The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

Discuss the latest topics on web marketing, SEO, branding, and organizational development.

Distinct SEO – ‘All the Bull Stops’

We recently asked one of our small business clients to offers his thoughts on the service he received from Distinct SEO. Eric is owner and operator of and approached Distinct SEO in late September, 2006. Admittedly, we are very pleased with his responses and that he has agreed to act as a reference for Distinct SEO (so you can validate his claims :P).

Here are some of his thoughts from the review questionnaire he answered.

Hi Eric, thanks for agreeing to complete our reference list questionnaire. Let’s start with question one: How did you find Distinct SEO?

From a SEO forum.

What made you choose Distinct SEO?

Their involvement and the genuine interest in helping. In the early stages their contribution was voluntary and free. However, not knowing CSS and HTML inside out I decided to delegate the task of reconfiguration a more SEO suitable site to them.

Describe your experience with the Distinct SEO team.

Excellent, many companies simply don’t respond, overcharge or think smaller websites are not worth their time. At Distinct you are not treated like a cattle in a branding queue. Their techniques work; they adapt quickly to a foreign environment which means they understand your business, its operating conditions, and your competitors.

Did we answer your questions correctly and concisely?

Yes, this if anything it has been an overkill in their work. They put you right in the loop and explain why certain things are being done.

Eric, You took our SEO training program, what did you think?

I learned a lot, I also found some great tools myself on the net. The biggest advantage is knowing how to pick the sites that are infront of you apart then figure out how to beat them. I have also helped other sites and seen them rocket off. It just pinpoints what to look for. I’m not saying I’m an SEO expert by any means but I do know what to look for. When I can afford it I may want a refresher or tougher one using some tools online with you to pull apart some sites.

Were you happy with your ranking results stemming from Distinct SEO’s work?

Yes, very impressive, now many pages are one the first page of Google. In fact they rocketed there from nowhere in less than 3 months.

What would you like to see different if you were to repeat your SEO process from the beginning?

Well, I’m unable to flaw the approach. It was very professional from the onset with clear guidelines of what you will get for your money. Honestly, keep it the way it is.

Anything else you’d like to add?

There is no shortage of experts in every field. Type SEO into Google and you’ll have pages of ‘experts’. Some offer a monthly fee to keep your site monitored and ontop of search results. Some what exuberant fees to guarantee results and analyze your site. Some will want you to rank on keywords that frankly no-one searches. Some have so many keywords their meta tagline looks like a dictionary. At Distinct SEO all the bull stops and the facts and realities step in, no nonsense results, they’ll tell it to you the way it is.

Thanks for your thoughts Eric, and thanks for agreeing to be a reference for us. If you’d like to reach Eric please Contact Us for his details.

Internet Web Site Marketing Getting Harder

The rumor mills were true. SEO is an ever changing and dynamic industry. Actually, if you’re anybody, then you’ll know that search engine optimization is more than just pushing keywords, it’s a crucial component to marketing plans. You’ll also know that the SEO industry is in constant flux, always adapting and evolving. Many smart minds can pinpoint what aspects of SEO are about to change. It goes without saying, what was ‘hot’ yesterday, will be ‘lukewarm’ today, and ‘cold’ tomorrow.

read more…

12 Days of a SEO Christmas

FIIIIVE GOLDEN RINGS! Apart from the fact some of us can’t stand Christmas carols until the 24th (myself included,) I thought it would be fun to create my own version of the 12 days of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t your everyday 12 Days of Christmas spoof guaranteed to raise labored chuckles. Instead, behold before, a new parody is born today in bloggerland–your official unofficial Distinct SEO 12 Days of an SEO Christmas.

When does it all begin? Well tomorrow, duh. Everyday until the 24th we will be posting our installments of the 12 Days of an SEO Christmas. SEO tips, resources, and fun tidbits will be displayed for your yule tide enjoyment. Don’t miss out on some great ‘gift’ giving ideas!

Miss PubCon? Great SEO Videos

Couldn’t get down to Las Vegas this year? Well here is a very VERY good resource with some of the top names in SEO giving you some tips. Alot of these videos were reportedly better than some of the actual sessions so take a listen. If you’re just starting out in SEO then listen to them all, you’ll learn ALOT. If you’ve been doing SEO for a little while look anyways, you’ll learn something guaranteed.

Comparing Crawl Rates to Server Speeds – Results

Check out this post to get the context for this review. I compared the crawl rate speeds as shown through the Google Webmasters Tools between 5 web sites. It was your job to determine which web sites were on different hosts and which two were with the same host. Here are the results.

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

If you guess web site #1 and #2 were on the same server (the slow one…) then you’re right! Congrats! If you note, these two have some of the highest on average crawl loading times….Pretty bad hey? Well not so fast. read more…

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.