Google Backlinks

For those of you who have always wanted Google to open up their back link check (example “”), the time has come. Well, sort of. Google isn’t going to display every single backlink to your site, but they are at least getting better. This is especially helpful since the last update to the links that could be viewed using the “link” command dropped dramatically. Some were complaining that it was 1/10th of the previous data. Depending on the quality of the links, that was sometimes the case, sometimes even less than that number.

Read more about the backlink update here: Google back link update

The new tool is found within Google Webmaster Central and can only be viewed by the site owner (in theory). Remember the little issue that Google had when they released sitemaps? I have faith that GOOG will be able to keep this one secure. In fact, I like the fact that this will be a private tool. When you put a lot of effort into building some nice links, you hate to simply give that list of sites to a competitor (Are you listening YHOO and MSN?).

I wonder if there will be a day when Google doesn’t display any link information to the public. Can you think of a reason why they should or shouldn’t?

Webmaster Radio Player

Are you a fan of, but you don’t seem to find the time to listen the way that you would like to?  Well, how about a desktop player that incorporates the live stream along with the IRC chat room and event photos.  If you hear the hosts talk about what people are discussing in the chat room and aren’t sure what they are referring to, now you will.

You can download the Webmaster Radio Podcast Communicator

It is a relatively small application (1.1meg) and I haven’t noticed any issues or conflicts to date.   Enjoy.

Domain Backorders

Did you know that you could backorder a domain name? If someone lets their domain expire, you can place a backorder giving you the opportunity to own the name if it expires.

A friend contacted me today about a site (forum) that he visits often. The domain was not renewed and is currently in pending-delete status. When this is the case, the current owner is essentially give a grace period to renew his/her domain name. If they do not, the domain will be up for grabs at the end of the pending delete period. The date is known and is generally 30 days after the domain expiration date.

If you are looking to grab a domain, you can try the following services. Of course, there are more, but these are the two that I use.

Unfortunately, you don’t automatically receive all of the value that the domain had prior to expiration. When a domain expires, a lot of the value is lost in the eyes of the search engines (backlinks). However, if you are buying because there are links that are probably delivering traffic, this could be a decent path to take.

If you are someone who feels that all of the good domain names are taken, sign up for a keyword alert from some of the backorder services.  They will e-mail you a list of expiring domains containing your root keyword.  You will be surprised at what you will see.

25 Signs of Poor Quality

There is a nice thread running at (started by user: Fribble) regarding the signs of a poor quality site. There are a number of people who are chiming in on the topic all with valid points. There are some very obvious signs, but also some items which might surprise you. Do you have a privacy policy? Some feel it is a must, others, not so much.

If you don’t get to the thread (link below) I would add the comment regarding validating your HTML. If your page doesn’t validate, you might have trouble with your site being crawled.

As of 1/27/2007 the list compiled by Fribble stood as:

