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  • Nate 9:06 AM on June 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    What to Include in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy? 

    By Laura Wimble (c) 2010

    Creating a “buzz” around products, services, businesses or an event is a requirement from all clients. There is no social media marketing wand that someone will wave and a target audience will automatically start coming to your site. And what works for one brand may not work for another.

    The process of creating buzz doesn’t start from creating a Blog or creating a video, it’s a social media strategy that encompasses social media and word-of-mouth marketing. We have compiled a list of social media tools that companies use to build their social media marketing mixes.

    1. Blogs

    Blogs have become a great tool for social media marketing. First because, if optimized correctly, they can be used to drive traffic to a website. A good blog will help in creating internal links, fresh content, active community, or non-search engine traffic.

    Examples of popular blogs where you can create your account are: WordPress, Blog.com, Bloggers.com, Typepad, etc.

    2. Microblogging

    Like blogs, microblogs propose huge opportunities for business endorsement. That is both through content consistency and good optimization. Two of the most used are Posterous and Twitter.

    3. Online Video

    The importance of online videos has rapidly increased during the last few years. To read more on this topic, have a look at our blog on The Growing Importance of Online Video. Popular video sharing websites include YouTube and Vimeo.

    4. Photosharing

    Social media is all about sharing! Therefore, there are numerous platforms that allow photo sharing with your friends. Some of them are: Flickr.com, Memeo.com, and Photobucket.com.

    5. Podcasting

    Podcasting is part of the new media tools that are offered to both promote your brand and your products/services. Check out Blip.fm or RadioPodcast.fr.

    6. Presentation Sharing

    Another great way to put your brand’s name in the spotlight is by offering presentations on topics of interest for your audience on presentation sharing websites. They are increasingly gaining in popularity nowadays. Some of them are: SlideShare.net, MyPlick.com, Scribd.com, or AuthorSTREAM.com.

    7. Social Networks: Applications, Fan Pages, Groups, and Personalities

    Social networks are the place to present and promote yourself as well as to keep in touch with your targeted audience. You can read a list of the most popular on our blog on our blog on Top Social Media Network Sites!

    8. Crowd Sourcing/Voting

    Crowdsourcing is an effective model because it can be used for developing programs, marketing efforts, research, and education. For example Dell has used Crowdsourcing as a distributed problem-solving and production model and has reduced costs and increased their efficiency. Also look at the Grand Challenge for FNIH to see a crowd sourcing campaign.

    9. Bookmarking/Tagging

    Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Examples of popular social bookmarking websites: delicious.com, Digg, Diigo, Fark, Mixx, MyBlogLog, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit, Slashdot.org, StumbleUpon, Yahoo!, and Buzz.

    10. Discussion Boards and Forums

    Online forums are a great way to market your products/services and interact with other professionals or your audience. Engaging your audience in your niche forum can bring high value to your site and brand too.

    11. Content Aggregation

    Content aggregation offers you the chance to bring all news and feeds around your online community accounts in one place. Some say this is the future of social media. Emerging content aggregation websites: Bloglines, FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit.

    12. Brand Monitoring

    Social media is also offering a variety of tools that help businesses understand the positioning of their brand. Popular examples are: Buzzlogic, Radian6, or ReputationDefender.

    13. Ratings and Reviews

    The best way to find out where your website stands or how your brand is perceived by others is through ratings and reviews. See Yelp, or GetSatisfaction.

    14. Widgets

    For those who are trying to promote their own brands, they can create personalized badges, using interesting widgets on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks or by simply using WidgetBox or SpringWidgets.

    15. Wikis

    Wikis are our online encyclopedia. A short list of wikis: Wikipedia.org, Citizendium.org, AboutUs.org, Pbwiki(PBworks.com), or Wetpaint.com.

    Along with all the new ways of publishing your content on networking sites, it is important to publish your articles on publishing sites like EzineArticles, eHow, Google Docs (docs.google.com), IdeaMarketers, Yahoo Articles Group (groups.yahoo.com) and submit your press releases on important specialized sites like i-Newswire, PR.com, PressReleasePoint, and PRLog.org.

