Saturday, April 24, 2010

SEO: Directory Submission & Link Building Tips

There are two very pertinent reason why we submit to directories, first, to get more targeted traffic to your site and secondly, to build link popularity in hopes of a better page rank. Acquiring links from other websites may obtain the same results, providing they are qualified links meaning the website you want to exchange links with pertains to your business.

The search engines (SEs) have evolved over the years and will continue to evolve in the years to come. Google is by far the furthest along the evolutionary path.

Submitting your website to quality Directories is perhaps one of the best ways to acquire valuable inbound links. Directories, DMOZ and Yahoo hold significant weight. Google draws its directory results from DMOZ and Yahoo draws its directory results from its own Yahoo Directory.

Keep in mind that Directories have human editors they gather all the listings in that directory, getting listed in key directories means that it is seen by many people, therefore you are more apt to get your website's links recognized by the crawler based search engines.

 If your site is in a competitive search field then you really have no choice. Without a large number of links to your site, you have very little chance of achieving high search engine rankings.

The following are some suggestions on how to build effective SEO links while minimizing the risk of having your hand slapped by the search engines.

 There are many important tips to follow when submitting your web site to a directory.

What to look for
  • Here are some of the most important criteria's to take into consideration when submitting to directories:
  • Are your listings going to be posted on Static pages
  • Are you going to gain any Page Rank benefit
  • Are you able to add descriptive title to your link
  • Are you able to specify your own keywords
  • Are you able to submit multiple links under one listing
  • Is the directory listed in DMOZ or Yahoo
  • Are there more than 50 links on a category page
  • Can you enhance your listing by purchasing category sponsorship
  • If you are looking for additional traffic, does the target directory's Alexa rank justify the submission costs
Before You Submit
  • Make sure your site does not look like it is under construction and is not full of broken links.
  • Verify your site is not already listed in the directory. If you have a new site it is not likely that it exists within any directories.
  • Read the overall directory submission guidelines.
  • Choose the correct directory category: this is what adds value to the directories (organization).
Vary your link title text
The search engines look for evidence of unnatural behavior. In a perfect world, the SEs would like to see all links gained naturally. Since it would be highly unlikely for a large number of individuals to link to your site using the same link text you should vary your own link text.

Vary your link descriptions
Google is likely getting better at analyzing the text surrounding a link. Again it would be unnatural to always have the exact same text. The same descriptions could also trip duplicate content filters.

Seek links from related sites
It is widely believed that a link from a website in the same field is much more valuable than an unrelated link (most applicable for Google and Yahoo). Perhaps too many unrelated links can even get you a penalty.

Mix homepage and internal links
You should have some of your links pointing to internal pages of your websites, rather than have all you links pointing to your home page. Again, naturally attained links will seldom all point to your homepage. Having links pointing to your internal pages will also help your SE results.

Seek links from authority sites.

Links from authority sites will provide much more weight than non-authority sites. We can only guess at what sites might be considered authorities. Google seems to favor .gov and .edu sites.

Seek links on the upper half of the page
It is believed that the higher a link is on the page the more weight it will provide.

Seek links within page content
Links located within content will provide more weight than links in the margins or footers of a site.

Seek non-reciprocal links

Do reciprocal links provide less weight. I don't know if the proof is conclusive on this issue. If not, algos that handle this could be around the corner. It is feasible that sites with too many reciprocal links incur a penalty.

Seek links from older sites
Links from older, more established sites will provide more weight (applicable to Google) 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Subdomains or Subdirectories? From SEO point of view

 First, let’s define what we are talking about: “” is a subdomain while “” is a sub directory or a folder within a domain.

A sub directory is used as a folder within one domain to organize smaller pieces of content, like a category of several pages. For most people they will only ever need subdirectories.

A sub domain creates more separation than just a folder, basically creating a stand alone site that could easily be it’s own domain. However, you may want to piggyback on the main domain name. For example, is the main site. Gmail actually lives at Google Maps lives at, and Google Documents at These are each stand alone sites and could be their own domains but they make more sense under the google umbrella.

How do sub domains effect SEO?

sub domains used to help with SEO because there was a chance AND would show up in results while there was (and is) a limit on two pages per domain in a search engine results page (SERP).

One strategy that could make sense would be to create a subdomain for a section of your business or site that could really be a standalone site. If you are a department store, you may have “” and use “” to create a site with great SEO specific to electronics, since the searches will see it essentially a stand alone site about electronics. Then use “” to target searches specific to food. If you had those things combined (along with ten others – shoes, jewelry, etc. ) the content is not as specific and may be confusing as to what the site is about. Meanwhile, they all still help pump up the image of the main domain “”. You have created several specific relevant sites all benefitting from the main brand of “”.

Which one should I use?