  • Reciprocal link request pages coupled with existing reciprocal links to non-relevant sites.Thanks thecoalman
  • No Privacy policy. (Debatable) (site-dependent?) (jdMorgan:The standard URL for your compact privacy policy is: /w3c/p3p.xml )
  • Outdated copyright date or last modified date visible on the pages. (Debatable)
  • error pages that don’t send 404 headers or send content regardless of the page requested/querystring entered.
  • Massive numbers of incoming links from link farms.
  • dead/404ing links.
  • High link churn.
  • No published contact address, email address or phone number. (Debatable) (site-dependent?)
  • A high bounce rate (surfers clicking back on their browser and selecting another search result).
  • Too much duplicate content.
  • Whois info for the domain which is the same as other domains previously penalized or banned. (Could also be true of adsense publisher/affiliate ID’s and other identifiable footprints)
  • Use of/links to affiliate programs that are known scams
  • Domains previously used for spam or that are blacklisted.
  • excessively long URI’s/URL’s (query strings or folder and file names)
  • A high percentage of affiliate links vs regular outbound links.
  • No / very few outbound links (depending on the site’s type/niche).
  • No / very few inbound links (depending on the site’s type/niche).
  • All inbound links are to homepage only (Debatable)(Site Dependant?)
  • Outbound links to questionable/spammy/crap sites.
  • [Matt Probert]The inappropriate or gratuitous use of profanity
  • Too many spelling errors.
  • Contains unrelated subjects (ex: a site that reviews toys and tries to sell insurance or viagra).
  • Lack of interest from social bookmarking sites.
  • MySQL or PHP errors in the pages
  • [tedster]No real menu or information architecture — just a laundry list of links going on down the page.
  • [abbeyvet]relatively short pages/articles containing unnaturally high keyword density for their topic – almost always contain within them 2 or more large adsense or other advertising units.
  • [steveb]Adsense
  • [steveb]More than 25% links from blogs
  • [steveb]No links to the site from any domain in the top 100 for a query where the page ranks in the top 20 for that query
  • [mattg3]Small font size text framed by ads. Or big adsense blocks. I avoid them cause I am sue my users think too they are cr@p. Just disregard the heatmap.
  • [buckworks]The drop list for the user to select their credit card expiry date still includes last year.

Join the discussion and throw your two cents in. If you are new to Webmaster World, you will be happy that you discovered the site.

Alexa Juice

Looks like I have some mad Alexa traffic juice working. Want me to pour some on your site?

Just kidding. If you pay a lot of attention to your Alexa ranking, stop right now! A middling site will probably rank somewhere between 250,000 and 2,000,000. The traffic could be very close between the 250k site and the 2mil site. Once you get into the lower number/higher traffic Alexa ranking, the traffic stats are more difficult to skew (below 100,000 as a general rule). Most people will tell you that your Alexa ranking doesn’t matter. For the most part, I agree.

Seriously, about that Alexa juice that I have… I have done some work over the past couple of weeks on a brand new domain. This domain (1 page right now) has gone from an Alexa ranking of approximately 2,000,000 to about 750,000 in about a week. It is not linked anywhere, there is 1 page to be crawled, and there is nothing social hapening. It appears to be coming from my visits alone (testing designs) and is probably due to a Firefox tool that I use. If anyone has enough interest in juicing their own stats, let me know and I will research the root cause further.

Some might ask “why would you want a boost of your Alexa ranking?”. Well, it is mainly about perception. When you are talking to a potential partner, or being looked at for various other link ups, it is possible that the other party will do a little homework and possibly take this into account. I can assure you that I receive many more calls when working on a domain that was just outside of 10,000 than I do with a domain having traffic ranking around 300,000. A higher ranking might make a potential affiliate partner, or business partner more interested in doing business with you.

If this matters to you, let me know. I will provide 2 ways to boost your ranking. To get a real large boost, you will need to spend a few bucks, but if it matters to you the opportunity does exist. Contest

A friend of mine is putting together a site that will allow you to create your own commentary and broadcast of the big game aka the Superbowl ™.

His site is (personal broacasting) and they will be offering some great prizes to the best entry for the big game. What you need to do is record your own commentary of the 2nd quarter and submit your entry. You can win a 50″ plasma TV, a Nintendo WII, or an Ipod.

Your chances of winning are pretty high since the promotion started rather late. Good luck.

You Got People – Are you kidding?

Are you kidding me H&R Block? The tag-line for their new ad campaign is “you got people”! I might slaughter the English language from time to time. I don’t claim to have proper grammar in all of my writing, but at least I can say that I didn’t do it on purpose.

Who sat in a room when coming up with a campaign for H&R Block this tax season and decided that it would be a good idea to butcher the English language just because it was something that could be branded and trademarked? Was it something that they wanted others to talk about? Was this a “brilliant marketing ploy” as Leo Laporte might suggest.

I suppose you know you are getting old when these things bother you.