Moving to the Sitemap Protocol

April 11, 2007 - Now that ASK.com has joined Google, Yahoo and MSN with regards to promoting and accepting the open source sitemaps protocol, we have decided to move from a basic text file of site urls to this new XML sitemap standard.

From sitemaps.org - "Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site."

One rather interesting element to this Sitemap protocol standard is the ability to direct indexing bots to your sitemap file in robots.txt. To point robots.txt-adhering bots to your sitemap location, you simply add the following code snippet to the file:

Sitemap: {sitemap_location}

It pays to read and understand the protocol at sitemaps.org. The information is very thorough and explains the various ways to validate your site map, add optional site map parameters and offers insight regarding the direction and further acceptance of the Sitemaps protocol standard.

That being said, there are great free site map creation resources available online for developing sitemaps easily and quickly without having to know all the ins and outs of XML, schemas and all that nasty, geeky stuff. {which we happen to love.}

phatz Ranks #1 for "SEO in Atlanta"

phatz ranking for SEO in Atlanta on MSN and DogPile

April 10, 2007 - When searching for SEO resources in Atlanta, GA, phatz.com is ranking in the top five search engine results for many different keyword phrase combinations utilizing the terms SEO and Atlanta on both MSN and Dogpile search engines. Microsoft's newly released Live.com search engine shows the phatz.com SEO resource, SEO 101 as the number one result for the search phrase "SEO in Atlanta" and simply "SEO Atlanta".

Still ranking? http://search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=seo+in+atlanta

The search engines are ambiguous and enigmatic. You never know how long top rankings will last, but obviously I am pleased at such strong results in such a limited amount of time. SEO 101 is a living, breathing, basics of search engine optimization tutorial and will continue to improve over time. The power of search and SEM are stronger than ever in the world of Internet Marketing.

phatz.com Traffic Up 1300% in the First Quarter of 2007

April 3, 2007 - In the first quarter of 2007, phatz.com saw a tremendous surge in visitor traffic, up 1300% from 2006. January was mostly a rebuilding month with February beginning to experience significant growth; but it was March where things began to skyrocket {see image below}. As we move into the second quarter, April is also experiencing some strong levels of visitor traffic and is currently on pace to surpass the performance of March.

phatz stats showing much growth in Q1 2007

phatz.com made its return in January of this year with very minimal traffic levels. I spent almost every January evening reconstructing, redeveloping, and re-coding with a fine-tooth comb. In fact, the entire site is valid, strict XHTML and CSS and each page can be independently verified in the footer.

I started SEO 101, a living, ongoing tutorial focused on the basics of search engine optimization. Plus, I took to the keyboard and wrote some additional new content based on some interesting developments in the SEO industry, Internet Marketing and other random subjects of interest.

phatz Photography is also back in full effect, however, I am not currently accepting any new photography assignments. Instead, I am focusing on becoming comfortable with the new Canon 5D, the recent addition to Canon's line of professional, full-frame digital SLR cameras. Stay tuned as I play in the land of true wide-angle photography and create some interesting images to display.

Google Page Rank Restored

March 23, 2007 - Finally. It seems that the phatz.com Google Page Rank has been restored to a PR4 for the phatz.com home page. This is great. While I don't put it a whole lot of weight towards Page Rank, it serves as a great indicator for the re-emergence of phatz as I work to overcome the hacking of 2006 and build quality, unique content centered around search optimization. While managing the site, I noticed that a lot of the old Internet links that used to link to me still existed, Google just ignored them. Once I got phatz back to stable level, all of the old legacy benefits began to return. The reapplication of Page Rank only furthers my understanding of how the search engines work on a general level and gives some great knowledge for decisions in the future.

XHTML Validation - Clean Code is Important

March 2, 2007 - I have taken great care to code as perfectly as possible during this phase in phatz.com redevelopment. All the code validates as a strict XHTML and can be verified at the bottom of each individual page of the web site. I am also handling all styles with CSS 2.0 and this structure can also be verified as error-free.

While it's not necessarily mandatory that code be so perfect as to validate against the W3C standards, it certainly can't hurt. As you may or may not know, search engines spiders do a much better job with clean code and you have a far better chance getting your pages into their indexes by coding properly and meticulously.

phatz SEO group, SEO Atlanta, Releases SEO 101

February 1, 2007 - SEO Atlanta serves as a differentiator for segmenting the search engine optimization experiments from the other creative projects in which I love to participate in my spare time such as phatz Photography. SEO Atlanta's major project focus will be an SEO basics guide titled, SEO 101 - Search Engine Optimization Tutorial.

SEO 101 is one of the new, ongoing projects which I am releasing for a couple of important reasons:

  1. It is important to clear up the misconceptions of SEO. SEO is not a black magic, malicious technique for manipulating search engine rankings erroneously. Instead, SEO is a practice of meticulous coding, efficient usability and proper standards with a healthy dose of marketing and copywriting understanding.
  2. It feels good to give back to the Web building community. Practicing SEO has created advantages for me professionally and I wanted to take the opportunity to give back to the web community. The information I provide within the SEO 101 tutorial is living, breathing information that will be updated as the industry matures. I want web developers and marketers to have a bookmark complete with quality, responsible SEO information. It only improves the industry for everyone.
  3. It's a great SEO reference for myself. As I continue to delve into search-related experiments and projects with SEO Atlanta, it's nice to have my own "Internet note cards" in which to reference. It becomes personal experience coupled with quality instruction. You can be sure that I practice what I preach. If it's not working for me, it's not referenced at SEO 101.

phatz Returns - Not as a Corporation, but Personal Project

January 10, 2007 - phatz is back. I turned some spare time around and decided to focus on phatz.com as my personal seo experience project. For the last year and half I have been so busy with the RazorGator merger and integration that I didn't even want to touch a computer in my spare time. We went through a complete redesign with RazorGator making the site much more search engine friendly and experienced traffic and ranking benefits right away. Currently, I continue to remain busy at RazorGator, but due to my experience with a specific facet of our partner business coupled with an additional merger, I don't get to spend as much time immersed my passion of Search Engine Optimization nor Internet Marketing in general.

When I decided to resurrect phatz.com, I realized that the site had been hacked and the default page redirected. The weird thing was, the script was programmed to redirect right back to my own site. All this did was get me black-balled in the search engines temporarily due to the on-page redirection style that the search engines despise. The old Google Page Rank the site enjoyed was gone. All the links embedded in the search indexes were gone. The site was existing with nothing but one page of content similar the current about us page.

I'm starting from scratch. It's time to create some content and utilize my seo skills.

phatz.com codes in valid, strict XHTML and CSS | Specializing in responsible SEO Training in Atlanta. phatz.com's search study group, SEO Atlanta is specifically dedicated to SEO training, education and practice.

For high school student athletes looking to be recruited: Real Deal Recruits - Are you the real deal?