The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

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Google Webmaster Tools – Comparing Crawl Rates to Server Speeds

So get this, for a while now (1.5 years) I’ve noted that one of the my bigger sites is exceptionally slow compared to the competition. I’ve done some ping test and submitted them to my host. They’re response was my site was doing fine, responded fine, responded fast even, and that I shouldn’t worry. I of course knew otherwise, the web site loaded slower than the competition, albeit I had different programs running (a heavy perl based forum), but still I wasn’t pleased.

I knew my packet loss was really low, so that was good, but I still wasn’t happy with the speed. What I needed was some third-party to independently corroborate my hunch feelings. Well I know there are other tools out there, benchmark tests between servers and such, but when Google released their crawl rate speeds and averages I was happy to compare some results.

Admittedly, the web sites I’m about to compare are not equal, so this may skew results, however, these are on average results provided by Google Webmaster Tools so I should be able to see some differences/similarities. So let’s play a little game, I’m going to list features of each web site with corresponding screenshot of the Google Webmaster Tools crawl rate graph. You’re job is to determine which server it’s from.

I’m going to show you five different graphs. 2 are on the same server while the other 3 are on different severs with completely different companies (so 4 different hosts all together.) All crawl time numbers I give you are in milliseconds and will follow these categories: Max crawl time — average crawl time — minimum crawl time.

Web Site #1

  • Largest site of the 5 running perl based forum. 30 000+ unique a month.
  • 1175-1034-885

Web Site #2

  • Small site running perl based forum. 300 unique a month, most to WordPress blog.
  • 1205-863-710

Web Site #3

  • Small web site with WordPress blog, about 750 uniques a month.
  • 761-340-94

Web Site #4

  • Forum, blog, and picture gallery, all PHP driven. About 600 uniques a month.
  • 5391-1190-467

Web Site #5

  • Tiny web site with static pages, about 100 uniques a month.
  • 278-178-59

So can we make any inference based on crawl rate and host speeds/service? Let’s see how you do, pick which web sites are on different hosts and which two are with the same host. The results will be posted in a few days. Good luck!

If you don’t have a Google Webmasters account be sure to visit their page and join. If you have a Gmail or Adwords account then you can use the same login information.

Google Indexes Your Session ID’s – Proper Links

Don’t use “&id=” as a parameter in your URLs, as we don’t include these pages in our index.

That was the old school Google Webmaster guidelines….that was then, this is now [wasn’t that a TV dinner commercial?]. Today, Google WILL in fact spider, index, and DISPLAY your web site with special session ids.

Ridiculous &ID this, &ID that have been removed from the ‘do not do list’ over at Google. This does NOT imply you can stuff your links with IDs. This is still confusing to the search engine spiders. KISS your links –> Keep It Simple Stupid is what you should be going for. Clear and concise links with keywords are the best way to go at this point. Yes Google can index the session IDs now but don’t suspect that they favour them.

read more…

Yahoo Adopts NOODP META Tag

For those who say all metas have zero SEO significance I say you know little about SEO. From a ranking perspective META’s won’t help you (search for our other articles on META tags), however, from a search engine marketing perspective they will.

META description tags will provide your users a brief synopsis on what your site is about in the search results. For some Google algos actually defaulted to the Open Directory Project (ODP) description (DMOZ). Google adopted a META tag that would enable users to force the GoogleBot to drop the DMOZ description in favour of the on site META description tag.

Well now Yahoo has joined the fray, they too will obey the NOODP tag. As such, there will be a bit of a reshuffle at Yahoo so brace yourself for a mini kick in the pants. Your META tag should look like this if you want to prevent both Yahoo and Google from using the ODP description.

< meta content="NOODP" name="ROBOTS" />

That’s all for now folks.

Danny Sullivan to Stay on with SES

When Danny Sullivan left Incisive in August the SEO industry was abuzz and shocked. One of the questions surrounding his departure was whether Search Engine Strategies conferences would loose their main voice. Well it turns out that’s not going to happen at least not until 2008.
Check out his blog for more –> Here

SEO Tips for Article Submissions (Ezines)

I’ve heard alot of talk lately about article submissions and their relevance/value for one way link aquisitions. Let’s give a bit of history of SEO in general. 3 years ago it was very cool to have site wide links and reciprocal links from anywhere and any neighborhood; this practice ranked your high. Today, site wides and irrelevant links are subject to penalties–they are big no no’s.

