Wednesday, December 31, 2008

7 Top Tips for SEO Success

Get to the Top of Google mindmap 
Last October, I got the chance to read David Viney's "Get to the Top on Google". Fortunately for you, the whole book can also be read online.

In the last chapter of the book, Viney summarized his top tips for search engine success in 7 points and I added my insight to each:
  1. Find a great niche and create good content
    I believe that this is important especially when you get more serious in your publishing endeavors. Tools like WordTracker becomes like a daily companion when figuring out topics to write about and the correct slant to approach it based on what user wants.

    With the right content, traffic can also come naturally. Attaining a certain number of visitors in a month will require content build-up dedication and this is a big challenge that even I had to overcome.
  2. Lay the right foundation
    If I'll create a blog or site all over again, I will visit blog directories or advertising programs and figure out how blogs are classified. This I will use as a guide when creating my site structure. I will likely invest in a domain name right away at the minimum.
  3. Do everything you can with your assets under control
    This includes fixing your sitemap, monitoring analytics, enhance your tags, improve page size, caching, among others.
  4. Spend more time on directory submissions (paid, reciprocal, free, deep linking), article writing, and online press releases.
    This means all ways possible to get your site linked or be featured. Of course, this anchors on having good content in the first place.
  5. Use paid advertising to complement organic search campaign
    For paid advertising, focus on long tail keywords (3 words and up) and must have a decent landing page that allows you to achieve your goal.
  6. Put focus if website has a local angle
    Tap into local directory listings, geographic targeting, language enhancement, among others.
  7. Promote your site with Web 2.0 tools
    This includes having a blog, use tagging, and really simple syndication (RSS). Target wikis, lenses, and social networking sites to further secure your ranking.
I must admit that reading Viney's book at a glance may make you underestimate its content especially if you are already into SEO like me. However, when I started mind mapping it, I was blown away on the richness of its content. The mind map I posted only covers up to 3.2 out of 7.4. The full one shall be made available to Club members including our updated SEO worksheet template.

Indeed, in this book, David Viney has proven that SEO is not rocket science. In fact, I could even say, "David Viney brings sexy back to SEO".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Preparing for a Texas Holdem Poker Match

During the DigitalFilipino Club and Bloggers Networking Event in Davao, Cebu, and Manila last October at Casino Filipino, bloggers had the opportunity to play Baccarat and Poker during the socials part of the event. I wasn't able to join for I don't really know how to play the game. However, the task is now at hand to plan for the club's next networking event. This includes including karaoke, billiards, and poker match for fun during the socials part. In preparation for it, I decided to learn how to play Texas Holdem.

I visited the Online Poker Tutor hoping to find some info about it. I found out that Texas Holdem is very popular as it requires skill, knowledge, and luck combined. It requires bluffing as well. I remember that some of the skilled players then don't like to play with beginners as they don't observe rules or patterns that regular players do. I guess the least I want is to be in this situation and find an opportunity to learn further online or offline.


I wish the site had photos and videos to allow newbie readers like me to learn further based from the information shared.

A suggestion I got is to try some online sites for preparation. This lead me to the Poker Room where sites listed by Online Poker Tutor were all tried, tested, and reviewed. I noticed though that the skill required online and offline are different as players are unable to analyze the movement of their competitors when they play the game.

I hope being able to practice playing this game further so that I wouldn't get lost and play comfortably well in our upcoming networking event this February 2009.

High Stake SEO Gambling

In my column yesterday, I talked about the benefits and some lessons learned in joining an SEO competition. As this blog is where I got the chance to put my initial SEO knowledge to the test, I will be using this to chronicle some of the highlights in this journey.

On day 15, our entry entered page 1 for the first time with the site having no less than 200 visits a day. I'm quite happy about this as it took me 75 days before I was able to hit 100 visits in ituloy angsulong and never got around to reach 200.

I'll be writing more about our lessons learned in this area and will share it with our club members this February once this whole competition is over.

