Here's a good review of Seth Godin's new book. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
While reading Linchpin I looked around a few times to see if author Seth Godin was perhaps peering through my living room window to see my reaction. It really felt like he was talking to me, singling me out. How could he know how I rationalize things?
"There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do."
Linchpin is a most unusual, well-organized, concise book about what it takes to become indispensable in the workplace - whether you work for someone else (at any level) or are self-employed. It's about how business has rapidly changed and how treating employees like factory workers (or doing your job like one) doesn't work any longer. We must make choices and take action to "chart our own paths" and add value that others do not. We cannot wait for a boss or a job description to tell us what to do, rather we must just take the initiative ourselves. Only then can we become indispensable "linchpins," rather than replaceable "cogs." There are so many fantastic quotes in the book too.
"You don't become indispensable merely because you are different. But the only way to become indispensable is to be different. That's because if you're the same, so are plenty of other people."
The 14 chapters in this book are each broken down into short segments with great headlines that summarize them. Godin uses special vocabulary words to describe the many factors that go into becoming a linchpin. These words have unique meanings in the context in which they are used. You'll learn interpretations for terms such as art, thrashing, gifts, resistance, pranja, ship, lizard brain, shenpa, emotional labor and others.
"Art is unique, new and challenging to the status quo. It's not decoration. It's something that causes change. Art cannot be merely commerce. It must also be a gift."
You'll never be bewildered or bored while reading Linchpin. It will awaken a part of your brain that you may have never used before. It will make you take a deep look inside your thoughts, patterns and habits and oblige you to realize there are things you can change right now to become more of a success, a true "artist." In fact, you may find yourself sliding down in your chair a bit while reading, like I did. But that's okay; it's part of the learning process.
"If all you can do is the task and you're not in a league of your own at doing the task, you're not indispensable."
This is particularly true in the chapter on page 101 entitled The Resistance. Just this chapter alone is worth the price of the book. You've got to read it twice to really capture all it offers. Here you'll be faced with all the reasons why you're currently not as indispensable as you could be - as you should be. Have you ever delayed a project and not delivered (Seth calls this shipping) on deadline just because you were trying to achieve perfection? That's resistance. It is the "lizard brain" way-of-thinking that causes us to resist. Do you find yourself doing a lot of busy work (obsessive email checking, Tweeting, etc.) rather than taking action that really adds value? That's resistance too.
"The lizard brain is the reason you're afraid, the reason you don't ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance."
Godin will educate you on what it truly means to be a valuable gift giver. He'll tell you that there's no map in existence to help you become an indispensable artist. He'll tell you that you have a choice to either "Fit in or stand out. Not both." He'll even tell you that there are times when your art will not work, and for whatever reason, you may not be able to get paid for your particular talent.
"Maybe you can't make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now) But I bet you can figure out what you can do to make money (if you choose wisely)."
"There is no map. No map to be a leader, no map to be an artist. I've read hundreds of books about art (in all its forms) and how to do it, and not one has a clue about the map, because there isn't one."
The only thing Seth Godin left out of his well-researched Linchpin book is that his principles can be applied not only to business but also to other aspects of a person's life. Linchpins can be better spouses, friends and community members at large. They can be truly indispensable in many ways.
"Nothing about becoming indispensable is easy. If it's easy, it's already been done and it's no longer valuable."
Ever read a business or marketing book that is interesting while you're reading it, but two days after you have finished it, you cannot really remember the gist of what you read? Linchpin is not one of those books. This one will stay with you. There is nothing else like it; it can change your future. That is, if you set your lizard brain aside and replace it with the true linchpin artist in you.
You can get Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? on Amazon.com of course.
File naming is easy to do
This is something easy to do and Google highly recommends you to do it. It is always important that what Google likes you should do if possible.
File names are the names of your website pages. For example: A page about dog food you probably will name it something like dogfood.html
Use Punctuation Marks in File Names
Google suggests you use punctuation marks in your file names. Instead of dogfood.html put it dog-food.html
You should use the - symbol to separate words, not the _ symbol.
This is great way for visitors to understand faster and easier what the page is about. Makes sense.
