nofollow tag

There has been lot of confusion among webmaster/SEO community over the usage of nofollow tag, so I took this as an opportunity to dig in to nofollow intricacy and talk about associated SEO implication of nofollow tag. So what is nofollow? As the name itself suggests nofollow means you are instructing search engine that you don’t guarantee any integrity for a given outbound link so please don’t pass any page rank to this link.

Some questions that need to be answered under nofollow purview are:

  1. Can we use nofollow for links that connects internal pages of our website?
  2. Can nofollow stops crawler from tumbling in to the linked page? And do all search engines recognize nofollow?
  3. For every back link with nofollow tag that connects to our website do we still get any SEO value?
  4. For every outbound link can we have a default policy of nofollow?

The answer for 1 is yes nofollow can be utilized for links within website and also links pointing to external website. But experts including Matt Cutts suggest that nofollow tag’s internal usage should not be prioritized and we should focus on better things like site structure such that it is user/crawler friendly and let crawler freely percolate to all web pages within your website.

But there can be some exception wherein you feel that for a given page let’s say your most valuable product line page should get link juice squeezed from most of the pages while less important page like privacy policy or login page does not deserve valuable page rank and it’s link can be concatenated with nofollow.

To answer 2 well the primary objective of no follow is to stop squeezing the valuable link juice to the website for which you are not too sure. And most of the search engines including the big 3 recognize the same although there can be exception like ask which is not in line with the Google’s philosophy of nofollow. Also it is being said that Yahoo still crawls to a nofollow links although does not passes any page rank.

Answer for 3 is simple nofollow is not a gospel and think SEO beyond Google’s page rank and link juice. Even if you have back link suffixed with nofollow originated from a website that is rich in traffic of your target audience it still make sense to go ahead with such connectivity e.g. Tweets have default nofollow nature but re-tweets sometimes land in to different website so there is scope of page rank as well as traffic while you are doing social media optimization through Twitter.

Answer for 4 is debatable cult websites like Wikipedia, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter all have adopted nofollow but this has been taken as unethical among webmaster & SEO community in a way that these website rise to top page rank categories with free follow policy across internet and they are shying away in sharing the same. Also if everybody starts using nofollow the whole concept of Google page rank would become meaningless. Although the fact of the matter is nofollow links is 1-2% of total links available so this is not a big issue. So I think nofollow has implication and webmaster/SEO have to device a policy for the same and the underlying idea is to incorporate nofollow for all immaterial links and also dropping nofollow for those links that have contributed to your website and are relevant to your website.

Posted in Organizational behaviour, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

A date with Anna Hazare at Ramlila Maidan Delhi

On Sunday Aug 21st 2011, I with 2 of my friends decided to go to ramlila maidan Delhi to prop up anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare and his lokpal bill. We boarded bus from Gurgaon and as soon as we reached Delhi border we could see people on busses, autos, motor bikes carrying Flag & shouting slogans like “Anna tum sangharsh karo hum tumhare saath hain” and “Inquilab Zindabad”. Enthusiasm was visible all across from Gurgaon to Delhi and it got incredible as soon as we reached Minto Road where we joined a rally towards Ram Lila Ground.

Anna Hazare is the hope of India

Anna Hazare is the hope of India

Best part was despite lot of excitement everyone was in good mood including police whose faces were showing a moral support to all activist.

We reached Ram Lila Ground and got a glimpse of Anna ji who was silently & graciously watching all the activities & emitting peaceful vibes all across the ramlila maidan.

One by one speaker were coming on the podium and sharing their thoughts most notable to me was Medha Patkar ji a veteran from Narmada bachao andolan. She shared a couple of thought-provoking statements to support anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare, she said this movement is so strong & reasonable that all other things like save tree, save river, save village &  including her own baby Narmada bachao andolan very small, because this is the matter India & its pride which is all together a bigger cause.

Medha Patkar from narmada bachao andolan to anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare

Medha Patkar from narmada bachao andolan to anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare

She also changed the de facto slogan from  “Anna tum sangharsh karo hum tumhare saath hain” to “aao hum sangharsh karein Anna humare saath hain” the idea was its not Anna alone that we can depend & expect a miracle, we all need to come forward in quest of making this anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare victorious . Another activist made some strong statement against parliamentarian he rightly said they are public servant picked by public but have forgotten how to behave so it’s ultimately mistake of public who is not taking action as a king in order to make MPs realize that they are just servant.

