Category Archives: SEO News

SEO Site Ranking for Payday Loans on Google

About a week or so ago somebody managed to hack into this website and they were able to claim it in Google webmaster tools. They used the change of address tool to move my rankings to a payday loans website:

http://paydayloans-money.co.uk

And for a couple of days the payday loans site stole some of my rankings. As soon as I realised what had happened I cancelled the change of address, changed all of my passwords and updated my WordPress (my designer suspected that was how they got in).

Yesterday I was checking my stats and I noticed that I was getting hits on the keyword payday loans, I checked Google and saw I was ranking in the 11th position on Google for the term:

payday loans screenshot

Over the past few days I have had 98 visitors from people searching for payday loans.

I was just checking my links with Bing webmaster tools today and I found hidden links pointing to this site. Whoever hacked this site has built hidden links to get it ranking for payday loans such as the one on this site in the code:

http://darcomic.com

So there you have it, make sure your wordpress is up to date and keep an eye out for unusual activity – negative SEO does happen.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

BT Now Offering SEO & PPC Services

I have just been checking out rankings and stuff this morning after a nice long Christmas break and I saw a Google ad for BT SearchSmart: PPC & SEO.

I checked it out and it is the real British Telecom offering SEO and PPC services, you can check the website out here.

BT are probably the biggest company ever to start selling SEO and PPC services.

Their SEO packages include most of the things you would expect to get with a basic SEO pack, with the option 1 for £74.99 per month + a £100 setup fee you get:

  • Keyword selection
  • Comprehensive website audit
  • Recommendations document
  • In depth telephone consultation
  • Unlimited email access to online marketing specialists
  • Google Site Map production and provision for upload
  • Monthly SEO reports position reporting
  • Best practice SEO documentation & guides

The only thing that’s missing is link building, however links are mentioned in their option 2 package which costs £349.99 per month + £100 setup:

  • All the features of Option 1 plus:
  • Unlimited 0800 phone-based support
  • Link building via 3 bespoke articles (monthly)
  • Directory submissions to up to 50 targeted directories
  • Enhanced reporting
  • Enhanced reporting of keywords & competitor link analysis

That doesn’t sound too bad, it could go either way I guess depending on the quality of the articles they are creating and the quality of the web directories and article directories they are submitting to. For a similar price we will include submissions to all of the best paid directories such as BOTW and Yahoo etc. If they are just submitting to the free ones then there is less chance of your links getting approved and sticking around.

Thoughts?

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Spammer Rips Off Submit Express & SEOCompany.ca

About a month ago I got a link exchange request from a guy called Suny:

“Dear Webmaster,

First of all let me introduce myself – I am Suny, Link Manager

handle online marketing for my client http://www.sunyseocompany.com

To increase the link popularity of my client’s site , we are now looking for triangular Link swapping with some good quality sites. You are already aware that Triangular Link swapping is much more popular and beneficial than Reciprocal Link exchange . This way both the sites gets the benefited . I would request you to place my client’s link at your site. ( please add my site at least page rank(1) page.)

Here are details of my site :

Url : http://www.sunyseocompany.com

Title : Professional SEO Company

Des: SEO Company ‘SEO Visions’ is home to suny and eajaz, experts in Search Engine Optimization, Traffic Building and Internet Marketing. Increase your return on investment online with us today.Email:-suny@sunyseocompany.com

Or you can simply use the following Linking code:

a href = http://www.sunyseocompany.com > Professional SEO Company SEO Company ‘SEO Visions’ is home to suny and eajaz, experts in Search Engine Optimization, Traffic Building and Internet Marketing. Increase your return on investment online with us today.Email:-suny@sunyseocompany.com

I will add your link at my site on Page Rank. choose any one site ;-

http://submitexpress.we.bs :- page rank -4

Please forward me your linking details along with confirmation where my link have been added by you.

Hoping an early and positive response from your side.

Have a nice day ahead :)

Best Regards”

All sounds pretty good right? Wrong, the site Suny is offering me a link on is an exact rip off the Submit Express UK website and he had used the old blackhat PageRank 10 trick to fake the PageRank, when he 1st sent me the email his website http://submitexpress.we.bs was showing a PageRank 4/10.

