to his free-directory-listings.htm page from his blog using

absolute links and using "free directory listings" as the link

(anchor) text.

For example, this is an absolute link:


listings.htm ">free directory listings</A>

Below is a relative link. This is the type of linking convention

most Web site owners use when linking to a page on his/her own

Web site.

<A HREF="free-directory-listings.htm">free directory listings</A>

Tip: Always use absolute links when linking to interior pages of

your site from your blog, and always use keyword phrases in your

link text when pointing to those interior pages.

2. Wordtracker KEI Observation Deck

Yes, this sounds like blatant self promotion, but when you hear

the story about this blog, you'll understand why it needs to be

included in the article.

A few years ago, we had a plain old blog. We posted information

about our site on the blog, articles, etc. The search engines

loved it, but the visitors didn't. Why? We didn't give the Web

audience a compelling reason to want to visit.

The blog was . . . boring.

My partner, John Alexander, and I teach Wordtracker strategies in

our courses, and we believe that the key to success with any Web

site begins with solid keyword research. We constantly hear

students tell us how they can't find high KEI numbers in

Wordtracker -­ that the competition is just too high.

So John came up with a fabulous idea. He set up the KEI

Observation Deck on our blog. He spends about 10 minutes a day

finding high KEI values and posting them on our blog. He's using

the blog as a teaching tool, because we're educators.

People love it. He's proving to them that Wordtracker is full of

high KEI values, if you only know how to find them. Affiliate

marketers flock to his page to see what John will come up with

next. SEOs have syndicated the blog through the RSS feed, so they

can keep up with John's latest research. Search engines spider

the page almost every day.

How is it benefiting Search Engine Workshops? John can use it to

promote our other products and services. Wordtracker has linked

to the blog, which is definitely a plus for the site.

The blog is no longer boring . . . it's effective -- a blog with

a purpose.

(Continued in Part 2)


Robin Nobles conducts live SEO workshops

in locations across North

America. She also teaches online SEO training

Localized SEO training is now

being offered through the Search Engine Academy.


Copyright 2005 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.

by: Shawna Seigel

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