Category Archives: My Blog

Penguin Update for October 2012

Penguin had a huge impact on a lot of SEOs and Webmasters. According to Matt Cutts, the head of the Web Spam team at Google, there is an update on the horizon which will have an even bigger impact.

A recent post by State of Search talked about some comments made by Matt Cutts at a recent conference, SES In San Francisco. It seems that he mentioned that there is a big Penguin update on the way.

When asked specifically about the latest Penguin update his response was: “We are constantly improving. And for those who think the important updates are done now, think again.”

He also said: “You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard.”

This sounds pretty forbidding, especially for anyone that’s been hit by the previous updates. I have noticed that it has become a lot more difficult with SEO and I see a lot “bounce” in the Alexa Ranking both up and down. One thing that SEOs have been wondering is when will the next Penguin update be released. After SERoundtable published these comments Matt took the time to comment on the article.

In his comments, he says that at SES he was “giving context on the fact that lots of people were asking me when the next Penguin update would happen, as if they expected Penguin updates to happen on a monthly basis and as if Penguin would only involve data refreshes.”

Matt says that it is unrealistic to expect the next update to only include data refreshes. He goes on to say that: “the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm.”

This is building a pretty strong case for the next update could have bigger impact than the previous releases. Something that Matt stated: “expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals and as a result will have more noticeable impact.”

So what are these signals likely to be? Well Penguin is a link based update, so it’s most likely to be link based signals. Well, back at SES Matt said that; “sites that have social sharing, natural sharing, instead of buying links, are generally not going to be hit. By next year, we hope marketers/webmasters get that and natural link building becomes the norm.”

The new Penguin update is going to hit in 2012 if not sooner,rather than later, as he also mentioned that “the engineers have been working hard” rather than the engineers areworking really hard.

Finally Matt’s advice on how to avoid getting hit has always been based on Google’s quality and relevancy policy. In other words, build something unique that adds value, by unique, Google means truly unique. It’s about having information that just isn’t available anywhere else. Google means Matt has focused on this point several times and it’s clearly what Google has always stated..

5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool


5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool

Blogging is a concept that started in late 90s. It used to be a way to comment an existing webpage, an opportunity for visitors and readers to react or voice out one’s opinion on the said page. What started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal take on just about anything and everything under the sun. As it continues to move forward, online advertising has tapped into the blog’s potential. Here are 5 reasons why you should use blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

1.Blogging is simple. The simplest way to get your piece on the net is through blogging. No skills are necessary; an average adult can read and type, or at least click a mouse. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product. If you have a PC and an Internet connection (who doesn’t?) then you can blog and advertise.

2. Blogging is authentic. In this day and age where advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, unscathed by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience. You definitely want to buy a tried and tested product.

3. Blogging is free. Because blogging is yet to be proven as a mainstream online advertising media, most sites see it as something to augment current marketing tools and thus offer it for free. Any opportunity for free webtime is definitely a bonus especially to businesses that are starting up.  Needless to say, paid blog pages can generate more income for your seriously growing business.

4. Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. As such, you become an expert on it; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs. As companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they may soon get in touch with you for advertising on your blog page, or make you an affiliate, which pays for every referral generated from your blog site.

5. Blogging builds your market. Unless you are a Hollywood star, chances are, only your Mom reads your posts.  Mom has a lot of friends, so she lets her friends know how interesting your blog site is. But you need not depend on Mom to increase your readership base. Look into the following ways to build your market through blogging:

  • By using your e-mail. Today, blogging is overcoming the e-mail’s popularity in quickly and effectively reaching and expanding a market.  In this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading e-mail is simply taking longer than clicking into a blog site.  Let them explore your site by using a short e-mail message as teaser to your blog site.  If your e-mail is on an entirely different subject, use your e-mail signature to give a link to the site.
  • By using subscription. An easy way to get your readers e-mail is to give them an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite. Keep some exclusive information for your subscribers to entice readers to subscribe and give their e-mail address.  Just be responsible in using their e-mail address, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.
  • By understanding your readers. Conduct a simple survey for your readers to understand their profile and advertising preferences. Ask consumers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a trial that you shared.  In this way, it is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.
  • By joining a blog network –A network of blogs maybe a collection of blog sites that share the same industry, interest, readership base, payment mode, etc. Consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject.  Clearly, more bloggers are better than one.
  • By using RSS. RSS is the fastest growing technology on the Internet today. As such, having RSS feeds to your blog is definitely another means of generating awareness for your readership base. Having a variety of feeds can add interest to your blog site.
    Give your business a boost by effectively using blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

SEO – Offer Quality Content and Services

SEO Content

Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means.

Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.

Interesting sites will increase their recognition on their own

  1. A blogger finds a piece of your content, likes it, and then references it in a blog post.
  2. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool can help you find relevant keywords on your site and the volume of those keywords.

 Anticipate differences in users’ understanding of your topic and offer unique,exclusive content

Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a person looking for SEO Info might search for Search Engine Optimization while another person might use a more general query like [SEO]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Google AdWords provides a handy Keyword Tool that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword (2). Also, Google Webmaster Tools provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site.

Consider creating a new, useful service that no other site offers. You could also write an original piece of research, break an exciting news story, or leverage your unique user base. Other sites may lack the resources or expertise to do these things.

Write easy-to-read text

Users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow.


  • Writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • Embedding text in images for textual content as users may want to copy and paste the text and search engines can’t read it

Stay organized around the topic

It’s always beneficial to organize your content so that visitors have a good sense of where one content topic begins and another ends. Breaking your content up into logical chunks or divisions helps users find the content they want faster.


  • Dumping large amounts of text on varying topics onto a page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation

Create fresh, unique content

New content will not only keep your existing visitor base coming back, but also bring in new visitors.


  • Rehashing (or even copying) existing content that will bring little extra value to users
  • Having duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site – more on duplicate content

Create content primarily for your users, not search engines

Designing your site around your visitors’ needs while making sure your site is easily accessible to search engines usually produces positive results.


  • Inserting numerous unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines but are annoying or nonsensical to users
  • Having blocks of text like “frequent misspellings used to reach this page” that add little value for users
  • Deceptively hiding text from users, but displaying it to search engines

Write better anchor text

Suitable anchor text makes it easy to convey the contents linked

Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag <a href=”…”></a>.

This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. Links on your page maybe internal i.e. pointing to other pages on your site or external leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.

Suitable anchor text makes it easy to convey the contents linked

Choose descriptive text

The anchor text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about


  • Writing generic anchor text like “page”, “article”, or “click here”
  • Using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to
  • Using the page’s URL as the anchor text in most cases – although there are certainly legitimate uses of this, such as promoting or referencing a new website’s address

Write concise text

Aim for short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase.


  • Writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text

Format links so they’re easy to spot

Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click them.


  • Using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text

Think about anchor text for internal links too

You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better.


  • Using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for search engines
  • Creating unnecessary links that don’t help with the user’s navigation of the site

Worldwide English Language Tug of War

This is a funny article based on different ways to spell words and write articles depending on what English language you speak.

However; it is important if you are addressing an  American audience in your articles and you live outside of the USA. Our spell checkers in the USA will flag miss-spelling verses of other countries “English” spelling of words.

So my point is to understand your market and try to address the content of your spelling, so when you are addressing the USA market, you come across as an American verses a person from another country.

Having worked all over the world, it is interesting, because, one needs to learn how different cultures interpret the English language.  For example, most Japanese can speak English, but you have to slow down your speech to converse with them. American’s can talk very fast compared to other countries.

For example, I grew up in the South where most people tend to speak slow and have a definite Southern dialect. When I moved to California after graduating from the University of Florida Electrical Engineering school, I was mocked by the people I worked with for my southern accent, when I came back to visit my friends, they told me to slow down because I spoke too fast!

I have a funny story; I was working with a French company as their VP of International Sales. We went to Japan, and my French Applications Engineer was giving a presentation on our product. The Japanese in the audience were looking very confused, so I stopped the presentation and proceeded to give it myself. When I did, the Japanese audience started to nod their heads in understanding!

Afterwards, my French associate said, I do not understand, He said, I gave the same presentation! And, I said there is a difference, because I spoke Japanese English! You Spoke French English!

So , here are some tips for writing articles posted to Ezine.

Ezine Tips 

English Dialects: American English, British English, South African English, Australian English, Cockney English, Southern American English… There are so many!

For every dialect, someone will vow their version is the “right” version:

“Americans can’t spell.”

“The British can’t tell advise from advice.”

