Tag Archive | "Web Pages"

Why SEO Still Isn’t Going Anywhere For a While

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Why SEO Still Isn’t Going Anywhere For a While


It happens time and time again. Google makes an update to the way their ranking algorithm works. Business owners, webmasters and marketers are affected and some pages go down in the SERPs. Panic sets in some online marketing blogs and website articles. Titles such as “SEO is Dead” or “Google is Penalizing E-Commerce Sites” start appearing. This gives the impression that SEO is now a thing of the past and that Google has some magic and arbitrary way to rank websites which nobody can do anything about.

This has happened again recently when Google launched their Panda update and its revisions. But despite what you read on these blogs, SEO is not dead and is unlikely to die out anytime soon. Webmasters can still use various on site or off site optimization techniques with the hopes of getting their pages to rank better in search results. Except that there is one major change: Google is seeking to reward quality web pages that provide users the content that they’re looking for. The focus is now on short term growth. Not on who can cram the most keywords on a page or build a million backlinks in a day.

Ok, now that you know SEO still works. What has changed? Some of the methods and best practices used in the SEO world will need to be adjusted slightly.

The major part about the updates is the on site content. If you have a website that contains “articles” which are just stuffed with keywords and are otherwise completely nonsensical, get rid of them. They will only get you penalized. Strive to have information that is useful, legible and highly relevant to what your website is all about. Include a mix of informational content about your niche and sales materials which promote your products. This will not only lead to better user satisfaction (and more conversions), plus likely to get you better rankings, or at least keep you from getting penalized.

The quality of your website is also another factor that is apparently used by Google to determine how a page ranks. Now we don’t know which metrics Google measures exactly, but these can be guessed relatively easily: page load time, easy navigation, as well as the presence of a site map that allows users to find a specific page on your website with ease.

Then, there is something new: user engagement. What does this mean, exactly? Again, the exact metrics used by Google are unknown, but there are a few theories. User engagement means that website visitors interact with a website rather than just read the content on it. This could include social opportunities such as social media buttons, plus allowing user comments on your articles. Many webmasters have noticed that website which give users more opportunities for interaction tend to do much better in SERPs. But how do you accomplish this? There are a few ways that you can use. While they may not be guaranteed to propel you to 1st place on Google, they may help you rank better. We will take a look at these tomorrow.

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda: Part 2

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Debunking Common Myths About Google Panda: Part 2


With all the myths floating around on the internet about the Google Panda update, it’s time that we made some sense about what that update really means and how webmasters can adjust to it. Here are some more myths about the update that we can debunk:

 

  • Large Sites that Consistently Ranked Well Will Not be Affected

 

There are some major players in the web content field that were hit by the Panda update. About.com, a site that provides information on various topics thanks to guides and FAQ’s submitted by its users has stated that it saw a “moderate” impact on its traffic due to Panda.

 

Associated Content, a site where different writers can submit articles and that was owned by Yahoo! Has also been affected. This has resulted in Yahoo! Retiring the site, opting instead to keep some of its best content and to move it over to a new site called Yahoo Voices.

 

Therefore, no matter how big or popular a site is, it can be affected by Panda.

 

  • Sites That Were Penalized Will Still Keep the Penalty After Improving Their Content

 

Web pages that are in Google’s index are run through the filter on an occasional basis. Pages that were improved will have a chance to get back on track. The important thing to know is that you should seek to make improvements to your entire site to ensure that it has quality content and not just a few pages. It may take a while for your site to recover from its penalty, however Panda is not designed to permanently ban a site from the search index.

 

  • Only the Pages With Poor Content Will be Penalized

 

Unfortunately, Panda will apply a penalty that will be valid for the entire site if there are enough pages that are classified as poor quality. It is possible that some pages on a website that have been penalized will keep their good ranking if they are of very high quality, however. But this is not something that will happen in all cases. Therefore, webmasters need to be sure that all of the pages on their site have high quality content, or risk getting penalized.

 

  • Only Websites That Have Articles on Them Will be Penalized

 

Again, all web pages will go through Panda, so it doesn’t matter what type of content you have on your site. It will still be subjected to the rules of the filter. Even if your website only has pages which have one or two hundred words on them and can’t really be classified as “articles”, your site could face a penalty if these pages are ranked as poor quality. No matter what you have on your website, you should follow the basic SEO recommendations, such as making sure that good spelling and grammar is used on all pages, not overusing keywords, not inserting irrelevant keywords into pages they don’t belong, etc.

