Monday, April 30, 2007

My problem with Google's Page Rank System

Google's Page Rank

I understand that Page Rank (PR) is a big deal to Google, but I think the way they rank is a bit moronic. If you have Google's toolbar and you go to the home page of Google you will see that they have a page rank of 10. Well, I can almost guarantee that all the links going to Google are not from sites that have something to do with Google or are relevant to Google/search engines. I can also guarantee that all the pages linking to them do not have a Page Rank of 4 or higher. The same goes for the sites they are linking to. If the system was the same for me, as it is for them, I would have a Page Rank of 10 also.

Google wants you to have quality outbound links that relate to the content/subject of your site. Well, that sounds all fine and dandy, but it really is not possible for everyone and it doesn't make sense to business owners on the web! If businesses want to list their clients they should be able to without penalty.

Real Trust

If someone has a site that sells screening services (site A) and they list the YMCA and a local day care facility as clients, according to Page Rank rules, this will hurt the site because the site they are linking (site B) to is not relevant to site A. It is true that screening services are not related to the YMCA or day care, but that does not mean that the link is not worth anything. In the business world those links show potential clients that the screening business has clients that trust them enough to invest in their services. As a result, a new client will begin to trust them strictly because of the client list and this will help the business make more money. Therefore, this means the link is valuable.

I know if I saw that a local branch of the YMCA trusted a screening company I would think that the company must know their stuff (It would be the 1st step in establishing trust), but Google would assume that this site is not as trustworthy as a screening web site that paid for links coming in and going out. The question is who does the ordinary person trust? I do not trust a company only because of their Page Rank. In fact, PR has nothing to do with it, ever! I look at client lists, reputation and word of mouth.

A Manipulated System

Google has people running around like chickens with their heads cut off buying links or trying to obtain links that have high Page Ranks AND that are relevant to the subject of their site. Google says they don't want you to buy these links, but people pretty much have to. So in the end, the Page Rank system is manipulated and is becoming untrustworthy. Linking has become a game and the original purpose of the system has been lost. People will always find a way to get around any system and they have with PR.

So, Google, do you see why this system is skewed? It doesn't work and it is easily manipulated. You have created a system that only benefits those that have enough money to manipulate the system or those that are creative enough to manipulate it. What I cannot understand, and probably never will, is that Google started off as a small business and many people supported it and helped it gain its current economic status and popularity. If it wasn't for the little people Google would be nothing, but in the end Google is screwing over the little people (perhaps not purposefully) and supporting those that have the power and money to gain the ranking they want.

Does Google Care About Small Businesses?

What about small businesses, Google? Why don't they deserve their shot? Why don't you want to support those that need to make an honest living and do not have the money to constantly be buying links or paying for blog entries (with high PR) with links back to their site? Your system is easily manipulated and you are ok with that? The system is crooked and that is ok? I don't get it.

In my very humble opinion, I must state that I feel that site need to be ranked due to their trustability. My business site is listed on hundreds of sites that are basic spam and junk. I didn't want my site on there. People come and find my site and list it. They steal my writing and my description to put on their site and there is no way to contact them to get my site off. These are junkie sites, yet they are at the top of Google's 1st page and some have high page ranks. So, I guess creating junk and a site that just irritates people is the way to get rewarded on Google???!. I don't get it.


So, Google, here is my question, WHY do you like this system? Why don't you want to create a real system? A valuable one? Is it because it would be hard to create this system without an actual human looking at the sites and this would cost so much money? Don't you want to create a system that actually tells a person if a site is trustworthy or not? Who you trust is one thing, but who the ordinary Internet needs to trust is another.

A Privilege to Be In the Index

I know Google says that they help people because their sites are in the index. This is true, but when you penalize a site for being a business that isn't really fair, is it? I will say that Google has done a better job in the last few months with their search results. It is easier to find things than it was 6 months ago, but I am sick of hearing about PR (Page Rank). To me this is a system that is important to only one business, Google.

