How To SEO-imize Your Blog Posts…

January 30th, 2009

Writing, proof reading and editing posts is a time consuming task – but we all gotta do it.

One of the most important parts of creating a blog post is to think about the value to the user, but also the value to the little bots/spiders that search engines send out to trawl through your content. Clearly – I’m talking about . Search Engine Optimisation.

So what parts of my blog post can I SEO-imize? I hear you fictitiously asking.

Well, here are the areas that I think about:

  1. The Title
  2. The content
  3. The tags
  4. The Images
  5. The links

The Title

When you think of SEO, you should really be thinking ‘keywords’. Keywords are what you type into Google when you are searching for something. When you are thinking of the title for your blog post, don’t just slap in something nonsense. Think about how someone will search Google and come across your post. The title is the link that they will see in the results so you have to make it catchy, descriptive and most importantly what your readers are searching for. I have SEO in the title of this post for this reason as this post is about SEO and that is also what people will search for on Google.

The Content

The content section of your post is where the most value can be gained. If you are writing about Britney Spears then you sure as hell better write her name a good few times in the post. Don’t over do it though. If you do you are basically saying to the spiders that you are deliberately trying to game the system. If you over use your keyword(s) in the post you will be penalised – which is obviously not a good thing. Notice how I have managed to avoid writing the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation in the section – I have already written it 5 times already in this post – I don’t want to over do it.

The Tags

Every post in every blog should have tags associated with it. It makes things easier to find. It also gives the spiders further places to reference your site for the keywords you are using. On top of that, guess what, you get to repeat your keywords again. Sweet.

The Images

Google and the other search engines of note (Yahoo, MSN, Ask) cannot read images – yet. This will inevitably be possible in the future but at the moment they need a helping hand. 

By adding title and alt tags to your images you are lending your post more credibility. Your title and alt tags, associated with your images, describe the image as well as your post. It is another way to drop in your keywords. By doing this, and naming your images (i.e the file name) properly, you can also increase your traffic streams from

When you go to Google, click on images in the top left hand corner and search for your favourite star – where do you think Google gets the list of images and how do they know that they relate to the star that you searched for? It’s because the filenames, title and alt tags were properly set.

The Links

This is one of the best tips I can give: Link to as many of your previous posts in the new posts that you are writing as possible – and choose your link text carefully.

This is called deeplinking – another buzz word in the realm of Search Engine Optimization. When you go off your site and beg people to give you a backlink – they are usually only linking to your homepage. This means that your homepage has a Pagerank of X but the rest of your site has nothing. You need to distribute that Pagerank to the other pages in your site as much as possible.


I’ll answer that with another question: How do you think the search engines determine the first result when you search? Answer: Relevancy and Pagerank.

Relevancy is based on the keywords in your post – we’ve covered that. Pagerank is the amount of other sites linking to your page. The more pages with pagerank that link to your posts the better. That means that you have to link to the other pages within your site in order to pass on your homepages’ Pagerank. This distributes the Pagerank evenly throughout the site and has the added bonus of enticing your readers to click through them to read other stories on your site – which has the further added bonus of lowering your Bounce rate.

It all makes sense – right?

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Categories: Google, SEO

Currently Working On…

August 28th, 2008
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A new template for

I feel that the current template is to …. Bloggy. For the site to gain a reputation for being news worthy I need it to look a little less amateur and a lot more “professional news service”.

At least – that is what I am aiming for.

So the layout is going to be completely different. Over the weeks I also want to add a lot of functionality to the site. I really wish BuddyPress was available in something resembling production quality as this would enable a lot of extra functionality very fast – but alas – it isn’t.

I am not sure if I’ll release the new template until I am ready to rock with a Google Adwords campaign and have some paid content writers on board.

If you would like to be paid to write album reviews or to provide your own slant on the current (latest/breaking) news stories then give me a shout using the “Contact Us” link above or clicking here.

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Categories: Google,, My Sites

Google Keywords, the iPhone and Fighting Your Competition

June 19th, 2008
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So everyone on the planet must know that the new iPhone 3G is coming out next month and I for one will be getting one. So slender and sleek, refined and 3G. It’s also cheap as chips – so why wouldn’t you get one?

