Archive | Super SEO

Article Spinning versus Article Rewriting

There were a whole lot of questions being thrown our way about what the hell the difference is between article spinning and article rewriting. See, the new ChimpRewriter was being labelled as article rewriting software instead of article spinning software.

In short, article spinning is generating multiple copies of some content, and article rewriting is rewriting it once.

Spin when you are are doing off site promotional activities on Web 2.0 and directories.

Rewrite when you are writing money/main site content, and do NOT do it automatically. Just like you would write an essay.

Read the complete article here

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Site speed in the cloud

You’ve probably already seen the awesome news that AkturaTech is now 100% cloud. All our servers now exist in a magical fairy land which is as awesome as it sounds.

Seriously, setting up for the cloud is so much fun. All the different little components to play with and set up are like toys for grown ups. We didn’t even want to outsource it because starting up entire servers and setting them up in a few clicks was just too awesome to miss. Yeah, I get that I’m a nerd.

We ended up going with Rackspace. While Amazon has a much bigger feature set, Rackspace support is top notch and for some reason I just get a better feeling about them. I’ve learned to go with my gut feeling. Still, I researched the crap out of both of them and found that many people were getting better speeds, preferential CPU cycles and just all round better performance out of Rackspace. Things might have changed by the time you read this but this is what we went with.

Site Speed

For some silly reason, I thought that moving to the cloud would mean everything would just be faster. In hindsight this is really dumb. The old dedicated server had 8x the memory and 8x the CPU of our original cloud server which meant it served up pages super quick. The problem was that EVERYTHING went through the one server so it could get bogged down easily.

Checking Google Analytics, our site speed didn’t look very pretty. A quick test with the awesome tool at Pingdom verified that ChimpRewriter.com was slow as hell.

speedtest

Fast forward a few hours, and Pingdom is reporting a load time of under a second most of the time. Oh yeah!

Wanna know how a slow site can seriously impact your business? Check out this page from KissMetrics. It should serve as a wake up call.

This is what we did:

  1. Run the speed test at Pingdom and see what was taking the longest to load. They break it down into Javascript, CSS, HTML, Images etc. Everything was pretty bad
  2. Install W3-Total-Cache (already done in this case)
  3. Take the time to go through every single setting and work out whether it should be on or off, and what option to choose. There are tons of people who have already done this, so just search for “w3 total cache setup guide”, “optimal settings” and stuff like that. There are a ton of options so this was one of the most time consuming bits
    1. Make sure HTML compression is enabled
    2. Minify script and CSS automatically using disk enhanced cache. Don’t minify inline script and CSS if you have a responsive site!
    3. Preload page cache by pointing it at your sitemap.xml or sitemap-index.xml
    4. Browser cache is important, set long expirys on all your objects, greater than a week according to Pingdom
    5. As you go through settings, re-run the speed test to see if what you’re doing is working. Clear all caches each time and do the test TWICE. The first time will take a huge amount of time while the cache plugin does its thing. They also give you an analysis with recommendations on what to fix up i.e. browser cache, minify etc
  4. When you’re all done, run the speed test again. By this point you should see “images” and maybe “other” as the big killers in load time. Remember to run speed test twice.

So after this, load time was already less than halved from 6s to about 2.5s. Given we already had a Rackspace account, it made sense to set up a CDN as well to host all the static content. This includes the minified scripts and CSS which are two big killers.

Note: Highly recommended to do a database backup before this as the plugin modifies your posts!