My view of an SEO competition, at least when joining, is like entering a high-stake do-or-die gambling game. If you want to conquer or outperform yourself, what you've done in the past, you have to give everything. This also includes putting everything aside, including emotion or biases, just to hit that big goal. And with the right leader, worthy of such support, the journey is just beginning for us.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dragon Sipa

This food is known as the Dragon Sipa that you can order at Dragon Wok infront of Dusit Hotel, Ayala Center, Makati. This very tasty and exciting dish cost no more than three hundred pesos. It is one treat that you won't forget and may even make you come back for more.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My favorite Bicol delicacy: Taba from Balatan

Whenever I get to visit the Bicol region or have a family member coming from that area, Taba is one must bring and buy item.

This dried fish used to cost P100 to P120 a kilo 4 to 5 years ago. When I was in Iriga City last week, I found out that this now cost P280 a kilo.

Taba means meat as the fish bones were already removed in its preparation. No need to use oil when cooking it and best to dip with spicy vinegar. The ones I get to purchase were often sourced from Balatan, Camarines Sur.

I just love this!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Yummy Meal Cooked Your Own Way - Healthy Shabu Shabu

(As I often receive invite to blogging events, I asked Jason Cheng to cover this and post updates in this blog. - Janette Toral)

Hi. I'm Jason Cheng (a super food lover) and recently got the chance to attend the Healthy Shabu Shabu Restaurant bloggers' event at Robinsons Manila, Philippines.

This restaurant chain can be found in most popular malls: The Podium, The Powerplant (between EDSA Buendia and Guadalupe), SM Mall of Asia (near Taft), Alabang Town Center, Robinsons Galleria(near Santolan MRT) and at the Shangri La Plaza(at Shaw Boulevard EDSA).

What does the restaurant offer?
They provide generous servings for you to cook on an electric stove, that is integrated in a customized manner with your table. Also designed at a safe distance for kids to eat.

Their menu sets include imported meats such as lamb, angus meat, tenderloin, and seafood sets. Take note that Shabu Shabu is very expensive in other countries. The Philippines though tend to enjoy this dish at a more affordable price.

In every set you buy, you will have:
  • A vegetable set with raw fishballs, crab meat, toufu, sweet corn, and 2 types of noodles. (on the right most)
  • A special sauce ( on the middle)
  • Shrimp Paste, Egg and some spices ( on the bottom)
  • And the set you buy at the top.

Eating Shabu Shabu is not about placing the raw ingredients to the boiling pot randomly. That's definitely a big mistake.

In the event I attended last August 2, 2008 at the Healthy Shabu Shabu restaurant at Shangri La Plaza mall showed us the proper way of mixing the spices, shrimp paste, egg yolk and white at the sauce and the soup bowl.

The proper method was discussed by Miss Candy Hwang and her assistant demonstrated the procedure well :
  1. Mix the shrimp paste evenly to the sauce and soup.

  2. The egg white will be mixed into the soup and it will give more taste along with the raw servings being cooked. The egg yolk will be mixed into the sauce.

  3. The spices will be decided by the customer if he prefer to put the chili slices to the sauce, or make it blend to the soup.
I discovered an interesting variation. Put a spoonful of sauce with chili slices, shrimp paste, and egg yolk to the soup container, this gives a delightful and spicy blend.

You can also try to mix the serving with the egg, until it is coated, then boil until it is ready to eat. There are many ways to cook it at your preference.

Though of course, their desserts are sweet and has a natural mix of fruits as well.

I definitely look forward in visiting Healthy Shabu Shabu again soon!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Ximmy Spams Social Networking Sites

I've been a member of Ximmy for quite sometime and appreciated its business model of giving incentive to users. Yesterday, Ximmy sent an e-mail announcing its automated social media invite feature that allows members to encourage their connections in Facebook, Friendster, MySpace, Bedo, Flickr, Multiply, Hi5, Linkedin, and Orkut to join.

True enough, most of us have began receiving e-mails from numerous contacts in these social networks getting Ximmy invites.

This is a disaster for Ximmy as spamming social networks is bad press for savvy users that mostly comprised these networks. I won't be surprised if users who sent Ximmy invites will get tagged for sending spam and might even run the risk of having their account suspended.

