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About altyfc

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  1. Hello everyone - long time, no see. I have a question about guest blogging and how it's regarded by Google. I am running a popular travel blog (A Luxury Travel Blog) and accept guest blog posts from people in the industry. I don't allow them to include spammy anchor-rich text links in their blog posts (despite plenty of requests), but I do allow a bio at the end of their blog post, saying who they are, their position within their company and linking the company name to the company's homepage - again, no linking with words such as 'luxury hotels', 'luxury travel', etc. - just the company name and URL. This is currently a dofollow link. Recently, I've had one or two past guest bloggers (or rather SEO companies working on their behalf) contact me, saying they want bio links from their old guest blog posts removed. It would appear that they've been up to activities that have perhaps triggered a Google penalty of some kind, but I'd be surprised if their posts with me were deemed to be the cause of the problem. It's a popular blog, rich in unique content, with healthy traffic and a reasonably healthy following on social media. Is there anything wrong with them guest blogging with me (from a Google point of view) in the way that they do? Should I be making all the links nofollow just in case Google has a problem with it? Advice welcomed, thank you.
  2. Hello We run a site which works fine in IE and FF, but has a problem with the scrollbar on the longer pages when it comes to Chrome. An example page is this one: http://www.ukattraction.com/london/mayfair.html Try scrolling down the page as you load it (with Chrome) and you'll see what I mean. It keeps jumping back up to the top. I don't really understand why it's doing this, particularly since it's fine in other browsers. Is this a Chrome problem or something that I can rectify? Thanks.
  3. Hi everyone Just an update on this... 1. those redirects still don't appear to have updated, even now. Not sure what to do there. 2. we have been working hard at getting descriptions in for every city, town and village - we have completed all the places within these regions: http://www.ukattraction.com/north-wales/ http://www.ukattraction.com/central-wales/ http://www.ukattraction.com/south-wales/ http://www.ukattraction.com/northumbria/ http://www.ukattraction.com/yorkshire/ http://www.ukattraction.com/east-of-england/ http://www.ukattraction.com/london/ (mostly done) (click on any of the towns, and then the new text you'll notice is what appears in the grey box with a paperclip at the top of each page) As you'll see, that's quite a lot of fresh, unique content. We've also been adding new entries (ie. information about individual attractions) as per usual. Unfortuntely, though, this has had absolutely zero effect in Google to date. We are still in Google no-mans land. I'm not sure what else to do, but to just keep on working away at it, trying to make it more and more useful with more and more unique content. There is a glimmer of hope in that UKhotel.com - a sister site that was similarly punished - made a modest recovery 2-3 works ago (and has seemingly retained its new, better status with Google). I'm just hoping the same is yet to filter through to UKattraction but it's been an awfully long time now since we submitted a reconsideration request (which was on 1st October). I think I mentioned earlier that I read that reconsideration requests were dealt with within 28 days (is this true?) and if things hadn't sorted themselves out within that time period, then there was still a problem. If there is a still a problem, I'm just not sure what it is.
  4. That's how it's always been. There is only one page for dedicate.co.uk at the moment. I was really just making the point that, despite these redirections having been in place since September, they are still showing up in the SERPs. If this is still yet to update at Google's end, then perhaps this explains why we are still having problems with our UKattraction.com site...?? But I'm still not sure why those redirects have not updated by now.
  5. I believe so. That's very strange. I've just checked all of the ones I mentioned (thededicatedpartnership.com, the-dedicated-partnership.com, the-dedicated-partnership.net and thededicatedpartnership.co.uk) and they all re-direct me to dedicate.co.uk - which ones aren't working for you? Is anyone else having this problem and can anyone explain why it might work for me and not someone else?! To Glyn... thanks for your post. There are some good suggestions there and some of those things are being worked on (eg. the 'tagging' of individual attractions so that we can categorise them by type). With all due respect, quite a number of the other things you mention (photographs, Google Maps, nearby hotels, links to attraction's own sites, etc.) are already in place, but there is certainly plenty of food for thought within your post. I was having a bad day yesterday. What I'm uneasy about is whether we're not yet getting good Google rankings again because we just haven't waited long enough (on the Google group I mentioned in my first post, it was suggested that you need to wait up to 4 weeks after a reconsideration request and we've now waited around 6) or whether there's still something holding us back. I wish I knew the answer to that. In the meantime, I guess we just keep on trying to make the site as good as we can, and hope that everything else follows suit in due course.
