Got Chance

search engine optimization

PageRank Update Turns Good for Me

October 29, 2007 by Hari



Google has slapped many giants with its latest Pagerank update. But, it has surely turned out good for me. If you had been to my blog yesterday or the day before, you would have noticed that i have added an About page. To be specific, the Pageranks of all the sites that i have mentioned there have increased (or remained the same. but have not decreased). GotChance has become a PR5 blog and i’m very much happy with that. The pagerank’s of my other sites have increased as below :

Let me know how this Pagerank update has affected your blogs. I’m planning to sell some links (of course, with rel=”nofollow”).

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Posted in Blogging, SE Optimization.
36 Comments »

Update on the WidgetBucks Issue

October 26, 2007 by Hari

After so many reactions in the blogosphere, if WidgetBucks hadn’t reacted to it, they would have got slapped by the bloggers too. So, they made a pretty good decision today and updated their code. But, it is really funny the way they reacted. They don’t want their publishers to know the truth. I got this mail from them today :

One of the concerns we’ve heard from many of you has been the slow loading times of our widgets. We really appreciate your feedback and comments in helping us improve in this area. So, today we addressed this issue by rolling out new code that ultimately delivers faster loading widgets.

But, in reality if you check the new code, you’ll notice that everything remains the same. But, only the Text Link has been removed. But, still i’m in a dilemma whether to use WidgetBucks because even their new code contains “hidden text”. That is against Google as well. I don’t know what Google’s reaction might be to this move of WidgetBucks. But, i’m definitely going to wait for sometime before continuing to use WidgetBucks.

Posted in Advertising, SE Optimization.
14 Comments »

WidgetBucks – Disobeying Google Guidelines

October 25, 2007 by Hari

Today, i read at Shoemoney’s blog that WidgetBucks have been penalized by Google. I tried it out myself and found it to be true. And furthermore, i used this tool to find out that they rank nowhere in the Top 1000 for both “widgetbucks” and “widgetbucks.com”. Try it out yourself. This is really not a good sign from Google. Contrary to what Shoemoney has mentioned, my opinion is that WidgetBucks have been removed (banned) from Google Index and not just penalized.

I did a little research on this and Widget Bucks are indeed disobeying Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. If you view the code that they provide you, you will notice that there is a very prominent text link present in it.

<a href="http://www.widgetbucks.com" target="_blank">WidgetBucks - Trend Watch - WidgetBucks.com</a>

After looking at it, i understood that it is the Flash animation that rolls over this text-link and hides/covers it. The Flash is generated using the Javascript code. So, i used my Web Developer toolbar to disable javascript. Then, i viewed my site (that used WidgetBucks). As expected, i found the Text Link alone. Check it out :



This is a straightforward disobedience of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It clearly states as follows :

If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages. When evaluating your site to see if it includes hidden text or links, look for anything that’s not easily viewable by visitors of your site. Are any text or links there solely for search engines rather than visitors?

I’m not a SEO expert. But, my opinion (and most probably Google’s too) is that a Flash Animation rolling over a Text link is a form of Hidden Text link. And i don’t see any Positive motive behind such an act from WidgetBucks. So, its really better to stay away from them. I’m removing WidgetBucks from all the sites that i used them on. ShoppingAds seems a better alternative.

Whats your opinion about this ? Feel free to share your comments.

Posted in Advertising, SE Optimization.
26 Comments »

Google Penalties and How to Avoid Them

October 6, 2007 by Hari

Few days ago, David Airey’s logo design blog was penalized by Google and suddenly his rankings dropped on Google for various search terms. He didn’t know what happened and why he was penalized. But, he knew what to do and how to reverse the penalty. Today, he reports that the penalty on his blog has been lifted. He explains in great detail what he did and how he got it reversed. So, i’m not going to go deep into that. Till this time, i was not taking Google Penalties seriously. But, after this Airey incident, i have learned a lot of things. I did a search on the topic and found many useful informations to avoid Penalties. Here’s how it affected his traffic :



Firstly, read the Google Webmaster Guidelines thoroughly. It clearly explains what to do and what not to do.

