WordPress as Subdirectory of Another WordPress Installation (Two WordPress Installations One Domain)

November 16, 2012

This proved to be much more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, so I’m writing a blog post to help out anyone else looking to do the same thing. Here’s the situation, I’m starting with two WordPress installations and each has it’s own directory and own domain. I want both installations to be accessed on the same domain without having to move any files. I don’t want to reconstruct the second site to be part of the first site, since I want to maintain two independent installations of WordPress.

STARTING POINT:   /www/public_html/SiteOne   /www/public_html/SiteTwo

FINISHING POINT:   /www/public_html/SiteOne   /www/public_html/SiteTwo

The first step is to create a soft/symbolic directory link inside the SiteOne root that links to SiteTwo root.
Symbolic: /www/public_html/SiteOne/SiteTwo
Target: /www/public_html/SiteTwo
Here’s a resource on how to do this, or have your hosting company do this for you:

Replace the default htaccess file contents of SiteTwo with the following below.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /SiteTwo/
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /SiteTwo/index.php [L]

Credit moshu:

At this point the configuration will not be working because the .htaccess directives at /www/public_html/SiteOne/.htaccess with be controlling all aspects of the URL so the directives at /www/public_html/SiteTwo/.htaccess will have no bearing.

The final step is to modify the default WordPress htaccess directives to be conditional, so that they will have control in for all variations of the URL except for*

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^SiteTwo # If any part of the URL after the domain includes SiteTwo then
RewriteRule .? – [S=4] # skip the next four lines
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

Now we need to redirect any queries for to
We will add the following directive to our .htaccess file for SiteTwo

# redirect from to
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(.*) [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

Let me know how this works for you.

The Pitfalls of Automated Link Building

October 30, 2011

Search Engine algorithms have changed considerably over the last few years. But one factor remains important, links. Perhaps not as important as they were, but without a solid link profile it can be challenging to be successful online.

The problem with link building, however, is that it has not kept up with the changes in the algorithms to any great extent. Instead, many link builders have focused on more links gained faster and faster to make up for the ongoing drop in value of those links. As with most things that have a diminishing value, the only way to continue to gain any benefit from them is to automate them to take the labor factor out of the equation.

The value of a link

As link building became more repetitive, programmers stepped in to create ways to automate the process. This further lowered the value of the links being gained. To better understand how this can be, it helps to understand a little about Pagerank, the original foundation for Google’s ranking algorithm. ( of LInks

Google has always presented Pagerank in their toolbar as a green bar from 0 to 10 which lead people to say things such as, I have a PR4 website. In reality, the toolbar PR is an extrapolation of actual Pagerank. In its simplest form all of the links on the entire internet add up to one. If there were only 50 links, they would add up to one. If there were 1,000 links, they would add up to one. So every time a link is added, all links loose just the smallest bit of value. And when someone automates link building and is able to create 10,000 links an hour we see a lot of value lost forcing you to create even more links just to maintain your place.

The problem with automated links is that they get surrounded by more and more automated links. A simplified way to explain how links pass value is that the total value of the page is divided among the links on that page. So, if a page is worth 10 points, and it has 10 links on it, then each link is worth 1 point. If the page is flooded with automated links like we see in directory submissions or blog comments, then we have a page worth 10 points that has 100 links on it making each link worth just .1 points.

Another issue that link building automation creates is that it pushes links further and further from the home page. The best place for a link is on the home page. Almost all home pages are the most powerful page on any website. Look at your Facebook news feed. If you have a small number of friends you may see a status update on your wall for a day or more. But if you have hundreds, or thousands, of friends that update may be on the wall for a few minutes, or seconds. The same thing happens with automated link building, as more links pile on top, the ones below tend to be worth less as they get further from the home page.

