Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I have to tell you about the Detox I went through over the weekend.

This was a very special Detox. You see….I went through an Entrepreneur Detox

Detox, short for detoxification, in general is the removal of toxic substances from the body.

Yes owning your own business can be quite toxic.

1. We never sleep

2. We are always stressed

3. We work harder then we ever have in our lives

4. Sick days – WHATS THAT??

5. Vacation Pay is something of the past

6. We get to hear how “lucky” we are to take time off whenever we want

7. When we do take time off…who does our work?

8. Did I mention we never sleep?


So this last weekend I went through detox. Found a very cozy cottage in the middle of nowhere to rent for the weekend.



No phones, no computers, no tv, no signal for the cell phone, and no 5 kids running around.

It was completely silent except for the sounds of nature around the cabin.

Waking up to watch the sunrise….

What business?

My thoughts left me and I simply sat there enjoying what was all around me….beauty

I highly recommend that all of you go through Entrepreneur Detox as well.

Removes all the toxic substances even if it is only for a short time.....


by: Shawna Seigel



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Today we are once again focusing on the recent changes to Yahoo’s search engine. For those of you who need to catch up:

Yahoo! Search Changes
Yahoo search resources for webmasters

For the rest of you we head back to http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/basics/basics-18.html

Today our focus will be on what Yahoo considers as unwanted. Isn't it great when a search engine tells us what they do not like?

Pages that harm accuracy, diversity or relevance of search results.

Accuracy - When somebody does a search, the search engine wants to give the most accurate results for their search. We have all had this happen. We need to do some research. We look up the keyword phrase and the search engine provides us with nothing that we are looking for. From here we have two options. 1) We can modify our search or 2) We can try a different search engine. Search engines do not charge people to do a search on their website. They don't need to charge because they have advertisers who are more than willing to shell out the bucks. Search engines make very good money from pay per click advertising. The search engines want the user to click all on those advertisements. That is how they get their bills paid. Remember that they do not want the user to leave their search engine and go elsewhere. They lose money. That is why accuracy is so important.

Diversity - This is where unique text comes into play. Let's say that you are ready to go buy a car. But you want to do some research first. You can't decide between getting Car A or Car B. So you turn to the search engines to get more information on each vehicle so that you can make an informed decision. You go to your favorite search engine and put in your search term phrase and the top 10 results come up. You click on the first one and it does have good information but not everything you're looking for. So you go back to the search results page and you click on the next link only to find it's the same information that you saw on the last page. In fact it's exactly the same. You go back again and try the next site….same information about the cars. Now what do you do? You head to another search engine. Diversity! They do not want to show the same results over and over again. That's why UNIQUE content is very important.

Relevance - Car A is a 2006 Ford Mustang and I want to know the warranty packages available. If my search results are telling me about what colors are available with the Mustang, then this is not relevant. Relevance is extremely important. How do search engines know which pages are relevant to my search? They look at the meta tags which include title, keywords, and a short description. They read the text on our pages. Again this is why we want to write good content. We have to prove that our pages are what people are looking for. We have to prove that we are relevant.

Now all of this information is great. But I am sure it would be a lot easier to see a real live example. This is when I turn to our readers. I need some of your stores to use as examples. I want our readers to look at your site while I point out what is being done correctly and/or incorrectly. Please remember that the information will be posted on our blog for all the world to see. If you think your web site is up for the challenge, then copy the information below into an email (putting in your information) and send it to blog@1choice4yourstore.com

Yes! I want my store to be used as a real example for 1 Choice 4 Your Store Blog. My URL is **PUT YOUR URL HERE**
My name is **PUT YOUR NAME HERE**

We may not use all of the URLs sent to us right away so if you do not see yours being discussed, keep watching.


by: Shawna Seigel



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Wednesday, September 13, 2006
In a previous post we went over Google's webmaster guidelines. Now we need to go over Yahoo's. Google has always been the monster when it came to search engines.



Yahoo over the last several years has made many changes to its search engine. They want more people to use Yahoo. They make money when users use their search engine. Have you noticed how Yahoo.com has changed the look several times over the last two years? They try something and if it doesn't work, they try something else. It's extremely interesting looking at the latest look that has come out. On the left-hand side you have links going to some of the more popular places in Yahoo. Most web sites nowadays have the left navigation bar. People are used to this when they go to a web site. Yahoo is certainly doing its best to get to more customers.



One of the main complaints about Yahoo was the search results people would find. Often results ended up being useless. Thankfully they changed their algorithm and now we are seeing more relevant results. Yahoo is becoming more like Google, they want relevancy. Not spam, not tricks, just good content.



So let's take a moment to go over these new guidelines that Yahoo has put out. Let's go to the following page:



http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/ysearch/basics/basics-18.html



Take a moment to read the first sentence. It is so important that I am going to put it here as well. I want you to read it twice.



"Yahoo! strives to provide the best search experience on the Web by directing searchers to high-quality and relevant web content in response to a search query."



Did you read that? Make sure to read it again. Yes a third time.



"Yahoo! strives to provide the best search experience on the Web by directing searchers to high-quality and relevant web content in response to a search query."



The most important part is relevant web content. If people are searching for a blue dog, then you need to have relevant content on your site about a blue dog. It's that simple. If you copy someone else's content about a blue dog, then you are not providing high quality content. You are duplicating the content. Why should you be listed in the top 10 if you have the same information that everyone else does?



When I talked to people about search engine optimization I often hear, can't I just change a paragraph or two? Sure you can. I can't stop you. But I would not recommend it. Again we go back to the very first sentence. High quality content. High quality content. High quality content.