There is my blurb, irritation and rant...I do feel a little better :-)

Friday, April 27, 2007

An example of How Blogs Can Be Beneficial for Businesses

My Little Experiment

I decided to experiment with blogging to see if there really are benefits for business owners. I have to say right now that it is! I created 2 blogs and I took the time to submit the feeds everywhere I could. I registered at many blog search engines and I also kept a list of all of the blog promotion information I read through and followed the advice.

So, I created 2 blogs. On this blog (blog 1) I decided to post longer entries 1-2 times a week and
the other blog (blog 2) I update 3-5 times a week with smaller entries. Today these blogs have been online 20 days and...

  • Blog 1 has visitors from 8 different countries and blog 2 has visitors from 19 different countries.
  • My main business site has 100-150 more hits a day than it did before and has resulted in three additional freelance jobs.
  • My second business site has 10-22 more hits a day and I have been hired to create 5 web sites in the last 6 days.
  • I now have been in contact with great people across the net and have had communications with some great SEOs with national/international reputations. (Super Cool, BTW)
  • I find my blog entries all over the net due to RSS feeds which leads to my blog which then sends people to my main business sites.
  • I have had 32 emails asking about the services I offer and 17 asking other questions.
  • I have gained numerous and exciting page 1 placements on the three major search engines for the blogs.
  • My main site has moved up on the 1st page of Google (for several search phrases) for whatever reason.

So, 20 days of work and monitoring stats has shown me that blogging is really worth the time, effort and energy. It is beneficial for my business site, my visibility on the net and my bank account. I also have to say that I am one of those people that thrives on information. I love to read and learn and then learn some more and blogs are a great resource for that.

Beneficial for Businesses

I think creating a blog for your business can be extremely beneficial. I am going to post some links below that I have found on my own, have found due to and have found thanks to SiteProNews.

  1. Matt Cutts
  2. read the whole thing!
  3. - Blog Promotion 101
  5. Web Logs
  7. SEOpedia
  8. Great Entry By Copyblogger- Learning styles and preferences-beneficial for all writers
  9. Greywolf's SEO Blog
  10. RSS-Specifications
  12. OF COURSE- claim your blog
  13. Commission Junction. Great way to make extra money. They have attractive ads to choose from.
  15. Submit Your Site Google
  16. Submit Your Site to MSN
  17. Yahoo! Publisher Guide to RSS
Melissa Fach- SEO Copywriter

Monday, April 23, 2007

Search Engine Marketing in Sarasota

Sarasota is a great place to live and there are many successful businesses in the area, but I have to explain Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and/or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) over and over because people are unaware of what these things are and they are unaware of how important they are.

If a business wants visibility on the Internet they have to optimize their web site(s). Visibility means more traffic and more traffic means a better ROI.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The goal of SEM is to use various marketing methods to increase a web site’s visibility on at least the three major search engines- Google, Yahoo! & MSN. SEM also focuses on marketing a company effectively. Search Engine Marketing methods can include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (Google AdWords & Yahoo! Search Marketing), Video Marketing and Paid Inclusion.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO strategies are created to increase the traffic of a one’s web site by trying to increase the ranking of a web site within the search results of a search engine. Think about this- when you type a search term into Google how many pages do you look through to find what you are looking for? 1? 2? Maybe 3? Normally people will not look beyond the first few pages UNLESS they are looking for something that is hard to find. Businesses want to be on the 1st page of Google (or somewhere very close) for search phrases that relate to their site. That is what Search Engine Optimization is for.

Search Engine Optimizers understand that people want to show up at the top of search engines for a variety of search phrases. In creating a strategy, your SEO specialist will have to research keywords/keyword phrases, examine competing web sites, look at how often certain search phrases are used, determine which search phrases are more effective than others, create a unique SEO plan for every page on the site, make sure a site is properly coded, ensure that a proper XML sitemap is in place, have an SEO Copywriter create content or have them edit the content…I could keep going.

An SEO strategy should not be noticeable to anyone but the search engines (and people who optimize). Title-tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords, URLs, meta tags, names of uploadable files, anchor text, headlines, links and the names of images can all be, and should be, optimized for every page of your site. This can be a very long process depending on the size of the site, but it does pay off (if you pay someone that knows what they are doing.