About 1-2 years ago, the popularity of online ezine article directories started growing and growing. Webmasters would write content and submit it to the ezine directories for free one way links (ezines let you post articles with the promise of a link at the bottom of your article.) This was a great way to boost a new site, however, like the site wides, they too are now becoming a thing of the past.

Don’t get me wrong, I still advocate that ezine submissions for new sites in moderate to low competitive markets will benefit from the one way links acquired. The questions we need to answer or at least acknowledge are as such: 1) How much is too much? and 2) When will ezines be useless?

Question one first, how much is too much? If you continue submitting to ezines how many articles will it take to have Google or some other search engine devalue the additional links? We’re talking diminishing returns here, but how fast does the value of these one-way links decrease? I have web sites with under 10 articles posted across as many ezine directories I can find (at least 40 that acutally post the article and link back) and I have yet to have a ‘delay’ or ‘penalty’. Eventually, however, I surmise having 25 links from, say, will provide little to no PR ‘juice power’. The question I have is whether the value each additional one way links from ezines is reduced by X percentage, or if there is a threshold level that once reached will devalue all subsequent links. I gather that after a small number of one way links their value begins to deminish, this of course depending on a number of other variables like the quality of the hosting web site.
Regarding ezine submissions here are some tips I have followed and generally deem to be compliant and useful today.

1) Great content stays on your web site. That means for your 300-500 word article it better be something written quick, painless, sort of useful, and on topic. However, If it’s GREAT content, unique, really relevant, it should stay on your web site. The value of this content is greater on your web site than given away for free for some one-way links.

2) The catch is this, great articles on ezines tend to get picked up by other web sites, and therefore more one way links. I still opt for keeping your own unique content for your own use.

3) Submit your article to as many ezines as you can. The whole directory is unrealted to your web site, the content of the article should be related to your web site, but really, it’s the one way links you’re after. I haven’t read any reason why you should only submit to one or two directories and stop submissions. Having said this, brand new web sites may experience a delay in their rankings (maybe even a loss) if you submit one article to many and many directories. The number of new links pointing to your site may raise red flags. So go slow to start.

4) That article never hits your web site–this would be duplicate content on you. You may not be penalised, but the ezine is far more established than your new web site; Google would have indexed your article on their site long before they see it on your new web site, and thus you’ll have real difficulty ranking for your own article. If all you do is use ezine articles then you may never rank for anything, you may even be hit with a duplicate content penalty in this case. Just keep your ezine articles seperate from your web site articles.

Now for question 2) when will ezines be useless? I’m already seeing evidence that one way links from ezines are being devalued. Everyone is doing it, and therefore you have a) decreased quality of articles and b) countless other web sites doing the same thing as you. Google has picked up on this trend and value accordingly. It will only be a matter of time before ezine one-way links will have little to no value. So what does that leave you with?

As of right now new web sites will benefit from the one way links attained on ezines, however, don’t overdo it. Maybe 1-5 quick articles, after that move on and write content for your web site. In the long run it will be far more valuable to keep your unique content on your web site then to give it away for some cheap one way links.

Danny Sullivan Leaving Search Engine Watch

When the top SEO blogs around the globe post breaking news at the same time you know  something big went down. Today Danny Sullivan, guru and pinoneer of the search engine strategies  (and more) world has withdrawn from all future SES conferences and his old job with Search Engine Watch. For Danny’s complmete thoughts visit his blog for more.

No word yet how this will impact future SES conferences and the search engine optimization (to name one) field respectively. Some big names are already implicitly suggesting they will go with the man rather than sticking with the name (that is going where Danny goes and not sticking with names like SES….)

Distinct SEO Open for Business! Welcome!

Hello SEO webmasters and web site owners alike, welcome to the Distinct SEO Blog where you receive great SEO tips and business strategy advice.

This site has been a long time coming but it’s finally here. Half of it is dedicated to providing quality and qualified search engine optimization and business strategy consultation for online web sites/firms. Visit our services pages to learn more about what we offer.

The other half of the web site is dedicated to SEO webmasters, those who knows, or are learning the tools of the SEO trade. We will consistently post interesting and useful articles here that are fresh and unique, helping you get ahead in ranking web sites. Make sure you check out our previous entries in the SEO section so you don’t miss an issue!
So be sure to drop us a line and say hi, post your comments in the blog, and contact us to open discussion pertaining to your online business and web site. Hope to hear from you soon.


Barry & The Distinct Team