NielsenData Blog by Jared Nielsen

MindTricks for Business - #2 - Advanced Search Engine Optmization (SEO) and NOFOLLOW

Proper SEO techniques will allow humans and robots to see your site

There is always a conflict between how accessible your website data is to Humans and to Robots.  The ability to “convert” a human to finalize a purchase is paramount so keyword spammy webpages that reduce conversions are simply not worth it.  However you also can’t convert humans unless the #1 lead source to your website is being catered to as well, whether overtly or behind the scenes. 

This method of targing both the human conversion and the robotic discovery is accomplished by implementing proper SEO techniques.  Many people ask me what the “trick” to Google is.  I can summarize it very succinctly.


Google can spot a fake and if you are going to rely on black hat tricks and schemes, you’re simply going to see a short-term boost in ranking which will wither on the vine.

Humans and Robots have different needs

The example on the right demonstrates a clone avoidance technique using the NOFOLLOW rel parameter on anchor text (<a href> hyperlinks).  In a traditional website we tend to let Google see EVERYTHING which is not effective.  Think of a typical brick and mortar store.  We have a nice front entrance with customer-oriented displays that are less organized but are beautiful and pleasing.  We also have a back door that opens to highly organized inventory warehouse with bare cement floors and barcoded shelving units. 

Humans should enter our website through the front door and see things like the customer service counter and the privacy policy and featured items… and the checkout aisle.

Robots don’t need to see any of this.  They aren’t going to buy anything, they don’t need to see our investor information, and they don’t need unorganized but pretty FLASH movies or glamorous pictures.  Not only can they not see them… they simply don’t care.  The diagram above illustrates how we set NOFOLLOW on portions of our website that may be visible to humans but we want the search engines to ignore them. 

Avoid Cloning through NOFOLLOW

We also want to ensure that Google indexes our website in the proper order and we channel the “juice” as concentrated as possible to our “money pages” and the hierarchies that go with that.  Take a product where the customer can navigate there in two separate paths.  They may come to my Nike yellow tank top through /Nike/Tank-Top/Yellow or through /Tank-Top/Yellow/Nike.  This creates two separate URL signatures that land on the same, exact product… effectively a clone.

To avoid this, we set a “weight” on each parameter as to its importance.  In this case we believe that more conversions will be determined by Brand and then Type and then Color.  Any other “path” to this item is “NOFOLLOW” enabled so Google will only see the one path… however the humans will see both.

Protecting your paths will ensure SEO dominance and conversions.

MindTricks for Business - #1 - Exclusionary Dominance Locks Up the Market

Ranking #1 on Google is a great objective, but dominating the web so exclusively that your competitors get starved out is even better.  This method of Exclusionary Dominance™ is the secret to many online success including our case study today of Football Fanatics that has managed to dominate the JU Dolphins T-Shirts search result.  We will delve into how they managed to accomplish this and see if we can learn from their success for our own website projects.

Football Fanatics dominates the search results for the JU Dolphins T-Shirt keyword phraseFirst we need to Google for "JU Dolphins T-Shirts".  We have chosen a very niche product name so we can see this exclusionary effect on the competiton.  This is a keyword phrase that is broad enough to have competition but specific enough to predict that a buyer typed it in and he's looking to purchase a JU Dolphins T-Shirt.

See how they dominate search results #1-#10

  • Football Fanatics (FF) is the central money portal
  • College Football Store is the pay per click venue
  • Football Fanatics is the comparison shop channel
  • eSportsMania has 2 competitive placements
  • YahooSports is an FF private label store
  • ShopNCAASports is another FF store
  • JaxFanShop is an FF hyper targeting domain
  • Note the other ShopNCAASports double tap
  • is an FF comparison shop channel

13 out of 16 listings exclude competitors

All channels are being targeted including:

  • Military Procurement (AAFES)
  • Bizrate/Nextag comparison shop
  • Froogle/Vast shopping directories
  • Amazon/Yahoo/MSN marketplaces
  • eBay auctions
  • Affiliate websites (de-ranked in Google on purpose)
  • Hyper targeting domains (super-focused on keywords)
  • Private label (Yahoo Sports, NCAA) with Google ranking

Other techniques ensure dominance:

  • Double tap stacking (two listings per natural result)
  • URL rewrite ensures keyword relevance
  • Verbose and repetitive descriptions (title, META)
  • High density and unique keywords (META + content)
  • Keyword Domain matching (JaxFanShop targets Jacksonville)

Traditional advertisers are spending in the millions to target these products and consumers.  The natural consequence of a television ad 10 years ago was to “remember” the brand or to write down a response PO box and send a letter.  Now the customer simply remembers the brand and product (not the domain name necessarily) and “googles” for it.

This causes search engine “piracy” where the traditional advertiser motivates the customer to purchase, but when they go to purchase, the top ranked websites covet the “conversion.”  This means that whomever ranks substantially #1-#10 have the highest chance of converting the sales that were funded by the other advertisers…  Effectively the top ranked sites get the majority of the benefit of the entire industry’s advertising in that topic.