  1. Set up a container at Rackspace (or bucket at S3)
  2. Make it public and get the link
  3. Get your API details from CDN
  4. In W3 Total Cache General Settings, choose your CDN
  5. On the CDN settings tab, punch in your API details
  6. Export the media library
    1. This is by far the biggest pain in the ass. If you have been uploading images via FTP rather than the built in WordPress Media Gallery you will probably have some issues here
    2. Try using the built in media exporter in W3 total cache. The button will show at the top of your wordpress panel as a notification. Give it some time, it can be a bit slow.
    3. You may have to manually clean up some links if it imports the same image multiple times like it did on ours. We just deleted the dups from the media library then modified the posts where the plugin modified the links
  7. Do NOT tick all the CDN options yet, else your site will break
  8. Add the CDN host URL without the http:// and click test. It may take some time for DNS propagation
  9. Go through the CDN tab and click all of the “export XXX” buttons i.e. attachments, theme files, wp-include. You don’t need to do custom files unless you add some
  10. NOW tick all the CDN options to host attachments, theme files etc
  11. Run the speed test on your site to generate required caches (or hit locally from a browser that is not logged in – if you are logged in to WordPress it will not generate cache depending on your settings)
  12. Run through your site on your logged in browser and check pages look ok. If things are broken, just uncheck the CDN options and empty all caches. You might have to modify some links to images, import stuff to the media library manually or whatever. This process is the most time consuming part of the CDN cutover.
  13. Open a browser that is not logged in (like Chrome in Incognito mode) and run through your site. This will be the CDN hosted version of your site. If all looks good, congrats!
  14. Run the speed test again. It gives a breakdown of all the content loaded. Check that the relevant content is all loaded from your CDN URL, not your original domain.
  15. It will also alert you to missing files in the content list with a little yellow triangle. If there are missing files, again you’re going to have to go through and see why they haven’t been uploaded to the CDN. Make sure they are in the media library or the theme directory and re-link

Now your speed should be like lightning!

We’ll monitor conversions and bounce rate over the next few weeks and see how it goes…

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Sending Google Alerts to a non-Gmail address

I’ve just done a bit of a search for this, but no one seems to have a real answer. So, I went with the most obvious option of using auto forwards. It would make sense for Google to allow you to just select a different confirmed address, but there’s a lot of things they do that don’t make sense.

If you don’t know about Google Alerts already, they are one of the best things you should be using if you are an internet marketer. There’s a few reasons:

  1. You can find what anyone on the internet is saying about you. For example, every time someone on the web posts about “SpinChimp”, I find out.
  2. You can get super easy backlinks. If you get forum or blog alerts, you can post in a relevant discussion about your product or website.
  3. You can follow your competition. Set up alerts for your competitors names or url and see where they are getting links from. It is also good just to see what people are saying about them.

If you don’t want these alerts going to your gmail, it’s pretty easy to sort out. Just use gmail auto-forward. To get started, click the little gear  gear in the top right hand corner of Gmail and select Mail Settings. Go to Filters and hit Create Filter.

filter1

Type “googlealerts-noreply@google.com” into the from address, then hit next step.

filter2

Select the address you want to forward to from the drop down. If you haven’t already got any set up, click ‘manage your forwarding addresses’ and go through that process. Tick the box next to forward, skip the inbox and mark as read. Unless you’d rather not store it in this account, tick Delete.

Too easy 🙂

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The Quick And Definitive Guide To Domain Naming

Here we go again. Yet another post on choosing the domain name which will best aid you in your quest for internet domination. It’s pretty hard when you’re a newbie, wading through blog and forum posts with varying and endless amounts of info which may or may not be right.

Well I’ve done them all now – the different top level domains (except .info – not going there), the dashes, the extra letters or words, the numbers on the end or a combination of them. You get to see pretty quickly what works.

So without going on and on, here is the list in order of what you should choose.

  • com
  • org
  • net
  • dashed com
  • dashed org
  • dashed net
  • com with extra letters
  • org with extra letters
  • net with extra letters
  • com with numbers (eg marketing101)
  • org with numbers
  • net with numbers

Bear in mind this is for pure URL keyword stuffing, and if branding is important to you, it’s going to be completely different. In that case I’d suggest you choose something catchy and not even worry about keywords because your URL will likely get pretty ugly. Just go for something catchy and relevant instead. For a combination of branding and keywords, the extra letters option should take preference over the dashes.

This list should also be used to determine whether you even bother going ahead with a site. Here’s the kind of sites you might be working with. I have given approximate search numbers per month but this is only an indication based on average competition for a keyword with these search volumes.

  • Throwaway – One or two posts with some adsense – <1000 Exact searches / month
  • Basic – A bit more content targeting 4+ keywords – >1000 <5000 searches / month
  • Medium – Several pages, several keywords – >5000 searches / month
  • Hard – After this it becomes a blur whether it should be a branded longer term project or hard and fast SEO

At the lower levels, you want to be able to rank asap and forget about the site. This means for a throwaway adsense site, don’t go past the first three domain options. There are epic amounts of keywords which fit the throwaway level for which you can get top level domains with no extra characters, so just move on. Soon, I’ll write about how to find heaps of these very quickly. I digress.