I was wanting to see some more images of the phone (I do this with everything I buy – so that by the time I actually own it, it’s like I’ve had it for 10 years) just to familiarize myself with it. So off I trumbled to Google, entered ‘iphone’ and hit the ‘search’ button.

207 million articles returned. Yeah – I don’t think I’ll move past the first page (who ever does?). Loads of places to go see the phone but which one to choose?

I then let my eyes move away from the usual hotspots to the left, and in order to try being the exception on one of those ‘webpage heat map’ thing’im’a'jigs – I took a look at the sponsored links to the right. Shocked – I found that the first link for the keyword ‘iPhone’ is held by one of the phones biggest rivals. LG.

LG Secret is the top listing

LG are currently marketing their ‘Secret’ phone. No its not actually a secret – that is just the name of the device.

I don’t know what they paid for the ‘iPhone’ keyword but this is a little underhanded in my opinion.

Not to be outdone by the iPhone craze, Blackberry also jumped in on the keyword. They obviously don’t value their device as high as LG does because they only spent enough to be position 3 – but still, high enough.

You could pass this off as ‘ya gotta do what ya gotta do’, but why don’t these companies just make better phones? All blackberry’s are ugly bricks. The LG Secret, although nice, just doesn’t come close.

These types of companies, Nokia included, need to start making their software more plugable to different technologies so that they cannot be stepped on by a newcomer, like Apple with the iPhone. Nothing Apple has done is innovative. The technology has been there for years. It’s just laziness that has allowed a competitor into the market and they only have themselves to blame.

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Categories: Ads, Google

The Economics Of Google Adsense…

March 14th, 2008
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The current financial market situation is putting people out of their homes and jobs at an alarming rate. America plunging head first into a recession has obvious ramifications not just for its own economical situation but also for most other countries around the world that trade with it.

When the gold standard, a measurment of a country’s currency, was abandoned around 1931-33 money has been printed on the promise of redemption by the government producing it. The value of the currency then depends heavily on the financial market conditions between countries.

As America has lead the rest of the world up the garden path like bleeting sheep, following their shepard, most currencies and economies are harshly affected by how the master is run. The value of the dollar has plummeted dramatically over the last 6-12 months. This means that countries selling lots to America have to up their prices in order to keep their profit margins. These price increases then feed into America and the customers have to pay more for their goods. Alas inflation goes up.

I could talk about China and how they aim to prevent this by artificially forcing their currency to be a specific price to in effect export their inflation to other countries – but that is beyond the scope of the post.


So what does all this mean? For American’s using Google Adsense as a revenue stream – not an awful lot. A dollar is a dollar. To members of other countries with different currencies – this is not so much of a good thing. The value of Google Ads decreases dramatically when the dollar is low against the reflective currency.

I am in the UK and therefore pay for things in Pounds Sterling(GBP). The current conversion rate of dollars to GBP is :

    1 Dollar    =   0.495420 pounds

So if I make Adsenses $100 dollar a month payout threshold I will effective only get £49.5356. So – less than half.

So my point is – at what point do non-american web publishers decide that using any service that pays in USD’s is no longer good business?

Do Americans think that they would be able to play the currency game by going with EURO (€) paying european advertisers as the conversion back to dollars reflects a higher return?

Sure – I can hoard my adsense checks in the hope that the dollar picks up sometime soon, but who can really afford to do this?

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Categories: Ads, Google

Google Adsense: I Don’t Want Those Ads!

February 12th, 2008

Have you ever clicked on your website/blog that has Google Adsense Ads and had your jaw hit the ground? This happened to me today when my music based blog showed gay ads served by Google Adsense. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I didn’t know that Adsense served advertisements like this.

I kept refreshing the page, hoping that the ad was a mistake – but no…. There it was again. Refresh. Same thing. Refresh again. Same.  “Damn! How do I get rid of this?” I thought.

