Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true

I was once given some very valuable advice, that literally changed the way I approached everything I do in business. The advice was “just because someone said something, doesn’t make it true”. And that most especially applies to the web and SEO.

Even if the person in question is a so called expert. There are any of a variety of reasons why you shouldn’t always believe everything you here.

  • Sometimes people lie. Most especially in our business.
  • Sometimes people heard it from someone else and they heard it wrong or are perhaps missing part of the information.
  • Sometimes the information has changed. So what they told you may have been true before that isn’t the case anymore.
  • Sometimes people are just jackasses and they feel better about themselves if they tell you something you believe. Even if they didn’t really know the answer but hey it sounded good, right?
  • Sometimes information may be true for them for one reason or another, but may not be true for you.

When I stopped taking everything everyone told me at face value, especially in terms of SEO and started doing the research myself I was blown away at the little insightful tidbits that would come to me.

When people tell me things like “but everybody says”, I just smile and say thank you. Because to me it doesn’t really matter what “everybody” says.  I like to do the research and find out for myself. Maybe in the end “everybody” was right about whatever it was I am researching but in the process of trying new things, I could stumble upon something else all together, something I might not have found had I had no been doing the work myself.

It was recently revealed that a so called industry marketing expert that people like XBIZ put on panels to speak and educate the rest of us poor dumb folk, did all of his research by seeing what others had to say. So when his clients hired him to do work or ask him about marketing he would simply relay advice he learned from others.

Kind of sad huh? I mean who is to say that advice is legit? And companies like XBIZ put him on panels and invite him to host seminars to teach the rest of us. Seriously? I can’t tell you how much I lost respect for XBIZ over that one. But that’s another story for another day.

Sometimes you just can’t go with what other people tell you. Just because someone says the sky is purple, doesn’t make it so. Even if that person telling you is a leading industry expert with their own website and everything.

I’m not saying you don’t need to include what other people say as part of your own research. Heck I attend SEO and marketing classes all the time, still, even after being around since 1996. I’m just saying, don’t take everything everyone says as gospel. Unless you have done the research yourself or have seen it with your own eyes, don’t believe it.

Some experts may tell you that the best color for a join page is pink and purple. And hey, maybe for them that really is true. But how do you really know that is true for you, unless you test it out for yourself. Maybe your traffic is quite different than theirs and as a result black and red works better for you. Maybe pink and purple really is the best color, but the point is, you won’t ever really know unless you test it out for yourself.

Stop just taking people’s words for things.

Stop listening to these dumb asses that companies like XBIZ.com promotes as experts and puts on their panels. Because trust me when I say, they are no more than expert then you or my left toe are. They only got on the panel as an expert because they asked to be so or in some cases paid for that spot.

Of course it’s okay to look to others when you need help but just remember you don’t have to believe everything people tell you. Even if it sounds totally legit, take anything that anyone in our industry says with the grain of salt.

Example … someone told me they were THE leading expert in SEO. Now if you think about that statement, that’s some pretty big claim. He said he could help me with one of my sites for just a little bit of money, which turned out to be $10,000. He sent me a list of computer generated stats about the problems with the site in question to make it seem like he knew what he was talking about.

So I said, okay show me one of your sites. Since you are such an expert, surely you can show me something you’ve done before. He said something like how his client list is confidential but how in the past he has worked for this company and that company and I could ask this guy from GFY or xbiz or that guy because he knows him.

I wrote him back. So let me get this straight. You claim to be the leading expert in SEO and you don’t have a single website for yourself? Why would you not use this knowledge you have for yourself and make millions? I get you are busy with helping others but I mean come on? Who in their right mind would pass up on the millions of dollars you could be making if you were truly such an expert?

He wrote me back. Because I care about my clients more than I do myself. I just don’t have the time to spend on my own stuff.

Well that leads me to two points. #1 If you are so busy how in the world would you have time for little ‘ole me and #2 if you were making your clients so much money with your services how could not a single one of them snap you up and bring you on full time? That just doesn’t seem logical to me.

Much to no ones surprise, he stopped emailing me. LOL

Now here is the important part of this story. This person is promoted in our industry as an “expert” and he has all his little buddies on the industry message boards saying just as much.

If a person were to take what he said at face value they would be out a lot of money because the only thing he seems to really know how to do is setup email lists and copy and paste a bunch of reports from various SEO tools websites. He claims to have a waiting list that is months long and yet he somehow still has the time to spend hours a day on various industry message boards instead of actually doing any work for those supposed clients.

