Google Now Helps You Clean Up 404 Links

Google logoGoogle has just announced the easiest way to obtain inbound links to your site in a short space of time.

Webmaster Tool’s new Crawl Error Sources feature allows you to identify the sources of 404 Not Found errors that are found on your site. Listed next to “Crawl Errors” in the Webmaster Tools control panel, you’ll now find a “Linked From” column that lists the number of pages that link to a specific “Not found” URL on your site.  Clicking on an item in the “Linked From” column opens a separate dialog box which lists each page that links to this URL (both internal and external) along with the date it was discovered. You can even download all your crawl error sources to an Excel file.

If your webserver doesn’t comprehend 404s or fetch error pages very well, Google has also introduced a widget for Apache or IIS that consists of 14 lines of JavaScript that you can paste into your custom 404 page template to helps your visitors find what they’re looking. It provides suggestions based on the incorrect URL.

You can use the “Linked From” source information to fix the broken links in your site, place redirects to a more appropriate URL on your site and/or contact the webmasters linking to missing pages or using malformed links and ask them to fix the links.

Webmasters have been asking for something like this for a long time, so it’s a relief to see it live at last. The official post about the feature is on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog and Matt Cutts goes into more detail on his blog.

Search Industry Job of the Week: SEM Manager

Job Title: SEM Manager
Job Reference #: wspos515636
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Direct Partners
Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Date Posted: 13 October 2008
Position description:

Direct Partners helps clients to acquire customers, measure behavior and develop meaningful relationships through targeted, results-oriented direct marketing. They are located in beautiful Marina del Rey and offer a friendly work atmosphere, room to grow and learn as well as innovative thinking.

They are looking for an experienced marketing professional to provide strategic leadership, tactical execution and analytic support surrounding the development of SEM programs for various clients. The perfect candidate will create, implement, track, analyze and optimize keyword campaigns across multiple search engines while helping to drive the company’s overall paid search strategy.

As a key member of the media team, the perfect candidate will play a central role in driving customer acquisition, revenue growth and profitability. The ideal candidate will have hands-on experience managing SEM campaigns.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Lead efforts to drive profitable customer acquisition and increase the long-term effectiveness of search engine marketing.
  • Manage day-to-day relationships with multiple paid search engine partners.
  • Manage budgets, analyze keyword costs, and develop all business processes for maximizing return-on-investment (ROI).
  • Test and optimize keyword bids, ad copy and landing pages.
  • Conduct competitive research and make recommendations on keyword selection.
  • Maintain a database of keywords, categories and campaigns.
  • Employ advanced search marketing techniques such as contextual ads, geo-targeting and day parting, etc.
  • Contribute to senior management communications concerning online marketing issues and initiatives.
  • Stay abreast of industry trends and best practices.

Minimum Job Qualifications:

  • Strategic mind and creative problem-solving skills.
  • 2-4 years experience in online marketing, direct marketing, consulting, strategic planning and strong expertise in search engine marketing.
  • Aptitude for analyzing large datasets in order to gain insights and drive business decisions.
  • Solid understanding of web analytics tools and advanced Excel skills required.
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced work environment.
  • Adept at project management and multi-tasking.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.

Direct Partners
4755 Alla Road
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (310) 482-4459

Salary range: Up to $75K, DOE
Closing date: Unknown
More info about company from:
Contact: Send resumes to address above. Further enquiries email jmcruer[at[

For more search industry job vacancies visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.

Q and A: What can I do to reinstate my Google ranking for my keyphrases?

QuestionHi Kalena

You’ve helped me out before so I hope you can help me untangle this one. Although my site is doing OK, I’m concerned about one of my pages which has fallen like a stone in Google for crucial keyword phrases like “Croatia map” and “map of Croatia”.

It’s one of my oldest pages (4 years) but the drop has occurred over the following year. I wonder if it is competing with a newer page which is also not doing as well as it should? I don’t know what to do. Combine the pages? Dump one? Redo the page completely (thus putting up a brand new page to crawl up the SERPs)?

I feel that my page is much better than my competitors, but how to convince Google? I’d really appreciate your feedback. If you need more coffee to figure it out, let me know!


Dear Jeanne

First up, thanks for your generous caffeine donation. That will keep me in Starbucks lattes for a while!

I’ve had a look a the two pages you’ve provided, as well as the Google rankings for those phrases and here’s what I found:

  • The two best ranking pages for those phrases are from the domains and
  • Your first page has a Google PageRank of 4, as does the Lonely Planet page, whereas the UK page has a PR 5
  • Both Google snippets for those competing sites come directly from the Title tags of those pages
  • Both Title tags from those pages contain one or both keyphrases and very little else
  • Your Title tag contains the keyphrase “map of croatia”. but also an additional six words
  • Your page doesn’t contain an optimized META Description tag
  • Your HTML code is suffering from unnecessary code bloat

So what does this mean? You’ve got some work to do. Try slimming down your Title tag to your most important keyword phrase and get rid of any extraneous words. Look at the Title for the UK site – they’ve managed to include both keyword phrases you are targeting without sacrificing space.

If it doesn’t make sense from a usability perspective to have two pages about Croatia maps, combine them. A little more on-target text from the second page would likely help your first page to rank better anyway. Run your code through a HTML validator to prevent indexing problems and see if you can extract some of that excess code and reference it in external files to reduce code bloat. Compare your code to your competitor’s and you can see what I mean. Googlebot likes clean code that is faster and easier to index. Also less code increases the keyword density on your page for target keywords.

