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Saturday, 21 May 2011

You Can Do Everything on the Web With New Google Chromebooks; Will You?


By Andy Beal on May 11, 2011

“You Can Do Everything on the Web.”

That’s one of the slogans you’ll find inside the video announcing the public, mainstream launch of Google’s Chromebooks–laptops that run Chrome instead of a normal operating system.

And, with 160 million web users already surfing the web via Google’s Chrome browser, the search giant is hoping there’ll be a ready-made market for laptops that require no long start-up times, no software loading, no updates, and no risk of losing all your data if you throw your laptop in a river (Google’s example, not mine!)

The first Chromebooks will be manufactured by Acer and Samsung and don’t look too bad at all!

Want to get your hands on a laptop that runs all day, is virus-proof, and starts at around $350? Google Chromebooks will be available online June 15 in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain. More countries will follow in the coming months. In the US, Chromebooks will be available from Amazon and Best Buy and internationally from leading retailers.

Who’s getting one?

View the original article here

Friday, 20 May 2011

Prices Are Up But Consumer Spending Isn’t


By Cynthia Boris on May 6, 2011

My gas station and my grocery store are in cahoots. They both keep inching up prices, waiting to see which one will bankrupt me first. Well, forget it, boys. Like many other American’s I’m finding new ways to get what I need without spending more than I was before.

Gallup’s newest poll shows that even though the cost of living has increased, consumer spending is down from February and was virtually flat over March and April.

Gallup says that last year, spending was on the rise and there was talk of “frugality fatigue.” This year, it’s a whole different story. Of course, we’ve seen it in the popularity of deal sites. In the beginning, these sites were loaded with luxury buys from spa days and high-end restaurants to helicopter rides over the city. Now you can buy sampler packages from food manufacturers and other basics. Deal sites aren’t simply trendy anymore.

So how do we make something positive out of this news? It’s all about understanding your customer. What can you do to make your product a better value. Free shipping? A bonus item for every $50 purchase? A coupon? Or maybe you simply have to do a better job convincing the public that they need what you’re selling. If you have a product or service that will help them live better for less money, you’re golden.

Now I’m off to the grocery store with my stack of coupons and rebate voucher. Last week, I bought $180.00 worth of groceries for $98.00. Let’s see if this week, I can do better.

View the original article here

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Does Google Spam Still Work Post-Panda?


It's been more than 5 months since my open letter to Google lamenting the state of their search results and how web spam was getting the best of them. And it's been a mere 3 months since I wrote about how much Google (and Bing) loved anchor text spam. Image Credit: Laurel Fan

Since that time, a number of very public search result adjustments have been made by Google. JCPenney (one of the companies I referred to in my February link spam article) was publicly outed by the New York Times and subsequently penalized by Google. It took Bing a bit longer to respond, but the JCPenney website seems to be missing from there now as well.

Also in February, Overstock.com was outed by the Wall Street Journal for providing discounts for .edu websites if they would add keyword-rich anchor text links to Overstock.com. Their penalty seemed less severe than the JCP one as I continued to see Overstock.com pages show up for numerous competitive keyword queries at Google. Recently they claimed that they removed the offending links and their penalty has been lifted (it's not clear how they know this for sure).

And then came the much talked about Farmer / Panda Google Update, which may or may not have been in response to all the negative press that descended upon them. While many sites lost a large percentage of their Google traffic due to the update, it has certainly not stopped all web spam from working.

A quick look at the Google search results for the search query I used in the Anchor Text Spam article shows most of the same sites (besides JCPenney) showing in the results -- many of which still have lots of questionable links pointing to them. The good news is that the spammiest of them are on Page 2 or later in Google's results. While it appears that link spamming can still work, it may not be quite as effective as it used to be -- and that's a good thing.

Web spam can take many forms, though, with anchor text spam being just one of them. Others include exact match keyword doorway domains, madlib spam pages, and keyword-stuffed content (either hidden, partially hidden, or in plain sight).

Today I decided to see if those forms of web spam can still bring high rankings to sites post?Farmer / Panda. I had a ready supply of spammy sites to look at thanks to many of you filling out my web spam report form.  (Keep 'em coming!)