For a basic site, venture into the dashed equivalents as competition will probably be a bit higher and the straight keyword TLD’s will likely be gone.

For the medium level, adding a couple of letters or a word onto the end is a viable option. So for a keyword like eating tuna while performing backflips, you might pick eatingtunawhileperformingbackflipshub.com, or something that similarly indicated that it is a center of information.

I’ve already made this article longer then I wanted. Go and buy some domains.

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Autopost Linkwheels

When you are as lazy as me, there isn’t much better then submitting a few posts and bookmarks and having them automatically reposted in various high ranking places around the internet. Hell, even if you aren’t lazy, it will just help you get more done in less time. Think efficiency.

The limits are almost non-existent. With the awesomeness that is RSS, posts and submissions can feed into other things which feed into more and so on. People would argue that having these massive autoposting wheels is spam, and they might be right. Even if it is spam, the search engines will have a hard time punishing you for it because there are countless blogs and feeds out there run by different people which aggregate their favourite blogs. If google punished all that duplicate content, then they would be punishing potentially good, respectable sites.

Personally, I only autopost across a few places but I have found countless backlinks showing up and even a bit of traffic from different links in the network.

Anyway, lets get to it.

The first big one is posterous. Simply put, posterous is awesome. It’s a fairly standard blog network, except that it allows you to post via email. The awesome factor is that you can set up your blog to point to accounts which you have set up on a ton of other platforms, where your new content is either blogged or bookmarked. Right now, posterous supports:

For Status Updates (with links):

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • FriendFeed
  • Jaiku
  • Plurk (also kind of a bookmark)
  • Identica

For Blogs:

  • Blogger
  • WordPress
  • Tumblr
  • Livejournal
  • Shopify
  • Typepad
  • Xanga
  • MoveableType
  • Drupal
  • Any other web blog that uses a popular platform

For Multimedia:

  • Flickr
  • Picasa
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Viddler
  • Blip.tv
  • Scribd

And a bookmark at Delicious

Whoa, that’s a lot of posts and links from one email. Personally, I link mine to a Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Facebook, Delicious, Plurk and Friendfeed. I would use more, but I have submit to the others in different ways.

If you’ve been an internet marketer for more then about 5 minutes you probably know about RSS aggregators. Submit each of the blog accounts which your posterous autoposts to and watch as each aggregator also links to all of your new posts. Hell yeah. Submit all of them to directories and social bookmarking services and they will have a bit more authority as well. For the record I don’t often do manual submissions – I will go over some of the best tools I’ve found in future posts.

Next is TwitterFeed. This one is pretty simple – it takes an RSS feed (or many) and Tweets about them (I can’t believe I just used a capital for the word Tweet…). I would recommend using a few Twitter accounts for different purposes. This is how I do it.

Twitter Account 1 pulls feeds from all my niche websites. Each new posts that goes up on any of them will get Tweeted within an hour. It actually works, and I often see visitors come through my TwitterFeed. If you’re pretty awesome at life, you can pump a Twitter account to a PR of 5, and you can bet that would get new sites indexed pretty quickly.

Twitter Account 2 pulls feeds from my personal blog sites such as the posterous and once like Experience Project. In these posts, I’ll also often drop links to my sites. You might complain that this is just writing extra content, but it’s just writing about yourself. And who doesn’t like writing about themselves? Just a little post about your plans and the current state of your life will do, and it helps you get your head around things too! Mine also pulls my Ezine Articles, HubPages and Amplify (see below) feeds.

Finally, Twitter Account 3 simply pulls feeds from my personal sites, those being one I run with my friend where we talk about random rubbish and this one.

As for bookmarking, I had no idea how much benefit I could see from a single bookmark. Discovering Amplify changed things. With a little button on your toolbar in Firefox, you bookmark little clips of your page and it sends it on to Clipmarks, Facebook and Twitter if you so wish. Amplify links are always the first to show up in Webmaster Tools. Having said that, it definitely doesn’t mean I slack off in other bookmarking efforts. Again, the tools I use here will be covered in a future post.

This is only scraping the edge of what is possible. I have heaps more in the pipeline which I know is going to make it so easy to generate a ton of quality links with minimal effort. I am all about lazy.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Peace.

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