Thousands of people across all ages from small kids, to teens, elderly all were showing support to Anna’s mission. I asked one of the kids around 4 years of age why he has come here, he innocently replied to have chole kulche but still it was good to see involvement and sprit of selflessness. Young girls were volunteering to make ground clean carrying loads of trash on burning hot day; also there was free distribution of water pouch, biscuits, bananas etc.

Around 3 hours we were sitting on ramlila maidan and were now feeling tired and hungry, so decided to dariyaganj, where we had chole bathure, bread pakoda and gulab jamun while I was eating I realized that it just took 3 hours to make us distracted to come out and have food but Anna jiinside has been fasting for last 6 days & would continue to do so, it’s not so easy for such an elderly person who is definitely a role model for simplicity yet firm & strong.

Outside Ramlila Maidan

Outside Ramlila Maidan

I don’t know what would be the outcome of anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare but it has definitely made an impact on the current government & entire society, we should not sit & expect miracle to happen but everyone need to do their bit not by just wearing cap that says “mei anna hun” but also acting likewise. Shobhaa De  in her recent article in TOI mentioned that Anna is no intellectual heavyweight, to certain extent I agree, so we need more caps that say “mei anna hun” who can intellectually, spiritually, emotionally fill in the gaps if it exists.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Online marketing a necessity

I was collecting some stats on internet and got some really interesting facts so I am taking an opportunity to share the same.
World population currently estimated to be 6.91 billion by the United States Census Bureau, but do you know that there are currently more than 1.83 billion Internet users! & 2.1 billion internet users are projected by end of 2011. And if you go a decade back there were just 361 million Internet users in the entire world which is barely two-thirds of the size of Facebook’s active profiles today.
More than 1 trillion pages of content is indexed by Google internet which is spread across more than 300 Million websites i.e. almost 150 pages of content per person alive is available on internet.

Graph below shows the Google’s progress in terms on indexing the content available on internet:

Now 97 % of consumer uses online media when researching products, where they go first? No points of guessing Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

2.9 million Searches per minute are done and Google being the market leader alone has estimated 10.3 billion searches every month. Now 70% of clicks are done in organic results so PPC alone cannot fetch you optimal traffic. Hence in current scenario we don’t have choice on whether we do online marketing/SEO/PPC/SMO but the question is how well we do it in terms of ranking on top 3 results organic results, in terms of minimizing our PPC expenses, in terms of engaging clients/prospects across social media such that we get recognized as thought leader of our target industry.

Related posts:

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Managing employee motivation

As business demands profitability so organization just focuses on productivity & efficiency of the individuals & employee become resource rather than an individual. Employer also become one dimensional with respect to the action done by people & don’t really care about the underlying intention. I am not saying that action is not important because we have to speak, we have to do or we have to get things done but all these if supported by true intentions would be cherry in the cake.

As organization grows it looks for more managers & leaders and in an attempt to recognize those leaders they tend to forget that it’s reasonable to have diverse people each having their own needs & motivational factors:

1. One category just works from 9 AM to 5 PM & consider their family as a priority.

2. Another category is people who just work to get salary & incentive & money is their biggest motivation.

3. Some of them are hungry for power & position.

4. Some would be motivated with the kind of projects they are offered & are passionate about their work. They may include some unsung heroes & also some acknowledged with roses.

5. Some of them are wanderer they don’t really care what’s going on in the company they just come because they don’t have any other option.

6. Some of them live in comfort zone they just make sure that no one raise a finger against them & they always flow downstream.

7. Also few are of upstream nature they always challenge the decision & don’t really care about the consequences.

8. Some are shrewd & blindly follow the top shots of the company just to get an unjustified advantage.

A true manager for me is the one who is mature enough to see the holistic view of the above array of people and understand what is their intent, what motivates them and use this information in the decision making process. For example a person who has prioritized his /her family if given some flexibility of working hours or work from home can be a great motivation for them. For those hungry for positions there is no problem in giving them title provided they are doing good work, similarly people who focus on work should be offered variety in projects also pull them from an unsung hero category, they might be media shy but everyone love recognition & always helps in motivating. Those who challenge in decision making can be involved in the process so that they could give more options & also become mature enough to understand the responsibility. Finally the shrewd category should be clearly communicated that this would not help at all.
The important thing to understand here is with better communication employee & employer can understand each others’ perspective, this will surely help in their day to day decision making process. Also with this understanding in place a lot of hullabaloo can be easily prevented in overall management of the organization.
One of the biggest challenges in professional growth of an individual is to remain self motivated, and in today’s swift environment where organization expects employees to be productive without giving instructions self motivation is the key to success.

