Page Ranking Factors

There are many folks that will ask questions of search marketers.  One of the common ones is what affects how a page is ranked.  Well a great list was compiled by SEOMoz.  SEOMoz created the first and second comprehensive search ranking factors document.

Thanks to, we have a revised document that is spot on and more concise.  Take a look at

Here is the list without details on each topic.  Keep in mind that these things are not just black and white.  Some matter more than others and the relevance of each factor will vary based upon the site.

  • PageRank (or relative nodal link valuation)
  • Link text (internal and external)
  • Link relevance (global and page)
  • Also see Temporal, Personalized PageRank and Phrase factors.
  • Page TITLE tag
  • Meta-description tag
  • Document inception/age data
  • Link velocity
  • Link age
  • Viral/Current news (QDF)
  • Time of year (niche trends)
  • Content update rate
  • Domain history
  • Inbound links (global)
  • Outbound links
  • Named entities (products, brand, author)
  • Contact information (also important for geographic signals)
  • Location of client device
  • Location of webpage hosting
  • Contact / location information
  • Inbound/outbound link geo-factors
  • Linguistic indicators (language and nuances)
  • Heading (H1-5)
  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Lists
  • Font attributes (size, color)
  • Related phrase ratios
  • Categorization of content (clusters)
  • Occurrences (probabilistic)
  • Duplication dampening (filters)
  • Personalization (phrase based)
  • Link analysis (inbound)
  • Global site relevance
  • Term proximity (for multi-term queries)
  • Image tagging (in content segment/related terms)
  • Search History
  • Web history (pages/sites we visit)
  • Query revision (and analysis)
  • Search intent (informational, navigational)
  • Explicit data (favourites, reader,wiki)
  • Interaction with advertising
  • Surfing frequency/ time of day
  • Personalized PageRank (yahoo and google)
  • SERP and document interactions
  • Duplicate issues (structural/content)
  • Link devaluations (segmentation, link text, recips)
  • Poor architecture/coding
  • Reviewer penalties
  • Redundant meta-data (such as meta-descriptions)
  • Canonical / URL issues
  • Server reliability (can be de-indexed)
  • Phrase based detection
  • Cloaking
  • Boilerplate
  • Domain history
  • Query analysis
  • Network proxy detection
  • Link based (link spam and excessive recips)
  • Client type (browser, mobile)
  • Toolbars and browser (Google Suggest, web history)
  • Application focus (email, instant messenger, RSS etc..)

The Google PC

It is getting closer and closer.  A Google PC.  Competition is good!

Android gains fans. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is considering whether to use Google’s (GOOG) Android operating software for some of its computers. The software, which is free and open-source, could be a viable platform for netbooks, posing a direct challenge to Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows system. Although no PC maker has yet publicly committed to using Android, many in the industry, including Microsoft, consider an Android-run laptop just a matter of time.

This is the most direct move into the space yet.  Gears followed by Chrome went a long way, but a light (and free) OS is a giant leap.

Retrieve Last Record Inserted – Coldfusion

This post highlights an old method to retrieve last record. Coldfusion has changed a lot since then.  Keep searching.

If you are a developer, there is no doubt that you have the need to retrieve the last record of a database insert without requiring another input from the end user.  You want your user experience to appear as fluid as possible and an unnecessary multiple page submit does not accomplish that.

If you have a record that you will be inserting and need the ID of that just inserted record, your code will depend upon the database that you use.  I will cover two of the most common DB’s used, MSSQL and MySQL.

Retrieve last record inserted (ID) if using Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL):

I won’t go deep into the how and why, what I am looking to do is provide a basis for you to get over this little stumbling block.  When using MSSQL, you can accomplish the task within your record insert query.  I am assuming that you know the basics about inserting data using CF Query.  I am also using <cfqueryparam> to protect my queries from hacks and to require particular datatypes. This has nothing to do with the key retrieval, it is just good practice.

Continue reading Retrieve Last Record Inserted – Coldfusion

Google Shutting down Radio Ads

Google jumped into the radio ad market with a small amount of fanfare back in 2006. If you were someone who gave their radio ads a shot, I would bet that you might have had the same experience. Terrible audience. Well, the radio ad experiment is shutting down.

Radio advertising is like real estate. Location, location, location. If you aren’t tapping into the heart of a market, you aren’t going to provide a good product to the end user. In my market (Buffalo NY) the station mix was very poor. Fringe stations to say the least. Some test campaigns were virtually useless. Advertisers can continue using Google Audio Ads until May 31st.

Google is getting back to its roots and focusing on what comes from that. They are retreating certain fronts (selling radio ads and selling newspaper ads) and continuing to build on search and Adwords and the audience that it brings.

They need to focus on their core for the coming battle in the OS/desktop space.

