So I’m sitting here, reading through some of the larger social sites like Digg and Mixx, and I’m seeing a surprising amount of blogs and sites popping up today talking about things like “The secret of getting to the top of Google”.  I just want to point out that most of what I’ve read is bullshit.  Plain and simple.  So, what I wanted to do was basically go through these sites, make a list, and give my two cents to the matter at hand in a “Truth or Bullshit” manner and explain why.

1. Ways of getting traffic other than Search engines

Half Bullshit, Half Truth – This article basically goes through, explains some basic techniques of stealing other people’s steam, and then goes on to try and explain what directories are.  For the most part, these methods work, but they are not going to put you at the top of Google.  Instead of going and adding your listing into a directory, go make your own directory.  There is plenty of software out there to do this with little or no licensing fees associated with it.  If you do it right, you can actually create an income by selling placement in these directories.

2. How to Hire a Good SEO Expert

This is extremely important to note (and truthful):

“You don’t find offers of guaranteed placement from most of the reputable firms,” says Brad Fallon. “Almost to affirm it, they’ll say, ‘We can’t guarantee results – and anyone that would is a charlatan.'”

NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE YOU AT THE TOP OF GOOGLE!  But, a friend of a friend told me….  No, you’re not listening now.  You’ve bought into the whole “AdSense will make me 100 Dollars” mentality.  Again, NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE YOU AT THE TOP OF GOOGLE!  There are plenty of techniques that even I employ and show on this blog that used in conjunction with each other on a full moon MIGHT get you to the very top of Google, but that doesn’t mean you have any permanent fixture there.

Think about it.  If you go in, decide nonchalantly “I want to be at the top of Google” like a moron, and start padding the wallet of an SEO company, then you’ve done nothing but waste your money – bottom line.  The BEST thing that you can do for yourself is go write and rewrite your content.  Say it 10,000 different ways on 100 different pages, watch your tracker/stats, and make sure your Robots.txt isn’t blocking anything and you’ve just done 75% of what an SEO company will do.

I can remember thinking to myself, “Why not just hire an SEO company (to do my job for me)”, and I realized after I spoke to them just how much of an idiot I’d really have to be to buy this service just because I was trying to impress my boss.  SEO companies do NOT have any further control over Google than YOU do.  So, what, you’re paying them to make YOU feel better?  Fluff, you pay them for fluff.

3. Damn sure SEO tactics- SEO tips

Absolute Bullshit.  Ok, well, maybe it is true that you need the right keywords, but how the hell are you going to know that they’re working?  Easy and I’ll tell you because this guy obviously doesn’t.  Go use DomainTools and search your site or go use Google Webmaster Tools.  There will be an SEO browser, also better known as a plain text browser, there to show you. 

I digress.  You don’t convert keywords.  Words can have several meanings, but rarely do those words mean anything to anyone else unless millions of dollars worth of advertising and branding has happened to them…like the words Camel, Frosty, or Gateway.

He instructs you to use your company logo….well, I may use my company logo time and time again, but in the end I know that no one gives a damn about my logo, how much time I spent making my logo, or what it means.  No one cares about your “free wallpaper” either.  If they came there to get something for free, after you’ve fulfilled the obligation of “free stuff”, nothing is going to keep them there – including a search engine. 

Translation is a funny thing too.  Babelfish has been out for years and it’s still wrong.  What would make the difference to say that Google has any better technology yet?  Well, I can tell you from being quoted in Portugese that Google isn’t right all the time.  Just because you translate it to another language doesn’t mean that you’re even anywhere near the Google search engine for that language.  Go search your site on something like and see where you stand.  Much different, isn’t it?  What makes you think that SEO from just translating the site to another language makes any difference?  Again, the majority might just ignorantly brush this off because they think Russians are poor or because they have this inate fear of doing business overseas.  But, it matters, so think outside the box.

There are plenty of free services on the Internet when trying to advertise your services. Following these few simple steps, you can guarantee that you’ll be listed in the major search engines with little to no money.

