Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

May 3, 2007

Free SEO Work

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 1:22 pm

For a while now I’ve been thinking about dabbling in doing some freelance SEO work. See, all my SEO experience comes from doing it for the companies I worked for or by doing it for my own sites. That’s all good except when somebody asks for examples of my work. I can’t give them examples of other people’s sites that I did as part of my old company, and something doesn’t feel right about using my own sites.

With that said, I’m looking for a site that wants some free SEO work done.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • A keyword research report
  • An initial search engine traffic report (You’ll have to let me install analytics or give me access to yours)
  • Copy writing suggestions
  • Linking suggestions
  • LinkBait suggestions

You’ll notice I said suggestions here. That’s because I’m not actually going to do the coding – that’s up to you. I’ll simply suggest ways to get you to rank better.

Ideally, I’ll find a site willing to perform some of the changes I recommend and then we can measure results in a month or so.

Here’s what I’ll get:

By doing this, you’ll agree to let me publish your initial traffic stats, every suggestion I make, and your post traffic stats. If I publish it online, I’ll give you a link. Regardless, you give me the rights to use your domain as an example in a website, resume, book, article, or whatever else I choose.

The Ideal site should:

  • NOT be related to Porn, Gambling, anything illegal, loans, pills, or any other topic that’s semi-spammy
  • Preferably not have done a ton of SEO work already. I’m looking for something that shows the value of doing SEO.
  • Not compete with any of my sites or targeted keywords.
  • Not be a thin affiliate – for example an auto loan site whose form takes you to another domain.
  • Must have contact information or contact form on the site – I’ll use that to get ahold of you

Of course, if it’s a non-profit, charity, informational, or useful site that I like I’ll give it more preference in choosing.

This will be the only mention you’ll see of this on my blog, and I may or may not ever post the results on dotCULT. That’s up to me at a later date.

If you’re interested go ahead and leave your URL in the comments here. Make sure the URL you post is to the home page, but also make sure I can find the contact information or contact form on the website as well. Please don’t leave contact information here – the blog spam spiders will get it.

May 2, 2007

Devolution Back To META Tags

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 6:24 pm

Back in the beginning of search engines there were META tags. By today’s standards the 90’s search engines were piss poor at determining the relevance of web pages so webmasters relied on META keywords and descriptions to tell the search engines what they were about.

Since the “relevance” of a website was determined by the webmaster it didn’t take long for any popular search to be deluded with porn and auto loan websites. Something needed to be done.

Google jumped in with PageRank and hasn’t looked back since. Clearly all search engines are thousands of times better than they were in the 1990’s. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop people from trying to game them.

Whenever SEOs figure out a way to game the engines the engines usually fight back. Not too long ago all the search engines got together and came up with the rel=nofollow tag – sometimes called the link condom. rel=nofollow gave webmasters a way to say “hey, I’m linking to this but I don’t support it; so don’t give it any link juice.

As far as the web was concerned it was the first step away from “relevance by majority” back to “tell me what your site is about.” It was also the first time that search engines like Google encouraged webmasters to do something with regards to the search engines not the users.

The Google Webmaster Guidelines constantly preach to Make pages for users, not for search engines Clearly rel=nofollow doesn’t help the user viewing the web page. It was a step away from this guideline.

Today Yahoo took another step away from this guideline by introducing robots-nocontent. robots-nocontent is a CSS class that users are supposed to use to tell Yahoo that this content isn’t important to the search engine – only the user.

To me, it seems like we’re devolving back into the “tell me what your site is about” theory of the 1990’s META tags. Is the future of search going to rely on the past of search? What do you think?

What’s worse is that I can see this css class causing lots of problems. For one, it forces the webmaster to spend time making changes that won’t help the user but could potentially hurt his own rankings. I can’t see many other webmasters doing that.

Additionally, what happens when a webmaster leaves out a closing tag or improperly nests his HTML tags? Does it cause Yahoo to think that everything after the robots-nocontent tag isn’t important? Can a webmaster accidentally tell Yahoo his whole site isn’t relevant?

May 1, 2007

Amazon SEO

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 2:27 pm

Reading the usual SEO posts today, somebody mentioned why there isn’t a market for Amazon SEO. That’s a good question.

What is Amazon SEO? It’s the process of doing SEO for a product so that it shows up at the top of a search. After all, there HAS to be a correlation among top ranking books and sales of said books.

Let’s take a look. My book currently shows up at #1 for an amazon search of “Internet slang” but it’s nowhere to be found if you just search for “slang.”

That’s got to be hurting my sales eh?

So what factors might come in to play when searching Amazon? Well, there’s title, Author, description, product details, and reviews.

As an author, I personally get to choose the Title, Author, and Description. The details are things like language, publisher, weight, etc so we can assume they don’t really matter here.

As a community, the rest of the web gets to write the reviews. Thankfully you need a valid account to review an item, so we don’t have tons of keyword spammed reviews (yet.)

It seems to me that the bulk of ranking on Amazon would come down to your title and description. Unfortunately there’s really no way for an author to update his description to test some SEO wording. As you can see my description is written more for the customer without regard to the Amazon search algorithm (whoops!)

This doesn’t mean your book should be authored by “John Q. Bad Credit Auto Loans”, but it’s definitely something I’d think about before you publish your product for sale.

It’s worth mentioning that this idea also applies to Ebay, Barnes and Noble, CafePress, or just about anywhere else that you can sell something. Is this the next step for SEO? We’ll see.

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