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     March 28, 2007Volume 6 Number 12 Issue 146     
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Why You Need an Autoresponder

How to Build Super-Profitable Lists - Build Massive Profitable Lists. Top Experts Show You For Free.

Bought several new ebooks and pieces of software this week. Some very exciting stuff out there! The $7 dollar script is taking the Internet Marketing arena by storm. The general idea is that you allow other marketers to take the profit on your initial product in return for getting the buyer as a subscriber to your newsletter. You can also include a One Time Offer (OTO) to make a profit for yourself. Unfortunately, a number of folks are taking the attitude that they are not getting paid for the first product, so they are offering dross instead of gold & silver *8>)

Check out the freebies over at IdeaMerchant.com

Is Your Search Engine Ranking Being Penalized?

Your web site's ranking on search engines is undoubtedly a very vital element of your overall marketing campaign. There are many ways to improve your link popularity through legitimate methods, unfortunately, the Internet is rife with bands of dishonest webmasters seeking to improve their link popularity by deceiving the search engines.

The good news is that search engines have figured this out, and are now on guard for "spam" pages and sites that have increased their rankings by artificial methods. When a search engine tracks down such a site, that site is demoted in ranking or completely removed from the search engine's index.

The bad news is that some high quality, completely above-board sites are being mistaken for these web page criminals. Your page may be in danger of being caught up in the "spam" net and tossed from a search engine's index, even though you have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment. But there are things you can do - and things you should be sure not to do - which will prevent this kind of punishment.

Quality Links

Link popularity is mainly based on the quality of sites you are linked to. Note that I said you are linked to, and not that are linked to you. Google pioneered this criteria for assigning web site ranking, and virtually all search engines on the Internet now use it. There are legitimate ways to go about increasing your link popularity, but at the same time, you must be scrupulously careful about which sites you choose to link to. Google frequently imposes penalties on sites that have linked to other sites solely for the purpose of artificially boosting their link popularity. They have actually labelled these links as "bad neighbourhoods."

You can raise a toast to the fact that you cannot be penalized when a bad neighbourhood links to your site; penalties happen only when you are the one sending out the link to a bad neighbourhood. To prevent getting caught up in this, you must check, and double-check, all of the links that are active on your links page to make sure you haven't linked to a bad neighbourhood.

Page Rank

The first thing to check out is whether or not the pages you have linked to have been penalized. The easiest way to do this is to download the Google toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com. You will see that most pages are given a "Pagerank" which is represented by a sliding green scale on the Google toolbar.

Do not link to any site that shows no green at all on the scale. This is especially important when the scale is completely gray. It is more than likely that these pages have been penalized. If you are linked to these pages, you may catch their penalty, and like the flu, it may be difficult to recover from the infection.

There is no need to be afraid of linking to sites whose scale shows only a tiny sliver of green. These sites have not been penalized, and their links may grow in value and popularity. However, do make sure that you closely monitor these kind of links to ascertain that at some point they do not sustain a penalty once you have linked up to them from your links page.

Hidden Text

Another evil trick that illicit webmasters use to artificially boost their link popularity is the use of hidden text. Search engines usually use the words on web pages as a factor in forming their rankings, which means that if the text on your page contains your keywords, you have more of an opportunity to increase your search engine ranking than a page that does not contain your keywords.

Some webmasters have gotten around this formula by putting their keywords on the page but making them invisible to any visitors to their site. For example, they have used the keywords but made them the same color as the background colour of the page, such as a plethora of white keywords on a white background. You cannot see these words with the human eye - but the eye of a search engine spider can spot them easily! A spider is the program search engines use to index web pages, and when it sees these invisible words, it goes back and boosts that page's link ranking.

Webmasters may be brilliant and sometimes devious, but search engines have figured these tricks out. As soon as a search engine perceives the use of hidden text - splat! the page is penalized.

Overzealous Spider

The downside of this is that sometimes the spider is a bit overzealous and will penalize a page by mistake. For example, if the background colour of your page is gray, and you have placed gray text inside a black box, the spider will only take note of the gray text and assume you are employing hidden text. To avoid any risk of false penalty, simply direct your webmaster not to assign the same colour to text as the background colour of the page - ever!

Keyword Stuffing

Another potential problem that can result in a penalty is called "keyword stuffing." It is important to have your keywords appear in the text on your page, but sometimes you can go a little overboard in your enthusiasm to please those spiders. A search engine uses what is called "Keyphrase Density" to determine if a site is trying to artificially boost their ranking. This is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Search engines assign a limit to the number of times you can use a keyword before it decides you have overdone it and penalizes your site.

This ratio is quite high, so it is difficult to surpass without sounding as if you are stuttering - unless your keyword is part of your company name. If this is the case, it is easy for keyword density to soar. So, if your keyword is "renters insurance," be sure you don't use this phrase in every sentence. Carefully edit the text on your site so that the copy flows naturally and the keyword is not repeated incessantly. A good rule of thumb is your keyword should never appear in more than half the sentences on the page.

Cloaking

The final potential risk factor is known as "cloaking." To those of you who are diligent Trekkies, this concept should be easy to understand. For the rest of you cloaking is when the server directs a visitor to one page and a search engine spider to a different page. The page the spider sees is "cloaked" because it is invisible to regular traffic, and deliberately set-up to raise the site's search engine ranking. A cloaked page tries to feed the spider everything it needs to rocket that page's ranking to the top of the list.

It is natural that search engines have responded to this act of deception with extreme enmity, imposing steep penalties on these sites. The problem on your end is that sometimes pages are cloaked for legitimate reasons, such as prevention against the theft of code, often referred to as "pagejacking." This kind of shielding is unnecessary these days due to the use of "off page" elements, such as link popularity, that cannot be stolen. You can prevent a spider from mistakenly following a link to a “cloaked page” by putting the page in the robots.txt file in the no-follow section.

To be on the safe side, be sure that your webmaster is aware that absolutely no cloaking is acceptable. Make sure the webmaster understands that cloaking of any kind will put your web site at great risk.

Just as you must be diligent in increasing your link popularity and your ranking, you must be equally diligent to avoid being unfairly penalized. So be sure to monitor your site closely and avoid any appearance of artificially boosting your rankings.


The suggestions on topic readers want me to write on keep dribbling in - that's where the idea for today's article came from. If there are any particular subjects that you would like me to write on, please drop me a line at:

Email

Until next time…

warmly,



P.S. I mentioned the $7 sales earlier in the newsletter. If you would like to run your own $7 sales, check this out for the instructions on how to do it, and the software to do it with. The software has been updated several times (new features requested by owners of the software) since it was released, and the author has provided the upgrades free for all owners of his product! Can't ask for more than that.

Here's The LINK to find out more about $7 sales...


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