If you do a work that has been offered to you it’s like an arranged marriage wherein with ignorance & social pressure you tend to be good performer, but if you choose your work it’s like a love marriage as you are self motivated to get someone you love. So do what you love but if not possible instantly in that case love what you do!

Related posts:

Employability Quotient & Replacement Quotient

Job change & Leadership

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How to exit FTM in DELL XCD 28

Do you have DELL XCD 28? Stuck with the screen with 3 dead characters in Caps viz. FTM? Today this happened with my cell. I want to make sure no one could suffer the pain, distress, ache, throbbing of not getting a solution for a newly purchased mobile, that’s why writing this post. So here is what happened, I was just playing with my cell & just thought to restart it, did that & then realized that android could not boot & screen got jammed with 3 deceased characters FTM. I had no idea what the heck is FTM, I tried to switch that off, pressed it for 30 seconds, 1min, 2 min, 3 min & longer multiple times but all my efforts end up in vain. So from seconds to minutes to hours the screen remains freeze up with FTM. I tried to reach DELL rep through a mail but could not & then collected a service center address left from office early.

Some how managed to locate service center, showed my cell support rep. now this guy tried did same ploy tried to switch that off from the button at the top. I knew it won’t work & I was right. So he called up a Sr. engineer for Tech support this guy seem to be aware of this problem & quickly said that take the battery off & put it again & YES that worked finally.

He also said when we simultaneously press button at the top & ringer in the Top right the mobile enters in to FTM mode.

I purchased DELL XCD 28 just to get the feel of android & I love Dell as a Brand, camera quality & battery backup is modest for this phone and my previous phone N73 which I lost 😦 was better since it had flash which is missing in DELL XCD 28.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Top 10 trends in search marketing

Today I would like to share some of the important trends that all search marketers should be aware of, I will have a short description for each of the points today, but I will try to cover it in details one by one in my coming posts.

1. With Google Caffeine one can expect 50% fresher results & indexing process at much faster rate as good as real time, in fact if your brand is quiet active in Twitter one can see real time results for a given search query with Brand string attached .

2. Local search results are getting mixed into organic results & Occupying prominent real estate so we got understand such queries that trigger results dominated by local listings.

3. Social media has now an influence on Google/BING ranking e.g. research shows proportionality between FB likes and page authority, links in tweet from an authoritative person does provide a boost up in SERP.

4. Rich snippets are resulting better CTR although as if now review sites, social networking & professional networking sites are eligible. Colors of ratings & review information do provide a call to action within organic results consequently enhances CTR.

5. YouTube as number 2 search engine makes it crucial to leverage on things like closed caption, Video site-maps & other Meta data for video optimization.

6. Site speed & ranking are now related so tighten your external CSS & java scripts files, minimize DNS lookups & redirects, enable gzip compression and be sure of consistency in URL structure while linking.

7. Vigilance by search engines content farms is going to increase as seen obvious in a panel discussion among Harry Shum of Bing, Rich Skrenta of Blekko, Matt Cutts from Google and moderated by Vivek Wadhwa.

8. New search engine players like Blekko who have manually removed content farms including well-known has become a role model with Google following similar trend although they were relying on their magical algorithm in the past.

9. Emerging international search engine player like Yandex from Russia and Baidu from China are doing good job in their respective states so think beyond Google.

10. Improved indexation & crawling ability of Googlebot for Flash content & Java scripts has removed barriers to certain extent but that does not mean one should prefer Flash site over SHTML.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

SEO is not a spam and same goes for PPC

Their has been a debate across the industry about SEO credibility, I would like to first of all thanks Matt Cutts who is as good as Face of Google for making a wonderful comment & confirmation on his support for good SEO & SEO professionals credibility and importance. Follwing is the comment he made in his blog on search neutrality:

“I don’t believe all search engine optimization (SEO) is spam. Plenty of SEOs do a great job making their clients’ websites more accessible, relevant, useful, and fast. Of course, there are some bad apples in the SEO industry too.” In fact I he has made similar statement earlier as well in web 2.o expo.

I would also like to extend his statement for PPC & SEM professionals, think about TV or radio ads even if you are skinny person you are still forced to see or hear a weight loss ads but with PPC the beauty is you click it on your own discretion. So a well targeted ad is good for all 4 groups advertiser, publisher, visitor & Google as a search engine. Matt you are the best!

Adwords or paid advertising itself provides both pull and push strategy to get your prospects on board. Search made through Google provides a prospect with a defined intent through the typed keywords & a magic moment at which supplier/service provider can display ads based on the intended search. Another way is sort of push strategy in which Google content network in form of thousands publisher allow to display ads while people are browsing those sites, here ads have some relevance based on the context of the web page. So in short I would say the combination of SEO and SEM can do wonders for any business under firmament.

