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  • 11Sep
    SEO Basics Comments Off

    The Importance of Search Engines

    It is the search engines that finally bring your website to the notice of the prospective customers. When a topic is typed for search, nearly instantly, the search engine will sift through the millions of pages it has indexed about and present you with ones that match your topic. The searched matches are also ranked, so that the most relevant ones come first.

    Remember that a prospective customer will probably only look at the first 2-3 listings in the search results. So it does matter where your website appears in the search engine ranking.

    Further, they all use one of the top 6-7 search engines and these search engines attract more visitors to websites than anything else. So finally it all depends on which search engines the customers use and how they rank your site.

    It is the Keywords that play an important role than any expensive online or offline advertising of your website.

    It is found by surveys that a when customers want to find a website for information or to buy a product or service, they find their site in one of the following ways:
    •    The first option is they find their site through a search engine.
    •    Secondly they find their site by clicking on a link from another website or page that relates to the topic in which they are interested.
    •    Occasionally, they find a site by hearing about it from a friend or reading in an article.

    Thus it’s obvious the the most popular way to find a site, by search engine, represents more than 90% of online users. In other words, only 10% of the people looking for a website will use methods other than search engines.

    All search engines employ a ranking algorithm and one of the main rules in a ranking algorithm is to check the location and frequency of keywords on a web page. Don’t forget that algorithms also give weightage to link population (number of web pages linking to your site). When performed by a qualified, experienced search engine optimization consultant, your site for high search engine rankings really does work, unless you have a lot of money and can afford to pay the expert. With better knowledge of search engines and how they work, you can also do it on your own.
    The Importance of Search Engines





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  • 10Sep
    SEO Basics Comments Off

    Keyword Density

    Keyword density is an indicator of the number of times the selected keyword appears in the web page. But mind you, keywords shouldn’t be over used, but should be just sufficient enough to appear at important places.

    If you repeat your keywords with every other word on every line, then your site will probably be rejected as an artificial site or spam site.

    Keyword density is always expressed as a percentage of the total word content on a given web page.

    Suppose you have 100 words on your webpage (not including HMTL code used for writing the web page), and you use a certain keyword for five times in the content. The keyword density on that page is got by simply dividing the total number of keywords, by the total number of words that appear on your web page. So here it is 5 divided by 100 = .05. Because keyword density is a percentage of the total word count on the page, multiply the above by 100, that is 0.05 x 100 = 5%

    The accepted standard for a keyword density is between 3% and 5%, to get recognized by the search engines and you should never exceed it.

    Remember, that this rule applies to every page on your site. It also applies to not just to one keyword but also a set of keywords that relates to a different product or service. The keyword density should always be between 3% and 5%.

    Simple steps to check the density:

    • Copy and paste the content from an individual web page into a word-processing software program like Word or Word Perfect.
    • Go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click ‘Select All’. Now go to the ‘Tools’ menu and select ‘Word Count’. Write down the total number of words in the page.
    • Now select the ‘Find’ function on the ‘Edit’ menu. Go to the ‘Replace’ tab and type in the keyword you want to find. ‘Replace’ that word with the same word, so you don’t change the text.
    • When you complete the replace function, the system will provide a count of the words you replaced. That gives the number of times you have used the keyword in that page.
    • Using the total word count for the page and the total number of keywords you can now calculate the keyword density.

    Keyword Density





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  • 08Sep
    SEO Basics Comments Off

    Use Keywords In Page Titles

    It is recommended to use keywords in page titles itself. This title tag is different from a Meta tag, but it’s worth considering it in relation to them. Whatever text one places in the title tag (between the <title> and </title> portions) will appear in the title bar of browsers when they view the web page. Some browsers also append whatever you put in the title tag by adding their own name, as for example Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or OPERA.

    The actual text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in how a search engine may decide to rank your web page. In addition, all major web crawlers will use the text of your title tag as the text they use for the title of your page in your listings.

    If you have designed your website as a series of websites or linked pages and not just a single Home Page, you must bear in mind that each page of your website must be search engine optimized. The title of each page i.e. the keywords you use on that page and the phrases you use in the content will draw traffic to your site.