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More About the Google Panda Update

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More About the Google Panda Update


Ever since the Google Panda Update has been launched, there has been a lot of talk about it in the online marketing world. However, many people still don’t understand what exactly the update is all about and how it can affect a website. Here is some more information about it and ways to avoid problems associated with this update from Google.

 

The most important things to understand is what Panda actually is. Essentially, it is a filter that weeds out content that doesn’t have enough substance. The filter is ran on a periodic basis. Every time that it is, all the content indexed by Google goes through the filter again. Therefore, any content that has been caught up in the filter the first time can go through if it has been improved enough. If it’s still poor, then it will remain there and suffer a penalty in the rankings.

 

Some have argued that Panda is a completely new way that Google uses to rank web pages. This actually isn’t true. There are more than 200 different factors that Google uses to rank pages in search engine results. The Panda update is just one of them.

 

The main purpose of the Panda update when it was released in February 2011 was to deal with “content farms”. These are websites that have been responsible for “polluting” search results by returning web pages that had little relevance to the keywords that were being searched for by the user. A content farm is a website that usually employs several writers (can sometimes range in the thousands), which create content such as articles, reports, blog posts, etc. that are targeted towards some popular keywords being searched. These sites profit from the traffic that they receive when users click on the ads that they publish, which are usually for products that are loosely related to what the content on the page talks about. The quality of the information on a content farm can vary. Some sites have nearly professional quality content, while on others it simply reads like a bunch of gibberish written by someone who hasn’t even mastered basic English.

 

Since then, several updates to Panda have been released, by the main purpose is still the same: keeping low quality content from ranking well in search results. Websites that were penalized because of the update have a chance to change things. To get rid of the penalty, all a webmaster needs to do is to remove the content that is of poor quality, or replace it with something that is well written and relevant to the keywords that are targeted on the site.

 

The basic principles of search engine optimization still apply. Websites that provide their users with high quality content and that target keywords which are closely related to what they have on their site should not experience too many issues with this, or any of the future updates done by Google to the way they rank search results.

 

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Building a Good Small Business Website: Part 2

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Building a Good Small Business Website: Part 2


Previously, we have seen that there are certain things that you need to decide when you are building a website for your business. One of the things would have been selecting a system to manage the content of your site. Of course, the goal of any business website would be to share information with your visitors about what your business has to offer and make them want to buy your products. But you should also have a good back end system that will enable you to easily manage your website, plus add or remove information to it as necessary. Your main options are either: simply put up a static website, or use a content management system, or CMS. Both options have their pluses and minuses, as such, it would only be logical for us to explore them in the context of building a website for your small business.

Using a Static Website

This is by far the simplest way to put up a site. You create the pages, either from scratch, or by using a template or web builder and then you upload them to your web host. Then, you are done. Let’s examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of this option:

Advantages

  • Ease of use. You will simply have to create the web pages and upload them onto your server. There are no new systems that you would need to learn how to use, etc. This makes creating a static website quite easy and an attractive option for beginner webmasters.
  • Availability of many templates and tools. There are plenty of free and paid website templates and web building tools that you can use to create your site. Many of these are quite straightforward to use as well.
  • Highly customizable. You can add any type of content that you want on your site, usually with a WYSIWYG web editor, without worrying about compatibility issues too much.

Drawbacks

  • Hard to add or remove information. If you have a static website, adding or removing information, especially if you need to do so on a regular basis, will be quite difficult. You will need to open up the page in an HTML editor, make the changes and then re-upload the page to your web host. While this is certainly achievable, it is not too convenient.
  • Limited e-commerce features. If you plan on selling things on your website directly, then managing an e-commerce site that is simply composed of static HTML pages is quite hard. You will have no back end system, so you will have to rely on your payment processor’s system to manage sales, get reports, etc. Also, adding and removing products, adding new promotions, etc. is going to be quite difficult due to the point above; you will need to manually edit and re-upload the page every time.

Conclusion

Using static HTML pages for your business website may be an acceptable option, if you own a business where your offerings do not change very frequently and if you are not selling anything directly on your website.