Automated Link Types

To combat link building automation the search engines began to devalue certain types of links. Generally any link that a website owner can get on their own or can be automated has been devalued. A short list of these types of links includes:

  • Directory Links: Originally one of the most popular links, submitting your website to link directories allowed you to gain hundreds, or thousands, of links with the anchor text of your choice. These links tended to be free, but could be paid for to increase their value. They were also some of the first automated links where products such as DigiXmas or Roboform making it easy to submit your website to hundreds of sites an hour.
  • Blog Commenting: Next in the list came blog commenting. Like directory links you could post your link on multiple website quickly and easily with your chosen anchor text. Automated blog commenting and spam commenting led to the creation of the nofollow attribute for the rel tag. This told the search engines to not count that link as a valid link and became the default setting on many blog platforms such as WordPress.
  • Generic Guest Blogging: Guest blogging became a very popular method for getting in content links. However, the weak value of the posts themselves, added to the speed that they move off of the front page of the blog makes them far less useful that they have been in the past. When blasted across a blog network they are pushed off the front page even quicker.
  • Social Bookmarking: Social bookmarking became all the rage when Digg and Delicious became popular. Once again, automated bookmarking tools evolved to make link building easy. Add to that the inexpensive labor being used to submit these bookmarks and you have hundreds, if not thousands, of sites being flooded with submissions.
  • Paid Links: Paid links have been around since before there were search engines. We used to call them advertising. But since the algorithm cannot distinguish between paid links used simply to increase a page’s Pagerank and links paid for advertising, the search engines declared them illegal. This does not change the fact that they easy to buy and easy to get. With paid links you could pay for a link on a website’s footer and instead of getting one link, you would get a link on every single page that site has. Potentially thousands of links at one time.

As these types of links have lost more and more value many link builders have simply escalated the process and where they formerly built 100 links, now they build 1,000 links. This increases the problem and forces them to build even more links like these to get the same effect. Eventually this process spirals out of control.

Should I still chase these links?

There is still a place in your link profile for these types of links even though they lose value very quickly after being created. In small niches with little competition they can be all that is needed to get your site listed on page one of the Search Engines. They can also give you a quick boost that can’t be achieved with other types of more durable and evergreen link building. Just be sure that you understand that the negative effect of these links is that if they are all you are relying on, when you stop creating them your rankings will begin to drop in a very short amount of time forcing you to reinvest over and over with no end in site.

Increase of 332% in Keyword Traffic Leads to Success for Virgin Website of The California Implant Institute

September 20, 2011

When The California Implant Institute came to us with an interest to expand their online marketing efforts, the majority of their new clients were coming from print marketing materials, magazine advertisements and word-of-mouth. Dr. Al-Faraje, owner of California Implant Institute, hired us to expand the Institute’s online marketing efforts and tap into the vast number of prospective clients conducting searches online.

Search Traffic Increase = 207%
Keyword Traffic Increase = 332%
Inbound Link Increase = 79%

We began this campaign as we do every other with a comprehensive website analysis to determine the target areas for improvement and really gather baseline data so we can accurately track the success of the campaign.

The California Implant Institute was a “virgin” optimization client, never having done any previous SEO and so there was plenty to get done to lay the foundation. We completed a full keyword analysis, created optimized meta tags, descriptions and keywords for all main pages, and re-wrote much of the content on the main pages to include targeted keywords.

Link Build and Link Build Some More
Link building served as the core of the campaign, as always, and we ultimately increased the quality links to the California Implant Institute website by 79%. No one can argue the power of high quality links and they really came in handy for Dr. Al-Faraje and his business.

The Numbers Have Spoken
The campaign for California Implant Institute also endured a significant algorithm change by Google, which created some unwanted fluctuation. However, the campaign ended with some substantial results for the business. We increased the search traffic to the California Implant Institute website by 207% and by the end of the campaign they were ranking in top 10 for all of the chosen keywords.

Strong SEO Foundation and Search Engine Marketing Increases Client’s Keyword Search Traffic by 219%

July 26, 2011

Orange Restoration’s Vice President of Operations, Bella Dosovitsky, was looking for that extra boost in effective SEO techniques and long-term benefit for her company. When we first started working with Bella, she told us that she’d worked with multiple companies and had done everything there is to do for SEO, but they still weren’t seeing the benefits they were looking for. It was up to us to figure out what the piece was that was missing from the puzzle.

