We don’t run this site like a business. There’s no reason to, since we don’t take any money for anything. But we still try hard to make NCS good, and we want more and more people to come here. Your humble editor obsessively watches our traffic statistics, and all of us do what we can to spread the word far and wide. We want to be BIG. I’m really not sure why. I think it’s probably the testosterone.
Since this isn’t a money-making enterprise, I ignore the e-mails we get every day from people who want to sell us on what they can do to make us BIGGER. As fast as it takes to see what the e-mails are about, I delete them. Except for yesterday. Yesterday, for no good reason at all, I read one from “Senior SEO Advisor Amanda Moss” (SEO standing for Search Engine Optimization). Ms. Moss had some very interesting things to say, so I drafted a reply, in line with her message to me:
“Hi Nocleansinging.com Team,
Hope you are doing fine.
Yeah, I suppose. What’s it to you?
I thought you might like to know some of the reasons why you are not getting enough organic traffic & most often you stick to Ad words to get more traffic which is quite expensive and the chances is high of getting a spam traffic as well.
Huh. You mean spam traffic like your e-mail to me Amanda? That kind of spam traffic? Please, tell me this isn’t just some piece of cookie-cutter spam you send to an electronic mailing list of millions. Please tell me this is a highly personalized message you wrote because you genuinely care about NO CLEAN SINGING and our sacred mission. Go ahead: tell me.
Let me tell you that your website still does not organically rank on major search engine’s first page for most of the popular keywords, which means people searching for your products are not able to find your website and you are losing traffic.
No shit? Well maybe it’s not our fault. Maybe people aren’t using the right keywords in their searches, did you ever think of that? Maybe they’re using words like “intelligent”, “well-written”, and “tasteful”, instead of “cretinous”, “illiterate”, and “half-assed”.
Some of the major factors which can be overcome for your website to rank well in SERP organically and increase your social media presence are:
I have to interrupt you before you give me your list of major factors. You keep using words like “organic” and “organically”, and I have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. Also, you seem to think I give a shit about where we turn up in web searches. Where did you get that idea? And what the hell is “SERP”? Sounds like a goddamned sexually transmitted disease. I hope you’re wearing protection.
1. Seems like your website carries a lot of technical errors which prevents search engine to crawl and index your website properly.
Technical errors? Technical errors? Do you know who you’re talking to? I don’t make technical errors. I am errorless when it comes to technical. It must be the other writers. I work myself to the bone trying to get all the technical errors out of what they write, and sometimes it’s just too much for any one person to handle, as brilliant as that one person is. And what’s wrong with preventing a search engine from crawling? I mean, when my engine crawls, I get a fuckin’ lube and a tune-up.
2. Your website needs a proper keyword selection and optimization.
I wish you’d quit telling me what my website needs. You’re depressing me. Will you please stop?
3. Your website is not well furnished with enough quality and theme based back links.
Didn’t I just ask you to stop? Do you enjoy making a grown man cry? Do you get some kind of sick pleasure out of that? I do the best I can to provide back licks, and no one’s ever complained about it before.
4. Your website should be more inclined towards Social media promotion and a regular updates in major social networks.
Amanda, I’m beginning to think this isn’t a personalized, tailored message to me and me alone, targeted to my own various needs. Because if it were, you would already know that we have a Facebook page that I update every time we post something new here on the site. And if you’re about to go on about MySpace and Google + and Twitter, and other shit of that ilk, forget it. Who has the time for all that?
5. Missing quality web and promotion contents (Article, Blogs etc.) which is preventing your website to gain more authority and ranking in Web Market.
Look, there’s only one of me. I’ve told the other writers they need to work on providing quality contents, but they just won’t listen. It’s like trying to push mercury uphill. Dealing with them, I feel like Luke Skywalker with Yoda on my back.
In the present day scenario it’s very essential to take a proper care of your website and keep it updated with fresh and original contents. There are many additional improvements which can help your website to gain more traffic and visibility. If you are interested to learn more and curious to know how we can help you to improve your website to get a higher traffic, then I would be glad to provide you a detailed proposal for your website.