  6. Sorry for that outburst. I'm just upset and frustrated (brought on probably from just finding multiple copies of our work elsewhere). So much so that I forgot to mention one point that I wanted to raise, and that is what happens if you search for our company name. A Google search for 'the dedicated partnership' is currently bringing up dedicate.co.uk first (as we would expect, that's our main URL), but then also thededicatedpartnership.com, the-dedicated-partnership.com, the-dedicated-partnership.net and thededicatedpartnership.co.uk among the results that follow below. These latter domains all have 301 redirects to dedicate.co.uk which they've had since late September. What I don't understand therefore is why this hasn't been picked up on. I am wondering if our sites just aren't being spidered regularly by Google anymore and whether this is also accounting for our subsequent, Google-friendly work on ukattraction.com seemingly going unnoticed. Can anyone please, please help? Thanks.
  7. I know it's only a week or so on from my last post, but I'm feeling so fed up at still being penalised. We're striving to add more unique content - for example, if you click on the places at http://www.ukattraction.com/north-wales/ you will find most of these go to a page with a grey box/paperclip at the top with further information about those places. But what's really getting me dismayed is a number of things: - I'm not convinced that doing this work is going to mean we'll lose the Google penalty (however, we'll still continue with it as we believe it's useful to our visitors) - I'm finding multiple copies of our material that we've either created or paid for, on other sites not owned by us In short, we're providing great content which we feel is worthy of good rankings and... well... it sucks. I just don't see any light at the end of the tunnel and I need to regain these rankings asap as it is very damaging to business. Sorry, just having a moan! :mr_rant:
  8. Thank you for your reply, John, and for your PM. Much appreciated. We are starting on this content task today. I work with a number of freelance writers so this will be entirely unique content, not sourced from Wikipedia or anywhere like that. My plan at this stage is to provide an approx. 50-word synopsis on every city, town and village we cover. At a later date, I wish to add a 'more info' link from these summaries to longer (and unique once more) descriptions. These would probably appear on a separate page, so as not to push our main content (the list of links to information on individual attractions) too far down. Re: the travel insurance link... I'll look at incorporating that better. Like you say, it doesn't sit quite right. Thanks for confirming, EGOL. In addition to this and the user reviews of individual attractions, we're also wondering about allowing visitors to the submit their experiences of individual destinations. It's a bit chicken and egg, though... obviously it's harder to get this kind of information submitted when we're not getting the traffic. Fingers crossed things will come back soon...
  9. Thanks, EGOL... this is proving really helpful. The link lists you refer to are, I assume, what we here call our 'towns pages'. ie. a page for specific city, town or village, such as http://www.ukattraction.com/london/waterloo.html I have for some time thought it would be helpful to users to provide some information about each town at the top of each of these pages. Your comments confirm that this would be a good idea. Not only would it be useful for visitors, but it would add to the unique content on those kinds of pages and, as you say, help us with rankings and chasing the long tail. The following is a mock-up of the kind of thing I had in mind a while back... obviously we could increase on this amount of text (particularly for bigger places)... this is just to illustate. For 'entry pages' (ie. pages about specific attractions), we are considering the possibility of allowing people to add reviews of attractions they visit in order to increase unique content on those pages. With regards to the interlinking, I do see what you are saying with regards to removing altogether, but those links are there to help people (it's helpful to show nearby hotels, restaurants, etc.) and shouldn't (I think??) be the cause of any Google penalisation if they are nofollow. I am thinking for now it's worth increasing the unique content, waiting for an update and crossing our fingers... Do you think I need to submit another reconsideration request? What I'm really curious about is if someone made a penalised site Google-friendly, but never submitted a reconsideration request afterwards, would they get re-included with time (and if so, would this take longer?)... ? Does anyone out there know? Thanks.