We’ve heard it all! Before we get into the differences of American vs. British English, let’s get one thing straight: Just as many British English writers struggle with poor grammar and spelling as American English writers.

Whew! Glad that’s out of the way! Whether you use American or British English, we will accept either as long as you stay consistent in the dialect you use throughout the whole article.

Today’s guide will help you on your journey to discovering the subtle nuances of American English and British English as well as strengthening your article writing skills. Let’s get started!

American vs. British English Language Spelling Guidelines

1. Words ending in -or (American) vs. -our (British)

  • Neighbor vs. Neighbour
  • Favor vs. Favour

2. Words ending in -er (American) vs. -re (British)

  • Center vs. Centre
  • Meter vs. Metre

3. Verbs ending in -ize (American) vs. -ise (British)

  • Organize vs. Organise
  • Realize vs. Realise

4. Verbs ending in -yze (American) vs. -yse (British)

  • Analyze vs. Analyse
  • Paralyze vs. Paralyse

5. Nouns ending in -ense (American) vs. – ence (British)

  • License vs. Licence
  • Defense vs. Defence

Please note the above guidelines are not comprehensive and there are many exceptions. If you are unsure, keep a dictionary on hand or perform a quick Internet search to ensure you are using the correct spelling for either dialect.

Here are a few more spelling examples of American vs. British English to watch out for:

  • Canceled (American) vs. Cancelled (British)
  • Enroll (American) vs. Enrol (British)
  • Gray (American) vs. Grey (British)
  • Check (American) vs. Cheque (British)
  • Maneuver (American) vs. Manoeuvre (British)

What Did They Do to My Definite Article?!

Our final guideline today on American vs. British English language often aggravates American English writers:

“Why do British English writers insist on dropping the definite article (e.g. a, an, the, etc.) in phrases with institutional nouns (e.g. university, hospital, prison, etc.)?”

For British English writers, it’s based on the intention of the phrase. For example:

John is at university.

John is at the university.

“John is at university” is the British English equivalent to the American English “John is a university student.” When we add the definite article (“John is at the university”), the meaning changes: John is no longer necessarily a college student; he is merely located on the university’s property.

We’ve covered a lot of ground today! Remember: Be consistent and when all else fails, look up the spelling based on the dialect to ensure you don’t confuse your audience. Stop the tug of war over the English language and strengthen your article writing skills by keeping these guidelines in mind for your next set of quality, original articles.

Ad Testing and Optimization

Are your ads the best they can be?

When using Microsoft/Yahoo Ad testing (a/b testing) lets you experiment with multiple ads at the same time to find out which ones work best. When combined with our Ad Optimization feature, better-performing ads will display more often.

How Do You Benefit?

Improve ad group performance because better performing ads, based on click-through rate, will serve more often (if Ad Optimization is turned on, which the default is setting).

Save time by automatically displaying the best performing ads.

Save money because ads with higher click-through rates may score higher in the quality index, and this may lead to higher placement at a lower cost.

Find out which messages, promotions, and geographical locations test better, and apply this learning to other marketing tactics.

Test different versions of your landing page URLs.

How to Create New Ads?
To create a new ad:

Go to your intended ad group page or create a new ad group.

Click on the +Create New Ad button.

Enter a title, description, destination URL and display URL.

Review and approve ad.

Tips for Using Ad Testing

Develop a strategy. Have a goal in mind. For example, test an offer of 20 percent savings against an offer of $40 off any purchase over $200 to see which positioning your customers find more appealing.

Plan out your ad testing schedule. This helps organize your ad testing objectives and gives your ads enough time to display so that results are statistically significant.

Ad testing demo

Create ads with unique messages. Don’t test messages that are too similar – say, an ad that offers “great prices” against one that promises “low prices.”

Choose keywords for each ad group carefully. Grouping similar and relevant keywords will make it easier to create ads, and may improve your ad’s quality and placement.

Search Engine On Page Optimization

In order for your Web Site function properly, it is necessary to maximum it’s organic ranking and there are several steps that could be taken. First you should research keywords that you are going to use.  Once you’ve selected the keywords that for your page optimization, you need to focus attention to on-page optimization. On-page optimization greatly improves your organic rankings for your website.