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Software as a service fundamentals

SaaS aka software as a service is internet based software deployment model. Here provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand. This fundamentally would mean that traditional Independent software vendor who provides ownership through licensing would be replaced by SAAS’s “rental” model. SAAS provider would always have power to turn off the services due to non-payment or after the on-demand contract expires.

Some features in nut shell are as underneath:

  • Technology model-  multi-tenant architecture
  • Pricing model- Subscription based, Pay as you go or Pay for what you use.
  • Financial perspective– From CAPEX to predictable OPEX
  • Massively scalable to meet increase in demand
  • Fix or Feature, deployed in one location and it is available to every customer.
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Employability Quotient & Replacement Quotient

Too much vertical growth is injurious to health of employee and employer. Let’s try to understand what is vertical and horizontal growth of an employee; well if I hire someone for a particular function of my company and regularly promote him for the same function & increase his team size this is vertical growth, now horizontal growth is if the same employee is being assigned cross functional and cross departmental responsibilities consequently enhancing his skill sets this would come under horizontal growth. Monetary benefits would generally remain same in both the growth types. So how come too much vertical growth is injurious to health of employee and employer.

Let’s take employee perspective first, everyone should continuously gauge where he stands in the job market, what is his / her demand with respect to the skill sets acquired under the current employer this defines your  Employability Quotient(EMQ not EQ because is EQ de facto acronym for  emotional quotient). The second important thing is to gauge how much value you are giving to your current employer such that it’s tough to ask someone else do your current job this defines your Replacement Quotient(RQ). If your EMQ is high and RQ is low that means you are on right track in terms of organizational growth. Now too much of vertical growth would mean a generalist profile with little or no choice multiple skill sets consequently lower EMQ and higher RQ which means unsustainable growth within and outside the organization.

As for employer perspective too much vertical growth is likely to result autocracy, closed groups pursuing unjustified or blind favor ruining the harmony within team. Generally this will develop what I call venomous leaders who are incapable of rational decision-making as a result contaminate entire company culture. Bright people would always stay away from such organization so ultimately its employer who suffers. So employer should always strike a balance between vertical and horizontal growth.

Posted in Job satisfaction, Leadership | 3 Comments

Job change & Leadership

It is said that change is de facto ruler of universe but change always come with resistance to change. Now when it comes to changing a job there is lot anxiety that needs to be address before making a move. I would never suggest frequent job change because that does not look good in your CV and majority of job hoppers get eliminated at sourcing level of recruitment cycle. Moreover I believe if you have joined a company that is your decision and you should stick to it as there is always some scope of learning wherever you join if you have right intentions. When you work in a company there are certain things that you do as your key responsibility area and you become expert in the same and there also some new things that you never knew but you learned from your colleagues/Boss/other division. So those new things that you learn can become your weapon to hunt for a new job. Changing a job can bring more money, more responsibility, better learning curve, bigger network and perhaps elimination of monotony temporarily. Changing a job can also result losing a safe heaven, with all uncertainty and boring training schedules. Always ready with answers why you want to change?

If I see change from employer perspective; HR folks would always support an experience person to stay in the organization keeping in mind the company expenses that incurred in training and development of the employee to make him suitable and productive. But the fact of matter is if someone stays in the organization for a division for too long there is an equal chance of he/she becoming a liability rather than asset for the company. This may happen due to development of a venomous leader in the company who has too much influence in company policy and feels that he can’t be replaced and somehow employer also trapped in the same illusion. Such toxic leader lives in a close group and nobody dare to challenge their opinion if some do that they are blown out of the company. Why employees are so complacent in government jobs? Because they have firm belief that they can’t be replaced and in cases where get transferred from one city to another somehow it restricts them from turning in to a venomous leader because they are unable to form a closed group to support their ill practices. That’s why I always feel that horizontal movement is significant in keeping employee productive both from employer and employee perspective and too much vertical growth can lead to a development of venomous leader. Moreover if someone is leaving a company after substantial stay and is a true leader in that case he would have developed some of his likes e.g. Jack Welch had concrete succession plan; he developed 3 leaders equivalent to his capacity before hanging up his shoes, one was elected as CEO, and the other two left within 10 days of the decision because they deserved no lesser position. So the point is if someone leaves the company no matter what position he is in; its good for the company because it restricts in development of venomous leader and if is not that type probably there would be couple of potential leader ready who deserve to take on the vacant position.

Posted in Job satisfaction, Leadership, Uncategorized | 1 Comment