  1. Create a sitemap using a sitemap creator and submit it to Bing and Google.  Your best bet is to follow the open-format Sitemaps protocol.  Verify your sites and verify that your sitemaps do not have any warnings (Google is the currently the best way to check this).
  2. Assuming that you’ve already picked a topic or product that you plan on sticking to for a while, begin to write two or three short essays that score at least a 500 word count.  These will be your primary advertising content, so make sure that these essays are not only on your site, but refer to your product or service in the best light.
  3. Start with Google Groups, which is a syndicate for the UseNet.  All that it requires is a simple Google Account.  Find as many related topics to your product or services and distribute the essay that you wrote.  There are thousands of niches on the UseNet, so it’s easy to find a few dozen to inform.
  4. Create a WordPress Blog on either your web site or at and use plugin such as Gregarious or Sociable to distribute your content to Digg, Propeller, StumbleUpon, Mixx, and as well as your favorite social websites.  These sites can be an excellent way of gauging the quality of your content, product, or service.
  5. If you are confident enough in your company, you should next go and make a press release with the essay that you wrote.  It may take some minor revisions to make your essay look like a press release and follow the correct format, but not long.
  6. Follow this list with 20 free press release points and submit your release to them.  Ideally you want to target sites that will submit your release to places like Google and Yahoo News.
  7. Go search Google, Yahoo, and MSN for your topic and add the term “forum” or “blog” and become a member of that site.  Do not spam these sites as you do not want to associate negativity with your product.

This should be enough to fulfill a day or so and see at least 50+ referring links to your site that can generate plenty of traffic.  Enjoy!

Blog Post Suggestions for When You Can’t Think of What to Write About

Originally Posted By Susan Gunelius, – I REALLY REALLY REALLY Wanted to liberate this material from the spam that was on  That was frustrating.  All credit goes to the original poster.

The more you blog, the harder it can be to come up with fresh ideas to write about. Two of the most important parts of a blog are compelling content and frequent updates. Take a look at the following blog post ideas to spark your creative juices when you can’t think of what to write about. Just remember to try to apply each of these ideas appropriately to your blog topic.

1. Lists

People love lists, and just about any kind of list is bound to attract traffic. Top 10 lists, 5 things not to do, 3 reasons I love something, etc. Start with a number then take it from there.

2. How-to

People love to find easy-to-follow instructions to help them accomplish a task. Whether you want to teach your readers how to throw the perfect curve ball or how to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito, the choice is yours.

3. Reviews

You can write a review of just about anything on your blog. Take a look at the following suggestions:

  • Products
  • Websites
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels

The possibilities are nearly endless. Just think of something you’ve tried and write about your experience and thoughts.

4. Photos

Post a photo (or photos) related to your blog topic.

5. Link Roundup

Write a post that includes a list of links to other blog posts that published great posts or to websites you like.

6. Current Events

What’s going on in the world? Write a post about an interesting bit of news.

7. Tips

Write a post to share tips to help your readers accomplish something in an easier, faster or cheaper way.

8. Recommendations

Share recommendations for your favorite books, websites, movies or other “favorites” related to your blog topic.

9. Interviews

Interview a prominent figure or expert in your blog topic then publish a blog post about it.

10. Polls

Register for an account with a site like then publish a poll related to your blog topic in one of your blog posts.

The more you blog, the harder it can be to come up with fresh ideas to write about. Two of the most important parts of a blog are compelling content and frequent updates. Take a look at the following blog post ideas to spark your creative juices when you can’t think of what to write about. Just remember to try to apply each of these ideas appropriately to your blog topic.

11. Contests

People love to win prizes, and blog contests are a great way to drive traffic to your blog as well as encourage visitors to leave comments. Blog contests can be used to write several posts such as an announcement post, a reminder post and a winner post.

12. Blog Carnivals

Join a blog carnival (or host one yourself) then write a post about the carnival topic.

13. Podcasts

Sometimes it’s easier to talk about something than it is to write about it. If that’s the case, try audio blogging and post a podcast.

14. Videos

Share a video from YouTube or one of your own, or host a video blog.


Share a quote from a celebrity or prominent person in a field related to your blog topic. Be sure to cite your source!

16. Links to Interesting Content from Digg or StumbleUpon

Sometimes you can find some really interesting submissions on Digg, StumbleUpon and other social bookmarking sites. It’s fun to share links to some of the best submissions related to your blog topic or of interest to your readers in one of your own blog posts.