Note: Organic describes a search that returns results by indexing pages based on content and keyword relevancy. Google has led the way in championing the virtues of natural or organic search. Its primary focus has always been to return fast, highly relevant results based on the content of the page, the relevancy of links pointing to that page, and other “objective” criteria. Through a process of trial and error, one can discover what factors have the most impact on your organic ranking.

There are a number of factors to consider when optimizing your web pages. Some of these factors include Meta tags, URL structure, and speed at which your page loads.

Meta tag definition – A piece of text in the source code of a web page in order to provide information to a search engine about the contents of the page

Meta tags need to be formatted correctly to enhance search engine rankings. I learned that Meta tags alone will not dramatically improve rankings. Please note that Meta tags may be used to verify other aspects of your website and is important step to getting users to click through from search engine results.

Meta tags need to be in the proper format. Make sure you are formatting your Meta tag to include a title tag. Title tags contain the keywords that you are trying to optimize. Google search results limit Meta tags to sixty characters.. The second Meta tag is the description tag should be less than one hundred and fifty characters and your keyword phrase cannot be repeated more than twice.

The last Meta tag is the keyword tag. When optimizing your keyword tag, it is suggested that you use only a dozen of your highly trafficked keywords. Search engines will then know that you are an authority site and worthy of top rankings.

The time in which your page loads is an important factor to search engines. Not only does your web page need to be formatted correctly but it needs to load quickly. Web sites that load quickly point to the user having more experience. By keeping search times to a minimum, Search engines reward you for providing the correct information more quickly.

Another important factor for optimization is the URL structure.  It is well known that having your keyword in the URL helps with optimization.  There are also other factors used by search engines and many sites include their keyword in the URL but get outranked by other web sites. There are other factors that help with your optimization of the URL. Purchasing a URL that has your keyword for instance.  If the URL is not available, consider adding a folder or page to your site that includes the keyword you want to optimize your site for.

For example: In this way you are placing the keyword close to the root thereby providing more value.

When you begin the optimization process for your web page, evaluate one of the following: your web site, landing page, load speed, and URLs. There are other factors, but the ones we discussed are critical to the success of your search engine optimization process.

SEO Be Aware of False Claims

Search Engine Optimization is often cited by marketers as one of the most effective tactics for generating leads or sales from your website. But while most marketers understand the importance of SEO, many see the process as a highly technical, an almost mysterious discipline that’s best left in the hands of experts.

It’s no surprise, then, that many time-strapped small and medium-sized business marketers look to outsource their SEO to trained professionals. A simple Google search for SEO firms will turn up thousands of vendors, offering extraordinary quick results for attractively low monthly fees or even a simple one-time purchase.

Be careful, though: Many of these “professionals” and SEO experts are counting on clients’ SEO ignorance to get quick cash without delivering long-term, sustainable SEO improvements. Even worse, some of the practices used by SEO firms can actually hurt your business in the long run.

How can you tell if you’re being sold SEO false promises? Here is the first signal your SEO firm might not be worth the money you’re paying them. Take a look at these dubious practices and evaluate your current vendor’s approach. Or, keep this list in-hand as you search for a new vendor to take on your SEO project.

Some things to watch out for!

Outsourcing your business’s SEO is a leap of faith – you’re spending valuable marketing dollars on a project and need to show the return on that investment. That’s why many marketers are tempted by firms that guarantee top rankings or specific traffic increases, or claim they’ll improve your position in as little as 30 days.

But beware of firms that make these kinds of promises. The fact is, reputable SEO firms don’t offer guaranteed #1 rankings, fast results, or any other promises that sound too good to be true.

Here are some of the false promises that are typically used by devious SEO firms:

  • Google has issued explicit warnings against making such promises in its search marketing guidelines, saying, “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.”
  • Search rankings are notoriously unstable, and subject to a variety of factors such as the location of the person searching and whether they’ve logged in to Google and are using personalized results.
  • Rankings alone are a bad metric for overall performance. It’s more important that the search results drive relevant visitors that take a desired action – such as signing up for an email newsletter or making a purchase – once they land on your page.
  • Claims about rapid improvements in search engine rankings are similarly dubious. SEO is not a quick-fix marketing tactic to deliver results in a matter of hours or days. Instead, it typically takes a diligent, ongoing process that gradually improves your site’s rankings.

A good SEO project can take two to three months to begin showing a real impact, depending on a number of factors such as the age of your site, the number of quality inbound links you already have, and the competitiveness of keywords.

