When to post content

When is the best time to post new content, and how can I tell?

When to post content

Search engines will tell you when they love you

The formula is simple (in this case we will use webmaster tools by google). First thing first, I always like to submit on Tuesday shortly after 12pm, people tend to read and search when they get back to their desks or during their lunch breaks, stands to reason… no? If you are using Google webmaster tools you have access to a really great trend line showing the peaks and valleys of your crawl traffic, essentially when Google cares about you and when they don’t. Therein lies all the knowledge you require, check for high peaks, correlate them with days and even times, and BOOM, start pumping out your content on those days. Eventually you will start to notice a trend, basically its Google making the assumption that you have posted new content on these days at these times and continue to crawl your sites deeply on those days.
Now its important to note that the crawlers do not spend EVERY DAY ALL DAY on your site, they have billions of other sites to gobble up, so stick with what is empirically working for you in regards to a content release schedule.

I have seen sites that tell you when to post and when not to. That’s all well and good assuming your page is already indexed, but without an indexed page all your research is for naught. I believe in a relatively easy method of SEO as is evidenced by my writing and my research.

Bing has there webmaster tools as well, and you can very quickly familiarize yourself with crawl frequency vs. pages indexed there. Ill give you an example:

1. page one 153 out of 250 pages submitted (OUCH!) your crawl rate peaks only once a month with short lulls along the way.

2. page 2 100 out of 100 pages indexed (YEAH!) your crawl rate indicates weekly spikes and maintains a baseline crawl rate during other days.

 

Page 1 has some issues, maybe its seen as spammy, etc… try to figure out what pages aren’t indexed and why. The good news is your not completely de-indexed. Once that is fixed continue to post content (GOOD CONTENT) on your strong day and see if your weekly crawl rate and indexed number of pages increases. Patience is a virtue so be in for at least a few week turnaround on some usable data. Don’t give up. Its a game of attrition and the person with the most patience and wear-with-all wins.

page 2 fully indexed, steady rhythm of crawlers… dependable right? I don’t think so… the calm before the storm. In order to keep them coming back continue to add new content and innovate ways of engaging new people. Perhaps do some keyword analysis and implement a spreadsheet to track your most popular. Simple stuff, essentially if it aint’ broke, don’t fix it.

A video detailing how to install webmaster tools

Another free keyword tutorial

 

 

Java Flaw Fix 2013

Java, no more coffee, but in case you have to have your joe, here is update 11

Java Flaw Fix 2013

I’ll take my java black, no holes please

As we all have known for a LOOOOOOOOOONG time (since about august) Java (not javascript, and entirely different animal) is buggier than a night without a mosquito net in a swamp. Those holes in the code opened up a cornucopia of exploits, and some very smart hackers have packaged “bugs in a box” virus solutions for the use in creation of a myriad of viruses. Now, August 31st, a new patch was unleashed to cope with round 100 of the Java v. The World bug, Now January 13 Java 7.11 is released to deal with the browser vulnerability allowing for automatic authoritative control and launching of applications within windows. SCARY! Did I also mention that the GOVERNMENT issued a warning to all people? I have never seen such a thing, at least not on this scale.

Please visit this link (if you are still choosing to run Java, if you don’t need it, don’t use it) I cannot vouch that it works, but the folks at Oracle aren’t known for being Stupid.

A few words of caution:

1. Java, use one browser (as suggested by people smarter than me) that allows for execution of java within the browser, configure your other browser to NOT allow java to run

2. Watch your NETSTAT, look for any weird outbound connections on startup or doing your day to day work. just open command and type netstat, I wont explain more.

3. Firewall settings: IF your AV allows for it, make sure to tell your firewall to ask for any outbound inbound connections and make rules for commonly used programs

4. Keep abreast of all things malicious by visiting your software vendors website

The vast majority of sites using java are banking or financial institutions, making this particular gaping hole a nasty one indeed. Be safe out there! Please also keep in mind that this hack only allowed for execution through the browser, not for desktop (as far as I know) applications, although from your browser it could launch applications and run code. I know this isn’t my usual, but I want every to be aware of the issue. There are now reports of entire Data Center hack-a-thons coming in from our friends overseas. Their computing power is nothing to be trifled with. Recently the major banks (PNC worst of all) has fallen victim to these DOS attacks and have wreaked havoc on their site and their security. Interesting days we live in, companies need to be far more careful before unleashing patches with more holes than they intended to fix. A little QC isn’t too much to ask, is it?

 

Happy New Year

2012 is gone, ring in 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I am not sure about the rest of you, but I am excited to watch the events of the coming year unfold. Normally I put predictions out there about what I feel is going to be trending in SEO but really, the more it changes the more it stays the same.

