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How To Pick The Best Web Host Or Server

Friday, June 30, 2006
picking the best web host Web Hosting is a potential mine field for webmasters, There are more hosting horror stories on the net than there are web hosts. In this post i will attempt to clear up a few misconceptions about hosting and provide a few tips to help you not only find the best host for your online business but also find a reliable webhost.

What are your hosting requirements?

Firstly you should figure out what you need from a host. What language are you going to build your website in? PHP, ASP, PERL, These are all options. Do you need an SQL database, What about a dedicated MySQL server? Do you need a server with mod_rewrite enabled. Most webhosts have scripting languages enabled, Such as PHP and PERL, But it is something you need to make sure before you sign up. You should also find out how many databases your host allows and how much space they allow in these databases. It's not uncommon for hosts to allow a large volume of bandwidth but only a limited about of MySQL space, And unless you have read the terms properly the first time you find this out will be when you go to view your site only to get an SQL error. This is when you will find your self shelling out extra cash to buy more SQL space.

Web Host Reviews

You must find out what others think of a webhost before signing up. You can do this simply by typing the name of the webhost into google -domain.com and finding some forum posts or web host reviews. But even if you do find a scathing review of the web host it doesn't automatically mean they are bad, It is unlikely for any business for them to never receive a negative review, You need to find an overall opinion of the host from varied sources.

Test their Support System

Support is an important factor when picking a webhost. Otherwise when you do eventually need to contact their support (and you will) you will find yourself pulling your hair out when they don't respond to emails or pick up the phone. To test this is easy, simply submit a trouble ticket with a pretend problem and see how long it takes them to reply and how professional their response is. If you ask a question that you know the answer to and they don't, their support system is worthless. Also call their phone number, This number should be toll free, But it doesn't matter if it isn't. Again, See how long it takes them to answer and see how well they answer your question.

That pretty much covers the basics of how to find a good reliable host, In this next section we will look at some of the terms used by hosting providers. These terms can sometimes be confusing or misleading, Especially the way hosting providers use the word `unlimited`, So it will do you good to understand exactly what is meant by the terms used by your web host.

Unlimited Bandwidth

This is a common ploy used by hosting providers, They want you to think "wow, Unlimited bandwidth" when what they actually mean is unmetered bandwidth. The difference between unlimited and unmetered bandwidth is that unlimited means you can use as much as you like, Unmetered means they don't monitor how much bandwidth you use. But should you use more than they would like they will suspend your account.. There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth.

Windows Hosting

Windows hosting is simply a server that runs the windows operating system. If you feel you will need ASP, FrontPage, the .NET environment, Windows Streaming Media, Access or MSSQL you should go with a windows server, Windows hosting however does usually cost a little more that Linux hosting. This is due to Linux being free and windows costing money.

Linux Hosting

Linux hosting is just like windows hosting, except the server is using the Linux operating system (well, duh).

Shared hosting

shared hosting means your website will be hosted on a server with a number of other websites. If you are building a small to medium site shared hosting should be enough, But you may sometimes pay the price for other people messing up. For instance if a site on that server is being DDoS'ed effectively you will be getting DDoS'ed as well.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated hosting is what you should use if you have a large site. This means your site will be hosted on it's own server. This will cost a lot more than shared hosting.

Dedicated MySQL server

If your site is large and uses an SQL server you may need to have a server exclusively to host your database. But really you shouldn't worry too much at the moment about dedicated SQL hosting, By the time you need this you will know what you are doing.


You are probably hoping i will be able to tell you of a cheap reliable hosting provider to go with, But i can't do that, It entirely depends on what you have to spend, your requirements and a number of other factors. But with a little research and some time spent thinking about what it is you need from a webhost you should be able to find your prefect host in no time..

Good Luck.

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Google Release Google Checkout

Google Checkout Logo Google have recently released their competition for paypal in the form of Google Checkout, While Google checkout aims to compete in the same market as paypal there are a few big difference that will either make or break Google Checkout. The main difference is that you will be unable to send money from one Google Checkout account to another, Like you can with paypal. Some think it's this that made paypal such a success, But you could equally argue that the difference will be what make Google Checkout more suitable for online merchant than paypal.

