This article is a little dated, I suggest you read my more recent posts in the SEO archive of my blog. A lot of what I said below is probably still true, but social media plays a larger part in search engine optimization than it did in 2006.
This ninth instalment of what became a series on SEO and search engines will deal with:
Linking is important, it is vital to the functioning of the world wide web, it will help your pages rank higher in the various search engines, but it can be taken too far. I have been accused of linking too much, and at times it is true. Although search engine optimization is important, making your website easy to read for your real human audience is even more important.
There is no shortage of advice on writing for the web, particularly of late on blogging. It has seeped into the mainstream media and I have tried to address it on Muskblog. Alas in my enthusiasm to provide potentially useful information to my readers I tend to link a lot. I link to related articles I've written which is good, but sometimes they are merely tangents. I try to be a better writer. I try to do a lot of things. I also think too much and have come up with following rules of thumb:
The search engine wars are still ongoing. Google has purchased YouTube in order to ensure dominance in video search. Live.com is live and MSN.com uses Microsoft's new Google killer of a search engine. Ask.com has spent a lot of money on TV adds lately and despite this the rankings in North America and likely the world wide remain:
A more interesting piece of news in the addition of a new command to Live.com which is very much geared at webmasters and search engine optimizers. I've seen it commented on in various blogs and forums and first learned of it through SEO Blackhat. The command is linkfromdomain. It lists and perhaps more importantly ranks the sites linked to from a domain. I tried it out on Muschamp.ca and was pleased with what it returned. It is true I've made the odd dubious link in the ten plus years I've had webpages online, but in general I link to stuff I'm interested in.
Using linkfromdomain:muschamp.ca here are the top ten sites I link to:
Some of these still surprised me and I had to think on which page I had linked to them from. Some of them were linked to in jest, others are likely linked to several times.
Although it isn't glamourous, site maintenance is still important. I've written about it previously. Of late I've cleaned up some of the crap including typos and poorly worded sentences throughout my website. I also moved some of the images used by my blog to a different directory structure. I even put the images through GraphicConverter and reduced the file size of many of them. None of these things were done to improve my search engine rankings, they were done to make my site easier to maintain, use less bandwidth, and be more readable. Search Engine Optimization is all well and fine but the most important thing is providing a quality web surfing experience.
You can compare the resultes from October 23rd 2006 with those from the last time I did this on July 6th, 2006. My blogging has been sporadic and unfocussed and I haven't added much to Muschamp.ca but I did return to painting miniatures and added a few more images and pages concerned with that hobby. It may have been too recently to affect search engine rankings just yet though.
|Keyword||Google Ranking||Yahoo Ranking||MSN Ranking|
|Chaos Space Marine||9||22||19|
|Chaos Space Marines||9||33||35|
One thing about searching for the same phrases over a long period of time is you sometimes turn up some interesting stuff. I've also improved in some of the rankings including ranking first in all three engines for Plaguemarine and Plaguemarines. I also added Plaguebearer to the list of keywords I'm monitoring.
|Search Engine||Pages Indexed||Search Term||Links to||Search Term|
Both Ask and Clusty capped the number of pages they returned at 200 and 70 respectively. Yahoo gives me credit for the most "pages" in their index as well as the most links. The change from the old MSN search engine to the new Windows Live search engine is reflected in a slight decrease in the number of pages indexed but I expect the numbers to increase over time as the Windows Live index grows.
|Images in Google||699|
|Images in Yahoo||299|
|Images in Live.com||234|
|Google ranking for "nurgle" image||11||"Nurgle" image|
|Yahoo ranking for "nurgle" image||15||"Nurgle" image|
|Live.com ranking for "nurgle" image||7||"Nurgle" image|
|Google ranking for "Plaguemarine" image||1||"Plaguemarine" image|
|Yahoo ranking for "Plaguemarine" image||1||"Plaguemarine" image|
|Live.com ranking for "Plaguemarine" image||1||"Plaguemarine" image|
|Google ranking for "Plaguebearer" image||1||"Plaguebearer" image|
|Yahoo ranking for "Plaguebearer" image||13||"Plaguebearer" image|
|Live.com ranking for "Plaguebearer" image||2||"Plaguebearer" image|
|Google ranking for "Sauder MBA" image||1||"Sauder MBA" image|
|Yahoo ranking for "Sauder MBA" image||1||"Sauder MBA" image|
|Live.com ranking for "Sauder MBA" image||1||"Sauder MBA" image|
|Google ranking for "Tsinghua MBA" image||2||"Tsinghua MBA" image|
|Yahoo ranking for "Tsinghua MBA" image||1||"Tsinghua MBA" image|
|Live.com ranking for "Tsinghua MBA" image||3||"Tsinghua MBA" image|
I added Microsoft (Live.com) to the mix as they do image searching as well. I still get mostly Google referrals and this includes their image search. I also removed the dubious terms. Yahoo's plaguebearer image is once again a plaguemarine, it is even part of my Plaguemarine gallery. In fact for the keyword Plaguemarine it seems my entire gallery is returned, no other pictures from any other sites, for both Yahoo and Google.
If you just can't get enough analysis of the search engine referals of my domain and how I rank for keywords like Nurgle and Plaguebearer, you can read about the last time I did something similar to above which was April 28th 2011. I'm overdue to check again, but now search engines are affected more by cookies and whether you're logged into various social media networks while you're searching. I am just too busy to do any original research or lead much about this topic anymore, but one day I hope to review my rankings and update more old static HTML webpages like this one which got a new link added to it in 2018.