17. Your Turn

Turn the tables and post a question or comment then ask your readers what they think about that question or comment. Your turn posts are a great way to spark a conversation.

18. Guest Posts

Ask other bloggers or experts in a field related to your blog topic to write a guest post for your blog.

19. Point/Counterpoint

A point/counterpoint post is where you present two opposing sides to an argument or issue. This type of post can even be separated into two different posts where the first presents one side of the argument and the second presents the other side.

20. Answer Reader Questions or Comments

Look back through the comments left by your readers and find any questions or statements that can be used to spark a new post.

I continue to see places like ShareASale and ClickBank throughout the Net.  I wanted to test the idea.  I started advertising on my network, trying to sell their affiliates services such as PC Universe, Vanns, and a few lower ranked affiliates.  I ran most ads that I put up for over 90 days on sites that have anywhere from 200 to 1,000 unique visits a day and saw absolutely NOTHING in return.  The first thing that I start asking myself is “Did I target to the right audience”, and the answer is “Yes, I did.”  The second thing I start asking myself is “Was my website live and accessible”, and the answer again is “Yes”.  Where did I go wrong?

Part of the way these affiliate sales companies try and get you to put their services on your site is by telling you that you will have a cookie on whomever clicks on the ad, tracking them for a certain period of time (30 days, 90 days, 365 days).  So, if I click on this ad, I’m being tracked?  The answer for most ads is yes.  But, how effective is that if I’m paranoid and delete my browser cache all the time?  Not at all effective.

So even though I didn’t make jack for advertising these products and services, I start wondering if it helped my SEO or traffic on my site?   To make this a fair controlled test, I didn’t advertise these products on any place other than my web site, I didn’t start any sort of obnoxious campaign on any social news sites, and I made sure that I was tracking with Google Analytics, Compete, and my hosting provider.

One site saw no increase in traffic, made no sales, had no ads clicked, and still is a loss leader.

Another site that had over 1,000 visitors a day, was paired with a similar selling product, had a dozen clicks on the ad still made no sales at all.

On both ends of the spectrum for loss leaders and high traffic sites, there was no difference.  In the end, I think these are just marketing scams.  The only way that I would consider doing this again, and would suggest doing this again for anyone, is if you have direct access to PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Ads that you could run.  This ensures that you’re going to be making some sort of money.  Otherwise, don’t waste your time.

Well, I’ve taken down the main site for a few reasons. For one, Yahoo wasn’t caching it at all because it was in Flash. I know that it’s really not that important to me, but it is to other people when trying to explain things and then come back to them a year later to readdress them like I said I would.

It’s important to note that the holder page that I made for the site is still using Google Analytics. Also, here’s a lesson to show that search engines WILL pick up single characters and put them into their search results as a page title. For the most part, the instances that would happen in when a new search engine comes around, like Cuil, it may or may not think of that page as a directory page.

Who knows. I’m just rambling now, so I’m going to go finish my page.

Mobile, Alabama Website Design Services

As a web designer, I constantly am presented with both good and bad ideas.  Some ideas like hummingbird feeders, dog tags, and wholesale sales on the surface may seem like good ideas, but ultimately stay at ZERO unique visits (Most with an average of 5-7 unique visits a week).  In Google Analytics, unique visits are defined as “Direct Traffic”.  These sites are sites that I would consider dead sites.  So, how do you bring a dead site to life?

There are a few different to consider in bringing a dead site to life.

  1. Do you have an hour a day that you can use to commit to seeing a site flourish?
  2. Are you willing to change your content regularly?
  3. Have you asked other people what they think about your site?
  4. Do you have a sitemap submitted to Google Webmaster Tools?
  5. Are you going to take a free or paid approach at marketing?

These are 5 simple things to ask yourself.  Here’s what I have to say about the list:

For #1, “Do you have an hour a day that you can use to commit to seeing a site flourish”, is basically a matter of self-discipline.  I’ve had a few clients see what they could actually do, but get discouraged by a decrease in their analytics numbers.  Speaking more directly, this client also tried to ask me to become the CEO of his company and manage all of the business.  I just reminded him of the contract that I made him sign (and you should be making people sign contracts, too) and told him what it would cost to have me do what they were too lazy to do.  Laziness only begets more laziness when doing any sort of SEO or development.