Always use rel=”nofollow” on all the paid links that you have on your website. Or you can redirect the link to an intermediate page that is blocked to the Search Engines by a robots.txt file. Incoming links are not a problem at all for Google. Because, the webmasters have no control over it. But, clearly the webmasters are responsible for the outgoing link. Linking to bad websites (bad neighborhood) can get you a potential ban. Here is a tool to check if you linking to “bad neighborhoods”. Here is an interesting question about linking to bad sites. John Chow has been severely penalized by Google for overdoing the “review for a linkback”. Not only he doesn’t rank on the first page on Google for “John Chow“, but also for “johnchow“.

After know about all these, i’m sure that i’ll be following a lot of SEO Techniques very soon. What do you all feel ? Have you been penalized by Google ? Share you experience in the comments.

Posted in Blogging, SE Optimization.
11 Comments »

My Top Keyword

September 20, 2007 by Hari

Sorry for being so late on schedule in posting about my Top Keyword. I was busy studying for my exams and my mom banned me from the computer. The keyword is…. See for yourself :



It is Taj Mahal. If you go a Google Image Search for that word, you’ll find GotChance.com listed first. (Uh oh ! It has changed now). Anyway that was unusual. But this is a nice piece of example of Seasonal traffic. I wrote the original post just in time when the New 7 Wonders were being announced. It hit the first page and i received good traffic. Thats it !

Posted in Miscellaneous, SE Optimization.
8 Comments »

My Top Keyword Turns Out to be UnExpected

September 14, 2007 by Hari

For the past few months, i have seen this particular keyword top my list of “Top search keywords”. And, also it tops the list of “Traffic Sources” in my FeedBurner stats. But, i didn’t bother to check it out as the keyword was unrelated to this blog. Today, determined to check where it comes from i did a Google search first and then a Google Image Search. To my surprise, its from the Google Image Search. Here’s a screenshot from my FeedBurner stats :

I’ll let you readers have a guess at the keyword. I’ll give you some clues. The traffic comes from Google Image Search. A specific post from GotChance is displayed as the number on result for the keyword. I’m sure that there are lots and lots of websites out there which provide better “pictures/photos” of the same. The image was taken from WikiPedia and the WikiPedia page is nowhere to be seen in the results page. Maybe because, i directly displayed the image, whereas WikiPedia shows a Thumbnail link.

More clues, the major part of the keyword Search traffic comes from images.google.co.in showing that it is an India-related keyword. Any Guesses ? I’ll disclose the answer in 24 hours or after the correct answer is guessed (whichever occurs sooner).

Posted in Miscellaneous, SE Optimization.
2 Comments »

WWW or No WWW in Domain Names

September 14, 2007 by Hari

This is something simple that all blogs can do and all blogs should do, but not all blogs do. Do you know that http://www.gotchance.com and are treated by search engines as two different websites. So, the search engine results may split up and even worse the Google PageRank will split too. So, it is generally a good practice to do a Search-Engine-Friendly redirect from on to the other.

Here i have chosen to redirect www.gotchance.com to gotchance.com. But that doesn’t make any difference. Here’s how to do it. Just add the following code to your .htaccess file in the root directory of your domain :

Options +FollowSymlinks

RewriteEngine on

rewritecond %{http_host} ^www.yourdomain.com [nc]

rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://yourdomain.com/$1 [r=301,nc]


If you want to do it otherwise (i.e) from Non-WWW to WWW, here’s the code :

Options +FollowSymlinks

RewriteEngine on

rewritecond %{http_host} ^yourdomain.com [nc]

rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [r=301,nc]


Now, go ahead and start concentrating your SE Optimization on one domain.

UPDATE : When i checked the FeedBurner stats (while making this post), i noticed something that is very much related to this post. Here is a screenshot. I use gotchance.com/feed for my FeedBurner feed and www.gotchance.com shows as one of the top referrers. This is before i started redirecting www to non-www :

Posted in SE Optimization, Web Development.
12 Comments »

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