Sunday, February 22, 2009

URL referrer tracking: Some lesser known facts!

The conventional method employs the tracking of parameters in the URL; however this is likely to cause certain issues with the search engines over a period of time. Imagine, there are two promotional teams to a single website. Despite the fact that both of them incorporate separate parameters in the URL, they do lead to the same web page (and thus you could track the conversions based on URL’s), over a longer span of time this method may affect the search engine acquisition of the website and lead to low quality data tracking.

There are four major issues that come up here:
  1. Search engines are a little ill-equipped when it comes to determining if multiple URL’s are connected to a same page. This becomes a potential problem to you, especially when the number of URL’s to your home page increases. Search engines will detect all the URL’s and store them (rank them along too) in their content index. This would cause the search engine robots to crawl over the same page many times (as many as the number of URL’s) and thus, other good and unique pages may lose its weight to the infinite indexing of the same page!

  2. For the purpose of determining the authenticity and usefulness of a content, search engines use the number of quality URL’s leading to a page as an indicator. When there are three different URL’s to the same page, the search engine assigns a lower rank to all the variations of the URL! However, this wouldn’t have been a problem if all the URL’s were same but then that would have been a major hindrance to track the referrer!

  3. Popularity too could pose a threat! If Youtube videos that become extremely popular, then the promotional URL’s will surely fetch more links than the URL of the home page. So, the promo link might as well fetch a better rank in the search engine and thus, the video is more likely to replace in the original page in the search results (confusing the users all the way!).

  4. With sharing and social networking becoming popular, imagine a person finds your home page to be excellent and copies the promo link. Then, whomsoever the person shares the link will be using the promo link to land up to your website. Don’t you see a reporting flaw there?

There’s no formulated solution for this, however there are few tricks and tips that might as well work to your benefit!

  • URL fragmentation: Place a hash mark in the beginning of the tracking parameter, as search engines ignore such links as hah marks are usually used to denote links within a page! E.g. Similarly, one can even use JavaScript for URL fragmentation.

  • Usage of robots.txt is another solution. This will keep away search engines from indexing certain links.

  • Trapping the incoming request should do you good too! Find out the point at which your website application’s logic processes the HTTP request for a particular page. Trap that request. Check is it has a tracking parameter there and then; record it in your internal referrer tracking system, if it’s present.

  • Implement a redirect from the current URL to the same page. By doing so, you trick the search engine to actually discard the promo link from its consideration of ranks. The method’s great but it requires self-management of referrer tracking system.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Global link building: It’s a small world after all!

The phrase ‘global link building’ sounds like a big venture and can surely make it to the top 10 fancy phrases on the internet. On second thought however, the fact of the matter doesn’t seem to be just all about a fancy name. In the current scenario of the plummeting global economy, global link building can be quite a task to be done practically. Feel lucky if you build links without any extra work than your usual links, but with that so unlikely to happen one’s bound to put some extra effort if he or she desired to come out with positive results in the process of global link building.

Still not clear as to what’s global link building? Well, global link building simply means working with or getting leads/links from clients or webmasters other than that of your country. Many of the SEO agencies in the U.S do generate a major chunk of their lead from outside the U.S. The recent economic crisis has made the world wake up to the fact that the global economy is greatly intertwined. So does the marketing companies and agencies! They do realize that now, their target shouldn’t just be confined to geographical/cultural/ ethnic boundaries.

So, what exactly are the requisites for the sojourn of global link building? The usual basics of SEO do not lose grounds here, but just that won’t suffice in this context either. One needs to consider some extra aspects and build a strategy surrounding it.

Language barrier: Language is the tool for communication and thus, learning the tool becomes essential for communication. Speak to people in their native language. Either learn the language yourself or hire employees who have good linguistic skills. Being flexible with languages, not just personally but even on the internet space (i.e. your website)

Socialize: One needn’t give a lecture on the importance of socializing, especially in the domain of marketing. Traveling to various countries and socializing doesn’t sound pragmatic, but thanks to social networking websites, communities, forums and their guild you can now socialize from your place. Don’t just create an account for namesake and expect people to come your way! Indulge in discussions, activities etc in the social networking websites you join (like myspace, Facebook, etc). Further, identify other communities, forums etc on the internet and make yourself an active member of it. Pass on gifts, wishes on occasions and other warm gesticulations (don’t you love it when you receive? so do they!). By the way, do not forget to use twitter!

Keep learning: Learn their culture, know about their cuisines, music and other indulgences. In a way, understand their lifestyle, their priorities and preferences. This will help you a great deal in your endeavor.

Blogs and directories: Directory submissions are indeed a power house when it comes to traffic building- do not overlook it! Do visit the blogs of other countrymen, leave opinions and comments on the blog and collaborate.