Here's what I found:

Exact Match Keyword Doorway Domains

This seems to be one of the easiest ways to get decent rankings these days, which to me is crazy -- it's 2011! One of the sites reported to me had teeny-tiny keyword-rich links in the footer of their main site that pointed to their exact match keyword doorway domains. The doorways looked as if they were straight out of the old Web Position Gold doorway page generator program from the '90s! I was both amused and appalled to see such a thing still working. I know that Matt Cutts from Google has said they're looking into the exact match domain problem, but I have to wonder when they'll actually pull the switch, or if they simply don't consider the technique to be spammy. To be fair, this technique seemed to work best for the less competitive phrases, which I suppose is some progress.

My Recommendation: In light of what I've seen with this type of web spam, I'd have to say that if you don't mind that it could be a short-lived traffic generator, it's probably a great technique if you're starting a new website, especially if it's going to be an affiliate site or drop-ship type of site. I'm even considering trying it for myself if I ever get the time. My hope is that Google will close the loophole before I ever get started, but it's been working great for so long now, it's hard to imagine they'll be killing it any time soon. [Side note: Yes, you just heard me recommend a spammy SEO technique...hey...if you can't beat 'em! That said, I would never recommend this tactic to my clients or anyone with a "real" company.]

Madlib Spam Pages

I talked about this a bit in last week's article on getting found locally. A number of the spammy sites I looked at were using this technique. To review, "madlib spam" is when you have the same exact content, but just switch out a certain keyword phrase to create hundreds of nearly duplicate pages. For instance, many do this to target different geographical areas by simply substituting the city and/or state name. And others may substitute a certain make or model of product.

In many ways, these sorts of pages make sense. After all, most people will only see the page that has been targeted to what they're looking for and not all the other dupes -- which is most likely why it often works. Matt Cutts has spoken out against it for many years, however, which leads me to believe that Google is simply looking the other way on these. That said, they aren't as effective for local search now that Places Pages are featured so prominently in Google's results. But that doesn't stop the make/model madlib spam from working.

My Recommendation: As with the exact match domains, I would only suggest trying this if you understand that it could eventually come crashing down on you. I'd also suggest that if you do it, you pair it with Google AdWords so that the pages serve as paid search landing pages. That way, you can at least play dumb if you get caught.  ;)

Keyword-Stuffed Content

A few weeks ago, a client pointed out to me a business that "must really know their SEO." Turns out it was an all-Flash site that had hidden keyword-stuffed content. I was quite amazed that this old trick still worked and felt compelled to report it to Matt. To me, hidden content and keyword stuffing are the worst sorts of spam. Therefore, my recommendation will always be to never, ever, ever, ever do it!

As of this writing, I haven't yet reported any of the Rat Out Your Competitor sites to Matt, but when I checked today for the keyword-stuffed one I had reported, it was completely gone from Google! I'm assuming that Matt agreed with me on that one and took action against it. While I appreciate the fact that he will do something on a case-by-case basis if I personally submit something, that's not going to make a dent in cleaning out most of the web spam.

I should also acknowledge that dealing with web spam has got to be a monumental task for Google. In reviewing the supposedly spammy sites that were submitted to me, many were not all that spammy. I'd say maybe only 20% were ranking highly in Google due to their shady SEO techniques. In many cases, there simply weren't a lot of better sites to show instead, which meant that the reported sites were likely ranking despite their spam, not because of it.

Unfortunately, spammy SEO techniques are so common today that it's hard to find decent sites in competitive industries that aren't doing it to a certain extent. Until or unless Google catches more of it on their own, spammy SEO is going to be a sad fact of life.


View the original article here

Quora Greenlights Self-Promotion


By Cynthia Boris on May 9, 2011

Marketers, start your engines! As of right now, Q&A site Quora has not only lifted their ban on self-promotion, they’re actually encouraging it.

The old policy said that content that was “primarily self-promotional” was prohibited. Here’s why they changed the rule.

Quora’s key principle regarding content is that users should make the site a great resource for people who want to learn. The quality of the answer is what we care about. Evaluating the intention of an answer does not support this policy.

