SEO Company Blog

SEO Company BlogThis SEO Company Blog started out as a simple spec for a Keyword Ranking Monitor Tool that is being building but has turned into a commentless blog style page. Now I will be moving the content of this page into WordPress.

Out With Suckerfish Menu, In with 3 Column All In CSS First Sourced Center Column Template - Oct 05/2005

I have been looking at 3 column all in CSS templates as I am doing a long overdue redesign of this Website. I am going to be using a 3 column all in CSS fixed width center column that is center column first sourced.

I am throwing out the suckfish menu and going with a menu in the first column. I decided that running your menu down a column allows you to expose more of the page titles to your users than running a horizontal menu across the top of your content. The horizontal menu hides your page titles which is not a good thing.

The other point is that if you run your menu across the top the spider is going to end up reading your menu items first. If you use a two or three column template and you first source your second or center column the spiders will read your content before your menu.

The Skidoo Too by Ruthsarian has a center column that is first sourced and I have been eyeing this template over of the last six month.

postioniseverything.com also has a template that has the center column first sourced. Check out the source on both of these and you will see the second column is first sourced.

Here are a few more quality 3 column layouts.

Here is my 3 Column Template and my 2 Column Template. I am still working on getting the fixed width working on the 3 column template on IE.

Dedicated Server Ordered, Two New Tools, Best Sept Tool Winner - Oct 03/2005

Well I spend a couple of hours looking at all the different server packages and settled with a server from Managed.com. I ended up with a 2.8Ghz P4, 1GB DDRAM, 120GB IDE, 1TB brandwidth, Redhat Fedora, and Cpanel.

I am releasing my first two free SEO tools next week. Tool #1 will spider you whole site and then check Google, Yahoo, and MSN to see which URL's are in the index and show you ther percents and let you list the URL's are are or arn't for each search engine. Tool #2 will search the Overture PPC database for a keyword and then check to see how your Website ranking on Google, Yahoo and MSN for those keywords. I will be releasing between 20 and 40 quality tools in the next 3 to 6 months.

The XML Sitemap Generator tool picked up the Best September Tool award. That gets them 22 links from the SEO tools pages on this site and links from all the other sites that displaying the RSS feed of the SEO Tools directory pages.

Work as not started on the Keyword Ranking Monitor Tool but things are getting close. I set move time in discuss with the programmer that will be doing the tool for me.

Yet Another Name Change - Sept 30/2005

Well I looked at the Overture PPC data base and based on the searches I decided to change the name of the keyword ranking display app to Keyword Ranking Monitor Tool. The numbers are not big but I would like to target "keyword ranking", "keyword ranking tool", and "monitor keyword ranking". Also I think Keyword Ranking Monitor Tool describes the app better than Keyword Ranking Display App.

Here are the August 2005 numbers from Overture's Keyword Selector Tool.


To Blog or Not to Blog - This is the Question - Sept 30/2005

Well I have been tossing this one over in my mind for some time now. I started another page 6 months ago and was going to blog there but nothing became of it. Since them Allan Webb kindly give me a job blogging at Abakus Internet Marketing Blog. I have enjoyed working with Allan and he has pretty much given me free rein. Of course I have had to try to keep self promotion of my own site to a minumum but with my own blog there would be no limits.

At this time with all the thing going on at my site and with so many projects on the go I though there is lots to blog about that will interest other marketers. So I have decided to move the content of this blog style page into wordpress and go at it.

I am going to be keeping the blog here on SEO Company mostly to what is going on here on this site and stick with posting most of my quality posts over that Abacus.

I have been putting this decision off for some time now as I am working on getting the site redesigned. But as that seems to get put on the back burner for other "important" projects I am just going to go ahead. When get the new design done I will just have the design applied to the blog.

So the answer is - yes!

Lots of Talking, Finish Spec, Dedicated Server - Sept 30/2005

Well things don't always go as fast as you would like them to go. I spend a good number of hours yesterday discussing the project with two differnet programmers and writing out a new spec. I also called Rand Fishkin and picked his brain on how accessing the Google and Yahoo API was working for him over at SEOMOz.org and got lots of good info there - thanks Rand.

I have put together a new spec and put it out to tender and am just going to move ahead and get it all done at once. Here are some of the features I will be adding.

1. Set up mouse over code on keywords so that the image is not changed on mouse off.
2. Setup image maps so the when you mouse over the graph lines the cell data is displayed. See sample of line graph mouse overs (hover over the blue, orange and purple dots on the graph).
3. Create a PHP conversion file that will take the RSS feed and re-create the same page on an external Website. This will be written in PHP and be able to be added with an include statement.
4. The default page will show 1 month. Setup the main page with a 7 day, 1 month, 2 month, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month button that will reload the page and preload the graphs for that time period.
5. Add links above the keyworks for for backlinks in Google, Yahaoo, MSN; Number of documents in the index of Google, Yahoo, MSN; and Alexa 3 Month Ranking.
6. Setup the ability to ftp into the clients website and pull their logs and show visits, unique visitors, and page views on another link above the keyword links.

