Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog

17Apr/07Off

Who’s the coolest guy on the planet?

UPDATE: According to Google, I am now the "coolest guy on the planet."

According to Google, the coolest guy on the planet is SEO Expert, Brad Fallon. Search at Google for "the coolest guy on the planet" and you'll see what I mean.

However, Brad is NOT the coolest guy on the planet according to Yahoo and MSN. Why?


This goes back to Google's modifying its algorithm in January to prevent "Google Bombing" (or "link bombing"). The famous "miserable failure" search that used to point to George W. Bush's biography page is an example of how it used to work.

You'll notice that both Yahoo! and MSN still point to Bush's page for that phrase, but Google does not.

This holds the key to a lesson for you if you're trying to rank well in Google. It used to be that all you had to do was get a whole lot of links pointing to your site with your keywords and you would rank well for those keywords..

Now, however, it appears that Google is checking your page content against the link text used to point to your pages.

Since Bush's bio page does not have anything to do with the phrase "miserable failure", it does not rank for that phrase in Google, no matter how many links point to it with that phrase.

On the other hand, Brad Fallon's page does actually contain the phrase "the coolest guy on the planet"--and that's all it took for Google to see the links pointing to his blog with that phrase as being legitimate.

So be sure that you're getting links pointing to your pages using anchor text that you want to rank for, AND make sure that your page content is actually relevant for that phrase.

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Comments (30) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You’re using traditional on-site techniques to optimize your site, while the “miserable failure” “project” (of course) was entirely off-site optimization – the phrase “miserable failure” was of course not present on George W. Bush’ web site.

    So these two cases aren’t really comparable at all.

  2. Sorry Jonathan, Misspelt my own URL in previous post. It’s right in this one though.
    Pete.

  3. Hi Jonathan.

    I’ve just set up a holding site for a small business venture I’m persuing. I have used a very ‘dark’ vivid image for my background, and quite a few ‘banner type’ images for link text etc. Reading the posts here it looks like I’ve wasted a lot of valuable time.

    If you do have the time, could you take a quick look and give me the ‘heads up’ if you think I’m being a bit ‘stoopid’ here?

    (URL above) Cheers, Pete.

  4. Following on…

    Jon, conventional wisdom tells us to use keyword-rich H1 tags and keyword-rich H2 tags for subheadings and that these include one or more of your primary and secondary keywords.

    But on a quick look at several of your pages, I see that you’re not using H2 tags at all. Again, wondering why.

    Your success without doing so runs counter to accepted wisdom. What else that “they” have told us is wrong?

    Gary

  5. Hi Jon,

    Valuable info. Thanks for sharing it with us all. I’m sure LOTS of people will be following your progress with interest.

    I noticed your heading opens with H1 and closes with H2.

    Who’s the coolest guy on the planet?

    Was that deliberate? – if so, would you please share your reasons.

    Looks like a typo to me, but it repeats on other pages so I thought I’d ask.

    Gary

  6. I thought I was the coolest guy on the planet.

    Maybe Google isn’t the coolest search engine on the planet…

  7. Okay guys, I’m tossing my hat into the mix. Hopefully I’ll have time to give this site the attention it deserves:

    http://coolestguyontheplanet.org/

  8. Hello Jonathan,

    Fantastic advice.
    You have picked a good topic for the post. The information is vital for long-term success. Your advice makes perfect sense, but so easily over looked.

    I will have to double check myself too!

    Thank you for the advice.
    I hope the word spreads far and wide. The search engines can be hard to understand at the best of times!

    Sincerely,
    John Adams

  9. Pat:

    Not quite. If you look at Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, what they actually say is:

    “Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).”

    Way back in the day Google used to limit page size to 100k, but now it indexes all kinds of things that are often much larger than 100k (such as PDF files, Word Documents and Power Point presentations).

    It’s not the size of the document that matters, it’s the number of links on the page.

  10. This is an interesting topic, and I have something to say about those “missing ingredients”.

    The source totally escapes me now, but I vaguely recall reading somewhere that Google will only ‘see’ those links in the first 100Kb or so of HTML data.

