Archive for July, 2008
Popping by SEMScholar.com this morning, I read an interesting post by David Temple where he cites the fact that he has a slight reputation management issue when the top to SERP results for his name return details about an murderer called David Temple ! It actually struck a chord with me, because a few years ago there was a Paul Savage in Wales, who was murdered, thankfully the news story is no longer showing high up in the SERPS. But having people search for your name, and getting results that are less than complementary can indeed be dangerous to your reputation. What do you do when you find people are searching for you, but ranking for these terms is harder than you think ?
Looking at the google search results for Paul Savage, I see that a relevant result only appears on page 2. This could be due to many factors, such as:
- The name I have is really really popular – which it isn’t, well not along the lines of say “John Smith” anyway. Take “Yaro Starak“, google his first name and you’ll see that his sites come up first.
- The fact that there is some other high profile Paul Savage out there – more or less true as there is a Professor of Chemistry in Utah with the same name.
- Or just down to the sheer lack of links with the anchor text pointing to here – BINGO.
One hard part of link building is making sure that the links you get have a relevantly useful link text. This is easier said than done for links that you don’t have control over. Sometimes a simple note via emailing requesting a tweak could do the trick, but more often than not webmasters don’t have the time to go back and update all these various links.
So one short goal I have for the next few months is to start to register somewhere in the SERPS on the front page for my name. It’s always nice for people to find easily you when they are searching for you. Actually this is the reason why I link to the blogs I read via their real name, if you are not on the list, do let me know ! And before I go, any link love, with my name as an anchor text will be accepted with open arms .
Today I was checking up on a bit of the competition, looking at this keyword [seo dublin]. I would guess the term SEO Dublin would be mildly competitive, and that companies in the top 5 would be on top of their game . But I was surprised to see again that there was one listing where google was saying that “This site may harm your computer” when you click on a link to IrishInterMarketing’s website.
Now having an idea what the problem was, I was tried to use their contact form, but alas it was completely unusable, it appeared more to be for a sign-up form for an email list, rather than a contact form. Even if this was the form I needed, I couldn’t use it because there wasn’t a submit button anywhere to be seen !
Next I checked their lovely About Us page.
Besides the fact that there seems to be major bugs in their HTML code, and resulting in a poor rendering of their web page , I was able to find the contact number. Then I gave the Dublin number a call (from Munich where I current am), hoping to tell someone that their website has been compromised . Sadly all I got was the lovely screech of a FAX machine.
Not wanting to try any other methods to contact this uncontactable souls, I gave up, and decided to pen another blog post instead.
It seems that all my comments on blogs in the past few days are getting labelled as SPAM. I started to wonder after a few days when my comments weren’t showing on blogs that normally welcome my comments. I checked with a few friends and checked on some of my other blogs, just to confirm this. It appears that my name / email address / URL / IP address combination are somehow triggering these filters. It came as a shock, as I don’t really bombard blogs with comments, I guess that for every 50 or 60 blog posts I read, I leave 1 comment.
Getting off the Akismet Blacklist
After reading around, a little the only solution I’ve come up with is to contact Akismet and fill out a support question. And wait until you hear back from them.
So for now I will be taking it easy commenting on blogs. I’ve tried to change the name, leave the email address and IP address and omit the URL, and it still thinks I’m a spammer.
Knowing when you are blocked by Akismet
I would be really nice if there was a way to find out if your name / email address / URL / IP address were indeed flagged as SPAM, but maybe this would counteract the good work that Akismet does. Actually, thinking a bit more, there might be one way, if your comment is held in moderation by wordpress, and it’s supported by your theme, it will display a notice, saying that you need to wait for your comment to be approved, that it’s awaiting moderation. Some themes even display your message to only you (using session variables). And when it’s flagged as SPAM you don’t see any difference on the blog post once you’ve added your comment.
Let’s see when I can get back to commenting on other people’s blogs …
Just read (via Richard) that Wordze are having a nice promotion in July for their Keyword tool software. For less than $5 you can have a month’s subscription to this service. Anyone serious in SEO simply needs to have a keyword tool. In fact I’ve just signed up myself to trail it. Knowing search volumes is necessary to leverage search traffic. With this knowledge you can make sure that your content contains the keywords that people are actually search for.
To get the special introductory price you need to go to Wordze voucher page and sign up from there. Offer ends in about a week…
Btw. I’ve just noticed that the Google Keyword Tool is now providing search volume data. This is something that google has watered down in the past, by only giving a relative indication but now they have actual numbers. I would wonder about the accuracy of the numbers, I do look forward to reading about further investigations and comparisons. Here are the results for searching for “black dogs” in Ireland.