The Web Authority
Wednesday, October 31
  Getting Better Google Maps Placement

I am often asked how can a website owner get top placement in Google Maps. I have done some research on this topic and wanted to share the information with you. Many of the suggestions to improve your position you can implement yourself. I think that you will find my own personal business case study interesting and can offer insight into your own situation.

Click our blog post title to read the full article in our November '07 e-newsletter.


Tuesday, October 30
  Don't Give Away Your Trade Secrets
How often have you allowed a prospect to pick your brain on what you might call proprietary information? It happens more often than not and typically I have found the prospect that wants to chat for hours on what ifs typically never moves into the paying customer arena. Why should they, they have all the information that they need to do it themselves.

How do you handle this kind of situation? For me, I am not afraid to share information and chat, but I am also not afraid after about 10 to 15 minutes to say "I need to move you into the paying customer category now." Additionally I now consider some information about how I do business proprietary and not to be shared every! Regardless of the amount of money offered.

It is important that as a business person you assess what you do, what your value is to others, and then guard your trade secrets. Don't treat this information casually. Sometimes it has taken years to understand or be versed in a topic so that you become an expert. Don't give it away for a relatively cheap consulting fee or for free when chatting to impress a prospect with your knowledge. Now I do not advocate turning the clock on and charging everyone at the beginning, but in some situations it is better to get a retainer and contract first before getting into the details and a strategy.

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Thursday, October 25
  Cleaning Up Your Blog
Periodically I clean up my blog. Although I have been blogging for over three years, many of the old posts just seem dated and so I routinely purge my blog of old stuff. This is why you'll see my archive now only dates back to November 2006.

The information on the Web changes so quickly reader's don't want to see old new on blogs or dated postings. So clean it up and delete the old stuff now.
Tuesday, October 23
  Google's New Transparency on Quality Score
Finally, Google has decided to offer a little bit of help on the Quality Score in Google AdWords. Search Engine Land has a nice article that you can read and even a screen shot. Just click our post title to read more on that and see the image.

Now when you want more information on the Quality Score click your mouse on the magnifying glass next to the keyword in the Ad Group View. You will see a screen that shows a synopsis, then click the link on the screen on the Quality Score for even more information about your keyword relevance and about your landing page. I consider this increased transparency welcome and needed for effective management of Google AdWords.

Why should you care what your Quality Score is on Google AdWords? The higher your Quality Score, the lower your cost per click will be as Google will consider your ad, keywords, and landing page more relevant to readers. You may even find with a higher Quality Score that your ads will be shown more frequently as typically your click through rate will be higher. Your Quality Score is simply a health score of your program. Google rewards healthy programs with more activity, lower click costs, and potential placement in the top spots above organic listings.

Your Quality Score is all about a tight match between your keyword trigger list, your ad text, and the keywords and density on your landing page. Now with Google's new transparency you can finally clearly target where your problem is so you can take action and improve your performance on Google AdWords.

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Thursday, October 18
  Got Blog? How to Blog Effectively
Man there are a lot of bad blogs on the Web and then there are some really great ones. I have several sites that I routinely watch in my industry sector, I also watch our self-blogging client blogs, and our ghost blogging contractred blogs. All in all, you've just got to pick and chose what you follow.

I know that many people have started to blog solely for search engine benefits and that is okay by me, but when you blog for your business, the content just has to be good. With that in mind, here are my top tips to blog more effectively for search engines and for your business.

  1. Provide interesting content that your readers would consider helpful.
  2. Keep your posts regular and then stick with a schedule.
  3. Mention keywords in your blog title and blog labels or categories.
  4. Make your posts small no dissertations! Break larger posts into a series.
  5. Be careful on your spacing. Make sure you look at your post after you publish it to confirm that the spacing is correct.
  6. Don't paste in your posts from Word. Sorry you need to move them to Wordpad or Notepad first and then into the blog control panel to remove formatting.
  7. Keep the fonts, styles, and colors consistent on your blog from post to post.
  8. Don't use huge headlines and don't use all capitals.
  9. Watch the news in your business sector and blog early and hard on important news or tips.
  10. If you can do a Google Sitemap for your blog posts so the search engines know about your content.

I hope these tips help you to be a more effective blogger. I use these same exact tips to train new bloggers, client bloggers, and to instruct people at seminars on how to blog. Remember blogging is fun, spontaneous, and conversational in nature but does have a few rules of best practice and etiquette.

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Tuesday, October 16
  Our Contact Form is Working
We're back in business with our fully functional contact form again.
Monday, October 15
  Typepad Using No Follow Link Code By Default
If you have been posting to blogs on Blogger or Typepad thinking that you were getting a great inbound link to your website. Know that in addition to Blogger (we posted about this previously) now Typepad inserts a rel="no follow" command in the code to all links in comments.

