Bill Hartzer https://www.billhartzer.com Bill Hartzer is a search engine optimization consultant based in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area that provides SEO Audits and Link Audits of websites. Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:24:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Pay Supplies Coming for Merchants? https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/apple-pay-supplies-coming-for-merchants/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/apple-pay-supplies-coming-for-merchants/#respond Thu, 19 Feb 2015 16:30:27 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5824 Apple Pay image courtesy of App Advice. Based on several domain names that have been registered by Apple in the past 24 hours, it appears that Apple could soon offer Apple Pay supplies to merchants. Apple registered domain names like applepaysupply.com and applepaymerchantsupplies.com, along with a host of other similar domain names: applepaymerchantsupplies.com applepaymerchantsupplies.info applepaymerchantsupplies.org […]

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Apple Pay Supplies
Apple Pay image courtesy of App Advice.

Based on several domain names that have been registered by Apple in the past 24 hours, it appears that Apple could soon offer Apple Pay supplies to merchants. Apple registered domain names like applepaysupply.com and applepaymerchantsupplies.com, along with a host of other similar domain names:

applepaymerchantsupplies.com
applepaymerchantsupplies.info
applepaymerchantsupplies.org
applepaymerchantsupply.com
applepaysupplies.info
applepaysupplies.org
applepaysupply.com
wwwapplepaysupplies.com

Apple registered ApplePaySupplies.com back on February 3, 2015, but the domain name currently does not resolve. Typically, there can be two reasons why a company will register certain domain names:

1 – As an offensive registration move so that no one else purchases the domain names. If the company is going to offer (or offering) a certain product or service, the company would want to register those domains so that they don’t have to go through the UDRP process in order to recover those domains.

2 – The company plans on using those domain names for a product or service they’re going to offer.

In the case of Apple registering wwwapplepaysupplies.com, it appears that they registered that domain name because of the “typo” factor, whereas they would expect enough traffic to applepaysupplies.com to warrant registering a similar domain name with the www in it. This way no “cybersquatter” will benefit from the typo traffic to that domain name.

On February 20th, Apple registered even more “Apple Pay Supplies” domain names:
applepaymerchantsupplies.biz
applepaymerchantsupplies.net
applepaymerchantsupplies.us
applepaysupplies.biz
applepaysupplies.net
applepaysupplies.us

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Sometimes Even an SEO Expert Needs Help https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/sometimes-even-seo-expert-needs-help/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/sometimes-even-seo-expert-needs-help/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:38:05 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5815 After actively doing SEO since the mid 1990s, and not just talking and speaking about SEO but actually doing it, I consider myself to be an SEO Expert. But, I have to admit that there are times when even this search engine optimization expert needs some advice. Back when SEO was “easy” (was it ever […]

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SEO Expert

After actively doing SEO since the mid 1990s, and not just talking and speaking about SEO but actually doing it, I consider myself to be an SEO Expert. But, I have to admit that there are times when even this search engine optimization expert needs some advice. Back when SEO was “easy” (was it ever really easy?), one could use more of a formulaic approach to SEO and be fairly successful with any website that you were optimizing. But, as the search engines have become smarter, and those programming the algorithms have cracked down on spam more and more, there are times where you’re at a loss as to why a website is not ranking as well as it should. It’s in these times when only a truly professional SEO expert can “suck it up” and admit that you need help.

This past week, I’ve come into two such situations. In the first situation, another SEO that I respect has come to me and asked for another opinion about what’s going on with their client site. They’ve exhausted all of their resources internally and need another third party opinion. In this case, looking at the website and what appears to be going on, some log file analysis is needed. And since that’s one thing that I’m very proficient at, I’m happy to help a fellow SEO with this analysis. And since I find it challenging to figure out what is going on with a “broken” website, I know I will learn something by doing the additional work. I consider it to be a learning experience, and this experience will help me in my future work as an SEO expert.

I won’t get into details about this first situation, as it’s not appropriate to do so here. But it’s interesting to note that as websites, redirects, IPs, server certificates, affiliates, search engine rankings, and even now mobile versions of sites come into play, I find that many SEO experts are carving out a niche. Many specialize in certain types of SEO or SEO for certain types of websites. And there are some, like me, who have more of a technical background when it comes to search engine marketing. I’ve been a webmaster, intranet webmaster, technical writer, and an SEO, so sometimes I have to rely on my technical expertise a bit more.

