Can I rank for the term [Jonathan Jones]?
Dec22

Can I rank for the term [Jonathan Jones]?

14SHARESFacebookTwitter So just last week, I created a vCard website, which also has a blog on it called Mr Jonathan Jones. Why did I create this website? Well, first of all, I’m looking to up my game on freelance & consultancy. Having a memorable domain and more professional named service is something I’ve struggled with, with this domain name and others that I own. It’s quite easy for me to say, go to ‘MrJonathanJones.com’ if I’m at a conference, and that can be easily remembered given it is also my name, so will come up often when speaking to potential clients/contacts. I can also use the website as a point of reference in the future if I decide to do any presentations at any sort of conference and try and earn recognition within the industry that way as well. I eventually want to develop this out a bit more (freelancing) and now that I have my own office, I can do this with more comfort, let’s just say. You can see a picture of my home office below: I want to rank for my own name The second reason why I’ve created MrJonathanJones.com is because I want to rank for my own name. My ambition is at some point in the future, I’ll be able to either Google ‘Mr Jonathan Jones’ or ‘Jonathan Jones’ and my website will appear. That’d be impressive in my honest opinion. However, I do have some competition – the likes of a Guardian journalist who shares my common name. Using, ‘howmanyofme.com’, I can see that my surname is the 5th most popular in the US, and my first name being the 119th most popular, so a good indicative guide as to how popular/common my name is. You can see from the search results below that the journalist appears to dominate, but also there is someone who works for the Civil Service, and they have their own page on a government domain – so tough competition! I am looking to consolidate my blogging effort to Mr Jonathan Jones I have about 3 blogs, and I’ve got to that point where I no longer have time to update any of them. If I can consolidate, then it’d give me more time, as well as an extra push to update my blogs more frequently. I’m off to a very good start with Mr Jonathan Jones, as I’ve gone somewhat viral with a post I published on Twitter last week on Thursday around a Google Data Studio template I created that anyone can use – which sort of aides and replaces the new Google Search Console, Search Analytics...

Read More
Google Taking Action Against Guest Posting Blogs
Feb01

Google Taking Action Against Guest Posting Blogs

12SHARESFacebookTwitter I’m not sure if these are isolated incidents or Google just being Google, but I’ve received messages from 5 different webmasters that have stated they have received a site-wide penalisation for “Unnatural outbound links”. These are predominantly from bloggers that have excessively used guest blogging as a way to gather a constant stream of articles on their blogs. It’s interesting actually because Google has ramped up its assault on guest blogging in general, with Matt Cutts’ recent blog post on the “decay of guest blogging” hitting the industry succinctly last month. This is the message they’ve received in Google Webmaster Tools: Example.com/ : Unnatural outbound links Google has detected a pattern of artificial or unnatural links on this site. Selling links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. As a result of unnatural links from your site, Google has applied a manual spam action to example.com. There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site. What have I advised them to do? The 5 websites that I mentioned at the beginning of this article have all lost their toolbar PageRank, as a result of this. I’ve advised them to actually nofollow or either remove outgoing links on their blogs and to not accept further guest posts until they have sorted out the mess they are now in. Most of them use WordPress, and I’ve recommended an amazing free WordPress plugin that will do the job fairly easily for them. It’s called Outbound Link Manager, a WordPress Plugin that identifies all the external links on your website and allows you to either remove or nofollow them. I recently used this tool on a blog that I purchased and found that the blog was plagued with external links that had no relevancy to the blog’s topic, so I simply nofollow’d  and removed quite a few of those links doing this with the help of the aforementioned WordPress plugin. What can you do to avoid getting in this sort of trouble? Stop accepting guest posts en-masse. I carefully vet any guest post article that goes on this blog. In fact, I’ve only allowed two guest posts on here, as a result of over 100 people contacting me to guest post on here. What people don’t seem to realise is that I actually read what they are writing about to see if what they are writing about actually has any real value or is just another rehashed version of what they’ve written before. (Thank you, Google exact match phrase search option) You just need to be more careful with who you allow to guest...

