News

Rebuilding After Host Company Implosion

What you will see for the next few days (or weeks) is the rebuilding of this blog after my hosting company went MIA overnight. They haven’t been the most stable host I’ve ever had. My blog would be up and down and, after being unavailable for writing or editing most of last week, I took the plunge and moved to a new host.

Unfortunately, the latest backup I have is over a month old, so expect yet more reposts as I try to replace lost content. I don’t even know if the old hosting company will re-emerge. Their site is still unavailable, too.

So, let this be a good lesson. Back up EVERY day! Now, if I can just figure out where some of my stuff went. This new version of WordPress does NOT like some of my plugins and theme.

Sigh…

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SEO

Importance of Diversity in SEO

Tip - Diversify content for searchI’ve discussed image and video optimization in my various S E O 101 posts and free eBooks, so I thought I’d point out some quick examples of how a variety of content can give you a kick start in search engines in this world of Universal Search.

Many of you know that I do search engine optimization for FramesDirect.com as well as manage and edit their blog, which is high on eyewear fashion, celebrity sunglasses and so forth. Our readers love to get scoops on who’s wearing what on TV and in films, so when the new Iron Man movie came out (great flick, by the way), we started getting questions about what sunglasses Robert Downey Jr. wore in certain scenes. In the opening scenes, Downey is wearing Ray Ban 3320 sun glasses, so I wrote a blog post on it appropriately titled Ray Ban 3320 Sun Glasses in Iron Man.

At the same time, I posted an image of those Ray Ban 3320 sun glasses on Flickr, complete with a title, description, tags and links back to the blog post and product page at FramesDirect.com. When you post an image at Flickr and include a title, tags and description, it’s like posting a web page which is spiderable and can be indexed by the search engines. The links are “nofollow” but the pages can still rank and bring you traffic.

Since Google drives the most search traffic, optimization tends to favor it, but we have all discovered that the different engine rankings can vary wildly. Including images, as well as videos, podcasts, etc., can help you rank across engines.

Below is a screen shot of a Yahoo search for “iron man sunglasses” where you will see the blog post ranking at the top as I write this. Cool!

Yahoo search for Iron Man sunglasses

In Google, the blog post doesn’t rank on the front page at all, but the Flickr image does at #7:

Google search for Iron Man sunglasses

See how important it is to diversify your content across the board? Granted, #7 isn’t as good as #1, but because the different engines have different algorithms, diversifying your content types across different media (text, images, videos, podcasts, etc.) you get ranking opportunities you would not otherwise have.

And, as a bonus (not shown), a Yahoo Answers question that I answered about what shades Downey wore in the movie came in at #8. Again, the links back to you in Yahoo Answers are nofollow, but they can still bring you traffic. More exposure! Even better if your answer is chosen as the best!

If you’re real lucky, you’ll get something like we got recently for a search in Google for one of our top selling products:

Google search for Sable Water Optics Goggles

Results #1 and #2 are pages from the FramesDirect.com web site, #3 is a video posted on YouTube featuring company CEO Dr. Dhavid Cooper, #4 is a New York Times article featuring the goggles and linking to us and #5 is the same video as #3 but posted to Metacafe.com.

So, be sure to cover your bases. My rule of thumb is that whenever I do a blog post, I take all of the elements of it and find search friendly places to do supplemental (but not duplicate) posts that can link back to it. These places include Flickr, Yahoo Answers, YouTube, Twitter and the FramesDirect.com Fan Page over at Facebook. This is by no means an all inclusive list, just a few places to get started.

Diversity is the key!

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SEO

Catching Up After Down Time

Trying to get back up after blog down time.OK, after several days of chaos with my blog, it appears it’s back up and running. I’m not sure what happened, but last Saturday night I was working on an article, saved it, went to bed, got up the next morning, fired up the WordPress admin and . . . nothing. Several sections of the blog admin, including Write, were just blank pages. I could see drafts, but I couldn’t edit or publish them. I was dead in the water. Pure Hell for a blogger!

No clear explanation ever emerged other than changes the hosting company was making at their end. The blog was up and visible to the world, but was stuck in time. The only option was to try to load a backup of the database. Unfortunately, the newest I had was a month old, so several recent posts are missing. I’ll attempt to reconstruct them.

In the meantime, the post I was working on when the sky fell in was guest posted over at Search Engine Journal as False Prophecy: Onsite S E O Will Be History. Give it a read, a Sphinn, a Digg, you know the drill.

Also, don’t forget my previous guest post at SEJ, 25 Blog Optimization Tips Even Dear Old Dad Could Ace (Plus 10 More Tips for Mom!). It could use some more Sphinns and votes, too.

Now, finding the time to reconstruct the missing content…

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