Friday, August 26, 2011

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Links from Squidoo and HubPages

Getting links to your website is crucial to improving your search position - but from where?

Today, let's look at how the landscape has changed since Google's Panda/Farmer update in February 2011 changed life forever.

Before Panda, Squidoo and HubPages were both good, and about equal, sources of easy-to-get high-quality links. But they have responded to Panda in very different ways, and have become very different properties.

Squidoo wasn't impacted much, if at all, by Panda, and it is still a great way to get powerful links. An individual Squidoo page can acquire a SEOmoz (www.opensiteexplorer.org) PA (Page Authority) of 50 or more - which can make a huge impact on the website or websites it links to.

There is a little ongoing work to keeping Squidoo "Lenses" - as they call their pages - useful. Lenses fall from "featured" status to "work-in-progress" status unless they either receive some traffic or are frequently updated. Work-in-progress Lenses are still published, but they get "no-follow"links, so it is well worth the small effort to keep refreshing their content.

Squidoo allows up to 9 outbound links to any single website (domain), and allows links to an unlimited number of different websites.

HubPages, in contrast, was hit hard by the Panda update, and has responded by creating an environment that is, for most people, now useless for the purpose of creating links. HubPages appears committed to developing a self-contained community with essentially no outbound links. Not only do they now limit the number of links somewhat arbitrarily and unpredictably to a very low number, but they also restrict what websites can be linked-to to "relevant" websites - also quite arbitrarily. "Hub-Nazis" un-publish Hubs for the slightest infraction of the arbitrary rules leaving anyone attempting to visit the Hub staring at a message that makes the author appear criminal. Moreover, HubPages authors who don't maintain an arbitrarily-computed "hubscore" of 75 get all their links marked "no-follow."

Squidoo gets a big YES. HubPages gets a big NO.

Friday, August 12, 2011

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Google Authorship

See the Google+ logo below my name in the left sidebar? That's Google Authorship attribution at work. It let's Google track my writings across the web.

Read what Google has to say about Google Authorship, and do it for yourself right away. I believe that it is going to make a big difference in getting the original author credited for an article rather than some "skimmer" website.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

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Google +1 (Plus One)

[Skip to Add Plus One to your Blogger Blog]

Google's +1 (Plus One) is their latest experiment with allowing user opinion of websites to influence search results. For now, it only impacts what your Google "friends" see, but Google is hinting broadly that websites that get many Plus One recommendations will eventually show up higher in everyone's searches.

See Plus One in Action: If you are signed into your Google Account, you see a +1 icon above the title of each post in this blog. If you aren't signed in, you just see a blank space to the left of "Tweet This."

If you see the +1, go ahead and click it -- now your friends will know you liked this post (smile).

To Use Plus One: Here's what Google says:
  1. Make sure you're signed into your Google Account (required)
  2. Click 'Join this experiment'
  3. Search for something you love on Google.com
  4. Click the new +1 button, and make your mark on the web

Watch Google's Video on Plus One:



To Add Plus One to your Blogger Blog:

There are two ways to add +1 to your Blogger blog

1. From your Blogger Dashboard, click "Design" then "Page Elements"

2. Click "Edit" at the bottom right of "Blog Posts"

3. Check "Show Share Buttons"

4. Move things around in the "Arrange Items" box if you want.

5. Click "Save"

Or, if you don't want all the standard share buttons, or want more control over customizing your sharing buttons

1. From the Blogger Dashboard, click "Edit HTML"

2. Save a copy of your template with "Save Full Template"

3. Check "Expand Widget Templates"

4. Search (control-f) for </head>

5. Just before </head> insert
<script src='https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js' type='text/javascript'/>

6. Search for <b:if cond='data:post.title'>
[or if you already have other Share buttons, put the following code near them]

7. Just after <b:if cond='data:post.title'> insert
<g:plusone expr:href='data:post.url'/>

8. Click "Save Template"

You can also customize the Plus One button.