This is one of my favorite strategies for search engine optimization. For most web sites, there is a lot of untapped potential because they have too few pages, which can only target a few keywords.

Each month, people use over 40,000 different search keyphrases to find the pages on my web sites. My top keyword in this long list represents only 5% of the search engine traffic. Logically, it makes sense that I should spend 95% of my time trying to rank well for other related keywords. Some people will only focus on the "holy grail" top keywords for their industry. While this is important to do, you may find that you can generate more traffic by targeting a large number of less competitive keywords. For many sites, this alone can result in doubling or tripling the search engine traffic.

The folks at www.miislita.com/searchito/business-scene.html are posting this news. It suggests that Google results can be deceived by discussion forums, not just blogs.

05-24-GATEWAY - A Google Bomb for Gateway? Mi Islita.com has discovered that a search for "bad computer company" (without the double quotes) in Google returns a forum discussing that Gateway is a bad computer company (positions 1 and 2 out of 5,870,000 results). A search for "bad computer" (without the double quotes) returns the forum as #5 out 9,650,000. Interesting.

I recently came across a tool that displays Amazon product links that are targeted at the content of the page - much the same way that Google AdSense targets ads.

The tool, which is offered by Alexa, works by adding some javacript to your page like this:

<script src="http://quicklinks.alexa.com/ifreq_server?return_js=1&store=books&tag=dvdplayers
&ad_geometry=14&url=http://www.markcarey.com/
content-targeted-amazon-ads.html">
</script>

Here it is in action (as I write this I am not sure what books will be recommended):

I have started a test with these ads on several of my sites. I wonder how good the targeting will be. Compared to AdSense, the range of products that can be displayed is much narrower, especially since you have to specify only one amazon store (books, dvds, electronics, etc.). By the way, that's number one feature request for Amazon associate links: ads boxes that span more than one store. This would be especially useful for Amazon Web Services (AWS) - enabling you to display a book, a dvd, and a dvd player in the same ad box. I am interested in feedback on how good the targeting is -- please reply in the discussion for this entry with your comments.

You can pass the following arguments with the script:

store - books, dvd, electronics, etc.
url - the URL of the page to target
tag - your Amazon associates id
ad_geometry - a code associated with the size and dimensions of the ad box

There is also an XML output option, which returns a series of keywords and a single key phrase based on the target URL. The idea is that you can then use the key phrase to display links using AWS. The XML method take the following form:

http://quicklinks.alexa.com/ifreq_server?n_terms=3&url=http://www.markcarey.com/content-targeted-amazon-ads.html

The tag n_terms enables you to limit the maximum number of terms that are returned. This actually affects the target phrase as well, so it would be interesting to test the optimal number of terms to achieve the best targeting.

To see what books would be recommended on your site, use the form below:


URL:
Ad Geometry:

Submit:

In the month of March, my web sites collectively exceeded one million page views for the first time. Actually, there were 1,301,222 page views, so I am well on my way to two million!

I am not posting this in order to toot my own horn. Rather, I do it to share the results of my strategies for web presence management and search engine optimization (SEO). These strategies, which combine blogging tools with quality content and solid SEO, create a virtuous cycle of traffic growth. I can help you implement similar strategies to help you boost traffic and rankings for your site. For a free assessment of your web site, click here.

Yesterday I posted my first Movable Type plugin, MTDynamic, on my new site, MT Hacks.

The plugin enables dynamic rendering of Movable Type blogs by using parameters in the URL. This can be used to display an entire MT site (pr just selected pages) dynamically, which opens up some interesting applications. One is the filtering of content by blog author, catgeory, and other criteria.

For more information about MTDynamic, click here.