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Keeping Up With Changes in SEO: Part 3

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Keeping Up With Changes in SEO: Part 3


Previously, we’ve seen how having quality, well organized content can help you improve or maintain your ranking on search engines. But is there more? Definitely. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you are serious about your SEO objectives. Here are some more examples:

  • Ensure your content is unique

While this may seem obvious, some webmasters still don’t seem to get it. Using content that is scraped from other sites, or is comprised of PLR articles or is taken from PLR ebooks is not a good idea. Why? Because it is not unique. There are probably thousands of web pages out there with the same exact content that you have. This will obviously penalize you when it comes to SEO.

If you need to use PLR content or other “open source” materials, such as info from Wikipedia, then you will need to rewrite it to make it unique. This has to be done by hand. While there are software programs and scripts which claim they can generate unique articles, usually you will end up with some gibberish that will be hard to understand for users and will also be bad for SEO. So the bottom line is, your stuff needs to be unique.

  • Don’t buy backlinks from shady sources

This comes back to the point about not using Black Hat SEO tactics if you want long term growth for your website. While you may find plenty of “quality backlink sellers” on web forums everywhere, you should be aware of the fact that these backlinks are rarely of any good quality. Most of the time, they are included in websites that are simply link dumps, where there are plenty of links to irrelevant web pages. Or, they simply spam forums and blog comments with your website link. Of course, these links will get removed after a few days and this may even get your site blacklisted for link spam. If you have to deal with a backlink seller, then make sure that you are dealing with someone who knows what they are doing. The best backlinks will come from places that have a high amount of relevance to your website. For example, niche blogs.

  • Remember to keep building quality backlinks

Instead of buying backinks, you can build them yourself. How? This is a lot easier than it sounds. You can start by creating a profile on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Include the URL of your website in your profile. Then, submit some articles to directories which have a good reputation with search engines. If you have a local business, see if you can be linked to on the website of your local chamber of commerce or other community business groups. Include your URL when you advertise on classified ads sites. All of this will get you good quality backlinks which are worth more than hundreds of backlinks from some shady sites which are nothing but a repository of spam posts.

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Using Fiverr to Make Money: Part 2

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Using Fiverr to Make Money: Part 2


Now one thing that many sellers of services on Fiverr want to know is: how do I get my gigs to become more popular and thus make more money from them? Obviously, this is a quite a valid question as the goal of everyone that provides services on Fiverr is to make as much money as possible. So how do you increase your earnings? Here are some very efficient ways that you can employ to make the most out of Fiverr:

 

  • Give People What They Want

 

If your gigs are something that a lot of buyers on Fiverr want, then you will obviously get a better chance at making money from them. When you are on the Fiverr main page, you will see a section in the bottom right that consists of gig requests. If you can do some of the gigs that many people need done, then you should definitely offer them up for sale.

 

  • Create a Catchy Headline

 

Unless you are offering a gig that is extremely unique, chances are that there will be many other sellers on Fiverr who will be offering the same thing than you. In this case, you will really need to do your best in order to make a good first impression and stand out from the crowd. Your headline, which is the title of your gig, should be interesting, unique and catch the eye of the viewer. Basically, it should stand out from all the other headlines and create interest in the mind of the viewer.

 

  • Offer Samples of Your Work if Possible

 

If you do a gig where you can easily show a sample or two of work that you have done previously, then you should definitely include a link to it in your offer. For example if you design small web pages, you could include a link to some websites that you have built. This will make you appear a lot more trustworthy in the eyes of buyers, as they will have proof that you are capable of doing what you say you will do.

 

  • Build a Good Reputation

 

Fiverr uses a feedback system where people can leave either positive or negative feedback, accompanied by a comment. If you want more people to buy gigs from you, then you will need to srive to build a good reputation on the site. This is very simple: provide good quality work on time and you will get positive feedback. Buyers are more likely to buy gigs from those who have a lot of positive feedback, so doing great work will pay off in the long run.

 

  • Learn From Others

 

Look at some of the top sellers on Fiverr, especially those that are offering the same kind of gig than you. How do they word their headline? What do they put in their description? These are all things that you would need to consider, as you would be learning from those that are the most successful on Fiverr.