So consider today’s boring and long post a lesson learned in life  …

Just because someone says something, doesn’t make it true

 

 

 

 

Good Graphics or Bad SEO?

There are two things most people dream about in regards to their new website … having it look fabulous and getting lots of people visiting it. Problem is, sometimes our pursuit of having it look fabulous can actually hinder our effort to get lots of traffic. We all want beautiful websites with lots of pretty graphics but there is a problem with that.  While we can look at the image below and know that’s a photo of porn star Eva Angelina, but that’s because we are human’s.

Eva Angelina

Computers aren’t as smart. They can’t “look” at a picture like we can.  They can read the text on a page and try and figure out what your website is about, but if your website has a bunch of photos and not enough graphics, then how can they understand? Because again don’t forget computers (like the robots that index your sites for search engines look Google) can’t look at a picture and know unless you tell it.

So what I’m saying is, you need text and lots of it for search engines to understand what your website is about. But if you are smart about it, there are some things you can do to be able to use some graphics, if that is, you do it in a certain way.

First is the file name.

Have you ever downloaded a picture from Facebook and noticed the long, odd name? ie: 1514336_594029313994636_421512611_n.jpg
How would a search engine know what that photo was about if you named your picture that? So instead why not name it something like Eva_Angelina.jpg? Now when you look at the picture you know it looks like Eva Angelina and Google can read the file name Eva_Angelina.jpg and go oh hmm this must be a picture of Eva Angelina.

Next you want to always give your images an alt description.

Every image you have on your website needs an ALT=””. Far to often we get lazy and don’t fill that out. Here is an example <img alt=”Eva Angelina” src=”http://www.kelli.net/Eva_Angelina.jpg” />. Notice how it says alt=”Eva Angelina”? That tells every computer and TTS (text to speech) reader that this is an image of Eva Angelina. It’s vital that you properly tag every single image on your website. Have you done this?

Google’s Surprise PageRank 2013 Update

Matt Cutt’s from Google told us a few months ago not to expect a pagerank update anytime soon. Apparently the servers that did the updates were down and it wasn’t a priority to fix them anytime soon so we probably wouldn’t see an update until 2014.

Then at about 2 am on Friday December 6th shit hit the fan when Google surprised us all with a paegerank update. Not sure if people were more shocked that the update happened or the results. Some people are reporting as many as 90% of sites took a hit and lost pagerank.

Some people are hoping (praying) this roll out was a test based on past data and a new more updated will happen again soon, correcting these major downturns.

I took a look at 80 domains that were previously ranked PR0 to PR5. Yeah I’m a geek like that and do randomly track all kinds of things like this on various websites over years. LOL

  • 4 of the 80 went up in pagerank. (5%)
  • 36 of the 80 went down (45%)
  • 40 stayed the same as before. (50%)

Now let’s look at some specific websites that are important to the adult industry.

  • FreeOnes was a PR5 now it’s a PR4
  • AVN was a PR5 – and stayed the same
  • XBIZ was a PR5 – and stayed the same

FreeOnes going down to a PR4 is probably the biggest shock in the adult industry in terms of SEO. That was a big hit for one of the biggest legit sites out there.

How about some adult industry blogs?

  • LukeFord.com was a PR4 – and stayed the same
  • LukeisBack.com was a PR3 – and stayed the same
  • MikeSouth.com was a PR3 – and stayed the same
  • AdultFYI was a PR3 now it’s a PR2
  • Tattle.xxx was a PR4 now it’s a PR3

What surprises me here is that Mike South’s site didn’t go up in pagerank despite all the mainstream attention he’s been getting lately. One would think a few links form sites like Huffington post would be a great boost in pagerank. Yet obviously that wasn’t the case.

The next big shocker was AdultFYI.com – it went from a PR3 to a PR2. And even crazier is that previously their welcome.php page used to be a PR4 and it is now showing a PR2 as well. That’s a huge kick in the ass for a website that has had a massive increase in traffic lately. Some estimates are that the traffic on this site has more that doubled and maintained that rate over the past few months and their Alexa ranking (I know Alexa LOL) but still their Alexa ranking has improved at alarming skyrocketing levels – going from like 100k to like 20k. I know traffic ratios have no direct correlation to pagerank but still, there are a lot more people linking to the site and somehow all of those extra links meant nothing and the site took a huge hit with pagerank.

