Monday, May 19, 2008

A day in Hua Hin

On Saturday night my friend called me and asked if I wanted to go to the west coast! I said, of course, yes, and we drove there late evening. Yesterday was a public Buddhist holiday so we had a very relaxing day. The weather wasn't so good, with a very heavy downpour. A bit overcast too. Still, we had a great time, with good food and laughter. Back to it today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The healing powers of shopping!

Well, with that done, I feel it's time to have a mini-celebration! And where better to go but the Emporium. It's expensive, yes I know, but I just need to get out of the office for a while.

Spam report

Okay, the sites have been reported to Google's spam report! I'm feeling more confident about doing a good job for this client now. Cross fingers, I hope they do something!

Now we're getting somewhere

I've just received a post from a user on 5 Star Affiliate Programs Forum, saying, "If you believe that another site is abusing Google's quality guidelines, please report that site at Google prefers developing scalable and automated solutions to problems, so we attempt to minimize hand-to-hand spam fighting. The spam reports we receive are used to create scalable algorithms that recognize and block future spam attempts." The link doesn't work but does!

Yahoo gives even more weight to domain spam!

On Yahoo, I see that two of this company's sites for bangkok property are on the front page and another two for bangkok condo. And, worse still, they have registered a dot org, which is doing well. This is not easy!

Googled but not squooggled

I think I'm just going to have to do my best with this. Deliver the report and explain what's happening. There's not much else I can do after writing in some of the forums. Must get on with other work.

Iain to the rescue?

Got in late this morning and opened my mail with a minor hangover. I just don't understand. Why do they allow this to go on? Why don't they penalise sites that do this like they say they do? Six identical websites? The rats! I thought Google's robot's were smarter than that! Now I'm not so convinced.

I've just read The Duplicate Conetent Myth on SitePro News ( They say: "Let me set the record straight: I don't believe there is such a thing as a duplicate content penalty. Yes, search engines can detect duplicate pages and will do what they can to avoid including them. But that usually involves a filter-based algorithm to determine the "original" page and ignore the dupes...Google incorrectly assumes that the authority site is the originator of the content and ignores my pre-dated version."

I wrote in a couple of forums about all this yesterday and the advice was to report the site to Google. How do I do that?

A night out with sis

I don't usually do this but last night my sister took me to a nightclub! It wasn't that packed, which was good. I must admit to being a little bit tipsy. Got the giggles quite a lot. Expensive night! Cocktails for us both. Met a couple of nice guys but we left early as I had to work today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Real estate spammers

I scanned my inbox and found Iain's email! He is a really good friend of mine from Scotland I used to work for in Leeds, in the north of England.

He said: "Hi Pun, Glad you've settled in and have a new office. Wishing you well. As to your problem, people these days understand the significance of the domain name when registering a site. It's given far too much weight, especially in MSN and Yahoo, but even Google has fallen into the trap. It's all got a bit out of hand, with hyphenated domain names springing up all over the place to take advantage of the loophole in search engine algorithms. I've looked at the first few sites for you. The #1 has few backlinks and only has a Google PageRank of 2. They've got to that position purely on domain name, I'm sure. The #2 has double the backlinks but has inbounds from another five sites belonging to the same owner; all linked together; all with keyword spamming SEO tactics. Highly black hat. #3 looks reputable. Been going a long while and has a shed load of backlinks. Corporate site. It would be difficult to compete on this one. But the two above? They both employ keyword spamming techniques; the second one is highly dubious and is spamming the engines. They've duplicated entire websites. Not sure where you go with this though. I don't believe the search engines will listen to you. Maybe Matt Cutts? SEO forums? Cheers, Iain"

Contacting a friend in Leeds

My sister can be so sweet sometimes. She's sent over a lovely bunch of flowers and has offered to take me out dancing later. Sometimes we don't see eye to eye but I love her. She's my sister! Still worrying about this job! I was only given it earlier this afternoon and I don't know what to do! Yes, I do, I'll email my friend in Leeds. He'll know what's what!

Domain names and Google's curse!

Mmm, this not going to be as easy as I thought! My task is to get a real estate agent's site onto the first page of Google. I'll advise him to use bangkok property after I looked up the suggestion tool for the best keywords. I have taken a long look at the top five on Google. Why does the top site only have 415 backlinks? Maybe they're quality links? Anyway, whatever, but all five, except one, has bangkok property keywords in the domain name! Strange, as anyone can buy a keyword domain name to trick Google. My client is a corporate. How can they use a keyword as their website name? Does this make any sense to anyone? How do SEMs possibly compete in this market?

Visit from my sis

My sister has just dropped into the office. She says it's very beautiful and kissed me on the cheek after she finished her tour!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Top SEO job!

You'll never guess what? I landed the job! Up until now I have had some very good clients but for some of the smaller sites, they don't really understand what I'm doing to help them. This one is way out there! And big! One of the top real estate agents in Bangkok has asked me, Pun, to take on their SEO. Unbelievable! He asked me a few questions about how I was going to approach it, which he agreed with, and I answered as knowledgeably as I could. He then said, "Okay, the job's yours if you want it. How long will it take to research and deliver a report?" I said I could have something for him in a couple of days or so. I'll make this a priority this afternoon once I've stopped pinching myself!

Networking in Bangkok

As I haven't got a site of my own yet, networking is one of the best ways to meet people and exchange contacts. They don't always work and sometimes they can be so very dry! But not last night! I met this really nice guy who I spoke to for ages. About anything and everything. At the end of the evening he said to call him tomorrow. He's the boss of a really big real estate company here and he wants me, yes me, to take a look at his site! It's just turned afternoon and I am taking deep breaths to calm myself down. I'll call him after lunch.
Day two and I'm all aglow when I walk into my new office! Looking forward to tonight. Another networking meeting. Maybe I can find a company interested in my services. Cross fingers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Starting up

To be honest with you, I'm not exactly starting from scratch. I have six clients already! And I must get on with it because yesterday I needed to organise my new office. I'm happy. I bought some beautiful flowers in the market, I just had to have them there and then! They sit on my desk. And some lovely Thai prints that hang above it. And oh, I forgot to mention it but my sister has said she'll help me out with some admin. Today I have quite an easy SEO research job. Not so much pressure there. Good! I'm enjoying it all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

eMarketing Thailand

Today is a big day for me! I have recently returned to Bangkok from England where I received an honours degree in English Literature and then went on to work with a web design agency in Leeds in their eMarketing department. Over the two years I was there I think I have picked up enough skills to be able to successfully offer my services in Thailand.

I enjoyed my few years in England and the hospitality of the people in Leeds was tremendous. I will miss them. Thank you everybody.

So today is the first day in my new company, SearchSense Thailand, and have already commissioned a designer to look at building a website for me. It's going to take a long time to write the text. That will come later, but I do have quite a number of business contacts here already, mainly from networking meeting, so I will see how it goes.

I'll be writing most days, so please don't forget to visit me.