Blog Action Day - The Power of Contributing Each Month

[This post is a part of Blog Action Day - Poverty]

Contributing to a cause continuously has a powerful impact over time.  It is also easier to contribute a small amount each month is easier than doing a large donation at the end of the year.  For example, donating $50 each month is not as much of a strain on the wallet than a $500 donation at the end of the year — and the organization ends up getting $100 more at the end of the year (12 x $50 = $600 instead of $500 one time).

Crystal Coding Concepts has been contributing to since 2006.

SEO Don’ts

We have written a number of articles giving explicit advice on how to raise web site ranking through Search Engine Optimization. That knowledge is important. It is equally important to know what not to do. Often new webmasters commit the don’ts, because they are in a hurry to raise a site ranking quickly or they think the action is a short cut to the goal of great ranking. None of them work.

  • A. Keyword stuffing or spamming:  Keywords and keyword phrases that match a web site’s theme should be included in the page text, headers and meta tags, right?  It is easy to overdo.  If you stuff as many keyword phases as you can into you page and meta tags, your site’s ranking can suffer.  The top search engines, like Google, Yahoo and MSN, no longer rely on the content in a page’s keyword meta tag.  Instead, they use complicated algorithms to decide what your keywords are. The crawlers collect keyword data based on your content. A site’s ranking is “discounted” or lowered if the keyword density it too high on its pages. It is best to use no more than four or five keyword phrases on each page.
  • B. Hidden Spamming Text:  Some webmasters use the practice of listing keyword phrases on a page with the same color text as the pages background. This effort feeds extra keyword phrases to the crawlers. The only difference between the use of hidden text and keyword stuffing is that human eye cannot see these words on the page, but the crawlers can. The result of using hidden text is the same, because the algorithms employed by the search engines will see the deception and discount the page for the too high keyword density.
  • C. Image Based Navigation: Using images that contain navigation text is a roadblock for the crawlers (as well as other visitors who choose to disallow images to display when they browse). Search engines cannot read an image. If you feel you must use graphics for menu navigation, provide alt tags for each image. A site using images for navigation should also provide a text navigation menu on each page. Look around the web for yourself. Frequently, these text menus are in the page footer.
  • D. Flash Based Site Intros:  While a site may look “upscale” with a “flashy” site introduction, flash is graphical and search engines cannot read them. Make certain there is text content with some appropriate keywords in that intro. It is the first page of the site the search engine encounters and you do not want they search engine bots to stop crawling before they have indexed your site.
  • E. Excessive Linking:  Having too many links on a page or an excess of poor quality links will cause the search engines to penalize a site’s ranking. How many is too many links? Google suggests that there should be less than 100 links per page. Even that number is high. 25 links on a page is more manageable when considering the amount of time link monitoring consumes.
  • F. Unoriginal Content:  Usurping someone else’s site content will not get you better ranking, even if you think their text is wonderful. The search engines crawl all sites. Using the content of other sites is counter productive.

Search engines could potentially penalize a website for using any of these techniques. Your site’s content should be your thoughts in your words. The ideas and theme may be the same or similar between competing web sites; however, injecting a fresh and unique view, your view, of the theme is critical. It is what sets your site apart from others. There is no substitution or short cuts to good ranking and unique, fresh content that includes the natural use of appropriate keyword phrases on each page is king.

Link Love and SEO

link love seoDue to the page ranking algorithms used by the engines, it used to be best practice to have many external links back to a web site’s pages, while limiting the number of outbound links. Times and algorithms have changed. Now, search engine marketers use terms like - link juice, link love, link power, and link votes. They all relate to the power obtained from external backlinks. These links back to a site send visitor traffic that might otherwise not have found it and have the power to raise a web site’s ranking.

How to Use It

To get “link love”, you have to give “link love”. Link to or exchange links to sites you like and enjoy visiting. Backlinks to your site from another similar or same type content-related site, of equal or better quality and ranking is very beneficial. Your site’s ranking can receive a powerful lift from increased traffic referred by other good sites, much like a viewer’s “thumbs up” on a social networking site. Do not forget to link to smaller or newer less well-ranked sites. If the site has quality content, its ranking will rise.

Know the page rank and number of backlinks to each of your pages. Raise the page ranking of your important internal pages by employing all of the SEO techniques, including links to other appropriate sites. In building your site’s link profile, make certain that the different external links land on differing pages. Having all backlinks land on only one page can send an undesired message to search engines that your site content contains little interest to the community – backlinks for the sake of backlinks.

Be thoughtful about the links passed from your site to another site, ensuring they have equity. It can be better to link to an internal page of another site, because the content topic of the page relates better to your site’s theme. Sustain your end of an exchange. Not every page of any site is equal in appeal. Make sure that each page external sites link to is interesting, has well written content and contains links to other related, less viewed pages of your site.

In a Nutshell

Many of your site pages will not have backlinks to them. Work at increasing the number that do; make the ones that do count; and give some link juice love to some poorer link friends.

Interested, but want to use the time and talent of professionals with hands-on experience? Contact us for a consultation on using link love in your site optimization.

Mistry Selected as Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow

Amit Mistry Congressional FellowI am so proud of my cousin brother.  The Materials Research Society (MRS) and Optical Society of America (OSA) have selected my cousin Amit Mistry as the 2008-2009 MRS/OSA Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow.

Congressional fellows provide technical knowhow and a different perspective to governmental decision-making processes while they gain unique public policy experience and discover new ways to facilitate science-government interactions.

Here are some quotes from my cousin on the program. (full artice)

“Now more than ever, scientists need to think beyond laboratory research. We need to be engaged in science policy.”

“Oftentimes scientists and policymakers don’t exactly speak the same language. My education at Rice gave me a solid understanding of cutting-edge technologies, like nanobiotechnology and tissue engineering, and taught me how to effectively communicate scientific works to various audiences. I envision using these skills to promote the significance of scientific findings so that policymakers and the public understand the pathways toward truly innovative research.”

I remember visiting Amit in New Orleans for Mardi Gras when he was teaching at a school with Teach for America.  “Teaching in Louisiana was an incredible experience through which I became committed to improving science education,” Amit said. “Too many students are afraid of science and math. My mission is to make these subjects interesting and fun. I want to engage students and show them how these subjects are applied and have real value to society.”

In the past, Amit has also been involved in science issues as a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders, a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Engineering, a teaching assistant in Rice Beyond Traditional Borders program and a volunteer with Asha for Education, a nonprofit committed to improving education in India.

February 2008

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