For most situations and for the average website, the easiest solution is a new subdirectory. If you are setting up a new blog, you can create a folder called “blog” install wordpress and you have your blog at “”. There is no reason to use a whole subdomain for that. I like the simple idea that if you could almost justify starting an entirely new (but related) site, then use a subdomain. If you are simply adding a new category of pages with similar content, then just use a subdirectory. Save the subdomain for something that is big enough and clearly separate enough that it needs to be its own site.

If you can afford the time an money required to develop out each subdomain and if your main domain would be too convoluted by having too much on it, I’d say yes. If not, save yourself the heartache and extra work. Just make your site easy to navigate, use folders and you should do just fine.

Drawbacks to using sub domains

Each sub domain would be looked at by search engines as a new site, which means you will need to do everything you would normally do for a new site.In short, creating back-links, battling the sandbox, and all other problems associated with domain development are still present. If this sounds like too much trouble, you may want to consider creating sub folders within the domain.This would look like

Benefits to using a sub domain

Let’s say you had a site that had many categories in it. If you were to submit to directories you could submit each sub domain as it’s own individual category and not get penalized. The links from the subdomains to the main domain would be looked upon as one way links from another domain.

If a sub,domain becomes banned will it effect the main domain?

The answer is yes. It may get the main domain banned if they are linked to each other. There has been proof of main domains being banned, yet i have heard of many instances where they have not.The main domain may not get banned under certain circumstances. The question shouldn’t be whether the main domain can get banned because of a sub domain, but instead, why would your sub domain get banned in the first place.If you want to experiment with untested or controversial methods, do so on a new domain.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

15 Important Web Design Tips You Might Have Overlooked.

Here are 15 important website design tips that you might not be aware of or have overlooked. Consider taking advantage of them if you haven't already done so...

1. Custom 404 Pages

Create a custom 404 web page, so that any time your website visitor mistypes or misspells a URL on your site, they will still be provided with navigation options for your site (instead of getting nothing but a "Page Not Found" error message, which is neither friendly or helpful).

2. Redirect Non-www. To www.

Website visitors will often leave out the "www." portion when they type a URL or link to your website. Set the website up so that it automatically redirects any non-www version of your domain urls ( to the www version ( of your website.

3. Properly Sized Graphics

Size and define all graphics and images on your web pages properly and correctly. Web pages will load quicker if the graphics contained on each page are properly defined so they don't require the web browser to re-size them. Properly sized and defined images can reduce the web browser workload and speed up the page loading time.

4. Favicon

Add a Favicon (favorite icon) to your website, so that your company or product logo appears in the URL box. This icon will also show up in a bookmark list, and gives the web site an added level of professionalism.

5. Include RSS Auto-Discovery

If you offer an RSS feed for any content on your website, be sure to include auto-discovery code in the header of your website. This will allow many browsers and RSS readers to automatically detect the presence of an RSS feed and alert the visitor that it is available.

6. Alternate Domains

Domain names are relatively inexpensive, so you should register multiple domain versions and extensions in order to protect your brand. The varied domains can be parked on the main website, simply to prevent others from obtaining them. Registering alternate domain versions will help protect your brand.

7. Consistent Navigation

Navigation should remain consistent on a website. As a website visitor moves through the website, the navigation bar should remain in the same place on each page. This will make it easier for visitors to navigate your website, and become more comfortable as they move through your site.

8. Home Goes Home

The main graphic, company logo, or "header" at the top of the site should be included on every page in the site, and should always return the visitor to the home page of the website. This has become a web standard, and most visitors now expect to return to the main page of the site simply by clicking on the main top graphic from any page within the site.

9. Copyright Notice

Include a copyright notice on the bottom of each page contained on the website, and keep it current! It may seem trivial, but an out-of-date copyright notice can send a message to your visitors that the website and its content may be out-of-date as well.

10. Meaningful File Names

Use meaningful file names for any files, graphics, or web pages. Many search engines look at file names as part of their search algorithm, and using keywords in file names may help to improve search engine rankings.

11. Hyphens vs Underscores

When naming files and webpages, use hyphens (i.e. web-page.html) rather than underscores (i.e. web_page.html) for the file names. It is much easier for search engines to separate and index the keywords when hyphens are used.

12. Alt Tags

Use ALT tags to describe what images represent on web pages. ALT tags not only assist visually-impaired visitors in knowing what the images are, but they also help with search engine ranking.

13. Spell Check

Use a spell-check feature on the text of all web pages in a website. A website that contains mistyped or misspelled words just shouts "unprofessional". Take the extra few minutes necessary to check the spelling of text on each page of your website.

14. Test

After making changes to a website, test it! Many times, a webmaster will upload changes, confident in their abilities, only to later discover that in their attempt to fix one thing, they have "broken" something somewhere else. Make testing a habit after making even the most minor changes!

15. Keep It Simple

Simple is good. Remove unnecessary clutter and distractions from a website and navigation menu.