Eyetracking Studies and Page Design

When consulting on site layouts and page layouts there is often a balancing act with regard to what a site owner wants to see and what will give the opportunity for the highest level of success. Users of the web have become conditioned on where to focus and what to expect. If you don’t deliver what they expect within a short period of time, your user will become detached and bounce.

There are many site owners/designers who will use a beautiful looking layout from one of the many template sites (,, etc.). Though many of these designs are beautiful, many are designed to be visually appealing and don’t take usability into account. There are many template designs with tall header graphics that don’t allow much more than a couple of inches at the bottom of the screen for your valuable content and or navigation.
Page layout

There are also factors to consider such as ad blindness. If you design your page in a way that your call to action(s) resemble advertising, your message will be lost. Combine that with a huge header garphic and your visitor is gone before considering your message, service, or product.

The Gateway website (below) is a great example of ad blindness. Take a look at the hot spots in this heat map (the hot spots are the focus points of the users’ eyes). The red arrow demonstrates the lack of focus that was paid toward the ‘featured item’. The designer may have felt that this would become a focus, however, the exact opposite took place. Ad blindness kept this feature from gaining any attention.
Gateway eyetrack view

When designing a site/page, be sure to take usability into account. Don’t let your featured items be misconstrued as advertising and subject to blindness. Consider writing styles that will provide users with snippets of information. There is a particular method for writing on the web. Short paragraphs, bulleted lists, interjected images, etc. You need to provide your message to your user in short order or your user will be gone. All of the marketing efforts to deliver that visitor are lost if your page cannot convert.

Let the Traffic Shaping Battles Begin!

Traffic shaping is the practice of a broadband provider determining what data packets, if any, deserve priority. This is at the core of the battle with net neutrality. If providers are allowed to shape, then they will be able to put a throttle on traffic of their competition.

Let’s say that you have a Vonage VOIP service. What if Cox Communications decides that those packets deserve the lowest priority. What do you think would deserve a higher priority? Packets for the Cox VOIP product? Packets for the VOIP product who is paying Cox for the “fast lane” on their network? You bet and of course.

The first public volley was lobbed today (not sure why). Cox announced that they were going to experiment with aggressive traffic shaping. I have assumed that there has been experimentation with less “aggressive” traffic shaping for quite some time now.

This was followed hours later by a release that Google is going to provide tools, in partnership with Measurement lab, to let you check if your broadband connection is being ‘shaped’. This could get interesting. In my opinion, the politicians would love to throw this one to the cable and phone companies who line their pockets. However, the outcry from the public, and the market should be loud enough to slow this practice.

Why do these battles generally mean bad news for consumers?

BOTW local. Great lead in

Best of the Web has been a top notch operation running since 1994. They are slowly overtaking DMOZ in terms of reach and attention. Their model has progressed so much that the listings they provide are well worth the value.

BOTW now has a local product It is in Beta, and free, so you should get your listing there while you can. Boost your local profile. has proven that they can build a product properly and ethically.


I might say that this post has nothing to do with being a better, or more efficient, webmaster, but as I type I have to believe that it does. If you are focused on building your business, site(s) or companies, you might be fortunate (hard working) enough to have put some $$ in the bank. If so, making that money work for you is wise. The markets have taken a beating which has, hopefully, made you work a little harder.

There are times when a local investor will see a story before (if ever) it reaches the mainstream news. My back yard bank is probably one of these stories. Conservative lending practices, in house underwriting, local focus.. M&T bank should be a great buy.

Call me crazy, but everything has been taken down with the markets. Don’t get me wrong, returns will be lower and profits thinner, but money is cheap and if a bank like M&T (MTB) stays true to its conservative roots, they should emerge from this recession/depression stronger than ever. They took down $600 million from the TARP program. That money can be used to lend or fund acquisitions of distressed assets. They already picked up Provident in a relatively small, but geographically significant deal.

I was a buyer at $57-$60. I feel like I should be a screaming buyer at $50 for the same reasons.

If you are considering a purchase, be sure you have a long time horizon ~3 + years and that you don’t exhaust all of your funds. If you want 100 shares of MTB, purchase 60 and keep some dry powder ready to rebuy if it pulls back more.

Not sure about the status of the dividend, but MTB has a yield of 5.2% right now.

Take a look for yourself. Do your research. I have to believe that MTB will out pace the indexes over the next 2 to 5 years.

Everyone Should Buy Local… Except for Us

I always find it humorous when local organizations, public or private, tout the fact that you should buy local. Support your local economy, support your local merchants!

However, when it comes time for them to “buy”, they don’t follow their own advice. Take a look at the picture below:
Buy local not buffalo

This is the perfect example of a company that touts local companies and urges you to buy locally. This organization is

committed to building a more local, green and fair economy in Buffalo, NY

Just not for them. Who built their web site? You guessed it… a company out of Atlanta, GA. People will probably not notice this, but that isn’t the point.