Little things make a difference
Google always tried to give their users (the people who search the search engine) the best results and experience. These little things make a difference, and for search engine optimization purposes you will get (even though small) credit. It is a good thing to do.
Do not however go and rename all your website pages. That will results in lots of 404 page not found error pages. Just for next time when you create pages, start using the punctuation symbol to separate words.
Let me give you few more examples. Wrong way to name a page is catfood.html or cheapcatfoods.html
File names that make sense and are good for seo
Good way to name a page instead is cat-food.html or cheap-cat-foods.html Easy and simple tip. File names also make more sense.
Something to think about now. Blogger blog platform is created and owned by Google. By default the blogs you created are search engine optimized. Notice the file names of the post pages. They are all created with the punctuation symbol. Google implemented this in the blogger blogs by default.
Here are some more tips on this subject.
1) Do not create a ton of different folders or directories on your website. For example create a folder named articles and put all articles inside it.
2) Avoid creating sub domains with identical or very similar content as your domain name.
3) Make meta tags unique for each webpage. If your site is big, you obviously cannot make each page with a unique meta tag. In that case at least make the most important pages with very descriptive meta tags that clearly describe what the page is about.
4) Avoid also creating pages like this: www.domainname.com/Support
(You do that by creating a new folder called Support, then putting an index.html page inside the folder) That can result in some errors too with redirection and so on.
So it is best to create html pages, like this: www.domainname.com/Support.html
These things that deal with how to structure your website and so on are all known as onpage optimization strategies/methods or techniques.
They are not so important as the offpage optimization strategies, which deal with getting links. But they still count and obviously simple things like these you should start implementing them.
When you send an email that contains your cover letter and resume, it is very important to keep in mind that you only have between 15 and 20 seconds to get the attention of your prospective employer. During this time, you have to get the person who receives the email to open your email, read your email and not delete your email. To make these things happen and to get your submissions considered, it is important to remember the following rules:
- Use a subject line that catches your reader’s attention. When you respond to a job listing, include the job title and/or job code in the subject. When you are not responding to a jobs listing, use a short sentence that specifies the purpose of your email. This helps your recipient quickly understand what your email is about without having to actually open the email message.
- The first part of your email message should include your cover letter. Don’t attach the cover letter in a second document. Including the cover letter in the first part of your message will allow your reader to quickly get into the important details of you fit the position.
- Never send your resume as an attachment to an email. The resume should be included direct below the cover letter. Including attachments in your email could cause your message to be rejected by email systems and no one wants to download an attachment that might take a long time to download and isn’t from someone they know.
- Unless your email is properly formatted for email, it may not appear correctly in all email clients and operating systems. Format your email message using a plain text editor, such as Note Pad, and then copy and paste into your email client. Try to check how your message looks on multiple operating systems and email clients.
- Always follow the directions specified by the job posting, even if some of the specification break some of the above rules. It is more important that you show the prospective employer that you can follow direction. If they tell you to send the message as a PDF or a Word document, then that is exactly what you should do.
Below are the top things that are critical to successful cover letter writing. If you remember to apply these simply tips, they will definetly have a positive effect in your job search.
- Try to find the hiring managers name and use it along with a standard business letter format when constructing a cover letter.
- When you write an opening sentence for a cover letter, always give a clear purpose for the letter.
- Show potential employers that you know something about the company by including a reference to a company specific piece of information in your cover letter.
- Let employers know facts about your current life situation that will have an effect on the position.
- Let potential employers know the reasons the position is of interest and how your skills can make you successful in fulfilling the requirements of the position.
- Draw attention to your resume by referencing particular parts of it within your cover letter.
- When you write your cover letter, don’t repeat the same information that is contained within your resume.
- Proofread everything for grammar and spelling errors a few times, and when you are done, have a friend do the same thing.
- End the letter with standard formal business letter closing phrases.
