SEO Tips

Are you on page one of Google?

We were looking at some figures the other day relating to just how far users dig into Google when searching.

You may not be shocked to hear that the average is that 76.4% of users don’t delve any deeper than page one. It’s not an astonishing figure, kind of what we imagined – but what it does tell you is that if you’re only on page two you’re lucky to pick up the scraps. If you’re on page three – forget it, your site may as well not exist.

Is it not time you invested in getting yourself further up the rankings? What is the real value of a client, an extra sale, or a few bookings worth in your business. Quite possibly less than the cost, especially in the medium to long term.

SEO doesn’t have to be complicated, quite often applying a couple of common sense principles at a bit of clever targeting can give your site a lift. Not does it have to be ridiculously expensive. If you’d like us to give you a few suggestions how we can help you, and how you can help yourself, drop us an email and we’ll give your website a ‘health check’ and offer a few recommendations without obligation.

Do you even know where you are for your keywords? Do you know what your keywords are? If you don’t, you might be interested to know we are currently offering a free search engine monitoring service. For more information click here.

“Now available on computers…”

We often laugh at the spurious claims on the island from websites looking to generate advertising revenue. Some of the bullshit is quite ridiculous. Most of them we have a giggle at and then file them immediately in the recycle bin. But the most recent really deserved comment.

I’m not going to name names, as I have nothing against the business and they are reasonably good at what they do… However, in the bullshit stakes this is a total howler! I’m going to pick out a few phrases and elaborate on them with a bit of comment, just for fun! :)

xxx.com is now available on computers…

Ground-breaking progress! Well done guys!

..ultimate website, in three languages, Spanish, English and German it is truly an international site

Last time I looked I thought there were a few more languages than that. Truly international – I don’t think so…

Google rates it within the top million site of the world of the billions currently online

I may have missed something somewhere, but I’m not aware Google publish such a list. Chances are they got these figures from one of the two different listings they have on Alexa.com, where indeed they are listed at 619,017  on the most favourable of the two. Which I will quote from….

There are 619,016 sites with a better three-month global Alexa traffic rank than xxx.com, and the site has a relatively good traffic rank in the city of Las Palmas (#504). About 90% of visits to this site are bounces (one pageview only)
Alexa.com

They go on to claim…

By linking with xxx.com you will automatically be at the top of the search engines

What for? Your own business name? Easily done for free… If they are talking about their site coming up in searches for “Lanzarote”, no, it’s not true. They are midway down page two – www.discoverlanzarote.com is, and has been for as long as I’ve been looking at it, number one in google.co.uk.

They claim an average stay onine of 7 minutes (cherry picked from the other of the two entries on Alexa – which incidentally ranked them at neared 2 million). The one I looked at stated….

…and the time spent in a typical visit to xxx.com is approximately three minutes, with two minutes spent on each pageview.
Alexa.com

Which, if the bounce rate of 90% is to believed makes their traffic pretty much worthless.

My personal favourite though is the strapline…!

The most visited site on the Canary Islands

A couple of points here…

  1. There’s no way of knowing
  2. If the Alexa figures are what they are using as evidence of their popularity bear in mind that discoverlanzarote.com is ranked at 6,726 as opposed to their 619,017. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist does it? There are MANY busier sites.

As I said, bear them no ill-will, nothing against them, for the most part it’s a very professional company. However, it’s a perfect example – as I have discussed before on here – just how some people get carried away with web statistics! Absolute twaddle – marketing bullshit!

Is my site banned by Google?

In order for your website to be found via a search on the internet, it needs to first be accepted by the search engines. However, if it contravenes any of the search engine’s rules – then it may get banned… resulting in it not showing up in those important results.

For the purposes of this article, we shall concentrate on Google – after all, it is the biggest!

We are very proud to say that we have NEVER had a site banned by Google. Not any of ours, nor any of our clients. However, a couple of years ago we did buy a domain that had been registered by someone else (who no longer lives on the Island) and found out very quickly that they must have broken some criteria laid down by Google had resulted in the domain being banned. This banned domain was Lanzarote Business

Getting a site unbanned by Google is not particularly easy. First of all, Google won’t tell you why a specific site has been banned. However, it does give you some ways to ensure that a site doesn’t get banned in the first place, so going through these step by step can help you to check that you are following best procedures, then leaving you to approach Google and ask for reconsideration.

So how do I know if my site is banned by Google?

There are a couple of ways to try.  Start by going to Google and typing in site: followed by your domain name, minus the www. For example:

site:lanzarotewebdesign.com

If it gives you search results… then all’s well, and your site is not banned. If it returns no search results, then it is not listed in their archives. If this is the case, then do a search for “Google banned checker tool” – there are plenty of free ones out there – and here is a link to just one of them: Google Banned Checker Tool

What could have caused it?

Getting a site banned by Google isn’t that common really – so you must have done something pretty bad if that has happened. There are a number of reasons why Google may have banned your website, and here are just three of them:

  • Using Black Hat SEO techniques
  • Linking to”bad” sites, such as gambling, pronographic or link farms
  • Duplicate content. Copying another website’s content can definitely harm you, which is one of the reasons we take plagiarism very seriously indeed.

How can I fix it?

The best way is to open a Google Webmaster Tools account. It is free, and only takes a couple of minutes. Then you submit your website, validate it by placing a small piece of code in your website, and you can start using the tools that Google has provided. There is a tool in there that can resubmit your site to Google, and offer it for reconsideration.