    Social Media Marketing can be very confusing at times. There are lots of networks and channels to choose from. Creating a presence on all the channels is very time consuming and randomly choosing a network is not a good social media strategy. Companies are struggling to understand what social media marketing mix they should use to make their brand successful in the online world.

    We suggest it is important to identify which channels are suitable for your business depending on your target audience. Businesses must plan a step-by-step onlíne marketing strategy and brainstorm ideas with their onlíne marketing agency that will work for their products/service.

    To learn more about social media marketing contact NC Square Web Development

     
  • Nate 4:20 PM on April 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mobile web, , ,   

    Running desktop and mobile versions of your site 

    by Jun Mukai, Software Engineer, Mobile Search Team

    Today I’d like to share information useful for webmasters who manage both desktop and mobile phone versions of a site.

    One of the most common problems for webmasters who run both mobile and desktop versions of a site is that the mobile version of the site appears for users on a desktop computer, or that the desktop version of the site appears when someone finds them from a mobile device. In dealing with this scenario, here are two viable options:

    Redirect mobile users to the correct version
    When a mobile user or crawler (like Googlebot-Mobile) accesses the desktop version of a URL, you can redirect them to the corresponding mobile version of the same page. Google notices the relationship between the two versions of the URL and displays the standard version for searches from desktops and the mobile version for mobile searches.

    If you redirect users, please make sure that the content on the corresponding mobile/desktop URL matches as closely as possible. For example, if you run a shopping site and there’s an access from a mobile phone to a desktop-version URL, make sure that the user is redirected to the mobile version of the page for the same product, and not to the homepage of the mobile version of the site. We occasionally find sites using this kind of redirect in an attempt to boost their search rankings, but this practice only results in a negative user experience, and so should be avoided at all costs.

    On the other hand, when there’s an access to a mobile-version URL from a desktop browser or by our web crawler, Googlebot, it’s not necessary to redirect them to the desktop-version. For instance, Google doesn’t automatically redirect desktop users from their mobile site to their desktop site, instead they include a link on the mobile-version page to the desktop version. These links are especially helpful when a mobile site doesn’t provide the full functionality of the desktop version — users can easily navigate to the desktop-version if they prefer.

    Switch content based on User-agent
    Some sites have the same URL for both desktop and mobile content, but change their format according to User-agent. In other words, both mobile users and desktop users access the same URL (i.e. no redirects), but the content/format changes slightly according to the User-agent. In this case, the same URL will appear for both mobile search and desktop search, and desktop users can see a desktop version of the content while mobile users can see a mobile version of the content.

    However, note that if you fail to configure your site correctly, your site could be considered to be cloaking, which can lead to your site disappearing from our search results. Cloaking refers to an attempt to boost search result rankings by serving different content to Googlebot than to regular users. This causes problems such as less relevant results (pages appear in search results even though their content is actually unrelated to what users see/want), so we take cloaking very seriously.

    So what does “the page that the user sees” mean if you provide both versions with a URL? Google uses “Googlebot” for web search and “Googlebot-Mobile” for mobile search. To remain within our guidelines, you should serve the same content to Googlebot as a typical desktop user would see, and the same content to Googlebot-Mobile as you would to the browser on a typical mobile device. It’s fine if the contents for Googlebot are different from the one for Googlebot-Mobile.

    One example of how you could be unintentionally detected for cloaking is if your site returns a message like “Please access from mobile phones” to desktop browsers, but then returns a full mobile version to both crawlers (so Googlebot receives the mobile version). In this case, the page which web search users see (e.g. “Please access from mobile phones”) is different from the page which Googlebot crawls (e.g. “Welcome to my site”). Again, we detect cloaking because we want to serve users the same relevant content that Googlebot or Googlebot-Mobile crawled.


    Diagram of serving content from your mobile-enabled site

    We’re working on a daily basis to improve search results and solve problems, but because the relationship between PC and mobile versions of a web site can be nuanced, we appreciate the cooperation of webmasters. Your help will result in more mobile content being indexed by Google, improving the search results provided to users. Thank you for your cooperation in improving the mobile search user experience.

    To learn more about desktop and mobile websites, contact NC Square

     
  • Nate 4:07 PM on April 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Dealing with low-quality backlinks 

    by Kaspar Szymanski, Search Quality Strategist

    Webmasters who check their incoming links in Webmaster Tools often ask us what they can do when they see low-quality links. Understandably, many site owners are trying to build a good reputation for their sites, and some believe that having poor-quality incoming links can be perceived as “being part of a bad neighbourhood,” which over time might harm their site’s ranking.