  10. Thanks, mrgoodfox... only I read on that Google Group that it typically takes "up to a month". (At least that's what I thought I read.) It's now been about 5 weeks. Hi EGOL... good to see you again. I recall how helpful you were last time around. To confirm, our content on UKattraction.com is entirely unique, written by the people running the attractions themselves, by us and by freelancers. I'm hoping its considered link worthy - there's not really another resource out there (that I'm aware of, at least) that offers the same level of detail on this subject as we do. Links between sites have been cut in so much as they now have nofollow attributes added. (The prospect of merging everything into one site is a rather daunting one, tbh.) Sorry, I think I missed something... what does "that" refer to? When you say "substantive content", are you meaning we need to write more on each place that we do already? (again, a daunting prospect - I kind of felt we already offered sufficient information on each place already). Is it possible I just need to be waiting longer? I really wish I could ascertain whether that's the case, or whether there's some kind of problem still. I can't see or think of a problem, but the only way I would tell there wasn't one is if the penalty was lifted. So far, that's not happened and I'm unsure as to whether it should have done so by now if it was going to. Here's a graph of our traffic this year (and last year in green) showing the predicament we're facing... Thanks for any further pointers you can offer...
  11. Hi all Been struggling to shake off a Google penalty for some time now, but seemingly to no avail. I have been posting over at the relevant Google Group but feel I've reached something of a brick wall with what we can do, and yet we still have the penalty. Here's the background to the problem: http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webm...778923c786d9d75 In short, we had some problems with interlinking between our sites, and potentially problems with duplicate content. We felt we addressed these issues by putting in nofollow tags and making numerous pages non-spiderable. Once we'd addressed anything, I asked the group if there were outstanding issues that we still needed to address ( http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webm...f9627a47b2a7401 ) and nobody seemed to come up with anything. We placed a reconsideration request on 1st October 2008 and to date that doesn't seem to have shaken off the penalty, yet I understand reconsideration requests typically take up to 4 weeks (which has now obviously elapsed). I've posted again on that group ( http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webm...2ca8a25c31f0297 ) and got a response about robots.txt which I don't fully understand. I certainly can't see how it would mean we should be penalised. I know John Mu is on here (I sent him a message via his blog, but then got taken to a page suggesting I post here) so maybe he can help, or perhaps someone else can. I would really appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks.
  12. Just an update to this thread... I decided to try out forum posting, and have someone working at the rate of $0.30 a post. She is just contributing to travel forums naturally, as any other forum poster might, but with sig links pointing to our sites. I could have got much cheaper but, as mentioned before, I am not convinced the same quality would have been there. So far, I'm reasonably pleased but it's a little too early to have any good idea of cost-effectiveness. I'm doing it on a smallish scale at the moment, just to put a toe in the water.
  13. Just to clarify, at the beginning of the post from which you've taken that quote, it reads: Thanks for the rest of your reply. I can't comment too much on it at this stage - I need to read up a bit more on linkbaiting first.
  14. Thanks for the clarification... I'll take a look at those two links. Is it? I did emphasise that this would be "nothing spammy". I am not talking about posting junk comments. To try to explain by way of an example: One of the blogs I run is all about the luxury end of the travel market. I have a guy on there who comments regularly. He specialises in organising trips to Spain for affluent visitors. He'll organise things like their hotel stays and make sure they get the best suite... he'll get them the best table in high end restaurants where us common folk would just be told they're already full... that kind of thing. He offers meaningful comments on the blog that are never directly self-promotional. He does tend to comment on Spain-related posts most, because that's where his expertise lies. He comes back and replies to other comments that are made in response to his own. They are always on-topic and I, as the author of the blog, have absolutely no problem with him doing this. On the contrary, I welcome it wholeheartedly and don't see why I should have a problem with it. It's additional, good quality content that encourages others to get involved. Just as a forum poster can get traffic from a forum post, a blog commenter can get traffic from a blog comment. If it's done in a non-spammy way, I don't quite see the problem.