We want to encourage users to provide answers based on personal experience, and this often involves — or even requires – discussing subject(s) in which the writer has personal experience. Personal experience is an asset, not a liability, and is a key element of many of the best answers on Quora. In other words, we want users to write about what they know and care about – companies, organizations, causes, people, products, etc.

They do ask that you go the full disclosure route and tell people that you work for whatever company you’re praising. They also acknowledge that this opens the doors to a flood of spam, but they say they’re confident that their tools and policies will keep the flow in check. And of course, they reserve the right to ban anyone they like if you get out of line. Basically, as long as you’re posting a relevant answer to a question, you’re in.

What makes this even more of a boost for marketers is the fact that Google now indexes Quora as part of their “realtime” search option. TechCrunch reported the unheralded appearance at the end of April.

All this means, if you haven’t been using Quora to promote your company, now’s the time to jump in. With a free pass to send your message to targeted consumers, coupled with an automatic pop in Google search – the only bad here is the time cost of adding another social media site to your daily routine.

Are you using Quora yet? I’d like to hear about your experience.

Thanks to Louisgray.com for the heads up.

View the original article here

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

16 SEO Tactics That Will NOT Bring Targeted Google Visitors


April 6, 2011By Jill Whalen

In my day-to-day reviews of client websites, I see lots of things done to websites in the name of SEO that in reality have no bearing on it. Photo Credit: Bitterjug