The second situation, though, is more a challenge for me personally. I’ve been working with one particular client for nearly 10 years. And know their website intimately (probably more than the client knows their website, in fact). And there comes a time when you realize that you’ve plateaued. Not that the website doesn’t gaining traffic, but because the site just won’t “rank” or show up in the search results for certain keyword phrases. Yet others the site does very well, and always has for 10 years or more. So, this week, I’m actually reaching out to a few trusted SEOs in the industry and ask for help. I’ve done it before, and won’t hesitate to do it again. Because in order to get better as an SEO expert, one has to realize when you’ve reached your limit–and ask for help.

Which would you rather have as your physician? A doctor who is very good at what he does (the best, in fact!), but in those times when you’re sick and he really can’t figure out what’s wrong with you, reaches out to one or of his colleagues for a second or third opinion? That doctor has your best interests in mind, and he’s not just there to run more tests on you to “make a buck”. In this case, I feel as though I’m a doctor: a professional SEO expert who, sometimes, just needs another opinion.

I will certainly be reaching out to a few select SEO experts this week to help me with a difficult SEO project. Those are the “best of breed” SEO experts who truly deserve an SEO challenge, and I’m happy to give them the additional consulting work.

Sometimes an SEO expert needs to be thrown a life preserver. Sometimes every good SEO needs some help.

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Sneak Peak: Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact Report https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/sneak-peak-google-webmaster-tools-search-impact-report/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/sneak-peak-google-webmaster-tools-search-impact-report/#respond Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:28:56 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5788 I was just granted access to the new Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report, which is going to be available in Google Webmaster Tools. The Search Impact report is currently in Alpha (not even in Beta yet), but it offers a lot more insight into what’s going on with your website. If you’ve been granted […]

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I was just granted access to the new Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report, which is going to be available in Google Webmaster Tools. The Search Impact report is currently in Alpha (not even in Beta yet), but it offers a lot more insight into what’s going on with your website. If you’ve been granted access it should show up at the URL above. It will eventually show up for everyone who has a Google Webmaster Tools account, and you’ll be able to analyze more search data about your site. Here is a sneak peak of what the Search Impact report looks like and what you’ll be able to do and see with this report.

According to Google, you can use the Search Impact report to breakdown your clicks and position metrics by one of six dimensions: date, popular queries, top pages, leading countries, user device and Google Search property. You can also compare and filter across these dimensions. The Search Impact report is different than the Search Queries report, and will eventually show up in Google Webmaster Tools under the Search Traffic tab, like this:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

First, when you go to access the Google Webmaster Tools search impact report, you have to choose a verified site:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

I chose my site, BillHartzer.com. The report then displays like this:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

I then clicked on the “clicks” and “impressions” checkboxes, with the Jan 11 – Feb 7 Dates selected. What’s interesting to me is that the graph shows that the clicks and impressions are fairly close to one another, but at the end (around Feb 5 or 6), these lines actually cross one another. This is something that I want to investigate further.

I used the drop-down below the date and changed the date to narrow the time (I chose a custom date range).

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

The only issue I have with this is that the drop-down arrow is so small, initially it was tough for me realize at first that you needed to click it. But that’s not a really big issue here to be concerned about.

I changed the table to show the Pages (I don’t want to show you my search queries right now, so I’m not showing that). But here’s the Pages view:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

Note that on the Pages view you don’t have a graph that shows up even though you select the Clicks and Impressions checkboxes. There is only a list of the URLs, and that makes sense to me–how would you show the URLs in a graph? I suppose you could show the same chart as the Dates graph, but for now Google shows the URLs in a list.

The Countries radio button shows the top countries, and that’s expected for me. I am based in the USA, so it makes sense to me that I would have more clicks from the United States. But I’m surprised that India is double what the United Kingdom and Canada is. Don’t people do SEO in the UK and Canada?

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

The Devices radio button reveals the Desktop / Mobile / Tablet data. Interesting to see that Desktop users account for more visitors to my site by far. I thought that Mobile would be higher, and it’s interesting to note that Mobile is separated from Tablet. I would have thought that Tablets would be used more to view my site, because it’s mostly reading material, but I’m wrong about that.

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

By the way, there is a “double arrow” symbol next to each line on the right side (see the screen cap above). If you click that you will be taken to a graph of the data, as shown below. This is the data for Desktop:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

We can see another radio button called “Search” and when you click it you get this:

Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report

Well, apparently this really is in alpha, because there is an error that it’s not currently supported.