  15. Hi Barry... long time, no see. When I mentioned blog commenting, I was really meaning commenting on other people's blogs, and acquiring links in the process. Obviously the comments would need to be meaningful, worthy contributions to the blogs in question (nothing spammy), and I realise there's likely to be no SEO benefit, but maybe just the resulting click-throughs would be worth the time and energy. That said, I have wondered about having a blog on each of the sites too. There are always new developments - a hotel being refurbished, a special event, a new tourist attraction opening, etc. - to report on that could be of interest to prospective tourists. Again, whether this investment would pay for itself is not easy to tell. Thanks, iamlost. I definitely agree with you here. I've long thought that the value of a sig file on a forum is purely in the posts that accompany it. Great suggestions, thanks. I've always been a little wary about allowing people to comment on places. I think it's great information to have, and Tripadvisor is of course a great example of success in this field. My trepidation has always been from a legal perspective. If someone says a hotel is rubbish or a tourist attraction isn't worth the visit, and that gets published, could I not potentially be getting into legal hot water? Right to re-use? Is that just a checkbox that someone would have to tick to say they don't mind their comments being re-published? I'm sorry, it's probably just me but I don't understand what that means. Yes, point taken. We should be doing that. Hey... I'm a happily married aardvark, you know. ;-) Seriously, I'm not sure what I have to gain from liaising with travel agents other than they might be potential advertisers. Our sites are of appeal to people who cut out the middle man - ie. the travel agent. I don't really see how they might help with the online promotion of the sites, but do please expand if I am missing something. First off, "hi Ammon!" :wave: Another case of long time, no see. Hope all is well. A hub site is all in the plan. In fact, one of sorts already exists. This is linking to each and every site we run. In addition to this, we are interlinking between sites, but we are not linking to every site from each other site as we thought that would be overkill. We are just linking to the most relevant 4 or 5 or so. The reason this happens, I believe, is because it's very easy to build a website of thousands of hotels using feeds from a variety of merchants. It's less easy to come up with attraction content as it's not collated and in the public domain to quite the same degree. In short, it requires a bit more work and effort! You mention how far a hotel is from a certain attraction and that is exactly the kind of information we're providing. With the aid of Google Maps, we're showing what tourist attractions surround a given hotel; similarly we can show what hotels are near a given attraction. In short, we are trying to offer a little more than your bog-standard hotel site. Wow, that's a rather alarming statistic but, I suppose, not all that surprising if you stop and think about it. I know from personal experience of booking my own holidays that I do try to 'weed out' first hand experiences from my searches and go beyond just accepting what the 'brochure' says. Thanks for that insight. I'm sorry, I don't understand that. Were you meannig "if I don't have user-contributed content"...? Reading the rest of your post, I'm guessing that's the kind of thing you mean. We have a LOT of attraction content, yes. Unfortunately, photographs are limited at this stage (perhaps need to look at improving that) but we have attraction names, addresses, telephone/fax, link, email, description and map for each (where available, of course - some might not have fax or a website, say). Returning to my original post, what I'm really wanting to do is to utilise a group of about 30 freelancers that I've been working closely with for content creation over the last year or so, for the promotion of the sites they've been working on. So, as I see it so far, with my own thoughts and thanks to being enlighted with the posts above, ways in which I could do this might be: - getting them to comment on blogs, and trying to get links/traffic in return - getting them to participate in forums, and trying to get links/traffic through sig files - getting them to run blogs for each site - getting them to write articles and/or press releases with links, to be published elsewhere (news sites, blogs, etc.) - getting them to submit press releases to multiple PR sites - ?? any more ?? In addition to this, I can be doing the following things independently of our freelancers - try to get links back from hotels/attractions - try to develop blog material that gives first-hand 'travelogue' accounts (think I would need to contact people other than my existing freelancers for that) - try to get more photographs - consider allowing people to comment on individual hotels/attractions, and publishing this information Taking the ideas for my existing freelancers, my next BIG dilemma is what to pay. How much would you think a good forum post with a sig file to a couple of my sites is worth to me? I've pondered over this a lot and find it nigh on impossible to come up with a figure. I obviously want to be sure that I'm not spending more than the work is likely to bring in... this is a business afterall. I see people on Digitalpoint gladly working at a rate of $0.10 a post all the time. My freelancers are on a modest rate, but there's no way they would stoop that low, and you can't realistically expect quality posts for that kind of sum of money, I don't think. I've had a 'gut instinct' that around $0.40 is probably close to 'break even' for me if I was to pay someone to do this kind of work. I don't know why - it just feels like a sum that I could potentially afford but still make money from. Remember, I would be doing this on a large scale with 150 or so sites, so it's going to tot up to thousands of $ quite easily. If I hired 30 freelancers and they each did, say, 50 posts a week across 10 forums, that's (15,000 posts x $0.40 [if we take the lower figure]) - ie. $6,000 a week... for forum posting alone! I just find it all so difficult to quantify... if someone posts on a forum and that has a link with it... well, that link might do nothing or it might, 2 years down the line, result in a hotel booking on my site that gives a commission of over $200. It's just such an unknown. Of course, the primary value of the link is likely to be within the first few weeks of the post being made, but I suspect many will have much greater longevity. Any advice in this area would be really appreciated. I just don't know how to price it and make it attractive to both myself and the freelancer. Thanks.