www vs non www Urls via htaccess

December 29th, 2008 PhoenixCOZA Posted in Webhosting, Website SEO Comments Off on www vs non www Urls via htaccess

Clean or pretty Urls are not only easy for your visitors to remember but effects your Page Rank by making it easier for the search engine to crawl your site. This is a really simple SEO trick. The average web developer might not put much thought into the difference and yet I see even so called SEO experts and huge sites with SEO companies working for them ignore this basic search engine optimization solution.

What you need to know about canonicalization is that Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask and the other search engines see a site using both URL’s as two different pages.

Canonicalization is the process of picking the best url when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages. For example, most people would consider these the same urls:

  • www.website.com
  • website.com/
  • www.website.com/index.html
  • website.com/home.asp

But technically all of these urls are different. A web server could return completely different content for all the urls above. When Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask and the other search engines “canonicalizes” a url, we try to pick the url that seems like the best representative from that set.

The amount of duplicate content can negatively effect your PR (page ranks) in  Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask and the other search engines.

Yes, you read that right.

If your site resolves to both http:// and to http:// with the www afterwards then the search engines including Google consider those to be two completely different URL’s and will allocate your Pagerank accordingly.

What this means is that for example if you are a Pagerank 4 when you load your site with www and you are also a Pagerank 4 without it then you are splitting your potential Page Rank between those two URL’s.

If you try to type in http://www.numafrica.com you will see that I have placed a permanent 301 redirect to http://numafrica.com/ to prevent this.

This is a very simple redirect using .htaccess but a good SEO tweak that will do wonders for getting the most out of your Page Rank.

I have chosen to redirect to non-www but there is absolutely no SEO benefit or loss to choosing one over the other. The important thing SEO wise is to just choose one and stick with it. Load your index page into your browser with and without the www and simply pick whichever is higher in Pagerank, or if they are both the same then just

Bookmarking with Addthis and WordPress

December 23rd, 2008 PhoenixCOZA Posted in WebDesign, Website SEO No Comments »

What is AddThis?

AddThis is the #1 bookmarking and sharing button on the Internet. Launched in September 2006, AddThis has become the standard button for bookmarking and sharing. The AddThis button spreads your content across the Web by making it easier for your visitors to bookmark and share it with people across multiple platforms. Users can bookmark and share your site or specific url via email, Facebook, Ask, Google Bookmarks, Yahoo MyWeb, MySpace, favourite browser and more again… and again. This simple yet powerful button is very easy to install on any site and provides valuable Analytics about the bookmarking and sharing activity of your users. AddThis helps your visitors create a buzz for your site and increase its popularity and ranking.

The wordpress plugin allows easy customisation of your AddThis button automatically adds the button to all your content. The customisation includes Branding , a custom logo , background colour and Language.

Once you have installed the AddThis plugin
in WordPress edit your theme stylesheet and add .addthis { float:right; clear:both; } to the stylesheet. The changes to the stylesheet need to be included to the plugin template as well.

  • Go to Plugins
  • Look for the Addthis Plugin and click Edit
  • Press Ctrl+F on your keyboard and find <a href or look for the line with <a href
  • Change the <div> tag to <div class=”addthis”>
  • update and test your bookmark button

Why use AddThis or Bookmarking

  • Ever Forget a link or needed to share content ? – Addthis makes it easy for your visitors to bookmark and share your content with others.
  • Promotes Your Website/Blog – Helps send your content to social bookmarking services and social networks, which brings back more traffic to you.
  • Increases Your Rankings – Increases your link popularity, which is a very important factor in increasing search engine rankings.
  • Most Popular – It’s the #1 button, recognized by everyone using multiple bookmarking services. Your visitors will already know what the button does and how to use it.
  • All in One Service – AddThis Eliminates the need to include a different button for each bookmarking service.
  • Easy to Install – AddThis button can easily be installed on almost anywhere within minutes.
  • Free Analytics – Provides valuable statistics about how readers are bookmarking and sharing your content.

Submitting your site to Top 10 Search engines

February 20th, 2008 PhoenixCOZA Posted in Website SEO No Comments »

Increase your visibility by submitting and optimizing your website for search engines , and distributing your content search engines and the web at large. Submitting your site using the links listed below is a basic start to obtaining traffic and getting your website listed on search engines and directory sites.

Search Engine Statistics – What Market Share?

According to 2008 September 27 figures from Hitwise

2008 Google Yahoo! MSN/Live Ask
2008 09 71.16% 18.06% 4.22% 3.63%
2008 08 71.01% 18.26% 5.32% 3.45%
2008 07 70.07% 18.65% 5.36% 3.53%
2008 06 69.17% 19.62% 5.46% 4.17%
2008 05 68.29% 19.95% 5.89% 4.23%
2008 04 67.90% 20.28% 6.26% 4.17%
2008 03 67.25% 20.29% 6.65% 4.09%
2008 02 66.44% 20.59% 6.95% 4.16%
2008 01 65.98% 20.94% 6.90% 4.21%
2007 Google Yahoo! MSN/Live Ask
2007 12 65.98% 20.88% 7.04% 4.14%
2007 11 65.10% 21.21% 7.09% 4.63%
2007 10 64.49% 21.65% 7.42% 4.76%
2007 09 63.55% 22.55% 7.83% 4.32%
2006 Google Yahoo! MSN/Live Ask
2006 10 60.94% 22.34% 10.72% 4.34%