For now, that’s really all that I can see as far as functionality goes with the Google Webmaster Tools Search Impact report. At this point, it’s still in Alpha, but it is interesting to see the data and start to dig in a little bit further into data that apparently is the “not provided” data that you don’t get when using Google Analytics. I currently don’t see any way to export any of this data, which would be really great, I suppose that you could probably scrape the data and put into a spreadsheet that you could cross-reference with Google Analytics data, or use some sort of database to do that.

I’d like to see, though, some way to export the data and would like to see how it integrates with Google Analytics to see more of my own data and search queries, average positions, clicks, and CTR. After all, it’s my data, isn’t it?

There is some discussion here on Google Plus about this new report. Also, Barry did a review of it as well.

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Half the SEO Techniques Used 5 Years Ago Are Now Spam https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/half-seo-techniques-used-5-years-ago-now-spam/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/half-seo-techniques-used-5-years-ago-now-spam/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:34:17 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5783 Wow, how times have changed. The search engine optimization industry has changed. And I bet it will continue to change and evolve as it has been over the years. Did you know that half of the search engine optimization techniques that were used only 5 years ago (maybe even 3 years ago) are now considered […]

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$250 a month for SEO

Wow, how times have changed. The search engine optimization industry has changed. And I bet it will continue to change and evolve as it has been over the years. Did you know that half of the search engine optimization techniques that were used only 5 years ago (maybe even 3 years ago) are now considered to be spam? Most of those SEO techniques are now listed in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines as being unacceptable. The are grounds for an algorithmic penalty or even worse: a manual penalty from Google.

I’m still amazed that so-called SEO firms are sending out UCE Spam (unsolicited commercial email) spam advertising their SEO services for higher search engine rankings. The problem is that half of those techniques that they’re so proud to say they’re using are, in fact, against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. And the ones that are acceptable won’t necessarily boost a website’s search engine rankings by themselves. Still others have nothing to do with SEO. Let’s take a look at an email I received this morning that is advertising SEO services. It’s from someone named “Mahek Tiwari”, who, most likely, is not based in the United States (I can tell by his name and the fact that he used the word “fortnight” in his email).

Hi,

I am Mahek Tiwari, Marketing Manager.

We have a “SEO Discount offer ‘’going for the following package: –

Monthly Task and responsibilities: – Package For 25 Keywords:-

1. 20 Search Engine Submissions
2. 200 Manually Directory Submissions
3. 60 Article Submissions (1 Articles Submit in 30 Top Directories)
4. 10 Press Release Distributions (1 Press Release submit in 10 Sites)
5. 5 Web2.0/Blog postings (Using pre-written articles)
6. 30 Social Book marking Submissions
7. 5 Forum postings
8. 3 Unique Article writing (400+ words)
9. 1 Press Release writing (350+ words)
10. Keywords Mapping
11. New pages suggestions
12. Keywords research1
13. Competitor Analysis
14. Title Tag changes suggestions
15. Meta tags changes suggestions
16. Alt tag changes suggestions
17. HTML Site Map
18. XML site map setup
19. Anchor text optimization
20. Google webmaster setup
21. Google analytics setup
22. Fortnightly Ranking Report
23. Fortnightly Full Detailed SEO Work Report in Excel

We use only white hat SEO techniques for each website: –

If you would like more details about our SEO Discount offer or would like to ask me anything regarding this matter then feel free to write me an email.

Please let us know in case you are interested.

Thanks & Regards,
Mahek Tiwari

Okay, Mahek, let’s take a look at your “package for 25 keywords”. First off, for the past 10 years or so, it hasn’t been recommended that you target a specific number of keywords. It’s just not possible, since a properly marketed site (using SEO best practices) will not rank for 25 keywords. It will rank for “thousands” of keywords. So targeting a low number like 25 is just not appropriate. It hasn’t been appropriate in 10 years.

Here’s a list of the 23 “services” that comes with the “package of 25 keywords”. I’ve made a comment below each one:

1. 20 Search Engine Submissions
This is search engine spam. We haven’t submitted to search engines in over 10 years, or has it been 15 years? Submitting to search engines isn’t necessary anymore, as search engines crawl your website without you having to submit to them. And don’t ever pay to submit to search engines, either!

2. 200 Manually Directory Submissions
This is spam, and I’ve been having to clean up these links ever since the Google Penguin algorithm update(s) started a few years ago. Submitting to “directories” is one way to get your site penalized very quickly. Now, directory owners are charging $1,000 to remove links. Why would you want to add those links to your site?

3. 60 Article Submissions (1 Articles Submit in 30 Top Directories)
Again, this is spam. Article links and submissions violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These links are the ones I try to get removed when working on cleaning up links to a site.