    If your site receives links that look similarly dodgy, don’t be alarmed… read on!

    While it’s true that linking is a significant factor in Google’s ranking algorithms, it’s just one of many. I know we say it a lot, but having something that people want to look at or use—unique, engaging content, or useful tools and services—is also a huge factor. Other factors can include how a site is structured, whether the words of a user’s query appear in the title, how close the words are on the page, and so on. The point is, if you happen to see some low quality sites linking to you, it’s important to keep in mind that linking is just one aspect among many of how Google judges your site. If you have a well-structured and regularly maintained site with original, high-quality content, those are the sorts of things that users will see and appreciate.

    That having said, in an ideal world you could have your cake and eat it too (or rather, you could have a high-quality site and high-quality backlinks). You may also be concerned about users’ perception of your site if they come across it via a batch of spammy links. If the number of poor-quality links is manageable, and/or if it looks easy to opt-out or get those links removed from the site that’s linking to you, it may be worth it to try to contact the site(s) and ask them to remove their links. Remember that this isn’t something that Google can do for you; we index content that we find online, but we don’t control that content or who’s linking to you.

    If you run into some uncooperative site owners, however, don’t fret for too long. Instead, focus on things that are under your control. Generally, you as a webmaster don’t have much control over things like who links to your site. You do, however, have control over many other factors that influence indexing and ranking. Organize your content; do a mini-usability study with family or friends. Ask for a site review in your favorite webmaster forums. Use a website testing tool to figure out what gets you the most readers, or the biggest sales. Take inspiration from your favorite sites, or your competitors—what do they do well? What makes you want to keep coming back to their sites, or share them with your friends? What can you learn from them? Time spent on any of these activities is likely to have a larger impact on your site’s overall performance than time spent trying to hunt down and remove every last questionable backlink.

    Finally, keep in mind that low-quality links rarely stand the test of time, and may disappear from our link graph relatively quickly. They may even already be being discounted by our algorithms. If you want to make sure Google knows about these links and is valuing them appropriately, feel free to bring them to our attention using either our spam report or our paid links report.

    To learn more about backlinks, contact NC Square

     
  • Nate 3:54 PM on November 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Help Google index your mobile site 

    by Jun Mukai, Software Engineer, Mobile Search Team

    It seems the world is going mobile, with many people using mobile phones on a daily basis, and a large user base searching on Google’s mobile search page. However, as a webmaster, running a mobile site and tapping into the mobile search audience isn’t easy. Mobile sites not only use a different format from normal desktop site, but the management methods and expertise required are also quite different. This results in a variety of new challenges. As a mobile search engineer, it’s clear to me that while many mobile sites were designed with mobile viewing in mind, they weren’t designed to be search friendly. I’d like to help ensure that your mobile site is also available for users of mobile search.

    Here are troubleshooting tips to help ensure that your site is properly crawled and indexed:

    Verify that your mobile site is indexed by Google

    If your web site doesn’t show up in the results of a Google mobile search even using the ‘site:’ operator, it may be that your site has one or both of the following issues:

    Googlebot may not be able to find your site
    Googlebot, our crawler, must crawl your site before it can be included in our search index. If you just created the site, we may not yet be aware of it. If that’s the case, create a Mobile Sitemap and submit it to Google to inform us to the site’s existence. A Mobile Sitemap can be submitted using Google Webmaster Tools, in the same way as with a standard Sitemap.

    Googlebot may not be able to access your site
    Some mobile sites refuse access to anything but mobile phones, making it impossible for Googlebot to access the site, and therefore making the site unsearchable. Our crawler for mobile sites is “Googlebot-Mobile”. If you’d like your site crawled, please allow any User-agent including “Googlebot-Mobile” to access your site. You should also be aware that Google may change its User-agent information at any time without notice, so it is not recommended that you check if the User-agent exactly matches “Googlebot-Mobile” (which is the string used at present). Instead, check whether the User-agent header contains the string “Googlebot-Mobile”. You can also use DNS Lookups to verify Googlebot.