Search Traffic Increase = 98%
Keyword Traffic Increase = 219%
Inbound Link Increase = 272%

“We just finished an SEO campaign with M.B. Strategic and in the last six month’s we’ve seen our search engine traffic double. They’ve been very reliable and based on our results I can strongly recommend them. We’re beginning a second campaign with them shortly. Feel free to contact me for information.”
      -Bella Dosovitsky, VP Oper.
      Orange Restoration

Laying the Foundation
Many years ago when SEO first became popular the technique of “stuffing” meta information and website pages full of keywords was an effective strategy. Nowadays, Google and most other search engines are too smart for that. Correcting and optimizing the keyword densities on Orange Restoration’s website to remove the keyword stuffing was one of the first steps we took in laying the foundation for their website’s improved search engine visibility. Another main issue that we came across was duplicate content. Over time, content from a website is often copied and used on other websites; this creates an issue with duplicate content and is a major obstacle for search engine rankings. We helped Orange Restoration to re-work some of the content on their website while targeting specific keywords within the text to help them to rank as an authority with search engines.

Link Building is a Key Ingredient
The link building portion of any campaign is a key ingredient in the secret sauce for a successful campaign. Orange Restoration began their work with us with a total of 155 links to their website. At the end of the 6 months we had increased their total number of links by 272%, which gave them a huge advantage and dramatically increased their rankings across all of the keywords they were targeting. Of course, we hold firm that it’s not only about quantity but also the high quality of inbound links that are most important in search engine optimization. Orange Restoration is now one of the authority websites in the flood damage and mold restoration industry within San Diego.

Staggering Results and More to Come
The first six month campaign for Orange Restoration endured a significant algorithm change by Google, which affected their website in many ways. However, the first campaign also brought incredible results for their business and a newfound realization of the potential that high quality search engine optimization can bring to their company. M.B. Strategic increased the search traffic to the Orange Restoration website by 98% and by the end of the campaign they were ranking in top 10 for the majority of their keywords. Check back to our website for an update on campaign #2, which is currently underway.

Top 7 SEO Copywriting Tips for Any Business

June 25, 2011

Are you thinking of tackling some of the copywriting for your business on your own? Though we offer professional SEO copywriting services to all of our San Diego SEO clients as well as our website design clients, we know that sometimes businesses want to handle this in-house. Take a look at some of our Top 7 SEO Copywriting Tips that will ensure that your new content helps to boost your rankings.

  1. Use variations of your targeted keywords and/or phrases within your subheadings. This includes mainly H1, H2 and H3 tags.
  2. Your Meta titles and Meta descriptions should of course include your targeted keywords! The Meta titles will be the linked text that shows up in the search engine results. The Meta title must be no more than 74 characters including spaces.
  3. The Meta description must be no more than 156 characters including spaces. Be sure to include those keywords in your content also to avoid the spam filters.
  4. “Sprinkle” in some synonyms of your keywords into the content on the page.
  5. Utilize your targeted keywords in the website copy in a compelling and unique way that will make people want to read on and encourage people to use that same text when linking to you. Unique and valuable content is the first and foremost concern for every website. Search engine’s place high value on this if you can provide it to your users.
  6. Each website page should ideally include at least 450-600 words.
  7. The ideal keyword density for each keyword phrase is 1.5%-2.5%.

If you are interested in professional copywriting services as part of our organic search engine optimization packages, please contact us today.

Google Boost: Your New Local “Adwords”

March 27, 2011

It is no surprise that Google Boost emerged, given Google’s recent focus on local searches. If you haven’t heard yet, Google Boost is now your local version of Adwords. Studies show that nearly all consumers will research online before buying locally. Essentially, local business owners now have the opportunity to run paid advertising campaigns through a much simpler system than Boost’s predecessor Google Adwords. Boost was designed for the hurried business owner who really doesn’t have time to manage a large advertising campaign online through the regular Adwords.

So, how does it work? You pay per click and are able set your own budget (i.e. $100 per month). Google will then select keywords for you (unlike Adwords) based upon your Places account set up and categories. That means you’ll need to go right now and set up your Places page if you haven’t already. It’s a must. Your ad will show up in the Sponsored Links section with a different colored pin, also displaying review ratings, phone number, address and a link to your place page. This is what the local business owner all across the nation has been waiting for. It’s time to go set up your Boost account! Here’s a great video to learn more.

