Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Paid Directory Listings - Worth the money and effort??

Before coming to any sort of conclusion, lets first find out why people actually go for submitting their sites to directories. As I can see, there can three major benefits out of directory submission:
  • One Way "Trusted" Links (If its not reciprocal).
  • Some Directories, generally with higher Page Rank, pass on their PR to the sites they are linking to. Thus, a link from such directories help you to gain higher PR.
  • An occasional visitor which a site can get from directories.
Considering these 3 major reasons behind people opting for Directory Submission, then only those paid directories which have a PR of 5 and above are worth considering for Paid submission as only then one can enjoy the advantage of PR such directories pass on. Anything below 5 is not worth spending even $1, as there are many free directories of PR 4 and above which will give the same benefit as these paid directories.

If you ask me, I would prefer spending my money on Microsoft Small Business Central, sbd.bcentral.com. They got a great PR on there site and you get several links from pages with high PR. Another good paid directories I like are botw.org, which is one of the oldest Web Directories around & GoGuides.com.

dir.yahoo.com is good too – but its too expensive. I would rather suggest you use your money smartly and buy inclusion in cheaper directories with a PR 6-8. A good list of such directories can be found here : www.directorycritic.com/paid-directory-list.html

Few things you should keep in mind before selecting any of these directories:

  • IP Addresses of the directories. It's very important that you have links from different IPs to get most out of them
  • Page where your link will appear and number of links on that page. You shouldn't submit to those directories which list more than 100 links per page, including internal links and Ad links.
  • Page Rank & Indexing Status of the page where your link will appear. If the page is not indexed by Google, then it's not worth the effort.
All in all, you should carefully consider spending your hard earned $$$ on paid directories as there are other alternatives available for the same price!
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Monday, August 6, 2007

Multiple Brand Merger - Be or not to be?

I have recently, come across a lot of queries from my clients, specially the big corporates, asking me about the future SEO strategy and whether they should merge their various brands into one and ride the volume bike.

I searched around a bit to understand the pros and cons of this “merger of sites” from the SEO perspective. This is what I got from a Bill Mickey article at www.foliomag.com:


1) Critical Mass: A new destination site quickly provides broad, market-spanning coverage that exudes an increased sense of scope and can make your competitors’ sites look ineffectual in comparison.The SEO Angle

2) Access: Niche-specific content is represented, but customers have the opportunity to graze content where markets overlap.

3) No More Brand Silos: Corralling content under a broader brand elevates it to a level where more customers can congregate.


1) Brand Subordination & Confusion: Sites pulled together under one site may suffer brand dilution. It may also confuse the visitor as to the core service which the company provides.

2) More Work: The new gateway site will be a hungry beast, requiring the constant feeding of new daily content unique to the site.

3) Loss of SEO Advantage: Initially the website will not have a good organic ranking in search engine. We can try to retain current user base and hits as much as possible using permanent redirects and forwarding. This can also be compensated by proper pay-per-click management initially and then toning it down if required.
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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tips to make your “Resource Box” work better for you - Ask them to click!

Resource Box is the small paragraph, generally at the end of the article, giving the readers a bit of information about the author of the article. Many times, it’s the only place where you are allowed to put a link to a site.

The resource box should be used like the “About Author” section and contain few lines about the Author. Now, you should always consider two aspects while filling a resource box:

- From the readers perspective
- From Search Engines’ prospective

Now here are few things you should always bear in mind while filling up the resource box:

1. Don’t try to advertise too much. Appear plain and simple
2. Put your site’s URL in the resource box.
3. However, us no more than 3 links in the resource box.Resource Box
4. You can derive the maximum benefit of the resource boxes by puttung in links to the inner pages
5. You can use Anchor Texts here. However, many directories strip out any html elements they find, which then eliminates your link.

By keep this few simple points in mind, you can derive the maximum benefit out of your Article Submission Campaign.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Google Sandbox - A Myth?

For starters, the Sandbox Effect is something where newly formed websites rank very high before being placed in a sandbox (holding area) in the indexes of Google until such time as deemed appropriate before ranking commences again. If you have a newly launched website, which ranked very well when initially indexed by Google and then disappeared all of a sudden, then its most probable that your site has witnessed the “Sandbox” effect. As with Google, no one really knows how long will it take the site to come back in the rankings!

For SEO experts, The SandbGoogle Sandboxox is actually nothing more than a theory which explains what they have witnessed with their own sites. However, whether or not the so called “sandbox” really exists is actually irrelevant when we witness the effects of its existence.

It happened to many of my clients when they launched new websites. They ranked very well for the first few weeks before going off for a while. They got really scared about the faith of their sites.

So how do you get your site of “Sandbox”? I believe that a site gets sandboxed because Google loses trust in it. By building trust with Google, you can quickly get your site out of the sandbox. You can gain Google’s trust by getting links from other “Trusted” sites, sites which have been indexed and awarded good Page Ranks by Google. By getting such links, they show trust in you, which in turns makes Google trust you & helps you to get out of the sandbox and rank well again in Google. Examples of trusted sites are:

  • Site Directories
  • Article Directories
  • Other Relevant sites.

By getting your site submitted to article & site directories and exchanging links from “Relevant” sites, you can get those much needed trusted links, which will help you get out of the “Sandbox”.
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