Q and A: Why can’t we outrank Wikipedia for our target keyword?

QuestionHi Kalena

We’ve been trying to move to #1 on Google with the keyword voip, however, we have been unable to beat Wikipedia – obviously because they have a lot of strong inbound links. We are #1 on Yahoo! and MSN and #2 on Google.

Two questions: 1. Any ideas of what to do? 2. Any ideas of how to have our Wikipedia page approved? They keep rejecting our submissions saying it’s too commercial. We re-wrote it many times, made it absolutely non-commercial but no luck.


Hi Ferenc

Thanks for the coffee bribe, I really appreciate it.

Wikipedia has very strict rules on what constitutes suitable content for one of their pages. If your intent is simply to gain a link for the keyword voip, then your motivation is probably pretty obvious. From my experience in trying to get a client listed in Wikipedia, they generally won’t list a page about a company unless there are existing reference links to that company in Wikipedia already. In other words, you have to be a trusted source.

To be quite honest with you, why should Google list you higher than Wikipedia for voip anyway? What makes your site a better resource for searchers? Seems to me that position #2 is nothing to be sneezed at.

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April Search Light Newsletter: the procrastination edition

Search LightSo I’m guilty again of procrastinating after a conference and letting the Search Light Newsletter go out late again this month. Sorry about that!

But our April edition is finally out. It includes a roundup of SMX Sydney, some search FAQs, and an article about why online businesses should be blogging. If you’re not yet a subscriber, (what are you thinking?), you can catch it here.

Q and A: What is your opinion of SEO Standards?

QuestionHi Kalena

This may be a little off your normal topics… But, you always seem to have such a well thought out view that I want to know your opinion of SEO Standards?

What do you really think about the idea? Good and bad?


Hi Chris

It’s interesting that you bring up this topic, because we’ve been hashing this very subject a lot on Sphinn lately. Jill Whalen made a post on Search Engine Land where she stated that she didn’t think we needed standards and this resulted in some passionate arguments both for and against standards.

My opinion? Until search marketing has an official, widely accepted industry body, I don’t see how we can have official standards. This industry has unspoken standards and they’ve worked well for 10 or more years. We white-hat educators promote the unofficial standards and search engine guidelines already. The creation of official standards without a ruling industry body would, in my opinion, just spawn more problems.

Besides, creating standards is not going to get rid of shoddy SEOs or make them switch hats. Creating standards is not going to prevent the general public from being ripped off by SEM cowboys. Buyer beware has to come into play at some point.

I’ve written an article about this for SiteProNews about this: SEM Industry Standards: Nonsense or Necessary?

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Search Industry Job of the Week: Search Marketing Specialist

Job Title: Search Marketing Specialist
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Grand Canyon University
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Date Posted: 12 April 2008
Position description:

The Search Marketing Specialist manages organic and paid search marketing efforts for Grand Canyon University web properties. This includes all websites, landing pages and partnership programs.

Some of the day-to-day tasks will include:

  • Conduct keyword research and selection for paid search campaigns.
  • Write effective search marketing advertisements based on marketing and branding.
  • Recommend content, tags, and copy based on keyword research.
  • Proactively make strategic recommendations regarding campaign tactics to improve performance by optimizing click-through and conversion.
  • Make suggestions on where to display advertising.
  • Create link building campaigns to help improve search results.
  • Report on the effectiveness of campaigns and search optimization efforts by preparing reports that demonstrate measureable levels of success.

Skills/ Requirements:

  • 2-4 years of online marketing experience.
  • Experience with keyword research, tools, and paid search.
  • Knowledge of organic search optimization principles and techniques.
  • Understanding of link building.
  • Strong interpretive/analytical skills.
  • Clear understanding of affiliate marketing and viral marketing.
  • Proven track record implementing SEO principles.

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info from: http://www.gcu.edu/showjob.php?back=2&id=395
Contact: Send resumes to hr[at]gcu.com

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

Q and A: Why is my client’s site no longer ranking in Google?

QuestionHi Kalena

I’ve been reading your articles and find your answers to many people very helpful. So, here is my issue.

I am helping a friend with his website that I built. I felt like we did a pretty decent job with SEO and we had some fairly high ranking in some key terms like “lasik in chicago” 6th and “lasik in Oakbrook” 2nd.

All of a sudden I was changing the index page to put up a larger flash video. I also added some additional text that looks similiar to some of the higher ranking sites that are competitors of my friend Dr. Sloane. Since then I have noticed he has been moved down to page three for the same ranking. When I went into Google Webmaster Tools, I noticed that it shows that Googlebot hasn’t accessed the homepage since 2007. Also, I see all my pages rank very low on PageRank.

I’m just a little bit confused and was hoping that you could give me a little advice on getting his site on the right track. He has been around on the net since mid 90’s, so the domain has some age.


Hi Shannon

First of all, thank you for the caffeine donation, that helps a lot when I’m answering these questions in the wee hours. As for your issue, I’ve taken a look and wow, where do I start? How about here:

1) The first major content on your client’s home page HTML is a huge Flash file. Quite apart from the fact that it’s visually distracting and goes against every web site usability rule possible, you’ve stuck it right after the header tags, meaning it’s the first thing search engines are going to try and index. The file isn’t optimized so it doesn’t tell Googlebot and others anything about your page, it simply pushes the meatier content further down the code.

2) You seem to have some weird link to the iFrance site embedded in an iframe. What’s that about? It looks dodgy and search engines don’t like iframes so it’s probably triggered a red flag or two.

3) Your current home page looks and smells like a doorway page. There’s no obvious formatting, no navigation menu, the design is not consistent with the rest of the site and it doesn’t load properly in Firefox. I was half expecting to see user-agent sniffer code in the HTML, but perhaps it’s just really poor design.

4) We’re up to number 4 already, and this is probably your main problem: there seems to be some type of delayed meta refresh that kicks in after 5 seconds and redirects people to a different URL on the same domain. This is retro spam at it’s finest and is like waving a huge red flag at Google saying “HEY, I’M DOING SOMETHING DODGY OVER HERE! PENALIZE ME QUICK”

Spammers like to use meta refreshes in order to bait and switch i.e. show Googlebot a family safe DVD page like Driving Miss Daisy and then redirect human searchers to a porn site of the… ahem… same name. Ditch the redirect pronto. Decide which home page you want to show both users and search engines and stick with it.

Surprisingly, your Title and META tags check out ok, although there’s a bit of excessive keyword repetition in your META Keywords tag. Googlebot last cached your home page on 13 April so check your Webmaster Tools account again.

That’s it for now, I hate to say it but my coffee’s run out.

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