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Published on July 30th, 2012 | by 011100110110010

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How Google Webmaster Tools Helped Me Write This Post…

The title is a bit facetious.  A play on Joel’s rants of late if you will.  No, Joel’s right (though methinks I will have to craft a Princess Bride post…);but I digress.  The impetus for this came from Dan Shure, for one, and directly from Sean, our host, himself.

Dan suggests writing more technically-focused posts; and, Sean wanted me to write something actionable for readers.  I’ve recently been looking at my blog’s stats via Google Web Master Tools.  I came up with a few ideas while spelunking in there the other day.

Contest Closed Shut

Are you running a contest on Twitter, or using other marketing means to host such consumer ‘partays’?  Perhaps you’re hosting the contest page on your blog.  Hopefully, the contest gains much interest.  What happens when entries are final or the contest is completely done?

At that point, you don’t want Google showing your contest site link in search results.  Moreover, Google may host that page link underneath the major heading for the site domain.  That would be misleading also taking real estate away from another page G may feature (such as the blog or service pages).

Tell G to “86″ that now unneeded site link.  Do this:

To demote a sitelink URL:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  2. Under Site configuration, click Sitelinks.
  3. In the For this search result box, complete the URL for which you don’t want a specific sitelink URL to appear.
  4. In the Demote this sitelink URL box, complete the URL of the sitelink you want to demote.

(From WMT: you can demote up to 100 URLs, and demotions are effective for 90 days from your most recent visit to the Sitelinks page in Webmaster Tools.)

 

Kind of a Big Deal in…

Where in the world is your brand relevant?  For instance, I know Alessio Madeyski optimizes sites in several areas of Europe.  I don’t know if he markets his own services in those areas.  If he did he can communicate with Google about it.

Have you noticed some site URLs end in country code?  For example “.ie” represents Ireland.  What if you were kind of a big deal in France?  Wouldn’t you want to target that area of the globe?  You can.  If you gave a ‘geo-netural’ domain ending, such as .com, Google will assume you want to market evenly across the globe.

If you don’t have a geo-specific domain ending, but would like to target a specific location, communicate it like this:

To set a geographic target:

  1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  2. Under Site configuration, click Settings.
  3. In the Geographic target section, select the option you want.

If you want to ensure that your site is not associated with any country or region, selectUnlisted.

However, think about it.  It helps optimize toward a specific location, but is also making it more difficult for consumers in other lands to find you.  Is your site and services segmented, meaning some portions of the site are targeted toward specific locales and some not?  Google allows Web masters to geo-target sub domains and folders.

 

Guest Post Management

James Agate does a lot of writing, especially guest posting.  He bundled a bunch, hosting them here.   I have also done guest posting.  I’d rather host the content from my site.  I must think about duplicate content though.  Hmm, I can use a robots.txt file to block a particular ‘guest posts’ page on my site.

This way, my blog readers can still view and read my guest posts; but, the posts will be kept from Google’s bots, not influencing my rankings or penalizing me for duplicate content.

 

Let Go My Ego

Last week, John Doherty wrote a post about stealing authorship.  There has been some quirky occurrences related to rel=auth and author integration.  What if for fun or fiendish reasons someone does ‘steal’ your authorship?  You could draw swords at dawn, or look to WMT for a solution.  I think there is one.

It’s not an optimal solution.  In a way you are biting off your author profile to spite your blog.  However, you can remove snippets, ridding the SERs of rogue authors…and snippet references of all authors for that matter.  How to remove snippets.

Keywords of Discontent

As a writer, I’m interested in words used.  As a marketer, I’m also interested in keywords leveraged.  Admittedly, I don’t really do any technical SEO for my blog.  Its primary purpose is to host my writing skills, industry insight, and personality.

However, I can use Web Master Tools to peer at keywords and their significance to my blog.  In WMT, go under Optimization and then click on Content Keywords.  Some top-ranked words for my blog are brand, marketing, consumers, etc.

Nothing too unusual there, yet “it’s” caught my eye.  Do I use that contraction a lot?  Yes.  It appears 1,599 times in my blog’s 40- posts!  It’s It is a large number!

Maybe I should look into what words I’m slinging more often to ensure diverse writing and better reads.  I’ll borrow a quote copyblogger borrowed from Hawthorne, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  (No posthumous offense, Nathaniel, but The Scarlett Letter – not so easily enjoyable for me.  Sorry, chap.)

Anthony isn’t guest posting for a link but because he enjoys writing.

You other guest post, link thieving bastards make me sick.

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About the Author

One day I will make a living out of this industry, until then I'll carry on writing here.



13 Responses to How Google Webmaster Tools Helped Me Write This Post…

  1. Alessio says:

    Thanks for the mention :)

    I really enjoyed this post, because I like simple stuff said in simple way. Sometimes there are posts who are just a slop of words that makes me sick.

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    • And often on this very website :)

      Glad you liked it Alessio.

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  2. Iain says:

    Yeah. What he said. This is all good, solid, useful stuff, presented accessibly. Two thumbs up.

    *As an aside, it’s hard to write with two thumbs up.*

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  3. Anthony Pensabene says:

    Thanks for reading, Alessio. Yeah, I wanted to do something simple but hopefully helpful. haha – just want readers to know Sean put that (first time for everything) in the second paragraph.. I would save such self deprecation..for myself.

    Kudos to me for the Twins reference.. Arnold: My name is Julius and I am your twin brother.
    DeVito: Oh, obviously! The moment I sat down I thought I was looking into a mirror.

    Always good to write here. Thanks again, Sean.

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  4. Chris Dyson says:

    Generic pleasantries Mr. Pensabene & mediocre pleasantries to Mr. Revell for hosting this post!

    I can see a multitude of great post opportunities here such as:

    How Bing Webmaster Tools Helped me Write this Post… and erm erm….

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  5. Anthony Pensabene says:

    Actually this all was inspired by Sean bitch slapping my silliness.. I was getting a sarcastic itch in my writing hand regarding “How looking into a solar eclipse helped my PPC efforts” kind of posts. I was going to write a satirical piece including trips to the rodeo, running from bears, and watching drunk men wield axes for fun, all of which take place in my present town.

    Sean was all like, “Pff, I bet you can’t write something useful.” It’s was kind of like that moment you look over at your friend, who ravenously eats his 5-egg omelette out of his beard at the Diner at 4am after a night on the Hollywood strip, and say, “Look at you, man!” I knew it was time to sober up….

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    • I can’t believe I said that!

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      • Anthony Pensabene says:

        I paraphrase for sake of further entertaining our viewers, of course, Sean :)

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  6. Stoked SEO says:

    Great tips Anthony and as you say, a really actionable post. Is this really Sean’s blog?

    Thanks for the mention too, very, very honored.

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    • Thank the lord for SEO, smart writers and guest posting :)

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    • Anthony Pensabene says:

      Thanks for the read, Gaz! Im honored you’re honored :)

      When you go back to fetch what other commenters have said.. that’s when you know you’re on Sean’s blog (takes off cap, pours whiskey, assumes armchair.. ahh..)

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