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July 1, 2010

Music Website Is A Hit

Filed under: SEO, Band Promotion — ian @ 9:40 pm

"Like farming, gardening and vegetables, SEO and linking in my view should be organic. Organic SEO and organic linking are free and natural, it’s being found in the top ten search engine results without paying for the privilege, and linking with websites that are like minded and relevant to yours. Organic links tend to receive much more traffic than non-organic (unrelated) links…" Search Engine Optimization SEO For Bands - by UBP June 08. But what would happen if a band chose Black Hat SEO!

Black Hat SEO

The name Black Hat comes to us from the hacking community, he’s the baddy, the bad man, the villain dressed in black with a black hat like "Angel Eyes" in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, "Harry Lime" in The Third Man, he’ll send you down a blind-ally, shoot you between the running lights or fuck you up by injecting you with a virus - just for the fun of it. Black Hat SEO is using unethical methods to gain a top search engine ranking. A typical Black Hat SEO tactic is spamdexing: Keyword stuffing/spamming - filling every available URL, meta tag, tag, attribute, title, link and textual space with duplicated keywords and key phrases that maybe irrelevant and unrelated to the website’s actual topic. Using hidden or disguised text and links. Using link spamming/farms… there’s a long list of dirty little tricks, the one I hate is where the villainous bastard copies a high-performing webpage and implements a sneaky redirect on it so the visitor is sent to another webpage without their knowledge, or they hotlink to images and copy well written content to blur the boundaries between two websites, so they can gain a sort of disguised recognition and look legitimate and ply their scurrilous trade - phishing, or installing a virus, trojan or some other shitty badware onto the HD of the poor innocent victims who visit their swindling websites.

A note about inline linking (hotlinking), a while ago I was looking through my website statistics and I found that a band had hotlinked directly to one of my images - the image was only a one pixel by one pixel transparent spacer gif @ 85 bytes, odd, but not really a problem - of course there is a serious side to hotlinking as the perpetrator is steeling bandwidth - in the case of the spacer gif not much, but if the object file was large and the perpetrator’s website was popular, then it might be a different story. Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, inline linking is where webpage B links directly to a file, usually an image, video or mp3, that is hosted and owned by webpage A. Webpage B is also said to be using/stealing the bandwidth of webpage A - which is bloody annoying if the monthly bandwidth allowance is exceeded - doubly annoying because they are probably committing a copyright violation!

If a webmaster catches you stealing their content or bandwidth that they’ve paid for, without their permission, they will always think of something nasty and the sword of Damocles will soon fall upon your band! Obviously the consequences of being caught by a search engine for using black hat SEO tactics are equally harsh, websites are often blocked and/or removed.

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is the opposite to black hat, he is The Lone Ranger, a web standards hero, a content and linking star, and it is the way to go for all music and art related websites. Here are five ways to make your music website a hit using white hat SEO:

  1. Concentrate on your visitor, not the search engines, your website is for people, not some mindless computer - unique and relevant content are key words of great importance.
  2. Make each page within your website relevant to your theme, don’t go off-message or be disjointed, stay focused and keep adding value by creating more interesting content.
  3. Use textual content, actual words, not images, to deliver your message. Humans type words to find you. Web crawlers don’t see words contained within images. I know images are very important for website design and visitor experience - use descriptive title elements and img alt attributes to include some extra and much needed text. SEO is a word thing!
  4. Don’t become a slave to PageRank and go down the "I must get a link from everyone" road, it’s bollocks. Link with friendly and like-minded websites.
  5. Make sure your website loads quickly:
    • Keep HTTP/image/JavaScript requests to external websites i.e. Google and affiliate ads, free hit counters and stats. etc. to an absolute minimum.
    • Try not to use JavaScript and Style expressions within the page, create external scripts instead.
    • Don’t use frames (which could mean loading four pages) redirects or cloaking.

    How quickly your website loads can also be seen as a green, carbon sensitive issue because it helps to reduce bandwidth and costs, which is why Google is now looking kindly on speedy websites.

3 Comments »

  1. Great, more SEO talk on a music marketing site, love it!

    Martin

    Comment by MartinT — August 4, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  2. Thanx for the comments Martin. Really like your site: http://www.autonomousindustry.com/ Seems we’re walking the same path.

    Comment by ian — August 6, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  3. http://twigu.com/author/lossehelin/ < Tosser’s stealing my bandwidth!! Oh God I give up…

    He’s just told me I “don’t deserve bandwidth”! And he’s now hosting the image on imageshack, still calling the image ’seo black hat’ though…

    Comment by ian — October 19, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

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