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Browsing "internet strategy"

What to do when you disappear from Google

Sep 29, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   Google, internet strategy, search engine  //  175 Comments

Step 1: Don’t worry. This occurs regularly, and can cause a lot of movement in rankings, meaning that it’s come to be feared by many in the SEO industry and anticipated by others. The update isn’t just one sudden switch, though, as each index update takes several days to complete. During this update the searches seem to ‘dance’ between the old index and new index – that’s the Google dance.

So why does it happen? Well, Google pulls its results from thousands of servers, and they can’t all be updated at once. Instead, each server is updated with the new index, one at a time. This can cause very strange behavior in the page rank process if two major sites located on separate servers happen to have a close linking bond. These sorts of separations are interesting and can contribute to a great deal of change and motion in page ranks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that eventually Google will rank you where you belong. Generally, if you behave, you will not be thrown around for long by the odd activity that can occur when Google is in the process of updating its index.

One common misunderstanding is the idea that Google controls which server each kind of information is coming from, and so stores similar information on the same server. Google’s index doesn’t work this way – it’s a big, disorganized mass of information that Google searches very quickly. This is a blessing in disguise because it allows your site to remain reachable via other sites that are related to it when the index is taking place. Your site generally won’t suffer for too long when an update is taking place anyway, but if you are heavily dependent on Google results, you will see a slight drop for a short period of time. This drop is often followed by a slight spike especially if your page rank has increased since the last round of indexing.

The servers that Google uses are distributed between datacenters all over the world. Google doesn’t keep all of those eggs in one basket – they want to be able to lose one datacenter and have the rest survive. This way, if part of Google goes down, people can still use the search engine and as was said before, this allows your site to be accessed via related sites if the server holding your sites index happens to go down. The datacenters that Google has put into play are enormous in comparison to most datacenters around the world. Google rivals some of the largest datacenters in the world with each of its datacenters and is probably the largest in the world if all were combined into one.

You see, the ‘time-to-live’ for Google is only five minutes – that means that Google can change it’s IP address every five minutes. This allows them to switch between their datacenters regularly, spreading the search load between them intelligently and routing around any damage. If you constantly entered the same datacenter with every search that you placed it would almost certainly fry within twenty four hours. Considering the number of users on Google each and every day, it is surprising that thn servers they do have is enough. A server can only handle so much traffic in a day and Google insures that it can hold more than any other service on the internet.

The datacenters updating their indexes at different times causes Google to do its dance. Unless you’re looking for your website’s ranking, you’d never notice this as your site is normally available at all times. The unfortunate bit is that often times you will lose your page ranking for a short period of time or your site will seem to have a lower number of pages indexed by Google. If you insure that you have several hundred pages available on Google at all times you will most likely be able to provide all of your content at all times either directly or indirectly.

Step 2: There is no step 2

Social Networks – Free SEO

Sep 22, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   basic seo, internet strategy, seo techniques  //  Comments Off

Back to the basics again. We’ve talked about building, some basic tagging, and basic linking strategies. Another very basic step in the realm of SEO for the layperson, would be to make use of the current social media craze.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogger/Wordpress, and to a lesser degree, Myspace, are all very viable, and encouraged spaces to use to market yourself and your new website.

Facebook offers a great audience, and is one of the most widely used social networks out there. Using their free services to help boost your sites visitors is as simple as having friends and family add you to their account, and just spreading the word. Use the page to update your news frequently, and watch the visitors begin to use your site and services.

Twitter, when used in conjuction with Facebook, adds an additional dimension to your company’s profile. Being able to update your news, interact with any customers or clients in an almost instant medium, is a great draw for potential clientelle. Being that Twitter can be done anywhere, you could be on the road, at the office, or at home and be able to handle any questions or concerns which can impact your image.

LinkedIn, is a professionals version of Facebook. It can be used to begin building your professional image with established companies locally, and globally. Lenders, suppliers, potential partners and alliances can all begin as simply having an account with LinkedIn.

Writing blogs is like icing on the cake. It’s the little bit of everyday, active information about your company, your niche, or even just the industry around you. Taking a short time each day to send out a blog, gets your blog site indexed within the day, and over time, and with dedication, you’ll begin to see the visitors grow and traffic will go through your site.

More to follow…

The Winnipeg Search – Find yourself online

Aug 28, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine marketing, Winnipeg Seo  //  190 Comments

With the recent influx of SEO Experts, there’s been a flurry of activity in the industry,both nationally and locally. Website design being evaluated, online presence (notably lack there of) is being felt by businesses in Winnipeg, and in Canada as a whole.

The idea that Search engine optimization is a required expense moving forward in a successful business has slowly been seeping into the collective business mindset. It’s apparent to the true experts in the field, and when you see half hearted attempts by those trying to wedge their way into the niche, it’s a time to just shake your head.

