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Central New York Grass-fed Beef and Pasture-raised Meats

05/28/2009

My wife makes great beef jerky. As people who have long been into organic living (I had one of the world’s first organic gardening web sites), we knew we’d want to use grass-fed beef if we ever tried to make a business out of it. Well, we’ve finally started doing it, using this central New York grass-fed beef from our friends at Nectar Hills Farm, operated by Sonia and Dave. On Saturdays, you can find Sonia at the Cooperstown New York Farmer’s Market where she will be selling her pasture-raised meats, our Happy Hobo Grass-fed Beef Jerky (web site someday, I hope), and my wife Robin’s delicious, chocolate-dipped, organic biscotti (made with eggs from Nectar Hills Farm).

The meat, jerky, and biscotti are also available at the Nectar Hills Farm store which is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, in Cherry Valley, New York.

What does all this have to do with search engine optimization and internet marketing, besides the obvious fact that I’m creating deep links to the new web site I made for our rancher friends? Well, Sonia and Dave have been running this farm for about 6 years now, and every so often they would tell each other that they really needed a web site. Since we all like to barter, and we needed some top round to start our grass-fed beef jerky business, we traded. And in her excitement over her new web site, Sonia started notifying some very prominent sites to link to her (like Eat Wild and Local Harvest). Of course, being authoritative sites, Google immediately saw a link to a new site, and jumped on it before I was ready.

Eventually it won’t matter, as I’ve since managed to get a little robots.txt file up, along with a site map, and more information, including some variants on the key phrases that I wanted to get in there. Google will come back and recrawl soon, hopefully, since I’ve now submitted the site map to Google webmaster tools. So, hopefully this little glitch won’t really matter.

But it does allow me to again prove my point that robots.txt files and xml sitemaps make a big difference. I’d be willing to bet that if I had finished the site, submitted through webmaster tools and Google Local Business listings simultaneously, I would have beaten the original referring site on a search for the actual name of the farm. I’m pretty sure I would have come in much higher for central New York grass-fed beef. But I’ll never know, and now I have to work a little harder to make that happen–rushing in links from Google-bot frequented blogs, for example, hoping to encourage the bot to go back and look at a site it just indexed. Could take weeks.

So let that be a lesson in communicating better with a client, and putting a big NO INDEX up front in the robots file, protecting yourself from early crawling.

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