Technology and personal computing are going to change (honestly they have already) into something a hell of a lot more agile. I think we are going to shift to a break/fix model in regards to our goods and hopefully employ better manufacturing in order to ensure long life in regards to our beloved digital devices. This just makes plain good sense. Furthering my excitement for the upcoming year is that all things 2012 are behind; the fiscal cliff, campaigns, and on and on and on. We had our fair share of tragedies and triumphs but 2012 was a year of change.

I start this year with a fresh outlook and an open mind. I sincerely hope that peace finds us and that everyone settles in nicely to the new suit that is 2013.
Happy New Year Internet!

TODD MICHAEL HAMILTON

Paid backlinks are bad

Are we really still talking about buying high PR Backlinks?

Paid backlinks are bad

Google hates your High PR Paid Backlinks. So do I.

Are we seriously still having this conversation in the SEO world? It was over 2 years ago that I warned all my clients to NOT BUY HIGH PR BACKLINKS! That ship sailed in the mid 2000′s and hasn’t come back to port yet. Gone, gone, gone… let me tell you just one more time… GONE. Paid backlinks do accomplish two goals: 1. Keep hacky SEO companies in business 2. Relieve you of your hard earned money.

Here is the issue, google hates them, bing hates them. They are the (COME ON BING!) giants of search and (Matt Cutts) gave us a way to report them back in ’09. Why then would anyone still trying to gain rank purchase these links? Because of unethical SEO’s, or someone making an honest mistake who didn’t do their homework. Linkfarming, Linkfarms, et. al: ALL DEAD.

“Content and good old organic linkbuilding are your future” – Todd Michael Hamilton

I said that then, and I still mean it. Here are some really great ways to get the crawlers to gobble up your site, and hopefully get you some much deserved credit in regards to the search engine result pages (SERPS).

1. Guest Blogging: Find blogs or online communities that discuss or review the same things you do, provide them with a guest blog. Who doesn’t love free relevant content?

2. Think outside the box: Most of your links come from non-relevant unrelated industry pages that have little to do with anything you do. Think about industries that have great sites that correlate to your mission statement. In other words build relationships with other web properties out there and sparingly send (sometimes even using the ‘nofollow” attribute) link juice back and forth

3. I hate to even say this: Social Media. What a great way to get people building fleeting links to your site, video, etc… think of it as firefly’s, they light up for a second, get your attention, then vanish. Social media is a sprint, not a marathon. However, building comments, and engaging people via the medium is a smart move. It shows the search engines that people are interested and want to participate / comment. Be mindful of allowing people to much leeway, always moderate. Keep it above the bar and you will do just fine. NO TROLLS!

4. Podcasts, rich media interviews: Get yourself invited to do a podcast or two. Find local news outlets who have a strong blog or online presence and start to ask for some air time. It cant hurt, and getting mentioned in the media (in particular respected print / digital publications) is a huge win for your site.

5. Webmaster Tools: Want to know where your site sucks? Look no further than Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools. These sites will give you the dirt on where your links come from and how you rank for specific keywords. I am not going to go into much more detail than that, but if you need a tutorial on how to install, we have put together a tutorial for your viewing pleasure.

Those are just four ways I see your site doing better. Stop building crappy links, put that effort into good content and making sure that your site is usable and engaging. A client that visits once is not a client.

Cheers!

What HTML5 means to you

What HTML5 means to you

What HTML5 means to you

What HTML5 means to you

What does HTML5 mean to you? Well first things first lets discuss the semantic structure and how that is going to SERIOUSLY impact how we write pages:
1. Gone are the days of tagging everything, HTML5 gives us <section><aside>, etc… as opposed to loads of arbitrary tags to accomplish the same thing

2. Easier to write, as a result of its semantic structure HTML5 is going to open the door to MANY avenues of development. There are many platforms (such as sencha) that employ its heft to create platform-independent applications, further blurring the line between site and app

3. Credit where credit is due: it is so simple in HTML5 to incorporate author credits, like the <article> tag, it also will allow you to use the <details> tag (which the user can choose to hide or not). Previously the only thing that came close was rel=author, and we all know how “useful” that was.

4. The use of SVG (Dynamic Grahpics): you can essentially create graphics and animations on the fly, without the use of javascripts, etc… AWESOME

5. Audio and Video controls… agony, gut wrenching agony. That is what it was like to get your video or audio to render in EVERY browser before HTML5 came along, now, its as easy <audio>  or <video> controls are a cinch as well!