So how will Google Checkout effect online buyers and sellers and how will we interact with it?
The thing people will probably notice first is the little shopping cart icon next to sponsored links on google search (Google Checkout Shopping Cart), This is to indicate to users that this store not only has the product you want, But also accept payment through google checkout.
At present the amount of merchants using Google Checkout are limited, But are growing fast. Google have listed merchants using google checkout

Google Checkout Demo Video



How much does google checkout cost?

To send payments through google checkout will be free for the customer, But merchants will have to pay 20 cents plus 2% of the transaction.
This is considerably lower than what paypal charge. You will also receive Fraud protection from google checkout and neither your email of credit card number will be shared, Even with the store you are buying from. It seems like the main idea behind google checkout is to make buying online easier, quicker and safer.

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BlackHat SEO - Why you shouldn't do it.

Thursday, June 29, 2006
BlackHat SEO - Why you shouldn't do it. BlackHat SEO is a term used to describe tactics that are supposed to increase your position in the SERPS, But in reality BlackHat SEO will do nothing apart from get you banned from google.

In this post i will go through a few of the tactics and techniques used in blackhat SEO so you can avoid accidentally putting them in place, I would strongly advise against using any of these blackhat SEO methods.

Cloaking

Cloaking is a blackhat method that involves displaying one page to search engine bots, and a different page to your visitors.
The idea is to get a keyword stuffed page listed in the SERPS, But show a more readable page to visitors.

Leader Pages

Leader pages are a set of pages, all showing basically the same information, but each designed to rank well in different search engines.
This doesn't work anymore for 2 reasons, Google may penalize the pages for duplicate content, And people don't really worry about SEO for MSN and Yahoo anymore, it's all about google.

Link Farms

Link farms are like mass produced link exchanges. They usually involve you placing some code on your site that automates the process.
This is a bad idea because you have no control over what links are being displayed on your site, so god knows how many banned sites you are linking to, and linking to banned sites can see you being banned too.

Hidden Text

Hidden text is sometimes used to hide keyword stuffing. It is when the text on the page is the same color as the background so it is invisible to your visitors, But visible to spider bots. The bottom line is, If you need to hide anything you are doing something very wrong with the SEO of your page.

This is by no means an extensive list of BlackHat techniques, But it is the most common forms of blackhat tactics.
If you think you have done any of this on your site my advice would be to remove it right now. If you think you can use an unfair method of increasing your SERPS and not get caught, You are very wrong. And when you are caught your site will be completely removed from the google index and the PR bar will be grayed out.

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How To Prevent Image Hotlinking

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
One of the most annoying things for webmasters is to find someone else using their template and their images, Especially when they hotlink to these images. Hotlinking is when your images on your server are being displayed on another site. Usually hotlinking is not too much of a problem, But if the image is large, Your own work or using a lot of bandwidth you will want to look into preventing hotlinking.

In this blog entry i will explain how to prevent hotlinking of images with a .htaccess file.
First i will post the code you need to drop into your .htaccess file and then i will explain what each line does and how it prevents hotlinking.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?domain(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(gif|jpe?g|png|bmp)$ [F,NC]


The first line in this code instructs the server to turn the mod_rewrite engine on.
The second line is checking to see if the referrer string is blank.
The third line instructs the server which domains are allowed to hotlink to your images. If you want to allow more than one domain to use your images simply copy the line and paste it under it and replace the domain with the second domain allowed to hotlink your images, You can do this as many times as you want.
The fourth line tells the server what types of files you want to protect from hotlinking.
This code sample will protect all files with the extention gif, jpeg, jpg, png and bmp.

Another option for preventing hotlinking is to display an image of your choice, no matter what image is linked to.
If you are preventing hotlinking to save bandwidth you wont want to use this option because an image will still be displayed on their site, But it wont be the image they think they are hotlinking to.