    The unique combination of these words and phrases and content will draw customers using different search engine terms and techniques, so be sure you capture all the keywords and phrases you need for each product, service or information page.

    The most common mistake made by small business owners when they first design their website is to place their business name or firm name in every title of every page. Actually most of your prospective customers do not bother to know the name of your firm until after they have looked at your site and decided it is worth book marking.

    So, while you want your business name in the title of the home page, it is probably a waste of valuable keywords and space to put it in the title line of every page on your site. Why not consider putting keywords in the title so that your page will display closer to the top of the search engine listing.

    Dedicating first three positions for keywords in title avoiding the stop words like ‘and’, ‘at’ and the like is crucial in search engine optimization.





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  • 08Aug
    Affiliates Comments Off

    What Affiliate Marketing Mentors to Follow, and Why?

    Affiliate marketing has been in the Internet industry for quite sometime now and it is among the most popular tools used by many online entrepreneurs today. It is a great option for those who want to put up an online business quickly and cheaply. However, there is still a large number of the population who knows a little or even nothing about it. And most of the people who have just discovered this business usually assume that they can easily make big bucks out of it. Well, they’re definitely wrong.

    To be successful in affiliate marketing business is not an easy task and it will never happen overnight. It’s just like an ongoing assignment where you need to find out and try various advertising strategies and tactics. This may even require you to sign-up with numerous affiliate programs just to determine which merchants performs well.

    Another misconception that affiliates have ‘bout this kind of business is that they expect to gain more if they place about 20 affiliated banners on just one niche. Well it will not really work the way you think it would because once your site is flooded with too many banners, it will look like a link farm and visitors won’t be interested and won’t even bother clicking on any of those banners. So if you really want to promote several affiliate programs in your website, make sure that they jive with the theme and topic of the rest of the content on your niche. Bear in mind that three or four affiliated links in your site are enough, depending on the size of the web page.

    There are also some who think that if they add affiliate materials to their site, they can receive sales right away. Maybe they just don’t know that affiliate marketing is all about advertising. If there’s no traffic coming to your site, how can you expect to get any sales? Remember that the more you advertise your affiliate link or the site where the affiliate links are placed, the more clickthru’s these links are likely to receive.

    If you want to be involved or you’ve already joined an affiliate program, but you have the above misconceptions regarding affiliate marketing, then, you might need a mentor to help you figure out where to start and what to do in order to succeed.

    In the dictionary, the word mentor is defined as a wise and trusted teacher or counselor. Usually, these persons are experts in the field they are into. They can give expert advice and guidance as well as supervision to another person. So when we say affiliate marketing mentors, they are experienced counselors that have made affiliate marketing their specialty. Affiliate marketing mentors can be those persons that have already been successful in affiliate marketing and are always willing to share their experienced-based knowledge from the viewpoint of both the affiliates and the web merchants. And that’s the reason why we come up with this page. It is aimed to give you the stuffs that affiliate mentors should possess and follow and why do they need these things.

    Of course, it is good for an affiliate marketing mentor to know and apply some theories and generalities regarding your business but there’s nothing more helpful and effective than telling the client what works today and what are the things that could probably work in the future and if the trend changes. As a mentor, you should be one of the sources of knowledge for your client and the first one to teach them on how to generate more affiliate income. You too, need to be knowledgeable and equipped with the keys to success for affiliate marketers as well as for merchants. And you should guide your clients as they try to do the things that can help boost their profit because once they do well in that business, it can be counted as one of your great achievements. This also makes you a successful mentor.

    There are some articles on affiliate marketing that says, in order to be triumphant in affiliate marketing business, you need to encompass and develop these traits: persistence, patience and thirst for knowledge. And as a mentor, it is your job to help your clients take in these traits within themselves. Once they’ve already developed the abovementioned character, it’ll be very easy for you to explain to them that attaining success in affiliate marketing requires sweat, blood and of course, hefty time commitment. These traits will also teach them not to give up.

