Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Comment Spam Happens on Nofollow Blogs

I just found a great explanation of why low-quality link builders persist at spamming blogs with useless comments. The brief explanation was actually part of a longer comment on another blog post complaining about Black-hat SEO techniques. Although not confirmed by my personal experience, the explanation makes a lot of sense.

By way of explanation, the nofollow attribute in a link keeps Google from counting that link as a backlink to your website. Almost all blogs automatically attribute links in their comments with nofollow. Since gaining links on other Websites to yours (link building) is done for the purpose of having Google count those links as backlinks, nofollow blog comment links seem useless for SEO.

As the comment cited above pointed out, these cheap links ARE useless for SEO. Their real purpose is to confuse competitors trying to determine where the real link juice is coming from. Another benefit of this spammy link building is that it makes the link profile of the website look more natural to Google. A steady stream of garbage links smooths out the linking profile.

Beware though. Small players could really get burned if they try using this technique themselves. Without the real strong links that the big guys have, all these garbage links can do a lot of harm and no good.

Blog comments, link exchanges and low quality link directories are the mainstays of offshore, cheap link building operations. If you've ever used Yahoo Site Explorer to take a peek at a high ranking websites inlinks, you know how much garbage there is to sift through to find a good link. If you have a blog, you know the volume of obvious spam comments that are submitted daily.

So, although spam blog comments are a major annoyance to bloggers, and an enigma to SEOs, they will persist as long as they are useful to the big players in keeping their link building process a secret.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Las Positas College - Visual Communications Program | Pleasanton Web Site Design

Want to be a Web Designer? Check out this great community college program in the East Bay Area. Perfect for students living in the Tri-Valley - Pleasanton, Dublin or Livermore. Not a huge commute from Fremont either!

Las Positas College - Visual Communications Program Pleasanton Web Site Design

Monday, May 17, 2010

Breezing Forms for Joomla: Captcha Image Sucks

If you've used Joomla for websites that require custom forms, you've probably heard about Breezing Forms, or it's predecessor, Facile Forms. Breezing forms is the best Joomla component you can use for custom forms, in my opinion, but it is not without it's flaws. The programmer, however usually addresses bugs pretty quickly, and is available to help with problems that come up.

When I upgraded to a new version, 1.65 I think, I was dismayed to see the huge, red and blue captcha image in a big bubbly font. The old captcha image was small and could fit onto compact forms, worked into webpage content to increase conversion. Now the captcha image itself was about 1/2 the size of many of my forms!

Luckily, this is something that you can configure. There's a file available just for that purpose:
Open up the file you'll see well commented parameters that allow you to change the size, distortion, font, font color, number of characters, and background of the Breezing Forms captcha image.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence Tool

Ready for the coolest new SEO tool that you've never heard of? Try out Microsoft Advertising Intelligence (formerly Microsoft AdCenter Add-in for Excel). Like all the great free SEO tools, it has been developed to aid in the use of a search engine's PPC program. It is still very valuable for organic SEO.

Here's what you need:
  • Microsoft Excel 2007
  • A MS AdCenter account
Just install it (with Excel closed), start up Excel and you'll see a new tab with a ton of functions that will make any SEO geek smile. But, I won't spoil the surprise. Download it now and get started!