 

 

PageRank Really Does Matter

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone say “Pagerank is stupid” or “PR doesn’t matter”. And you know what, those people are wrong. If pagerank didn’t matter then it wouldn’t exist. You don’t get to be a major company like Google by being stupid. It really is that simple. But the question is, what is PageRank and exactly how does it matter?

PageRank is a a complicated algorithm used by Google to rank websites on a scale of 0 to 10. PageRank is often referred to as simply PR … as in, “My site is a PR3” which means their site is a PageRank of 3.

According to Google: PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.

People have argued that PageRank doesn’t matter because you can still rank for various keywords with little to no PageRank and this is true. PageRank isn’t always directly related to how well a website ranks with various keywords and that is why people often think that PageRank doesn’t matter.

While it is true that PageRank doesn’t directly correlate to search results. And by that I mean, just because you have a high PageRank doesn’t automatically guarantee you a high placement in Google and also, just because you rank well, doesn’t guarantee you a high PageRank. These metrics are not interchangeable. They are related but not the same thing.

But to be clear, PageRank does matter. It matters because Google says it matters. But what specifically can a higher PageRank do for you? What kind of benefits does it really give you?

In a YouTube video recently released by Google, they were talking about the rumor that the more pages your website has, the higher your site will rank. Turns out that isn’t true but one of the things they did reveal is that the higher your PageRank is, the more Google will trust your site and the more it will consider it of value so it might encourage Google to index more of your pages.

If you’ve ever used Google webmaster tools you might have noticed that under the sitemap section it will tell you that you submitted X number of URLs in your sitemap and in their index they currently include X number of their URLs. That means that just because you submit 500 pages to them, it doesn’t mean they actually will include all 500 pages of your website. Sure they will include most of them, or a good number of those pages, but the higher PageRank your site is, the more likely it is that they will include more or even all of the pages you submit to them. Simply put, the more pages in their database the more likely it is they are going to send you more traffic.

PageRank also plays a roll in how often your site is re-indexed. The sites with higher PageRank get far more attention from Google because Google considers them more important and that means that Google is also far more likely to re-index our site more often if you have a higher PageRank. Having your website crawled more frequently can lead to your content being ranked more quickly.

PageRank is one of hundreds of factors that Google uses to determine a page’s popularity. Sure it’s not the only factor, but it is still a factor that plays into your SERPS.

If all things are the same between two websites, the site with higher PageRank will appear higher in search results. So if you want to try and inch out your compettiors, keep in mind that having a higher PageRank than them could give you a competitive edge.

Once you get a higher PageRank, people will also consider your website a valuable resource and want to link to you more often. It’s like the popular get more popular and as a result helping your site even more.

So that’s six specific reasons why PageRank does matter. Sure it’s not the end all but it is relevant.

Why does all of this matter? Well most people consider search engine traffic as “free”. It’s a way to get traffic to your website without actually having to pay for it. No need to buy traffic, when a search engine will send it to you for free.  But even better than it being free, it’s also targeted traffic and that means it’s high quality. In other words, search engine traffic is the good stuff – the kind of traffic that is not only free, but that converts well.  How can you not love that?

So since search engine traffic is obviously something you want, then you have to consider other things. When you search for something, those top 3 results get 55% of the clicks … so that’s why you want to try and get your site in the top 3 of your desired keyword. When I google “Kelli Roberts” this is what I get to come up – the top 4 results. Remember, those first three are the ones who get the most attention.

google-results-kelli-roberts

So your idea is to do whatever you can to be in the top 3 for your desired keyword and yes, in part that means you need to work on PageRank.

Sure it’s not the only thing you need to do, but it does matter so the next time you hear someone say “PR is stupid”, you know that is someone who really doesn’t quite understand how it all works and you might want to consider looking elsewhere for your advice on SEO.

Do you know what SEO even is?

In 2012 there were an average of 5.1 billion searches per day. That means that over 5.1 billion times a day someone enters some set of keywords into the Google search box to find something. As of June of 2013 Google controlled 67% of the US search market. Besides returning results for those 5.1 billion searches that users do every day, Google also goes out there and crawls 20 billion websites every day in a never ending search of new data that it can turn into results for those 5.1 billion searches a day.