    Verify that Google can recognize your mobile URLs

    Once Googlebot-Mobile crawls your URLs, we then check for whether the URL is viewable on a mobile device. Pages we determine aren’t viewable on a mobile phone won’t be included in our mobile site index (although they may be included in the regular web index). This determination is based on a variety of factors, one of which is the “DTD (Doc Type Definition)” declaration. Check that your mobile-friendly URLs’ DTD declaration is in an appropriate mobile format such as XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML. If it’s in a compatible format, the page is eligible for the mobile search index. For more information, see the Mobile Webmaster Guidelines.

    If you have any question regarding mobile site, post your question to our Webmaster Help Forum and webmasters around the world as well as we are happy to help you with your problem.

    Get a mobile website with NC Square

     
  • Nate 10:59 PM on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Top Ten Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing 

    By Jason OConnor (c) 2009

    Twitter is a micro-blogging site that asks you a basic question, “What are you doing?” It allows anyone with an account to write up to 140 characters in a text field as a means to update, comment, promote or communicate to others who are “following” you. When people follow you, they see what you’ve recently contributed when they login. They see your “tweets”, which are the messages you leave.

    And of course you can follow others who tweet about the things that interest you. As an Internet marketer you may want to follow other Internet marketers, for example.

    Like anything, and this is especially true of working with social media, the more you give, the more you get. In other words, the more often you tweet the more activity you’ll generate. Some suggest that you tweet a few times a day, every day. Not every tweet needs to be profound. But they should all be useful.

    It’s important that you don’t abuse Twitter for marketing and promoting your products, services or affiliate links. Most of your tweets ought to be about offering your followers useful and valuable information. Only once in a while should you try to use Twitter to promote something. Otherwise you’ll be perceived as a spammer, and no one wants that tag.

    Imagine if you had a large number of people following your tweets? Some people have tens of thousands following them. If you had something to promote and you had a large following, you could quickly and efficiently alert a lot of people of your promo. It acts sort of like a mass emailíng blast to your house email list, but it’s a heck of a lot easier and faster. This is the power of Twitter.

    One thing that I’ve noticed with Twitter is that it can seem overwhelming at times. The sheer information on Twitter, the ‘how-to’s’, tutorials and all the other ubiquitous advice on how to use and take advantage of it can seem hard to understand and implement. So here’s an easy-to-understand list of the top ten ways in which you can use Twitter to market yourself, your business and your website.

    The Top 10 Ways To Use Twitter for Marketing:

    1. Use it to promote new pieces of content you or your company create to drive traffic to your site. From online articles to blog posts or from videos to webinars, each time you add something to the Web that is of value, tweet about it and include a link. (Most people on Twitter use http://www.TinyURL.com to take a long URL and make it short.)

    2. Use it for learning new marketing ideas, strategies and techniques. If you follow the right people, and you have to be picky about who you follow, you’ll get pointed to a good amount of useful tutorials, videos, e-zines and other things that teach you about marketing.

    3. Use it to get new customers. Use Twitter’s search to find people who may be interested in your product or service. There are many ingenious ways to search for people on Twitter. For example, if you sell red widgets you could go to http://search.twitter.com and find people who have tweeted specifically looking for red widgets. To do this, type the following into the search box: red widgets?

    • You’ll notice a lot of the results will be of others selling red widgets. These ones will all obviously have links in them to direct people to the site they’re selling red widgets on. To weed these people/tweets out, use the negative sign like this: -http red widgets?

    • Since every link has ‘http’ in it, using the negative sign in front of it will cause your search results to not include any tweets with links in them.

    4. Use it to build your email list. Use Twitter’s search to find people who may be interested in the monthly newsletter you send out to your house email list. Invite these people to join.

    5. Utilize Twitter plugins or add-ons such as TweetMyBlog or The Twitter Updater, which both automatically make tweets of every new blog post you publish. Also check out TwitThis. When visitors to your website click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the Web page and creates a shorter URL using TinyURL. Then visitors can send this shortened URL and a description of the web page to all of their followers on Twitter. Finally, look at TweetLater, a service that allows you to write lots of tweets at once and then schedule them to go out over time.

