How To Get Your Website Accepted Into More Directories

Submitting websites to free directories may be a dying method of link building, but I still do it. And I operate a few directories myself. Does it help with Google? Who knows. Who cares. Not only are there are other search engines that drive traffic, some directories actually provide traffic themselves.

I’m struggling to keep the directories I run as free submissions. I’d guess that I’m approving approximately 2 submissions for every 100 I receive. If that. I think that’s being overly optimistic.

That’s a lot of time spent deleting links.

Here are a few tips that may help you stop wasting your time submitting to directories that never seem to approve your submissions.

  • Read the submission guidelines. And then follow them.
  • Submit your website to the most appropriate category. A site offering wedding favors *does not* belong in the Business category.
  • Try restraining yourself and not go keyword crazy in the title field. Is ‘wedding favors’ or ‘wedding favors shower gifts’ a valid website title? How about SuperAff.com: Exquisite Wedding Favors.
  • Get rid of all the popups and flashing banners and download prompts.
  • Try something a step above a 100% amazon product datafeed filled website. Get a little daring and a tad crazy – mix it up a bit and add some unique content.
  • Adsense filled page 50% – 100% above fold is usually a red flag for danger and scraped content.
  • When the submission guidelines state ‘English Only’ – that means the websites must be in english.
  • Don’t submit individual pages or subdomains unless the directory allows it. You’re wasting everyone’s time (including yours) by submitting every single page of your website.

As a directory owner, here’s my routine:

  • Delete every submission in the wrong category – without viewing website submitted.
  • Delete every submission with inappropriate website title – without viewing website submitted.
  • Delete every submission that is not the main domain only. Every page, every subdomain, every folder – it’s all deleted. Without viewing website submitted.

Then I:

  • Turn off popup blocker and visit the websites. Pops – deleted.
  • See mostly adsense without scrolling – deleted.
  • Right click, Select All, find hidden links or keywords – deleted.
  • Look for resources or links pages. Any links to sites that have to do with gambling, diet pills, porn, yada yada – deleted.

Those are just a few things I look for – can’t give away all the goods :lol:. But the biggest tip I can give is to really take the directory submission guidelines seriously, go as deep as you can in the categories, and you should have better luck building some links for yourself.

The biggest tip I can give is to really take the directory submission guidelines seriously…

Introducing Comment Spammers To Spam Karma

If celebrities can name their children after types of fruit (Apple), who am I to judge the ‘offbeat’ blog comment names?

Lawn Mower
Phentermine
Cialis
Levitra
Career
Toyota
Paris Hilton Nude (imagine that)
Auto Lease
Used Car
Home Refinancing
Auto Parts
Mexico Phone Card

And a whole bunch more! Now here’s the special treatment I give them in WordPress using the Spam Karma plugin:

Options
Spam Karma
Blacklist

At the top in the ‘Add’ field:
Pull down ‘Regex Blacklist’
/Phentermine/ => Enter this in field
Click Add Entry (keep the number set at 100)

Repeat the above steps with ‘Regex Content Blacklist’ in the pull down menu.

Notes:

  • When adding words to the blacklist, make sure to include the backslashes on either side: /word/. If you don’t – your legit commenters will be greeted with a bunch of garbled output once they submit a comment.
  • I’m not sure how to add two words or a phrase – seems to work with single words only
  • Try adding .info with ‘domain blacklist’ selected in the pull down options (sorry .info webmasters)
  • Watch for commonalities in the spam. Are the domains mainly .info? Do they like to use .mp3 or video in the comments a lot? Add them to the blacklist.

There have been some slips and Spam Karma holds comments that really aren’t spam, but I do check daily for those and correct that as soon as I can.

Since I’ve taken time to really look through my blog spam comments, watching for commonly used words and manually adding those to the blacklist in Spam Karma – it has made a big difference as to what’s hitting air time on the blog and what isn’t.

Blog Database Getting Huge?

When your blog database gets to be around the 20 MB size – let me tell you what a trip to backup.

Start the backup process, go for a coffee (across town), stop at the gas station on the way home and fill up your tank, come home, do a load of laundry and then maybe – just maybe – the sucker is done downloading.

Then for kicks, try restoring said database. Or moving hosts. It’s all fun and games.

Here’s what you can do to get that database size more manageable:

*** WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING ***

Make a database and/or table backup before touching anything

Go Into phpMyadmin
Select the blog’s database (found in left column of phpmyadmin)
Note the tables, most should start with wp_ (for WordPress)

Look through the tables and see if there are any you can empty out (not delete – empty). The big culprits are stats program plugins and spam plugins.

I won’t touch my spam data because the spam plugins use past information to determine current spam. It’s in my best interest to keep that info in place.

But do I really need to keep the information some plugins store? Especially considering my database is getting to a size that’s not very manageable.