Well – having quickly searched the net, it seemed the best way was to get the destination URL of the ad and then add it into the competitive ad filter in Google Adsense setup. One problem with this is that it can take up to 4 hours for the ad to be blocked. :-( thats pretty poor. I added the URL to the competitive filter over an hour ago now and it is still on the site. Pretty frustrating.

It is all well and good that I have blocked this ad – but the problem comes with the ads that I don’t know are out there. I am sure many other unsuitable ads are in the wild – so how do I restrict them? I cannot sit all day refreshing my webpage to weed out the bad ones only to manually add these to Googles competitve filter.

The problem is – Google does not provide any functionality to do anything like this.

I don’t even know what keywords the Adsense ad server has scanned from my website to determine that a gay ad was the most appropriate to serve.

Do you know a way around this issue?

Categories: Ads, Google

Adsense for Video…

February 4th, 2008
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I have recently been in the process of creating a new site that I want to launch and found that Googles Adsense for Video would be perfect for the readers as it should provide a lot higher return that standard text links. It so simple and seemingly less intrusive for people to click “play” than it is to click on a link that whisks them off to another site where the content isn’t really what they were looking for. I am hoping that the removal of the “another website” barrier will encourage clicks and hence provide a higher return.

One item that I have been having difficulty with is the youtube integration with the Google Adsense platform. A week ago I tried to set up my account only to recieve :

500 Internal Server ErrorSorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

Please report this incident to customer service.
Also, please include the following information in your error report:
































Unbelievably annoying. Then some notices appeared on the youtube site to indicate that they were “undergoing some servicing – I though “fair enough – I’ll call back later.”. Calling back a few hours later and I was presented with the same error.

So I decided to leave it a few days and have just now tried again to setup the account and player. This time I was able to get in to customize the player and set categories, but as soon as I clicked “Generate Code” – it was back to the same old “500 Internal Server Error“. I don’t know what is going on …

Is anyone else experiencing anything similar?

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Categories: Ads, Google

Google Sitemaps… URL timeout: DNS lookup timeout

February 15th, 2007

Submitting my sitemaps to Google proved a little more difficult than I expected. Sure the webmaster tools make the process of submitting the links to the sitemaps relatively easy, but attempting to resolve any issues you might have if things are not working are a little more difficult.

After I generated the sitemaps I then made my way over to the webmaster tools to submit them. I had to submit two sitemaps, one for and one for the blog. It seems to take google varying amounts of time to conduct the download and checking of the sitemaps so I didnt get instant feedback. When I did though, it wasnt what I was expecting. Both of my sitemaps got the following error :

URL timeout: DNS lookup timeout

This type of error would instantly tell me that I :

  1. Had made a spelling mistake when typing in the URL to the sitemap
  2. Had issues with my DNS servers

So in addressing these, I typed in the link I had supplied to google into the address bar of Firefox. This brought up the XML straight away. So the link was correct.

Next I checked out the situation with my DNS servers. I generated a report over at This did explain some issues with my DNS servers, but when I mentioned these to my webhost they said I had nothing to worry about.

At this stage I was puzzled. What is causing this error?

After continually submitting the same link to google in the vain hope that it might magically work, I contacted my host again for some troubleshooting advice. Needless to say my sitemaps are working perfectly now. It turns out that there was an issue with the folder permissions in place. After having these reset – everything was working perfectly.

Now, after I submit a new post to the blog the sitemap is updated and google gets a ping all at the same time.

Categories: Google, Sitemap

Google Sitemaps…

February 14th, 2007

Since it is very important to submit a sitemap to google, I made it one of my top priorities. So I created a one for based on their xml schema. This wasnt to difficult. When it came to creating a sitemap for this blog, I decided that it didnt make productive sense to continually update a sitemap after every post – so I hit google for some wordpress plugin options.

Here are the ones I found :

This isnt an exhaustive list, just the ones that came to me first. Maybe someone can let me know of a better one down the line. I plumped in the end for Arne Brachholds sitemap generator as it fitted my requirements and didnt over complicate anything.

Categories: Google, Sitemap

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