Some of the gems found in just an afternoon of browsing::

Poorly optimized websites from the “experts”
Blogs/Blog sites setup and used once or twice
Companies guaranteeing position
“One time SEO” websites

The majority of the above examples came from web design company websites, who’ve decided that they are ready, and capable to jump into the deep, dark sea of Search Engine Optimization(SEO)/Search Engine Marketing(SEM).

There are a millions of pages on the web packed with information on SEO, on some of the general guidelines, and the pros and cons of the marketing avenue. But, for every page out there, there are 2,3, 10 pages of mis-information as well.

In the end, it’s best to remember: SEO/SEM is a niche industry, horses for courses, and the real pros don’t just publish all of their tips and tricks. Their results, speak for themselves.

The Magic of Seach Engine Optimization

Apr 21, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine optimization, seo  //  262 Comments

Magic! Mysticism! Mystery!

Nope, guess again. Search Engine Optimization, is to a lot of people, full of magic and mystery. It has none of these qualities, yet when it’s done right, it can definitely provide the illusion of it.

Proper SEO, can change a companies future, drive internet marketing and sales, give that needed visibility for your campaign race, and more! When the rules are followed, and the steps are taken, it can be magic.

That being said, there’s the black magic out there of course. The not so legal tricks, cloaking, hiding text, keyword stuffing, just to name a couple. The temptations for fast results, often come with the just rewards, barring of your site, to outright banning your site from the index.

In the end, the good guys win, and the bad look for a new way to use their tricks.

Which hat will your hero wear?

SEO Friendly Coding

Feb 20, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   CSS, internet strategy, website principles  //  47 Comments

There are simply too many benefits to using CSS (cascading style sheets) to ignore. Is your page code long and difficult to read? Is it increasingly harder to find that line to tweak your pages layout or appearance? Cascading Style Sheets will help improve your websites efficiency, and it will be easier to read for search engines. To a search engine, a website that is coded in CSS says several things about your company: you embrace foward technology and that your content is modern, up-to-date and relevant. Using Cascading Style Sheets is one of the best Search Engine Optimization methods to creating a web site, it is candy to Search Spiders.

A Cascading Style Sheet is a method used to give web designers more control over the style of each page — allowing them to customize each paragraph, title, header, or bulleted list. CSS gives you the ability to specify font, size, and color of anything you want without having to repeatedly insert specific lines of code.

A few key points to using CSS to help optimize your website are:

1. Using regular HTML codes to define things like font tags can be very cumbersome. It inserts extra unnecessary code into the source code of your website, making it more difficult for the spider to crawl your site. Search engine spiders won’t just read the content that shows up on your site, they read every single line of code. You don’t want to pollute your source code with excessive HTML.

2. In a nutshell, CSS can do everything HTML can do, only better. Instead of placing the style tags (for fonts, backrounds, colors, etc.) in the actual code, it is placed in an external file. A simple and brief statement is placed in the source code to call to that external file where all your bulky style codes are laid out leaving your page clean and simple.

3. The use of Cascading Style Sheets will also allow preloading of your website into your browser. The basic elements are carried forward through any page you visit. This is optimal for search engine spiders, they want to read through your website as fast as they possibly can. With CSS, you can have all the effects you want without slowing down the search engine spiders you are striving to impress.

4. Give your website a diet plan! Converting your old HTML layouts to CSS can typically cut anywhere from 25 to 50 percent off of page size. They give you the added benefit of simplified, adaptable structure and the separation of code in a presentation.

5. One of the most instantly rewarding benefits of Cascading Style Sheets is that they are a huge time saver. Code it properly once, and never again. Let’s say for example, your site is coded with HTML; the header on each one of your sites pages is written in blue text. One day you decide you want to change the look and feel of your site and you want to change the headers from blue font to a bold black. With an HTML website, you have to go through each page and physically change each header. Depending on the size of your site, that could be very time consuming. with a website written with CSS, you simply open that external file, change the header tag color from blue to black and your job is done That one change will automatically update every header without you having to manually change each one.

Without Google what would we do?

Jan 7, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   Google, internet strategy  //  193 Comments

What would we do without Google?

Google’s motto to “organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible” is perhaps the one defining characteristic that we can rely on.

The fact that we can debate whether Google lives up to its other motto – “do no evil” – means that we cannot really rely on them to be virtuous.

But we can rely on them to organize the world’s information, and they’ve done that fairly well. At least, theyve done it better than anyone else. If it meant being evil to do that successfully, would be willing to live with the evil?

I think we could advance the argument that most people who consider Google the evil empire probably do so on the basis of some perceived action by Google that has been unfavorable to them or someone they know. In other words, if you operate a website and youve been de-cached or your Google AdSense account was discontinued, etc.

But Google doesnt just penalize people without cause. There is usually a violation of policy somewhere, and if there wasn’t then I’d bet my last dollar that Google would reinstate the individual to favorable status if it was brought to their attention.

That doesn’t mean the search engine hasn’t, and won’t, do evil things. It does mean that they take their mission to organize the world’s information seriously.

So I ask again, what would we do without Google? It was Google who taught us that back links count. It was Google that brought us the wholesale opportunity to advertise our businesses and choose what we are willing to pay for a lead.