4. 10 Press Release Distributions (1 Press Release submit in 10 Sites)
Again, these are considered to be spam by Google since it violates their webmaster guidelines. You’re not trying to get press, you’re trying to get links. That’s why it’s spam.

5. 5 Web2.0/Blog postings (Using pre-written articles)
These are just low quality links from “pre-written” (duplicate content) articles. Again, these links are the ones to remove, not to add to your website.

6. 30 Social Book marking Submissions
No one uses the social bookmarking sites anymore except for maybe Reddit.com. Or Pinterest. Even so, those sites don’t necessarily help your site’s rankings unless, of course, your content is so good it goes viral. And even then, your content will rank well while it’s being shared. After a few days, you will lose those search engine rankings.

7. 5 Forum postings
Again, this is spam. It hasn’t been good to self-promote your own website or “drop a link” to your own site since, let’s say, 1997. If you spammed your site even back then the forum moderators would delete the post and most likely ban you from their forum. Why would you want to possibly pay someone to post on forums for you?

8. 3 Unique Article writing (400+ words)
They might be unique articles, but someone who doesn’t know your business is going to write an “article” about a keyword and insert some link into the article to your site. It’s not natural. And if it was an article about me or my services, I would want them to be intimately knowledgeable about my company. Not just drop a link in an article that has nothing to do with me or my site. Besides, no one is going to end up reading that junk anyway.

9. 1 Press Release writing (350+ words)
Again, most likely they will not understand your business but write something about it. A press release that is supposed to get media attention? Hardly. Most journalists don’t read the press releases anymore, they get their news ideas from other places.

10. Keywords Mapping
Keywords mapping? I’m not even sure what the heck this is and I’ve been in the SEO business for 20 years.

11. New pages suggestions
Okay, so adding some new content to your site is okay and recommended. But I would hardly take serious recommendations from someone who doesn’t know my business. I bet they recommend a new page based on a keyword, with thin useless content. Not something that is a serious product or service, or even a blog post that might go viral or be shared on a social media site.

12. Keywords research1
Basic keyword research is essential, yet you can do this yourself using the Google Ad Planner tool or even SEMRush.com.

13. Competitor Analysis
Who determines the competitors? You or this firm? And what does the competitive analysis include?

14. Title Tag changes suggestions
If your site is well optimized, then the site’s title tags most likely are okay. But I’m always open to suggestions. This one is okay.

15. Meta tags changes suggestions
Hope this is only for the meta description tags, not the meta keywords tags on the site.

16. Alt tag changes suggestions
Filling out the image alt attributes are helpful, and recommended. I’m concerned that they call them “alt tags” as that is not the proper name of them.

17. HTML Site Map
An html site map is sometimes helpful for your users, but a good web designer should have already done one for your site. Nothing to do with SEO, it’s just not needed anymore. A waste of time if you ask me, as it won’t help or boost search engine rankings.

18. XML site map setup
Your site’s CMS, such as WordPress, should auto generate a proper XML sitemap. NO need to manually do this or pay for it.

19. Anchor text optimization
Not sure what they’re referring to, but assuming that it’s internal anchor text and not external anchor text. This is very vague.

20. Google webmaster setup
You should have already verified your site in Google Webmaster Tools. That’s just very basic. And I would hardly give these guys access to your site, but that’s just my opinion. You can’t trust a company like this to give them access to your Google Webmaster Tools account, they could really screw up your site.

21. Google analytics setup
Again, your web designer should have set up Google Analytics already. Not sure why this is included in an SEO package. Has nothing to do with SEO, really. But they should be setting up goals for you if you haven’t set them up yet in Google Analytics.

22. Fortnightly Ranking Report
There’s really no need to track search engine rankings anymore. And with Google being so customized now, changing rankings based on someone’s location, search history, etc. there’s no way that all of the search engine rankings in those reports can be accurate.

23. Fortnightly Full Detailed SEO Work Report in Excel
It’s acceptable that they give you a fully detailed report of what they worked on. But it should be more than just in MS Excel. Typically a fully written MS Word document with time reports and phone time (a conference call) to discuss the work that was done and what needs to be done next month is recommended.

So, as you can see, while there are 23 things on this list, I have found about half of those items to be completely useless. A good number of them will actually contribute to a loss in search engine rankings, and not a boost. And there are some that are so bad that they’ll get your website penalized. Oh my have search engine optimization services changed, even in the past 5 years.