Microsoft and other vendor specific tags currently exist, however the governing body of all things internet are currently working their tails off to get everything streamlined and non-vendor-specific. For instance “flexbox” Redmond’s answer to non-static table type thingy… you will see it at work if you have had the chance to play with a surface ( I just got mine, love it, article forthcoming). How will all this impact your SEO? Well as usual, I have seen trends, research, blah blah blah come and go. The one thing I know is that HTML5 is here to stay, and it is going to make creating clean, well organized pages much easier to not only create but index. Which translates to GOOD SEO. As with any code (markup in particular) please try to stick to best practices when writing your code, clearly state your syntax and use good “” and =, simply because it says you dont have to doesnt mean you shouldnt.
if your looking for good books on HTML5, or one hell of a class:
HTML5 BOOK
Microsoft HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3 Class (Free cert too! GET YOU SOME!)

SEO vs PPC vs Organic SEO

What method of internet marketing is the most efficient?

SEO or PPC which dominates

SEO VS PPC. How can you decide whats best for your company? BOTH!

This topic intrigues me. I have spent years researching this and really wanted to unload all my data to those who areequally passionate. However, with the amount of people chiming in with really great value adds, its a moot point Please review the Quora post. I will give you the abridged version with some basic percentages. But before that, let me point out that PPC never converts as well as Organic SEO. That is not to say it cant be equally as effective when used in tandem, however, empirical evidence cannot be argued. I doubt anyone here with research backed data would argue that Organic does not dominate the market space in conversion and CT’s. On with 1 tiny slice:

25% of our e-commerce sites saw a 13% gain of conversions and a 42% gain of traffic via organic avenues (showing that PPC does affect rankings, perhaps this is a clear signal that google seems to place value on brands that choose to advertise, and might also consider them to be honest) It is to also be mentioned that upon termination of the PPC campaigns there was a slight (as compared to w / PPC ) dip in the rankings, but it recovered in only 3 days (average) ( links and such were continually built throughout these campaigns, some quality some not)

These signs point to a few things I find interesting:
1. brand recognition and acceptance through paid advertising channels provided through the major search engines ( really only in the case of google)
2. CTR increase when compounded with PPC
3. Organic Traffic Increase (perhaps happy coincidence)
4. Brand Trust (key?)

I can continue to drill down into more of my data (collected and sorted over quite a long period) however, you see the point. There is a happy marriage and a nice merit to be seen by using both. I myself am a proponent of organic SEO, however I always suggest a very aggressive targeted marketing campaign for the first 6 months of any new engagement. I always ask my clients for a set aside budget to fund this venture. This marketing strategy is multi-faceted and includes some very non-traditional (for the web and SEO) avenues of advertising. If you are interested in discussing those with me I am happy to share. But as its unrelated to the topic….

in short *deep breath* these two can co-exist nicely. With just that right amount of this and that you can have quite a decent conversion rate. Remember SEO encompasses all avenues of online marketing, where as PPC only deals with paid ads, and Organic SEO deals with, well, naturally searched results and rankings.

Google Removes support for APP Inventor December 31st, shifting to MIT

Dead Dead Dead, App Inventor no longer hosted by Google

Google kills another useful tool, and focuses on Google +puss, er Plus

I woke up to this email:
Dear App Inventor User,

As we announced on the App Inventor Announcement Forum, Google will end support for App Inventor on December 31, 2011, after which data in appinventorbeta.com will not be accessible and will be deleted from Google servers.  You can preserve your App Inventor projects by simply clicking on the Download All Projects button on your My Projects page.  This will download to your computer a zipped archive of all your projects.  We recommend you retrieve your projects well before December 31st.

By the end of 2011 Google will also be making the complete App Inventor source code publicly available under an open source license, so that anyone can study the code and modify it as they desire.

In order to ensure the future success of App Inventor, Google has funded the establishment of a Center for Mobile Learning at the MIT Media Lab.  Sometime in the first quarter of 2012, the Center plans to provide an App Inventor service for general public access, similar to the one Google is currently running.

In order for you to continue working with your projects in an open source instance (MIT or otherwise) of App Inventor you will need to download your data from appinventorbeta.combefore December 31st and later upload them to an open source instance as it becomes available.

Please visit the App Inventor user forums to get future updates on App Inventor.  You can also visit http://mobilelearning.mit.edu/ for updates on what is being done with App Inventor at MIT.

The App Inventor Team”

OH Google! You never cease to amaze us! You have removed more functionality  (see: wonder wheel, etc…) that we all love to use. Your charm is starting to wear thin. I personally have shifted the bulk of my searches (personal anyway) into Blekko and Bing (because its just so nice to use, although the results do need some serious work). And for anyone interested in this, I have it on GOOD authority from the source that Intel has all but shut down the department responsible for GoogleTV, that is as dead as Rasputin my friends. Well enough with the rumor mill, thought we could do with some updating about the search engine we are all forced to play with, at least for now. For those interested in continuing to use that fun tool, MIT posted this about App Inventor

Any other interesting news? Contact us 

Google Fresh Algorithm Update: “so fresh it stinks” or Save my site from Google

Google Fresh Update

Beat the Freshness out of Google

Fresh is the word

 

As if small business owners havent had a hard enough time adapting to Navneet Panda’s little gem, we are now forced to contend with Googles latest internet bombshell entitled “fresh”. Why would they call something fresh? Well the premise is that sites who lack fresh content and a regularly updated inventory will pay the piper in the ranks. What does this mean to you? Am I over simplifying the issue? The jury is still out on both, but if my spidey sense is right, small businesses with static offerings and stagnant content strategy are going to lose their proverbial rears.