It was Google that made us realize that search engine spam can be tackled at the source and while they aren’t perfect at defeating it they do a nice job.

I know that Google is constantly seeking improvement. Sometimes they fail and institute policies that backfire or that don’t work. But they are organizing the world’s information pretty well and I know that if I need to know something really important I can search Google and within minutes have that pressing question answered. Without Google, I’d be living at the library.

Dont Cut Back SEO

Jan 6, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, online advertising, seo strategies  //  2 Comments

When the economy turns sour just about every company starts to cut expenses and usually the first thing that goes is the one service where the perceived value is less. Search engine optimization is one of those services that could be threatened by the recession.

I would strongly caution against cutting back on your SEO for your business. Companies that I’ve seen do that have in the past regretted it. Typically what happens is they’ll see their search rankings decline. After dropping off the first page they’ll see fewer and fewer visitors to their websites and that will result in fewer conversions and less overall sales. Almost always these customers restart their optimization and they have to claw their way back up the search engine ladder to top rankings. That takes longer usually than the drop off and takes more resources long term.

It may seem that a recession is the time to cut expenses, but you don’t want to cut your marketing expenses. It’s really the time when you should be marketing more, not less. If you think of search engine optimization as a part of your overall marketing strategy then that puts it a little more into perspective.

Don’t you think?

Top Three Mistakes Internet Marketers Make

Jan 1, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   content, internet marketing, internet strategy  //  9 Comments

There is no doubt that internet marketing is a great way to sell products and services to make a lot of money. There is also no doubt that the internet is flooded with competition and you will need to do your internet marketing well in order to stand out from the crowd and claim you fortune. Many, many people try to market products on the internet unsuccessfully. In fact, for every five websites on the internet that are doing well there are ninety-five that are failing.

Not the best odds, but the good news is that you can be one of the three if you take the time to learn proper internet marketing techniques. Learning how to do something right often means discovering a lot of ways to do it wrong first and so to save you some time, here is a list of the top three mistakes that internet marketers make:

1. Not providing high-quality content on their site. Many people think you can just write a sentence or two about each product and create a “pretty” website and people will want to buy from them. There are two problems with this technique: first of all, getting a good search engine ranking is what will drive customers to your site and good content with the right keyword density is necessary to get a high search engine ranking. And secondly, once a person clicks to your site they expect to see some content. Good content will draw them in and keep them on your page long enough to entice them to make a purchase.

2. Using only one method of internet marketing. Too many would-be internet marketers focus all their attention on just one method of internet marketing. That is the equivalent of putting all your eggs in one basket, if the bottom falls out you’re screwed. Using multiple internet marketing techniques allows customers to find you in a variety of ways like through search engine results, email marketing, article marketing and forum posts. The funny thing is that as you use different methods they boost your main goal of increasing search engine traffic at the same time.

3. Choosing an irrelevant product. Before you spend massive amounts of time and money doing internet marketing for a product you may love it is highly important that you find out if there is a market for it. If nobody wants to buy your product you can market ’til the cows come home and have the number one spot in the search engine rankings for your keyword, but if nobody is buying that it isn’t going to matter. You also want to choose a product where the market isn’t completely flooded already. In either case, it is vital that you do some research before you start your internet marketing campaign.

Avoiding these top three mistakes will help you get your internet marketing campaign off to a good start. Do your research and provide your customers with top-quality information and you will be on the right track for success in internet marketing.

Internet marketing world get-rich-quick schemes

Jan 1, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine optimization  //  85 Comments

Just about everybody in the Internet marketing world has a get-rich-quick scheme these days. Start looking around and you’ll find dozens of so-called “gurus” who are willing to share their techniques with you for some cash. The problem with these guys is that they often don’t even practice the techniques they offer.

They just make money selling books and the techniques they offer really don’t have real-world applications. They can offer you platitudes about what to do to create a successful Internet business but not a real money-making technique.

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, most aspiring Internet Marketers think immediately of Google Ad words. The problem is, you may be thinking of Ad words, but so is everyone else. Google has wisely caught on to this and have appropriately raised their rates, making them untenable for many. Couple that with the new regulations coming down the pipe from Google and you have some serious problems.

Obama’s online backers key to pushing his agenda

Jan 1, 2009   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet news, internet strategy, obama  //  149 Comments

President-elect Barack Obama’s top asset in pushing his agenda will not be his Cabinet secretaries or aides, but rather his online network. Obama’s political e-mail list tops 13 million names, a digital force that the incoming White House can tap to push for his legislation, tamp down critics or bolster popular support. It’s also a way for Obama to reach into every state, every city, and every neighborhood.

A study released Tuesday found that a quarter of Obama voters said they would continue to work online to support the new administration. The nonpartisan Pew Internet and American Life Project also found 62 percent of Obama’s voters say they would ask others to support Obama’s policies.

Welcome to the Democrats’ new permanent campaign, one planned online and executed on Main Street.