Here’s What To Do:

  • Select a table you want to empty
  • When table is selected (left column), click Browse (right column)
  • Look through the info and make sure it’s not something you need
  • Then click ‘Check All’ (towards bottom of page)
  • Then click ‘Delete’ (that big red X)
  • Do you really want to … Click yes at bottom (right corner)
  • Rinse & Repeat until table is empty

That will remove the data from that table without deleting the table itself.

Fast Method:

Select Database
Click the table you want to clean out (left column)
Click Empty (right column)
Do you really want to Truncate Table ‘insert name here’?
Click Yes
Poof – all data gone yet tables still intact

I wouldn’t advise emptying any of the standard WordPress tables – you really shouldn’t – but for your plugins, check the data out and delete if you don’t need to hold onto that info.

If you want to keep the stored data (just-in-case), backup or export the table data first and then delete.

I was able to shave my sql disk usage to a lean, mean 4.x MB and backups are a snap now.

Easy Way To Discover Websites On The Same Server

Stepforth has posted an easy method of discovering what’s sitting on a server that I wasn’t aware of by simply using MSN search:

SEO Tip :: MSN Search by IP Number

Have you ever wanted to know what other sites share an IP number with your client? A search conducted using this format at MSN: ip: ###.###.###.###, will reveal all the sites in the MSN index hosted at that IP.

You can also use an advanced whois service like this one:

WebHosting.Info’s Power WHOIS Service. Once you submit a domain, click on the linked number in the Reverse IP Lookup and it will show you all the domains on that server.

Reasons why you might want to check out what’s sitting on a server:

  • You’re investigating a new webhost – don’t want your site sharing a server with some porn heaven. I found some great deals on hosting and ended up running fast and far away when I checked out what they were currently hosting.
  • You want to check competition out. Many of the bigger webmasters have their own dedicated servers to host their websites – you can see all their sites sitting pretty. If they’re on a shared server, chances are they have some freebie addon domains attached to their account – will take some digging though.
  • You occasionally spot check the shared server you’re sitting on to watch you’re not being squeezed on all sides by blackhat SEO sites, porn sites, spam sites, all that jazz.

Some really good reasons to spread your websites around and not have everything on one hosting account.

Take Charge Of Your Email

Part of my Getting Things Done master battle plan was to get control of my email.

Some of my email was being filtered, some wasn’t, and my inbox was getting a bit crazy. It took me about three hours, but I have all my domains and all my email accounts fully setup with lots of filter rules.

Those newsletters I’m automatically opted in for when listed in some directories, forums, membership sites – whatever – I finally have all those filtered to go directly to the scrap pile: aka the trash bin.

All my domains with contact forms – those contacts go directly to their own folder for each domain. This separates my visitor contacts away from the inbox mess so they don’t get overlooked.

Receive Paypal payments? Own folder.

PayPal subscription payments? Own folder.

Domain renewals and domain registrar correspondence? Own folder.

All my spam folders are now empty. Trash bins empty. Inboxes are empty. Membership signup info, necessary emails to keep – everything sorted and tucked away safely.

Big job, but I got it done. And if I keep up with adding email filtering rules as I need them – I shouldn’t have to spend a few hours every once in awhile trying to clean it all up ;).

If you’re not sure how to setup filter rules in your email client, you can try this website for more info:

University of Waterloo – Filtering Email

Easily Install PHP, MySQL, Apache & More On Your Computer

Although I love playing with scripts and installing new programs to try, any attempts I’ve made to get a server installed with MySQL and PHP on my computer have generated the same outcome every time.

I Blink

::Pause::

And Then I Blink Again

Then a mass delete spree. I’m just not that techy and trying to get those beasts running on my computer is way over my head. But here’s a lifesaver, and if I can do it – anyone can!

WampServer

WAMP5 installs automatically Apache 1.3.31, PHP5, MySQL database, PHPmyadmin and SQLitemanager on your computer. It’s principal aim is to allow you to easily discover the new version of PHP : PHP5. WAMP5 comes with a service manager installed as a tray icon. It allows you to manage WAMP5 and access all services.

And it’s FREE!

(Requires Windows XP or Windows 2000)

That’s not all. I found this easy to follow tutorial for installing Wamp:

Urban Giraffe

The tutorial starts with the Wamp installation and ends with a running copy of WordPress on your computer.

The installation didn’t run perfectly smooth for me. I had to uninstall and re-install a few times, but now I’m fully loaded. For me the problem was allowing Wamp to run at startup. Why that caused grief – who knows :lol:. But on my last install I chose not to configure it to run at startup and it’s smooth sailing for me.

I have big plans to use my computer blog for organizing notes, projects and snips I want to keep handy. Plus testing new scripts and template designs and site tweaks without having to make a mess of stuff online. This is a *very good thing*.

The only concern I have is how secure this is. Can someone access this online somehow? Programs and files (including phpmyadmin) are installed in the root www folder, and I understand that to be accessible from outside (if someone knows where to look). It may involve some tweaking, but I’m still digging around for answers.