Use the following code to prevent hotlinking and display an image of your choice.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?domain(/)?.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpe?g|png|bmp)$ /images/HOTLINKING.gif [L,NC]


This code is almost identical to the previous code, But instead of just preventing hotlinking it will display the image located on your server at /images/HOTLINKING.gif

In the examples you have to replace domain with your own domain name, Don't include your tld (.net .com .org) though, Just the domain.

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When Is The Next PR (page rank) Update?

Monday, June 26, 2006
When Is The Next PR (page rank) Update? This blog entry is partly a rant, mostly because i am tired of answering the same question on various SEO forums regarding when the next Page Rank update is going to be with the same response.


Here is the deal people. Every time you ask "when will the next Google page rank update be?" God kills a kitten, Then he cooks it and then he eats it. It's a stupid question which begs the same answer every time it is asked.
nobody apart from google knows when the next google Page Rank update will be
They happen, On average, Every 4 months, And just before the google PR update we usually see a backlink update, A backlink update is when google update the information you see when you search link:domain.com in google.

So if you could understand that the question "when is the next Page Rank update?" is not only pointless, But has been answered many times before, We can all stop playing this silly PR game and get on with making sites for people, Not for google.

And on top of that, the ironic thing is that by the time the google PR is updated, It's four months out of date!

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How To Get Backlinks

Getting backlinks is one of the most important things you need to do to get your new site noticed.
The more backlinks you have the easier it is for search engines to find you, and they find you more often the more you have. But for new webmasters finding out how to get backlinks can be quite confusing.

In this blog entry i will tell of a few methods you can use to encourage other sites to link to you.

Submit to Directories

There are a lot of free web directories on the net now and there are an equal number of sites that list free web directories.
So your first step should be to visit every directory here and here and submit your link to every free web directory you can find.

Link Exchanges

If you are taking part in reciprocal link exchanges it is important that you 1) Exchange links only with related sites. If a site has nothing to do with your site a reciprocal backlink from it will serve little to no purpose and 2) Do not mass mail webmasters. If there is one thing that will guarantee i will ignore you it is if i receive an email that has been BCC'ed to a thousand other webmasters. You could also get other webmaster to ask for a link exchange by putting a contact form on your site and letting people know you are open for link exchanges.

Link Baiting

Link baiting is when you post something controversial, a flame or something very interesting on your site with the intention of getting people to blog about it or post it on forums. Link baiting is sometimes seen as "spam" but take no notice of that, It's not, People are choosing to link to you, It's upto them.

Providing Quality Content

This is my favorite way to get backlinks. Make a good site with good content.
If there is one thing people like, and like to link to, it is a good site.

Posting on forums

I am hesitant to include this suggestion, But i will, and i will explain exactly what i mean.
When i say by posting on forums read it as `join a forum and contribute`. It does not mean join a forum, spam your link 50 times and then leave. Most forums allow you to include a signature in your posts so it's an easy way to get backlinks. If you become a trusted regular poster it will also mean you get a lot of traffic from these backlinks. Spamming not only make you look like an amateur, But it will be deleted that same day by a moderator, Probably before a google bot even gets to see it.

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds allow you to syndicate your content. This means other sites display your content on their pages via a feed which includes a backlink to the original article or page. So you could syndicate us ;)

Submit Articles

If you know a lot about the area you work in (as you should) then writing articles could be very beneficial. Every time you write and submit an article that is one backlink, and the good thing about articles is they are often copied and used on other article sites, sent in news letters or posted on forums, Each time this happens you get another backlink.

Provide a link to me code

Put a page on your site that contains link to me code. This will be HTML code that people just have to cut and paste into their site to link to you. But don't use all text. Provide a few banners, some buttons, Be creative. Sometimes if people are trying to find filler for their site they will be more than happy to include your sexy looking banner or button on their page.
The trick is to make it easy for people to link to you.

Buy Text Links

If you have money set aside for your advertising you can also Buy Text Links from companies such as LinkWorth, Also good if you want to make money and sell text links.

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Adsense Banned me -- What should i do?

