Directory Maximizer

The Fundamental Principles of SEO that Should be Understood

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Every SEO ‘expert’ seems to have his own opinion about how SEO works. As a new site owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the information that can be found online, especially as a lot of the ‘tips’ and ‘theories’ that people share are in direct conflict with what someone else is swearing by on another page.

Search Engine Optimization

I can say with confidence that this article is ‘junk-free’. Think if it as a distillation of what simply works when it comes to SEO.

This is not a ‘Step-by-Step’ kind of article. It’s meant to be a guide to new site owners and a reminder to “old” ones about what SEO is really about.

Stick to It

stick to seo strategySEO is not a strategy that you can use to generate instant traffic to your web pages. No matter how many tweaks you make (on-page or off-page), you need to keep in mind that SEO takes time.

It’s not an investment that you can make to reap the benefits in a month. Sometimes the returns come after a year or two. That may be too much for some of you, and if it is, you may want to try something other than SEO.

However, keep in mind that organic search traffic is one of the highest quality traffic you can get, so if you are a serious business that’s here to stay, SEO is very likely something you would want to invest in. It definitely requires patience and consistency though.

Forget About the Search Engines Google

To stay in business, a search engine has to give their users the results they want to see. If it starts displaying low quality results, people will stop using it and move to another search engine. Consequently, people will stop using their paid ads as their audience will be smaller. It’s a lose-lose situation.

The search engines are here to give their users a quality experience.

Sure, there are some loopholes that can be exploited to get unworthy pages to rank, but they are getting patched after each and every update (some of the big updates are public, but most of them aren’t).

This is when issues arise: When site owners and SEO ‘specialists’ try to game the system; when they try to exploit the loopholes. It works for a while, and then “suddenly”, they lose their rankings. If you hang out on popular Internet marketing forums, you must have come across people complaining about this.

However, if you create a website for the people, each update will just push your webpages up the SERPs.

Here are a few things that you can do to provide a quality user experience to your visitors:

  • Provide quality content (useful or entertaining)
  • Have an easy-to-navigate layout
  • Make your pages ‘eye-friendly’ (pick a black font on a white background over a yellow font on an orange background any day!)

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10 Tips to Search Like a Pro Using Google [Infographic]

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Google has impacted our lives in a tremendous way.  For everything and anything, you can just go to Google and you are able to find what you need within a few seconds.  However, there are times when we have to go to the second, third and fourth pages of search results and still not able to find something we look for.

Its important to know that Google search is not just about the search box that you see on its homepage. The search engine constantly strive to create a better search experience for its users. There are many search tools like image search, blog search, news search, map search etc using which you can narrow down the search results and find what exactly you are searching for. However, there are quite a few search techniques (called Google search modifiers) which can be very handy when you search for something more specific. For example, if you wanted to find out something from a certain site, and the site doesn’t have an inbuilt search function, you can use Google to find information from that site.  This infographic explains 10 such search tips worth knowing to show off your search skills.

Google search tricks using search modifiers

Please do share this amongst your friends Tweet about it, share it on facebook, Stumble It, Pin It or whatever else you please!

Alternatively, embed this image on your site:

Feel free to re-use the image, share it and spread it.

Here’s is a text version of the same

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Why Removing Links after an Unnatural Link Warning Might be a Bad Idea

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As oxygen is to the body, links is to a website. Simply put, the modern search engines’ core algorithm ranks web pages based on a crucial factor – how many other sites are linking to a site and how good those sites are. It suffices to say that the higher the quality of sites that link to you, the better the chances of your site ranking.

However, what about all the bad, supposedly spammy, low-quality links pointing to your site? Should you be worried about them? Can they harm your site and do they have the ability to bring down your rankings? We’d like to think “not” but Google has sent out mixed signals about that recently with their latest Penguin updates.

This fad about removing links has gained momentum in the last few months after Google has been sending out “Unnatural Link Warning” notices. With the most recent set of notices sent, it was surprising to see that even a site like SEOMoz.org got an unnatural links notice. So the question that begs itself, if Google is issuing such notices, should you remove some of those links pointing to your site?

Google Unnatural Link Warning

Well, there are two ways of looking at it:

1.   You could spend hours removing (or at least attempting to remove) as many suspicious links as you can, contact Google informing them of your efforts and hope your site recovers in their next algorithmic update.

2.   You could spend the same amount of time that you would’ve spent in removing links but instead on renewed link building efforts that result in a stream of quality links flowing to your site. The resultant effect of such an effort being that your rankings do eventually recover because of a rebalanced link portfolio and that the penalty effect of the unnatural links wanes over time.

