Thursday, December 1, 2011

Final Report Teamgatebar

Hello TeamGateBar supporters.  This is a last ditch effort to recover the top spot for the query rankmaniac colgate by tomorrow.  We are posting our report for the competition and moving around some links.  We shall see if our efforts succeed.
Bravo Alpha Romeo

Results at time of Report: November 22, 2011
Our Rankmaniac Coglate Mascot is the top result for a google image search (bonus points!) is ranked 1st.
A link posted by our Digg account pointing to our posterous blog is 3rd.
A tumblr page containing links to our blog is 4th. is 7th.  

Initially we just wanted the blog to get listed for the query rankmaniac colgate. In order to achieve this we started creating links to rankmaniac-related web pages (to increase hub authority) and links to our blog (to increase content authority). On top of this we used Google Analytics tools to report the existence of our blog to the Google Crawler as well as use their SEO optimization suggestions, which we will discuss later on.

We started listing our blog in numerous blog catalogs in order to increase the number of links pointing to our blog. The rationale behind this is to mimic link spamming without the common negative results such as penalizing page rank or reported as spam. By advertising our rankmaniac colgate blog in these catalogs we were able to increase the number of in-links, as well as the number of page views, therefore increasing our page rank. Part of signing up to a blog catalog is including a link to the blog catalog. In order to not have our main blog pointing to them we modified their advertisement href link to include the “nofollow” attribute so that the crawler will follow that link and “leak” our page rank to that site. Another way we tried to improve/sustain the ranking of our rankmaniac colgate site at this point was through the use of social media websites, such as reddit, digg, tumblr, and twitter. At the time we thought this would provide us with more in links and thus more page rank. However, it turns out that posts in some social media sites do not count towards page rank. We still believe that it could give us more traffic and thus help establish our page as a rankmaniac colgate content authority.

The effect of social media on our page rank is hard to measure, but one interesting thing to note is that our tumblr account was listed before the main blog, counter to the original goal of using social media to boost our page rank. A few days after we created the site, it still had not been listed. We started posting content regularly in order to increase the rate of crawls through our page by Google. We thought that a higher crawl-through rate would improve our rank. On one day we had 5 posts in a 4-hour period. Mostly these posts had little content but included the keywords “rankmaniac” and “colgate”. In order to keep from being classified as spam we made up a thin context that would justify the use of those words and restricted the use of the phrase, “rankmaniac colgate” to a maximum of three times.

After a few text-only posts we began including posts with images. Some web searches implied including images and other media on our blog would make it it more valuable to users and would be weighed more heavily by Google’s algorithms and thus improve our ranking. The images had alt-text that contained the target keywords (aka rankmaniac colgate) so that the algorithms would identify them as being relevant to the topic. Alpha also created a rankmaniac colgate “mascot” for our page by editing an image in MS paint (if you can imagine such a thing). This gave us some truly unique content and it is currently a top result for the query “rankmaniac colgate” in Google image search.
The final optimization we performed at this point was the application of meta tags to our site. We added meta tags and a description to the site that we believed would help Google index our site faster and connect the site more strongly with the target keywords. It turns out that these tags are no longer considered by the algorithm.

Just over a week after we started our blog, it became the top result for the query, rankmaniac colgate. At this point we continued to post content to the blog in order to maintain our position. We also made some additional modifications to improve our page rank. First, we disabled comments to prevent spam from decreasing the keyword density on our site. There was not an issue with page rank “leakage” due to posting links because blogger automatically adds the “nofollow” attribute to all links posted in comments.

Suddenly we went from being listed multiple times on the top page to being removed completely from the top ten. Google webmaster reported that we had duplicate meta-tag descriptions. This was because we had added meta tags via blogger’s html templates; every single page had the same meta tag description regarding rankmaniac colgate.  It proved extremely difficult to make custom meta tag descriptions for each page in Blogger, so we just removed the description.

After a few days with no results, we suspected that the keyword relevancy was too low. After all, we had just started posting things unrelated to rankmaniac colgate when the problems began to appear. We created numerous posts, carefully making sure not to spam the keywords.  This had the opposite effect: we dropped even further. Google claims its top pages tend to hover at 2% keyword density and ours was erroneously high at 11% for the keyword “rankmaniac colgate” (as analyzed with an seo analyzer). The problem was compounded because of the archive widget on every page, which contained links to old posts containing  the words “rankmanic” and “colgate” in their titles.  After pruning the keyword density down to 2-5% still no results were found.

There is a fairly long delay between updating the site and Google updating its rankings, so nothing appeared to happen at first. At this point we also started to consider more ways we could optimize our rankmaniac colgate content for attracting page rank. On average, the top results of a Google query have ~600 words, so we thought that having longer content might help improve our rank (we know correlation doesn’t imply causation but...). We also found out that Google is able to track how long a visitor spends on a page among other statistics so we thought that trying to keep users on our page longer would improve our rank. To this end we started to embed videos in our posts.

