Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm back...

Sorry for the absence. Life got a little busy as it can!

For those of you who have downloaded firefox. I recommend adding the extension "No Dofollow".

Here is a web page where you can download it. It also does a good job explaining how it works.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let get found!!!

Now that we have cleaned up our sites, it's time to get found. So how does Google find you?

Very simply, links!

We have 4 major topics to cover that will save you time and effort (or wasted time and effort)!
  • What kind of links do you want?
  • Should I link exchange?
  • What is a "do-follow" and a "do not follow" link?
  • Can you have too many links?
What kind of links?
This is basic logic folks. You want links on sites that relate to what you do. I lot of people make the mistake of thinking any link is a good link. Links on "no relevant" sites confuses search engines about what your site is really about. As a result you can gain page rank, but will not be able to achieve good rankings in the categories that drive customers to your door. So rule #1 is look for links from related content sites.

Should I link exchange?
You should NEVER join a link exchange site. If you have too many links from your site to other sites, it can actually hurt your rankings. Limit links out from your site to 10 or less.
That being said, there are a few sites that are worth exchanging links. These sites are any site that you think will not only help your rankings, but also send you business.

A good example is This site will give you a free listing and a do follow link for a reciprocal link. The reason this site is worth linking to is that it not only helps your ranking, but sends on average (at least to my wifes site) of 25 potential customers per month.

Just remember to limit these sites and not over do it. And don't waste your 10 outgoing links on sites that don't send you business and/or is a "Do Not Follow Link"

What is a do/do not follow link?
Links come in two kinds. You are looking for Do Follow Links, what refers to the code the link is written in. Do Follow follow tells the search engines to follow the link to your site which is what increases your page rank. A Do Not Follow link is a sneaky way for a site to make it appear it links to you, but in the code tell search engines it doesn't actually endorse your site. So it tells the search engine "Spiders" to Not follow the link to your site. Why do they do this? As I said before, too many links from your site can hurt page rank. Sites use do not follow links, so that the link doesn't count against them in page ranking.

To make is short and sweet, Do Not Follow links are almost completely worthless.

So how do you tell the difference? You can't with a normal internet browser (or a special program). But we have a secret weapon called "Firefox." Firefox is a free browser you can download. It works just link internet explore, but you can download "pluggin's" These pluggins allow us to see a link for what it really is. In my next post I will give you a step by step run down of firefox and what a great tool it is for us. In the mean time you can download it from

Finally, can you have too many links?
Absolutely not!!! But wait, you can get links too fast. This is called link spamming. If search engines think you gain links too quickly, they see it as a way of manipulating them and the don't like it! This can trigger a penalty in which you get removed from the search engine all together. So how do you avoid this? Be reasonable and patient! Spend an hour a weekend looking for links, the goal would be to get 5 QUALITY links per weekend.

Remember patients is the key! I know it's hard, but its the key to success!

(For those of you that can't wait until next weekend when I cover firefox...once you download it, search for the SEO Quake pluggin. Once installed, right click on the "SQ" icon at the bottom of the firefox browser. Then click "Line through No Follow". That should have you on your way!)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What is your site about?

This is the single most important question to get you site the search engine rankings you are looking for. Many people make the mistake of chasing "Page rank" and as a result even get it. The problem with this strategy is that while you gain page rank (from links), search engines are confused about what you site is actually selling or even where it's located. As a result your site doesn't pull up under any searches that might lead a customer too you.

This is especially troublesome for photographers as many of our sites are flash sites and search engines are unable to interpret these images.

So how do search engines know what your site is about?

It's starts with the Title of you site. The title of a site is at the top of each browser when you open the page and it is one of you best tools!

A very common mistake is to have you Title say "Brandon Smith Photography" for example. What does this tell search engines? Well, that if someone is looking for Brandon Smith or Photography that this site might be relevant.

A photography title should specify what you do and where you are. For example "Brandon Smith Photograpy - Portland Oregon - Newborn Photography - Wedding Photography" you get the picture. :)

Next you want to fill in a site description. Your site description is what pulls up below your link in search engines. This should be something simple but with a lot of information about your business. Remember this will be visible so it should be a coherent statement.

Finally you want to fill out your "meta tags" This is the same as putting "tags" on your post. These should be the key words you want you site associated with.

So where do you find all of these "keywords"

1) Ask your friends, "if you were searching for a photographer, what would you google?" As professionals we use words or terms that most people wouldn't think of or search. A good example is "photojournalistic", most of your customers don't really know what that means.

2) Find out what your competitors our using! Here is a site that show you what your competitors are using in these categories.

Spider Simulator

Make those corrections and your on your way to the search results you want.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How does google work?

Let's start with a step by step guide to get you going with search engine optimization!

We all want to be ranked high in search engines like Google, but how do they work? Because if we don't know how they work, how will we ever be able to use them as a tool?

Google works off of the "Library" principle.

If you want to write a paper on Photography the 1st thing you would do is check out a few (lets say 5) books on the subject. After reading those books you might just turn to the bibliography and see what books your book referenced as sources of their information. If 3 of the 5 books referenced a specific book, it would be safe to assume this books was important to the subject matter. If 5 of the 5 reference a specific book we would assume this is an authority on the subject matter.

Google works the same way, but with links. Each link to your site is a vote for your site. The more sites having to do with your search terms (such as "photography") that point to your site, the more important Google views your site. The link itself is valued based of the site it comes from.

This is what is known as "page rank". Page rank is on a scale of 0 to 10. 10 being the best and reserved for a very exclusive list of sites such as or Google itself.

For a small business a ranking of 3 to 5 is considered very good and will help you to achieve high rankings in many search engines.

Here is a link where you can check your pages "page rank."

Now that you know how Google works you have a place to start! Now I will tell you "page rank" is only a piece of the puzzle. If you only chase page rank you won't get your desired results!

In my next post I will cover your to optimize your site for Google!


Welcome to the photographers Network. The blog was created to help Professional photographers around the country find tips and tricks to improve their photography business marketing.

We got e-mail offers almost daily to "optimize" our website. Of course that came with a hefty fee.

The information to market and "optimize" your business is out there!....and it's free!

This site and it's partners will work as a team to find this information and share it. That way we can grow our business and keep our money where it our pockets!