Do Sub-Domains Increase or Decrease Google PageRank?

Matt Cutts’ SEO blog discusses different ways Google interprets Sub-Domains and Folders. What’s important is how your Google PageRank may be affected by setting up a new blog on a sub-domain versus a folder.

Matt Cutts’ SEO blog discusses different ways Google interprets Sub-Domains and Folders. What’s important is how your Google PageRank may be affected by setting up a new blog on a sub-domain versus a new folder.

Why Sub-Domains are Better for Google PageRank

If your site has a good PageRank, then the new content you add, including pages, images, and videos, is given the same weight of the existing domain.

This means it ranks the same as the parent site after it has been indexed.

go-daddy-sub-domain-450 GoDaddy Add Subdomain Screen

With a subdomain, you are essentially starting from scratch. You need to work up and create the same amount of weight for each sub-domain.

  • Google interprets a sub-folder as a subset of a site – and awards it the same PageRank as the parent.
  • Google interprets a sub-domain as a unique site – you create the PageRank as for any new site.

However, using keywords in the sub-domain URL may increase traffic to the site as Google will identify these keywords and use them to index the pages.

See:

How Link Weight Works

The way Google gives weight to links is also considering. For example, Google considers a link from

http://www.ivanwalsh.com/

to

http://technicalwriter.ivanwalsh.com/

as internal.

BUT… this link does not carry much weight in terms of SERPs.

Now, let’s look at how Google treats links between domains and subdomains.

From what I’ve seen, Google does not treat links to and from subdomains as internal links.

Rather it treats sub-domains as separate domains.

This means that a link from

www.klariti.com

to

http://project-management-templates.klariti.com/

is fully weighted as an offsite link.

See article on Google Webmaster Tools.

Google PageRank & Root Domains

Google’s algorithm has changed over the years and now ‘seems’ to treats web pages independently. This means that unique web page can outrank the home page as web pages can be allocated unique PageRank values.

go-daddy-sub-domain-example

GoDaddy Web Hosting Control Panel

Another point is that the closer a folder is to the root, the more it gets credited with PageRank values.

Search engines appear to give more weight the closer you are to the root domain.

This means that

www.site.com/country

www.site.com/country/state

www.site.com/country/state/city/

The ‘city’ folder will get less credit as it is further from the root.

Subdomains are treated as root, carry all the weight of root, and therefore start out with more weight right out of the gate.

Submitting to Web Directories

One problem for webmasters is that if you submit a site to a web directory – with a folder – it will probably get rejected.

However, if you submit a sub-domain, it is usually accepted as it’s seen as a unique standalone site.

Why?

Web Directories refuse Folders as they see this as a ‘deeplink’ to the home page URL. Sub-domains such as news.bbc.co.uk are accepted as unique sites.

Search Engine Results Position

Google, and other Search Engines, give your domain one or two listings in the search results.

Your other results are indented under the root domain. If your site is designed correctly, it will show them in logical order, which is for another post.

What this means is:

  • Using Folders – Your website will get one listing per search. Your folders will be indented in the listings under the root.
  • Using Sub-Domains – Your website get more listing per search as each Sub-Domain is interpreted as a unique site.

Note: If you use folders, you only get 2 results in the SERPs. If you sub-domains, you can potentially dominate the results page with different sites.

Conclusion

In most cases, using a sub-folder is best as you ‘micro-site’ is under the umbrella of the main site.

The downside is that the more pages you add, the less PR is spread across your site. My advice is to do split testing and check the results in the SERPS.

What else would you add?

PS – the screenshots were taken from the GoDaddy Web Hosting Control Panel

29 Ways to Increase Traffic to a Niche Blog

Making money from blogs in an inexact science. What works one blogs fails on another. I’ve launched over 200 websites since 1998 (mostly ecommerce) and about 30 blogs (mostly technical). If your blog has a technical slant, for example, it’s target audience is technical writers, analysts, architects, or others micro niche areas, then use some of these techniques to increase your traffic.

Tips to Increase Traffic to Niche Blog
Making money from niche blogs in an inexact science. What works in one blogs, fails on another. I’ve launched over 200 websites since 1998 (mostly ecommerce) and about 30 blogs (technical). If your blog has a technical slant, for example, its target audience is technical writers, analysts, architects, or others micro-niche areas, then use some of these search engine techniques will increase your traffic. Continue reading “29 Ways to Increase Traffic to a Niche Blog”

42 Bing Search Engine Hacks

Remember Bing, the search engine Microsoft launched to topple Google? Ok, it didn’t work that way but it still has lots of great features and deserves a second look.

bing-search-engine-tricks

Remember Bing, the search engine Microsoft launched to topple Google? Ok, it didn’t work that way but it still has lots of great features and deserves a second look.