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Directory Owner Charges $1,000 to Remove Low Quality Links https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/directory-owner-charges-1000-remove-low-quality-links/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/directory-owner-charges-1000-remove-low-quality-links/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:21:51 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5776 As you probably know by now, one of the search engine optimization services that I am heavily involved in is cleaning up low quality links to websites. If your website has been hit by any of the Google Penguin algorithm updates, then most likely you have links pointing to your website from a low quality […]

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link directory owner
As you probably know by now, one of the search engine optimization services that I am heavily involved in is cleaning up low quality links to websites. If your website has been hit by any of the Google Penguin algorithm updates, then most likely you have links pointing to your website from a low quality directory. One of those low quality link directories is shown below, in a screen shot.

One directory owner, though, is cashing in on link removals. That directory owner is charging $975, nearly $1,000 dollars, to remove all the links to a website in his 1800 directories. And he charges $5 a link.

low quality link directory

In a recent email exchange with this directory owner, Vikas Kumar, he revealed his price:

Subject: Re: Question about XXXXXXXXXXX.net
From: “Vikas Kumar”
Date: Mon, February 2, 2015 4:23 am
To: “Client Name”
Priority: Normal
Options: View Full Header | View Printable Version | Download this as a file

We manage 1800 directories and we can remove each and every link from our
entire network at cost of $975.

On Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 12:58 AM,
wrote:

> Vikas,
> How much to remove XXXXXXXXXXX.com from ALL of the directories
> you own?
>
> Bill
>
> > ?
> > Hi,
> >
> > We charge $5 for each link removal, Let us know if you are interested OR
> > have any concern?
> >
> > On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 7:16 AM, Client Name <
> > XXXXXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXXXX.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi alivedir.net,
> >>
> >> Recently when we reviewed all of the links to XXXXXXXXXXX.com,
> >> we noticed that your website is linking to XXXXXXXXXXX.com on
> >> this page here:
> >>
> >> http://www.XXXXXXXXXXX.net/XXXXXXXXXXX.com-5XXXXXX.html
> >>
> >> I’m wondering if you would remove this link on your website to
> >> XXXXXXXXXXX.com?
> >>
> >> Thank you, Bill (on behalf of clientname)
> >>

The majority of these low quality link directories use the “PHPLD” directory software, and while several years ago putting your website on those directories appeared to help website rankings, these are now considered to be “low quality” and those directory owners are now making more money on link removals because of Google Penguin. They used to make a lot of money by allowing you to get your website listed in hundreds of link directories. But now the tables have turned because so many websites have been hit by Google Penguin, and are wanting a Google Penguin Recovery.

Google officially has recommended that you do not pay these directory owners to remove links, although I have seen some people pay the fee. Google recommends that you disavow those links entirely. If you suspect that you have links from low quality directories or need help disavowing those links with Google, then feel free to get in touch with me.

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Super Bowl XLIX Advertising Insight: Papa John’s Needs an SEO Firm https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/super-bowl-xlix-advertising-insight-papa-johns-needs-an-seo-firm/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/super-bowl-xlix-advertising-insight-papa-johns-needs-an-seo-firm/#respond Sun, 01 Feb 2015 23:21:55 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5770 Today, as I was browsing the web for some Super Bowl XLIX Advertising insights to post here on my blog, I came across one of the advertisers’ websites, Papa John’s. While looking at the Alexa What’s Hot page this afternoon to see what everyone on the web is viewing right now, I noticed something interesting: […]

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Today, as I was browsing the web for some Super Bowl XLIX Advertising insights to post here on my blog, I came across one of the advertisers’ websites, Papa John’s. While looking at the Alexa What’s Hot page this afternoon to see what everyone on the web is viewing right now, I noticed something interesting: the entry for Papa John’s home page includes an index.html file in the URL.

Papa John's homepage

While this may not seem like a big deal, that the index.html file is showing up here, it’s actually quite disturbing to me personally. In fact, that just goes to show how sloppy the web designers of the Papa John’s website are. There is absolutely no reason that one should ever see index.html show up in a URL. It is a file that is the site’s home page, but it’s not the site’s real home page. The real home page, which is http://www.papajohns.com/ is the page that every other website typically links to: and by allowing your internal navigation to include index.html is, technically, creating a duplicate content issue on your website.

Any SEO specialist, SEO expert, or SEO firm working on a website would know that you never EVER link internally to the index.html page. That’s SEO 101, and it’s obvious to me that Papa John’s desperately needs an SEO firm or SEO company to recommend that sort of change to them. And if Papa John’s website is linking internally to the index.html file, than I wonder what other problems that this website has? I could only guess.

