Big Oak Search Engine Optimization Company - Search engine optimization, Internet marketing, website design, ecommerce and tips from the Web. Need help driving traffic to your site? We can help you. Give us a call 1-804-741-6776 or visit Search Engine Optimization Company for more information.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

SEO Tip - Checking Backlinks to Your Site and Your Competitors

Checking Backlinks in Google (how to find out "Who links to my website?")

How do I check who links to my website? How do I check who is linking to my competitor's website? You can do both exactly the same way: Simply type this into the Google search box: link:

This works the same way in both Yahoo and MSN.

Want to save time?

Try this to save some time. In Google's search results they combine and cluster backlinks from the same site. You can quickly scan most of a websites backlinks by increasing the number of search results appearing on the search engine results page by following this simple tip:

A typical google search string looks something like this:

Inserting &num=100 at the end of the search string will increase the results showing on the page to 100. Your search string will look like:

Now you can look quickly through your own backlinks and your competitor's backlinks as well one hundred at a time, rather than the standard ten. Remember, knowledge is power and SEO is all about knowledge, especially knowing who is linking to your competition and why.

Let us help increase your knowledge and your search engine rankings. Visit Big Oak, a Virginia SEO Company

Friday, November 18, 2005

Google Sitemaps Become More Useful for SEO

While I have debated the usefulness of Google Sitemaps, I believe Google is finally making this tool something more than just an unproven novelty.
This just in: Google sitemaps is finally a useful tool. When Google launched sitemaps in June of 2005, they predicted that sitemaps would either be an enormous success or a colossal failure. Up to this point, sitemaps looked as if they were going to be that colossal failure. The system simply did not offer enough benefit to website owners for the amount of work required to put together and maintain an XML sitemap.

But it seems as if Google sitemaps is going to get new life. Google upgraded sitemaps to be far more powerful than before. Sitemaps is no longer a tool to simply get your website indexed, it is now a useful tool to quickly find problem areas on your website that might be hurting your ranking or indexing.

View Improvements to Google Sitemaps
There are several improvements to Google sitemaps. You can see them by going to their website. Here is a list of their new features.

Errors on Your Website

No Actual Sitemap Required

A Significant Change in Attitude Towards Website Owners

A portion of this article was found at Site Reference.

I am always in favor of Google helping us understand the mysteries of their ranking system, if you need help in your understanding of getting better rankings on Google, visit Big Oak SEO for more information.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Best Selling, Hottest Christmas Toys for 2005

What Are the Best Selling Christmas Toys This Year?
Discover this year's best selling Christmas toys - of every possible type...

Without annual best selling Christmas toys lists, buying toys for Christmas would be much more difficult, don't you think?

Christmas is, after all, for 'kids,' and kids ARE all about toys, especially at Christmas! And don't 'kid' yourself -- THEY don't need best selling Christmas toys lists to know what 'all the kids' are going to get this year.

There is nothing that can compare to the joy of watching a child's face light up on Christmas morning when they open the best selling Christmas toys that have been lovingly chosen for them by family members. Sure, we also buy clothes for kids, or educational whats-its, or furniture and accessories for their rooms, perhaps, but the best gifts of all - especially in the eyes of the children - are toys!

And one of the absolute joys of the Christmas season is helping to make their dreams come true. They've written their letters to Santa, they've been good (okay, well, how about good 'enough?') and they've got that wonderful childhood anticipation thing going on now - how can you resist?

According to all the child development experts - the world over - toys are essential for a child's normal development. Well, that's no surprise, is it? Toys - whether it's the old favorites or any of the wonderfully imaginative new best selling Christmas toys that surface every year - are FUN. Toys are creative and colorful, and often unpredictably humorous - in short, toys have all the ingredients of fun and joy that children need every day. (And quite often, whether the toys are billed as educational doesn't really matter so much - children who are playing with toys ARE learning, every minute).

But, as any parent knows, shopping for best selling Christmas toys every year is NOT necessarily fun. Fighting the traffic, trying to find a parking spot within a mile of the mall, then fighting through the crowds - only to find that the toy section in every single store looks like a circus (and that's just the frenzied staff!) - is not something to look forward to, ever. Add that to all the other adult stresses at Christmas, and you've got a recipe for high blood pressure, NOT fun.

So don't do it. :)

Treat yourself to some online shopping this year, and you'll find that shopping for best selling Christmas toys for your favorite little people will finally be as much fun as playing with them is! On this site, we've tried everything we know to make it totally easy for you to find all the best selling Christmas toys you'll need - of every type you can imagine, and for every age group!

Reprinted from

Please visit our favorite online toy store for all of your Christmas Toy Shopping

Monday, November 14, 2005

Local Search Should Be Part of Search Engine Optimization

The web may be for the world, but it is also for the customer across the street. Local searches account for much of the business being done on the web, don't ignore it when optimizing your site for the search engines.

Are you ready for local search?
Google's upcoming service Google Base (see news below) shows a clear trend: search engines try to make their search results and ads as targeted as possible.

Search engines want to customize their results for the individual user based on the interests and the local region. It's likely that local search features are going to become more important than it is today.

Why is local search important to your business?
Local search is the most important trend in search marketing. According to latest estimates, 20 percent of all searches are locally oriented. As you probably know, Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines have started their own local search services to attract people who use their PC instead of the yellow pages to find local services.

Research firm The Kelsey Group forecasts that the local search market will be worth $3.4 billion in five years. This is a huge opportunity for all small businesses with an Internet presence.

How do you optimize your web pages for local search?
If you want to be found for local searches, you should include the name of your city and your region in the title tag of your web pages. If possible, include your full postal address in the footer of your web pages so that search engines can assign your web site to a special area.

There are also a variety of new meta tags for local search engines. Add these local tags to your web pages so that search engines can find out the location of the company, the zip code and the city name. For our company we entered the following:

<meta name="city" content="Richmond">
<meta name="state" content="Virginia">
<meta name="country" content="United States (usa)">
<meta name="zipcode" content="23233">

With these tags, local search services can even direct visitors to the exact latitude and longitude of the company location.

The benefits of local search are clear: it allows you to find customers in your area who are willing to purchase from your company. It's a fast growing market with a lot of money.

You should make sure that your web site is optimized for local search so that your business can benefit from this trend.

Reprinted from

If you need help marketing your site on the web, for national and local clients, please contact us at Big Oak