Global link building may push your creative self to untouched shores and you may enjoy this creatively rich and profitable process.

Monday, February 09, 2009

What’s in store on the SEO front, for the year 2009?

The title here proclaims this article to be the prediction for the year 2009. To actually avoid being at the risk of getting thrashed at the end of the year 2009, here’s a disclaimer to the article: The predictions are subjected to certain terms and condition and may or may not come true depending on it. In fact some of them may take further time to materialize and may actualize only after a couple of years!

Now that necessary precautions have been taken, lets get on to the job! Read and delight yourself with the foreseen year 2009 (in regards to the SEO domain). Frankly, do not expect heavy SEO knowledge out of it or do not actually expect it to come true rather read between the lines and understand the irony being spoken about. Have fun!

  1. The search engine - ‘Altavista’ (yes a search engine exists by that name) after several years of terribly low traffic and being rated as one of the most non-reliable search engine, will get a renovation and be rehashed into a search engine that’ll leave no room for other competitors by dominating over 90% of the market!! Watch out Google!
  2. SEOMoz will come out publicly with an acceptance that ‘linkscape’ was one of their biggest blunders of recent times! Yes! The same linkscape that claimed to have indexed 38 billion pages and if rumors are to be believed, they just indexed some hundred odd pages over a billion times to get to that magic number! Innovative huh?!
  3. On a serious note,, will break all its previous records of success and will become the bible of sorts for internet marketing. Loren and other guys associated with will soon make it to the Forbes list of the richest!
  4. Matt Cutts, the extremely popular SEO guy (yes, the man who is now considered to be the sole face of Google ads and Search engine) will undergo a plastic surgery, much like our own ‘Beat it’ guy Michael Jackson. However, the reason Cutts has is not obsession to fair skin like Mikey! Cutts just want to save his life from the hordes of people bugging him with questions in the SEO related public events!
  5. The success of SMX mobile, SMX local etc will soon make way for conferences, seminars, websites, and video tutorials on what would be known as SMX spam! The tutorials will be titled ‘Be an SMX spam in not more than six hours’ and all wannabe spamsters will get a chance to live their dreams! It wouldn’t take much time for the wannabe’s to realize that this tutorial too was a spam too and it’ll take them nowhere less than six years to actually become a successful spammer!
  6. The promotional plan of a pharmaceutical website would be that each of them who signup would get a Viagra for free and every referral would fetch them steroids and drugs illegal in their countries. The grand prize would be a free annual supply of condoms to the winner’s doorstep! SEO at its stimulated best!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

SEO bookmarklets you must visit!

As an internet junkie rather an SEO junkie (If I can use that term) one would encounter a large number of useful websites and SEO tools on the internet. Many a times, you just forget to bookmark them. As a matter of fact, bookmarking of good SEO tools and sharing it them with fellow SEO enthusiasts can be a great way to help each other out and benefit together with the best of the stuffs on the internet.

SEO is quite wide a topic to actually list website and tools related to every aspect of it. However, here’s an effort to list down some of the bookmarklets that may be of great use for on page SEO research and domain statistics. There isn’t any assurance that the list covers all the good tools in the web, nevertheless it does manage to provide some of the essentials- the ones you must visit (read- you cannot afford to miss!).

Domain information
Here are four websites that are an excellent resource for domain information.
• Go through every page of this website and you may find some valuable information. This web information company boasts of a web search, traffic rankings list and thorough analysis on website traffic.
• Robots.txt: The tool assesses a website for the robot.txt web pages!
• The website is one of the best resources for domain information. A good number of bloggers and webmasters might suggest you to check out this website, sicne they too had their beginning days spent all over on this website.
• AttentionMeter: The website categorizes into Google trends, Quantcast,, alexa and technorati. Check out the stats of all the categories for some vital information on domain names.

On Page SEO stats
• Page Headers: It displays all the headers for the current page via Besides that, is a great website on ‘website tweaks’. Check it out!
• Is your HTML code validated? : The markup validator in this web page check for the markup validity of your HTML, XHTML, SMIL, web documents. You can upload your document on this tool and get an instant assess of your document.
• HTTP headers: Hang on to the header checker of the website-, to check the header of your current page.
• Wayback newest: It’s a tool of its own kind! It shows and takes you back to the latest copy saved in the archive.

There are plenty of other tools out there on the web, like the ‘word frequency’ (it displays the frequency of a word on a page), ‘Show Meta’ (it shows the Meta tags), ‘Page Freshness’ (lets you know the last modified date of a page), highlight headings (highlights the headings and their respective sizes), ‘make a link for this page’ (generates a link for a particular page!) etc.

You can even check out a whole lot of bookmarklets site like the Lifehacker, Stundubl, Jesse’s bookmarklets site, Stephen Ostermiller’s bookmarklets etc