Tag Archives: Google

Google Search Results Filling Up with Spam

Continued from first page How Content Mills Beat Google.

The most well-known Google ranking signal is the number of incoming web links pointing at a webpage.  A webpage with 500 incoming links is considered “better” than one with 20 incoming links.  While those other ranking signals may have some impact where pages have link counts within a few hundred of each other, the fact is that a webpage with 5,000 links will rank higher than one with 50 links regardless of how many of the other ranking signals suggest the lesser linked site should rank higher.

The only other question to be answered is what each webpage should rank for.  That question is answered for Google by a webpage’s title tag.

junk search resultsGoogle’s search algorithm does a basic pattern text matching against the title tag of each webpage in the index.  The closest matches are put through the ranking algorithm and scored to determine the top results. The next closest matches are then ranked against each other and so on.

Unfortunately, the pattern matching that Google does is pretty rudimentary.  When a user enters a search query like quiet hamster wheels Google’s ranking algorithm starts by finding the exact matches, then looks for those that match some of the words in order, then ones that match all of the words (not in order), then ones that match some of the words and so on. The more exacting the match, the higher the relevancy of the page. There is some overlap, especially when there are not enough very close matches to rank, but for the most part, the closer a webpage matches the query exactly, the higher it will rank.

The content mills churn out not one article on quiet hamster wheels, like any legitimate pet information website would do, but rather they publish numerous articles with variations on the title.  When a user searches in a way that closely matches the title tag of the high quality article it likely will rank higher thanks to legitimate diversified links from other websites.  However, when a user searches using slightly different phrasing, the high-value article from the pet information website is up against a webpage with a more similar name.  Google considers that lower quality page to be more “relevant” and therefore ranks it higher even though it has nothing but the supposedly lower-worth backlinks from the same website.

Make Money Writing Online Using Content Mill Tactics

If you want to make money writing online with your own websites, then you need to learn from the content mills tactics, if for no other reason than to keep them from beating you.

Always link your own content. Those links might not be as valuable as offsite links, but they do count for something.  Link your highest value webpages a lot. Link everything else at least a little.

Always pay attention to your title tags.  If your analytics start showing that people are finding your webpage by searching for a keyword or key phrase that differs more than a little from your title tag, change the title tag to fit better before someone beats you to it.  Even better, write another webpage with an exact fit title tag with useful (if re-phrased) information from the original and then link to both. If things go your way, you can rank highly for both variations, just like the content mills do.

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Google Wonder-Wheel Missing

What happened to WonderWheel on Google search?

For those of you webmasters and bloggers who like using Google’s WonderWheel tool, there was an unexpected surprise that came with the new Google Instant search rollout. It seems that Google thinks that the functionality of Wonder Wheel is handled by the ever changing search results and suggestions that appear on Google.com when you search using Google Instant search functionality. Unfortunately, that is hardly the case.

google-wonder-wheel-missing The Google WonderWheel tool was a great way to not only find useful and relevant information on the web, but also for web developers and professional writers looking for ways to make money writing online to figure out how OTHER PEOPLE might search for the information being written. For example, if I were writing an article about how to make homemade snowshoes, I might search for something like “homemade snowshoes,” but maybe that is not how most people would search for the same topic. Maybe most people would actually search for something like “handmade snowshoes” or “make your own snowshoes” or maybe even “building snowshoes.” Any of those searches could be made by someone looking for the same information.

Unfortunately, despite all of its success and acclaim, the Google search engine is really nothing more than a text pattern matcher combined with a link counter. If your text does not match what is being searched for, your article will not show up in those searches, no matter how great your content might be.

Again, using the example above, if I titled my article Homemade Snowshoes Made Simple with my H1 tag and used a title tag of Snowshoes Homemade, the article would never show up in any Google searches for “handmade snowshoes,” unless there were virtually no other webpages on the entire Internet about making your own snowshoes.

In other words, as a writer looking to earn money writing online, it is critical that your articles contain the phrases used by searches in order to generate high-ranking web content that drives search engine traffic to your webpages. In fact, it is so important, that as a professional writer, I frequently use misspellings, incorrect grammar, or redundant phrases, deliberately in order to be sure that what others type into Google will match something in my well-written web content. Then, I try elsewhere to apologize and point out that it was done intentionally so that potential freelance writing clients who are trying to judge my work know that it is not just sloppy writing, but rather that Google makes you write poorly in order to succeed.

The Google WonderWheel tool helped with this problem by allowing a web searcher to type in a search, and then by clicking on Wonder Wheel in the sidebar under More Tools, see a graphical tree of other related search queries. The new Google Instant search feature does that part just fine. What is missing is that with Google Wonder Wheel you could click on the bubble with the related search term and get a new Wonder-Wheel that showed a tree of search queries related to the clicked keywords. In this way, I could have entered “homemade snowshoes,” saw that “handmade snowshoes” was a possible related search keyphrase and then clicked on it to see what search phrases might be related to handmade snowshoes as well.

(Did you see that? I used three different ways of writing wonderwheel so that people who search with a space or hyphen can still find this article online by searching.”)

Turn Google WonderWheel Back On

Fortunately, it is possible to turn Google WonderWheel back on. To re-enable Wonder Wheel, you have to go into Google search settings and turn off Instant Search. Doing that takes you back to the old search interface, which includes the Wonder-Wheel tool.

