Paid links cloaking: how to avoid cloaked paid links

17 July 2011 | Comments Off on Paid links cloaking: how to avoid cloaked paid links

Display Advertising, Web Development

Why cloak paid links?

As most SEOs will tell you, the buying and selling of links online is still very common practice but there are lots of cowboys out there. Some link sellers are going to the extreme measure of cloaking their paid links from the search engines to avoid being penalised for selling links. This means for example the seller might add a nofollow attribute to the paid link when the page is requested by the search engines but not when requested by normal users. This off course makes the link worthless for the purpose of search engine optimisation.

Does cloaking paid links work?

Now you are probably thinking that such cloaking technique is more likely to get the link sellers penalised than actually selling links but I am not so sure about that. Such a minute change to a page that does not change the content of the page displayed to the user might be over looked by the search engine; besides, the cloaking of paid links actually helps the search engines filter out paid links. Regardless, it pays to check if a site you intend to buy or exchange link with is cloaking their paid links.

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SEO Best Practice for blocking search engine access

7 April 2011 | Comments Off on SEO Best Practice for blocking search engine access

Digital News & Insights

SEO Best Practice Robots.txt and Meta Robots
While none of what I am about to discuss is ground breaking or new, I have found that many sites, including those optimised by SEO specialist, make the common mistake of inappropriately using the robots.txt file to block search engine access to content.

Both the robots.txt file and meta robots tag can be used to block search engines from accessing content on a site, but which approach is better for SEO?

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Implications of Google Instant Previews

17 November 2010 | Comments Off on Implications of Google Instant Previews

Digital News & Insights, SEM & SEO

google instant previews logo
Google announced last week that it had added a new feature known as “Instant Previews” to its search results page which would allow users to preview search results without having to click-through to visit the page.
Before delving into the possible implications of Instant Previews it is important to understand exactly what this new feature is all about.

About Google Instant Previews

Google Instant Previews provides a graphical overview of search results and in some cases includes call out texts that highlight relevant sections of the page making it easier for searchers to determine the context of a match from just the preview.

google instant preview example screenshot

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GAIQ Ultimate Guide

3 October 2010 | Comments Off on GAIQ Ultimate Guide

Analytics & Tracking, Digital News & Insights, Web Development

This guide is to help you prepare for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam and it is broken down into the following four sections.

  • About the GAIQ test
  • GAIQ test resources
  • GAIQ test strategy
  • Conversion University Lessons review

About the GAIQ test:

The GAIQ exam is a ninety minutes open book online exam comprising of seventy multiple choice questions. It cost $50 US to sit the test which is non refundable if you fail the test. Google also provides free GAIQ voucher codes to agencies and some Adwords clients.

Individuals who pass the GAIQ test with a pass mark of at least 80% are awarded a GAIQ certificate as proof of proficiency in Google Analytics.

Your GAIQ qualification is an individual qualification that belongs to you; however, you can link your GAIQ qualification to a company’s Google Analytics Authorised Consultant (GAAC) account. Linking your GAIQ qualification to a valid company GAAC account allows you to claim the status of Google Analytics Authorized Consultant. You can unlink your GAIQ qualification from a company’s GAAC account at any time.

GAIQ test resources:

The following resources have been put together to help you prepare for the GAIQ test and act as a quick point of reference while completing the test.

  • The Conversion University site is the official study resource for the GAIQ test and it is highly recommended that you go over each of the Conversion University lessons before taking the test.
  • The Google Analytics help centre helps you get an even greater understanding of how Google Analytics actually works.
  • The Google Analytics API provides information about the different functions and parameters available for Google Analytics.
  • The Google Analytics Cookies API page provides a quick reference to the different Google Analytics cookie variables which are covered extensively in the exam.
  • The IP Address Range Regex Tool can be used to save time writing a regular expression to filter out IP addresses even if you good with regular expressions.
  • The Google Analytics URL tagging tool allows you to quickly tag URLs with paid search campaign data.
  • The Conversion University lesson review section below provides a brief revision of the important bits to focus on and can be used as a cheat sheet during the exam.
  • The Conversion University notes is a compilation of the entire text from the Conversion University lessons into a single location which can be quickly searched for answers by using CLT+F on a windows computers for example. Please do not rely completely on this resource as not everything is covered in this resource.
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GAIQ Conversion University Lesson Notes

3 October 2010 | Comments Off on GAIQ Conversion University Lesson Notes

Analytics & Tracking, Web Development

The text below is a compilation of the entire text from the Conversion University lessons notes which can be used to quickly search for answers to questions in the GAIQ exam by using CLT+F on a windows computers for example.

Please do not rely completely on this resource as it does not cover everything in the GAIQ exam due to the use of video and images in the Lessons. For a comprehensive guide go to the GAIQ Ultimate Guide post.

Extract starts here << Introduction to Google Analytics Google Analytics is a free, web analytics tool that is hosted by Google. Google Analytics shows you how visitors actually find and use your site, so you’ll be able to • make informed site design and content decisions • improve your site to convert more visitors into customers • track the performance of your keywords, banner ads, and other marketing campaigns. • and track metrics such as revenue, average order value, and ecommerce conversion rates.

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