I am of the opinion that the latter might be a more sound strategy because the Penguin update is an algorithmic update after all and not a manual update. So what that means is that when your link profile does start looking stronger and more diverse, your sites’ rankings will automatically come back in the fold.

You could ask, what about the “penalty” effect of those “unnatural” links if you don’t remove them? What if Google is not just ignoring the value of those links but in fact imposing a penalty? I believe that there are two aspects to be looked at here to understand how Google could `possibly be interpreting your links where the Penguin update is concerned:

a)      They’ll look at the quality and diversity of your links in terms of the kind of sites that are linking to you. The basic premise of PageRank remains, the value you get from each link would be determined by the quality of the site. However, if you have one too many links from a very similar profile of sites, then the site could possibly be “Penguined”.

b)      They’ll look at the diversity in your anchor text. If you have a large number of money keywords and little to few branded/domain based keywords or natural linking words, then this could be another possibility of your site being “Penguined”.

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Case Study: Directory Maximizer Helps a Guitar, a Healthcare & a Counselling Site Reach Top Rankings in Search Engines

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“Over the years I have used many SEO services, Directory Maximizer stands out from the crowd because they are constantly improving their service, adding new directories and features. I’ve used almost every service they provide – I’ve even hired them to research and submit my sites to custom lists of directories. One of the best services they now have is the niche directory service. Most of all, my sites went up a few rankings and I am receiving more organic traffic every day.”

– Skyler Christensen

URL

nxsweb.com

It’s a fairly new site having lot of quality content and insights. It provides detailed information on guitars like best practices, how to choose a guitar, guitar care, expert tips etc.

www.morningsicknessinfo.com

As the name suggests, this site is all about combating morning sickness and tips on health care during pregnancy.

www.teenhelponline.com

This site revolves around consultation and proper guidance to teenagers and bridging the gap between a parent and a child. It’s more about bringing the best out of every teenager and leading them towards successful lives.

Requirement & Challenges

Although these 3 sites are very different in nature as well as their subject matter, they were similar in the fact that they did not have many back-links pointing to them and were not rankings for their keywords. There was very little off-page optimization done for these sites and because of less links with relevant anchor texts, these 3 sites were not ranking for any of the terms they were targeting. However, Mr. Christensen was very passionate for his sites and wanted to put in all his effort to improve their search engine rankings. It is always a pleasure working with customers who are passionate about their websites and we were also more than happy to help him in his journey.

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The 3 Most Critical Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

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Choosing a good webhosting provider involves balancing a variety of different features with their respective costs. A startup business with very little traffic will need very different web hosting solutions than an established business running complicated software with hundreds of thousands of visitors. Here are some of the most important things you should consider when you’re choosing a web hosting service.

Service

Service is aService Guaranteen extremely important component of web hosting. If your website goes down and you don’t have an in-house tech, the technical support department of your web hosting company becomes the people you rely on. The technical support department of your web host should be both responsive and knowledgeable. There are a couple ways to tell whether or not your web host fits these criteria.

First you can Google the web host for stories or reviews about their service. While this might not work for smaller hosts, larger hosts will have a deluge of user experiences online for all to read.

Testing responsiveness is easy: Just call their tech support department and see how long it takes to get someone to pick up. Ideally you should get someone within 3 rings. If it takes 30 minutes to get someone on the line, then you probably shouldn’t place your order.

If you really want to put their responsiveness to the test, try calling both during peak hours and in strange hours (E.g. 4am) to see if their 24 hour service truly is 24 hours.

Included PackagesIncluded Packages

You should check what comes included with your web host. Today’s web hosts usually offer unlimited domains and unlimited email addresses. However, beyond these two basics there are a lot of variations.

First thing to look for is cPanel. cPanel is what gives you an easy to user interface for managing your website. Many web hosts include cPanel for free, though some charge for it.

If you plan on running WordPress, PHPBB or other such common plugins you should also look for a one-click install system, such as Fantastico.

Finally, if you plan on writing your own code or running custom programs make sure the version of PHP, MySQL and/or Apache works with the software you plan on installing.

Your Processing Needs

The kind of hosting package you need to purchase depends in large part on how much processing power you need. Yes, it’s true that most hosting providers give you “unlimited bandwidth” even on a small shared hosting package. However, what’s not unlimited is the processing power you take up on the servers.

The primary limit of servers isn’t bandwidth but processing power. If you’re running an analytics system, custom software, dynamic websites and a variety of other programs that need to process every time a visitor lands on your site and you’re getting tens of thousands of visitors – Then you’re going to seriously tax the system.

Data Processing NeedsWith shared hosting, you’re usually sharing your processing power amongst 50 to 400 websites. With a Virtual Private Server (VPS) you’re usually sharing with between 5 to 25 people. With a dedicated server, you’re the only one with access to that computer’s processing power.