The company forgot to give regard that recipients getting multiple messages will be annoyed and will only hate them for it. Worst, even affect relationship a user has with connections in social networks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Comics Growing Through Blogs

Since iBlog started, Jonas Diego (head of Robo Monkey Pixel Fighters) is one active volunteer and many of us have witnessed how his webcomics evolved through his blog.

Blog comics otherwise known as webcomics are created by independent creators. This, according to Jonas, allows us to get a wider variety of content tackling an equally wide variety of subjects that we don't normally encounter in traditional mainstream media.

"Of course, we also get more bad comics as well as the good. Another good thing about webcomics is that it provides an avenue for instantaneous feedback via comments and e-mail. It also give the comic book creator access to a potential audience of millions globally and a chance to monetize their work via online ads such as Google Adsense. Best of all, publishing one's comics via the web is cheap as compared to print."

Last year, Jonas announced his mission of making webcomics through blogs a reasonable profitable venture to inspire other publishers to do the same. One interesting thing that happened since is that he will be publishing a monthly comic magazine based on his webcomics. "The investors gained interest in the venture on the strength of my webcomics."

To date, the number blogs promoting webcomics is increasing. One blog that has caught Jonas' attention recently is that of Carolyn Dy's Draw Write Play webcomics. "In my opinion, it's one of the best produced webcomics being made today. She publishes it using a comicpress theme, a modified wordpress theme, which is a popular blogging platform."

There is currently a rise in the number of local comic book talents bringing their work to the web. It seems Jonas' campaign for the adoption of webcomics as an alternative to print publishing by local creators is steadily gaining ground.

In the recent iBlog4, Jonas gave an update on his blog and webcomics project that he started last year. Here's his talk.

Blogging from the countryside

In the forthcoming iBlog4: The 4th Philippine Blogging Summit, we'll be having one speaker from Davao City and talk about the Mindanao blogging community. She is Ria Jose.

Ria started out as a personal/emo blogger at LiveJournal around January 2004. "It was mostly about my rants and raves about my life, tv shows, movies, and other things. Sometimes, I would blog about politics and current events. My cousin, Andrew Dela Serna, then prodded me to start my own politics blog under his domain. That was my first niche blog."

Ria's blogging adventure grew from there where she now maintains at least eleven niche blogs and a personal blog. "I think I have improved a lot in terms of writing skills. Moreover, blogging has expanded my interests, paved way for new jobs and careers, and increased my circle of friends."

Last year, the Philippine blogosphere felt the strong presence of the Mindanao blogging community as they organized a get-together party and summit later that year. Ria believes that the Mindanao blogging community has the lofty task of uplifting the Mindanao image. "We can do that by providing positive content about the island while blogging truthfully about the realities we face. I think this common goal has made us one as a community. We are all working hard online and offline to encourage more Mindanaoans to blog so that Mindanao may be viewed in a more truthful and balanced light."

Blogging has its own advantages, disadvantages, and challenges. Ria believes that being based in a place "considered as a province" are not that much different from those faced by bloggers based in Metro Manila. "I believe that the internet, blogs particularly, acts as an equalizer. It gives same opportunities and has the same limitations wherever you are. I guess the only difference is we don't get invited to the offline blog events in Metro Manila. But we have our events here such as the Mindanao Bloggers Summit and the Davao Food Tour that they don't get to attend too, so there's really not much difference."

At iBlog4, Ria achieved her goal of letting people know more about Mindanao bloggers, how active and diverse the community is.

Blog reviews #1

I just reviewed the following blogs in Ximmy today.
Join Ximmy if you like to review sites too and earn a little from it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Thank you for supporting iBlog4

I just finished the iBlog4 afterglow report. My sincerest thanks to everyone who supported the activity such as:
  • UP-ISP with JJ Disini (proponent), John Fajardo (superman project lead), Emerson Banez (iBlog website), Lemuel Arenas (for that Digital magazine issue on blogging), Elson Manahan (for the Internet access).
  • Sponsors for making this project feasible.
  • Speakers who shared time and knowledge (presentations).
  • The volunteers who helped out.
  • Participants who made this event worthwhile.
I also would like to give you a heads-up on the following:
Many thanks again and here's a link to everyone who blogged about iBlog4.

