Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quality Reading

I fall into bad habbits, even in terms of what I read. People is a waste of my time. It's like junk food. I sometimes read it and almost always wish I hadn't.

I'm trying to improve my online reading habbits by moving towards having a list of very high quality sources that I read. Two are about technology, one picks great education sites. I'll probably update this to a list of ten.

1. Matt Cutts Blog
2. The official Google blog. Recent post: Intro to Google Search Quality.
3 - even though he only occassionally picks my sites (SpellingCity or Vocabulary Fun or Learning Games for Kids.)


Friday, May 30, 2008

John Chow

John Chow.

Thank you John Chow and DatMoney. I thought I would try your trick of riding on John Chow's coat-tails. As you suggested, I have never been to Mr. John Chow's blog but I do hope that this post, about John Chow's blog, will grant me large volumes of interested blog readers. Hopefully, not too disappointed to not be at John Chows blog but instead, to be at the best intermediate level online marketing blog about learning seo on the web.

Well, maybe not the best. One of the best. Thanks again Dat Money for you j chow, i mean john chow test idea.
Postscript - John Chow turns out to be a real person, or this is a more complete charade than I had imagined. His blog got banned from google. I'm still looking at how to learn to promote my sites better. I'm hoping that the class in blogging will help.


Learning SEO - Keyword density....and other BS...

One of my colleagues, studying and learning about SEO, asked me about keyword density. He'd been speaking to an SEO expert who talked about his great results by focusing on 4.5% (or something) keyword density. He wanted to know what my opinion was.

My opinion is that it's bunk. Or at least, learning about and focusing on something like keyword density, is a million miles away from my understanding of and approach to placing well in the search engine. It's technical and finicky and dumb to interest.

I take the view that google has a constantly shifting algorithm. And to figure out what to do, start by trying to put yourself in google's shoes. How does Mr Google decide who to rank for a given term?

First, google looks for pages that are relevant which are pages that use that term alot. Say the term was "learning games", google starts by finding pages that talk about learning games. Specifically, gooogle considers (in this order);
- Do incoming links to that page use "learning games" as anchor text?
- Is the page's title: "learning games"?
- Is "learning games" in the URL, particularly in the domain name?

- are there H1 and H2 titles that are "learning games"?
- Are there at least a few uses of the term "learning games" on the page? Lets guess that google gives you top marks for this criteria if you have between 1% and 8% keyword density on the page. Below 1%, you might not really be about learning games. Above 8%, it's probably a stuffed spammy page.
- Do the links to your page come from pages that are full of learning games?
- Does your site in general have lots of learning games?
- Are other terms, that are statistically and semantically linked to learning games, such as "an educational game", showing up in on the page, on the domain, on the pages and domains from which your links come from, and on the pages that this page points to.

My point is this. For relevancy, there is no magic percentage that is better than another. The difference between a keyword density of 3.4% and 5.3% makes no logic as a focal point for google's ranking or for an SEO's effort. It might have worked but going forward, it can't be part of the plan.....

After finding some relevant pages, google then ranks them by links. They count the links. Do all links count and do they all count the same? That folks, is a story for another day

This is my $.02 on understanding and learning and educating myself about SEO. And my effort at promoting what I care about: learning, education, fun, and games. Like this one. Learning & teaching seo.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Redirecting WWW for seo purposes...Easier said than done.

Prevailing "SEO wisdom" is that you should make sure to have the and directed to each other to concentrate your link power. I was just looking at how we might accomplish this. It's a little more complicated than it sounds.

There are two options for redirecting to says by CTO.

We are currently hosted on a Windows (IIS) platform at Verio which has some limitations in terms of being able to globally redirect pages from "" to Below are 2 options for your review. Currently all traffic from is technically being served by pages from

(1) Use .Net technology to globally route any incoming request that doesn't have the "www" in front of it to the corresponding page. The issue with this approach is that .Net only handles ".aspx" pages. Since our site has both ".html" and ".aspx" pages we would have to configure the hosting platform to route ".html" pages through the .Net pre-processor. The pages would be rendered the same way as normal HTML pages, the downside is that we may experience a slowdown of page delivery as the ".html" pages would now be going through a pre-processing stage instead of just being served up. This would also put an additional load on the server. At this time, I do not know how significant are these issues. This option can be easily turned "on" and "off", so if there are problems, we can certainly address them quickly.

