Category Archives: Magazine Articles

How to know when you’re being fleeced by an SEO salesman

If you’ve managed to get hold of a copy of the Internet and web designer’s bible, .Net Magazine, this month you may have noticed my cheery mug staring at you from with its wisdom laden pages. That’s because yours truly provided a column on how to spot when someone is talking through their proverbial in their efforts to sell you SEO.

It’s a common problem with business owners, website managers and even new start-ups as search engine optimisation, despite the efforts of some companies to bring transparency to the industry, is still steeped in the mire of underhand tricks and perceived dark arts because of the actions of many. Therefore, when people look for SEO services for their website they’re often confronted with someone spouting techno babble, half-truths and out right porkies in an attempt to get their business.

Anyhow, have a look at the article and be sure to pick up .Net this month if you get the chance. It’s not just great because I’m in it – although that is a solid enough reason!

dot NET-Magazine December issue

5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google

I’ve got another feature running in .Net magazine in June (I’ve had quite a few now) but this one’s something of an annoyance. When I wrote the article it was titled: ‘5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google’, but they thought it wasn’t a good idea to run a story like that as people might think it’s advice to be followed, rather than the tongue in cheek style that was intended.

Subsequently the article was watered down to what you see below.

Naturally the original article was better and carried more gravitas. It stated that many SEO websites and forums (including some SEO companies and professionals) offer advice that will get your website banned, and the 5 ‘tips’ presented were all the sort of gems of advice that you could receive that, should you follow, could end in your website being banned.

How to avoid getting your website banned

You can also download the PDF here.

But, if you’d rather read the original article (perhaps just to compare) here it is:

5 sure-fire ways to get your website banned by Google

In the world of SEO and online marketing, everyone looks for a way to get ahead of the competition, something that will give them that extra edge. With many SEO companies, SEO websites and SEO forums offering advice on improving your rankings, you don’t have to look far for tips. However, just how trustworthy is some of the information you’ll find?

Far from increasing your rankings, you could find that the SEO advice you’ve found actually hinders you to the point where you are banned from Google. Here are some basic tips that you may well find online that will get your website banned. Use them at your peril.

Stuff your site with keywords
The more you mention your keywords on your site, the higher it will rank! By repeating your keywords over and over again in your content, you’re sure to increase your ranking for those keywords, surely?

Copy content from your competitors’ websites
If your competitor’s website has some great content and they’re ranking for search terms, you could copy their content and paste it on your website. This means your site will rank for those terms as well. You could even find articles written on free article sites and reuse those, so you’ll have loads more pages on your site. Isn’t this a great way to get free content?

Hide text on your website
Sometimes you won’t want ugly text on your website, especially when it hinders your fluid design. You can always hide it on the page, maybe by changing the text colour to the same as the background, or by using CSS to hide it off the page. This way Google can index it and your website won’t be spoilt by its presence. Loads of SEO companies do this, so it must work?

Create doorway pages
How about creating special doorway pages focused on a specific keyword that are designed to rank in Google, and when they’re visited by a user they redirect to your front page? This allows you to create dozens of pages, all targeting different keywords, without harming your site’s look. You’ll have loads of listings within Google, vastly increasing your traffic, won’t you?

Add affiliate links
Linking to other, more established websites is sure to help your rankings. What could be better than adding hundreds of affiliate links to websites and the product descriptions for the products themselves? This will earn you money as well as improve the amount of content on your website.

All of these tips can be found on various SEO websites and are even offered by some SEO consultants, yet following the advice can lead to your website being penalised by Google and even banned from the index entirely.

I’m in this month’s issue of dot Net magazine

dot NetFar be it for me to boast, but I’m in this month’s issue of .Net Magazine with an interview about how to make your website an authority site within Google. It’s quite a good read, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. The golden rule is content, content and more content.

It’s one of the reasons that this website ranks for so many different phrases and gets traffic for the most unlikely of search terms. If you write about it, they will come (simply building it is no longer effective enough).

Anyway, you can see the magazine on the .Net website here.

Here’s a shot of the extract, but to read it properly you’ll need to buy the magazine 😉

dot Net

You can read more tips like this at Just Search’s website, which features a daily blog about SEO and Internet Marketing.

Interview with Revolution Magazine

Following on from the piece in Precision Marketing, I also did this quick interview with Revolution Magazine about the trends of search and the importance of content.

Though Google denies it, for instance, there is a widespread suspicion that investing in paid search will improve a company’s organic ranking. Easier to prove is the notion that frequent content updates represent one of the most powerful ways to promote a site.

Fresh and new
“It has become apparent lately that Google is favouring new sites a lot, and sites with new content,” says Darren Jamieson, content editor at Manchester-based Just Search. “If you have got a site that does car leasing, and someone is looking for something on the new Audi R8, a site that hasn’t been updated for three months won’t come up, even if it has a page on the R8.”

Google itself, while cagey about its methods, is happy to confirm this much. “We always say, build things for the people you want visiting your site, and that is what we try to reflect with our ranking,” says Google spokesman Anthony House. “It is not about trying to trick your way into the highest results.”

Indeed, Google’s advice for improving a company’s organic ranking all relates to the kind of housekeeping that makes a website visitable in the first place.

You can see the excerpt from the magazine here.

Usability should come before SEO and PPC

A few weeks ago I did an interview for Precision Marketing where I talked about the importance of usability in your Online marketing. This is something I feel quite strongly about as all too often I feel people miss the point with their websites. They think that by getting large volumes of traffic the job is done, but their conversion rates will be low due to an unprofessional or in some cases unusable website.

‘If you build they will come’ may be possible with SEO and PPC, but you need to build it right in the first place, otherwise they’ll come, see it’s not very good and leave. So while as an SEO myself I can get traffic to your site, I’ll always advise your site is up to scratch first and if necessary recommend a full usability report.

Precision Marketing

You can download the full article here for Precision Marketing