- Electronic cover letters can be written similarly to standard cover letter format, accept they can generally be shorter and it is more critical to include detailed contact information.
|1||Keyword in URL page name||(Google patent) Order of keywords is important. First word is
most prominent, etc.
|2||Keyword in domain name||Same as above||+|
|3||Keyword in page title||The keyword that is closest to the beginning is the most
important. For best results, the title tag should be 10 to 60 characters and
have no special characters.
|4||Keyword in description meta tag||Search engines used to rely on this tag pretty heavily, but do
not do so any longer because of spammer abuse. This tag will help users find
content in search results however. Sometimes search engines will use it,
sometimes they wont. For best results, the description should be less than
|5||Keyword in keyword meta tag||Search engines (it doesn't seem like Google uses it at all)
hardly ever use this tag for ranking results. It can help the search engine
determine content theme, however. The keyword should be on the page somewhere
and shouldn't appear more than twice. If this is not done content will be
penalized for irrelevance.
|6||Keyword density in body text||For
best results the density (all keywords within phrase/total words on page)
should be between 5 - 20%. Care must be taken to avoid to high of a density.
The density rate at which search engines consider content spam depends on the
topic. It is better to be safe than sorry and remain on the side of
|7||Individual keyword density||For
best results the density (keyword/total words on page) should be between 1 to
6%. Care must be taken to avoid to high of a density. The density rate at
which search engines consider content spam depends on the topic. It is better
to be safe than sorry and remain on the side of caution.
|8||Keyword in H1, H2,….. Hx||Use Hx tags when possible, but don't overdo it. Include the
keyword in these tags. This is an important factor.
|9||Keyword font size/style||Bold and italic font styles on the keywords are considered more
important than other words on the page. (This is according to a Matt Cutts
blog entry from July 2006)
|10||Keyword proximity when phrase contains more than one keyword||Words that are directly adjacent are considered more related.||+|
|11||Keyword phrase order||It is important that word order on the page matches the word
order of the search term. For example, if a common search term is
chromatography columns, then the word order on the page should be
chromatography columns, not column chromatography.
|12||Keyword prominence||How close to the top of the page does the word appear? The
earlier the better.
|13||Keyword in alt text||The alt tag should describe photo and when possible it should
have the keyword.
|14||Keywords in links to site pages (title tags on links)||If there are links to other pages on the site, anchor text
should be used to describe the link. When possible this link should contain
|15||Keyword in internal links (keyword within link text)||Link should contain keyword. The file that the link is pointing
to should have the keyword(s) and multiple keywords should be separated by
deep are the pages in the web site content? For best results, it should only
take 2 clicks/at most 4 clicks to go to any page from the main
|17||Contextual / intra-site links||Contextual links should be used appropriately. For example, if a
page is talking about formulation but mentions chromatography, then the word
chromatography can link to the chromatography section for more information.
|18||Keywords in outgoing links/quality of outgoing links.||Recent Google patent. Only link to web sites with good
reputation. If you don't want the link to count as a vote for the external
sites content, use no-follow tags. Outgoing links should be checked
periodically to make sure they are still active. Broken links can harm SERPs.
Do not link to link farms.
|19||Outgoing link anchor
|Should be on topic and descriptive. When possible they should
include the keyword/keyword phrase.
|20||Link stability over time||Google patent. Outgoing links shouldn't change frequently.
Frequently changing links are considered "Link Churn."
|21||External link validation||Are outgoing links still valid?|
|22||Less than 100 links out total||Google recommends that a web site have no more than 100 outgoing
links, but this number depends on the web site size.
|23||Domain name extension||????????????? Check|
|24||Page file size||For best results, pages should be under 100K. Files smaller than
40K are preferred. The reason for this is that larger pages require more
search engine resources and search engines prefer to crawl pages that take as
little time as possible.
|25||Hyphens in URL||Hyphens are the preferred method of separating words in a URL.