#2, “Are you willing to change your content regularly”: This can be as difficult as you make it to be.  Some search engines look at the file timestamp that you can see within your FTP browser or webroot on your server. Changing this can be as easy as changing a single character within a page if you haven’t updated it in a very long time.  SE’s set priority of information on newer pages, so updating them, or just doing a simple edit, can make all the difference.  Another alternative is re-designing your site using something like WordPress or Joomla to use a CMS (Content Management System) as your editor.  This can be a great way to use new technology such as a Blog or an RSS feed to distribute your information.

#3, “Have you asked other people what they think about your site”. This can do one of two things: 1.  Help drive traffic vicariously by producing talk.  2. Help you realize that your site does in fact suck and give you a reason to: A. continue, or B. quit.  Other people can be a very interesting wild card if you keep an open mind.  A simple misplacement of an image, or a bad image, that you can correct can improve things like the time visitors are on your site.  Most people are going to give you an opinion of the aesthetic value of your site.  If you can find people who will do that and give you opinions on the code you’re writing (if you write the code and not use a CMS), then you have found a valuable person to ask questions to. Very Important: Do not abuse this person’s opinion if you value your friendship.  It can be extremely annoying to be asked the same question over and over, especially when the opinion being rendered is a free one.

#4, “Do you have a sitemap submitted to Google Webmaster Tools”.  This is remedied if you answered no by two links: GSiteCrawler and Google Webmaster Tools.  GSiteCrawler generates an XML and simple text-based file structure of your site into a file.  It can also automate this process, too.  The advantage of having a sitemap is allowing search engines to know where they can go if there is no solid entry point to pages buried deep within your site.

#5, “Are you going to take a free or paid approach at marketing”:  I get asked this a lot.  For the paid approach, you could use something like Google AdWords or ExactSeek to drive traffic.  The truthful reality of using services such as this is there is no guarantee that you will have someone actually stay on your site when they do get there.  Plan your money effectively.  I’ll come back one day and re-address what effective paid marketing is and isn’t, so for now only pay for advertisement if it’s been effective in the past and use the free methods.  So how do you take the free approach?  Simple. The UseNet and free press release services.  Generally, you want to actually have an LLC or actual articles of incorporation as a business if you’re going to use something like the press releases because reputable companies are there and those who are not appearing to be a reputable company will just get removed as spam.  The UseNet, however, is filled with all kinds of information, spam, files, and people that aren’t prudish about letting a lot fly.  Just don’t try to pull a bogus marketing scheme and no one will try to hunt you down.  Either way, a good submission will travel for weeks across the Internet and create dozens of referring links back to your site.

I can’t really say if you answered yes or no to all of these questions if you should or shouldn’t continue with your site.  But, I can say that it should be clear at this point.  If you are not willing to commit the time that it takes to make a site its best, then it isn’t possible for you to treat your Internet customers or visitors in a way that they will have no problem handing you money.  And that’s the bottom line.

SEO should start wherever the SEO professional feels that the client needs to improve their image on the Internet.  There are times when you find clients that have had public affairs that they prefer to keep private, but just don’t on the forums and UseNets.  So, in a sense you want to “bury” this negative PR.  Even though it’s totally your risk to discuss further with the client the fine details of a bad day at their office that managed to get into searches somehow, its really not recommended.  If you know about posts like this, research them yourself and come to your own conclusions.  Sometimes, the people on the Internet may keep posts like this alive for any reason, so be prepared to take a working step several times to hide negative PR.

For Google, the only way to get ahead of bad news is to find news is to use similar channels that were used to add the bad news to begin with and put good news in it’s place.  Relevancy is a big part of how Google works, even if you are the only person reading the search.  If an article is relevant, new (or at least new to the URL), and sticks around for a pretty decent amount of time, Google will add it if it can be seen on a public network.

There are bigger problems that you can run into, even in the very beginning.  Google generally doesn’t always work as a magic genie.  You can’t just make Google do exactly what you want if their search engine already has a cache of what you’re trying to optimize.  Even inside Google Webmaster Tools under Overview, you should have a place to show where Googlebot last came to your site.

