Are 404s Hurting Your Rankings?

When was the last time you checked your site for 404s? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been a while.

They are not the most important SEO ranking factor, but according to the latest SEO ranking factors from (see here), linking to 404s on your site is a pretty bad idea.

Luckily, there are several great tools available to help clean up 404s. In this post, I’ll list a couple of my favorites. (more…)

Are Fake Likes Still a Problem on Facebook?

I remembered seeing this video when it came out, and thinking about how much sense it made. At the time, I was managing a FB ads campaign to increase the number of likes for a Facebook page, and it never seemed like the amount of engagement was anywhere near what it should have been.

1and1 Dedicated Hosting: Cheap, but…

Some of you may have noticed that and were down last night. Both are hosted on the same dedicated server at This server has been running like a charm for well over a year now. No problems.

Out of habit, I immediately called 1and1. They are always good about answering quickly (I also have several sites hosted on their shared hosting) . They transferred me to one of the server admins. While I waited, I logged in via ssh and checked the server. It was fine. So now I’m speaking with the server guy. He asked what the problem was. I explained briefly, and he basically said, “…yeah. You might want to fix that.”

Doh! I felt pretty dumb, but I’ve been dealing with Rackspace so much lately (for work) that I have just gotten used to support fixing pretty much whatever problems I have.

Then I thought to myself, “I should switch to Rackspace…”. It only took about .2 seconds to realize that that wasn’t going to happen. So I did a quick /etc/init.d/httpd restart, and went about my business.

I have to say, I’ve been very impressed with 1and1’s dedicated hosting. $100/month, and pretty danged sturdy, but if you don’t know your way around Linux, it’s probably not for you. You might try their managed option. You get support, but the setup is pretty limited (only one IP, vanilla CP, and no poking around).

I Can Haz Pagerank? Plz?

Ok, I’ll admit, I was selling links via pay per post, and other similar services, but I have long since removed all of that.

It has been well over 10 months since I removed all such links. I even wrote a post about my attempt to clean up the site of all paid links. I took a cut of at least $400/ month (probably more) because of it, but still, the pagerank continues to drop.

Below is a historical view of the PageRank for (courtesy of SEOmoz Pagerank Tool)

* PageRank 2 reported 3 days, 2 hours ago

* PageRank 2 reported on 10/05/2008

* PageRank 3 reported on 07/12/2008

* PageRank 3 reported on 01/22/2008

* PageRank 5 reported on 01/15/2008

* PageRank 4 reported on 11/22/2007

* PageRank 4 reported on 11/09/2007

* PageRank 4 reported on 11/02/2007

* PageRank 5 reported on 08/27/2007

* PageRank 5 reported on 08/27/2007

* PageRank 5 reported on 08/08/2007

So what do I need to do to get my pagerank back? I know a lot of people could care less, and that’s fine with me, but I want my pagerank back.

New Twitter Tool

Twitter WhaleJust a quick post to share a new tool that I’ve been using.

It’s called the Twitter Fans tool. Basically lets you see who you follow that doesn’t follow you back. Also lets you see who your fans are (people who you don’t follow, but follow you).

The source code is also available for download just in case you’re paranoid about putting your password into some random site like me :p. That’s why I made this tool.

So enjoy. And by the way, if you’re not following my tweets yet, you are missing out big time.

How to Grow Your Traffic, Follwers, etc

I’m going to illustrate this lesson with the recent activity on my forum (Yeah, I have a forum), but I think this lesson can be applied to lots of things, including a website, blog, twitter, facebook, etc…

Here’s what happened when I went from not posting regularly for a few months (I went over a month without posting), to checking and replying to posts every day.
DnScoop Forum
DnScoop Forum

Simply being more active in what you do can make all the difference in the world. In my case, it was getting active in my own forums, but this also includes:

  • Replying to emails
  • Commenting on blogs
  • Keeping up with your blog comments
  • Tweeting regularly
  • Writing blog posts regularly

Hopefully, you get the idea.

On a related note, here’s a video of Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library) speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo, NY on Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media

dnScoop Gets Some Major Press

Ok, maybe not major, but it’s still a pretty big deal to me. Yesterday I got some nice news that was featured (briefly) on The Guardian. The article is about buying and selling websites for profit.

It’s funny, I built, have a domain and website marketplace there, but I’ve never actually sold a website. I did list SEOlogs, but just couldn’t bring myself to take what the bidders were offering.

Well, thanks Guardian for the press!

