Archive for October, 2011

28
Oct
11

This just in…

Google Says SEO Is Not Spam

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04
Oct
11

Content for the Sake of Content… or?

Content, content, content. Blah, blah, blah. That’s all you hear in SEO circles these days. Content content content content.

Well, then, let’s all just get us some of that! Lots and lots of it.

Um, okay, what if we wrote every damn thing we could think of when we launched the site two years ago? Now what? Just make some stuff up? But that’s not likely to lead to quality content, which is the where the trouble starts.

Say I’m an entertainment news site. No problem! Content just sort of oozes up out of the ground around us. How about a site selling seasonal stuff? Great! Just pick a holiday and roll with it. But just imagine for moment that your site is more like a yellow pages ad, three pages and a contact form. Maybe you’re a roofing company in an area with lots of competition. You want to—you really need to—show up at the top of the local search for “roofers.”

Is content the right tactic?

And if it is, just what the hell are you supposed to write about?

Let’s break it down.

Sites that absolutely need to worry about a continuous stream of high-quality content:

  • Wide-market websites in competitive topic spaces (non-geographical retailers, b-to-b businesses, or sites that are advertising-supported like recipe sites, magazines, or comparison shopping)
  • Sites in rapidly evolving topic spaces (news sites, product review sites, entertainment sites)
  • Sites in high-energy topic spaces (culture sites, fashion sites, music sites, porn sites)

Sites that maybe could benefit from a regular injection of quality content:

  • Informational sites (how-to sites, encyclopedic sites, data collections, historical sites, public domain arts & literature sites)
  • Non-profit membership-supported sites (clubs and organizations, large extended family groups, cause-related sites, political sites)
  • Sites based on repeat consumers of the same content (online games sites)

Sites that probably don’t need to worry about content once they’re up (although adding quality content can never hurt)

  • Local-only sites (restaurants, shops, professional service providers, health & medical services providers, legal service providers, personal services providers)
  • Single topic sites (individual person in-memorium sites, single-issue awareness sites, sites dedicated to permanent locations like historic architecture or unique geographic areas, specific item enthusiast sites like for a single model of classic automobile)
  • Sites not particularly concerned about search traffic (small family sites, advertising landing page sites, intranet-type sites)

If you are one of the last group, but you still want to add content, and you need help thinking of ideas, here ya go. You’re welcome.

  • Solicit reviews and recommendations from your clients and customers. Use attractive images to fill space and try to make as many pages as is reasonable.
  • Post articles on different ways to use your products or services.
  • Keep a blog related to your topic space. Don’t stress about daily posting, just try to put something up 3 or 4 times a month.
  • Post videos of people using your products or talking about your services. Definitely post video of any television presence such as commercial spots, or news program mentions.
  • Post HTML versions of any print product materials or brochures.
  • Post any and all press releases.
  • Put up a “Something of the month” section.
  • Publish a “Related resources” section and add a resource or two every month.
  • Watch for any news related to your product or service and post a brief synopsis along with your personal reaction.

And one last note: Always make sure you maintain a clear and usable organization when you start regularly adding content. If spiders can’t find and sort it, it helps you not.

03
Oct
11

An Automatic Update to Our Updated Updates Post

STOP THE MADNESS!

Well do ya, punk?

Seriously. This update crap is KILLING us. Not kidding.

Last Friday, Thunderbird, our go-to mail client for the past 8 years, decided to update itself. For about the thirty-seventh time this year. Aiiiight. Whatever. Gotta keep it real, we guess.

But this particular product-enhancing, security-improving, features-increasing updated FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-GOD up-fucking-grade went one better than all the previous updates.

It completely hosed our profile, which just happens to contain

  • Eight completely different email accounts, each with fairly complex settings;
  • A sophisticated multi-layered folder system;
  • About 35 content filters that have been added over the years, mostly to combat spam;
  • Address books, filled with client contact info, friends, and family;
  • And every single email archived over the past 8 years, received and sent and even drafts.

Now here’s the thing. We are exquisitely anal-retentive about backups. We back stuff up. All the time. Automatic backups and manual backups. So all of this data was faithfully backed up.

But Thunderbird’s product-enhancement update killed the profile so thoroughly that it took us six hours and twelve minutes to restore our accounts to about 85% of what they were pre-improvement.

Okay, so maybe we shouldn’t have put so much faith in an open-source, free-as-in-free-beer mail client. Maybe we should have stayed with the old familiar Outlook. Which has an even worse habit of upgrading-updating-upchucking than Mozilla’s Thudder-bird.

Look you guys up there in software development land, we’re gonna say this again. Loudly. So you can’t miss it.

IF YOU DON’T STOP THIS DAILY UPDATE CHANGE/TWEAK/MUCKUP CRAP, NOBODY’S GONNA LOVE YOU ANYMORE AND EVERYONE WILL MIGRATE TO SOME APP-BASED WONDER THAT LIVES IN THE CLOUD AND PERFECTS ITSELF ON ITS OWN TIME BEHIND THE SCENES WITHOUT TRASHING OUR BANDWIDTH, OUR DATA, AND OUR MENTAL HEALTH. PROBABLY PRODUCED BY GOOGLE.




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