Relearning How You See the Web

Analyzing how a website fits in its “web neighborhood”

Viewing websites like an SEO Assessing good site architecture and webpages from an SEO perspective Assessing website content like an SEO When people surf the Internet, they generally view each domain as its own island of information. This works perfectly well for the average surfer but is a big mistake for beginner SEOs. Websites, whether they like it or not, are interconnected.

This is a key perspective shift that is essential for understanding SEO. Take Facebook, for example. It started out as a “walled garden” with all of its content hidden behind a login. It thought it could be different and remain completely independent. This worked for a while, and Facebook gained a lot of popularity. Eventually, an ex-Googler and his friend became fed up with the locked-down communication silo of Facebook and started a wide open website called Twitter. Twitter grew even faster than Facebook and challenged it as the media darling. Twitter was smart and made its content readily available to both developers (through APIs) and search engines (through indexable content). Facebook responded with Facebook Connect (which enables people to log in to Facebook through other websites) and opened its chat protocol so its users could communicate outside of the Facebook domain. It also made a limited amount of information about users visible to search engines.

Facebook is now accepting its place in the Internet community and is benefiting from its decision to embrace other websites. The fact that it misjudged early on was that websites are best when they are interconnected. Being able to see this connection is one of the skills that separates SEO professionals from SEO fakes.

I highly recommend writing down everything you notice in a section of a notebook identified with the domain name and date of viewing.
In this chapter you learn the steps that the SEO professionals at SEOmoz go through either before meeting with a client or at the first meeting (depending on the contract). When you view a given site in the way you are about to learn in this chapter, you need to take detailed notes. You are likely going to notice a lot about the website that can use improvement, and you need to capture this information before details distract you.

Keep Your Notes Simple

The purpose of the notebook is simplicity and the ability to go back frequently and review your notes. If actual physical writing isn’t your thing, consider a lowtech text editor on your computer, such as Windows Notepad or the Mac’s TextEdit. Bare-bones solutions like a notebook or text editor help you avoid the distraction of the presentation itself and focus on the important issues—the characteristics of the web site that you’re evaluating.
If you think it will be helpful and you have Internet access readily available, I recommend bringing up a website you are familiar with while reading through this chapter. If you choose to do this, be sure to take a lot of notes in your notebook so you can review them later.

The 1,000-Foot View—Understanding the Neighborhood Before I do any work on a website I try to get an idea of where it fits into the grand scheme of things on the World Wide Web. The easiest way to do this is to run searches for some of the competitive terms in the website’s niche. If you imagine the Internet as one giant city, you can picture domains as buildings. The first step I take before working on a client’s website is figuring out in which neighborhood its building (domain) resides. This search result page is similar to seeing a map of the given Internet neighborhood. You usually can quickly identify the neighborhood anchors (due to their link popularity) and specialists in the top 10 (due to their relevancy).

During client meetings, when I look at the search engine result page for a competitive term like advertising, I am not looking for websites to visit but rather trying to get a general idea of the maturity of the Internet neighborhood. I am very vocal when I am doing this and have been known to question out loud, “How did that website get there?”

A couple times, the client momentarily thought I was talking about his website and had a quick moment of panic. In reality, I am commenting on a spam site I see rising up the results.

Also, take note that regardless of whether or not you are logged into a Google account, the search engine will automatically customize your search results based on links you click most. This can be misleading because it will make your favorite websites rank higher for you than they do for the rest of the population.

Taking Advantage of Temporal Algorithms

You can use the temporal algorithms to your advantage. I accidentally did this once with great success. Wrote about why I didn’t enjoy watching “The Arrival”, just before the Oscars 2017. As a result of temporal algorithms my post ranked in the top 10 for the query “The Arrival” for a short period following the movie’s release and during the Oscar votes. Because of this high ranking, tens of thousands of people read my article. I thought it was because I was so awesome, but after digging into my analytics I realized it was because of unplanned use of the temporal algorithms. If you are a blogger, this tactic of quickly writing about news events can be a great traffic booster.

