Friday, 20 May 2011

Search Engines

Search Engines are lovely things [frustrating things, often, yes, but lovely things] in many ways they are part of the pinnacle of civilization so far, I'm not joking. For a person to type two or three words into 'a search engine' and within milli-seconds 'relevant results' are returned is remarkable, never mind baffling [take into consideration asking for something at your local library ...]

But this is the problem, search engines are wasted on the greater mass of the human race, most searches are so genereric as to give people like me a job, when the beauty of search engines allows anybody [especially those who know how] to refine their searches so well. However in truth this is almost a secret language to most of the people who search. I'd also like to point out now that I am talking search engines and not google per se, all of them act differently [well yahoo! & bing are the same thing now], thus can and ought be used differently. I am mainly talking about site commands, and I know all you SEOs know this but ...

Well here I'm going to step back from that assertion, I recently left the SEO team of a company where two people in particular taught me a lot about using search engines to find ways of getting links [you know who you are], in many ways I wish i had never had to leave... but other than blogs we had to use ingenuity to find links, and that's what was done: I think I prefer onsite stuff though, [but whenever I do onsite stuff I usually find loads of things wrong with the site, and get very unpopular with developers/designers/managers/account managers/you name it, I can piss people off]

No, not all the people who call themselves SEOs [not me by the way, I am proud to be a linkbuilder] apparently know how to use site commands, and therefore not all of them know half a shit about search engines and how they work, and it isn't surprising when the whole industry is obsessed with getting links and not making links, don't get me wrong, I'd love to spend more time onsite, but you have to have links for site to get indexed in the first place.

Example of knowing how to use "search engines" to find a site you might want to get links from others, try this,

first check with bing

[linkfromdomain:targetteddomain.com] look for what looks like an seo link [ie dubiously related]

take the site that was linked to and use the yahoo!

[linkdomain:competitor.com] to find where on targetteddomain.com linked to competitor.com it

look at the page/html with the link on targetteddomain.com to find out how the link was got [ctrl+u]

do something similar................

google

Simple google examples of finding potential link targets

[site:site.com stuff] results from site.com with a 'stuff' relevance

[site:site.com ~stuff] the great related search eg ~stuff might also give you results for 'things', etc

[site:site.com allintext:stuff+things] this search returns pages with the words stuff & things in the text, "d'oh"

[site:site.com inurl:stuff] this will return the search site.com/stuff but not site.com/things

[site:site.com -site:www.site.com] one of my favourites, this gives you just the subdomains of a site, and of course can be tailored to fit what you are looking for, ie site:site.com -site:www.site.com stuff things, this can give you results like stuff.site.com & things.site.com, but neither www.site.com/stuff nor www.site.com/things, whala!

But the chance is that I am only speaking to myself, so this is just me pissing into the wind, eh?

LinkMünki

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

RSS - The Gift that Keeps Giving

I have already posted about RRS in an earlier post, this is not quite the same thing [over the last week and a bit I have been working a lot with RSS and it has rejuvenated my love for this often overlooked asset.]

I keep hearing a lot about RSS being dead, yes ... it is not rendered correctly in chrome [my favourite browser], yes it is not particularly 'cool', but I love RSS. But as I said in the title it is the gift that keeps on giving. As soon as you write a new post it gives you, automagically xXx amounts of free links back to your site, what is there to dislike? [well there are scrapers which steal your content from agregators, but if you are smart enough to link to yourself in every new post, it is the scrapers which give you a link ;)]

Really Simple Sindication is often seen as rubbish free links, but it can give you a boost [short term] so that search engines do pick up your latest news [well in my case 'ramblings' would be a better word], and what is more you only have to go near it once, set a feed up, then it keeps going, and going, and going...

It's not even spam, it is sindication, it is getting your content out there, it is getting links to the original source. I have never quite understood why people do not have easily accessible feeds on any site which is regularly updated, you are going without free linkage [and I fail to see the negatives in that]. Luckily there are places out there where you can make your own custom RSS feeds [I prefer instapaper, but there are others like open dapper, but ...], but it is not the same, they have to be manually updated, real feeds don't, there is nothing like a proper RSS ...

No, the only thing in the interweb that I like more than RSS are those mental little social networking sites which spring up all over the place [especially whilst in beta], but methinks that that is a different story, for a different post.

LinkMünki

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Social Networks & Clients

Lets face it, from an SEO point of view, clients are generally so behind the curve that they really ought keep shtumm and let us get on with our jobs, all they ever want is a facebook and a twitter, a facebook and a twitter, a facebook and a twitter. Well if that is what they want, why don't they go ahead and do it? But why do you want me to do it? In terms of SEO, facebook is simply rubbish, it gives me nothing [except a real link on my front page to everyone who isn't my 'friend'], and twitter ... you are having a giraffe?

However they do not understand the power of social networking sites, not the huge ones, but there are many which offer us linkers to put links, and good local links, on the internet [for nothing, publicly, etc]. Yet the clients do not want to know, why not ... because the kids all love facebook, but the kids are not likely to 'friend' some rubbish corporate site. Besides the googlebot does not discriminate, you ping it to a public social networking site that you have cleverly linked up and it will, sooner or later [okay, later] come and spider you.

What I simply mean to say is that, Facebook is not the be all and end all of social media, there are a gazillion sites out there, some of whom give you good linkage, others which don't, but most are a whole shit load better than facebook and twitter, but the clients pay the money and they make the choices, so they get the shit results because of their choices.

If you hadn't guessed I love social networking sites, however I use facebook and twitter for what they are good for, that is not SEO.