(2) Currently our main web account at Verio is "", this is technically where the website is hosted. Requests to "www" are handled by this domain. Verio is suggesting that we can create another website domain, specifically called copy our current site over to the new and then very easily re-route any traffic coming to "" to "www". Unfortunately, we cannot do the reverse. This option is not easily turned "on" or "off" and may require some downtime while we copy the site over and make sure everything is working. The issue is that once we create a "www" site, traffic will start to flow to it, so we have to carefully plan this type of move. Ultimately, this is probably the more correct of the options, but certainly carries some element of risk via downtime. The downtime can be managed to a minimum.

Dear readers, what would you do? I'm willing to pay for a real answer to this question. Contact me for details. (this is revised)


Monday, May 26, 2008

Is DMOZ still useful or should it be retired?

DMOZ has a proud history. Currently, it's a messy situation. All the categories that I am familiar with are so badly kept up that it's useless for users.

My impression is that DMOZ only gets new submissions from seo types building links or newbies. What do you think?

It is my impression that DMOZ, despite it's proud history, has run thru it's useful life.

To keep this from becoming an abstract debate, please answer me this:

Have you used DMOZ to find anything in the last 30 days?

If the answer is that NOBODY is actually using it anymore to find anything (which is what I believe), then probably it's time to put DMOZ in mothballs and archive it.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

construccion de vocabulario en ingles

Dear readers. Excuse the following paragraph in Spanish, I'm trying some multilingual SEO. It's explained after this paragraph. es un sitio divertido dedicado a ayudarle con la rama fonética del idioma, a leer, escribir, y practicar los aspectos que en fin le ayudara a ejercer el idioma ingles con más fluidez. Ofrecemos juegos de palabras sin costo que están específicamente diseñados como instrumentos en su jornada de aprendizaje. Diviértase mientras enriquece su vocabulario en el idioma ingles. So, construccion de vocabulario en ingles.

Here's the idea. I'm involved with a site thats really good at teaching vocabulary to non-English speakers. It is highly placed on google for the words Build Vocabulary. Recently, it occurred to me that many of the people that might want to learn English might not speak English !!!!!

Maybe, for instance, they speak Spanish and might do a websearch in Spanish. So I wrote a page in English about our site and paid a nice bilingual lady to translate it into Spanish and to create some visibility for this page in Spanish-language directories, forums, websites, and blogs. She took my money, gave me a page, and reported that she had the page listed on 25 Spanish sites. She was sweet. I paid her. (In fact, I had her do this same activity on two sites. Check out: Estudiar desde casa - Habla espagnol? un programa conveniente de educación)

Then, I waited for this page in Spanish to start producing amazing numbers as an entry page from natural search. Nada.

So I consulted my google webmaster tools to see if those links were in high visibility places. I couldn't find any links to my Spanish page. And, el senorita stopped answering my emails or phone calls. merda

I'm a pretty impressively smart manager, aren't I? stupido.

So now, I'm back to creating some visibility (ie links) myself to:

1. Get some links and some traffic.

2. See if Spanish links get tracked the same way as English ones. So I've built the one link from this page and with a Spanish-speaking senorita that I know and trust (ie, my fiancee), we'll get that page listed in some Spanish directories. Then see if it appears in the usual webmaster tools.

3. I'm also wondering if someone with multinational multilingual SEO experience will show up and explain some basics to me. Please. I have attended SES Latin America in Miami twice, don't I deserve to know?!?
Por favor.....

OK, I'm updating an old blog post. This is May 2016. I'm adding a reference to  a Portugeese page too!  Învaţă vocabularul limbii engleze and I quote: este un site educativ important destinat dezvoltării vocabularului. Jocurile noastre gratuite de cuvinte sunt instrumente distractive care formează aptitudini lingvistice în limba engleză atât pentru copii, cât şi pentru adulţi.

