Small Biz News is your FREE Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for Marketing your small business on the Internet.

October - December 2006

In this Issue

Google's not the "Grinch":  Google's Annual Algorithm Change

Google Page Rank Update:
How did you rank?

Back to the Future  Organic SEO:  Google's AdWords to measure Landing Page quality

First Things First:
Writing Effective Copy for your Audience is the first step in Internet Marketing and SEO

Small Business Resources:
Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Readers' Corner:
Feedback, Ideas, Questions & Answers and more...

Past Articles:
Small Biz News Archives

Return to DavidWilliams.Biz Home Page


Here is your FREE quarterly issue of SmallBizNews - a brief and informative Internet Marketing Newsletter offering up to date tips and trends for effectively marketing your Small Business on the Internet. To manage your SmallBizNews Newsletters, ask questions or change your subscription status simply see the subscription details at the bottom of this email.

Be sure to check out past issues of SmallBizNews for other Internet Marketing ideas as well. We invite your ideas, comments and suggestions. We changed our format to a quarterly newsletter in the Spring of 2006 due to time constraints. We hope you will continue to find SmallBizNews an informative resource for your internet marketing efforts.

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Google not a "Grinch"

Google Annual Algorithm Update

November 14, 2006


Once again Google's annual algorithm and index changes last October stirred webmasters and site owners into a frenzy. And, once again, the hype resulting from previous Google updates created much ado about nothing for reputable site owners and webmasters.


According to Matt Cutts' blog on October 11th, 2006, "I believe that infrastructure was turned on at all data centers by last Friday (Oct. 6, 2006), which is pretty close. Most of the other quality improvements due to this infrastructure will be pretty subtle/stable, but it’s nice that site results estimates are more accurate now." Matt Cutts is a software engineer who works at Google and is considered a valuable source of Google updates and info.


So theories among web developers and SEOs that Google would be 'the Grinch who stole Christmas' were premature. In defense of these theorists - Google has, in the past,  launched some pretty hefty updates in the 4th quarter that left some developers scrambling to catch up. In my humble opinion Google is striving to give searchers the most relevant results so the onus is on me as a designer, developer and SEO firm to work with my clients to ensure we are keeping it real.


A couple of notable changes that Google implemented in early October were their Page Rank export and AdWords Landing Page Quality and these are discussed below.


Google Page Rank Update - How did you rank?

In my last issue of SmallBizNews I correctly reported, "Even as I write this article Google is applying new PageRank measurements to millions of web sites." And on October 1st Matt Cutts blogged, "Roughly every 3-4 months we take a snapshot of PageRank values and export them so that the new values are visible in the Google Toolbar. I believe that another set of PageRanks started going out on Friday. New PageRanks are visible at many data centers, but not at every data center. Why not at every data center? Because some data centers are using a slightly older infrastructure for a few query types that are off the beaten path a bit (info:, link:, toolbar PageRank queries, etc.). " Matt Cutts is a software engineer who works at Google and is considered a valuable source of Google updates and info.


So, in the interest of Organic Search Engine Optimization and SE Marketing relevance I am reprinting the article as follows:


I can't stress this enough - Don't run - Respond. This is not the first algorithm adjustment in the history of Google nor will it be the last.


Google is currently updating the way they will measure PageRank and they way it will be displayed on Google's toolbar. As with Jagger and Big Daddy each subsequent update that Google performs causes quite a stir among the 'SEO's, website owners and webmasters in general as they clamor to get their websites at the top of the Google Rankings.


What is PageRank?


PageRank is basically a numeric score between 1 through 10 (10 being the highest) as to Google's “value” of your site in comparison to other websites on the Internet.


PageRank is essentially based on two determining criteria (factors).

  1. The number of inbound links you have pointing to any webpage on your website (PageRank can vary from page to page)

  2. The "value" of the links pointing to your website.

The manner in which Google determines the "value" of your inbound links is a topic of great debate.  And, while that debate goes on it is a bit challenging to discern the facts on how the value is calculated. Based on the my professional experience and the best information available from the forums I belong to and Google itself - I can say that the Relevance AND Reputation of the page and/or site linking to you is used in the determination of the page's value.


Remember, "Link Farms" and arbitrary "link swapping" can actually have a negative impact on your PageRank.


In summary, those of us that have been around for a while understand that PageRank fluctuates for essentially two reasons:


1. Google updated their algorithm

2. Links from external relevant/reputable sites increased/decreased


I've shared with you repeatedly that quality content is king and this applies to your PageRank as well. If the information on your site is deemed worthwhile - more reputable sites that desire to link to relevant content will desire to link to the content on your website.


And that's a measurable response!

If you are interested in more information on Google PageRank you can see what Google has to say on the topic here:


If you wish to see how many sites/pages are pointing to your site according to Google you can go to and type

“link:” (don’t forget the http://)

It is also important to note that Google may not show the actual number of pages pointing to your site (and the debate continues) but you can also type the same string into Yahoo! and MSN to learn how many inbound links they are reporting.



Back to the Future: Organic Search Engine Optimization

David Williams Certified Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google's AdWords to measure Landing Page quality


This may seem like 'old news' but over the summer of 2006 Google announced they would be retooling the way their paid AdWords campaigns would view targeted Landing Pages.