In physical commercial real estate there are thousands of good “street intersections” to sell JU Dolphins T-Shirts.  On the internet, this single search result page is the ONLY PAGE ON PLANET EARTH (statistically speaking) where the competition can compete for online conversions.  This makes the value of being listed on this page high and #1-#10 dominance very exclusionary.

MindTricks for Business: #12 - Forward Your Phones When You Move

Moving Your Website to a New Location?

When you move your business, you make sure that you shut down your utilities, forward your mail, change your billing address, and above all, you make sure that you put up that nice sign in the door that says to any loyal customers that may be returning that you have permanently moved to a new location.

This “permanent redirect” is a very special instruction that is also used by Google to identify pages that have moved their location as well.  Online a “street address” is a website “uniform resource locator” or URL.  You type in URLs all day when you enter in addresses like or  What most people don’t understand is that every single “landing page” on your website has a similar address that is a bit more complicated such as for example or even more complex:    Many people will “bookmark” a home website address, but often enough they bookmark pages deep in your site with these complex URLs.  We call this “deep linking”.

These deep links are very valuable because, compared to your homepage there are hundreds of times more of them, and they tend to be links that reside on message forums (“Hey, check out this item”) or are linked in web email client systems (links in Gmail, Ymail, or Hotmail).  Because these links come from very high page rank value (PR value) websites, they are extremely powerful and should not be abandoned lightly.

Be sure to use 301 Redirects when you move your website pages.Normally when you update your website with a new look, or a new content management database, the “home” address or “root” address ( rarely changes… and when you move to the new site you think your work is done.  However, what actually has happened is you’ve lifted up that business building, severing all of the existing customer relationships, bookmarks, and back links to your business (or website) to deep linked pages ( like wires and pipes dangling beneath it and you’ve dropped in a brand new building at the same address.  What’s actually happened is that all of those severed wires are still there… only now they go to web “dead ends”.   If you compare the diagram to the right.

Customers that liked your website enough to bookmark a very specific page are now finding dead links and frustrating error messages which makes them sever the link completely.

Forward Your Phone Number

It makes sense then to use a tool built into web servers called the 301 Permanent redirect or the 302 Temporary redirect.   These two tools allow you to permanently move or temporarily switch pages and notify the search engines that you want them to “forward” the customers while preserving the history and value that has built up over time in the search engines for that page’s value.

Forwarding makes a lot of sense because now, a customer that had a URL “bookmarked” will be redirected to the new, replacement page.  Search engines will also start the slow process of transferring the original pages PR value to the replacement page, giving you a nice boost in your search engine rankings for your new pages that would have taken a long time to earn a new ranking.

It’s Not Too Late

Already done a remake (or two) on your website without doing the proper redirects?  It’s not too late to fix it.  Just install Google Webmaster Tools - and verify your site.  This tool is provided by Google which will give you a listing of all of the “404 not found” errors found on your website.  They will also let you know which websites are linking to each page and will help you find ones that you may have forgotten.

You can load 301 Redirects into your htaccess file if you are using Apache webservers or you can install the IIS 7.0 URL Redirect plugin and modify your URL mappings in the IIS editor or directly in your Web.config file.  If you are using IIS 6.0 you can install an ISAPI URL Rewrite handler and edit the .ini file for those as well.  You have invested in your website over time... don't throw it all away by not forwarding the traffic to your new pages!

12-Forward-Your-Phones-When-You-Move.pdf (206.7KB)

Jared Nielsen will be speaking at SQL Saturday Jax

Jared Nielsen will be Speaking at SQL Saturday

This event is hosted by the great folks at SQL Saturday including Brian Knight of Pragmatic Works and many of the top industry leaders.  I will be giving a presentation on SQL and SEO - Data Modeling and Web Marketing with an emphasis on how proper SQL database design can make search engine optimization even more powerful and flexible.  I will be reviewing such topics as the Atomic Data Model™ and Exclusionary Dominance™ techniques.

Make sure you attend or send your webmaster or DBA to be there and enjoy the event.  My speech is at the UNF Computer Conference Center at 10:15am on Saturday, April 17, 2010.  You can find out more information on my session at the SQL Saturday Website

To consult with Jared Nielsen you can reach him at the FUZION Agency at or you can call him at 904-638-2455


Seminar Materials for the SQL Saturday Event

01-Exclusionary-Dominance-on-Google-by-FUZION.pdf (673.09 kb)

02-Atomic-Data-Enables-Search-Engine-Dominance-by-FUZION.pdf (367.28 kb)

03-Advanced-Search-Engine-Optimization-SEO-by-FUZION.pdf (215.98 kb)

Atomic-Data-Model-Presentation-Jared-Nielsen-FUZION.pdf (2.85 mb)