    6. Use it to build buzz about an upcoming product or website launch.

    7. Use it to better brand yourself or your business. Remember, when someone wants to learn more about you or your company, they are increasingly using sites like Twitter for research. You could easily use Twitter to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

    8. Use it to update followers on breaking news regarding your company. If your company is mentioned in a new article, tweet about it and include a link to the article. Or if you’re at a conference or trade show, you could tweet what you’re doing and invite people to visit you in person.

    9. Use it for business networking, master-mind groups (see Napoleon Hill), and getting yourself seen by high-profile people in your industry.

    10. Use it as an instant messaging system to keep you and your team on the same page during projects. This is especially useful for those who work with teams spread out in different cities or countries.

    You should note that this top 10 list is not in order of importance or in any particular order. I suggest that you give Twitter a try if you haven’t already. See if you can apply a few of these techniques and tactics to help you take advantage of Twitter as a marketing tool.

    And one more important thing to remember is that there is no silver bullet in marketing. You should always be trying and implementing numerous tactics when marketing your business. Don’t only rely on Twitter or any other one thing. Instead, use Twitter (or any other Web 2.0 site) as simply one more tool in your entire social media and marketing toolbox.

    Twitter Network Marketing with NC Square

     
  • Nate 10:54 PM on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Does Google PageRank Count Anymore? 

    By Titus Hoskins (c) 2009

    Being a full-time SEM (Search Engine Marketer) I have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dog (not a pretty picture) to jump every time Google twitches. Lately Google has been doing a lot of twitching.

    Specifically, the rather startling news from Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Susan Moskwa that Google has ditched PageRank from Webmaster Tools.

    “We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true,” states Moskwa. “We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.” (Source: WebProNews)

    Now, for SEO reasons or for ranking in Google’s index, PageRank has long been eunuchified by Google. However, even missing a few dangling bits, history has shown us, eunuchs still wheel tremendous power. PageRank is no different.

    Regardless of what Google wants to happen, PageRank is still extremely important to anyone marketing on the web, especially if you’re selling SEO services or operating a web business. Try selling SEO services when that little green bar on your site is pointing to PR0 or worst yet, pointing to a solid gray bar.

    Obtaining a high PR7 or PR8 simply means more business and revenues… regardless of how Google is or is not using PageRank. People know how to count and they learned long ago, a ten is a lot more than a big fat zero.

    Placed against a PR1 site, a PR8 will win more respect in the eyes of potential clients and can produce enormous profíts for the site owner and we won’t even mention the still widely practiced habit of selling links, which Google is desperately trying to stop. Total and full elimination of PageRank would be an honest start, but it will still be an uphill, if not an unwinnable battle, for Google to fully eliminate link selling.

    Even with my modest sites, I have turned down a small fortune by not selling text links on any of my sites. When I had a PR6 site instead of a PR4 – those link requests were nearly doubled. So one can easily understand Google’s position and the need to downplay PageRank, if they want to put even a small dent in all this link selling and buying, which is still running rampant on today’s web.

    PageRank is Google’s creation, and unless they drop it fully from their system and the Google toolbar, then PageRank still Counts. Actually, in the whole scheme of marketing your website on the net, PageRank counts big time. And in more ways than one.

    There are several reasons why you shouldn’t count PageRank out.

    For years Google has been downplaying the importance of PageRank and states it’s only one of about 200 ranking factors which determine how Google ranks its index for keywords. Obtaining top organic rankings for popular lucrative keywords in Google simply means money in the bank. Actually, even a movement of only one or two places on those first page SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) can make a major difference to any online marketer’s bottom line.

    Now while you can have a lower PR number and still rank above other higher PR pages for your chosen keywords, I have even had many times when my PR drops but my actual SERPs rankings in Google goes up, mainly due to building related relevant backlinks. So PageRank counts little towards your keyword rankings, but it can’t be totally dismissed.

    Mainly because, even if PR is just one ranking factor, in close competitive keyword battles (I am presently fighting tooth and nail for some very choice keywords) just one ranking factor such as high PR can make the difference of whether or not you get to the top spot. Big dogs are still jumping and for those of us who know how to count, getting a number one spot in Google makes all the difference in the world.