For best results only one or two should be used. If there are more than four
or more, search engines think it looks like spam.
|26||Freshness of pages||Google patent. Google and other search engines like content on
pages to change frequently over time. Pages that have fresh content get
placed higher than those that remain the same.
|27||Freshness of overall content||This is a measure of the ratio between fresh content and old
content. The more new pages/content the better.
|28||Freshness of links||Google patent. For highly trusted sites this is a good thing,
but for new sites and low trust sites it's a bad thing.
|29||Frequency of updates||The more frequently pages are updated, the more frequently the
pages will get spidered by the search engine. The more content gets spidered,
the newer the content will be in the search engines cache.
|30||Page theming||Do pages on the entire web site or web site sections exhibit a
consistent theme? Are there a lot of pages within a section that have this
theme? If there are more pages with content on a consistent topic those pages
will rank better when searches are made for that topic.
|31||Keyword stemming||For example, stem, stems, stemmed, stemmer, stemming, stemmist,
|32||Semantics||Synonyms and related terms are beneficial.||+|
|33||URL length||Try to keep URL length short. For best results use less than 100
|34||Site size||Google and other search engine usually prefer content from
larger web sites. Exceptions to this would be web sites with computer
|35||Site age||Google patent. Old sites are considered more trustworthy than
|36||Age of page vs. age of site||Newer
pages on older sites will get faster recognition than newer pages on newer
|37||Text presented in
|Pages that only have text presented in graphic form do not
perform well in search results. Most of the time they don't even get indexed.
with affiliate content are treated negativly by search engines. The content
on affiliate sites is usually identical with very little unique content.
|39||Over optimization penalty (OOP)||Penalty for over-compliance with generally accepted optimization
practices. Also includes things like the keyword to content ratio being to
high and over use of H1 tags.
|40||Links to low trust/banned sites||Check Google's status on all sites you link to. Not only when
the link is first made, but also periodically. Remove all links to web sites
that have lost good status with Google.
|41||Redirect thru refresh meta tags||Refresh
meta tags are generally considered negatively by search engines. When ever
possible there use should be avioded.
|42||Banned/bad words||Do not use words search engines consider bad.|
|43||Poison words||Some words are used frequently in spam and poor content. For
example, having the word "Click here" and "Links to" in
content could make the page place lower. Do not use phrases that are
associated with spamming (Google patent).
|44||Over linking between sites||Excessive linking between a few sites, especially between sites
from the same web host/similar IP addresses, is viewed negativly by most
search engines. Search engines consider this type of linking an attempt to
trick the search engine. According to Matt Cutts this doesn't apply to a
small number of sites.
|45||Copying copyright protected imagry and text from other domains||If reported, Google will give strong penalties.|
|46||Keyword stuffing threshold||Excessive keyword repetition in body and various tags will
result in demotion.
|47||Keyword dilution||Including to many unrelated terms in your content reduce the
strength of your content theme. The topic should focus on specific
keywords/phrases and not include unrelated information.
|48||Consistency in page edits||Google patent. When page content is changed, does it contain
information about the old topic? If the theme changes frequently, Google may
reduce it's SERP.
|49||Changing content to often||Google patent. Changing content is usually a good thing, but if
it is changed to often it can be a bad thing. Changes should be done in a
consistent manner. If Google thinks the change is done only to improve SERP,
the content will be penalized.
|50||Anchor tag changes||Anchor tags shouldn't be changed frequently.|
pages aren't search engine friendly. Search engines do better when there are
only a few variables. For best results, pages should have at least some hard
coded links and no more than 2 or 3 variables.
from an external file.
|53||Flash||Search engines have a hard time indexing flash. If it is
important for a page to perform well in search results, it is better to have
HTML content. If flash is needed, provide an HTML alternative.
|54||Frames||Spider bots have trouble indexing frames.|
|55||"No index" tag||This tag is used to keep the search engine from indexing a page.
Do not use for pages that you want the search engine to index.
|56||Single pixel links||Creating a single pixel link is seen as an attempt to hide a
link. Google advises against any attempts to hide content or links.
|57||Invisible (cloaking) text||Invisible text is text that is intentionally hidden from view.
This could be done in a variety of ways, including making the text color the
same color as the background. Cloaked text can't be seen by web site
visitors, but it can be seen spiders. Since this is seen as an attempt to
manipulate SERP, this is penalized by search engines.
|59||Duplicate content||Google doesn't penalize for this, but it will only display one
version of the content in search results. Usually the oldest content is
chosen when ranking results.
Labels: SEO Ranking Factors