Spiders or Bots

Spiders or Bots are sent from the search engines to scan your site and determine whether or not your site is coded properly (if it isn’t the bots can’t keep scanning). They look at your source page and the algorithms look at the words that are focused on in all of the areas I listed in the above paragraph. The first thing they look at (keyword wise) is the title-tag, then the meta description, meta keywords and content. When these areas focus on keyword phrases, the search engines notice. If these areas are supported by optimized meta tags, URLs, names of upload-able files, anchor text, headlines and the names of images the bots/search engines could index you under that phrase. They may or may not depending on the popularity of the search phrase. For example, the search phrase “Sarasota Real Estate” brings up so many sites!!! Many of the sites on page 1 and 2 of Google have been there a very long time and will most likely not lose their placement. To suddenly show up on Google for that phrase would be a miracle.

Please the Search Engines and Please the Web Visitors

Web sites have two important jobs:

1), Please the search engines to gain traffic (SEO)
2). Please the web visitors so they will invest in the products or services sold on the web site.

SEO Copywriters can help you with your optimization and write copy that will not only please the web visitors, but also have your SEO strategy integrated into the copy. A clear and easy to use navigation is important to web visitors. They do not want to work to find what they are looking for and they don’t need to; they can just back out of your site and find it elsewhere. Colors that are easy on the eyes are also very important. “Some Basic Website Psychology to Consider When Designing a Website” goes into these areas in more depth.


SEM and SEO are both important. Some people do not have the money for Pay-Per-Click and/or Paid Inclusion and that is fine. You do not have to have these things to be successful, but you do need optimization, copy that sells and a happy web visitor. More SEO information will be coming soon…..

Melissa Fach- Panaca Writing & Design

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Do you know what an SEO Copywriter is?

I am an SEO Copywriter and I am going to give you a brief explanation of what I do. When I have an SEO client the first thing I do is evaluate the client’s competition on the web. I look at the web placements and I evaluate the code of their website, their SEO strategy and I see if they have done certain things Google wants webmasters to do.

Then I evaluate which keyword phrases the web site needs to focus on to increase traffic- this is done several ways, but again it is crucial to evaluate the competition and see what works (or deoesn't work) for them. I then create a better SEO plan for my client’s site. Keyword research is crucial.

Some other crucial duties of an SEO Copywriter include checking for W3C compliance, changing or adapting the
title-tags, the meta description and the meta keywords. All of these things cen be checked by viewing the source page. The title-tags, meta description and meta keywords must include the keyword phrases the site is hoping to gain good placements for. I then need to create the content, or edit the content, to include the keyword phrases and support the optimization put into place in the title-tags, description and keyword list. The keywords have to used effectively and ethically. Keyword stuffing will cause the site to be penalized. Additionally, the content needs to be structured in a way that can include and support other pages within the site (for optimization purposes). This means that everything needs to be worded very carefully. The Anchor Text, the content, headlines, links, alt-tags, meta-tags, file names, keyword list, description and title-tag can all be optimized. You can read an article on my site for more information.

Other duties include submitting sites to the search engines, creating a webmaster account on Google for the client, help them verify the site (This means understand the HTML and inserting code appropriately or adding a meta tag) and submitting an XML sitemap.

Also, the ability to write well and sell the services or products while integrating an SEO strategy (that is not obvious to the web visitor, but noticed by the search engines) is extremely important.

Many people write web content and they are good at it. I have written a lot of it and typically web owners know their SEO strategy well enough to let you know what keywords need to be focused on. Unfortunately, not every writer understands the guidelines and standards that cannot be ignored and some do not know what will get a site penalized. They may not understand code or various other things I have mentioned, but they can create additional content for your site. If you are considering hiring an SEO Copywriter, make sure they know everything listed above well.

If you are planning on
designing a web site consider hiring an SEO Copywriter first. Then your SEO plan can be easily integrated into your site. If you already have a site SEO Copyediting is a great way to save money and improve your visibility on the web.

Panaca Writing & Design, Sarasota, Florida