Keep in mind that if you’re on a shared server, you’re vulnerable to someone else using too much power causing your site to run slow. For example, if someone else’s site suddenly gets 20,000 people to their site in a day, maxing out the server’s capabilities, your own programs will run very slowly because you don’t have those resources anymore.

At the end of the day you need to make a decision about your own server processing needs, your need for stability and the price you’re willing to pay. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, followed by VPS then a dedicated server. Each gives you more power, but costs more money.

Making Your DecisionDeciding the best web hosting provider

Start by choosing whether you want a shared host, a VPS or a dedicated server. Keep in mind that you can always move up. Then look at the potential hosts and see which one(s) have the features you want. Make sure they have the capability to install any software that you might want to use in the future. Then test their technical support by placing a test call to see their response time.

Finally, compare the different levels of pricing between the hosts you’re considering. At this point you can make a fully informed decision as to which host to go with.

As for our recommendations, we’re hosted with LiquidWeb using a dedicated server provided by them and we’d highly recommend them for their super prompt service.  If you’re looking for a shared host, apart from LiquidWeb, we’ve also used HostGator who’ve been very good and they have some packages available in the lower price range for people looking to test things out.

Bounce Rate and Exit Rate – What is the Difference and Why They’re Important

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Two of the most important metrics in internet marketing are bounce rate and exit rate. Many people find it a bit confusing to know the difference between the two. If you are one of them then this article is for you as it is intended to take the mystery out of your website’s bounce rate and exit rate.

Bounce rate refers to the percentage oReducing Bounce and Exit Ratesf visitors who view only one page of your website before leaving. In other words, the visitor ‘bounces’ on and off your particular page. Exit rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who leave your site from a given page based on how many visits that the particular page has received. This visitor who leaves or exits could have been on many pages of your website but simply exited on the specific page. An example would be a visitor who has found your site after conducting an organic search, clicks a page inside your site and then leaves from that page.

In contrast, if this visitor simply landed on your site from the organic search and did not visit any internal pages, it would be considered a bounce. Generally speaking, an ideal bounce rate to shoot for is between 20% and 25% provided you are targeting relevant, core keywords. If your bounce rate increases past 35%, you should look at the usability factors of your website. Of course, some search queries do generate high bounce rates such as in the cases of specific informational queries like ‘what flavors are available in Sam’s Coffee?’

A high bounce rateIdeal Bounce Rate on a home page is usually an indicator that something is wrong so if you find that most of your visits are only to your homepage and nothing more, you will need to optimize your site by improving its functionality, user-friendliness and/or by providing nicely written content visitors will find very helpful and very informative.

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Berry Berry Angry – The Top 13 News Headlines Lashing Blackberry

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Dear Blackberry, do you know what the #iPhone said to the #Blackberry? ..#iWork! (Retweet)

Irregular and scattered outages of BB messaging and email service have caused havoc across the globe. These problems don’t seem to be having an end date and have entered US and Canada as well while for Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa it’s the 3rdcontinuous day of hardships and problems.

BBM services which allows users to connect with each other doesn’t seem to work either and to add fuel to the fire, Apple released its iOS5 version yesterday, which offers features almost similar to the BBM services. With sagging sales and competition from Apple, only a miracle can save BB now to restore faith and trust amongst its users. Also lack of information from the top management is another reason for negative word of mouth against BB.

Here the Top 13 headlines lashing at BlackBerry, from across the globe:

Compensation calls as BlackBerry breakdown spreads to US

Angry BlackBerry users have called for compensation as the internet outage that has crippled their smartphones continued through Wednesday and spread to North America and Asia.

RIM scrambles to end global BlackBerry outage

BlackBerry outage blamed on ‘extremely critical’ network failure

Blackberry’s message goes missing

BlackBerry Outage Spreads to U.S., RIM Responds

BlackBerry outages spread to US, Canada

BlackBerry outages spread to North America

RIM: We’re still working on restoring BlackBerry service

For BlackBerry Maker, Crisis Mounts

BlackBerry’s Service Hiccups Spread; Five Continents Affected

Berry berry angry

Blackberry backlash: Slough headquarters in the dock over global phone meltdown

10m users hit by the three days of chaos

BlackBerry services out for third day


BlackBerry’s Response on Facebook

Not very  convincing!

Here’s what some twitter users have to say:

Though RIM authorities are working against time to restore the services, this outage of BB services has come as a bolt from the blue for RIM which is already struggling with slow sales, an almost failed tablet and ultimately falling market share.

Given below is a poll of how many of you still have faith in BlackBerry, cast your vote as well!

Also a hilarious video which would go well with what’s happened: