Posts Tagged ‘Search Engine Marketing (SEM)’

Understanding MySQL Query Caching Process

November 5th, 2008

These days, websites are expected to perform. No excuses. I also mentioned before that website performance is key for SEO. Well, one easy thing that can be done is turning on MySQL caching. Most servers ship with MySQL in its default configuration which has caching turned off. There are many resources out there if you search enough, however I have found a presentation by Baron Shcwartz: MySQL Query Cache which explains in detail advanced concepts of MySQL Caching. Here is the slide that summarizes the process of MySQL Query Caching:

LAMP: Linux Apache MySQL PHP, Performance Optimization, PHP/MySQL , , ,

How to Use Mod_Rewrite to Set a Canonical URL

October 31st, 2008
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The importance of the Canonical URL is well known in the SEO world. However, for most web developers and website owners is something that is often overlooked. The theory in short explains that search engines rank each page individually and typically penalize multiple pages with duplicate content. So, if a site does not have a mechanism that identifies a Canonical URL, (in other words, a unique URL for the main page), search engines may evaluate multiple links that result in the home page separately. As a result, your site may get penalized altogether or simply suffer from lower pagerank due to the fact that the pagerank is now shared among multiple pages. An example:

The home page of a site can be displayed with any one of the following URLs:


To avoid the above, simply use apache’s mod_rewrite and include the following code in an .htaccess file that should be located at the root folder of the web server (replace the domain name text with your real one):
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.$1 [R=permanent,L]

Now, you’ll need to make sure that all your links that directs traffic to the home page use the chosen canonical url.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Development , , , , , ,

3 Steps to Increase Your Website’s Traffic with Popular Keywords

September 21st, 2008
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These days it is all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Especially now with the financial and real estate markets in turmoil, businesses seek to conserve resources and perhaps try the alternative to online advertising; seo with keyword targeting.

Keywords from A Tweeter User (

The following three steps will help you refine content based on a list of selected keywords:

1. List Targeted Keywords

Make a small list (5-15 keywords) of keywords that relate to your industry. Only you will actually know what keywords relate best to your business and services. What you want to remember is to list keywords that you assume your target audience will search for not necessarily keywords that describe your services directly. Notice that keywords can also be key phrases, meaning 2 or 3 keywords that are joined together into a phrase.

2. Refine the List of Targeted Keywords to Targeted and Popular Keywords

Use one of the following free services (or all of them) to refine your list:

These free tools give you a list of related keywords and key phrases with the relevant popularity and lots of other statistics. For example, we provide services for clients who power their ecommerce sites with ZenCart. I typed ‘zencart’ into Google Adwords Keyword Tool and it shows that some of the most popular key phrases are ‘zencart hosting’ and ‘zencart templates’. As a result, pages that relate to ZenCart should have these key phrases in the text. Perhaps I will separate the zencart list of keywords from the rest of the keywords, etc.

3. Develop Content Based on Targeted Keywords

Now that we have a list of refined keywords, it is time to do something about it. Develop or refine your content around these keywords.

Of-course in each website there will be a hit or a miss. Keep exploring for new keywords on a regular basis and make sure to keep tracking the results or any changes that occur as a result of your refined content.

Do you want to share your methods of achieving high levels of targeted traffic?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Development, ZenCart , , ,

SEO vs PPC: is SEO the preference these days?

September 7th, 2008

Since the days that Overture mastered PPC, even before AdWords was born, I advocated for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and overall SEM (Search Engine Marketing) over PPC (Pay Per Click advertisement). Recently, blogs, news, client requests, and Google Trends show an ever increasing attention toward SEO at the expense of attention to PPC. Site owners are starting to realize that PPC is not the only solution and certainly not the best.

There are many reasons which will lead businesses and individuals to shift their resources and efforts from online advertisement, PPC in particular, to SEO. Some of the reasons that come to mind are: slowing economy, advertisement saturation, lack of ROI, and perhaps realization that SEO has superior value. The facts are obvious: more businesses look for SEO than ever before. Here is a recent comparison of SEO and PPC in Google Trends (from today 9/7/08):

It is true that with paid online marketing such as AdWords or Panama, it is fairly easy to see results fast. However, once you analyze the ROI in almost any business and on almost any product now a days, the data will tell you that you did OK, and nothing more than OK. In other words, you will get results but a simple glance at all your options will reveil similar or, in some cases, better ROI with other venues like Press Releases, Public Relations, Good old fashion marketing, or even … SEO. In fact, you might discover that if you try using a newsletter to promote your products you may get better ROI. This occured more than once with our clients, where their customers enjoyed the personal attention and the on going discounts that we saw a continuous boost of 30-50% in sales the day of the newsletter compared to the entire month. The bottom line: you must try other venues not only PPC advertisement!

As for the negative part of PPC, I will cover it very briefly just because I do not enjoy discussing the negatives. Watch for click fraud! Avoid paying for syndicated advertisement – it almost never shows results! Ok, I am done.

So why SEO? I have managed websites where the owner consistently spent north of $100K on paid advertisement per month with a single PPC vendor. While it worked and the results were there – the ROI compared to other solutions were never great. In comparison, take one month pay away from PPC and put it toward SEO at least once a year and you shall see greater results over time. The upside to PPC is that it is immediate, once you turn it on you see hits. With SEO you got to give it time and nurish the process. Typical results are showing within 3-6 months and nothing is guaranteed. These are the main reasons that businesses shy away from it, but they shouldn’t. Remember, once you gain momentum in SEO it is very difficult to take it away.

Never forget that SEO is only one of many tools or aproaches that you need for any website. Marketing a website requires a mix of efforts, one of them is SEO. Efficient website marketing includes SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Press Releases (with links), Working on raising the number of links into the site, etc.


The fact is out: a trend of increased attention to SEO over PPC is on. The reason for this trend is not fully understood but it can be attributed to the slowing economy, lack of ROI, or better awareness of SEO value. Regardless, many SEO projects have shown that SEO can deliver better ROI than PPC over time. Do you prefer SEO over PPC?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Development , ,