I have been looking at dedicated servers as I am going to need one for this project. Managed.com has some pretty nice looking deals. Their Dedicated Intel Servers page shows a nice $109.95 package with a P4 2.8Ghz, 1GB DDRAM, 120GB EIDE, 1TB BW, no setup fees and no contract. Of course they want another $20 for Cpanel so that takes it to $130. Doesn't seem to bad of a deal to me. I have programmers working on another project of about 20 to 40 SEO tools so I am going to need this server anyway.

Display Change Ordered - Faster Flip Using JpGraph & Adding Image Maps For Mouse Over Data - Sept 28/2005

Well the mockup display seems to have helped me make some choices as far as the layout. I am now going to get the graphs redone using JpGraph. JpGraph is an Object-Oriented Graph creating library for PHP 4.3.1 and greater. We are also going to do image maps so we can mouse over the graph lines and show the ranking data of each cell.

With JpGraph we have way more features and the speed of the image flip will improve.

We are going to drop the G | Y | M graphs and move the keywords to the left of the graph.

I will be adding a backlinks, document in indexes, Alexa ranking, and a traffic button also. The display will be rounded out with data on DMOZ and Yahoo directories at the top. Also the backend has to be coded to hold all this data and the data will for now be added by hand.

Once the display is done and up to snuff the database expert will work with the programmer to create an optimized structure for the database. Remember I am dreaming about a mimimum of over 250 millions ranking numers with in one year (hey it doesn't hurt to dream).

After that things will get a little harder. We will need to create code to retrieve the data and a slick and easy backend for the clients to add up an account, their domains and the keywords.

Well it's been simple so far but I think things are about to change. Stay tune and check out the new display tomorrow. The coder will be working 2pm - 6pm EDT (GMT-5) and I will be posting the live page URL he will be working on so you can tune in if you like and watch the work progress [edit: didn't happen, we discussed the project instead and will be going ahead and doing the whole app in one shot instead of piece meal].

Oh yes, the RSS feed. Well seeing how we are changing the display code I didn't see any reason to go ahead and do the RSS feed today. That is still in the works thought and will be coming down the pike shortly. My idea is to get the dislay working and hand add the data for the demo keywords. Then while every one is wooing and wowing we will be doing the backend so the thing will work.

Database Design - Sept 27/2005

Well when this puppy is up and running I will be emailing 1302 SEO firms that I parsed out of DMOZ's RDF (well that job is spec'ed out but has not been done yet). If only 10% of them respond and each uses this service for 10 domains, 3 search engines and 20 keywords per domain that is 284 million records with in a year. And that is not counting backlinks, documents in site, perhaps Alexa ranking, and daily traffic.

Did some one say time to contact a database design engineer? Well I have run off to RAC and am fish'n for a database engineer.

Mockup Display Completed - Sept 27/2005

Well it's not completed, but we have made a start on it. I got one of the programmers I use on contact to hammer out a mock up for the front end display. (If this is broken when you try it, the programmer is working on the backend.) It's not the best lay out but it gives you the idea of what kind of a simple interface I envision. Also we may change the way we are doing this.

Right now we are using PHP GD to take the data from the mySQL database and create JPG images and preloading them. When you mouse over one of the keywords it is just displaying a preloaded graph image in the same place the blank image is.

Yes I know that's lame but like I said this is just a mockup not the end product. I am still waiting to find someone in the know that can give me some consulting time and tell me the best way to do this. Until then we will blindly stumble forward.

I like the concept that we have come up with as far as the display. I don't like the lay but I will be brain storming on that one.

Stay tune - tomorrow it's the RSS feed and the XML to XHTML converter. Then we will have this thing displaying on an external site.

App Name Picked, Display Type Choosen, & Revised RAC Job Submitted - Sept 26/2005

Well I have picked a name for the Web app, Keyword Ranking Display App. I also have come up with an simplified design for the display of the rankings. On the left side of the display page there will be a list of the keywords a client wants to track, one keyword per line. To the right is a 640 x 480 graph that for now will for now just be 31 days on the x axis and 1 to 100 top down on the y axis.

You mouse over the keyword and scraped data in a mySQL db will be accessed and fill the graph. Three line plots will show the keyword ranking data for Google, Yahoo and MSN. Simple Display eh? But hey that is what people need something very simple.