Yes I am repeating myself. I talk to so many people who just don't understand how important that first sentence is. If it wasn’t important why would it be the very first sentence that they want you to read when you go to read the guidelines? You can not get away with not writing quality content. Every once in awhile you will see a guy in the top 10 and you look at this site and you wonder how they got there. They don't stay there long. If you want to have your business through out the years, you have got to focus on content.



Let's move on to the next line.



Yahoo wants pages that have original and unique content of value. Did I go over this yet?



Pages that are designed for humans first and search engines second. Again…quality content!



Links that are intended to help people. This doesn't mean exchanging links with anybody and everybody. This will hurt you. Let me give you a great example. I use to sell software. One of the products we sold was Microsoft Office. At the bottom of the product description we had a link to the Microsoft website. It went specifically to the page for Office. That is a relevant quality link that is intended to help people.



Next meta data that describes the contents of a page (meta-title, meta-keywords, etc). For example, you hear that people are searching for Paris Hilton. Let’s say she has a new video out and everyone wants to see it. You cannot put in your meta tags Paris Hilton. Even if everyone on the planet is searching for Paris Hilton, why not add that to your meta tags and let people find you? Maybe they will stop and buy something right? WRONG. If you're going to say that your page at is about Paris Hilton, you need the original and unique content behind it.



Meta tags is where I see a lot of Yahoo store go wrong, especially on their homepage. You look at the keywords field and there are tons of different keywords but have absolutely zero relevancy to their homepage. But wait - my store offers all these things and that is why I had them as keywords. Stop and think….what does the homepage have to do with each and every keyword you have in this spot? Well I have a link to the product on my home page! Yeah…not gonna work. If you have a link to that keyword on your home page that usually means you have a page all about that keyword. Huh? (I hear many say). Let me explain. I am going back to my old site to give you an example….



I sold Microsoft, Adobe, Corel, Norton, you name it. After all it was a software store. Now what most people would do is put Microsoft, Adobe, Corel, and all other manufacturers’ as the keywords for the home page. I did it when I was first starting out. But then I had to ask myself…What does this home page have to do with Microsoft? How much relevancy is on this page about Microsoft? One link and maybe one home page special. So out of all the words on this page I use Microsoft twice….not a whole lot of relevancy.



So now I go to the Microsoft link which takes me to the Microsoft Page of my store. What does this page have to do with the keyword Microsoft? EVERYTHING. How much relevancy is on this page for Microsoft? 100%!!!



What would happen if I decided to add the keyword Adobe on this page cuz hey I got a link to the Adobe section. How much relevancy would I have? Since there is virtually no real relevancy here (except for that one link) the search engines might think we are trying to trick them.



If it is a section page or a home page we still want 100% relevancy. So hopefully now you have put 2 and 2 together to see why I shouldn’t had put Microsoft as a keyword on my home page. It would have been the same thing as adding Adobe to my Microsoft section. No relevancy. If I want to have Adobe as a keyword for my site, I need to go to the Adobe page and do so there.



But putting in the right keywords is not all you have to do. Once you have the proper keywords on the page, you need to back it up with good quality content. Did Shawna go there again? Yes she did! It was the first sentence in the guidelines.



The last thing on the list is good web design in general. Most people think that that means a pretty design. Search engines can't tell if your web site is pretty. What they can tell is if you are using good web design principles.



Next we will follow up with what Yahoo considers unwanted.


by: Shawna Seigel



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Monday, September 11, 2006
You may have noticed that our blog has not been updated the last three weeks. We have recently switched over to a new service that e-mails our subscribers when we update our blog. However, there were many bugs to get fixed. Thankfully all is fixed now.

So many of you may have noticed that your search engine rankings in Yahoo has recently changed dramatically. Some of you may have seen a large increase, while others may have seen a large decrease.

The algorithm (a set of rules that a search engine uses to rank the listings contained within it's index) for Yahoo seems to be a lot like Google. In the past, if you were doing well in Google, you were doing horribly in Yahoo. And vice versa, if you were doing very well in Yahoo, more than likely your Google rankings were suffering.

Google and Yahoo were using two different sets of rules. In my opinion, it seemed that sites using questionable search engine optimization tactics were being rewarded in Yahoo search. Sites that focus on good quality content were doing wonderfully in Google but could not be found in Yahoo.

So where does this leave us in the ever changing world of search engine optimization?

Content Content Content

Your site will go nowhere without the content. It is time for site owners to work smarter not harder on their web sites. I cannot stress enough, if you are using the manufacturer's description for your products, you will not stand out. You will be just another site copying the same information.

Have you ever put something on your site for the sole purpose of getting listed higher? I am not talking about putting bread crumbs on your pages. I am talking about your content. When you read those sentences out loud, would you ever say those words in a normal conversation. Or are you writing to make the search engines happy? I think we know where this is heading.

So if you want to read more about what has happened, I suggest going to this link:

http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000327.html

Now if you really want to read interesting information, I suggest going to:

http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000309.html

In the next blog entry, I will go over the second URL in more detail. Especially about a little something called Site Explorer.

Until then, let me leave you with one more link. Especially since it has been so long since we were able to give you some good information.

If you have not heard of Rob Snell, I suggest you learn about him. He has written a wonderful book called Starting a Yahoo Business for Dummies. This book should be sent to all new Yahoo store owners. The Yahoo store blog has posted one chapter from this great book. The chapter is called Converting Browsers into Buyers. Don't have time to read? Print the pages and place them in your restroom. Don't laugh! I always try to read a paragraph or two before running back to the phones, or back to the kids, etc. Eventually I get it all read. It's worth a shot :)

http://www.insightsforum.com/pdf/Converting_ch21.pdf



by: Shawna Seigel



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