    Not only because Google controls roughly 80% of all search engine traffic, but more importantly Google has established unmatched credibility and brand recognition in the eyes of potential customers visiting your site. Web users trust Google. Web users look to Google for guidance and direction. Web users believe what Google is telling them. In the online world, rightly or wrongly, perception is everything.

    As an online marketer, I am completely amazed each day at the marketing power Google now commands with web surfers and with the general population. Google is king of online search and no other search engine even comes close to Google.

    PageRank is Google’s ranking system, and in the eyes of those who notice these things, it still wields tremendous influence and power. By default, PageRank is Google’s opinion of your site, and web users can count (at least to 10) and if Google believes people are still not counting when it comes to PageRank, then they are fully mistaken.

    Learn more SEO and how to get your Page Rank higher with NC Square

     
  • Nate 2:25 PM on November 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    How Many Links Does It Take to Get to the Middle of Google Page One? 

    by Bill Platt (c) 2009 911 Reputation Management

    Everyday it seems, people are asking me about the optimum number of inbound links they need to acquire for their website in order to rank well in Google.

    My answer is going to seem a little flip, but it is the honest, best answer.

    Answer: You need more inbound links – of equal or higher quality – than what your competitors have.

    Albert Einstein argued that any mathematical formula that required pages of calculations did not contain within it “the mind of God”.

    So when Albert Einstein developed E=mc2, then Einstein had fulfilled the promise of a simple formula that could encompass the brilliance of God.

    When people wonder how many inbound links they need to acquire to rank in the Top 4 of Google’s search results or even the Top 10 of Google’s SERPs, they are generally hoping that someone will be able to give them a numeric answer, so that they know whether they can afford to undertake the process or not.

    I understand the WHY of the question, but there is no canned answer that will work for everyone. Remember, your competitor may be asking the same question and undertaking the same processes as you are, trying to accomplish the same goal.

    You can’t truly begin to understand the answer to this question, until you have taken the time to do an Inbound Link Comparison Analysis of all of your competitors in the Top 10 spots of Google’s SERPs.

    • You need to look at the Top 10 listings in Google for a particular keyword.

    • You need to do backlink checks for all ten URLs in Google’s search listings, and you need to check those numbers across a variety of sources, including Google, Yahoo and any other tool you can find to do a check. (Google and Yahoo both tend to understate the actual link counts. While Yahoo will show you more than what Google does, they also show a number of “no consequence” links in their results.)

    • You need to look at the quality of a few of the pages that provide links to the URLs in the search results.
    This is not an easy process to undertake. I have done it before, but the best you can hope for is a “snapshot” of what is out there, and therefore, what you need to accomplish.

    Note: If Wikipedia turns up in your search query, few people with small budgets will ever be able to dislodge Wikipedia in the search results. What they make up for in a small number of inbound links, they more than make up for with links from dozens or hundreds of PR4, PR5 and PR6 pages. Wikipedia is the king of Internal Linking, and they use that to a great degree to rank extraordinarily high in Google’s search listings.

    Your analysis should seek to uncover how many links a page has to it.

    As a general rule of thumb, Google will show you less than 1% of the existing number of links for a web page. Yahoo will sometimes show closer to 5% of the existing number of links for a web page, but they will not show you the highest quality of those links.

    So, as you strive to gain a “snapshot” picture of the playing field, you want to take Google’s Inbound Links number and multiply that by at least 100. Then you want to take Yahoo’s Inbound Links number and multiply that by at least 20, then cut the number in half to acknowledge the number of worthless crap links they have in their database. Once you have achieved these two numbers, then I tend to call the truth “somewhere in the middle”.

    With your “somewhere in the middle” number in hand, you then need to look at the quality of links to a few of those search listings, to get an idea of whether those links exist on higher quality pages or simply junk pages.

    If those links are on junk pages, then the goal could be achieved by just working the numbers. But if there are a lot of high PageRank pages in the mix, then whatever number is in your hand, should be multiplied, perhaps 100-fold, to overcome the quality of pages that link to your competitors.

    If you get the idea that my simple formula leads to a complicated answer, then you are right.

    All of the numbers that I have included in my sample formula are based on rough speculation, as the “snapshot” offers you your best hope of understanding the challenge in front of you.

    While the number of inbound links may be relatively easy to determine, the link quality is a factor that is really hard to pin down.