I revised my RAC Job and reposted and I should have a mock up to show in 4 or 5 days.

New Ideas On Display, AutoPlay, & Sample RSS With XML to XHTML Conversion - Sept 26/2005

The primary object of the Keyword Ranking App is for the client to be able to quickly tell how their rankings for each keyword are doing. With this in mind there is no use in displaying more information that is needed at one time. In the below spec I considered a multiple line graph for the main display with a line for each keyword.

I spend some time looking at PHP charting libraries and came up with a couple of ideas. I am looking for the best display model for conveying rankings and traffic changes over a period of time to clients. I came up with the idea of running the keywords down the y axes and when you mouse over each keyword it would display in a multiple line graph the rankings for Google, Yahoo, MSN (and perhaps other search engines also). Also there could be a feature to automatically show a keyword every 10 seconds so all the client has to do is sit there any watch there rankings. 0 to 20 keywords in 3.3 minutes.

This way you could add different data to be charted besides like Alexa, back links, and number of documents in the index. You would just mouse over (or autoplay them) one of these items (they would be in a list with the keywords to the left of the y aris) and you would see the data for period that that you have set the x axis to cover.

Just to give you the idea of the power of a RSS display here is a project that I just finished where I put my SEO Tool Directory out in a RSS feed and then created a XML to XHTML conversion file.
SEO Tools Directory
SEO Tools RSS Feed
Converted From XML to XHTML
Showing Only One Category - This is done with a simple argument on the include file.

RFB for Mockup, Display Where, & App Name - Sept 25/2005

I put up a request for bid at RAC to do a mockup graphic page for the Web app. The backend of this web application will be the most work but the most important part is the display page. Also I am still trying to think what is the best way to display the data.

A login where the client goes to check out there data or a XML to XHTML conversion page on their own site that picks up a RSS of their data for that site. I am still leaning toward the RSS feed and XML to XHTML conversion page.

I am also looking for a name for the Web app and have come up with Rank Display, Keywork Ranking Engine.

RFB on Consulting, Web App Mean & Lean, & SEO Forum Threads - Sept 24/2005

I have also gone ahead and submitted a spec to rentacoder.com (RAC) and asked for some consulting on it. I will be submitting the job to RAC with in two weeks for the bidding process.

I am wanting this Web app to be simple and fast, yet mean. I have put aside the resources to have this programmed, maintained, promoted and for the cost of a dedicated server.

I started threads on the following three SEO forums to get feedback.
Digital Point Forums
SEOGuy Forums
Cre8asite Forms

SEO Ranking Display App With RSS Feed Spec - Sept 23/2005

  1. Public user interface that allows for the adding up of a list of keywords that are to be tracked.
  2. Setup where the rankings for each keyword are checked daily via the API (not scrapped).
  3. The ability to show a x/y line graph of all keywords over 1 week, 1 month, 3 months 6 months and user imputed dates.
  4. Each keyword will have a different color line and a mouse over that line will show the keyword and the page that is ranking for that keyword.
  5. The graphic page will have tabs for Google, Yahoo, MSN and All. In the All mode the lines for each graphic will be Google doted, Yahoo dashed, MSN dot-dashed or some think like this. The display of three search engines for 10 to 20 keywords on a graphic at one time is going to be hard. There may need to be a mouseover of a search engine button that will make the lines of that search engine thicker or brigher and the other ones dimmer. This needs to be considered so that when viewing all 3 search engines (or more) at a time one will be able to make sense out of it (thanks for this point expertu).
  6. The x/y line graphic will have 1 at the top and down to 100 at the bottom. Starting date on the left and ending date on the right. For anything under 30 days the units will be days. Anything 30 to 60 days will be 2 days; anything 60 to 90 days will be 3 days and anything over 90 days will be 7 days. Also we may want to add a setting in the users account where these can be changed.
  7. At the right side the keywords will be listed and sorted with the highest rankings going first. There will be a JavaScript check box where you can uncheck any or all keywords and they will not be displayed.
  8. The app will access the traffic logs of the users site and save those numbers to its own db. It will then display the traffic on the y axis in the say way as the ranking of a keyword. This can be checked on or off.
  9. The graphic set up can be saved and will have a RSS feed. The feeds will have a xml to XHTML conversion file that will allow them to be displayed live on a external website.
  10. At the top of the graphics will be showing the BL and Documents in Index for each of the G/Y/M, Links in Yahoo/DMOZ directory, and the Alexa Ranking.
  11. I would also like some why to track the traffic. This might be difficult as the issued of accessing the log files on another server may be an issue.
  12. The issues of API limits has been raised also. I need to looking into how Google, Yahoo, and MSN handle this. Also restrictions to commercial uses.
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