QUESTION: We’re a very small company with an 11 year website history, with web development resources somewhere between quite miniscule and non-existent. Nonetheless, SEO has been a keen focus of awareness since before it was called that, and up until that infamous “Florida” event 3 or so years ago, we did very well in the SERPs. Over the years a number of people have worked on the code comprising our site, and while there is nothing egregiously, obviously wrong with our content, no one knows if now we’re being penalized for something ‘lurking’ in our code that may be left over from yesteryear and never found and rooted out. The biggest worry and source of disagreement seems to involve “duplicate content”. Read more…

John Battelle wrote an excellent article describing his experience with Google Checkout. I highly recommend the read if you are considering using Google Checkout for shopping this holiday season or as a merchant. Here is a snippet:

It seems Google is obviating the merchant entirely vis the ongoing data relationship with the buyer. The registration screen states: “‘Google’ will appear by the charge on your credit card statement. Your card number will not be shared with the seller.”

Why on earth would anyone want this to be the case? To lose your relationship with the buyer? What information *is* passed back to ToysRUs? What rights do I have to that information, and to know how it’s used between Google and the merchant?

Check out John’s post for the full article.

Two excellent questions are answered in this article:

A.) Which steps should I follow when optimizing my dynamic website?

B.) Can you maintain the integrity of my design while implementing SEO?

QUESTION A) Which steps should I follow when optimizing my dynamic website? – Chriz R. Read more…

Question: There are a number of wire services (like PRweb) for submitting
press articles to online news feeds. Is it recommended to use a few of them
for article submission or am I running the risk of having my article
submitted to any particular distribution partner more than once. Is there
any advice you can give me regarding which services distribute to which
distribution partners and how to select which ones to use. – Frank O. Read more…

This was Google's holiday logo in 1999
In a bid that is sure to raise the interests of many e-tailers, Google has announced that it will be providing free merchant services for the holiday season. Say what?! Yes, FREE.

For those of you who are not familiar with transacting online suffice it to say that this promotion could save participating e-tailers hundreds if not thousands of dollars this holiday season. Read more…

On November 1st, 2006 in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is providing a 2 hour workshop to budding entrepreneurs on the basics of search engine optimization. The workshop is run by the Entrepreneurial Learning Foundation (ELF), a not-for-profit foundation devoted to supporting young entrepreneurs. Read more…

In a recent interview with Matt Cutts (a popular software engineer from Google that handles Spam) on WebmasterRadio Matt noted that Google has run across a few sites that had been hacked and in a manner that wasn’t immediately apparent to the site owners. Jim Hedger wrote an article which summed up the entire interview and I highly recommend the read. For the purposes of this posting, however, I want to focus on how to determine whether your site has been hacked. Read more…

Do you want to advertise the physical location of your business for free and get a little extra Google exposure? Thanks to Google Maps this is possible and not many people (read ‘your competition’) seem to know about it.

First I think I need to show you what I mean here. As an example click here to see the location of my company, StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. on Google Maps (no you don’t need Google Earth to do this). What should appear is a map of my home city, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada along with a marker identifying my business location and a comment balloon providing address and detailed information. This information was placed on Google with my input, entirely free of charge. All that Google needed to do was confirm my physical location by sending a letter in the mail with a code that would allow me go online and verify my physical address. That is it, as simple as pie!

Read more…


Ever wondered how websites get premier first place result layouts like the one shown in this picture? (See this sample ‘live’ here or simply type in “Canadian news” at Google.) Rumours have persisted for a while as to how these listings are created but Google has finally updated the webmaster’s help guide explaining these listings called “Sitelinks”. Read more…

When I sit down with new clients and discuss the status of their new or existing site they are often shocked when I am forced to inform them that their site is not search engine friendly. Encountered with a blank but slightly shaken look I then explain that this means their site has a particular problem that is hindering search engine rankings. Often this is represented by an inflexible design, overuse of advanced web technologies, or simply a weak navigation scheme. As a result, if they were to continue with the site as it stands they are unlikely to attain competitive search engine rankings. Read more…

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