In an effort to keep you from spending your precious time on supposed SEO tactics that will have absolutely no effect on your rankings, search engine visitors, conversions or sales, I present you with 16 SEO tactics that you can remove from your personal knowledge base and/or SEO toolbox as being in any way related to SEO:
Meta Keywords: Lord help us! I thought I was done discussing the ole meta keywords tag in 1999, but today in 2011 I encounter people with websites who still think this is an important SEO tactic. My guess is it's easier to fill out a keyword meta tag than to do the SEO procedures that do matter. Suffice it to say, the meta keyword tag is completely and utterly useless for SEO purposes when it comes to all the major search engines ? and it always will be. XML Site Maps or Submitting to Search Engines: If your site architecture stinks and important optimized pages are buried too deeply to be easily spidered, an XML site map submitted via Webmaster Tools isn't going to make them show up in the search results for their targeted keywords. At best it will make Google aware that those pages exist. But if they have no internal or external link popularity to speak of, their existence in the universe is about as important as the existence of the tooth fairy (and she won't help your pages to rank better in Google either!). Link Title Attributes: Think that you can simply add descriptive text to your "click here" link's title attribute? (For example: Click Here.) Think again. Back in the 1990s I too thought these were the bee's knees. Turns out they are completely ignored by all major search engines. If you use them to make your site more accessible, then that's great, but just know that they have nothing to do with Google. Header Tags Like H1 or H2: This is another area people spend lots of time in, as if these fields were created specifically for SEOs to put keywords into. They weren't, and they aren't. They're simply one way to mark up your website code with headlines. While it's always a good idea to have great headlines on a site that may or may not use a keyword phrase, whether it's wrapped in H-whatever tags is of no consequence to your rankings. Keyworded Alt Text on Non-clickable Images: Thought you were clever to stuff keywords into the alt tag of the image of your pet dog? Think again, Sparky! In most cases, non-clickable image alt tag text isn't going to provide a boost to your rankings. And it's especially not going to be helpful if that's the only place you have those words. (Clickable images are a different story, and the alt text you use for them is in fact a very important way to describe the page that the image is pointing to.) Keyword-stuffed Content: While it's never been a smart SEO strategy, keyword-stuffed content is even stupider in today's competitive marketplace. In the 21st century, less is often more when it comes to keywords in your content. In fact, if you're having trouble ranking for certain phrases that you've used a ton of times on the page, rather than adding it just one more time, try removing some instances of it. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results. Optimizing for General or Peripheral Keywords: You're not gonna rank for a one-word keyword. You're just not. You are likely not even going to rank for a 2-word keyword. So stop wasting your time optimizing for them, and find the phrases that answer the searcher's question. For example, most people seeking legal help aren't putting the one word "lawyer" into Google. They have a very specific need for a certain type of lawyer as well as a specific location in which they hope to find said lawyer. So rather than throwing the word "lawyer" all over your site, ask yourself this: There are people out there who want what you're providing. What are they typing into Google? Now focus on those words instead. And don't even get me started on people who put words on their pages that are barely related to what they do "just in case" someone who types that into Google might be interested in what they offer. You won't rank for those phrases anyway, but even if you magically did, they won't make you any sales. Targeting the Same Keywords on Every Page: The keyword universe for any product or service is ginormous. (It really is.) Even if there are one or two phrases that bring you the most traffic, why the heck would you want to miss out on the gazillions of others as well? Stop focusing every page on the same handful of phrases and start targeting each page to its own specific set that most relate to what you're offering there. Focusing on Ads as Links: Banner ads, Google AdWords links and most other forms of online advertising do not create links that count toward your link popularity. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use this form of marketing ? just don't be deluded into thinking that it will have a direct effect on your organic search engine rankings and traffic. Mad-lib Doorway Pages: While you may offer lots of products or services that are extremely similar to one another with just one minor change, it's not a good idea to create separate pages for each of them and making only minor keyword changes to each of them. While this may be okay for paid search landing pages, it's a duplicate content spammy nightmare for organic SEO purposes. (In fairness, I do sometimes still see this technique work, but it's still not advisable to do it.) Linking to Google or Other Popular Websites: It's the links pointing to your pages from other sites that help you with SEO, not the pages you're linking out to. 'Nuff said. Redirecting a Keyworded Domain to Your Real One: So you have your business name as your domain (as you should), but you have noticed the unfortunate fact that Google seems to really like domains that have keywords in them. Buying one (or more) and redirecting it to your actual website can't provide you with any advantage because a redirected website (and its domain name) is never seen by the search engines. And besides, even if there were something magical about doing this, again, you're only talking about one keyword phrase. Republishing Only Others' Stuff: While it's fine to republish an article that someone else published first, if that's all your blog consists of, it's not going to help your search engine rankings. Instead of republishing entire articles, discuss them in your own posts and provide your thoughts and opinions on what's good / bad / ugly about what the others are saying. It's all about adding value. Making Minor Changes to Freshen Content: This is not going to help a thing. If any old articles or posts need to be updated, then update them. But just changing a date or a few words will not have any effect on your search engine rankings or traffic. Nofollowing Internal Links: Perhaps you're not looking for your privacy policy page to be followed by the search engines, so you add a nofollow attribute to it. That's all well and good, but don't fool yourself into thinking that this will somehow control your PageRank flow and get you better rankings. It won't. Main Navigation That Links to Every Page: If linking to pages in your main navigation gives them more internal link popularity and therefore more possible weighting with the search engines, then surely linking to every single page of the site in your main navigation should be a good idea, right? Wrong! It isn't. All it does is spread your internal link popularity too thin and confuse the heck out of your site visitors. Don't do it. Choose to link only to top-level categories and perhaps subcategories (if you have a reasonable number of them) in your main navigation. This allows users to drill down further when they're in the category sections themselves.
Did I miss any? I'm quite sure I've just touched the surface on waste-of-time SEO tactics. How about you? Do you agree with the above? Disagree? Leave your comments below. del.icio.us Email a FriendPrintRSSPost Comment Related Articles? Related Forum Posts?

View the original article here

Monday, 16 May 2011

The introduction to SEM and the key reasons why you have to implement them all.


