Search Engine Optimization

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Latest SERPs

I'm not sure if I should post this because everytime I do so, the website falls several notches. Anyways, the lastest search engine rankings for this site are at an all-time high for the keyword "activism".

Google: #2
Yahoo: #3
MSN: #2

Google regularly slips to #3, and MSN likes to give their rankings a big shake every week or so.

On the other hand, search engine traffic is flat. Ho hum!


Yahoo likes Me

Yahoo is finally starting to send serious numbers of people to this site.

Originally when Yahoo was running the same results that Google ran, Yahoo drove 1/4 of the visits that Google did.

When Yahoo started their own results, Yahoo traffic fell to 1/40th of Google.

Now Yahoo traffic is back to 1/6 of Google.

It's nice not to rely upon Google for 95% of my search engine traffic.

Unfortunately, general traffic is a little low. It peaked several months ago at 4000 visits/day, however that just didn't last and now it's 2000 visits.

Making Money with Google AdSense

I started running ads from Google's AdSense program on my site three weeks ago. They are only on a part of the site that mostly attracts people from search engines who are not interested in activism.

So I figured it wouldn't harm my goals to give them some ads to look at.

I didn't think this would be a significant source of revenue - but actually it is. It now looks like I'm making around $5/day. Thus I could make $1800 in a year (which is about 20-25% of what I need to live on - sans health care). If I put ads everywhere and my traffic recovered (note: my website traffic is around 2000 visits/day, down from its peak of 4000) then I could make enough money to live on.

The Iron Cage and the End of Web Development

I predict that either Microsoft or Google will attempt to monopolize website development by creating a content-management-system that is linked to their search engine (includes it for searching within your site and also for searching the internet), and possibly operating system (if Microsoft does it).

It is possible that a growing push for standardization and the need to validate one's html code (due to the demands of XML - or other systems for doing a better job of sorting everything on the web using tags), and due to typical corporate practices (witness what happenned to radio), there will be a rationalization in the website development business. We will move from having millions of different types of websites to fewer and fewer.

MSN New Search Goes Live

MSN had been testing their new search engine for months. Now it is online. At least some of the time. You won't always see it. This being online is a bad thing because they didn't improve it.

I'm mad that the number one ranked website for "activism" is a spam site. It belongs to a network of inter-linking websites that are all owned by the same company. These websites do not rank in Google. Probably Google banned them for being spam. This spam site has a keyword density of almost 50% in the meta keywords and description tags.

The websites in this network have public forums. Their forums suck. They make money from ads.

Towards a Google PageRank 7

Sometime within the next two years, I hope this website will get a Google PageRank of 7 for its homepage. Of course, by that time it might not matter or Google might alter its ranking system.

This website currently gets a 6. But what kind of 6? 6 is pretty broad, considering Google uses a logarithmic scale. A high "6" could be up to ten times better than a low "6". What makes it more interested is how website traffic increases exponentially at a certain stage in the rankings. Eg when your site is ranked #40 for a term you get about zero traffic, whereas if you are in the top 5 sites you can do really well. So if nudging your site from a 6 to 6.5, increases your ranking from #40 to #10, your search engine traffic will increase by ten fold or more (for that term).

Activist Websites: Do we rank?

I believe that this website is "on to something". I think it's going to be incredibly successful and rank amongst the top (english speaking) activist websites.

Sometimes it's good to check-in and compare this ambition to reality.

October 2004 - we got 88,000 unique visiters, and 123,000 visits (excluding search engine robots). This statistic comes from Awstats (a free log analyzer). claims 729,000 visits in the last month. This number should be compared to our 123,000 figure. So we get about 1/6 of the traffic they get. claims roughly half a million visitors per month. This compares to our 88,000 figure - so again we're getting around 1/6 of the action.

Yahoo Rank #3

Yahoo changes its rankings. We went from #13 to #3 for 'activism'! I think it changed the algorithm.

This is weird because yahoo still has only indexed 1000 out of the 20,000 pages on this site so we are still getting literally 100 times more traffic from Google.

Ranked #2 in Google for "Activism"

Do a Google search for "Activism". We're ranked #2!

Back in September 2003, I started wondering why some websites got more traffic than others. I looked into how search engines work, read several books (ex. Search Engine Visibility), and started religiously monitoring Webmaster World.

I decided to take a gamble. We were only ranked around 75th for the activism keyword, but I bet that we could make it into the top ten which is the only way to get a decent amount of traffic. Until last night, we'd be stuck at around 5th, occasionally getting 4th for a couple hours - then suddenly we leapt to 2nd. Who knows if this will last or just be another blip on the screen, but it is a fun ride!

Search Engine Optimize your Online Forum

If you have an online discussion forum, chances are that Google indexes only a handful of the pages. The problem with most forums is that they use dynamic pages and have too many variables in their URL for Googlebot to understand. Googlebot can handle dynamic pages with only one variable.

If you have phpBB2, a popular forum software, then there is an excellent mod that you can do that will greatly increase the amount of direct search engine traffic that your forum gets.

You can download the Able to Know SEO 2.0 Mod from the second post in a lengthy discussion of how to optimize phpBB2.

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