Will this help Brazilian speakers find resources to help them learn English when they search in Spanish?  Qui sabe?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Anchor text basics

There are a lot of web literate people who don't understand the basics of anchor text. Here's a primer taken from an email that I wrote to a forum moderator:

A post on autism was answered like this:

Welcome! Here is a link you might be interested in.
This answer is fine for people. But to help the search engines better “understand” the page that you are pointing to, you should write it like this:

Welcome! Time4Learning has a page on educating children with autism that you might be interested in.

The words that are hyper linked are called “anchor text”. Google takes anchor text very seriously. They use it to categorize pages. (Yahoo & MSN take the anchor text less seriously).

For a funny demonstration of this, google “here”. Number one on a google search for "here" is Adobe’s download page for acrobat because almost every website has the same line on it somewhere:

“click here to download adobe acrobat”

So if you are looking for "here", google thinks you want some adobe acrobat. And it is the world's best search engine! :->


Friday, May 16, 2008

Bitching about the slow affiliate payments...

I just posted this on the Regnow forum. I wonder if they'll delete. Regnow is an affiliate program (like a little commission junction) which I'm using on my build vocabulary site.

I have a question. I just set up this year as an affiliate and I'm on a payment schedule which works like this. Earn money in February, get paid 2 months later which means that it is sent at the end of April. In short, I'm still waiting for the bank deposit on my earnings from February. (It's May 16th as I write this)

Is there any way to expedite this? I had missed this detail of payment timing when I signed up and of course, as I look at using Regnow more broadly across my sites, this is big issue. And just for clarity, this isn't a question of meeting the minimum threshold for a payment, it's just the logistics of how my account is set up.

Is there any way to expedite this?

What I didn't say is that compared to Google, who pays as soon as you hit the threshold, this program stinks. I've told the one partner that I use it with and he's promised to shift to another program soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Deluxe Privacy Policy Generator

My assignment today: Create a privacy policy. :::dread:::

Me? What's a privacy policy for? How do I?.......

OK. So I slink off to learn the ins and outs of writing a .... policy ....... on privacy, completely unsure of what the heck I am doing. As I often do, I turn to my buddy Google and ask "How do I create a privacy policy?" and my buddy replies , "Check out this Privacy Policy Generator!"

So I do.

This thing is pretty cool. I filled in some information about the company policies and hit a button and up popped a perfectly legal privacy policy! In less than 10 minutes I had our privacy policy up and now I am free of dread..... until the next assignment.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Google Analytics - at last

One of the projects that we've never faced up to was the installation of webanalytics. There were a number of reasons for this chief including we didn't know how to do it and we didn't want to do it wrong. Plus, once installed, it creates a lot of opportunity to analyse and improve things (ie a lot of work) which we didn't really have the staff for. So we postponed it until now.

Once we decided we had to do it this quarter, we started looking a bit more energetically for some staff to help. And we got lucky. Enter Zib. She seems to know her stuff. And she's implemented and used Google Analytics before. I was a little worried since she's used to working as part of a deep highly skilled team and I'm not always sure that our inhouse staff can do everything that needs to be done.

So far, everythings great. We're cleaning up old tracking codes, installing new ones, defining "goals" to track etc etc and it looks like, we'll be analyzing the performance of all of our ads, sales funnels, landing pages, and whatnot before the end of the month.

Am I pleased? Oh, yes.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


I read alot on the web. Most of it is a rehash of other stuff. Google encourages alot of writing so there's endless rehashing. Think of this as content.
Much of it says: Get a dmoz link blah blah blah blah and pay for a yahoo link blah blah blah blah.
Are these links any more valuable than any other link at this point? I would think not but have not done any scientific testing. I would suspect that as far as YAHOO is concerned, the Yahoo listing will send some traffic but will not otherwise influence the other engines in any special ways.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Best Internet Marketing Summary

I just heard that internet marketing can be summarized as 3Ls, 5Cs, and some T&A. This is clever good stuff. And clean as a whistle.

Can you guess it?