Search engine optimization is crucial for the success of a site. It’s the easiest method to drive loads of targeted visitors towards the website. Site visitors combined with excellent sales tactics equals income. Search engine optimization is about creating readable content material that is certainly in text, it’s really critical to only use text and stay away from employing flash. Just remember a speedy loading site converts browsers to purchasers and increase the amount of sales. Search engine advertising is probably the simplest technique to get plenty of targeted guests to a web site. It is a time tested approach that you could count on, and that needs no up front investment. But in order to get these guests coming to your site on a regular basis, it’s essential to write content material while keeping in mind the Search engine advertising variables. Search engine marketing and advertising is some thing that numerous people see as complex and time consuming. A single technique to get round that is to utilize a Search engine marketing and advertising specialist to analyze your content and tell you what to complete.
Search engine optimization (search engine advertising and marketing) has two main focuses; On-site and off-site optimization. The purpose of on-site optimization is to build the best level of content material, title tags, internet site maps, etc. to be friendly to the search engines like google. Off-site optimization is often a link-building approach focused on bringing credibility towards the web page. Search engine advertising could take up to three months to ‘see’ outcomes. Search engine marketing is wonderful, but you seriously must be aware that it takes time and effort prior to you are going to see outcomes with it. But because it can create so considerably targeted visitors, it’s something you need to find out the best way to do. SEM services are generally provided by businesses that aid web sites optimise their internet websites for business. Unlike using banner ads, investigation shows that Search engine advertising and marketing fees a whole lot much less yet increase the number of clients virtually exponentially (The Art of Search engine promoting – Enge, Spencer, Fishkin, & Stricchiola, 2009). Study done by Vertexera Inc. has shown that banner advertisements cost between $4,600 and $37,000 whilst Search engine optimization costs about $4,500. However, as discussed in the previous section on branding, customers are more likely to notice results of a company on a search engine than banner ads. A gastric bypass surgeon who optimised his internet site for search engines had the amount of clients he generated from his site raise from 2-3 per week to 50-70. Search engine advertising and marketing is daily activity that could help increase your site’s rank on Google, Yahoo and Bing for your targeted keywords. However, you need to first make sure that your building links on sites that offer do-follow links to make your effort worthwhile.
Search engine marketing may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web web site optimum web presence. Due to the fact effective Search engine advertising and marketing may require changes to the HTML source code of a web site, SEM tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. Search engine marketing and advertising has invaded the lives of every enterprise person. Thanks for the excellent share. Sometimes SEM seems like magic in the corporate world. But it isn’t. It just works that way when its done appropriate.

Reference;MyMLVPD VPS Can Help Econmize Your Company

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Local SEO – Your 7 Action Guidebook


The Web supplies your website with an international get to, if your organization serves customers locally, it does not make perception to target clientele internationally or even nationally, but as an alternative to concentrate your efforts on consumers in your regional place, this kind of as your city or city.
1. You ought to ensure that your locality is incorporated in your picked keywords or keyphrases. As an example, if your company supplies cleaning services and is situated in Bristol, then you would be employing a keyword this kind of “cleansing businesses Bristol” as this says what your business does and also incorporates your organization spot.
2. When creating your sites META Tags, be positive to include your place in the Title Meta Tag. It is crucial that you also incorporate the key phrase with the subject material of your webpage also even so, otherwise you will not reap the rewards from an SEO position of see.
3. Following on from point 2, when composing your content for your webpage – be sure to incorporate the keyword that you have selected within your Title tag. For example if we use the cleansing organization in Bristol as the example, your keyword inside of your subject material need to be “cleansing organization Bristol”, not just “cleansing business.”
4. Google has a very valuable attribute where you can add your enterprise and it incorporate it inside Google Areas and Google Maps. This is an excellent way of driving a lot more targeted traffic to your website.
5. Neighborhood search engines are an excellent way to achieve regional protection. Numerous of these supply free inclusion, which is a fantastic way to produce site visitors to your website.
6. There are plenty of company directories out there that permit you to add your company under a no cost listing. Just be sure that they enable you to include your internet site URL, to really reap the advantages of the listing. Numerous of these directories offer inclusion below not only a distinct organization class, but also within a geographical location.
7. If you operate or are considering running, a PPC campaign (Shell out Per Click) with Google AdWords, this will permit you to focus your marketing campaign on a catchment region. Probably you only want to supply your cleaning firm service in a 50 mile radius of your business area, this is something which you can accomplish with Google AdWords.
Without doubt it’s crucial that if your company gives its solutions locally, then obtaining an on the internet presence throughout the world is just a comprehensive waste of your time and resources. Concentrate on your regional market and consider of other ways to develop your enterprise locally.
Writing on seo is like a passion for Lillian, her job as business manager has given her immense opportunities to write on a variety of topics including seo professionals.
For more articles on this topic or any interesting topics for articles you just visit short articles to get latest information about many things.