Author Archives: Dollars

Lightning Hub Challenge 30 Hubs in 30 Hours

lightning-hub-challenge-graphicIf it seems like we’ve been over this ground before, you are not wrong. My aborted attempt at writing 30 Hubpages Hubs in 30 Hours failed at just 15 Hubs in 30 Hours thanks to some very unexpected events. Nonetheless, it was a worthwhile overall experience.

However, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a nagging little voice gnawing at the back of my brain about not getting 30 Hubs published in those 30 hours. While no one has called my a failure, nor do I feel like I "failed" per se, it still seems like an uncompleted task, and an uncompleted public task at that.

Furthermore, I like the idea of showing the example of being able to complete a "lot" of writing in a short period of time. The number one reason so many people who want to become professional writers don’t is that they get an idea in their head about how long it takes to create quality writing. While it is true that polishing, editing, and researching a major publication, or even a high visibility piece of copywriting can take a very long time, when it comes to webpages, general articles, and just plain basic writing, there is no reason a simple project has to take on Herculean proportions.

Writing 30 Hubs in 30 Hours

So, on a whim, I decided this morning to re-attempt to publish 30 Hubs in 30 Hours. Of course, there is no guarantee that there won’t be more things that pop up, the truth is that 99% of the time, the ability to achieve the goal exists and what determines whether or not it gets accomplished has nothing to do with "events" and everything to do with determination.

The first Hub is already up, which means I’m already breaking one of my rules for how to publish 30 Hubs in 30 Hours which is to avoid distractions or side-projects. While distractions are a part of life for anyone with ADD-ADHD, this one was a conscience choice. I wanted to get a link up over to there for the readers of this site, so that those who are interested could follow along in real-time. I also wanted to sort of stake a claim to the term Lighting Hub Challenge for this little 30 by 30 endeavor, and I figured the best way to do that was by getting a post up so the spideys could scramble around on it.

Anyway, come check me out at HubPages where I’m writing under the name Hub Llama as a way help with branding, but at the same time keeping a separation between the more hobby-type writings currently up on HubPages and the more professional writings I have under the Arctic Llama banner.

I started at 10:00 am on Tuesday November, 3, so I’ve got until 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday.

Wish me luck.

(P.S. If you are bored graphic designer, or just someone with the graphics talent, whip me up a Lighting Hub Challenge award badge that I can use.)

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Technorati Tags: ,Hub Challenge,30 Hubs in 30 Hours,30 Hubs,Lightning Hub Challenge

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Relevant Backlinks vs Unrelated Backlinks – Does It Matter For Improving Google Search Engine Ranking?

related-links-unrelated-links-comparisson-graphic A lot of information floating around the search engine optimization world is either old news. A lot of the so-called accepted wisdom is based on flimsy, or even non-existent, research. And, much of the search ranking conventional wisdom repeated, again, and again, on websites and blogs isn’t actually relevant to the most common scenarios.

So, when a disagreement between colleagues regarding the importance of relevant backlinks versus backlinks from sites that are not relevant arose, we looked around at trusted resources and found that they all said the same thing. In order for links to be worth counting toward a website or page’s Google PageRank or toward its search engine ranking, they had to come from relevant sites. However, we realized that, oftentimes, this bit of information came coupled with SEO strategies and tips that we knew were no longer true; if they were ever true.

Thus, the question remains. Does it matter that a page’s incoming links come from other websites or webpages that are related to the subject matter that they are linking about?

Google Search Ranking Algorithm

To understand why this question matters, and to be able to use the data found in the answer, it is important to have a basic understanding of Google’s search algorithm that ranks those results you see listed on the page after doing a Google search.

The search results page, or more specifically, the order that links are displayed on the search results page is sometimes known by the acronym SERP or Search Engine Ranking Page. The order those links are displayed in can be very important depending upon what is being searched for, and what the goal of the website on the other end of that search link is. Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine’s blog says that in researching how people use search, they found out that people stopped looking in much detail at the results after #5, and in many cases, after looking at just the top 3 results.

In the online advertising world, Internet marketers claim that the #1 position on a Google search can be worth anywhere from three times as much, to ten times as much traffic as the #2 position. They will also tell you that anything below #10 isn’t worth having, since it won’t be on the first page.

Whether any of this is true or not, is irrelevant to out question here. However, what is important is to know that the results that appear on any given SERP are not listed at random, nor are the listed alphabetically, nor by date, or any other non-discriminatory method. Rather, pages are listed in order based on how well they match up with the term entered into the search box on Google’s home page. These terms are known as keywords, even when they are actually a key phrase.

More accurately, the webpages listed high on Google search results pages are ranked based on how well they score on a secret algorithm that Google uses. The intention of that algorithm is to determine which one of all the webpages that match the query is most likely to provide what the searcher wanted to find. The reality is that a very small number of easily manipulated parameters determine the order from top to bottom of every Google search query.

One of the most important of these parameters is how many links point to a given website using the exact words entered into the search. This is by no means the only criteria, but it is very important.

Obviously, this evaluation can be very easily gamed. A determined webmaster or online ad salesman, need only create a million links on a dozen of his own websites to earn the #1 ranking over more legitimate websites.

Fortunately, the raw number of incoming links, or backlinks, is not the way rankings are scored. In fact, since the paper with the original ranking strategy that led to the found of the Google company and its famous search engine, much time and resources have been devoted toward determining which links should not count, which links should count more, which links should count less, and so on.

Thus, our million link creating Internet Marketer will get nowhere with his strategy.

However, the core of every search ranking improvement effort, or SEM engagement is building more links. They just can’t all come from your own websites, or from just two or three websites, or all from the same article.