I knew he had faked it because at the time if I looked at the Google cache of http://submitexpress.we.bs it went straight to the cache of http://www.submitexpress.co.uk.

If I had of gone for his deal I would have got no real link as the site he was offering me a link on was not even included in the Google index.

What this guy was doing was wrong on so many different levels so I emailed Submit Express and told them what he had done.

Today I got I new email from Sunny that was pretty much the same as the last one only this time he was offering me a link on a new URL:

“I will add your link at my site on Page Rank.

http://www.seocompanys.we.bs/ page rank -5″

If you check right now that site that he is offering me a link from: http://www.seocompanys.we.bs is an exact clone of SEOCompany.ca and if you click on the link below:

Google cache of: http://www.seocompanys.we.bs

You will see that the cache of seocompanys.we.bs just goes straight to the cache of seocompany.ca. This is because Suny has used the old redirect trick.

This guy has really gone the extra mile with the link exchange scam, I bet a few people have been taken in by the prospect of a nice link from a PR4 or PR5 site.

I feel sorry for the people who are getting ripped off by this guy so I have outed him. I am surprised that the fake PageRank trick still works.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves, a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Tidbits & Awesome Links

I have been really busy working this week so I haven’t had chance to do a proper post. There are a few things I want to talk about though:

Advertising

I am now running adsense on the site. Sorry about that. I just like the idea of getting free money, even if it is not a lot. I think if you want your ads to show up on this site you can select it with Google adwords or something, but I am not 100% sure. Other then that I am open to offers, I will sell a banner on the frontpage of this site if the money is right. No text links or anything though – I know it sucks.

According to Google Analytics this site has had 20,833 mainly very highly targeted visitors in the last 30 days. Although admittedly this Watch-Movies.net SEO review has accounted for about 5,000 of those.

Please drop me a mail, if you are interested in advertising on this site.

 

The Times Got Their PageRank Back

I 1st noticed this yesterday, it is nice to see some good has come out of the authority sites with a PageRank penalty post.

 

Directory Listings

I have started to make a UK SEO directory and a web designers directory.

The SEO one is already quite comprehensive – I have listed most of the better whitehat-ish UK companies that I know about in there. Please feel free to drop me a mail if you would like a listing, but I am very strict. You wont here back from me either way, if I think your site is the real deal it will be listed.

The web design one I just need listings for – I know different people like different things. I do however have some standards, if your own website has 120+ coding errors on the homepage it does not look good. People like me have to clean up these messes and it is not my idea of a cool Friday night. An error or two here and there I don’t mind and I would probably not reject you purely on bad code, especially if you have good graphic design skills or something. But take note, it is part of the quality score – a bit like Google’s algo. Just send me a mail if you want me to check out your UK web design site.

 

Buy Linkbait Online

Visit our linkbait services page to buy a piece of linkbait online for £999 through Google Checkout. It says we will take a week to make it, but the truth is we have quality writers just waiting to write some linkbait for your site right now – we will probably have it done in 3 days. We have dropped the price to £999 to try and bring in some sales. Visit the page for details of what you get with the service. We have been consistently getting good results for some time now. For most medium to large sized sites it is well worth it, I had my doubts, but I have seen the benefit now. It takes time, but when well optimised sites start to build authority they can fly.

 

Awesome Links

I never end up linking to any of the stuff I want to link to, so here are 10 really cool blog posts from this last week – not just SEO.

I will try to get a couple of more substantial posts out next week.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves, a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Debunked: Only The 1st Anchor Text Counts With Google

A little while ago I read the following thread over at SEOmoz:

Results of Google Experimentation – Only the First Anchor Text Counts

This made me panic a bit, because it would have meant that the footer link I had on this blog was not helping my homepage rank. I think someone mentioned in the discussion that even if the 1st link was nofollowed, it would still be the only one that counted. This would have meant that I was supposed to be completely shafting myself.

I got rid of the 1st links to the homepage altogether hoping to see a rise in Google for my main phrase, but I did not. I did however rise over 60 places, within less then a week or so on MSN/Live search.

I wanted to know for sure with Google, so when I 1st changed over my design less then a week ago, I made it so that every post in this blog linked to the about us page, with my name as the anchor text. I have just checked today and it is ranking 4th on Google UK, just behind my Yahoo! post.

