Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Organic SEO - I need to get higher in the rankings by Tuesday!

How quickly can i get ranked higher in organic search results?

Well that depends on where your starting from and what type of changes are being made:

This is brand new domain:

Well in this case, If SEO has been done from the start your in for a little bit of a bumpy ride. take Google for example; They'll give new sites a boost in the first couple months of operation but then the site will fall off somewhat. The site will fall off sharply if no SEO efforts have been made.

This is brand new web site on an old domain:

Once again attention to SEO will have an impact. If the site structure has been radically changed from what Google has cached, you could disappear for quite a while until your new content is re-ranked (6 Months or more?). There's some things to consider in site redesign:

  • Has the file names and file structure been preserved. This change will foul up the weight Google gives the current site. To transfer your current page rank you should use permanent redirects (301) in your .htaccess file (or other similar method) to point Google's cache of old pages to the new/replacement pages.

This is the same old site on the same old domain, just getting SEO for the first time:

It might not be that long, a few months perhaps.

Final thoughts

With any SEO campaign, that's done ethically and designed to have long lasting results the time frame for those results is not short. It can be from several months to a year to see tangible and predictable results.

Organic SEO is not as simple as PPC where well written ads and a budget can get you in the sponsored results that day. Actually PPC should be considered on a short term basis to fill the void.

Organic SEO is a more hand to hand combat situation where you need to outrank your competition. and do it in a world where page rank,quality content and quality inbound links have a lot of value in that fight. Where search engines will take months to respond to the value of your site changes it just can't be promised in a day.

If someone tells you it can, I'd look elsewhere for the SEO work.

Content in the above posting is not meant to be the definitive last word on any topic.

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Template sites and Templating. What's the difference

Yes, what's the difference

In a nutshell template sites are pre-packaged web sites, typically containing a menu structure pointing to a few pages. There are some attributes about them to consider:

  • They are rigid. How was the navigation designed. Does it use graphical elements (almost always)? What if you want to change the menu structure then?
  • Was it designed to be flexible in other ways? what if you change the logo at the top will it skew the page display?
  • How do you feel about several other web sites having essentially the same look?
  • What if you need to add e-commerce, a blog or some other functionality? again, will the framework be flexible enough for these additions without major rework?
  • If you select a template site and modify it and "break something" who will fix it.

these are a few considerations but certainly not all.

What do you mean by "Templating"?

Weather your designing a site from scratch or creating template sites at some point you need to design the first "Template" that other things flow from.

Template site designers do not need to consider any customer specific customer needs at this point they just come up with a pretty design that they hope will sell.

Web site designers also "Template" but we do it at a point where the unique customer design needs have been considered and we do it with future flexibility in mind (because hopefully we will be the go to person for updating the site.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Spam - Some things to consider about email and your inbox

All of us get spam. It's impossible to get away from.

Below is a very simple discussion on email habits. It's by no means "The complete guide"
but rather a good place to start.

There are some general practices to consider when it comes to your inbox:

Don't Open that email!!!
Don't open an email unless you know the sender or at least it is clear that it is legitimate. Spammers consider a legitimate email address to be gold. They typically embed images or other web-bugs to let them know your address is good. When you open the email you've made their day!

But if you must:
If you must know what this email is about here's a method to help you know this email is a fraud and keep you from opening it (An outlook based answer): In outlook right click the message of interest and select "Options" from the pop up menu. You'll get a bunch of text like this (the email headers):

Received: from ([])
by (sccrmxc17) with ESMTP
id (20071022161557s17005ktpde); Mon, 22 Oct 2007 16:15:57 +0000
X-Originating-IP: []

Received: from ([])

by with comcast
id 3UFF1Y00Y4ttjZk0000200; Mon, 22 Oct 2007 16:15:57 +0000
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 09:15:16 -0800

From: "some"

Look at the areas highlighted in purple you'll notice that the From: address at the
bottom of the email headers does not the received lines (also marked in
purple). Also the display name in the headers is "some" , this is not a name any legit email sender would choose to show. This is not a foolproof check but it can give you a good idea of an email legitimacy. Also, the To: address
(bottom line) is not my address but i received this email in my inbox.
Had i opened this i could have warmed the heart of some spammer somewhere by letting them know it was sent to a real email address.

The email has an attachment, should i open it?

You should know my answer by now! But in case you don't: NO!
Unless it's from someone you know or an email you expect. There's no good reason
for strangers to send you attachments (potential viruses) .

Anything else to consider?

You really should have some basic security app's on your PC. Virus, PC firewall ,
phishing protection should all be installed. Most services charge ~$30 per year to
keep subscriptions current. If you think that's a rip-off then i would figure
you've never been through a disastrous infection on your PC. You can wipe
out 10 times that in one event when you factor in lost information, productivity
and not to forget loss of private information.

Things to remember:

* Don't let spammers know they've reached a legit email address.
* Don't open unless you know who it's from.
* If you must look at it. Look at email headers first to determine if it's legit.
* Make sure you have up to date security app's on your PC. Don't skimp here!

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Is my web site ever really "Completed"? Content VS. A.D.D.

Will my web site ever be done?

Regardless of why your asking that question the answer is: NO!

There's two important reasons for this:

  1. Once site visitors figure out there's never any fresh content why would they come back?
  2. Once the Search Engines figure out there's never any fresh content why would they come back?

Search Engine spiders have been designed to be as picky as humans about keeping their interest piqued. There needs to be a regular dose of fresh content for your web site or search engines will simply spider your site less often and give it a lower ranking.

There's a good reason for this. To make search results more useful the Google's of the world have decided that new content is best for the people using their search engines.

NOTE: The search engines spiders can pretty well read your text and determine if it's well written for a human or just spam, crammed full of key phrases to try to rank higher!

You might well ask "What about the ADD web surfer? Don't I only have 7 seconds to capture and retain them.

Well Yes that is true, but then you need to ask yourself "Well what do I offer them now?".

Think of it like this:

Have you ever been to a web site that took too long to download?

A web site that didn't immediately focus you on the information you were looking for?

What did you do then? Well if your like me you spent as close to that 7 seconds
as possible and then moved on. Lets assume for a moment though that your attention was caught in that seven seconds. You saw clues that what you were looking for was on this site. what did you do then????

You started reading!

Well how would you feel if you then discovered the page had the same old content, no new information. Or worse yet was just a key word stuffed, SEO unethically optimized useless piece of %@#%@#$%@#$. Pretty P.O'd I'd think. I know i am when it happens (or when the result is just another page of results and not what I'm looking for).

So if you ask yourself the "what then?" question raised above you should realize that the A.D.D. web surfer is not so A.D.D. after all. One of my testers put it quite nicely:

Once i realize that the site has what I'm looking for I'd read War & Peace to get the information! Just not over and over again.

So you decide, is your web site ever going to be done?????

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Friday, February 22, 2008

About this page!

Hi and welcome,
I plan on using this section to comment on a wide range of topics that i hope will be useful to techies and non-techies alike.

I'm just starting this up in the secon quarter of 2008 so it will be a little sparse right now.

If you've got something you'd like to hear my comments on drop me an email at:


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P.O. Box 67
Bellingham, MA

28 Summer St
Medway, MA