Learning about how all of that works is often referred to as SEO and when I talk about SEO I had no idea how many people didn’t really know what it means. Basically the objective of SEO is to increase traffic to your website, by very high in the search results based on a specific set of your desired keywords.

SEO isn’t something you do short time or over a limited period of time. There is no end to SEO. Because of the changes that take place with the search engine algorithms, you will always have something that needs to be tweaked or updated.

Every little thing you do matters when it comes to SEO. Using “three” versus “3” in the title of one of your articles can have a direct impact on your click through ratios.

Some of the most obvious and basic things are often times the most overlooked. This includes the title tag. Every page on your entire site needs a unique title. Even if your website has 933 different pages, you need 933 unique titles for those pages. A general guideline for your title tag is that they should be between 6-12 words — no more than 70 characters long.

Fixing even tiny little things like unique title tags and proper meta descriptions can have a huge impact on how many people per day a search engine sends your website. So before you get all stressed out worrying about the big stuff, just start small. Take baby steps.  Fix a few little things and see how it goes. Then by the time you’ve fixed all the little things on your website, I think you might be surprised just how much the traffic to your website has increased.

 

 

 

Have you been a naugty, naughty boy?

You work hard on your site. You do all the things those so call SEO experts tell you to do. You finally start getting some traffic from Google them BAM! Without warning or notice your precious Google traffic goes away.

You spend hours and even days, heck sometimes even weeks trying to figure out what you did wrong. You are convinced that Google’s spam team has given you a manual smack down but how do you really know? Until recently all you could do for the most part is speculate.

But Google has launched something new.

All Hail The Google Gods!

If you log into your webmaster tools account which if you forgot for some reason is located at www.google.com/webmasters/tools and then select the site (assuming you have more than one website) that you are sure got the Google manual smack down from your list of websites.

Now from the site’s dashboard (to the left) look under the main tab called SEARCH TRAFFIC. Now go down to the link that says MANUAL ACTIONS (see image below)

google-manual-actions

If you really did get a smackdown from the Google spam team with a manual action they are going to notify you here about what that was you were nailed for. It could be anything from selling links, shitty quality content. One guy got a message that said “thin content with little or no added value”

This site appears to contain a significant percentage of low-quality or shallow pages which do no profile users with much added value such as thin affiliate pages, cookie-cutter sites, doorway pages, automatically generate content or copied content.

In other words, the Google spam team felt his site was just an affiliate spam site. Another guy got nailed for what they felt was UN-natural linking. In other words, they busted his ass for buying backlinks. Naughty naughty!

So now you can know for sure what’s going on with the manual spam actions and if you’ve fixed whatever issue they have nailed you for, you can easily just click the reconsider button but BEWARE — make sure you’ve actually put forth the effort to fix whatever annoyed them in the first place it things could get even worse for you.

 

 

Ask Kelli: 200 Porn Star Interviews

In today’s edition of Ask Kelli, a reader writes in to ask me about adding archives to their site.

I’ve done about 200 interviews over the past decade from industry professionals to performers and I want to add them into my new site all at once.  Someone told me if I do that it could hurt my sites rankings.  What do you think?

While it is true any major changes to a site including adding a lot, deleting a lot or changing a bunch of page URLs all at the same time can typically cause your site to go into what I call Google shock that can for weeks or in some cases months cause a flux in your rankings and as a result a dip in traffic, 200 pages aren’t going to be that big of a deal.  Usually the shock is a result of thousands of changes all at once.  200 may seem like a lot to you, and it really is something to be commended but in terms of SEO it’s a tiny tiny drop in the bucket and hardly noticeable.  There are guys out there making 100 posts a day.  There are some sites pushing live archives of 10,000 old posts.  Those are the sites that are going to go into Google shock.  200 won’t even be a blip on their screen.

But that being said I think you would be wasting a great opportunity if you did push them out all at once.

The thing about SEO is that it’s based on quality and consistency.  People often seem to forget about the consistency part and yet it is really important to the big picture. If you make a post here and there that’s fine but if you make a lot of them on a regular basis, that’s even better.  You already know the interviews are unique and that makes for good solid quality so now if you spread them out over weeks and weeks then you’ll get a boost in the consistency of posts.  So really the best thing you can do is slow down.  If you have 200, then post one a day, every day, in addition to your normal updates.  At least that is what I would do. 🙂

 

If you have a question you would like to ask me, simply click the contact link and fill out the form.  I’ll do my best to answer.