New Changes to Google Places: Combining Organic & Local

March 8, 2011

If you’re in a frenzy over the recent changes to Google Places and your local listing, don’t worry. There are things you can do to be prepared and capitalize on the changes before your competitors do. If you didn’t know that there were changes to Google search results, well then tisk-tisk.

First, the infamous “7-Pack” (top-right) that we all became accustomed to is on it’s way out.

Now, Google is displaying only organic results in the middle of the page (bottom-right). This means the easy days of popping up first without any type of organic SEO work are over. The local map is still there pushed to the right side of the page above the sponsored links. Now, here’s the big news: the algorithm has changed. Google is combining organic and local. Take a look.

A couple more things to think about:

  1. Fully finished Place pages will assume much greater importance now.
  2. Your Place page will greatly impact your organic rankings; especially the reviews.
  3. Google will scour the internet and combine all the reviews about your company on all other sites.
  4. Local searches will increase.
  5. Google Boost is Google’s new local version of “Adwords.”

In summary, you can’t get away with leaving your Places page unfinished or not optimized properly AND you can’t get away with ignoring the on-page optimization for your website. BOTH will greatly impact your rankings now.

301 Redirects for Dynamic URLs to Static Pages with htaccess

February 28, 2011

Setting up a comprehensive list of 301 redirects in htaccess when migrating a high traffic website to a new platform can be time consuming and tricky especially if you’re working with dynamic urls.

We were recently migrating an ecommerce store with several hundred dynamically generated pages from osCommerce to Magento. All of the pages on the new site are using keyword rich static urls so we had our hands full. For basic instructions on how to set up a dynamic to static url redirect in htaccess you can find a great article here: 301 Redirects for Dynamic URLs. But if you’ve got several hundred dynamic to static redirects you’re looking at an entire afternoon of copy and paste.

We created an excel spreadsheet so you can just copy in the full list of dynamic URLs from your original site and static URLs on your new site and it will output the exact code you need. Just copy and paste into your .htaccess file and you should be good to go.

Download the Tool Here: 301 Redirects from Dynamic to Static Generator.

If you’re having any problems make sure you have “RewriteEngine On” at the top of your .htaccess file. Please leave a comment to let me know if this helped you or if you ran into issues.

UPDATE 1: When you copy the redirects from the spreadsheet to your code editor, they may come with double quotation marks wrapping each condition/rule pair. You should use a hard replace to delete all of these before posting to your site.

UPDATE 2: The original tool linked above was created for use in creating server redirects for a website hosting with Bluehost. More recently I ran into the same issue needing to create bulk dynamic redirects for a website hosted with Rackspace. I’m not sure what the exact difference was in server configuration, but the original tool wasn’t working. I created a revised tool that can be downloaded at the link below. The condition query is the same except that [NC] was added meaning “no case” to accept regardless of capitalization. The first portion of the rewrite rule represents the exact match portion of the URL to be rewritten. The question mark ensures that the dynamic portion of the URL (after the question mark) will not be tacked on to the end of the URL.

Download the Revised Tool Here: 301 Redirects from Dynamic to Static Generator REVISED.

Digital Asset Optimization: The SEO 2.0 You Need To Know

November 9, 2010

Simply creating a website just won’t cut it anymore, and pretty soon neither will SEO. Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) is the next step in making sure that search engines pick up ALL of your content. That extra content can include videos, maps, message boards, animation, podcasts, and images.

Video stands almost a 50% greater chance of ranking on page one of Google and now every search engine offers media specific searching for users. More and more people are searching, finding and watching videos online, whether it is a video ad, testimonial or interview. In fact, in a recent study, 62% of surveyed consumers said they saw an online video ad, up again from last year.

But, surely the question to ask is what that really means for your company’s bottom line? Well, a lot. In fact, of those who said they watched an online video ad…

  • 47.3% said they subsequently visited the advertiser’s website
  • 19.1% asked for more information about the company’s product or services
  • 16.9% made a purchase.

Everything seems to be headed towards digital assets. But, business owners beware. Less than 20% of marketing companies that say they are doing DAO, actually insert keywords into the filenames of their videos and even fewer create keyword-rich captions, both of which are necessary for DAO. The bottom line (for your bottom line) is that digital asset optimization needs to be part of your online strategy. If it’s not, then it’s time to rethink it. Get started now and check out these 5 basic tips for DAO.