Useful SEO Bookmarklets

This is a quick tutorial on how to install a core set of very useful SEO tools right in your browser using bookmarklets. Bookmarklets are really small bits of JavaScript that you can add to your browser “favorites” or “bookmarks”. They can be used to check a wide variety of useful SEO stats right from your browser. I’m sharing this because I have been using SEO bookmarklets a lot lately in assessing sites that I work on.
SEO Bookmarklets
Installing SEO Bookmarklets: To install these SEO bookmarklets, you can either drag the links right to your bookmarks toolbar, or right-click the links, and add to bookmarks/ favorites.

Using SEO Bookmarklets: To use these bookmarklets, simply click the bookmarklet while on the page or site that you would like to check stats for.

Checking Backlinks
Checking backlinks is probably one of the most common SEO tasks.

BackLinks: Find all backlinks to an entire site.

BackLinks (this url): Find all Links to a specific URL.

Checking Indexed Pages
When checking for ranking problems, indexed pages us usually the first thing to check.

Indexed Pages: Find the number of pages indexed in Google

Checking Site Popularity
Here are a few ways to check how popular a site is.

Domain Popularity: Domain name/ Brand Popularity. Find the number of pages where the domain/ site name ( is found/ mentioned.

Compete Traffic Details: Get traffic statistics from

Alexa Traffic Details: Get traffic statistics from

SEO ThinkTank 2008

This is an entry for Shoemoney’s “Come To The SEO ThinkTank 2008 ON ME!” contest, coming up soon in San Diego on September 26th, 27th and 28th. (see details here)

First let me say… I love SEO, I love to learn, I love to share, and I love San Diego. But I’m guessing that probably won’t be enough to get me a free ticket to this event, so let me share how I think I could contribute to and help the other guests at the Purpose Inc ThinkTank.

I have a lot I’d like to discuss and share: I work for a company / website in one of the most competitive industries when it comes to ranking in Google. I do a lot ( programming, server management, SEM, etc..), probably too much, but I do have the benefit of working on a high traffic site, which is perfect for SEO testing. Over the past year, I have been fortunate enough to not only study the rankings and traffic for this site, but I’ve also had the opportunity to review reports and suggestions from several professional SEO and analytics consultants (including some of the top firms out there). It’s been an enlightening experience, in so many ways.

I have a lot of experience: I’ve been a web developer for just about 10 years now, and I’ve been studying SEO the for the past 4 years. I’m good with dynamic websites ( LAMP (Linux,Apache,MySQL, and PHP), Ruby on Rails, Ajax, etc…), and can contribute my thoughts on SEO from that perspective.

I’ve attended the standard Search Marketing conferences: Yes, they are fun. And Yes, it’s inspiring to hear industry pros speak, but I never really learned anything mind-blowing from the official conference “SEO sessions”. It was all pretty standard stuff.

I’d love to share and help others: This was the best part about attending standard SEM conferences. It was what I learned while chatting and networking between sessions and after hours pretty much changed the way I looked at SEO.

I have a positive atitude: You probably know that I spend a lot of time creating and maintaining several of my own websites. My ultimate goal is for my personal/ web income to match and beat my “day job” income. I actually came very close to reaching that goal recently, but had to put things on hold due to a family crisis. As of the past couple of months, things are pretty much back to normal, and I’m working hard again to reach my goal. Maybe I just need to take a leap, but a little help/ guidance would definitely be nice.

This is why I think SEO ThinkTank 2008 would be such a great opportunity. You said “I feel it can really be a life changing event for the right person”. Well, I’m definitely looking for that sort of event.


BOLD vs STRONG, EM vs ITALICS Which is Better

Bold vs StrongThe question of whether we should use <STRONG> tags vs <B> tags in one of our larger sites came up recently while we were implementing some changes, based on the recommendations of one of the SEO companies who are consulting with us (at my job).

One company recommended that we use <STRONG>, and not <B>, probably because it is what the WC3 recommends, however, we’ve been using the old bold <B> tag forever.

Being a little bit lazy (I really didn’t feel like making a mass change across a site of over 16,000 pages to change B to STRONG), and also a bit curious, because I could have sworn that I heard Matt Cutts say that it didn’t really matter which you use, I decided to do a little looking around.

It turns out that according to Matt and the actual Google engineers who weight the particular algorithm elements, <STRONG> and <B> are exactly the same when it comes to ranking and optimizing pages.

The exact same goes for EM vs ITALICS tags (<EM> and <I>), no difference at all.

I’d like to personally congratulate Google for “Keeping it Real”.

Also, if you’d like to hear it from the horses mouth, here you go…