Usually when you know when Googlebot will come, it makes for better planning.  You can have a serious amount of traffic and Googlebot may not actually rescan your site for another month if Google thinks that statistically you shouldn’t have a good amount of traffic.  This also indicates Google Cache and Site maps.  The good thing also about bad PR is that if you have verified your site, you can remove things from Google’s cache after actually bothering with a removal submission.

Try starting also with maybe doing a Site map.  Later, I’ll do a great article about GSiteCrawler, which is a really easy way of getting a site map created for your website.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, obtained by SOE on May 15th, 2007, was a game that many hoped would trump the legendary EverQuest.  It was well known that there were problems with Vanguard, even before SOE had controlled the game.  The reason I mention SOE is because I have played EverQuest for quite some time (almost 5 years at the time of writing this) and still occasionally play.  When I think of an MMO after EverQuest, I have a big problem relating to the monotony that I hardened myself against while playing EverQuest.

The monotony in EverQuest could easily be neutralized by simple applications such as MacroQuest.  Even though MacroQuest was a big part of how I played EQ, I still wanted to go for a game that I thought was fun enough to not want to cheat.  I guess, the biggest reason I write this now is because I’ve reached the level in Vanguard that I have no problem going directly after high tier items that other people took months of combined time to obtain – and I’m stopping myself.  So.  Vanguard has bored me.

The biggest thing that I really experienced was being in the community, leveling three different types of XP at the same time and working on skills, and traveling the obnoxiously large world.  The game, after the just the shock value of tuning it to work on your system, has some impressive things going on – graphics are all rendered real-time, the amount of data being processed, just the sheer load of what a computer is handling is impressive…and also not very energy efficient at the same time.

The best thing that I can think of Vanguard at this point is being a decent benchmarking utility, but when you’re building a computer for someone else, how often do you want to transfer 20GB for one program to test a few minor settings?  Could be an interesting service, but I doubt you’d find that many consumers wanting someone playing on their gear.

I really hated the fact that once I was actually out in the world, playing the game, that I could see the limit that the developers left on the game.  I know that designing a working MMO isn’t an exact science, but there was no sense of impending doom that lurked over the whole world – or even something in my general area that taunted the NPC’s in general was somewhere or something I should be doing.  When I realized the thought of “should be doing”, that’s when the I feel like my ability to have fun was inhibited.  I really felt like the game was misguided, or got lost in the translation.

Sure, I should be doing something else – like not padding my blog with rich content that’s well past expired or expecting cool things from a pretty box.  In conclusion, Vanguard sucked balls and still does.  It does not match up to the mathematical complexity, the ability to manage character development, and the creativity that I expected from the creator of EverQuest, Brad McQuaid.

One of the biggest focuses that I have had for SEO, and being SEO minded, have been on planning what strategy should I take.  The biggest goal of any SEO strategy is to drive traffic.  Once you lose focus of attempting to drive traffic, it should be only for one of two reasons: 1. You quit worrying with it, and 2. You’re getting sued or having legal action taken, i.e. Cease and Desist Letter or Proposal.

I have taken many different ideas and converted them into working SEO strategies that have taken great shape over the media and drawn plenty of attention.  What I hope to cover in this blog should satisfy a great deal of information, especially the “why” of the method.

In knowing a working strategic action plan, there is a greater chance of having the ability to repeat your rate of success for a longer period of time.  Which, in turn, should result in more traffic.  To some people, traffic is money.  To some people, traffic is the illusion of the ability to have money spent as well.  It really depends on you, and your goals, at that point.

I digress.

What I want to focus on right now are the methods that we can take to get an authoritative ranking in Google.  I will come back later and describe what exactly an authoritative ranking is because there is a math to it.  We want to focus on attempting to get links that are external pointing to either a page or the root URL of our site.  So, how do we do that?  Well, any time a site is showing an active off site a link back to our site (for instance, we gain authority because someone else is talking about our site.

Once enough talk and traffic is generated, you begin to work away at the inconsistencies that still exist from the time you began working on SEO.  And that’s what we want, a reason to return to keep your mind fresh on what you’re designing.