Read More
Is 2014 The End of Guest Blogging?
Jan20

Is 2014 The End of Guest Blogging?

12SHARESFacebookTwitter Matt Cutts has come out with a post on his personal blog entitled “The decay and fall of guest blogging“. It’s quite interesting as it’s something that I wrote about around a week ago on Densely.org called “The Way We Guest Post – Content Marketing“. In it, I wrote: Google will try to become more aggressive as we become more aggressive at guest posting. My prediction for 2014 is that we’ll see algorithmic updates, similar to Penguin, which will dive straight into world of guest posting. – 11 January, 2014 It makes sense. If everyone starts doing something that is very popular then in the end it will become abused and overused. The strategy behind guest blogging from an SEO perspective has always been about gaining links that would help boost your rankings. It’s a tactic used by many SEO agencies and I’ll admit that I’ve done my fair share. But Google has not made it easy to rank in the search engine results page. For many start-up websites it is impossible to rank and compete, unless you engage in activities such as guest posting. I’ll agree with Matt on this though: Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains. – Matt Cutts He’s right. Guest posting has indeed been turned from being a legitimate practice, whereby you would be a guest author on big sites such as TechCrunch, WSJ, Mashable etc and you’d give your professional view on a subject of your expertise. This still happens, but this has been outweighed by the fact the majority of guest posts are now for those lovely dofollow anchor text links. So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward. – Matt Cutts The last bit of Matt Cutt’s post is actually quite informational. Is he suggesting that there will be an algorithmic update of some sort that would dive into the world of guest blogging — like I had predicted just only a week ago? Maybe and very likely, yes. I also see Google devaluing guest posts and lowering their effectiveness when it comes to rankings. I doubt we’ll see Google penalising every website that has used guest posting as a method to increase rankings. In effect, the only websites that will be hurt from this are for sites that have gained the majority of their backlinks by...

Read More
Optimising Your 404 Page & Creating Opportunities
Jan07

Optimising Your 404 Page & Creating Opportunities

10SHARESFacebookTwitter “You can’t get there from here.” This line has been uttered many times by lost travellers with poor map-reading skills in an attempt to make up for their navigational shortcomings with humor. The truth is, when it comes to an actual physical location, you can always get there–somehow. Cyberspace is not quite so forgiving. Riddled with broken links and dead ends, there are many times when you really can’t “get there” at all. Your destination no longer exists. All that remains is a generic 404 page–an internet brick wall. Unfortunately, that’s bad news for the owner of the destination–the website with the broken link or page that no longer exists. When faced with a standard 404 page, the visitor will likely hit that “back” button and seek a new destination–perhaps, never returning to your site again. How can you prevent these brick walls from scaring away your internet traffic? Knock the wall down and put up a visitor information center in the form of a custom-designed 404 page, instead. Here’s how. 1. Set up a “Welcome Wagon” There is something unsettling about being lost. When faced with a big brick wall, the visitor is likely to also feel frustration–and an overwhelming urge to bang their heads against said wall, while cursing your site’s name again and again. Instead, greet your hapless wanderers with a friendly apology and an explanation. Saying that you are sorry for the broken link and offering some sort of reason for this minor “bump” in the road will ease your visitors’ frustrations and let them know that they have encountered a pleasant neighborhood in cyberspace–one that they will want to spend more time in. 2. Show them the brochure Who will care if the page they were looking for no longer exists! Your site is full of relevant information that promises to entertain and inform and meet all of their online needs. Here are a few things that your new and improved 404 page should include in order to “sell” your site. A “Search” Option. A great way to make your wayward visitor feel less helpless is to empower them with a search tool. This will not only make it easy for them to find exactly what they are looking for, but it will also enable you to find out what types of topics these visitors are interested in. Forget having to strain your brain for content ideas. These lost souls will provide you with oodles of options to choose from. A “Best of” Collection. Why not highlight your masterful writing skills by showcasing links to your most beloved material? Dazzling your visitors with your most...

Read More