    Moreover, before you train your client to be proficient in search engine optimization, link exchanges, email marketing, newsletter marketing, reciprocal exchanges and advertising in forums, you should first become expert on these fields. They will surely find it hard to learn these things alone and without supervision from the one who knows best. So make sure that you are knowledgeable on these things before you accept any invitation to be a mentor. Yes, being a mentor is way harder than succeeding in affiliate marketing but this task is very rewarding especially if your client become victorious. The failure of your client is your failure too so you must do your very best to be able to bring your client on the road to success. Again, it is never an easy task and there’s nothing you can do about it. After all, that’s what affiliate marketing mentors are for.
    What Affiliate Marketing Mentors to Follow, and Why?





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  • 07Aug
    Affiliates Comments Off

    How to Drive Laser-Targeted Traffic Using Overture

    In online marketing business like affiliate marketing, no traffic means no sales. That’s the reason why most affiliates or webmasters easily shell out even big bucks just to get top rankings on the search engines. Once you are promoting a product or service in you web page, you need to have more visitors that can be potential consumers to your products and services. This is one of the fundamental rules to succeed in online marketing business. Here, you just need to start and get it right and you can do some things wrong but still manage to succeed. Don’t ever try to get it wrong because no matter how hard you work, you can never find yourself on the way to success.

    I guess everyone will agree if I said that obtaining enough highly targeted traffic is the key to success in affiliate marketing business. This method is proven to be effective if you’re promoting or reselling product or service online. One of the best and most secured marketing strategies that affiliate marketers can employ is the strategy of paying for performance. This means that your investments are used only on results such as additional sales and incomes.

    Let’s take a practical example. Paying for performance could mean giving a commission to a sales person only when new sale is made. This strategy assures you real profit because you can already compute the amount money you have to spend for every new sale made. Also, you can avoid spending any marketing bucks because every cent you use up has either come from sale or will generate a sale in the future.

    And one of the proven and most efficient ways of acquiring sales in affiliate marketing business is by drawing laser-targeted traffic towards your web site and converting them to sales by means of “Pay-Per-Click” Search Engines (PPCSEs).

    Overture claims to be the Internet’s best pay-per-click search engine. It is the world’s leading resource of Pay-For-Performance search on the web. And what’s more enticing about Overture? When you advertise in Overture Premium Listings, your site will absolutely appear in the leading U.S. search engines like Yahoo, InfoSpace, MSN, Netscape, AltaVista, Lycos and more. Plus, you can get the benefit of reaching more than 80% of active Internet users.

    PPCSEs like Overture can bring impressive sales because they permit you to pay for performance by means of attracting precisely targeted traffic to your niche. And this means people or site visitors who are actively searching for what precisely you are offering or selling. Overture’s secret is to drive laser-targeted traffic to your website by proposing or bidding on keywords that are related to the product or services that you are offering. And this strategy works this way: the more exact the keyword is, the better results you’ll receive and the less you’ll have to spend for each new sale.

    Overture drives targeted traffic by keeping you away from the general keywords that are very common and usually come expensive and by casting a wide net of laser-focused keywords that are more targeted, not so expensive, and with high conversion rate. I’ll tell you, attracting laser-targeted traffic through Overture is nothing but a “Win-Win” Situation.

    Overture’s strategy also allows your visitors to respond. And what’s important once you get your visitors to respond? Well, you are given a chance to develop lifetime customers that will patronize your product and will buy from you over an over again. Bear in mind that one-time sales can’t be a key in creating a highly-profitable business especially online. You can only achieve this through PPCSEs like Overture, which gets your site visitors to respond. And once it happens, you can constantly market and sell your products to them.

    Another tactic that Overture uses in order to gain laser-targeted traffic is to have a “Back-Up Response” for those who “almost bought” your product on the first visit. To successfully realize this, you need to market and advertise to them over and over again until you make them a new customer. Offer them an incentive so that they’ll allow you to advertise to them over a certain time span by means of e-mail or post mail. Here are some of the back-up responses which you can use: send a free e-mail newsletter, give a free catalog and offer a promo or sweepstakes which gives them the chance to win free merchandise.