Anyone promising you big-time results in just a month is offering false promises or worse: They could be using unethical SEO tactics that might deliver a quick bump at the expense of long-term search engine performance.

Black Hat SEO – The Definition of Cloaking

What is the Definition of Cloaking?


A system to hide code or content from a user and deliver different content to a search engine spider.

IPbased cloaking delivers custom pages based on the users IP address.

User Agent cloaking delivers custom pages based upon the users Agent.

Depending on the intent of the display discrepancy and the strength of the brand of the person or company, cloaking it may be considered reasonable, or it may get a site banned from not one, but all search engines.

Cloaking has many legitimate uses which are within search guidelines. For example, changing user experience based on location is common on many popular websites.

This technique is abused by spammers for keyword stuffing. Cloaking is a violation of the Terms of Service of most search engines and could be grounds for banning.

If search engine traffic is important to you, make sure you consider the following with respect to cloaking:

  • Make sure you are familiar with the obvious and not so obvious forms of cloaking and are aware how these are used on your site to avoid any potential penalties.

If anyone remembers 2 years ago, Google came in and banned the accounts of many top Internet Marketers for using these types of strategies. Most notably was black hat SEO and “Get Rich Quick” Schemes. This resulted in complete chaos for almost everyone who was performing MLM marketing.

This type of Internet Marketing should be avoided at all costs!


6 Critical Steps to Manage your Twitter Account

When you are first starting out in Twitter it important to manage your account and have a clear goal of who you are following, how you add followers, and when you add both of them. One of the goals is to manage the Following to Followers ratio; otherwise you may end up with the “follow” error message.

“You are unable to follow more people at this time” Learn More Here

In Twitter, the following 6 guidelines provide the best means to manage your account;

1. Try to keep your Following to Followers ratio to 10%

2. The reason is when you hit 2001 following; Twitter does not let you proceed until you have 1800 followers.

3. After 2001 following, you still need to maintain the 10% ratio

4. If you do reach a limit, Twitter will let you know with an error message telling you which limit you have hit.

5. For limits that are time-based (like the Direct Messages, Update, and API Requests Limits), you will be able to try again after the time has elapsed.

6. The Update Limit of 1,000 updates per day is further broken down into semi-hourly intervals. If you hit your account update limit, just wait a few hours after the limit-period has elapsed and try again.

What is Churning?

Churning is considered very aggressive and is defined as a follow churn when an account repeatedly follows and un-follows large numbers of users. This may be done to get lots of people to notice them, to circumvent a Twitter limit, or to change their follower-to-following ratio. These behaviors negatively impact the Twitter experience for other users, are common spam tactics, and will lead to account suspension.

The Actual Twitter Rules

1. Direct Messages: 250 per day.

2. API Requests: 150 per hour.

3. Updates: 1,000 per day. The daily update limit is further broken down into smaller limits for semi-hourly intervals. Retweets are counted as updates.

4. Following (daily): Please note that this is a technical account limit only, and there are additional rules prohibiting aggressive following behavior. You can find detailed page describing following limits and prohibited behavior on the Follow Limits and Best Practices Page. The technical follow limit is 1,000 per day.

5. Following (account-based): Once an account is following 2,000 other users, additional follow attempts are limited by account-specific ratios.

Twitter Automation – What is legal and what is not?

The only auto-following behavior that Twitter allows is auto-follow-back (following a user after they have followed you). Automated un-following is also not permitted. If you find yourself frequently needing to un-follow large numbers of users, you might consider reviewing your criteria for following them.

You may encounter websites or applications claiming they can help you get lots of followers quickly. These programs may ask for payment for followers, or ask you to follow a list of other users in order to participate. The Twitter Rules addresses the use of these programs by disallowing them.

Using or promoting third-party sites that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising ‘more followers fast,’ or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account). If you give out your username and password to another site or application, you are basically giving control of your account to someone else. If they then post duplicated, spam, or malicious updates and links, send unwanted direct messages, aggressively follow, or violate other Twitter rules with your account.

These applications do add followers to your account which are often “abandoned” or “bot” accounts that are not reading your updates. If a third-party application causes your account to violate the Twitter Rules, your account may be suspended.


In summary Twitter has an internal list of rules which must be observed to properly manage and grow your Twitter account.

Author: William B. Weeks Jr.