So don't waste your time trying to raise your link numbers or organic positions by posting to blogs now. You can still post to mine, I love to hear your comments, but mine is a Blogger blog so you won't get any flow through benefit to your site just as you now will not on Typepad blogs.

What about Wordpress? Is this the same situation? Just checked one of the blogs we work on and here's the source code on the link rel='external nofollow' so same situation in Wordpress.

That does not mean if when you blog your links are set up as no follows, jut the links that are left in comments!

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Thursday, October 11
  Are Link Strategies Dead?
I have never really liked doing link programs. If you yourself have never worked a link program and I mean really getting your hands dirty with it, not farming it out to India, you would not understand just how awfully difficult it actually is to get quality inbound links. It is even harder to get inbound links on request without paying for them.

In the real world of getting links, and I mean the real world not using a link farm tool or a reciprocal link exchange database, the contact and followup is hugely time consuming. The results are spotty to be kind and typically of poor quality and response average is miserable. I evaluated a link program done by another firm recently for a skeptical client. They had been billed $800 a month for more than a six month period and had received under ten links to their website.

I believe that a far better approach is to write excellent content, optimize your website properly, have a blog, do a regular e-newsletter, and if you really feel you must, write free articles for article sites that include a link back to you in the footer. I have been able to get placement for sites on Google and the other search engines for myself and clients without link programs.

Does that mean that people don't link to my site, no, people will link to sites that provide valuable information, freebies, whitepapers, and content that enriches their own visitor's experience. So stop wasting money and resources on link programs, get back to basics working your site. Make it the best it and can be and start providing valuable information that will really help people not just information on what you personally sell.


Tuesday, October 9
  Our Contact Form and Login Are Down
Just a quick note to let you know that we have moved to a new server and so our contact form and database login access to our client area are down.

We are working with our web host to quickly resolve these matters, but in the meantime please contact us at and not by our regular contact form.
Saturday, October 6
  Linking From Blogger Blogs Does Not Work Anymore for SEO
I downloaded my blog files the other day to keep an up-to-date archive as I was moving my site to a new server and noticed that Blogger is now adding in the links inside comments on my site this tag rel="no follow".

That means if someone leaves a comment on your Blogger blog, or you leave one on someone else's Blogger blog as a way to try to improve your Website visibility, the link you leave means nothing. It is not considered in Google's algorithm and because Blogger has arbitrarily made this decision it means that using this tactic as a workable strategy to point people to your website has now effectively been dissed. No engine will follow the link now. This is not a setting you can change it is a behind the scene thing that Google, the owner of Blogger, has done.

Google has effectively worked to disregard linking on the web that we used to use for SEO organic placement improvement in one of their last algorithms. This means that we no longer do resource pages in websites as a place to show reciprocal links. As Google considers these links literally meaning nothing. Another way we used to get placement was by posting comments on blogs and pointing back to the main website, and now this tactic is gone as well for Blogger blogs. Many blogs you simply can not identify if they are blogger blogs or not, some you can by the template choice but not always.

So the bottom-line is that the world of SEO is really changing. Using blogs and forums to point to new sites to get links to improve your chances of being picked up on a search engine are narrowing. If I can think of any other way to get exposure that replaces these previously tried and true methods, I'll let you know. One that I am thinking of right now is MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Do you have one you want to recommend?

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Wednesday, October 3
  Live's New Webmaster Central Invitation
Visit the link in our post title to send an email and get into the Microsoft Live webmaster central beta program.

If you are using Google webmaster central tools, you'll want to get in on the ground floor with MSN tools too. I sent my registration and in a day got invited to the beta.


Tuesday, October 2
  Do Blogs Improve Stickiness?
Yes they do! In our white paper (click our post title to get it free), we prove that having a blog will increase the stickiness of your website. Using two case studies one that was extended over a multiple month period, we track that the amount of time that a viewer stays on your site improves with blogging.

The increases are not as pronounced as those in traffic increase, but still important. So if you want to keep readers longer and keep them engaged, blogging will do it!


Monday, October 1
  Do Blogs Bring You More Website Traffic
You bet they do. In our newest white paper linked to our post title you can find out exactly what to expect when it comes to increased traffic. With four detailed case studies and some sites followed for over a two year period, we can say unequivocally that having a blog will increase your website traffic from a realistic figure of 25 to 35%.

So if you want more site traffic, don't get scammed by traffic generation schemes, start blogging!

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Follow Web Diva, Nancy McCord, as she teaches you how to develop Web authority for search engines and to improve your Web visibility by positioning your company for strategic success.

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Location: Waldorf, MD, United States

I am the President of McCord Web Services LLC. My firm has been providing Internet services for over seven years.

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