Theoretically, one of the criteria for determining how much a link should count for is how much the site providing the link is related to the site receiving the link. The idea is that a website about Credit Cards would be more likely to provide "good" links on topics related to credit cards, like banking, loans, credit scores, and credit card reward programs. On the other hand, a website about plumbing would not be a good source to get information about financial topics.

Whether or not this concept is valid is open for debate. However, virtually any SEO consultant or SEM consultant (or whatever else they call themselves) will tell you that Google believes it, and thus related backlinks count for more than unrelated backlinks.

Do Related Links Count More Than Unrelated Links?

It is technically impossible to ever say with 100% certainty that something does or does not count at all in the Google ranking algorithm. However, what can be demonstrated is what features have so little value that they are easily pushed off of what determines the rankings of webpages under real world conditions.

In this case, it seems that whether or not a link comes from a related webpage or website is of so little value that its affect cannot be replicated in the real world! Instead, a host of other factors carry so much more weight that restricting oneself to only related backlinks is foolish.

That is not to say that getting links from spammy or MFA (Made For AdSense) sites is good. These sites can pass some of their negative marks on to your site, especially when they form a large number of your incoming links. However, a link to your home mortgages website from a legitimate site about Mickey Mouse collectibles will end up being worth every bit as much to your website’s PageRank and search engine rankings, that you shouldn’t bother finding related sites. Instead, just collect all the links you can.

Add those incoming links up with your other SEO optimization efforts, and your site’s rank will increase faster. Soon your website could be a high-ranking Google search result.

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Hot Girls and Sexy Pictures Do Better On HubPages

hubpages-profile-picture Am I just that jaded, or am I just that observant?

Recently, I have been experimenting with writing Hubs at HubPages. For those of you who are not familiar with HubPages, it is basically one of those sites where you can write whatever you want and publish it on their website for free. Of course, they don’t pay you either, but that is the price you pay for unmoderated access to their huge, and subsequently, semi-high ranking domain. (Technically, your Hub could be flagged and then taken down if it was truly terrible, but pretty much anything resembling a partial effort at writing something useful or entertaining passes muster.)

Anyway, one of the important things to know is that your links are nofollowed by HubPages unless your writer’s score, or HubRank is above 75. It is actually pretty easy, it seems, to get your score above 75 as long as you write six or seven half-way decent hubs and participate a little bit in the "HubPages community." That is a fancy way of saying you should leave a comment or two on some Hubs every now and then so that you are "active."

This also has the side effect of putting a link to your profile on someone else’s Hubs by way of your comment. Obviously, maximizing the value of this link requires commenting on popular Hubs early so that your comment is near the top where it has a chance of being read, and that the Hub itself is read by enough people so that if a small percentage of them click, that adds up to something worthwhile in the way of visitors to your HubPages profile page.

HubPages, perhaps unintentionally, helps you in this endeavor by showing you some of the top ranking people who publish Hubs, called Hubbers. These people are shown across the screen from time to time as featured authors. Some of them are very prolific and some of them write very good stuff, unfortunately, the two do not always coincide. Being a featured author is at least partially a function of your PageRank which is a function of how much you publish, how much traffic those Hubs get, as well as how many people comment on them, and how man "fans" you have.

I’ve noticed that a higher than expected proportion of highly ranked authors are very attractive women, or at least their profile pictures are sexy pictures of hot girls. I cannot say whether or not those pictures are accurate representations of those writers. However, I can say, that I know men, and in particular, the kind of men who would write for a free publication website are prone to clicking on those links and articles which appear to have something to do with attractive women.

To that end, I popped up on a free stock photography site and found an alluring picture of an attractive woman and change my characteristic blue llama graphic in the profile to the picture of the pretty girl. The stats at HubPages are not real-time and I’m not completely sure how much of delay there is in reporting the number of visitors to your Hubs. Regardless, I expect my traffic to increase in the next day or two. How much it increases will determine whether I’m just a jaded author wondering what makes some people get more hits, or whether only a fool uses something other than a pretty woman for their profile picture.

Any guesses?

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How To Delete SubDomain Permanent Redirect 301 .htaccess file

The HubPages experiment continues to be a success, though I haven’t seen any of the incoming links show up in Google WebMaster Tools yet. I’m sure that with the size and volume of HubPages, that it can take a while for the Google Spider to make its way around to indexing everything. The best thing to do is to point some more links at each Hub in order to get the indexing to happen faster. As an added bonus, that should also eventually drive more traffic and PageRank to those Hubs.

One of the reasons I like publishing writing on the HubPages is that it gives me a place to post some of my writings that are useful, informative, or otherwise quality writings, but that otherwise have no real home.

For example, yesterday I published a Hub about redirecting traffic via the .htaccess file on your webhosting account using something known as a 301 Redirect. A 301 Redirect tells both visitors and the search engine robots that the content has been permanently moved to a new location.

There are htaccess tutorials and example code all over the Internet. Unfortunately, most of them are specifically about how to move either a whole domain, or how to move a single page or directory. There isn’t too much out there about how to delete a subdomain with 301 redirect.

When I wanted to change from blog.financegourmet.com to www.financegourmet.com/blog/ that is exactly what I was looking to do. It turns out that it isn’t as simple as just getting the right htaccess code. There are a couple of other little tricks and gotchas you need to get right as well in order to make everything go smoothly.

When I finally got it right, I wrote up an article to help other writers with using .htaccess files to remove a subdomain. The only catch is that it doesn’t really fit in my usual publishing locations, so I wrote it up as a Hub and published it on HubPages. It is linked up above to get maximum SEO benefit, so go check it out. Then, do me a favor and add it to your delicious bookmarks, and any other social networking sites you use.

Technorati Tags: ,,,301 Redirect,Permanent Redirect,Preserving PageRank

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