The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

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

Social Media Coming Soon

Hey Distinct readers. We’ve been away from our blog recently because of some heavy deadlines and moving servers for a couple of web sites. This would explain our absence from regular posting. Fear not, however, new content is coming soon. We’ll be writing a few more articles on link acquisitions and social media tidbits.

Rumor has it Neil will be making his first post soon so stay tuned.

Till next!

Google Data-Push Rant – There’s Something Going on

This post will be more of a rant than offering anything of new information. If you haven’t picked up on the language yet, Google routinely performs what are called ‘data-pushes’. This is in essence a refresh of the data within the SERPS. Occasionally (less frequently) they perform algorithm updates.

For a complete idea of language visit Google Engineer Matt Cutt’s Blog

Matt Cutt’s has said the so called ‘data-pushes’ were a bi-monthly affair, today they are more frequent, perhaps every couple of days. My issues is this: something happened mid-December that really shook some web sites. Old data was beginning to show in the SERPs and some prominent web sites fell off the map. Conversely, in some industries better results were starting to show. Perhaps the sign of a new algo test? Well not according to Google.

A couple of web sites Distinct SEO owns experienced the drop. Two weeks later they recovered. However, two weeks yet again, there appears to be a major drop coming again. That is a full month of 3 widely fluctuating results. Certainly, this is NOT normal Google operations. Something is going on, a new test, a new algo, a new something, SOMETHING is not working efficiently over at the ‘Plex.

I am certain Google does not consider HUGE fluctuations in the SERPs as an efficient process of displaying the best results for their users. In light of this, I surmise there’s something else in the works that hasn’t been revealed yet. Quite frankly, I can’t stand massive ups and downs on a bi-monthly basis–the heart just can’t take it :P

[tags]google data push, google -950, google -30, google algo[/tags]

Wikipedia Changes All Outbound Links to NoFollow

It was bound to happen, they’ve been chatting about it for months, and some other Wiki languages have already implemented it. That’s right, ‘nofollow’ has been added all outbound links to Wiki English. That’s good news for many webmasters, users looking for quality info with external links, and Wikipedia.

This is bad news for newbie SEOs and web spammers. For ages they’ve been able to score suitable one way links, sometimes with significant PR, and help boost their web sites in the SERPS. Nofollow tags will change all of these tactics as soon as word spreads. (Remember, ‘nofollow’ attached to links means no PR weight that will be passed to your web site that helps boost your search engine rankings, but it will still be recorded.)

This isn’t all bad news though. Although external links will likely miss their usual spammy web sites, other more legitimate web sites may seek to press a bit harder to have their links placed at Wiki for the purpose of garnering additional traffic. I may do the same and press a bit harder simply for traffic reasons.

Of course, the converse may also be true. Webmasters may have the impression that the traffic from Wiki is worthy enough to continue their spam practices. This would in turn be met by a force of Wiki editors who have less spam to deal with and more time to scrutinize entries.

What does this change overall for SEO? Wiki is only used for traffic and perhaps some exposure/’promotion’. What it doesn’t do is help web sites with quality back links. You may see the interest in Wiki diminish as well since many webmaster I know actually added many pages to Wiki for the sole purpose of getting the link. That’s going to stop now.

In the spirit of the theme I have linked to the Wiki page with nofollow, they wouldn’t want it any other way. Wiki Nofollow page.

[tags]wikipedia nofollow, wikipedia seo, wiki nofollow[/tags]

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…