Friday, June 23, 2006
Google Adsense Webmaster forums across the Net are littered with people saying "I got banned from adsense - What should i do?", This is usually followed by assurance that they didn't do anything..

Google will ban people from adsense for various reason, The most common being click fraud. Click fraud doesn't mean that they think you are clicking you own adverts necessarily, It may be that they think you are getting others to click them. Think about it,, If the same person is going to your site once a day and clicking an advert, that would look suspicious, wouldn't it?
It could also be that google believe you are trying to deceive visitors or suggesting they "support" the site by clicking adverts. Remember, At the end of every advert is a webmaster paying for it, It's not google adsense paying you, It's other webmasters.

To not get banned from adsense is simple. Follow the terms and do not click your own adverts, Don't even encourage others to click them. Just put the adverts up, and leave them.

If you do find yourself banned from adsense, Don't start pulling your hair out straight away (though you may have to later). Sometimes when people get banned google will reinstate their account on appeal. If you feel you were wrongly banned, I emphasize WRONGLY, If you were banned and you know what you done wrong, Don't try to get back in, You deserved to be banned, So take your medicine like a man and learn from your mistakes..

If however you feel certain that you had done nothing wrong, You should Contact Google and explain why you feel your account should be reinstated..
Keep your appeal short and simple. Do not threaten google with a boycott, they couldn't care less if you use them and do not tell them how long you have been using adsense, This makes no difference. It may take some time to get a reply, Google have to find your email and then investigate your claim, just be patient

If after that you find you are unable to get back into adsense, It's time to consider some of the Adsense Alternatives.

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Google Adsense Alternatives

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Google AdsenseIn this post we will discuss the alternatives to adsense and adsense alternatives.
Sometimes webmasters find themselves in a position when they can no longer use google adsense, This may be because your requirements have changed, Or because you have been banned from Adsense.
When this happens you need to change ad provider quickly, Every day you are without adverts is costing you money..

Here i will list alternatives to adsense, and tell you a little about them.

Yahoo! Publisher Network
Yahoo have become googles main competition in the PPC service industry. They are a reliable PPC ad provider. At the moment the YPN is only available to American citizens with a valid SSN.
If you can get into the YPN it's probably the best and most reliable alternative to adsense.

Clicksor
After google adsense and Yahoo YPN, clicksor is your best bet.
They have been around a while and claim to pay publishers 70% of what advertisers pay for each click.

Intellitxt
Intellitxt is run by a company called Vibrant Media. These types of adverts are a little different to the regular PPC contextual adverts. Instead of displaying adblocks on your page Intellitxt puts adverts in your content by displaying a tooltip type adverts whenever your visitor mouseovers on a keyword.

TargetPoint
TargetPooint offers a few options to webmasters, Such as AdPoint, ExitPoint, ImagePoint, UnderPoint..
AdPoint serves contextual adverts relevant to your content.
ExitPoint serves adverts to visitors as they are leaving, Like a popunder..
ImagePoint will display banners on your page relevant too your content.

AdBright
AdBright works slightly different to other adverts. With adbright you need to get webmasters to advertise directly on your site. So instead of leaving it to the PPC provider to display adverts, People have to like your site, want too advertise on it and sign up. Rates are said to be good though.

Chitika
Chitika is a new type of advert, They are sometimes called mini malls. What makes Chitika special is the look of the adverts. It's a tabbed block that allows visitors to move around the adverts on your site. These do tend to have a lower CPC though. While this could be considered a replacement for adsense it's not really an adsense alternative because it's a different type of adverts.

Bidvertiser
Bidvertiser is your ordinary common or garden PPC advert program. What makes it appealing is that they pay through paypal and their minimum payout is just $10. So if you are dropping adsense because you find it hard to reach the $100 mark you should give Bivertiser a go.

You should be aware that it is against adsense terms (and most PPC terms) to display competing contextual adverts on the same page. You can test these providers on different pages of the same site, But not the same page.

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Google Adsense - Cost Per Action (CPA)

Google has started testing it's new adsense feature of "cost per action" (CPA).