    • If you determine that you only need 300 inbound links to rank with the big boys, you may be right.

    • Your 300 inbound links number should also be quantified against the number of links that Google will count worthy, so you may need 1200 links to get 300 links that Google will deem worthy. This calculation depends more on the “quality of your content”, rather than the “quantity of your content”.

    • When all is said and done and your 300 Google-worthy links have not yet put you on page one, then you know that the quality of the links pointing at your competitors is greater than the quality of the links pointing to you.
    If you were hoping for an easy answer, I am sorry that I could not help you with that.

    But with this explanation of the challenge, you may be better prepared to answer the big question, the question that is really on your mind:

    Are my hopes of achieving good rankings in Google within my reach?

    I tend to throw “worry” to the wind and just start working. I don’t worry if I can afford to do it or not. I simply start doing, and I know that in one month, one year or five, I will have built enough value in my website that my competitors are going to be the ones who are trying to figure out if they can unseat me!

    Learn more about back linking with NC Square
    Superior SEO services

     
  • Nate 6:01 PM on October 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Help us make the web better: An update on Rich Snippets 

    Webmaster Level: All
    by Kavi Goel, Pravir Gupta, and Othar Hansson

    In May this year we announced Rich Snippets which makes it possible to show structured data from your pages on Google’s search results.

    We’re convinced that structured data makes the web better, and we’ve worked hard to expand Rich Snippets to more search results and collect your feedback along the way. If you have review or people/social networking content on your site, it’s easier than ever to mark up your content using microformats or RDFa so that Google can better understand it to generate useful Rich Snippets. Here are a few helpful improvements on our end to enable you to mark up your content:

    Testing tool. See what Google is able to extract, and preview how microformats or RDFa marked-up pages would look on Google search results. Test your URLs on the Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

    Google Custom Search users can also use the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to test markup usable in their Custom Search engine.

    Better documentation. We’ve extended our documentation to include a new section containing Tips & Tricks and Frequently Asked Questions. Here we have responded to common points of confusion and provided instructions on how to maximize the chances of getting Rich Snippets for your site.

    Extended RDFa support. In addition to the Person RDFa format, we have added support for the corresponding fields from the FOAF and vCard vocabularies for all those of you who asked for it.

    Videos. If you have videos on your page, you can now mark up your content to help Google find those videos.

    As before, marking up your content does not guarantee that Rich Snippets will be shown for your site. We will continue to expand this feature gradually to ensure a great user experience whenever Rich Snippets are shown in search results.

    Learn more about Google snippets with NC Square

     
  • Nate 6:13 PM on October 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    How a Blog Can Seriously Help Your Business 

    By Jason OConnor (c) 2009 The Net Gazette

    If your business website doesn’t have a blog, get one. A blog, if done right, can act as a direct and indirect mechanism that brings large amounts of qualified visitors to your site, many of whom may become customers.

    This is mostly related to the way blogs interact with search engines and the traffic I am speaking of will come from search engines, mostly Google.

    Before I explain how you can do this to help your website, let me first give some background on how search engines work, Google in particular.

    When it comes to optimizing your website (or blog for that matter) for search engines you must always keep in mind two things: on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

    On-page optimization is the elements of a Web page that better optimize it to be found and ranked well in the search engines. These elements can include on-page content such as the actual sentences and paragraphs on the page, the headlines (or headers or Hx tags), the links, the links’ text, the title tag and much more.

    Off-page optimization means the things that are done on sites besides your site, namely link-building. Off-page optimization is the process of creating links (or causing others to create links) on other websites that point to your site. Inbound links as these are often called have a major impact on how well you rank in search engines. Generally speaking, the more inbound links, the better. But the quality of the sites with these inbound links, or the way the search engines perceive the sites, is even more important.

    To rank on the first couple of pages on the search engines requires work on both on-page and off-page optimization.

    Two additional and important pieces of information that you’ll need to understand are related to site content and internal links.

    Search engines also very much love new, original and quality content, and they like to see your website regularly adding this kind of new content. You don’t need to add pages every day, just add pages at the same rate over time. So if you add a page a week to your site, keep it at around that same pace, or increase or decrease gradually.