  • The 1st anchor text always says about
  • There is very little on-page for it, other then the links in these posts
  • There are other pages with far more David Eaves links (external ones)
  • There are no external links to that page using that anchor text

My conclusion: Google does not only look at the 1st link to a page for anchor text, MSN/Live search does and I am not too sure about Yahoo!

Good advice and practice from SEOmoz anyway though, if only for MSN. Why take a chance on it? Make sure that you have your good anchor text in the 1st links to your pages.

Update: Seeing how VanDeMar seems to be the one who started this whole thing off, here is a link to his original post:

You May Be Screwing Yourself With Hyperlinked Headers

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves, a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

New Logo and XHTML Template Design

I have been working hard over the last week or so, on the new design for this site. I have still got a long way to go, but I certainly feel like things are starting to fall into place.

I have changed a lot of the URLs on the main site and as you would expect everything is going fine with Google. Yahoo! seems to be very slowly getting there and I have no doubt sent a kiss goodbye to many of my MSN/Live search rankings for quite sometime.

The new logo is what I like best about this new design, if you look carefully at the blue design, that is actually a little SEO, with an arrow pointing upwards at the top. When the designer James was showing it to me, he was like;

“the abstract design contains the letters S,E and O and the arrow pointing upwards represents your clients rankings going to the top.”

I just loved it instantly and I was like:

“you had me at S”

I am not too sure about this font and one or two people have commented that it is a little small, I will probably be changing it in the next couple of weeks. I am going to get this hacked up, broken thing looking like a blog as well.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves, a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

How to Add Nofollow to the More Tags in WordPress Blogs

Wordpress Logo.pngAlthough I do not currently use read more tags on this blog one of my clients does. I decided that it was a waste of PageRank to have the more tags followed and went about finding some information on how add nofollow to the links. But I could not find any, after a good couple of hours of tweaking I figured out how to do it, here is a quick tutorial:

More Tag Nofollow Fix for Versions 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3

You need to make changes to the post template file in the WP includes folder. On line 124 you will see the following line of code:

$output .= ‘ <a href=”‘. get_permalink() . “#more-$id” class=”more-link”>$more_link_text</a>”;

You need to add the nofollow tag just before the link text. Simply replace the existing line of code with this one:

$output .= ‘ <a href=”‘. get_permalink() . “#more-$id” class=”more-link” rel=”nofollow”>$more_link_text</a>”;

Once you save the file all of your more tag links will be nofollowed.

I do not think that this will make a huge amount of difference to your search engine rankings, but PageRank is precious and it could help prevent some of your posts being dropped from the search results.

Posted in Search Engine News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

Set Geographic Webmaster Tool Works

Earth From Space

Image Credit: earth from space

A couple of weeks ago Barry reported that Google’s country specific weights may be getting stronger. Some changes have been made and one thing is obvious, UK sites have had their rankings reduced on Google.com for many commercial phrases.

One thing that seems to have gone un-noticed is that around the same time the Google webmaster central set geographic tool began to work.

Webmasters who’s sites are hosted outside the of the UK can now have their sites rank properly on Google UK (including pages from the UK), simply by changing the geographic target via Google webmaster tools.

I know of at least one site that this is working properly for, the site is hosted in the US and it has been set up so that the UK sub directory of the site now shows up on pages from the UK.

If webmasters with international sites leverage this properly it could have a huge impact on the amount of traffic they receive. Certain sites that spring to mind are ones like Dmoz and BOTW.org, these sites could now have their UK sub directories show up and rank properly on UK only Google.

Also this is not just a UK thing, webmasters can now have the relevant sub-directories/domains of their international sites show up on country specific searches worldwide. Can you imagine how much more traffic that would mean for Dmoz if this was set up correctly?

To make this work you need to have a general top level domain like a .com, .net or a .org, with the sub directories of your site specifically targeting individual countries, you then need to claim the different sections as separate sites and set the relevant geographic target for each one.

This is supposed to take about 2-3 months to kick in, but it could take much longer depending on the size of the site and the amount of links and PageRank etc.

The tool is still not perfect but this is a large step in the right direction. Congratulations to the webmaster central team and thanks to Richard for some good info.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

How to Make Money from Trackback Spam

If you have trackbacks enabled on your blog you have most probably had to deal with trackback spam at some point.