Live blogging at the event:
Video coverage
Photo coverage
iBlog4 reflections

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Call for Volunteers: iBlog4: The 4th Philippine Blogging Summit

Hi everyone. On April 26, iBlog4: The 4th Philippine Blogging Summit is already set. To get things going as smoothly as possible, we would like to ask for help from the community to become volunteers on that day.

This includes helping in:
  • Bloggers event registration, giving out of badges, and kits
  • Food distribution
  • Speaker assistance
  • Media assistance
  • Photo bloggers (take photos at the event and share it with us for posting at the site)
  • Video bloggers (take video at the event and share it with us for posting at the site)
Parties interested to help out can e-mail me at digitalfilipino (at) gmail (dot) com or post a comment here. Just advise which area you are interested in.

Also, we will be having a raffle throughout the iBlog4 event. If you are interested in contributing a raffle item, let me know what it is and will list it here.

On another note, Aileen Apolo is organizing a blog party on the evening of iBlog4. Here's the info:

What: Bloggers' Night
When: April 26, 2008 @ 7pm
Who: bloggers of any size, age, status or whatever
How: Just leave a comment below or register through any of the coordinators blogs
Why: Booze, Music, Prizes and
Where: Katips Bar in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City

Come as your blog and get a chance to win a brand new Sony PSP.

To confirm attendance, just leave your name and blog address as a comment. Will add your name to the list afterwards. So far, confirmed folks are listed here.

See you all on April 26!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BNS Hosting Offers Website Mirroring Service

I just got a heads-up from Wilson Chua that Bitstop Network Services (BNS) is now offering website mirroring services.

According to Wilson, website mirroring services will multiply your current website and copy all of its content to another server. "In this case, there are two or more content locations of your site, depending on how many mirror sites are setup. The mirroring server is located in the US. This makes the website easily accessible by US visitors or clients. The bandwidth that is being used by site owners will come from two locations, the US server and Philippines server. This is ideal for handling traffic surges, more visitor capacity, without worrying about your site being down.

Once the site owner updates the original site, the mirror server will update itself as well that makes it easy to maintain. The service is ideal for:
  1. Website owners that need to lighten the load of their current server,or
  2. One that needs more affordable bandwidth costs (perfect for large bandwidth applications like streaming, or popular websites)
  3. One that needs to make their website closer to the US North American market
When asked about the cost, Wilson explains that its pricing is based on on per committed bandwidth, per 1 mbps increments. "The range will usually be between 80 US$ per MB per month, and goes down as the bandwidth increases."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wonderwall rendition by Janin Toral

Since Janin got to Australia to pursue her studies there, she has stopped from singing and recording her videos. Some of the songs she has made a rendition so far includes:
Originals she has done so far includes:
Yesterday, I'm glad that she decided to do it again and experiment with Revver to explore its potential for her.

This is the song Wonderwall by the Oasis.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Birthday Gifts

As one gets older, birthdays are not really that much of a big deal anymore. Although through social networking tools, most of us get our own share of greetings from family and friends.

Last January 22, I organized a small networking event to give a treat to club members and found myself still receiving gifts at this age. Special thanks to Aileen, Jay, and Reggie!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Win a 125x125 ad and Text Link

Gary Hess has an ongoing contest where winners will receive a 125×125 ad space on the right side of his page, plus a text link (no nofollow) on the winners page.

He is assigning each item a certain amount of entries. When the contest ends on January 31, all entries will be given numbers, Gary will randomly select a number that will state who won the contest.

Here's how you can enter:
  • You'll get 4 entries if you make a a blog post including a link to, link to contest page and its prize (125x125 ad and text link).

  • Get 3 entries by adding to your Technorati favs.

  • Get another 3 entries by subscribing via email to’s RSS feed. (Visit the site and enter your email address in the upper right corner and press ’subscribe’.)
The winner will receive an ad spot for the month of February on the right side of the page plus an additional non-nofollowed link on the winning post announcement. A runner-up will also be chosen to receive a text-link on the winning post. If you are interested to participate, just visit the site for more info.