What is cost per action?


Cost per action would mean publishers get paid for a sale or a lead instead of getting paid for clicks and impressions. For some sites this would mean less money, But for others it would mean a lot more.

Unlike with their pay per click and pay by impression options CPA would not be contextual. This means publishers can pick what affiliate adverts they want to display, and if someone signs up after visiting from your adblock, you will get paid, You will not get paid for impressions or clicks though.

At the moment this program is only open to adsense users through invitation, But it it works well the rest of us will be able to use it in a few months.

Ps.. If anyone has a spare Adsense cost per action (CPA) invite, I would love one.. Thanks.

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What Blogger Needs,,, But Don't Have..

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Blogger LogoAfter having used blogger blogs for some time for various projects i have noticed a few things that let blogger down. Don't get me wrong, I love blogger, Having a free blog that not only has no adverts in it but also allows you to display your own adverts is an amazing gift that has let people who wouldn't usually be able to blog get their thoughts, rants and causes out to a wide audience and make a little beer money at the same time, So rest assured this isn't an anti-blogger rant, It's supposed to be a constructive brainstorming session that may kick start google into adding some new features to blogger blogs that would help people promote their blog and track it's performance.

Right, So let's get down to the nuts of the matter.
What i will first do is list here the things I think blogger should introduce, and later in the post i will explain why i think this should be the case.

  1. Traffic and visitor stats.
  2. Feed tracking.
  3. Allow readers to receive email notifications.
  4. Template generator
  5. Automatic blog-roll
  6. Ping other servers besides weblogs.com
  7. Create static pages - not blog posts

Traffic and visitor stats

The first item in the list was traffic and visitor stats for our blogs.
A lot of bloggers, myself included, Subscribe to or use third party visitor stats trackers
like SiteMeter.com. These services are quite good, and usually free, but it would be nice if blogger gave users access to statistics kept by blogger themselves. Sitemeter.com Have features like average visits, A world map that shows where your users come from and graphs showing traffic over a period of time.
If blogger were to provide their own statistics they could also allow a user to have a configurable controls panel to select what statistics are shown on the blog as well as showing the blog admin full stats. That way we could have a section on our blog that displays the world map of where visitors are coming from, the traffic graphs or even a simple hit counter that would be access by putting <$BLOGSTATS$> in our template where we want these statistics to appear.

Feed Tracking

I love RSS feeds on my blogs. They allow people to syndicate my content on their site or subscribe to live bookmarks in firefox (subscribe now if you haven't already!). But what i would really like is to be able to see who has subscribed. I'd like to see how many people have loaded my feed in live bookmarks and i would like to see what sites are syndicating me. As it stands blogger has no option what so ever for tracking who is viewing a blogs feed..

Allow readers to receive email notifications

I, like a lot of bloggers, Use FeedBlitz to allow visitors to receive email notification of when i make new posts, But i can't believe blogger hasn't incorporated this feature into the blogs as standard. A simple button or input box is all that is needed for visitors to receive an email notification whenever a new post is made on the blog.
obviously this feature should be double opt-in and should not allow importing of an email list, this would make spam impossible.

Template Generator

Downloading and importing a blogger skin is probably the easiest thing in the world. But for people who want a unique design but don't have the ability to create one a template generator would be handy. I'm pretty sure with all the experts google have at their disposal they could create an online WYSIWYG blogger template generator. Similar to the one geocities has.

Automatic blog-roll

This may be a brand new idea, So if they use it i want paying, I invented it, you read it here first :p..
Well, You know how at the top of blogger blogs we have the navigation bar. Well, wouldn't be nice to have a "request blog-roll" button on there? What would happen is if when you are browsing blogs you see one you like, you would click the "request blog-roll" and blogger would add that blog to your pending list and your site to that blog owners pending list. Then if that blog owner accepts your request your link will be put on his blog, and his link will be put on yours.
The blog-roll list would be accessed via a <$BLOGROLL$> variable in our templates.