In July, Andrew C. wrote, "In the next few days, we will be making two changes to how AdWords evaluates landing page quality. First, we'll begin incorporating landing page quality into the Quality Score for your contextually-targeted ads, using the same evaluation process as we do for ads showing on and the search network. Advertisers who may be providing a poor experience on their site will notice that their traffic across the content network decreases as a result of this change. Second, we're improving our algorithm for evaluating landing page quality and incorporating landing page content retrieved by the AdWords system." Andrew C. is Google's product marketing manager for Ads Quality initiatives. You can read the article in its entirety here:


Certified Organic SEO



As I said earlier, "In my humble opinion Google is striving to give searchers the most relevant results so the onus is on me as a designer, developer and SEO firm to work with my clients to ensure we are keeping it real." and I firmly believe in this statement and mindset.


Each and every one of us have clicked both paid ads and 'generic' search results only to land on a page that has little or nothing to do with what we are searching for - how frustrating!


Landing page quality has long been an issue with MFA (Made for AdSense) sites, which generally buy keywords in AdWords for the minimum bid, then link from that paid ad to a landing page full of links from AdSense or other contextual ad programs which pay them a higher cost per click than they paid to drive traffic to the page. How slick is that?


Advertisers and other companies that have spent no money in building quality websites with relevant landing pages offering relevant goods and services have simply bought their way into the web. Now they will be forced to clean up their acts and develop pages for their goods and services that are relevant and reputable. This change is not going to have a detrimental effect on the majority of honest advertisers as they already link to quality landing pages to deliver what we, as searchers, are looking for.


It only makes sense that Google's means of delivering the most relevant possible results in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) apply evenly - across a level playing field for both general and paid results.


So... As unpopular as my opinion may be - I support this initiative.


In fact, I look forward to the day when 'Super' sites displayed near the top in SERPs for local searches that actually have no relevance or knowledge and/or listings of the goods and services in that locale get dumped. Search Engine Results should be based on relevance and merit in ethical web design, ethical web development and ethical SEO - period.


Here are Google's own guidelines for quality landing pages:


The answer is clear - Ethical Organic Search Engine Optimization and Web Design


Google's suggestions for Quality Landing Pages fall under three basic criteria:

1. Provide relevant and substantial content

2. Treat a user's personal information responsibly

3. Develop an easily navigable site

Seems like good guidelines to me :) If you desire ethical web design & development and approved Organic Search Engine Optimization...


David Williams Provides

Ethical Organic Search Engine Optimization and Web Design


SEO Using Only Approved White Hat Tactics

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Writing Effective Copy

Effective copy writing is the first step to promoting your web site in your internet marketing endeavors.


We have recognized an increasing trend in search engine behavior that will one day change the way web pages are written and developed. Pages that used to rely heavily on keywords and metatags to lure traffic will soon become a thing of the past.


Trust me on this one as I go on the record to say that soon, the search engines will look at and

review the written copy of the page to determine the page relevance and value to the search query.


When this happens - Effective SEO will become what we have been encouraging since day one. Always write for your clients first - Content is Crucial and Content is King.


The Kelsey research group published these statistics and trends:


  • 74% of households use the Internet as an information source when shopping locally.

  • Approximately 45% of local searches had a buying intent.

  • The percentage of respondents who used yellow page directories decreased from 75% to 62%. (If you have a yellow page ad, it is time to consider buying a smaller ad and shifting your marketing dollars to the Internet.)

Writing Effective Copy for Your Clients

As local business owners you need to take action now. You need to keep your existing customers, and gain new customers, so you need to be found where they are searching. Local Search Marketing is where your future clients and customers will come from.

So where do you start?


Well, go back to the first paragraph of this article and you'll notice that Local Searches are now over two years old. It is still free to modify your listings with:

  • Google Local

  • Yahoo Local

  • and so on...


These complimentary features of local search and a little initiative on your part and you'll be well on your way.


Write for Your Prospective Clients First
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Small Business Resources

US Small Business Administration What's New? has been incorporated into Before launching your business, be sure to check on specific laws and regulations in your area.

Small Business Administration

A wealth of FREE information, regulations and forms for Small Business Owners every where. Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.

Readers' Corner


"I am being prompted to update my browser to IE7 - Have they worked out the bugs yet?" Matt - Western New York


Dear Matt,

Not yet. I would recommend that you wait before completing the update as their are known issues that have not yet been patched/fixed.


I made the updates on my machines to address any quality issues that could arise such as display and CSS for our clients' websites.


I am happy to report that we are pleased with the work we have done - and there were no viewability or CSS issues for our clients' websites. But, I am very unhappy to report that we have had several issues with IE7 and in retrospect I wish I would have trusted my design skills and waited before making the update.


One very annoying issue is that by default IE7 automatically deploys their ClearType update and it really messes with Windows System fonts and Outlook fonts. A real pain since their toggle for turning ClearType On or Off doesn't restore the fonts in the System or Outlook. They're working on it:


Additional error reports and possible solutions can be found here:


All the best,



We offer two great FREE Whitepapers for you to download and employ as brainstorming tools. You can get your FREE Web Site Planner and Getting Started Guide from DavidWilliams.Biz on our Free Whitepapers Page


And I would be remiss if I didn't at least extend you an offer to serve as both your Web Developer AND SEO Firm. If I've already put this much thought into it - imagine how hard I would work for you if I was paid :)


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