Most of the time I just delete the spam trackbacks and move on, but this morning I received one from what appeared to be a very legitimate web design company.

Surely these guys are not blackhats I am thinking, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

The email I sent to the web design company:

“Hi,

My blog was just spammed by someone pointing a text link to your URL – using trackback spam:

http://www.seoco.co.uk/blog/2008/01/03/

the-magic-seo-beans/#comment-1023

I wouldn’t normally contact the people who spam me but you look like a genuine company so I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Trackback spamming is against the search engine guidelines and it is a very fast way to get your site banned from Google.

If you know nothing about this, then let me know and I will see if I can find out some more info for you. If you are paying a company to do this for you, drop them and drop them fast. If you are using some software to do this, stop using it.

Plenty of people who are a lot less forgiving then me would just forward this straight on to Google’s webspam team.

Best Regards

David Eaves”

The web design company’ response:

“Dear David,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to email me and bringing this to my attention.

I have started using a search engine company who I will be getting rid of as I received a similar email to the one you sent yesterday.

May I ask what your company charges for SEO services, we would like to do well for the phrase ‘Web Design’

Kind Regards,

Colin”

So as it turns out I may be getting an SEO or link building contract, thanks to trackback spam.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.

The Magic SEO Beans

Magic SEO

Image Credit: more magic on the web

I was checking up on my competition yesterday on Google, as I do pretty regularly, and I came across a website, ranked in the #12 position for the phrase ‘SEO’. Because I had never seen the site before it aroused my curiosity and I began doing a bit of investigating.

I checked the back-links and the site had around 20,000 going to the homepage – which is a healthy amount – but when I started checking the sites that were linking to it I could not find any links on their pages; almost as if the sites linking to it were cloaked. I continued my investigation, Googled the URL and came across this really funny thread started by a Mr David McSweeney. Now, make sure that you don’t have any drinks near your keyboard for this, the thread is basically a copy of a discussion that David had with one of the companies sales girls. It is possibly one of the funniest SEO sales pitches I have ever heard; being a former employee of Iomart, I have heard a lot.

Sales Girl – “A couple of years ago we identified the magic 4 points which google uses to rank sites. We approached google about this and they said to us”

Google – “Oh, you are right. There is nothing we can do about this for 15-20 years and we’ll let you away with it, as long as you only do it for one company for each key phrase.

“Because of this magic formula we can guarantee you a top 10 position for the keyphrase ‘straighteners’ on the main google index.”

David – I am assuming what you are offering is a link building service? Not really that impressive, considering that we are already 22nd for the keyword ‘straighteners’ and there are only 176,000 results. Surely a few good quality links would get us up there?”

Sales Girl – No, we do things that you have never even heard of. Only we can guarantee you this ranking.”

David – I targeted the keyphrase ‘hair products’, which has 2,860,000 results (276,000 with the quotes) and we are 6th in the Google index. I did not employ the use of any magic beans or potions for this ranking.”

Sales Girl – No, only ourselves and 4 other companies in the world know how to manipulate the rankings.”

David – Manipulate? So what you are doing is black hat then? Google don’t allow anyone to manipulate their rankings.”

Sales Girl – Yes, but they told us they couldn’t do anything about it and as long as we don’t saturate the market, it’s OK.”

David – But surely if you told them what you do, the first thing they would do is make sure Mr Cutts and his web spam team gets right on to it to fix the problem?”

Sales Girl – No, they won’t have the technology for 15/20 years.”

You have got to give her 10/10 for effort, but the company’s magic formula appears to be using hundreds, if not thousands, of cloaked sites for links. Now, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this and I do not have any problem with black hat SEO, just so long as the clients know what they are getting and the risks involved; this, however, does not seem to be the case.

Around 3 hours after I started my investigation the site completely disappeared from Google for the phrase ‘SEO’ (you will have to take my word for it that is was there), however it is still rocking Yahoo! – and in position 5.

I may have some of my facts wrong about the link building techniques that this company is using, but I am pretty sure that they are well outside of the search engine guidelines, perhaps one of you blackhats could let me know if I am right.

Posted in SEO News By David Eaves a UK search engine optimisation specialist.