Action Checklist

When viewing a website from the 1,000-foot level, be sure to complete the following: Search for the broadest keyword that the given site might potentially rank Identify the maturity of the search engine results page (SERP) based on the criteria listed in this chapter Identify major competitors and record them in a list for later competitive analysis This section discussed analyzing websites at their highest level.

At this point, the details don’t matter. Rather it is macro patterns that are important. The following sections dive deeper into the website and figure out how everything is related. Remember, search engines use hundreds of metrics to rank websites. This is possible because the same website can be viewed many different ways.

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The Secrets of Popularity * SEO

Once upon a time there were two nerds at Stanford working on their PhDs.

(Now that I think about it, there were probably a lot more than two nerds at Stanford.) Two of the nerds at Stanford were not satisfied with the current options for searching online, so they attempted to develop a better way.

Being long-time academics, they eventually decided to take the way academic papers were organized and apply that to webpages. A quick and fairly objective way to judge the quality of an academic paper is to see how many times other academic papers have cited it. This concept was easy to replicate online because the original purpose of the Internet was to share academic resources between universities.

The citations manifested themselves as hyperlinks once they went online. One of the nerds came up with an algorithm for calculating these values on a global scale, and they both lived happily ever after. Of course, these two nerds were Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, and the algorithm that Larry invented that day was what eventually became PageRank. Long story short, Google ended up becoming a big deal and now the two founders rent an airstrip from NASA so they have somewhere to land their private jets. (Think I am kidding? See http://www.netpaths.net/google-plane/.)

Relevance, Speed, and Scalability

Continue reading “The Secrets of Popularity * SEO”

5 Ways To Improve Your Adsense Earnings

If webmasters want to monetize their websites, the great way to do it is through Adsense. There are lots of webmasters struggling hard to earn some good money a day through their sites. But then some of the ôgeniusesö of them are enjoying hundreds of dollars a day from Adsense ads on their websites. What makes these webmasters different from the other kind is that they are different and they think out of the box. Continue reading “5 Ways To Improve Your Adsense Earnings”

3 Reasons Why Adsense Is Essential For Content Sites

To know why Adsense is essential for your content sites is to know first how this works.

The concept is really simple, if you think about it. The publisher or the webmaster inserts a java script into a certain website. Each time the page is accessed, the java script will pull advertisements from the Adsense program. The ads that are targeted should therefore be related to the content that is contained on the web page serving the ad. If a visitor clicks on an advertisement, the webmaster serving the ad earns a portion of the money that the advertiser is paying the search engine for the click. Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Adsense Is Essential For Content Sites”

How to convert Easting and Northing points to Latitude and Longitude for coordinates calculation

The terms easting and northing are geographic Cartesian coordinates for a point. Easting refers to the eastward-measured distance (or the x-coordinate), while northing refers to the northward-measured distance (or the y-coordinate).

Easting and northing coordinates are commonly measured in metres from a horizontal datum. However, imperial units (e.g., survey feet) are also used. The coordinates are most commonly associated with the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system (UTM), which has unique zones that cover the Earth to provide detailed referencing.

 

Have a go at finding your own coordinates:
Have a go at finding your own coordinates: Civil Engineering Homework

Please note that the UDF below converts northings/eastings in OSGB36 (Ordnance Survey) projection to latitude/longitude in WGS84 projection so they can be used in Google Maps.

****** Object:  UserDefinedFunction [dbo].[NEtoLL]    Script Date: 09/06/2012 17:06:39 ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO

SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO

CREATE FUNCTION [dbo].[NEtoLL] (@East INT, @North INT, @LatOrLng VARCHAR(3)) RETURNS FLOAT AS
BEGIN

--Author: Sandy Motteram
--Date:   06 September 2012

--UDF adapted from javascript at http://www.bdcc.co.uk/LatLngToOSGB.js
--found on page http://mapki.com/wiki/Tools:Snippets

--Instructions:
--Latitude and Longitude are calculated based on BOTH the easting and northing values from the OSGB36
--This UDF takes both easting and northing values in OSGB36 projection and you must specify if a latitude or longitude co-ordinate should be returned.
--IT first converts E/N values to lat and long in OSGB36 projection, then converts those values to lat/lng in WGS84 projection