Source: Hitwise Press Releases

Top 5 Search Engines in the United States (The Majors) by Rank

  1. Google
    Free Submit: http://www.google.com/addurl/
  2. Yahoo! Search
    Free Submit: http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request/
  3. MSN Live Search
    Free Submit: http://search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx
  4. AOL Search – Powered by Google
    Submit: https://adwords.google.com/select/
  5. Ask – Powered by Teoma
    FAQs: http://static.wc.ask.com/en/docs/about/webmasters.shtml#18

Alphabetical Listing of 2nd Tier Search Engines

  1. AltaVista – Powered by Yahoo!
    Free Submit: http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request/
  2. Fast (AlltheWeb.com) – Powered by Yahoo!
    Submit: http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request/
  3. Gigablast – Real time spidering, really!
    Free Submit: http://www.gigablast.com/addurl
  4. Netscape Search – Powered by Google
    Free Submit: http://www.google.com/addurl/
  5. Snap.com – Portions powered by: Gigablast, Smarter.com, SimplyHired.com, X1 Technologies, Inc. and Enhanced by Ask.com
    Submit: http://www.snap.com/

Top Elements For Implementing Your SEO Strategy

February 19th, 2008 PhoenixCOZA Posted in Website SEO No Comments »

Search engine optimization requires a combination of elements. Highly optimizing your website Content and obtaining high link popularity from quality links will strengthen your search engine rankings over time. The diligence and level of effort at implementing these elements is directly proportional with the results you can expect to get out.

Your website represents your brand and while your website might have been designed and developed by someone the Content is vital to your brand and website. While a website might look visually appealing, these are usually overloaded with graphics and scripts which:

  • Effect search engine rankings
  • Robots crawling your website
  • Load time for visitors

What’s the point of having a sports car parked in the garage all its life?

Every webmaster dreams of overloading the web hosting server with hits, getting traffic to your website from search engines drives your online presence. The basic and key approach to getting traffic is getting your website listed on page one on the major search engines for key phrases relevant to your website. While your designer or developer might have added a few keywords or phrases, getting there requires some creative writing skills, effort and diligence. A little knowledge about SEO (search engine optimization) as your webmaster can improve on this. Enquire about SEO if you have someone maintaining the website for you.
The following five indispensable elements should be incorporated into your SEO strategy will help you get started in helping your search engine rankings and resulting traffic.

Content! Content! Read all about it! :

Yes Content is King. SEO Research can be as easy as using your top search engine. Do a search on a topic of interest and see the results for Google, Yahoo, ASK, Alta Vista, Snap and MSN search engines. The result will include websites with articles and blogs (which are optimized for Content). Your Content must be optimized for the search engines and have optimal usage of your most important relevant keywords and keyword phrases. Create Content which is not only user friendly but keep in mind that you should be optimizing your pages with phrases that best match your overall theme. This is preferred by the search engine algorithms. Link Quality and Link Popularity is often mentioned first, however the exercise is futile if you do not have the Content to link to. The Link Quality and Link Quality Strategies help to drive traffic but more on those two in a moment.

Keyword Optimization

In order to improve the likelihood that users will find your website when searching for Content like yours, optimise your pages with the keywords or phrases that best match the overall theme of your website. Make use of short multi-word phrases and unique keywords consistently in the Content and website. First, find your optimum keywords and determine their popularity. Your top keyword phrases should be used within your Meta tags including your title, description, keyword and h1 through h6 Meta tags. Simply adding keywords to your Meta tags will not suffice.

Link Popularity

To increase your traffic, you must increase your link popularity. Link popularity is the number of links or inbound links on the internet that reference to your website. In bound Links can be obtained through various methods and if you have the marketing budget however, if you are on a budget you have various ways to achieve this. The methods can be varied in line with your theme but primarily webmasters make use of two methods. The first method is by exchanging links with other websites with similar Content. The second method is publishing articles or feeds online which are related to your website. The vital part in the strategy is including a link to your website in the article and then publishing the article on as many article directory sites as possible. The submission of Content and articles is the most effective method as it creates multiple one-way links back to your website. The diligent implementation of both methods should be part of the maintenance of your website.

Publishing Content

If the website is your own or represents your growing Brand write the Content yourself. No one knows what your business better than you. Most webmasters either lack the writing skills or lack the innovation or initiative to develop the Content themselves and therefore seek out good site Content. Webmasters with a budget often hire ghost writers. Those without money look to article directories to obtain some of their Content. Writing articles that relate to your Content and publishing those articles within article directories ultimately disseminates your link onto other websites. You are getting a one-way link from every website that posts your article. Top search engine optimization gurus exploit this strategy to drive their client websites to top rankings. How many reviews have you read lately?

Link Quality

Remember, link popularity is important, but link quality may be even more crucial. There are two facets to link quality. First, websites that are pointing to your website ideally must have related Content. Search engines will give links from websites with related Content more credibility. The second component to link quality is the actual words the other webmaster uses in your link. The goal is to ensure the links pointing back to your website include your most relevant keywords in the link title. Links from credible sources and websites with a high PR will only benefit you, whereas links from shady or spam sites WILL cost you dearly.

Word Count “Content” – 21
Word Count “Search Engine” – 13
Word Count “website” – 29
Word Count “site” – 32