(sobbing) Fresh and original content! Oh, what I wouldn’t give for some fresh and original content instead of the drivel I’m forced to post here. Do you know how hard it is to be fresh and original? That requires some actual talent! Talent doesn’t grow on trees, at least not the trees where I and the other writers live. We need fertilizer for our talent trees! Can you make a proposal for talent fertilizer? Please tell me you can. Please tell me you’re not just peddling garden-variety shit.
Our clients’ consistently tell us that their customers find them because they are on the top of Google. Being on the top of Google is the best thing you can do for your sales and online reputation. This email just tells you the fraction of things we do, our optimization process involves many other technical factors which can be sent to you on your request. If you would like to know more about our services then please write us back else you can give us a call us in our number mentioned below.
I’d love to get on top of Google and pound away like a stallion, with or without lube. But Amanda, I gotta tell you that you’re losing my confidence here. Because we don’t sell a goddamned thing. I mean, I’m just an amateur, but wouldn’t we have to be SELLING SOMETHING in order for getting on top of Google to improve our sales?
Also, your e-mail hasn’t told me a fraction of anything you do, other than write meaningless, jargon-laden e-mails. And I think you’ve told me all I need to know about that. Please tell me you have something more to offer than gibberish e-mails that only make me feel inadequate and depressed. Please tell me your technical factors include something more than banging away on your keyboard like a monkey on meth and hitting “send”.
P.S: – This is our marketing strategy to use a Gmail account. Once you reply us back, we will communicate with you through our corporate Email ID.
I wondered about that Amanda. I wondered why your e-mail address is just some gobbledygook @ Gmail.com. Do you really have a “corporate Email ID”? Is it Amanda@WeSpamGibberish.com? Would you like to lick my back?
Let me know your thoughts and looking forward to work together.
I’m really looking forward to working with you, too, Amanda. I’m getting hard just thinking about your technical factors and your optimization process and the magic words for getting on top of Google and how they’re going to increase our SERP, organically of course. We’re going to be BIG! Aren’t we?
Senior SEO Advisor
I knew all along this blog wasn’t organic. I bet you feed it a mixture of ground up goat bones, barium, and that weird gooey stuff we found in that Russian meteor.
Yeah, all that. But I can’t get enough of the meteor’s gooey stuff so I’ve been using my own. Maybe that’s the problem.
“P.S: – This is our marketing strategy to use a Gmail account. Once you reply us back, we will communicate with you through our corporate Email ID.”
Lol, Yeah, that is how a big firm operates! You can tell they are a shrewd bunch of skilled PR people right there!
Wait. So you think I shouldn’t trust Amanda? I’m so disappointed. My SERP stiffie is getting limp now.
To be fair to you Islander I’d be entirely happy for you to have a small ads presence on the site, as long as you selected wisely bands/albums that we here at NCS legitimately love.
That way you’d at least see some small renumeration for your efforts.
I work for the love, not the filthy lucre. All you need is love, love is all you need, all together now.
I know it’s pretty clear that this lady is full of shit, but almost EVERYONE offering SEO services is full of shit these days. There was a time when you could do some things she’s describing and they’d matter but because of scumbags trying to game the system, Google and the remaining big search engines (they do exist, believe it or not) made their search algorithms much smarter. It’s been common knowledge that Google hasn’t used meta keywords, which these SEO scammers love to trot out, for damn near five years now. They DO reward pages that are updated regularly and you can use the Google Webmaster Tools to ensure they are crawling your pages correctly. They’ll give you tips to improve the site’s performance, which will improve your ranking.
NCS would get a bigger bump out of running YSlow, implementing some of its changes, and implementing a free CloudFlare account than paying someone like Amanda. It would also make the site faster and could lower bandwidth costs, if you’re paying any to begin with. (You can pay me, if you want. Give me all your money.)
Man, that was long. Sorry, guys.
I actually do have a Cloudflare account. I tried that, with some success, after the page loading slowed down and our web host started throttling us regularly. I was already paying for the “Pro” account, but we were still being hosted on a shared server and I guess our traffic got to the point where that still wasn’t good enough. So I bit the bullet and moved up to a dedicated server, and that seems to have helped a lot, in addition to eating a hole in my bank account every month. Maybe I have a hole in my head too.
Don’t bother with her, I got enough organic SERP for the two of us
I’ll take a quart.