--Sample values below
--DECLARE @East INT, @North INT, @LatOrLng VARCHAR(3)
--SELECT @East = 529000, @North = 183650 --that combo should be the corner of Camden High St and Delancey St


    DECLARE @Pi              FLOAT
          , @K0              FLOAT
          , @OriginLat       FLOAT
          , @OriginLong      FLOAT
          , @OriginX         FLOAT
          , @OriginY         FLOAT
          , @a               FLOAT
          , @b               FLOAT
          , @e2              FLOAT
          , @ex              FLOAT
          , @n1              FLOAT
          , @n2              FLOAT
          , @n3              FLOAT
          , @OriginNorthings FLOAT
          , @lat             FLOAT
          , @lon             FLOAT
          , @Northing        FLOAT
          , @Easting         FLOAT

    SELECT  @Pi = 3.14159265358979323846
          , @K0 = 0.9996012717 -- grid scale factor on central meridean
          , @OriginLat  = 49.0
          , @OriginLong = -2.0
          , @OriginX =  400000 -- 400 kM
          , @OriginY = -100000 -- 100 kM
          , @a = 6377563.396   -- Airy Spheroid
          , @b = 6356256.910
    /*    , @e2
          , @ex
          , @n1
          , @n2
          , @n3
          , @OriginNorthings*/

    -- compute interim values
    SELECT  @a = @a * @K0
          , @b = @b * @K0

    SET     @n1 = (@a - @b) / (@a + @b)
    SET     @n2 = @n1 * @n1
    SET     @n3 = @n2 * @n1

    SET     @lat = @OriginLat * @Pi / 180.0 -- to radians

    SELECT  @e2 = (@a * @a - @b * @b) / (@a * @a) -- first eccentricity
          , @ex = (@a * @a - @b * @b) / (@b * @b) -- second eccentricity

    SET     @OriginNorthings = @b * @lat + @b * (@n1 * (1.0 + 5.0 * @n1 * (1.0 + @n1) / 4.0) * @lat
          - 3.0 * @n1 * (1.0 + @n1 * (1.0 + 7.0 * @n1 / 8.0)) * SIN(@lat) * COS(@lat)
          + (15.0 * @n1 * (@n1 + @n2) / 8.0) * SIN(2.0 * @lat) * COS(2.0 * @lat)
          - (35.0 * @n3 / 24.0) * SIN(3.0 * @lat) * COS(3.0 * @lat))

    SELECT  @northing = @north - @OriginY
         ,  @easting  = @east  - @OriginX

    DECLARE @nu       FLOAT
          , @phid     FLOAT
          , @phid2    FLOAT
          , @t2       FLOAT
          , @t        FLOAT
          , @q2       FLOAT
          , @c        FLOAT
          , @s        FLOAT
          , @nphid    FLOAT
          , @dnphid   FLOAT
          , @nu2      FLOAT
          , @nudivrho FLOAT
          , @invnurho FLOAT
          , @rho      FLOAT
          , @eta2     FLOAT

    /* Evaluate M term: latitude of the northing on the centre meridian */

    SET     @northing = @northing + @OriginNorthings

    SET     @phid  = @northing / (@b*(1.0 + @n1 + 5.0 * (@n2 + @n3) / 4.0)) - 1.0
    SET     @phid2 = @phid + 1.0

    WHILE (ABS(@phid2 - @phid) > 0.000001)
    BEGIN
        SET @phid = @phid2;
        SET @nphid = @b * @phid + @b * (@n1 * (1.0 + 5.0 * @n1 * (1.0 + @n1) / 4.0) * @phid
                   - 3.0 * @n1 * (1.0 + @n1 * (1.0 + 7.0 * @n1 / 8.0)) * SIN(@phid) * COS(@phid)
                   + (15.0 * @n1 * (@n1 + @n2) / 8.0) * SIN(2.0 * @phid) * COS(2.0 * @phid)
                   - (35.0 * @n3 / 24.0) * SIN(3.0 * @phid) * COS(3.0 * @phid))