    A website can be considered a living entity in a sense. It certainly shouldn’t be static. It should grow over time. And the fantastic thing about content is that the more of it there is on your site, the more chances you have of getting found in the search engines.

    Learn more about blogging with NC Square

     
  • Nate 10:50 PM on October 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    How to Make a Website Successful 

    by Shelley Lowery (c) 2009

    When doing business on the Internet, there are many ways in which you can make a website successful. Although the look of your website is important, fancy websites don’t make sales. There is much more to creating a quality website. To make a website successful, you must create a website that will be of interest to your target market and make them want to visit your website over and over again. In addition, your website should lead your visitors to take the action you desire, such as joining your mailing list, or making a purchase.

    Selecting a Website’s Niche

    The first step toward how to make a website successful, will be to target your website for one specific niche. For example, if you are designing a website about wine, everything within your website should relate to wine.

    Selecting a Website’s Keyword Phrase

    You must also select the most relevant keyword phrase for each webpage. A keyword phrase is two or more words that best describe your webpage. For example, if your webpage is about ‘making wine,’ your best keyword phrase would be ‘wine making.’ You should use your keyword phrase a few times within your webpage, as this will enable the search engines to determine what the website is about. This is a very important step to make a website successful.

    Using HTML Heading Tags

    When you begin writing your content, it is very important that you use the HTML H1 heading tag with your main title at the top of your webpage. In addition, use the HTML H2 tags for your sub-titles. This is very important, as some search engines place relevance on the text displayed with heading tags.

    As the default text for the H1 heading tag is very large, you may want to use CSS style sheets to display the heading tags in the font style and size you prefer.

    Using META Tags Within a Webpage

    Another step to help make a website successful is to include META tags between the HEAD tags of your webpage. META tags help the search engines to know what keywords are relevant to the webpage. They are also used to tell the search engines what the webpage is about. Many search engines will display this description within the search results.

    Backgrounds and Text

    It is always best to display a webpage with a white background and black text, as this will make the text easy to read. Distracting backgrounds will make the text hard to read. A good rule of thumb is to just use common sense and keep your website simple. This alone is a great way to help make a website successful.

    Animated Graphics

    If you’re using animated graphics, it is important that you use them sparingly. Graphics that continually flash are VERY annoying and may prevent your visitors from returning to your website in the future.

    Navigational Links

    It is very important to include good navigational links on every page. They should be displayed at the top, bottom, left or right side of your webpage. In addition, your visitors should be able to get to any webpage within your website within four clicks.

    Webpage Layout

    Always be consistent with your webpage design. This is a very important step to help make a website successful. The layout for your website should be the same on each page. If you make it different, your visitors will become confused. In addition, it will make your website appear to be unprofessional. Your website design should include the same layout, logo, and navigation setup on each page.

    Spelling and Grammar

    Always make sure you proof read and spell check your webpages for errors. It is also very important that your webpage doesn’t have any broken images or links.

    Important Webpages

    When you launch your website, it is very important that you include the following webpages:

    About – The ‘About’ page is used to tell your visitors about you and/or your company.

    Privacy – The ‘Privacy’ page is used to let your visitors know what you do with their personal information, such as their email address.

    Terms and Conditions – The ‘Terms and Conditions’ page should be displayed on your website for your protection.

    Site Map – A ‘Site Map’ is used to help the search engines index your website more easily.

    You can learn more about all of these pages by doing a search through your favorite search engine. They are very important and will help make a website successful.

    Website Interactivity

    Another way to make a website successful is to make the website interactive. This can be done by including a targeted forum that complements your website, a form in which they can subscribe to an ezine, a feedback form to enable them to give their opinion, or an informative blog in which visitors can comment.

    Web Browsers and Screen Resolutions

    When you begin designing your webpage, it is HIGHLY recommended that you install the most popular web browsers on your computer. This will enable you to see how your website will display in different browsers. You will find that your website may look great in one browser and terrible in another. It would be wise to design your website to display properly in Firefox and then it should display properly in Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.

    It is also important that you view your website through different screen resolutions. You can either open your webpage in your browser and then change your computer’s screen resolution, or there are website’s online that you can visit, such as Any Browser, to test your website.

    If you follow these simple guidelines, you can begin to make a website successful in no time.

    Make your website successful with NC Square

     
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