42 Bing Search Engine Tips and Tricks

Here are 25 tips and tricks to get the most from Bing, the decision-making engine from Microsoft.

1. Add your site on Bing

To add your site on Bing, click on http://www.bing.com/docs/submit.aspx

This link sends you to the submit URL page of Bing where you can provide the URL of your blog or website.

2. Area Codes

Area Codes displays the area code or ZIP code. Type area code followed by code. For example, area code 515.

3. Advanced Search Keywords

Using this to find the search results you only what you see. Don’t include a space after the colon in these keywords.

4. Celebrity Tracking

Bing xRank tracks celebrities and ranks them. xRank shows News results, Image results, Video results , biography details, and digg links.

5. Cheap flight tickets

To get the cheap flight deals, enter:

  • Deals on specific routes: flights from London to New York
  • Deals from a specific city: flights from San Francisco
  • Deals to a specific city: flights to Rome

6. Contains parameter refines searches

In Bing, the parameter ‘contains’ tells the search engine to only look for websites that contain that search term. For example

iPhone contains:download

Beatles contains:mp3

Annual Report contains:doc

7. Combine or Excluding words

Use the OR and NOT keywords to combine or exclude words. For example, if you use iphone NOT Green, you will get results for iphone but not for green iphones.

8. Currency Converter

Type ‘convert 100 dollars to euros’ for currency conversion from dollars to euros.

9. Check if your website is listed in Bing.com

To verify that your website is in the index, type url:yoursite.com.

For example, url:ivanwalsh.com returns a single result.

Tip: Check that your robot.txt file allows Bing.com to index your website.

10. Check the number of webpages indexed in Bing.com

Type site:yoursite.com  to see how many pages have been actually indexed in bing.com. For example, site:ivanwalsh.com.

11. DHL and UPS Packages

Track DHL, UPS and other packages by tracking number. For example, type DHL 123456789.

12. Display wallpaper images

You can display Bing’ wallpaper images in its Image search results. Search for a term in Bing image search and then click on the Size category in the left sidebar. This automatically display various size filters including an option for wallpaper. This display only images that have the exact size of the computer screen resolution.

13. Exact phrase

To search for exact phrases, enter the search words within quotation marks. For example, “natural asthma remedy”.

14. Export Session History to SkyDrive

Session History records the sites you visited within a single browser session for 48 hours. You can also save searches to your Windows Live SkyDrive folders using My Search Folders view.

Tip: You can also send your search queries by email or publish them on your Facebook account via Bing.

  • Click the Manage link under the previous search queries at the bottom of the Explore Pane.
  • In the History Management page, browse through past searches and identify the query you’re looking for
  • Click on the link to pick up where you left off.
  • To save a search, click Save and Share on the right of the screen.
  • Check the boxes next to the results you want to save and click Save.
  • Create a new folder to save the search or sign in with Windows Live ID and save the results to your Windows Live SkyDrive.

15. Find Organizations

To find results about golf but that primarily pertain to the organization, type golf prefer:organization.

16. Find Blogs

To see blogs from the BBC websites, type “blogging” (site:bbc.co.uk) .

17. Find RSS feeds

To find RSS feeds about iphone, type feed:iphone.

18. Find RSS feeds of particular website

To find webpages on the New York Times website that contain RSS feeds, typesite:www.nytimes.com hasfeed:iphone. ‘hasfeed:’

Finds webpages that contain an RSS feed on a website for the terms you search for.

19. Firefox Plugin for Bing

Bing provides great general search results, relevance, a big index and speed — all of the hallmarks of a good search engine.

However, because sorting through search results can often be time consuming, Bing organizes popular results in a different way, designed to help you get the answers you’re looking for without having to guess the right way to phrase a search term. https://addons.mozilla.org

20. Search Bing.com if outside USA

If you are outside the US, you may not be getting all Bing’s features and only it’s localized version. To view all the options in Bing, which may not be available in your region, go to http://www.bing.com/worldwide.aspx and set English – US as your default region.

21. Hotels

Use the following as examples:

  • New York hotels
  • hotels in Egypt
  • Dublin hotels

22. Hulu Videos

Search for any TV show episode on Bing Videos. Hover the mouse over the video thumbnail to watch a short clip.