        SET @dnphid = @b * ((1.0 + @n1 + 5.0 * (@n2 + @n3) / 4.0) - 3.0 * (@n1 + @n2 + 7.0 * @n3 / 8.0) * COS(2.0 * @phid)
                    + (15.0 * (@n2 + @n3) / 4.0) * COS(4 * @phid) - (35.0 * @n3 / 8.0) * COS(6.0 * @phid))

        SET @phid2 = @phid - (@nphid - @northing) / @dnphid
    END

    SELECT @c = COS(@phid)
         , @s = SIN(@phid)
         , @t = TAN(@phid)
    SELECT @t2 = @t * @t
         , @q2 = @easting * @easting

    SET    @nu2 = (@a * @a) / (1.0 - @e2 * @s * @s)
    SET    @nu = SQRT(@nu2)

    SET    @nudivrho = @a * @a * @c * @c / (@b * @b) - @c * @c + 1.0
    SET    @eta2 = @nudivrho - 1
    SET    @rho = @nu / @nudivrho;

    SET    @invnurho = ((1.0 - @e2 * @s * @s) * (1.0 - @e2 * @s * @s)) / (@a * @a * (1.0 - @e2))

    SET    @lat = @phid - @t * @q2 * @invnurho / 2.0 + (@q2 * @q2 * (@t / (24 * @rho * @nu2 * @nu) * (5 + (3 * @t2) + @eta2 - (9 * @t2 * @eta2))))
    SET    @lon = (@easting / (@c * @nu))
                - (@easting * @q2 * ((@nudivrho + 2.0 * @t2) / (6.0 * @nu2)) / (@c * @nu))
                + (@q2 * @q2 * @easting * (5 + (28 * @t2) + (24 * @t2 * @t2)) / (120 * @nu2 * @nu2 * @nu * @c))


    SELECT @lat = @lat * 180.0 / @Pi
         , @lon = @lon * 180.0 / @Pi + @OriginLong


--Now convert the lat and long from OSGB36 to WGS84

    DECLARE @OGlat  FLOAT
          , @OGlon  FLOAT
          , @height FLOAT

    SELECT  @OGlat  = @lat
          , @OGlon  = @lon
          , @height = 24 --London's mean height above sea level is 24 metres. Adjust for other locations.

    DECLARE @deg2rad  FLOAT
          , @rad2deg  FLOAT
          , @radOGlat FLOAT
          , @radOGlon FLOAT

    SELECT  @deg2rad = @Pi / 180
          , @rad2deg = 180 / @Pi

    --first off convert to radians
    SELECT  @radOGlat = @OGlat * @deg2rad
          , @radOGlon = @OGlon * @deg2rad
    --these are the values for WGS84(GRS80) to OSGB36(Airy) 

    DECLARE @a2       FLOAT
          , @h        FLOAT
          , @xp       FLOAT
          , @yp       FLOAT
          , @zp       FLOAT
          , @xr       FLOAT
          , @yr       FLOAT
          , @zr       FLOAT
          , @sf       FLOAT
          , @e        FLOAT
          , @v        FLOAT
          , @x        FLOAT
          , @y        FLOAT
          , @z        FLOAT
          , @xrot     FLOAT
          , @yrot     FLOAT
          , @zrot     FLOAT
          , @hx       FLOAT
          , @hy       FLOAT
          , @hz       FLOAT
          , @newLon   FLOAT
          , @newLat   FLOAT
          , @p        FLOAT
          , @errvalue FLOAT
          , @lat0     FLOAT

    SELECT  @a2 = 6378137             -- WGS84_AXIS
          , @e2 = 0.00669438037928458 -- WGS84_ECCENTRIC
          , @h  = @height             -- height above datum (from $GPGGA sentence)
          , @a  = 6377563.396         -- OSGB_AXIS
          , @e  = 0.0066705397616     -- OSGB_ECCENTRIC
          , @xp = 446.448
          , @yp = -125.157
          , @zp = 542.06
          , @xr = 0.1502
          , @yr = 0.247
          , @zr = 0.8421
          , @s  = -20.4894