I used to be a team leader of of the content writing divisions, of one of these very ‘damned’ SEO companies here. Low paid crap if you ask me. We were given the SAME set of pointers often, and out of which we were to develop articles tailor made with the right set of keywords, so to appear in the on google search list . And let me tell you, as Chris pointed out above, the idea is outdated since Google uses different algorithms now. We used keywords, Image tags(keywords attached to images so that when you, say search for a particular album art with the right parameters, the image of the art of your site comes up if it is indeed properly tagged ) and the like to get the hits the sites i worked for needed. So that they may generate income off their equally phoney ads. It is a shitty process i must tell you, and most of these companies or a good chunk of it, if i am right are based in India. I quit that fucking job. Everyone in my team quit as well. I was only there for a year or so.
Good for you.
I wonder if there are still people out there who fall for the kind of pathetic crap like the one in the e-mail from “Amanda”, people who are actually trying to make money from their sites. I’m happier not giving a fuck.
Lying corporate filth…
I’ll tell you what the site needs, and for free – you need optimisation for mobile browsers! Yeah, mobile is where it’s at now. Soon, you won’t have or even need a desktop, because any smartphone a year or so from now will be powerful enough to BE your desktop. Don’t believe me? Then believe in Canonical, in Ubuntu.
Seriously though, One does think the site could use a mobile-optimised alternative layout. WordPress has a plugin for that, right? Also, Canonical has an IndieGoGo campaign running to raise $32000000 for the Ubuntu Edge phone – which will supposedly be powerful enough to run a desktop OS when connected to a monitor and keyboard/mouse combo.
Well, a mobile-optimized layout sounds like something worth exploring. I’m a Neanderthal — my phone is 8 years old — but I hear that there are people who actually use them to surf the web. Imagine that!
Now that is an interesting idea. I’ve found reading NCS on the phone quite irksome. You should try it out, i mean in just getting a mobile layout. Makes reading a breeze.
And Old man! Their HQ (HQ? Irony?) is at blore, You need to blow that up!!
Wait… Whose HQ?
And Islander, one more thing. I bet you might have noticed and scrapped it, but i guess today a comment on one of the Keyboard Warriors: Azmodes appeared. It stated something like “Your favorite justification, appeared to at…no side effects”. Some completely unrelated to the topic of the site, yet very what you call ambiguous in statement. This also comes with a link to some bogus product advertisement site. I had a few problems with my site as well, when we started out around 2 years back we were flooded with spam. The funny thing is , these comments are not exactly automated. The crappy shitworthy company i did work for, had a whole division of people typing up each of those comments with a link and then posting it on sites which were sufficiently rated. They do it so that when a link to a lower end site appears on a higher rated site, then it gets a few points in the Google search indexing. Totally outrageous!! Loopholes of the internet totally exploited. And in fact there are people making money out of every unaware person who hits on the link provided. Millions of these candy coated jobs abound in our country. Truly a sad state of affairs.
I wondered what the point of that kind of spam was. Disgusting. The Akismet spam filter is doing an increasingly good job filtering out that kind of stuff after being defeated fro a while. The one you saw slipped through. I trashed it as soon as I saw it.
Are you using the free Akismet version with the “0” free use option? if so being a corporate entity itself, it does let a few in and thus willingly proving to the user in a way, to upgrade it. Also the comments being typed in at the moment, are so ambiguous that it does fool Akismet, which itself runs on certain parameters. Sort of typing a comment that both meets the specific filter parameters while at the same time has nothing to do with the topic. They hyperlink their user name with their bogus site. Technical skullduggery. Gah.
I know I’m not paying separately for Akismet. It was an available free plugin when I first signed up for WordPress, and I just keep updating it as they release new versions. Makes sense that you wouldn’t get their best technology unless you pay extra.
Yes i was using the same. It was working all good ,until one fine day there was a massive flood of spams. After which our site POSSIBLY due to a completely different reason got hacked into. I still think it had something to do with with the spammers. Unlikely though.
If you guys have the ability to change the names of fields on your forms, you can grind automated spambots almost to a halt by fucking with them. Make hidden fields called name and email, make your actual name and email fields called something else (phillymetal.com uses ‘whoyoube’ and ‘getatyou’ or something), and have the controller that processes your form disregard any submissions that include content in the hidden fields. Might not be able to do that with as easily with WordPress but if spam is a huge issue for you, it might be worth a try.