LinkMünki

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Link Monkeys

Now we all know that there are plenty of link monkeys out there, and this is a necessary problem of SEO. We also know that many people criticise [often rightly so] the amount of people churning out hundreds of shit links month after month, but think about it for a minute ... as in the other analogy, what are the monkeys without the organ-grinders. Somebody tells them to do it, and somebody else [higher up] pays them to do it! The monkeys are just fulfilling a function in our 'industry' .... poor little lambs.

Yes I admit that many link monkeys are outsourced these days, therefore little quality control is instantly available. But again whose fault is that? Not the little monkeys, the manager or agency that made the decision, simples. Yes, lots and lots of rubbish links are handy for an SEO campaign to be successful [especially in a highly competitive market] but why do SEOs feel it above themselves to do the basics from time to time? There are too many SEOs out there who feel themselves above link building, maybe if they kept their feet on the ground they would know that [good] free links are few and far between on the interweb [no matter what that bizarre percentage Mr Cutts said a while ago was].

No, there are good links out there, but they have to be cultivated. Regular blog links are not 'dead' but they are weakened, however if a really good blog with relevant content and selective linking is applied [and the time taken to distribute & sindicate content] blogs can still be very useful. The idea that the 'anchor text is dead' is so stupid I won't even go further. That a link profile has to seem natural is beyond doubt.

These are not the traits of the average link monkey. They just do as told. Google has refined and refined its algo [how much attention do you REALLY think google pays to all those directories?]. The meta key words was too easy to key word stuff: gone. Weight of links can work if they are good, but I've seen competitors with many more links ranking nowhere. SEO, as I said takes time, forging relationships to get links from authority sources, a certain craftiness in looking for places to link well [which SEOs all missed out on the goings on in the Middle East to comment on disruption in <link>holidays in egypt</link>? ;)] on some major news websites. Oh and hey, let us not forget, fixing the site you are optimising for ... when they listen :( [precious b*****ds]

No, as much as the link monkeys get a bad press, they get it because they have bad [and lazy] SEOs and SEO Managers running poor formulaic SEO Campaigns, not thinking and not allowing their charges to think. When it comes to shit SEO and shit links: don't blame the link monkeys blame the link organ-grinders!

One last thing, if you want a good link from a good page, the first lesson should be - ask the webmaster nicely [they can only completely ignore you!]

LinkMünki

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

WhiteHats v BlackHats

Whilst not the oldest of people [and certainly not the youngest], I sometimes make references to things well beyond the ken of people outwith my era [like Bits [a TV programme google it], etcetera], and the WhiteHat v BlackHat debate always reminds me of Spy v Spy.

What I have to say here is different: there is a lot of muck slung at 'so called' Black-Hat SEOs, and for what?

Buying Links - Well what is advertising then?
Cloaking - Who actually does that?
Getting Opponents Delisted - hhrrrmmmm, well this might happen, and google seems to be making it easier.


The fact is that in my knowledge, the BlackHats are about the most honest in what they do, they come to an agreement with webmasters over a link and it is done. On the other hand we WhiteHats look everywhere for the sneakiest of links, exploiting every loophole of the rules when it comes to links, we pretend to be concerned citizens to get our sites into government & university websites. We have social bookmarking accounts that are beyond the realm of the honest people who want to keep track of their favourite websites. We write blogs which are purportedly about an issue, but are just exercises in linkbuilding.

I ask you which is the most honest, the onsite side of SEO is the both for both sides. SEO has to try to look natural, but the simple fact is that it is all bending the rules that somebody else came up with, and if you have to make something 'look natural' then it clearly is not, and if clients made really good websites with good content that people wanted to link to then it would be natural, and need very little SEO [White, Black, Grey or No Hat]

LinkMünki has Spoketh

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Festive Comments

I have just been doing comments, and the nice people over at my company's rivals Alienation Digital, were not only nice enough to publish a comment, reply, they also allowed the link to where I work Equator.



It's nice to be nice around this time of year! Even in Glasgow [Spit]

Thursday, 9 September 2010

LinkMünki on Spam

LinkMünki on Spam

It's just too easy to spam, you know it is! If it wasn't then it wouldn't be all over the net. This, to me is a problem, not that I'm really anti anything, it's just that since it is so easy just about anybody can do it, and sometimes it feels like they are. We have all logged into blogs [or our e-mails] to accept/reject these requests.

And I don't hate spam so much [I can get very close to being a spammer myself sometimes ;)], if people leave comments on my blogs and they are vaguely related to the subject, quite amusing or even if they have enough cojones I usually leave them: if they are about certain types of mucky pictures, little blue pills or really badly written they go.

But all this is by the by, in my efforts link up all of my social networking accounts [if an account gives you a public profile and you can put links on it fair enough in my opinion!] I started some of them doing what can only be described as a cacophony of autospam. It seemed like everything I did was being automagically posted on tumblr or facebook or my google profile [and my yahoo profile :)]. But they were just throwing out torrents of bit.lys, and this.lys and that.lys, and that was probably as annoying to me than to anybody who had the dipleasure to look at it. I'm shutting down the auto-spam where and when I can remember which accounts I have [but I have a lot].

But this is also a problem in spamming being made too easy, auto-posting doesn't help me get the traffic to what I want people to look at, it just clutters up the internet with rubbish that nobody wants to see. There should be controlls put on it [I can't believe I said that!!], perhaps we ought not stop it altogether but make it a lot more difficult, nothing wrong with linking profiles, but keep what you post seperate, eh! Otherwise this little interweb toy we all enjoy might meltdown and turn into mush.

LinkMünki