Unfortunately, since Instant Search looks like the future of Google Search, there is no telling how long this functionality might be left on. Hopefully, Google decides that there is certainly no harm in keeping the WonderWheel tool in the sidebar even if Instant Search is enabled. After all, users who find that the new Instant search feature meets their needs will simply not click on WonderWheel, while those of us who depend on the tool to help correct some of Google Search’s inadequacies can continue to use it.

I wonder if there is an online petition somewhere?

Do you use Google WonderWheel? How have you reacted to WonderWheel being removed from Google due to Instant Search?

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AdSense Optimized WordPress Theme Requirement

A lot of WordPress themes claimed to be optimized for AdSense. When you look at them, what they really mean is that they included some spots for you to put AdSense ads by default. Some of them will actually fill in Google AdSense ads automatically if you put in your AdSense account ID number. That is not AdSense optimized so much as AdSense for dummies themes.

Some themes are a little more honest claiming only to be AdSense Ready as opposed to AdSense Optimized. Of course, if you think about it, all WordPress 3.0 themes and all earlier versions of WordPress themes are AdSense ready since you can ad the Google AdSense code to them. If you want to be really honest, every blogging platform from Blogger to TypePad to Live Spaces (or whatever they are calling it these days) are AdSense ready. All you actually need to be AdSense ready is to be able to edit the source code and publish it after adding a little bit of JavaScript which is how all AdSense ads are coded. So, again, these themes are not AdSense ready as much as they are AdSense ad locations installed by default.

What would it take to be a true AdSense Optimized WordPress theme?

That is an important question for those looking to make money writing online. The answer has nothing to do with pre-filled AdSense code or designs that leave spaces open for you to publish ads in. Rather, what a fully AdSense optomized theme requires is:

  1. Be fully SEO optimized. Face it, you get your ad clicking traffic from Google search results so the most important thing to make money with AdSense is to be as highly ranked in SERPs as possible.
  2. Minimize AdSense Static. This is where most of those so-called AdSense ready and AdSense optimized themes fall flat on their face. Nothing ruins your ability to earn money with Google AdSense like getting irrelevant ads displayed on your webpages. Nothing gives you irrelevant ads faster than having too many non-targeted keywords littering your webpage. All of those comments that you did not write are throwing off your ad targeting, that is, unless your WordPress theme incorporates Google AdSense section targeting tags. Open up that source code and look for <!– google_ad_section_start –>. If you don’t see it, your theme is NOT AdSense optimized.
  3. Eliminate AdSense Interference – Even better would be a theme that separates out the comments from the post, or one that requires a click by the user from the “real” keyword targeted post with your carefully chosen content in order to expand the comments section. That way, Google can index your good stuff, match ad keywords based upon your carefully worded articles, while still allowing your readers to interact with you and your website’s community.

Ironically, most WordPress themes for writers trying to make money writing (and frankly, pretty much every WordPress theme in existence) fails these conditions like a high-school dropout taking the GED without studying after a night out drinking. That means it is up to you. If you want your theme to really be fully optimized you’ll have to stick those Google section tags into the source code manually.

Happy writing, and may big passive income come to you and your writing always.

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Biggest AdSense Mistakes Costly Myths

adsense-myths-costly-mistakes These days it seems like everyone is an expert on Google AdSense. Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. Worse, much of the expert advice out there is based on old information or ideas that were never true in the first place. Either way, following bad AdSense advice can cost you a lot of money.

Here are the top AdSense myths mistakenly followed by publishers and writers.

The Highest Placed Ad Is The Highest Paying Ad

Not anymore. Once upon a time, this was true, but Google changed up the AdWords program a long time ago by adding an Ad Quality Score. Now, the amount of the advertiser bid multiplied by the ad’s quality score is used to determine where the ad is placed on websites and blogs. In other words, an advertiser with a “high quality” ad may get the top ad spot on your website even if their bid is significantly lower than the bid of another advertiser with a “low quality” ad.

The bad news is that you no longer no for sure which ad is the lowest paying on your webpage. The good news is that better ads convert more and with higher positioning are more likely to be clicked. That means that you won’t get smart-priced because a garbage ad keeps getting all the clicks on your website because they pay more.

Google Smart Prices AdSense If No One Clicks On Your Ads

This was never true. Someone misunderstood the concept and drew the wrong conclusions, and then everyone started repeating what they said until every assumed it must be true.

Smart pricing occurs when the clicks on ads from your webpages convert as a lower rate than clicks on those ads do from most other pages. In other words, if your website is sending garbage clicks to advertisers, your CPC will be lowered by smart pricing. However, if your website never sends any traffic because no one ever clicks on your ads, you will not be smart-priced.

All Image Ads Are CPM Ads That Pay Per Impression and Not Per Click Like Text Ads

I don’t know if this was ever true, but I know it is not true today. When an advertiser sets up their ad they choose whether they want it to be CPC or CPM. This choice comes after they choose whether or not to create a text ad or an image ad. In other words, an advertiser can create an image ad that pays per click just like they can create an image ad that pays per impression.

Unfortunately, there is no way to allow only image ads that pay per click. If you allow image ads, then some of those ads will be CPM ads and some of them will be CPC ads with no control from you over them.

Reliable AdSense Information Will Increase Your Earnings

Be sure that the information you are getting about AdSense is reliable. Attempt to verify any program information directly with Google before acting on it. Don’t forget to read through the AdWords information as well because not everything is in the AdSense section. (For example, there is no mention of Smart Pricing anywhere in the AdSense information on Google’s website. Smart Pricing is only mentioned in the AdWords sections.)

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