The offending site that we had was looked at in less than a week, and is already commanding many useful search terms… all on page one of Google results. We simply proved to Google that we were new owners, and that the site was full of useful content – and Bob’s your auntie’s husband.

Summary
Don’t risk getting your site banned, by urilising bad practice – and do certainly be careful who you get to build your website!

Adbeans – an alternative to Google AdSense

Just recently we’ve started adding some ads (in addition to AdSense) to a couple of our sites through AdBeans. They approached us with a particular site in mind – we were hitting an audience they wanted.

It’s a nice little system for generating a bit of extra income from your website.

As opposed to AdSense, Adbeans the monthly value of the ads for your website based on a number of criteria, and then sell the space on your behalf. All you need to do is add a bit of code – or if you are using blog software it can usually be added with a download. We had a few problems on one of our sites – but their support was fantastic! The ads are easily made to fit your site content – if you look to the bottom of the left column you can see the ads that appear on this site.

You decide how many ads to show and on what pages – and you can also veto any specific ads if you feel they are not right for your site. Not that we have needed to – the ads assigned to our account appear to have been well selected.

Let´s be honest the AdBeans website isn’t great – it sort of looks a bit unfinished – but the emphasis is on functinality rather than promotion. But take our word for it – their system works fine once you are registered and is bringing us a nice little side income.

Your not going to make a fortune using them – but it is guaranteed income rather than pay per click. The big difference is AdBeans is not their just, or maybe in some cases not at all for the click through. It is their to support the SEO activities of their clients – it’s about creating quality inbound links.

It is certainly worth signing up to AdBeans to see what it can do for you.

Interested in finding out about other affiliate programs? Take a look at the affiliate marketing category.

What is Google Page Rank

Many people confuse Google Page Rank with the ranking their site has in Google search results.

The two are very different animals however, and do not always match each other. For example – you may have a Google Page Rank of 4 or 5 (it goes 0 to 10 – with 10 being the highest) but you still do not come up at the number one spot for their chosen search term in Google results.

Google says that Google Page rank is determined by a high number of factors… but are reticent about listing them all. One of the most deciding factors however, is the number of backlinks from external websites referring to a particular page. The rank is always allocated to a page, rather than the whole website… so you will usually have a higher page rank on your home page, than to an internal page – this is usually because people will usually point to your home page when referencing your website.

Recently our guide to moving to Lanzarote achieved a Google Page rank of 4. This tells us that Google views the site as beneficial to readers, because there are so many links pointing towards it.

Our nightlife website Canary Nightlife has a page rank of 3. However, some of its internal pages also rank well… such as the Island pages and town pages inside the website.

So how do you raise your page rank? The first place to start is by getting lots of people to link to your website – or to a particular page. You can do this by a variety of methods… such as reciprocal linking, article writing, posting on message boards and much more. Ensure that your content is engaging, and of interest to lots of different people. You might think that you have written a masterpiece – but if nobody else shares your interest… then it’s not a lot of use. Aim to get your link listed on pages that already have a good rank themselves, as their “vote” is respected more highly by Google.

Be wary of websites that email you for a reciprocal link – claiming that they have a high page rank… but then shove your link onto a page on their site that isn’t even acknowledged by Google. This doesn’t help you – and only benefits them.

One thing to always remember though – is that content is vital for the health of your website. Keep it current… keep it fresh… keep it relevant… keep it updated!

To check the Google Page Rank of your own website – either install the Google Toolbar direct from Google… or you can enter your site address into this tool below.

Check Page Rank of any web site pages instantly:
This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Both options are free of course.

Theft of copyright content

Copyright symbolIt may surprise some people on Lanzarote and the Canary Islands (given how common Coyright Infringement is in the region), but International Copyright Law (see the Berne Convention) still applies as much here as it does anywhere else in the world. We constantly monitor the Internet  to protect our Copyrighted text, images and other intellectual property, on ours and our clients sites, to ensure it is not being used without our authority by other websites.

Only yesterday we had three instances of this…

Continue reading

Lanzarote Google searches

We found this summary on how people are searching on the three main resorts of Lanzarote quite interesting. Does it reflect the popularity of the respective resorts in general terms?

The following relates to searches on Google through the month of November 2008.

Playa Blanca Lanzarote – 27,100
Costa Teguise Lanzarote – 14,800
Puerto del Carmen Lanzarote 12,100

Search Engine Results Page

The search engine results page or SERP is the page(s) of website listings that a search engine shows you in response to submitting a search to that specific engine. Here in Lanzarote, we hear “Google” shouted from the rooftops… and as this is the most widely used search engine, we will concentrate on that one. Continue reading

Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEOIt is suggested that the terms “Black Hat” and “White Hat” originates back to the early Western movies… where the bad guys wore black hats – and the good guys wore… yes you’ve guessed it, white hats.

As with most things, if there’s a faster or easier way of achieving something… then people will want to try it – that’s what Black Hat SEO is. I’ll happily microwave scrambled eggs rather than take the time in the saucepan, and then have that joy of scraping off cooked egg! But this Black Hat methodology goes back to when Search Engines were a lot less sophisticated than they are today. Continue reading

Content and Relevant Linking

Right, now that we have established that Google is the biggest, let’s move on to a couple of things that you can do to help push your site up the results pages. Continue reading