Archive for October, 2009

Moved.

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So the new move went well; LE is next up I suppose.

migrating hosts

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moving from unicron to our new host; using this site as a test. will be up sporadically.

Update: this is on the new host; testing updates

How to Fail at SEO

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Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your website easier for people to find via search engines. There are two ways to go about this- designing your site in a way that maximizes the right traffic to your site, and trying to trick google into sending ANY traffic to your site. There are some scum sucking bottom feeders out there who do this- Not only does it destroy the usefulness of search engines (like spam does to email), but it will often get you blacklisted and banned from sites like google for bad behavior. The bottom feeders don’t care about long-term problems- they just want your rating to go up short term so they can take your money and run.

Now, there are some actual Search Engine Optimizers out there who can help you simply design your site in a way that makes it show up better- it’s akin to putting fresh paint up in a house you’d like to sell- it will attract more offers because it shows better. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding alt text to images that contain text (since a spider can’t read the text on an image), other times it’s about reducing/removing javascript or flash site navigation. In either case, there are many things you can do to help your site show up better. Google itself helpfully provides a FAQ on SEO, webmaster guidelines to make your site rank correctly, and Tools to help you optimize your site. It’s not so much about ranking “better” as it is ranking “properly.”

The following is an example of what NOT to do. It was sent by one of the bottomfeeders I mentioned earlier.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Jason M*****
Date: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 5:27 PM
Subject: I visited your website and had a question
To: myjaxon@******* [1]

Hello, my name is Jason M***** and I am an internet marketing specialist. I was looking at websites under the keyword house repairs and came across your website http://morgajel.net. I see that you’re not ranked on the first page of Google for a house repairs search.[2]

I’m not sure if you’re aware of why you’re ranked this low but more importantly how easily correctable this is.

There’s no reason you can’t have a top three ranking for the keyword house repairs based on your site structure and content[3]. You have a very nice site.[4]

You need significantly more one way anchor text backlinks[5]. If you’re interested I can help you with this…

I’m talking about getting you ranked for ALL your keywords. Adding new backlinks on a steady and consistent basis from high PR quality websites is what produces the rankings you are looking for http://morgajel.net.[6]

The right kind of links are very critical in getting top ranking….and I can hand deliver these quality links to you.[7]

My partners and I own 1000’s websites[8] and offer private linking to hundreds of website owners just like yourself.

I didn’t send this email out to very many people[9] but I am currently reaching out to a list of your ‘keyword competitors[10]‘ as well. But I do favor your website because I can see your website monetizing the targeted website traffic the keyword house repairs can deliver.[11]

I have your contact information and phone number. Is it ok if I give you a call?[12]

I have a very simple way to prove that what I do works and it’s risk free for you to try[13]. Nothing beats seeing the results with your own eyes

Is it ok if I give you a call?[14] I would love to pursue this further over the phone with you or should I go somewhere else?

Sincerely,

Jason M*****
(480) 445-92**
www.*******.com

P.S – If the tables were turned and somebody I didn’t know came to me with a proposition, even one that was appealing, I would be hesitant because I would be wondering – what’s the catch? What does this guy know that I don’t?[15]

But then I would think he does know something that I don’t know. He does have thousands of high PR websites, he does have hundreds of thousands of pages indexed and ranking in Google Yahoo and MSN. Sites that can deliver the quality anchor text backlinks. I would also think that I need to get my website in the top rankings[16]. And he is offering to turn key top rankings for me…on all my keywords including house repairs[17]. Even keywords I’m not currently competing for[18]. Keywords that produce traffic that’s potentially worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars.[19]

I emailed you because It’s a win -win for both of us. Think of it this way – Who wouldn’t be interested in buying money at a discount? Because that’s what I’ll be able to do offer you…Money at a discount.[20]

Is it Ok to give you a call? Or you can can call me anytime at the number above?[21]

Man… where to begin…

  1. Sent to Jackie- I have no idea why. She’s not listed as a contact for this site *anywhere*.
  2. that’s because this is not a site about house repairs. In fact, I rarely mention it short of a list of repairs I have to do on my house.
  3. Yes there is- it’s not appropriate. My site shouldn’t show up in the top 3 for house repairs for google.
  4. Had you seen my site, you’d realize this email was pointless.
  5. No, I don’t.
  6. Not really. It provides false metrics which google is not fond of- in fact they’ve been to court and won for removing people who’ve done this. They’re called shadow domains and they’re frowned upon.
  7. You may be able to deliver links, but I severely doubt the quality of manufactured links.
  8. Jackpot- shadow domains. Google frowns on shadow domains.
  9. Who did you send it to? I didn’t even show up in the top 10 pages? where did I place in the 36,700,000 results google found?
  10. What competitors? Who competes with me on “house repairs?” Every non-house-repairs site, I guess.
  11. “Favor,” “Targeted,” “Monetizing,” “Keyword”….smells like snakeoil. Anyone looking for house repairs and gets my site will be annoyed.
  12. No, do not give me a call.
  13. Risk free, unless google finds me using shadow domains to promote my site and bans it.
  14. No, do not give me a fricken’ call. How’d you get my number?
  15. Well, you don’t know that I’m a geek who deals with high traffic sites on a daily basis, so I suspect you know much less than you think you know.
  16. No, I do not need high rankings for an unimportant blog. You’re a tool.
  17. “House Repairs” is not a keyword for my site, jackass. Had you not scraped it mechanically off a search engine you’d know that.
  18. Why would I want keywords I’m not competing for? Why would I want people looking for Antique Romainian Teacups to find my site?
  19. Traffic that is potentially worth millions of dollars? Why on earth would my site be that valuable?
  20. Money at a discount!? Why didn’t you say so in the first place!? Moron.
  21. No goddamnit!

-21 days till NaNoWriMo

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Why am I writing this? Because I’m procrastinating. I’m stuck. I’m not even writing the book yet, I’m just coming up with the plot line.

Perhaps sleeping on it will help. I can’t even write this without stopping every 5 words. Hopefully November will go smoother.

Stupid OCD

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Just for the record, I WAS finished with the first draft. Honest.
I wrote the rough draft for NaNoWriMo last year, chopped off two sections, rewrote the entire thing and was going to call it good. I just had a small list of things I needed to rework- polish how I discuss ziggy’s adopted mother, mention the king’s son, make Ziggy’s cousin and aunt more antagonistic, etc. There are 21 changes that I wanted to make for this book before I distributed the draft.

It was supposed to be just a simple todo list, however between the time I started the first draft and ended it, I read a great book called Manuscript Makeover. It’s an excellent book that covers a quite a few noob writer mistakes. I said “Oh, crap that’s a good point” quite a bit. As I read the book, I began implementing it’s suggestions in my own writing.

I didn’t realize how much of a difference it had made until I began rereading the first section of my book- it was painful. Everything was past tense, and while that’s expected from an “autobiography,” there are plenty of places where I could show conversations rather than mention them happening in passing. If everything is past tense, it reads like a history book rather than a novel (if everything has already happened, so why bother investing in the story?).

On on e hand, there’s supposed to be ramp-up within the book towards the climax, the beginning would have been too slow to keep anyone’s attention. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t show your book to anyone until the third draft, and I can see why. Even now as I rewrite section 1, I see places I’ll have to go back an polish. The first three sections all need this same treatment to be honest.

The frustrating thing is NaNoWriMo is almost here and I’m wasting October on the first book rather than planning for the second. I figure I have until the 15th until I really have to buckle down and start preparing for the second book. So to anyone who wanted to review, you’ll probably have to wait a little longer…

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