How can I save myself?
First off, the answer is as it always has been, put a up a blog, employ social media. While I would love to post some links to multiple awesome blog software there is really only one:

1. http://www.wordpress.org/download

for those who would like to not host their own site, the options are a little more plump:
1. http://www.posterous.com

2. http://www.blogger.com

3. http://www.wordpress.com

 

4. http://www.tumblr.com

Those are some really great and easy to implement solutions to this content crisis. However, simply having a blog does not mean you are completely safe. You actually have to write and post interesting and engaging topics, while staying relevant to your core cause, product, or service. Sounds easy? Don’t get ahead of yourself! Make a schedule and stick to it. As youll probably notice this is my first update in a while, I am not making any excuses but lets say that a certain Volvo ran me off the road in my Mini Cooper and caused me to be hospitalized. Then there is China… there is always China.

There is really no need for alarm, the algorithm is just tightening up what we have always known… having great relevant content that others like to read and will readily pump through their social networks equals a win for you and your business. The trick there (as I have already mentioned) is keeping it up do date (as I have not, but will begin to again).

 

We will have more examples as the algorithm goes through its motions, as of yet we haven’t seen any real dip for any of our clients. If you have, let me know, ill take a look at your site and see whats what. The more data we have the more answers we (as in all SEO’s) can provide to you ( as in clients or looky-loos).

Get in touch via a form, or shoot an email directly

Google +1: What you should know about its launch

Google +1

The Google +1 Button

By now you have seen or heard about the release of the Google +1 button, which operates much like Facebook’s like button as a feature to let those in your network know about recommendations you have found on the web.  Like Facebook’s like button, +1 helps friends in your network discover things like websites, an interesting search result, or even an ad that you have suggested.  When used on your own webpage, the +1 button allows users to recommend your content with the intention that the friends of that user will see their friend’s recommendation and visit your site.  You must be signed into Google to access the feature and for your friends to see what you have recommended.

+1 SEO Value

According to Google, the +1 button is “one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking” as content that is recommended by your network is often thought to be more relevant than content from strangers.  Like the Facebook like button, website owners can likely see an increase in traffic as users recommending their content may be driven by others who have visited your site and shared (through the +1 button) the content to like-minded friends with similar interests.

Who can see the +1 annotations?

Everybody can see the annotations, and signed-in users can also see the personalized annotations from the following four sources:

  • People in their Gmail (or Google Talk) chat list.
  • People in their My Contacts group in Google Contacts.
  • People they’re following in Google Reader and Google Buzz.

+1 is not yet available on mobile devices as Google is likely first testing the popularity of the feature as they have not always been successful in the social media avenue (think Google Buzz).  Time will tell if +1 lives up to Google’s hopes and is implemented on cell phones.

How to get +1 button on your site

Google provides fairly simple instructions on how to implement the button to your website here:

http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/+1/button/index.html

It is a section of code that you implement into your back end or that your webmaster can do for you.

Google recommends placing the button near titles of pages, close to links, and both at the beginning and end of an article or story.  An additional item of interest for SEO is that Google has said that they may crawl or recrawl your page in response to a +1 impression or click.  Facebook like and Twitter’s retweet have significantly impacted search, we will pay close attention to see if Google’s +1 does the same.

For All Tweet Deck Users:

Tweetdeck awaits upgrade to handle V2 of foursquare.com's API

Tweetdeck releases new version in response to the August 1st planned foursquare update

Most of you have noticed this message:
“Your foursquare client is out of date! If you don’t upgrade before August 1st it will stop working.”
or this image:

your foursquare client is out of dat! if you dont upgrade before August 1st it will stop working.

Do the upgrade, but still seeing the message regarding foursquares API update on your Tweetdeck?

The impending doom of shutting down one pillar of social media is upon us. But how can we avoid? My inside sources tell me that our friends at twitter errr… tweetdeck will ensure that when the metal meets the bone, tweetdeck shall prevail over the foursquare v2 API update. We will keep you updated as to the status of our beloved foursquare posting ability via the amazing power of Tweetdeck. But have no fear our friends at Twitter err…. Tweetdeck have already realeased the basic upgrade to the software to handle the API upgrade. Get your upgraded tweetdeck

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