On November 21st all of teamgatebar came together and overhauled the blog. We identified a major issue with our site structure. By having the blog archive as a widget on every single page, we had essentially created a clique of 28 posts. The crawler would bounce between all of these, diluting our page rank. We created a more reasonable link structure and embedded the archives at the bottom of the rankmaniac colgate history page. Google Webmaster also reported a 404, link not found, error which boggled our minds for a bit. We had deleted a double post at one point, but a link in the post still pointed to the url of the deleted page. We corrected this problem, but were beginning to worry that our blogger account was stuck with a penalty.

We had a rankmaniac colgate posterous account which we had set up in the beginning of the competition and were only using to occasionally advertise the blogspot blog.  In case the blogger account couldn’t recover in time we decided to try and improve Google’s ranking of the rankmaniac colgate posterous blog by condensing all of our previous posts into one long post. It was a bit of gamble as we might set off the duplicate content sensors but because everything was in one long post about rankmaniac colgate chances were that we would be fine. Lastly we added a link to the posterous account to the blog template, trying to maximize authority flow from our blogger account.

The combined efforts met with great success, as indicated by the rankings described at the top of this report.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TeamGateBar Strikes at Tumblr

This is our last attempt at claiming the number one spot for the query rankmaniac colgate, lets hope it works,


Monday, November 28, 2011

Dammit Google, Rankmaniac Colgate Immigration

Why, google why!  This makes absolutely 0 sense.  There is clearly more content on TeamGateBar's blogs yet still the top entry is a blog with only the words rankmaniac colgate on it?  How?  This is ridiculous.

Well, we have been passive the past week, but still that shouldn't cause our ranking to drop below a static blog now should it?


Query Day Approaching

Query Day is almost upon us... and our posterous site just slipped from the top spot! I fear there is nothing to do now but wait and see what happens. Hopefully things will shake out in our favor.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Teamgatebar working hard

First of be sure to watch the asdf videos posted below (or here at asdf videos) if you haven't seen them yet.  TeamGateBar finds them pretty amusing.

So today all of teamgatebar came together and overhauled this rankmaniac colgate blog.  We had a major issue with our site structure.  By having the blog archive as a widget on every single page, we essentially were diluting our page rank.  In the end we had a clique of 28 posts that all had links to each other.  So we called up the resident rankmaniac and she came on down and cleaned up this here town and now we have a more reasonable link structure.  The archives can now be found on the rankmaniac colgate history page embedded at the bottom of the post.

We also had a 404 error which boggled our minds for a bit.  A few days ago I deleted a double post, but a link in the post was to the url of the deleted page.  Result, google webmaster complained, loudly.  Furthermore, google is still insisting we have duplicate meta tag descriptions.  According to their archives we do have duplicate meta tag descriptions, but those have since been changed, leaving only the keyword meta tag's for rankmaniac colgate and such.  I have to wonder how often google update's it's archives.  Hopefully they will do it soon, as this colgate competition only has a few weeks left.

We are also trying a link juice experiment, check out teamgatebar's rankmaniac colgate posterous blog.  We have summarized all of these posts in one long post over there.  There is the possibility that we may hit trouble with duplicate content, but perhaps because everything is in one long post about rankmaniac colgate we will be fine.   Only time will tell. I leave you with this meme, classic.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

asdf videos embedded!

Hello Teamgatebar rankmaniac colgate blog readers!  What are the most common keys pressed in a qwerty keyboard? Besides "qwerty" I would say: "asdf". Why? Think about it! When you are typing your papers/school work/rankmaniac colgate blogs like we do here at colgate university, where do the fingers on your left hand always come back to? Again, the answer is "asdf", because the letter "f" has the little bump, to guide your fingers back to their home... which is left index finger on "f" and right index finger on "j". But why is "asdf" way more popular than it's evil twin "jkl;" (the four letters on you right hand)? Well, one answer is: "the most common letters are on the left side of the keyboard..." This is true, but why on would we want to use our left hand more if the majority of people on Earth are right handed!  That seems like something a rankmaniac would do (No offense to lefties or anything.) I guess an answer to this would be that if you try typing a really long word with only one hand your hand can't handle it, so to keep some sort of rhythm or coordination between both hands going on so you can freely search for rankmaniac colgate.

Anyways, without further delay we bring to you, the series of "asdf" movies! (TomSka, the creator of these mini-series not "we", and are orthogonal to rankmaniac colgate) Just like the number of letters in "asdf", this mini-series of 4 episodes brings us a combination of events that do not really make any sense and it is not recommended for those who need meaning behind everything in life. Nevertheless, the episodes will have some recurrent themes that should resonate with rankmaniac viewers here at colgate. One of the best characteristics of this mini-series is that it brings out absurdities hidden in our daily lives, from the implications on cutting a cake to the saying "liking" train, to rankmaniac colgate antics. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Title Experiment Ready

My title experiment is now ready to run.  Over the past few posts I've been creating content with very specific, relevant, and optimized titles.  The idea is to see if TeamGateBar's blog returns to its position of former a result of these titles.  I read in an article that having poorly worded titles can be bad for your blogs listing.  Let's see if that theory pans out during this little experiment

Update:  So apparently I may have made things worse, stuffing rankmaniac colgate everywhere, so now I'm going to try the opposite tactic.  My keyword density was alarmingly high (I forgot about the archive links to previous posts).  So now I'm going back in my posts to reduce the keyword density for rankmaniac colgate and edit my titles.