    -- convert to cartesian; lat, lon are in radians
    SET @sf = @s * 0.000001
    SET @v = @a / (sqrt(1 - (@e * (SIN(@radOGlat) * SIN(@radOGlat)))))
    SET @x = (@v + @h) * COS(@radOGlat) * COS(@radOGlon)
    SET @y = (@v + @h) * COS(@radOGlat) * SIN(@radOGlon)
    SET @z = ((1 - @e) * @v + @h) * SIN(@radOGlat)

    -- transform cartesian
    SET @xrot = (@xr / 3600) * @deg2rad
    SET @yrot = (@yr / 3600) * @deg2rad
    SET @zrot = (@zr / 3600) * @deg2rad
    SET @hx = @x + (@x * @sf) - (@y * @zrot) + (@z * @yrot) + @xp
    SET @hy = (@x * @zrot) + @y + (@y * @sf) - (@z * @xrot) + @yp
    SET @hz = (-1 * @x * @yrot) + (@y * @xrot) + @z + (@z * @sf) + @zp

    -- Convert back to lat, lon
    SET @newLon = ATAN(@hy / @hx)
    SET @p = SQRT((@hx * @hx) + (@hy * @hy))
    SET @newLat = ATAN(@hz / (@p * (1 - @e2)))
    SET @v = @a2 / (SQRT(1 - @e2 * (SIN(@newLat) * SIN(@newLat))))
    SET @errvalue = 1.0;
    SET @lat0 = 0
    WHILE (@errvalue > 0.001)
    BEGIN
        SET @lat0 = ATAN((@hz + @e2 * @v * SIN(@newLat)) / @p)
        SET @errvalue = ABS(@lat0 - @newLat)
        SET @newLat = @lat0
    END

    --convert back to degrees
    SET @newLat = @newLat * @rad2deg
    SET @newLon = @newLon * @rad2deg

    DECLARE @ReturnMe FLOAT
    SET @ReturnMe = 0

    IF @LatOrLng = 'Lat'
        SET @ReturnMe = @newLat
    IF @LatOrLng = 'Lng'
        SET @ReturnMe = @newLon

    RETURN @ReturnMe
END
GO

Calculate the distance between two coordinates in SQL Server

google-distance-calculator-1390807649If you ever had to quickly retrieve a distance between two points (identified with a latitude and longitude each), you might have had to rely on the Google geocoding service / distance calculator.

For a lot of points, this might prove difficult, so we have found a good function that will do all the processing instantly inside SQL.

CREATE function [dbo].[F_GREAT_CIRCLE_DISTANCE]
(
    @Latitude1  float,
    @Longitude1 float,
    @Latitude2  float,
    @Longitude2 float
)
returns float as
begin
    declare @radius float

    declare @lon1  float
    declare @lon2  float
    declare @lat1  float
    declare @lat2  float

    declare @a float
    declare @distance float

    -- Sets average radius of Earth in Miles
    set @radius = 6366.7

    -- Convert degrees to radians
    set @lon1 = radians( @Longitude1 )
    set @lon2 = radians( @Longitude2 )
    set @lat1 = radians( @Latitude1 )
    set @lat2 = radians( @Latitude2 )

    set @a = sqrt(square(sin((@lat2-@lat1)/2.0E)) + (cos(@lat1) * cos(@lat2) * square(sin((@lon2-@lon1)/2.0E))) )
    set @distance = @radius * ( 2.0E *asin(case when 1.0E < @a then 1.0E else @a end ))

    return @distance
end
GO

To use this function, call it with a pair of coordinates.

Example: Chicago 41.8819° N, 87.6278° W
New York 40.7127° N, 74.0059° W

Result: 1,143.38 km

print dbo.[F_GREAT_CIRCLE_DISTANCE] (41.8819, 87.6278, 40.7127, 74.0059)

 

If you would like to see the distance in miles rather than kilometers, change
set @radius = 6366.7
to
set @radius = 3956

The above result will be 710miles.

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