  • Click on Videos from the Bing Home Page.
  • Click on TV Shows from the Explore Pane.
  • Search for ‘house’ from the top search box.
  • In the Explore Pane, click on ‘Source’ and choose from where you want to see your results.
  • To see a full-length, high-quality video, choose Hulu.

23. Job Salary

For example – Type LosAnglelesmarketing manager salary, developer pay in Bangalore, IT Manager pay.

24. Images by Format and Type

Bing can tell the difference between a photograph and an illustration. Use the similar images link when you hover over an image to see similar related images.

25. IP Address lookup

Use Bing to lookup any IP address

IP:[IP Address]

Change [IP Address] with a valid IP, such as the IP address you want to track.

26. Mathematical Equations

Enter the equation that you want to solve, for example:

7+5/2-(45*2)
sqrt 9
sin 11 * 66
13% of 994

27. Preview Search Results

Hover over any search result and a small bar with a bubble appears. If you hover over the bubble, it gives you a preview of the landing page on the site.

28. RSS Feeds from search results

You can save every search on Bing into an RSS feed. This means you can pull the search results into your blog or website and increase your web traffic.

Access the feeds from the browser’s toolbars (or by pointing a feed reader to the search result’s URL) and then add

&format=rss

to the results.

A search for Snagit v 9 would be available as an RSS feed from the following URL

http://www.bing.com/search?q=Snagit+9&go=&qb=1&format=rss

29. Remove Bing background image

To remove the background image in Bing’s search engine, enter the following url:

http://www.bing.com/?rb=0

This displays the homepage without the background image, making the download faster.

31. Search sites with filetype
To search for websites that contain links to Microsoft Windows Media Audio (.wma) files, type music contains:wma.

32. Search for files with a particular filetype.

To find document created in PDF format, type the name of the document, eg report, followed by filetype:pdf.

33. Snow reports

Type ‘snow report’ followed by a city. For example, type snow report Cairo.

34. Stock Quotes

In the search box, type the ticker symbol followed by stock or quote. For example to find the financial quotes of Microsoft, type MSFT stock or MSFT quote.

35. Statistical Information

In the Bing.com search box, type what you want to find. For example, population of England, or iphones in USA.

36. Track Flight Status

To see the status of your flight:

flight status for United – enter the flight number and press Get Status .

flight status – Bing prompts you to enter the flight name and number on the first result itself.

Enter the flight name and number and click Get Status.

37. MP3 Music Files

Type U2 contains:mp3 will show pages that are about U2 and link to MP3 files.

38. Web pages for a specific language

To find results in a particular language, select the language code after the language: keyword. For example, if you are searching for laptops then type “laptops” language:en.

39. Web pages from a specific country

Enter the country or region code directly after the loc: keyword. Use a logical OR to include one more language. For example, to see web pages about wine from the France or Italy , type wine (loc:FR OR loc:IT). Image results are shown at the bottom of the page.

40. Used Cars

VIN provides protection against buying a used car with hidden problems.

Type the VIN number and hit Search.

41. Unit Conversion

In the Bing search box, type the quantity, followed by in, followed by the conversion.

For example, type 15 kilometers in miles or 33 degrees F in Celsius.

The operator ‘in’ convert units of measurements for distance, weight, time, volume, and temperature.

42. Change the Wallpaper
Click the icon in the lower right corner to see yesterday’s Bing wallpaper.

Got any favorite features in Bing? Please add them below.

Using Google Image Search To Create Massive Traffic

Want to know how to use Google Image Search to send traffic back to your site? To do this you need to understand how Google indexes images. Once you optimize your images for Google, they’ll appear in search results and ultimately lead traffic to your site. Here’s how to do it.

Want to know how to use Google Image Search to send traffic back to your site? To do this you need to understand how Google indexes images. Once you optimize your images for Google, they’ll appear in search results and ultimately lead traffic to your site. Here’s how to do it.

Why Use Google Image Search?

It’s all about traffic. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ your site is, if you don’t get traffic your sunk. Over 8% of the traffic to my site comes from optimizing the images on my site. That’s a lot of free visitors for very little work

  • Google Images bring your site a lot of visitors
  • Google Images will drive extra traffic is your images rank page 1
  • Google Images will drive extra traffic is they are heavily searched, so you want to think in terms of going for specific keywords.

Some sites get more traffic from Google Image search than regular search.

Understand Alt Text

The W3C says you should use Alt text on images to help visually impaired users browse your website. Remember, Google cannot see your site – it reads code.
So, you need to write the code so Google can read/see your site in the correct way, right?

