by John Wooton Author and Creator, The SEO Journal Blog and Asbjorn Lonvig.
Readers of my latest Art News Artblog have asked me to write about how I got a relatively good presence on the internet. Yesterday's statistics: 150,000 hits on Google.com and 100,000 hits on Yahoo.com on the search term "lonvig" and 64,708 hits and 1,176,552,123 bytes transferred per day on my web site http://www.lonvig.dk/.
John Wooton: As you know, every year is always rocked by a plethora of changes in the search engine marketing world. The acquisition of smaller companies by the Big 3 changes the marketing landscape as we know it every month and with every update to the index that is made, we hold our breath and hope that we come out better (if not, the same) in the end. So when it comes to the new year, there are many things that we should look out for to stay on top of the rankings.
1. Quality Content: I say this so often and I cannot overemphasize this enough: Content is KING! Search engine spiders, crawl the net to find what? Content! Your site has information (hopefully) that you want the spiders to see and include in their index. By the creation and publication of quality content, you give the search engines more reason to return. You are feeding them what they want. In 2006, you should be finding creative ways to get your content noticed and viewed as well as finding creative ways to publish fresh content on a regular basis. A very good way this is done is through the use of message boards (hosted on your site) and by blogs (enabling you to publish more frequently).
Tell a story. Every time I enter something on the internet, on my own website or another web site like an online gallery I tell a story. Like what Jose Dali said about my fairy tale character Crab-Mac-Claw or Alice Garibaldi's view of my computer drafts of sculptures in Rome. For search engine optimization and submission to selected search engines I use the software IBP Internet Business Promoter by Axandra, Germany. For check of meta tags I use the free Meta Tag Analyzer from Submitexpress.com. This is to ensure 100 % title relevancy to page content, 100 % description relevancy to page content and 100 % keyword relevancy to page content.
Don't focus on your web main page (index page) - focus on every page, only 1.56 % of my visitors enter through the web main page.
2. Don't Overextend Your Link Exchange Structure: Backlinks were a popular way to increase your rankings fast in the search engines. The tradition holds: find a PR7 website and trade backlinks and you'll be indexed in Google within 24 hours. That strategy still holds true and is beneficial for new web sites. But in my opinion the days of tremendous link swapping are coming to an end. Many website have been founded with the purpose of allowing you to exchange links with other web sites. This has caused a massive influx of web masters who want to exchange a ton of links with the hope that it will help them in the search engines. But what really matters when it comes to links is the amount of quality one way backlinks that direct users to your website. You want the balance of links to be in your favor, that is what leads to success. Also, there has been talk of search engines taking notice of these "link farms" and penalizing those who take part in them. So if you do take part in link exchanges, please be moderate in respect to the number of exchanges you take part in.
I do not concentrate upon links any more. I only make links that are relevant to my content. If I am asked to link to a Kangaroo farm in Canberra, New South Wales, Australia, I sure will do it. Now and then I run a Link Popularity Check on my online galleries to check their degree of presence on the internet. The Link Popularity Check program is free and it is from Axandra, Germany. Absolutearts.com has the highest link popularity of all online galleries.
I have made an RSS to all main pages on my web site and an RSS to every online gallery. I use the FeedForAll RSS feed creation tool to built my own RSSs. This way I have built 73 "hand made" RSSs. I use the following blogging systems for posting a lot of news and for automatic building of RSSs, ATOM feeds and RDFs: Blogger.com, Blogger.dk, Blog.com, Bloglines.com, Spaces.msn.com, Squarespace.com, Angelfire.com and Artday.org. Artday.org is Japanese. It is from Tokyo. And so is the image to the left. It's the Tokyo skyline with Tokyo Tower. The title is "Tokyo Moonlight". All of the above RSSs, ATOM feeds and RDFs - both my own "hand made" RSSs and the RSSs, ATOM feeds and RDFs generated automatically by blogging systems - are submitted to selected directories and search engines with the software RSS FEEDS Submit from rssfeedssubmit.com - if you need an introduction to RSS news feeds, you'll find it on rssfeedssubmit.com. I have built one site map in English and one in Danish.
5. Avoid Unethical SEO: There are a lot of programs out there that help you to achieve maximum link back ratios in a very short amount of time. Some of them are good; some are bad. In fact, some of them will waste your effort trying to post trivial comments on blogs or trying to maximize your link exchanges. In my opinion, you should seek success in SEM the right, ethical way. Seek out honest web companies to exchange a moderate amount of links with. Post only relevant comments to forums and blogs because that behavior leads to lasting link backs. Also, don't try to manipulate your website to make it appear to have a higher PR than you really do. Google sees that one!
I stay away from Flash and.....
I stay away from unethical SEO.
6. Last, but not least, Articles: There is a little bit of controversial talk about whether it is right to post articles for free use in directories. In my opinion, you are providing a well needed service to web masters and I don't see this one as a potential loss for 2006. Information is valuable. And web sites that need content (especially fresh content) desire what you do to make their efforts a success. So it is natural for your web site rankings to benefit through backlinks from those articles. It's a win win situation. One other thought on this subject. Right now, the search engines can punish web sites for having duplicate content, and that is an argument that many will propose. But, the search engines will usually only punish you if the html format of a web site is similar, not a couple of articles. So posting articles is safe for now. But be cautious. Many lucrative methods of ethical SEO can be turned into a problem when too many people attempt to abuse the technology. So that's it. Short, but informative. SEO is both an art and a technology that we have to use correctly for the right type of success. Who knows what the year ahead may bring, but playing your cards right, you can achieve success and avoid any pitfalls that may come.
This Art News Artblog article is an example of Articles. I write articles to as you know WWAR/Absolutearts, to Editorial Qroquis - a printed art magazine in Buenos Aires (translated into Spanish) and ADN World ArtNews in Tokyo. Furthermore my articles are published on selected RSSes of my own, on all the blogging systems mentioned above and on the online gallery ArtCad.com in Paris. To keep track of the effect of my efforts to have a relatively good internet presence I use a server based statistic system on my web hotel called InSite. I use Google Alerts to continuously inform me what new things of mine have been indexed. Occasionally I check presence on Yahoo.com. And then I check the online galleries. January 2006 WWAR/Absolutearts topped with 73,000 hits followed by ArtWanted in Salt Lake City with 21,000 hits. Other online galleries like Yessy.com in Denver Colorado had 17,000 hits and a new online galley in Paris - ArtPourTous - had reached 4000 visitors. "Grand Maitre" to the right - that is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - is of course exhibited in Paris. I'm working hard to produce decent traffic on all online galleries.
Thoughts. Your sales has nothing to do with your artistic talent, with your exhibition at Chicago Athenaeum or with nice words written about your art in a French book on "How to communicate through pictures". It's all about your internet presence???
Thanks. I want to thank John Wooton Author and Creator, The SEO Journal Blog for permitting me to use his article "Search Engine Strategies for Success: 2006", which I read 5 January 2006 in Entireweb Newsletter.
Questions. Ask all the questions you like in comments to this entry.