Yet, to make matters even worse for Papa John’s, it turns out that their real home page, which is http://www.papajohns.com/ actually has a “temporary” 302 redirect to that index.html page. That’s the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in a long time when it comes to SEO. Temporarily, their website’s home page is the index.html file. But what about permanently? Here’s the header:

Receiving Header:
HTTP/1.1·302·Moved·Temporarily(CR)(LF)
Server:·AkamaiGHost(CR)(LF)
Content-Length:·0(CR)(LF)
Location:·http://order.papajohns.com/index.html?site=WEB(CR)(LF)
Date:·Sun,·01·Feb·2015·23:13:17·GMT(CR)(LF)
Connection:·close(CR)(LF)
(CR)(LF)

The site’s real home page redirects to the index.html file. This is actually a mistake–they will never know who the actual referring website is, since referring URLs are typically stripped out in a site’s log file when a 301 or 302 redirect is involved. So, if someone linked to their site and sent a bunch of traffic, most likely because of this 302 redirect the site owners won’t know that the traffic is coming from the site that linked to it. In fact, even Google Analytics will not be reporting properly, just because of this sloppy 302 redirect by the website’s web designers or developers. The traffic will be reported as coming directly to the site, while it will be coming from a click on an ad, or a click on a link on another website.

By the way, this is actually one of the SEO tips that I have here on my website, which is about linking to your website’s real home page. And for this, I give this Super Bowl XLIX Advertising insight: Papa John’s SEO should be given an F grade.

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Epic Linkedin Sales Fail https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/epic-linkedin-sales-fail/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/epic-linkedin-sales-fail/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:15:24 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5764 I’ve been using LinkedIn for at least 10 years now. And it’s been a great platform for connecting with business contacts, and networking. But to be honest with you, ever since LinkedIn’s IPO, there have been a lot of changes. I really like the fact that you can publish articles on LinkedIn. I’ve heard reports […]

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linkedin sales

I’ve been using LinkedIn for at least 10 years now. And it’s been a great platform for connecting with business contacts, and networking. But to be honest with you, ever since LinkedIn’s IPO, there have been a lot of changes. I really like the fact that you can publish articles on LinkedIn. I’ve heard reports that LinkedIn is great for generating sales leads. I don’t do that, but I do get my share of sales pitches. It’s this most recent sales pitch that I just had to laugh at. This is, by far, the biggest epic LinkedIn sales fail that I have ever seen, though.

linkedin sales fail

Unfortunately, it came in the form of an SEO firm, from a Senior Sales Consultant at an SEO firm in Dallas. This is the first time that I’ve heard of this company, and I’ve been in this business for over 15 years. Well, honestly it looks like this company has been knocked out in the first round. It only took one punch. TKO.

Here’s the text of the LinkedIn sales email I received:

Hey Bill,

Happy New Year! My name is Andrew and I just noticed that you might be someone to speak with in regards to your company’s SEO. I checked out your website ….. just now briefly and know we can be of great help to you.

I’ll keep it short and simple; can we schedule a time to for me to pull your websites rankings on Google for the keywords you’d like to target? Takes about 2 minutes and afterwards I’ll email you a PDF of the report for you to keep (free of charge of course) so you can know where you rank. My only request is that if you’d like someone to help you with your SEO now or in the future then you can at least reach out to me. Fair enough? No sales, no pressure, none of that stuff! My approach is the same as Zig Ziglar’s famous quote: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Thanks and hope to hear back from you Bill.

You would like to get more leads, traffic and sales from customers finding you on Google in 2015 right??

Andrew

I replied to this guy telling him that I was interested in how he can help my site rank better, but haven’t heard back from him. If I have time later today I might give him a call to see what he has to say and how he can help.

Oh, and if you don’t completely understand why this is an epic LinkedIn sales fail, here’s a few reasons why it is such a huge sales fail:

– My LinkedIn Title is “Senior SEO Strategist”.
– I work for an SEO firm. A competitor of this company.
– The guy, Andrew, lied in his email. Don’t lie to people when trying to sell them something. He obviously did NOT visit my website, or he would have seen that we’re a competitor.

If my job title doesn’t give you a hint that I might be a competitor, then looking at my website (which he clearly didn’t do) would have tipped him off, correct?