Google Image Bot

This bot crawls the web, indexes images like the regular Googlebot does and looks for keywords.
These are two different bots. However the Google Image bot is very slow and doesn’t visit a site with the frequency of the regular Google search bot.

How To Optimize Images for Google

As Google can’t “see” images, it uses different ways to analyze every graphic.
Here are some of the things it looks for:

  • Alt Text
  • File Name
  • Surrounding Text
  • Page Title
  • Links

My testing shows that Alt Text followed by the File Name are biggest factors in determining how Google Image indexes each image.

What is Alt Text?

This is the ‘alternative’ text you see when you hover over an image.
To include Alt Text in your code, do this:
<img src=”filename.gif” alt=”Enter Alternative Description Here”>
Use real words that will sense to humans and includes the right keywords – don’t over do it or Google will punish you for keyword stuffing.
Use words you would search for if looking for that image.
Avoid filler words such as like, the, and, or, we, are, for, etc.
Right: PayPal logo for ecommerce site
Wrong: this is a logo of PayPal for an ecommerce site
Keep is short and remember that Google prioritizes keywords from left to right.
So, write the most important keywords first.

Image File Name

This is also very important. How you name the image is as important, if not more, than the ALT text.
Instead of calling it pic1234.jpg
use descriptive text such as:
PayPal-logo-ecommerce-site
Also:

  • Make the File Name the same, or very similar to the Alt Text.
  • Don’t try and rank the same image for multiple terms by stuffing different keywords in to the Alt and File Names
  • This will confuse the Googlebot
  • Be consistent

Image File Structure

Use a consistent, and keyword rich, file structure for your images, for instance:

website.com/images/logos/paypal-ecommercec.jpg

Is much better than:

website.com/whatever/imgs/ppal23.jpg

Does It Work?

You can see if it works when you start seeing images.google.com in your server logs. These will also appear in your Google Webmaster and Analytics stats.
I get a consistent amount of traffic from specific keywords this way. It doesn’t take very long to do and once you create images with Google in mind, your traffic will begin to move up.
Let me know how you get on.

Double Your Web Traffic By Optimizing your Permalinks Settings in WordPress

One of the simplest ways to increase your web traffic is to fine-tune your Permalinks Settings in Wordpress. By default WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and numbers in them. For SEO purposes, these are not very helpful as search engines cannot understand what these mean. You can however change the default settings and create your own Permalinks Settings.

One of the simplest ways to increase your web traffic is to fine-tune your Permalinks Settings in WordPress. By default WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and numbers in them. For SEO purposes, these are not very helpful as search engines cannot understand what these mean. You can however change the default settings and create your own Permalinks Settings.

WordPress Default Permalinks Settings

WordPress lets you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives. This helps improve the readability of your links both for your human readers and for search engines.
Double Your Web Traffic By Optimizing your Permalinks Settings in WordPress
Why Change the Default Permalinks Settings?
Let’s say you have a website, for example, shoes.com. You create a new blog post about the summer sales and publish it.
The default WordPress permalinks settings may look something like this: www.shoes.com/?123.php
When Google, Bing and other search engines read this page, one of the ways it indexes the page (i.e. interprets its meaning) is by analyzing the link structure.
When search engines see ?123.php, they don’t know how to interpret it.
A better way would be to change ?123.php to something like shoe-summer-sale.php.
Now, the search engine knows that this page is about shoes and summer sales. It can use this information, with the title tags, description and the content to get index it more accurately.
Which means…
When people type in shoes summer sales into the search engine, your page will appear that little bit higher.

Different Permalinks Settings

You can setup different Permalinks Settings in WordPress and see which works best. Testing is the only way to determine what’s best for you.
Here are some combinations you can use:

  • Year, Month, Date and Title
  • Date and Title
  • Title
  • Category and Title

Each of these is worth exploring. For example, if you run a news site, the Date and Title may be best. Google News requires that you include the Date when submitting articles to its index, for example.

Front-load keywords

Title by itself also works if you have a critical mass of fans/readers and want to front-load the keywords.
What does front-load keywords mean?
It means that you prioritize your keywords so that the most important keyword appears first in the string and then the second and so on.
For example,
www.shoes.com/discount-ladies-shoes
means that you want to prioritize the word discount more than ladies or shoes (which already appears in the url anyway).