Add a META Description tag that is optimized for your target keyword phrases. Use variations and contractions of your target keywords in the page, rather than repeating them ad nauseum.

Above all, remember that Google doesn’t care whether YOU think your page is better than your competitors, it’s their algorithm that determines who ranks above whom.

Search Industry Job of the Week: Social Marketing Specialist

Job Title: Social Marketing Specialist
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Buongiorno
Location: Los Gatos, California
Date Posted: 9 October 2008
Position description:

BUONGIORNO is a trendsetting, independent mobile media and technology company driving the burgeoning cellphone entertainment and personalization industry. It partners with telecom, media and Internet companies in over 35 countries to distribute, package and create music, games, videos, wallpaper, ringtones, chat, user-generated services, TV voting, quizzes, and to sell advertising. BUONGIORNO helps companies market through proprietary labels, and sells directly through its popular Blinko brand. It distributes across the U.S, Europe, South America and Mexico, the Middle East, Africa and through BUONGIORNO Hong Kong – joint venture with Mitsui, in Russia, India, the Far East and China. Its reach is already exceeding 60 million customers. The dimension of its business, its large portfolio of content and services, its geographical presence and a team of more than 1000 professionals make BUONGIORNO one of the world’s largest enabler of digital mobile entertainment.

Key Responsibilities:

The Social Marketing Specialist will be responsible for implementing and driving our Social Networking strategy in the local market based on the Global Product and Marketing Strategy and in close co-operation with the Global Marketing team. The ideal candidate will have the following responsibilities:

Planning, organising and carrying out Marketing campaigns to achieve user acquisition objectives in the respective country in close co-operation with Global Marketing Management department:

  • Developing sound Marketing plan/activities to meet user target.
  • Set up and drive online and mobile Marketing strategy to enhance viral distribution (blogs, other SN sites, SMS campaigns, banner placements, etc.).
  • Establish relationships with online bloggers and potential co-operation partners.

Day to day community management and CRM activities for active users in close co-operation with Global Customer Relationship Manager:

  • Email and SMS newsletter campaigns.
  • Online community management.
  • Establish user lifecycle management and incentive campaigns.
  • Get in depth SN market know-how in the respective country, constant review of competitors’ activities (product comparison/benchmarking).

Skills and Knowledge:

  • University degree in business administration with a focus on Marketing/New Media.
  • 2 years of working experience in Marketing for a consumer brand in a multi-national environment, preferably in Internet business or Telecom.
  • Excellent knowledge of Online Marketing activities and tools. Mobile Marketing is an asset.
  • Self-driven, results-oriented with a positive outlook, and a clear focus on high quality.
  • Well developed interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work independently in an international team.
  • High market and user orientation and ability to anticipate user needs and market trends.
  • Open minded. Strong analytical skills.
  • Passionate for Social Networking and ambitious with a capacity to overcome barriers and make impactful change.
  • Fluency in English, any other language is an asset.

To Apply:

To Apply, please provide a cover letter describing your specific experience with (1) social networking in business setting, and (2) writing and executing marketing plans involving social media. They will not consider candidates who do not meet this requirement. Send your letter and resume to[at]

Salary range: $45K-$60K
Closing date: Unknown
More info about company from: []
Contact: Send resumes to[at]

For more search industry job vacancies visit Search Engine College Jobs Board 

How to Evaluate a Directory for Link Building

Directory submissions still play a major role in most link building campaigns. But how can we be sure that a directory is worth submitting to, particularly if we have to pay a submission or annual membership fee? There is more to evaluating the worthiness of a directory than just the page rank of its home page, as Paul Teitelman points out in his blog post titled Link Building 101: How to Evaluate the Power of Directories.

Paul has outlined seven points to keep in mind when compiling a list of quality directories for link building purposes:

  • Check the Page Rank of the directory – This is usually our first port of call, and can give a good initial indication of a page’s authority. A pagerank of five or over indicates a good solid site.
  • Check how the domain name ranks in Google – There is a simple test to see if the domain has been penalized by Google. Conduct a Google search using the directory’s domain name, and see if the directory appears on the first page of the SERPs. If they don’t appear on the first page, or at all, they may have been penalized by Google.
  • Indexability and last time cached – To check how the googlebots are indexing the directory’s subpages enter a cache query (cache: into Google. An acceptable cache date would be within 1-2 weeks. A higher frequency of cache dates indicates authority.
  • Number and Quality of Inbound Links – The higher the better. Do the inbound link test (
  • Evaluate Category Pages and Outbound Links – It is important to submit our sites to the most relevant category. If a site could easily belong in more than one category, how do we decide which category is best? Check the page rank of each category page. Generally category pages within directories have little or no page rank, so it is a good sign if the page is ranked. Also check how many listings are in the category. If there are too many, your submitted site will be hard to find. If there is too few, the site may be lacking the quality and quantity of content needed to be considered an authority.
  • Does the Directory have Sitewide links in Google? Conduct a search in Google using the directory’s domain name. Do the results display with sitewide links under their listing? If yes, this signifies the directory has good authority.
  • Check for Appearances at Public Conventions and Industry Events – This method gives a good indication of the reach of the directory. If they can afford to advertise at key industry events then they are obviously a serious player.

Paul’s advice could also be applied to assessing any site for its link juice potential. To read more on how to conduct an Anchor Text test and how such a test can affect your link building decisions, go to the original blog post here.