Akismet is catching almost all of it now. Not sure how, since the spam comments are worded so ambiguously, but it’s pretty effective. And anyway, I’m way too scared to mess with the forms myself for fear I’ll fuck up something I don’t mean to change.
Pro(grammer) Tip: Backup the current code, and test new code only in a sandbox.
Man, reading this made me long for the days of reading through promo e-mails and getting someone who wanted to boost my site for a fee. Wait…no I don’t. I’m a liar. I will now slink away and be ashamed of myself.
It’s probably like the wistfulness you’d feel after being released from prison.
if you would like to be “big” you can just follow the example of a certain “blog” that’s becoming quite popular:
– start pulling all your content from older posts on a partner site, but condense it down to one or two sentences followed by a couple sarcastic comments and top it off with a “hilarious” photoshop graphic.
– quadruple your site traffic with surefire headlines about the bands/artists that people “love to hate”, as well as amateur band videos that your readers can spend hours making fun of in the comments section.
– turn at least 3/4 of your daily posts into “sponsored posts”
– do away with all the bandcamp/soundcloud/facebook links and embedded players. that takes time and effort and your goal is to slim down your time spent on this site to just 3-4 afternoon hours and no evenings or weekends.
– find a couple talented writers from other sites to lend you an actual authentic, original well written post once a month or so, to give the site street cred.
– stop personally responding to your readers in the comments section. that section is only there for your readers to bitch and moan and argue with one another and should not concern you in the least.
– never underestimate the value of a misleading, inflammatory and controversial headline.
– stop wasting precious time generating paragraph after paragraph of gratuitous compliments about bands/artists that you actually like. a single paragraph post childishly attacking an artist you loathe will increase your page views 10,000%
– and finally, load every inch of free page space with ads and pop-ups. ka-ching!
or you could just keep doing exactly what you’re doing, which is simply awesome. and for that i thank you 🙂
Agreed. Never change, Islander. NCS is awesome as is, one of the only metal blogs whose opinions I take seriously.
Means a lot coming from you dude. Thank you.
As always, I really appreciate your support.
I did a search for metal blog, and the second entry said Metal Sucks. So I quit looking. 😉
I’ve been visiting no clean singing for about a year and a half, and I definitely found it on google. This is one of the best blogs ever.
You see, it’s comments like this that are why I do this, and I think that’s true for the other writers too. It’s not for the money, because all the money related to this blog just goes . . . outward.
Well you might not sell products, but you could sell service. I gave ign.com my membership dues for years just so I could download high def videos and have access to their downloadable game guides. Ryan Bliss has some of the best digital artwork at digital blasphemy available for a subscription. I know this isn’t like your day job, but you could have a subscription service to get exclusive tracks from certain death metal bands at higher bit rates to help cover costs. One of the worst things I hate is a low quality track demo, and I usually buy the CD if the sound is right. I know there’s soundcloud and YouTube, but I’m spitballing. I know you can just give everyone the same content to be fair, and most exclusive content can be debated as worth the price. Maybe you’ve already talked about this kind of thing, and I’m pissing you off because you have a back link to this organic content. Once too many words are printed together on a page I miss things.
I think these and some other ideas in this thread are good ones — if I were interested in making money from NCS, but I’m not. It would be a whole different story if I needed the money in order to keep this going. If that were the case, I shudder to think what I’d do to raise cash. But I’m in the very lucky position of being able to finance this from what I make in my real job. I know that’s a rarity when it comes to metal sites, which is why I don’t mean to put down anyone else who advertises and does other things to help pay the freight.
But since I don’t HAVE to do any of those things, I’d rather not mess with it. I’d rather have this remain something closer to an old-school ‘zine.
I’m just really lucky that the other awesome guys who write here, and who aren’t nearly as well set up as I am, have been willing to hang in there with me for no pay and no tips, even when I make fun of them as I did in this post. (They know I’m just joking. I hope.)
Suddenly the Empire Strikes Back makes a lot more sense…
I’m sorry, I aw that yesterday and I just couldn’t resist working that in, even though it cannot be unseen.
Hopefully no hackers.