Best Permalinks Settings for Blogs

I’ve looked into this and found that, for me, the best structure is:
/%category%/%postname%/%post_id%/
This works very well as you’re adding the:

  • Category
  • Postname and
  • Post_id

to the url.
For example, www.shoes.com/sale/discount-ladies-shoes
Therefore, when Google reads this strong it has three types of metadata (information) to use to index the page.
Note that by adding Category to the string, I’m including specific keywords to the url. Again, this helps Google et al to categorize the page and ensure that it gets indexed correctly.
What settings do you use?
PS: another reason to use Categories is that it forces you to structure your site more intentionally. Ideally, you should have a small number of focussed categories so your content concentrates on the same topic (niche). By having too many categories, your content loses its impact as you dilute the site’s value. In other words, Google and other search engines cannot really tell what the sites about. My aim is to get this site down to ten categories. Right now, it’s about eighteen.

Google Webmaster Tutorial: How to Get Your Site Verified

video of google webmaster tools Google Webmaster Tools is one of the hidden secrets on Google. Use this to add your site directly to its index, verify that Google sees your site (and sub-domains), and also fix the errors it has identified. Split testing has shown me that sites indexed this way perform better than sites that rely on xml sitemaps. FYI you can also add sitemaps here.

video of google webmaster tools Google Webmaster Tools is one of the hidden secrets on Google. Use this to add your site directly to its index, verify that Google sees your site (and sub-domains), and also fix the errors it has identified. Split testing has shown me that sites indexed this way perform better than sites that rely on xml sitemaps. FYI you can also add sitemaps here.

How to Get Your Site Verified By Google

Blogs created in Blogger are automatically verified in Webmaster Tools. However, older blogs, WordPress and Typepad blogs are not automatically verified, and should be verified using the meta tag method.

To verify your Blogger / WordPress blog:
1.    On the Webmaster Tools home page, click Add a site.
2.    Enter your blog’s URL e.g. and click Continue.
3.    On the Verification page, select the Meta tag verification method and copy the meta tag provided into your text editor.
4.    Sign in to Blogger.com (or WordPress).
For Blogger, open the Dashboard, click the Layout link for the blog you are verifying.
5.    On the Layout tab, click Edit HTML.
6.    Paste the meta tag  after the <head> element in the template HTML and click Save template.
7.    On the Manage Verification page in Webmaster Tools, confirm that Meta tag is selected as the verification method, and then click the Verify
For WordPress and TypePad blogs:
8.    Save the Google code to a HTML file.
9.    FTP it to the root directory.
10.    On the Manage Verification page in Webmaster Tools, confirm that Meta tag is selected as the verification method, and then click the Verify.
11.    If successful, a message appears. Woohoo!

Where is Google Webmaster Tools

It’s here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en
Did this work for you? Let me know if you have any problems.

Why Your About Us Page is the Second Most Important Page on Your Site?

You find a blog you really like. You want to learn more. You’re thinking of buying from them. What do you do? Click About Us, right? Most people do. Now, pretend you’ve never visited your own site. Remember, you know nothing about you. Nothing. Look at your About Us page? Be honest, what’s the one thing that’s wrong with it?

You find a blog you really like. You want to learn more. You’re thinking of buying from them. What do you do? Click About Us, right? Most people do. Now, pretend you’ve never visited your own site. Remember, you know nothing about you. Nothing. Look at your About Us page? Be honest, what’s the one thing that’s wrong with it? Continue reading “Why Your About Us Page is the Second Most Important Page on Your Site?”

Make Sure your Blog Posts are Pinged Automatically

One of the hidden features in Windows Live Writer is the ability to automatically ping (send a signal) to popular blog aggregators every time you publish something to your blog.  This feature actively pings the servers of the blog aggregators you specify and to indicate when there is new material.
To do this in Writer, click on Ping Servers in the Options dialog (Tools, Options, Ping Servers).
Add the names of the servers you want to ping, for example, some popular search engines are:

You can also use a pinging service like Ping-o-Matic (this service will automatically ping a number of popular sites for you). Just put the following in the list of ping servers:

What other servers should I add to this list?

Stop Blogging! What happens if you start to make money?


Does writing a blog constitute work? Forbes reports that the New York State Department of Labor recently declared a laid-off attorney ineligible for unemployment benefits as she was bringing in $1.30 a day from blog ads. Continue reading “Stop Blogging! What happens if you start to make money?”

WordPress Twitter Tool

Twitter Tools lets you integrates your blog with Twitter, so that every time you publish an article, it is automatically sent to Twitter. Even better, it can setup a daily and weekly blog post listing all the tweets you sent. One small thing is that the default setting for the blog posts is “New Blog Post”. Luckily, you can change this. Here’s how.
Continue reading “WordPress Twitter Tool”