Sometimes, figuring out why you’re not ranking in google isn’t easy. But your task isn’t made any easier when you go looking for help and all you get is:
Not a great deal of quality content on that page!
The free google alerts tool is a great way to monitor various aspects of your (or your competitor) websites, news, search results, etc. I’ve got a few setup to monitor new inbound links and for blog posts covering topics I’m interested in. It’s a good way to spot news items and ideas for your blogs. For instance, I’ve got an alert setup to check for references to the popular hill walking destination at Moel Famau (my blog). When someone (typically hill walkers and fell runners) blogs about Moel Famau or it gets mentioned in news items I’m alerted to it and can then choose to publish a blog post for my site as a result. Content is king and all that !
The alerts management system isn’t great because as far as I’m aware you cannot modify the email address to which the alert is sent to. By default they are emailed to the address used in your google account but when you create a new alert you get the chance to specify an email address. I’ve no idea though how you modify the email address on existing alerts.
That’s not a problem now though if you prefer to receive your alerts via an RSS feed! A new option within alerts allows you to create an RSS feed for each alert and automatically subscribe to it in google reader. When you create an alert it’s automatically added to your list of feeds in google reader. Only thing I immediately notice is that you’ll need to rename the subscription to something a little shorter and more meaningful.
I’ll be editing and creating RSS feeds for all my alerts from now on.
What do you use google alerts for?
I’d recommend any local business to make sure they’re listed in Google’s local business centre – I created my own entry sometime ago. I’d not really done much with it but more recently I’ve been tweaking it a little to see if I can listed in the “10 stack” for this search. At time of writing I’m not listed in the 10 stack (I’m about 13th or so), although I have been previously. What I’m interested in is how often the stack is updated – currently one of the 10 listed directs to a sedo parked domain! A couple of the entries look like new businesses to me too.
I need to upload my logo and replace my own mugshot that is currently there.
I’ll have a play and do a little more research in terms of local listing optimisation. I haven’t searched out many blogs on the subject yet. Mike Blumenthals blog looks useful. Any other “local search” blog recommendations?
Google appear to have beefed-up their content submission – take a look at this new content submission page.
Personally, I’ve not manually submitted a new URL to Google (or Yahoo, MSN) for years as I rely on new sites being found from links elsewhere – but I guess many first-time webmasters do. Possibly of more use are the links to:
I’m having a play with google base myself at the moment – it’s something that’s been on my to-do list for far too long and I’m finally starting to use it. I’m fairly certain that you can’t use it to promote pure affiliate sites though – I’m using it to detail our website design services as a familiarisation exercise. If you’ve got any tips relating to getting benefit from google base please do get in touch or leave a comment.
I’m going to make the effort (again) to use twitter so I’m tweaking my account. I’ve just read a post by Dave Naylor about plonking a URL into your twitter bio to gain a backlink – good tip! The standard web link in your profile is nofollowed but if like me you use the SEO for Firefox add-on, that no-followed link won’t appear in red to indicate such. I’m presuming this is because twitter uses the html code rel=”me nofollow”. I don’t know what the me attribute does though – maybe it’s specific to twitter?
You can now use the google safe browsing diagnostic service to confirm that google rates your domain as safe. Here’s an example for the BBC opening in a new window – all looks fine. You can get the detail on this service by reading the official blog post.
I’ve noticed that you sometimes see this as part of the report:
What happened when Google visited this site?
Google has not visited this site within the past 90 days.
but I don’t think that it means your site hasn’t been spidered in the last 90 days.
As a check, it’s another worthwhile item to add to your domain maintenance checklist. If you’re a wordpress user I’ve previously offered a couple of security tips too.
How odd. After reporting yesterday that this site’s homepage didn’t have a cache in google, I check again this morning and it’s back (dated 4th April). Not at all sure why the cache wasn’t available yesterday?
Great opportunity for this post title!
This is a little odd and is something I can’t recall seeing before. Currently (at time of writing) google has no cache for my homepage, though it does for others – like my about page for instance.
I’ve checked my webmaster tools account and that all looks fine. The site is certainly being indexed because my last post of only a couple of hours ago has already been indexed and is searchable – which is fine. Visible pagerank as shown in my toolbar is 4 and not greyed-out or anything.
I’ve just tested for an iffy robots.txt via webmaster tools and that’s fine too.
I upgraded to wordpress 2.5 yesterday but then I’ve upgraded other sites and they have cache.
hmm? Not sure if it’s just a temporary blip or a problem somewhere?
Back In September I had a small success with a fictional domain name that was mentioned on the telly. The domain received a few hundred hits and I made a couple of quid with a tie-up with Friends Reunited (no longer available on dgm).
So having then watched Matt Damon search for Sewell and Marbury in The Bourne Ultimatum movie I created another fictional domain. I hoped I might simply recoup the domain reg fees, though that isn’t looking likely to be honest!
What has been really interesting is the sheer volume of comments the blog has received from all corners of the globe. From Wales to Finland to China, people have taken the time to search out the site in the first instance and then to leave a comment. Comments went through the five hundred mark the other week and I continue to approve more every week.
I think what it demonstrates is that blogs can and do attract the attention of the searching public. If your blog is offering a paid-for product or service then you can benefit from the free traffic …nothing earth shattering I know, that’s why we all blog of course – we want the attention for whatever reason!
As a last example related to film/TV related content, I happened to mention Willies Wonky chocolate factory on my new chocolate site last week and I’ve had a spike in both visitors and comments over the last 7-10 days with that too. Hopefully some timely Easter sales will soon follow!