Ping other servers besides weblogs.com

ARRGGHHH!!! Why does blogger only ping weblogs.com?!?! Come on guys! Get with the program!!
phew, i feel better now...

Create static pages - not blog posts

It would be nice if blogger allowed users too create a limited number of static pages.
I can understand that they don't really want people to turn their blog into a free website, It is afterall supposed to be a blog.
But if they limit the number of static pages to maybe 5 then people could have an "about us" page a "link to us" page or any other static pages they want that wouldn't show up as posts..


Anyway, those are my ideas, some are better than others, but all are beneficial.
Some of these ideas would mean bloggers users wouldn't be forced to use third party sites, which can only be good news for blogger, Other ideas are admin and reader related ideas that improve bloggers functionality.

If you have any other ideas, or comments on my ideas, please post them, I would love to extend this brainstorming and get some feedback.

Thanks for reading.

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301 permanent Redirect

Friday, June 16, 2006
There comes a time in every webmasters life when they need to redirect a user to a different page. This could be because you have moved your pages around to improve your sites structure, Or because you have deleted a page and don't want your visitors to see a 404 error message.

Now, the safest way to redirect visitors and bots is to use a permanent 301 redirect, A permanent 301 redirect sends a status code to the browser, or bot, to inform them that this page has moved, and is not coming back and that there is a new replacement page they should be looking at. We call this the safest way to redirect users because spider bots understand this status code, they will follow it and eventually pass over rank to the new page.

In this small tutorial we will cover the various ways you can achieve a 301 redirect using different languages and different methods.

Redirect visitors and bots from a subdomain to a domain with a 301 redirect


New webmasters are told to only point links to one place, It is important that all of your backlinks go to the same URL.
Remember, www.domain.com domain.com, www.domain.com/index.html and domain.com/index.html are not the same page, they will be seen as different pages,, and in the case of WWW Vs non WWW they will be seen as different websites.

This can partly be overcome by using a 301 redirect to send visitors and spider bots who go to domain.com to www.domain..com, And we achieve this with an .htaccess file that sends a 301 redirect status..

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain\.com
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=permanent,L]



Or if your host doesn't allow mod_rewrite, You can use this code in an .htaccess file

Redirect 301 http://domain.com/oldfile.html http://www.domain.com/newfile.html



PHP 301 Redirect


You can also send a 301 status code with PHP. To do this, put the following code in the PHP file you wish to redirect from.

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: http://www.domain.com/newpage.html");
exit();



ASP 301 Redirect


finally we will look at the ASP 301 redirect, That is achieved with the following code in your ASP file.

<%@ Language=VBScript %>
<% Response.Status="301 Moved Permanently" Response.AddHeader "Location", "http://www.domain.com/newpage.asp" response.end %>

How Google Rank Videos

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Google Viideo Logo Google have recently revealed the basics of the algorithm that determine where videos appear in the google video Top 100.
From the google blog it seems that a videos popularity is figured out by looking at how many views it has had combined with how quickly it got those views.
Google have also made public the list it has been using internally to show what videos are most popular in different countries.

Unlike the regular search algorithm this algorithm is impossible (maybe not impossible) to manipulate, So it raises the question, In the future will google implement a similar system for their search algorithm.

Related link The best of google video and youtube

Alt Attribute Importance In SEO

Google LogoA lot of discussion comes from the area of the importance of alt attributes on images and their effect on search engine optimization.
If you don't know what an alt attribute is, Is the attribute that makes text appear when you mouseover an image, It is not a tooltip and it is not a tag.

Alt attributes were created initially for text based browsers, Like lynx, Which can not display images. The alt (or alternate) text was to describe what it is an image of, and should still be used only for that.
Alt attributes are put into code like this:
<img src="http://www.domain.com/images/logo.gif" alt="Some Text Here">

Google does include the alt text as body text,So in theory people could find your page by searching for what you have in an alt attribute. But it is believed that not much weight is given to this text, So really it's a good idea to use it for what it is intended, Too describe the image, and keep your text in the body of the page in areas that are readable to your users.