    Or, put another way, Google only looks at that amount of data in each page and judges the site based on what’s in those areas.

    If this is indeed so, then most of our links should go into the first column and / or the upper half of the main body.

    Mind you, this could be just another Google algorithm theory. And Google will probably just change it if someone tests it out and finds it to be true.

    Andy has given good advice. I too believe that staying on the straight and narrow gets the best longterm results.

  11. Antony:

    Glad to hear it! Keep it up.

  12. That is a COOL idea that has got my head spinning!

  13. Great advice, Jonathan. I’ve also used your advice to go after keywords with less competition. I hit the top spot in Google for “time share exit product” which is an important term in the time share world. I initially hit the top at Google because of an article I syndicated. However, when my top spot started to fade, I created links in a few Craigslist ads, and there it is again at the top. Thanks again!

  14. That’s not a bad idea Alex, thanks for the suggestion.

    Jon

  15. I agree with australian real estate, it seems that big G are really going in for link quality in some way which we don’t know about.

    One of my sites has numerous reciprocal links, and articles and forum posts promoting it but big G tells me I have 5 links!

    It would be interesting Jon if you join in as James (above )did in the Coolest guy…contest. Trying out different linking strategies and discussing what works would be useful research and great fun!

    Alex

  16. I have been experimenting with different SEO methods & theory’s, making many clinical changes and testing the results for a couple of years now.

    In fact I am the coolest guy in the UK according to Google, Yahoo & MSN :-)

    Starting with “Brad Fallon’s” teachings I have evolved through trial and error, combined with exhaustive testing and found that in general if you do the following then you will not be far off where you want to be:

    1… Apply the basic principles of SEO that can be found in several decent free and paid publications, including Brad Fallon’s free newsletter.

    2… Keep your WebPages relevant, use good English and plenty of text (avoid fully flash sites or loads of images etc.)

    3… Avoid any less than “White Hat” methods for achieving a better page rank (Black Hat methods will generally only last for very short periods of time)

    4… Avoid really competitive & generalized keywords, for example: insurance, credit, boats etc… You need to be MUCH more specific for example, optimise your pages for “Key Phrases” like Family Health Insurance, Bad Credit Loan or Motor Boat Maintenance etc.

    It really is not rocket science or black magic, you simply need to be sensible and stay on the right side of the law as far as major search engine algorithms go, just do things properly.

    Remember if someone tells (or sells) you there is a short cut using magic software or secret tricks and that it lasts forever, they are most definitely lying! Most likely the truth will be that it did work once and it no longer does so its time to make as much money from it as they can in a different way.

    Kind Regards,

    Andy

  17. Just an interesting sidestep on the whole link and text relevency debate.
    Has anybody wondered how it is that google can rank some sites on their front page that clearly have no links or certainly no relevent links whatsoever?

    I’m talking about things like forum posts where the author hasn’t even attempted to get ranked from the comment and yet bang there they are on the front page for a quite decent phrase.

    This even happens to the extent where defunct and blank pages are ranked on the front page.

    I can only conclude that there are some other missing ingredients in the mix that we marketers are still oblivious to.

    I do agree though that relevent links make it amazingly easy to get ranked above competitors. I just think there are also some unknowns or else factors that don’t get publicised. It’s the only way to explain total junk sites or even error pages that get ranked and stay there even after updates

  18. 4/17

    I don’t know about Brad being the coolest guy on the planet but he is very good as SEO. Which has made him most wealthy. Study Brad and you can win some of the seo war too.

    It seems pretty obvious that your in bound link anchor text should be found on the page the link point too. Do this and Yahoo and MSN will like you too.

  19. Melody:

    I do offer del.icio.us link tracking–just click the del.icio.us link below the post.

  20. Hello Jon,

    Thank for the info. I am a Google adwords advertiser, and wondered why I was getting no where.

    BTW, do you offer Del.icio.us for link tracking on this? Pls advise.

  21. Great Post Jon,

    I have been playing around with this Coolest Guy on the Planet competition for exacty one year now.
    So far I have managed to stay at around sixth and seventh coolest guy on the planet.