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Another Use Of Craigslist for Online Entrepreneurs

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Another Use Of Craigslist for Online Entrepreneurs


Previously, we have explored some ways that you can make some money off Craigslist by promoting an e-commerce site that you own, as well as providing services. These are some great uses of this free classified ads site. However, there are some other ways that you can use it to your advantage as an online entrepreneur. Here are some more ideas:

 

  • Find Temporary Staff to Help You With Your Projects

 

While you can definitely do this on internet marketing forums, you can also use Craigslist to build up your virtual team of staff members. There are a few advantages of doing so: first of all, the people who respond to your ad will usually have a genuine interest in earning a bit of money for small, part time jobs and will be less likely to be scammers. By getting some staff members on Craigslist, you will also be “creating jobs” for your local city, even if they are just temporary positions. Also, since these people are local, you are far more likely to find people who understand and can write in proper English, as they will be located in your city.

 

Let’s say you need some regular blog posts for your business blog. You can hire someone and pay them $10 a day or so to create 2 or 3 blog posts for you. Or, if you need someone who can create simple web pages cheaply, you can hire a web designer for $10 to $15 an hour, instead of paying a professional design firm 10 times that amount. There are many unemployed people or students who are looking for part time job opportunities on Craigslist and who would be quite happy to find a legitimate opportunity to work from home and earn a few extra dollars.

 

But unfortunately, there are plenty of people who are still spamming MLM offers or some other scam programs on Craigslist. For these reasons, avoid using the words “make money online” or “work from home” in your ad. It will often be seen as spam/scam by viewers and will be flagged down rather quickly. Be as descriptive and professional as possible to avoid this.

 

Here is an example of a bad ad:

 

Make money online! Looking for people who can work from home today! Email Bob for more details.

 

Here is a better one:

 

We are an online advertising firm looking to hire 2 workers for the creation of promotional content. Must have excellent written English skills. Knowledge of web hosting industry is an asset. Contact Bob @ Acme Inc. if you are interested in this position.

 

Many people ask if you can still use Craiglist for affiliate offers. The answer is yes, but there are a few things that you should do and other things to be avoided if you want to see any kind of results from this. We will take a look at other uses of Craiglist for online marketing tomorrow.

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Getting Started In Online Writing – Part 3

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Getting Started In Online Writing – Part 3


If you want to be an online freelance writer, the main thing that you will need are clients that will pay you to write articles and other content for them. This is the 3rd part in the series which will present you some ways to find work:

Online freelancing sites.

Online freelancing sites are marketplaces where both clients and service providers meet. Think of it as a marketplace for online freelance work, kind of like eBay is for buying and selling merchandise. Examples of sites include RentACoder, GetAFreelancer, oDesk, Fiverr and Microworkers. In general, you would create a profile that includes information about you and samples of your work. With the exception of Fiverr, on most freelancing sites you would actually need to bid on projects to show your interest in doing them rather than the client seeing your profile and then contacting you.

Advantages:

  • Lots of work is available in the writing field. This includes not only articles, but also copywriting, ghostwriting ebooks, translating documents and web pages, etc.
  • Good security. Most sites have a system that prevents the client and service provider from scamming one another and have a dispute resolution process. This decreases the chances of not getting paid for your work.
  • Ability to build a positive reputation as you complete projects, similar to iTrader on forums or the eBay feedback system.
  • Multiple ways of cashing out your earnings. Freelancing sites offer you payment methods such as PayPal, check, bank wire, Western Union or can put your earnings on a Visa or MasterCard debit card. This can be very useful if you would like to be paid by something other than PayPal. Take note, however that certain withdrawal methods, such as Western Union or bank wire could carry a relatively large fee so it is best to check the withdrawal fees before you select a way to get paid.

Disadvantages:

  • Lots of competition. You won’t be the only one offering your services and far from it. If you live in the “West”, know that you will be competing against writers from countries such as India or the Philippines, who often take up projects for far less due to differences in the economy.
  • Can be quite difficult to get accepted for projects if you are new and have no feedback. Clients will be wary of assigning an important project to someone new who has not yet built a reputation on the site. Therefore your first projects will probably be small ones worth a few dollars, such as writing one article.
  • Possible delays in getting paid. While the money will be credited to your account at the freelancing site as soon as the client approves your work, the freelancing sites sometimes require a waiting period ranging from a week to a month before you can withdraw the amounts that you’ve earned to your payment method.

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