This is exactly why I’m so sick and tired of SEO firms sending out spam, especially via sites like LinkedIn, and not even taking the time to limit their spam to companies that would possibly have an interest in their services. I guess if you send out 100,000 emails like this you will get a few companies interested in your SEO services, but it doesn’t work very well if LinkedIn ends up removing your account for sending out spam.

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Using Structured Data? Your Website Could Lose Traffic to Google https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/using-structured-data-your-website-could-lose-traffic/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/using-structured-data-your-website-could-lose-traffic/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:22:37 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5758 If you are using structured data on your website, or marking up your website’s code using schema.org code, it could ultimately cost you page views and visits from Google. By allowing marking using structured data on your website, you are allowing Google to use the data in any way they see fit–and Google is taking […]

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schema.org google steals traffic

If you are using structured data on your website, or marking up your website’s code using schema.org code, it could ultimately cost you page views and visits from Google. By allowing marking using structured data on your website, you are allowing Google to use the data in any way they see fit–and Google is taking full advantage of that.

Let’s take, for example, a site like Stack Overflow, a site that is a “language-independent collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers.” Lots of programmers/developers use it to find code that they need. Stack Overflow uses a lot of structured data, and marks up their site’s code it.

In a recent post, Mattias points out that Google is directly embedding Stack Overflow responses in the Google search results. Once the user has the answer, they don’t need to click and visit Stack Overflow’s website. As a result, they lose page views, visitors, and traffic. Let’s look at a specific example. If you search for “php how long are sessions kept” Google gives you the answer, see below:

php how long are sessions kept

The answer is embedded in the Google search result for that search query, and most likely the user gets the answer and doesn’t then have to click to the site. If I just wanted the answer to that search query, which is 1440 seconds, then why would I want to click to the site?

The Stack Overflow site has plenty of schema.org markup, which, essentially gives Google “free reign” when it comes to using whatever is marked up. Google can essentially use any of it without formal permission from Stack Overflow, and they certainly don’t have to pay you to use it.

By marking up your site with schema.org code (structured data), you’re allowing Google to use your content without your permission.

This is a really important distinction here: Google is improving their search results with your content. And they’re not compensating you for it. In fact, you’re ultimately going to lose page views and traffic, as in the Stack Overflow case. For certain search queries, Google is using the structured data to answer search queries. And if the searcher gets the answer from Google’s search results without having to go to your website, then they won’t click to your website. Your site will lose visitors, lose page views, and lose traffic.

Granted, Google has essentially been “stealing” our traffic for many, many years now. For example, Google has had the “define” search query available for at least 10 years (as I remember). If you search for:

define:search engine optimization

Google will give you the answer to that, and for many years they would give you several different definitions of a word or phrase. Only fairly recently have they switched to typically providing only one definition in the search results.

But in the the case of schema.org, and structured markup, it’s very important to consider which content you’re actually marking up, and which information that you’re giving Google permission to use in their search results. Google is, in fact, a for-profit company, and their goal is to provide you with the best search results. If they can get the information that a searcher is looking for (for free) and present it to that searcher in the search results, then they’re going to do it. Google doesn’t have to send that visitor to your website. And they won’t if they can help it.

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What Happens When You Type Google.com Into a Web Browser? https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/happens-type-google-com-web-browser/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/happens-type-google-com-web-browser/#respond Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:48:18 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5754 Well, have you ever actually thought about it? What technically happens, “behind the scenes” so to speak, when you use your keyboard, type Google.com into your web browser, and hit the enter (return) key? Have you ever thought about it? Well, someone over at GitHub has actually posed that question. And thanks to lots of […]

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Type Google.com Into a Web Browser

Well, have you ever actually thought about it? What technically happens, “behind the scenes” so to speak, when you use your keyboard, type Google.com into your web browser, and hit the enter (return) key? Have you ever thought about it? Well, someone over at GitHub has actually posed that question. And thanks to lots of people’s contributions, we actually are close to having the correct answer:

What Happens When You Type Google.com Into a Web Browser?

Taking a look at the project, right now there are at least 20 things that happen during the process. Sure, it looks as if it takes only seconds to get to Google.com in your web browser. But there are TONS of things that happen, technically, behind-the-scenes.

Let’s take, for example, what happens when you actually hit the enter key with your finger:

…enter key on the keyboard hitting the bottom of its range. At this point, an electrical circuit specific to the enter key is closed (either directly or capacitively). This allows a small amount of current to flow into the logic circuitry of the keyboard, which scans the state of each key switch, debounces the electrical noise of the rapid intermittent closure of the switch, and converts it to a keycode integer, in this case 13.