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Adsense Secrets - Earn More with Adsense

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I guess you are reading this post because you want to know how to make the most money from Google adsense.. Well, The truth of the matter is, you will only earn more money by getting more visitors. Ultimately adsense earnings go up in direct relation to the amount of visitors you get, Makes sense don't it? While this is true for the most part, Small tweaks to your adsense positioning and color scheme can increase your CTR by a few percent, And if you have a lot of visitors that few percent can add up for a few extra dollars a day.

Different people will have their own opinion and experience on adsense positioning and color scheme based on results they have seen on their website, Obviously different websites will perform differently. I will tell you my experience with adsense positioning and colors schemes.
The cooler scheme on adsense should look very similar to the rest of the color scheme, especially the title, It should be a few shades off of your regular text link. This gives your visitors the impression that the adverts are a part of the site, While still being different enough to catch their eye. The text in the adsense block should be black, Or whatever color your main text is on the website and the URL should be the same color as the title, But a few shades lighter.
It helps also if you make the border and background on your adsense block the same color as the background of your page. You don't want your visitors to see the border or background.

Now we move onto the position of your adsense. A rule of thumb is to put your adsense as close too the center of the page as possible, Studies have shown that after a visitor has had a look at your logo, they will then look directly at the middle of the page, So putting an adblock here is useful, Though not always possible. Other optimal positions are just above your main content, Or just after your main content. When a user has finished reading an article they will often think "what can I do now?", So if you provide them with something to do, Like click your adsense, They will be likely to oblige.

You should test out colors and positioning on your site, Set up adsense channels to monitor what adverts are performing, what color schemes perform and what position is best. In no time you will be able to have a pretty good idea about what works on your site.

SEO Terms

Welcome to the Pro-SEO blog on blogspot.
The purpose of this blog is to clear up some of the misconceptions people sometimes have when entering the confusing world of Search Engine optimization. So it's only natural that the first post on Pro-SEO should explain some of the terms that you will come across while studying search engine optimization.

What is anchor Text?
Anchor text is the visible text on a hyperlink that you click that takes you to another page. In this sentence the word Google is the anchor text. Anchor text is important because it gives search engines a first glance at the content of the page, So if the page you are linking to is about Soccer Kits your anchor text in the link should be "Soccer Kits". A common mistake people usually make is having "click here" or something similar as the anchor text, This will drastically reduce the full potential for the text link.

What is a backlink?
A backlink is any link from one site to another. (and to a lesser extent internal links on your own site). Backlinks are important for search engine optimization, Backlinks from related sites are the best. These are sometimes called an IBL, or inbound backlink.

What is a bot?
A bot is what search engines use to spider the internet looking for sites, These are often referred to as spiders or spider bots.

What is cloaking?
Cloaking is a black-hat SEO techique sometimes used to deliver one page to a bot and a different page to human visitors. This is usually achieved by using a server side language to determine if the visitor is a spider bot or human. The page delivered to spider bots is usually stuffed full of keywords. This may result in your website being banned from Google.

What is keyword stuffing
keyword stuffing was used when search engine results were ordered by which sites had the word appear more frequently. So back in the day, If you wanted to rank well for "football kits" all you had to do is have "football kits" appear more times on the page than anyone else. These days though keyword stuffing is more likely to cause your site to drop down the SERPS.

What are SERPS?
SERPS are the search engine results page. It's the page you see when you search for a term on google or other search engines. Your goal as a webmaster is to get your site as high in the SERPS as possible and appearing as often as possible..

What is a Google Dance?
A Google Dance is what happens when google are in the process of updating their index. During this time you may see your rank in the SERPS drop, or you may disappear altogether. But don't worry, In most cases the SERPS are back to normal when the Google Dance is complete.

What is PageRank?
PageRank, Or PR, is something invented Larry Page at google.
It is the score google give you between 1 and 10 based on link popularity and the quality of sites linking to you. You shouldn't pay much attention to this, While it is fun to see the green bar move it has no actual value.

What is a stop word?
A stop word is a word that is ignored by Google. These are common words such as a, the, and.

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