    I have been comparing a Blog to a Static page with mixed results.

    The changes in just one year really demonstrate what you are talkng about.

    You must have themed content matching your inbound link where possible.

    Text links are excellent when they have varied descriptions but still relate to your theme so it is not good to have links with exactly the same words as you mention.

    Here is a tip that helps ranking:

    If you have your keywords/phrase in your page name or domain name then every time you get a text link to your URL you pick up an anchor text with your keywords.

    If your page name has hyphens this helps rather than underscores.

    Ideally your page name will drive the type of content on the page so it will be themed tightly to the purpose of the text link.

    Just add a similar page title and you are getting the hang of it.

    Perhaps one H1 with another themed keyphrase and this will get amazing results compared to most competitors.

    If you can manage to score a backlink to your site from a blog post that has your keywords and phrases in it (like this one) then this would be very valuable indeed.

    You must contribute something valuable if you plan on making blog comments.

    Regards

    James

  22. Good post, Jon, thanks!

    Having been an Adwords advertiser for a while I’ve got used to how frequently Google change their algorithms! Plays havoc just when you’ve got a nice little campaign going!

    WRT to the natural search results I used to find that USFreeads and Squidoo were both good ways of getting a high ranking page (using the techniques you’ve described) but my experience recently is that these 2 are no longer as effective as they were. Craigslist pages seem to be ranking quite well, though, particularly if there are less than a couple of million results…

    Thanks again!

    Martin.

  23. Nice post, Jon. Especially the note how fast the rules are changing. You can no longer put up a site and quit optimizing it.

    Kind regards,
    Dave Jackson

  24. I sure am glad my name isn’t GWB and I know I am not the coolest guy on the planet,so I eat humble pie like most of us and do it the hard way. What we would give to get so much attention and a torrent of relevant links…
    I noticed that google will rank some sites really high for obscure terms where there is little competing terms with few actual links where the term is used on the web page with the right keyword density and some SEO competitions seem to bear this out.

    Trouble for tight niches is getting enough links to rank well in a short space of time.

    Your article is right on the money and proves that relevance of content as well as links with the right and varied keywords matters a whole lot more than most people think.

    I might also point out it is really cool to set up links internally and also to each web page that will show google you are promoting even more relevant pages within your site.

    I wondered if any one has experimented with a single phrase link for a single keyword web page?
    I would be interested in hearing about any example success.

    Jon

  25. As an exercise in provoking a lof of thought, that article is excellent.

    I think there will always be benefits from a well crafted link – especially to the consumer. A consumer who is delivered to a page that solves his problems is a happy consumer.

    And happy consumers spend money.

    If we put more effort into making things better for the customer – as your recent post on honesty indicates – we would inevitably do better ourselves.

    I’m glad to see that there is a growing appreciation of ethical internet marketing and you seem to be right at the forefront.

  26. You most definitely want to use a text link. A graphic link doesn’t mean beans to the search engines.

    Also, be sure to vary the link text so it’s not always the same or Google may see it as link SPAM, or discount the value of the links at the very least. It’s not “natural” for all links to have the same text.

  27. We are web publishers.. and often the client allows us to put a link at the bottom of their pages to our site. We have generally used a graphic. (See example at bottom of {no links please}) Does having alt tag text “count” or do you advise switching to a text link rather than the graphic?
    Thanks!
    Dan

  28. imran:

    Really it’s the other way around. The page content needs to be related to the link text.

    I haven’t read Matt Cutts posting about link sellers, so I can’t comment on that yet.

  29. So you mean Text of our link on other web site have some relevance with content on our page.

    It is really helpful tip. Would you post something about matt cutts’ new blog posting in which he asks people to report web sites selling links.

  30. Actually, using a good anchor text is good for both the linking page (better AdSense adds) and for the page that is being linked to (better placed Google) so I wonder why so many people still use the word “here” as anchor text.

    Lately, it has been proved by both John Chow and Joel Comm what it meens to use good anchor text in order to get your page up to number one in Google.


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