Information is then sent to the app.

Is it a URL or a search term?

A DNS lookup occurs.

TLS handshake…
TCP packets
HTTP protocol…

And so on.

So, we take for granted sometimes that we can just type something into our web browser and hit the enter key. And we get to our destination, a website like Google.com. But have you actually thought about what’s really happening? In milliseconds?

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35 Speakers to See at NamesCon 2015 https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/35-speakers-see-namescon-2015/ https://www.billhartzer.com/pages/35-speakers-see-namescon-2015/#respond Fri, 09 Jan 2015 21:30:57 +0000 https://www.billhartzer.com/?p=5748 From January 11 to January 15, 2015, the NamesCon 2015 domain name conference is being held in Las Vegas. I’m personally speaking in two separate sessions, and will be attending the conference all week. As with a lot of conferences that I’m attending and speaking at, I go through the list of speakers and hand […]

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From January 11 to January 15, 2015, the NamesCon 2015 domain name conference is being held in Las Vegas. I’m personally speaking in two separate sessions, and will be attending the conference all week. As with a lot of conferences that I’m attending and speaking at, I go through the list of speakers and hand pick a list of them that I think you should definitely not miss.

NamesCon 2015

In the “Quality Destination – The Psychology of a Click : SEO, TLD and Lead Generation A-Z” session, we’ll have a panel if experts talking about ?”SEO being impacted by new TLDs, and go into depth on validated Namespaces, Top Level Domains that have meaning AND validate the registrant. Join Steve Machin, CEO of the new .TICKETS TLD, Braden Pollock of Legal Brand Marketing, and SEO Expert Bill Hartzer as they discuss the interplay between SEO and the TLD that will begin to evidence itself as more selective names come to market.”

In the “Global SEO and Domain Name Preference” session, I’ll be presenting some of the results of my extensive Search Engine Marketing Study (New gTLD vs. .Com Domains). “Learn about results from polls and tests. How does a domain name impact search? What are user preferences as they relate to the psychology behind click engagement? Are the new TLDs a disruptive force?”

So, without further hesitation, here’s my list of must-see speakers at this year’s NamesCon2015 Conference:

Joe Alagna, 101domain, Inc., VP of Channel Development
Andrew Allemann, Domain Name Wire, Editor
Christopher Ambler, GoDaddy, Senior Architect
Steve Banfield. Rightside, SVP & GM, Registrar Services
Matt Bentley, Pretarget.com and CanIRank.com Founder
Michael Berkens, Worldwide Media, inc., President
Karen Bernstein, Bernstein IP, Principal
Monte Cahn, RightOfTheDot, LLC, President / Director
Colin Campbell. .CLUB Domains, LLC, CEO
Patrick Carleton, AdPartnerships.com and BrandedInteractive.com, President and CoFounder
Michael Cyger, DomainSherpa.com, Publisher
Sevan Derderian, Uniregistry, Director Registrar Sales
Theodore Develegas, Acroplex LLC. General manager
Adam Dicker, Webcorp LLC., President and CEO
John Berryhill¸ Ph.d. Esq.
Dave Evanson, Sedo
Jothan Frakes, NamesCon, Co Founder
Michael Gilmour, ParkLogic, Founder
Jim Grace, ParkingCrew.com & DNTX.com, Director of Business Development
Page Howe, iLove.LA, CEO
Ron Jackson, DNJournal.com, Editor
Steven Kaziyev, YourBrand.com Inc., Founder
Richard Lau, NamesCon, Co-Founder
Danny McPherson, VeriSign, Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer
Frank Michlick, DomainCocoon Inc., Consultant
Zak Muscovitch, DNattorney.com, Lawyer
Elliot Noss, Tucows Inc., President and CEO
Kellie Peterson, DNC Holdings, President
Victor Pitts, Above.com, Director of Domain Services
Braden Pollock, Legal Brand Marketing, Owner
Andrew Rosener, Media Options, CEO
Frank Schilling, Uniregistry, Founder, Managing Director
Dan Schindler, Donuts Inc., Co-Founder & EVP – Sales & Marketing
Bill Sweetman, Name Ninja, Lead Ninja
Dwayne Walker, Rightside, Senior Vice President

If you’re a speaker and haven’t been included on my list, make sure you introduce yourself and say hi–it could be that I haven’t met you yet or haven’t seen you speak. Whatever the case, make sure you introduce yourself, I’d be happy to meet you.

If you’re attending the NamesCon 2015 conference, feel free to get in touch.

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