    Other things that will surely attract lifetime customers to your site are offering valued customer discounts, giving seasonal and special offers especially to your repeat customers and any other incentives to purchase. Don’t get me wrong with this; the abovementioned strategies can surely develop a trusted relationship between you and your customers. Aside from patronizing your products over their lifetime, they may even refer others to you or to your site.

    To sum up, one of the most effective and secured marketing strategies that any businessman can utilize particularly those who are involved in online marketing is the approach of only paying for performance. And one of the most helpful online strategies to create more sales is by pulling laser targeted traffic towards your website and converting them to sales by means of Pay-Per-Click Search Engines like Overture.
    How to Drive Laser-Targeted Traffic Using Overture





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  • 06Aug
    Affiliates Comments Off

    Here’s Why You Need To Use Landing Pages

    All the products that you want to sell online are ready.  You have already signed up with the Google Adsense program or with other affiliate marketing programs and you have already prepared the ad you want to post on your affiliate’s site.  Your mind is now set to being the next most successful online businessman.  But is there anything else that you might have forgotten to prepare?  Maybe none.  But how about your landing pages?  Are they all set for your business?

    Landing pages are simply web pages where visitors are directed to whenever they click a result in a web search or whenever they click a web ad.  For affiliate marketing, landing pages would refer to the web page where you, as a merchant, would want your potential customer to be directed after clicking your ad on your affiliate’s website.  Landing pages are, at most times, nothing really different from other web pages in a particular website, especially if the said website is an e-commerce site.  Some online businessmen would even use the homepage of their websites as the landing page for their ads.  Are these businessmen making a big mistake?  Or should you follow their method in creating landing pages for their ads?

    Well, you can always follow what most online retailers do, directing their potential customers to the homepages of their websites.  But if you want to achieve something more from your online business, and if you want to earn a lot of profits, you better create a special landing page for your web ads.  Why?  Here are a few reasons why you need to use landing pages for your web ads.  And take note, it would do you a lot better if you create a great landing page than a so-so one.

    Reason no. 1: It is the only way you earn conversions in an affiliate marketing program.

    There are a variety of affiliate marketing programs today, but most of these programs let the merchant pay the affiliate in a pay per click basis.  Basically, all you have to do is sign up with the program and submit your ad.  The program owner would then distribute your ad to various affiliates who would then place your ad on their websites.  Whenever your ad is clicked, a visitor would be directed to your landing page and you would have to pay the affiliate for his service.

    As a merchant, you earn in an affiliate program through conversions—that is whenever a visitor that is directed to your site actually buys a product on your site.  Without these conversions, you actually earn nothing from the program.  Also, the more visitors that your affiliates have directed to your site, the larger would your expense be.  And the only way that you can recover from these expenses is through conversions.

    Now, you sure won’t get any conversion if you have posted an ad on your affiliate’s site without an actual landing page for the potential customer to be redirected into.  It’s just like advertising a product without actually having a store to sell your product.  Your advertisement may be enticing enough to encourage people to purchase a product, but without the landing page, how will they know how to purchase the product

    It is therefore important to have landing pages for your ads because it is the only way for you to earn something in an affiliate program.  Without landing pages, all you do is spend money paying your affiliates without actually getting anything in return.

    Reason no. 2: Other web pages may just not be enough.

    Many people make the mistake of making their website’s homepage as the landing page for their ads.  The same is true for those who make use of other pages like a “contact us” page or a product page.  Homepages are often designed to serve multiple users and contains a lot of links to other pages or to other websites.  The same is with the other two pages mentioned.  If you want to be successful in an affiliate program, we’re sure that you don’t want your landing page to cater to the needs of various people, most of which may not be really interested with your product.

    When choosing a landing page, you must always have the customer directed into that page in mind.  Therefore, your landing page must be relevant to the keywords and the contents you placed on your ad.  It is also important that the landing page can induce your visitor to take action—that is to purchase your product or at least provide leads for potential customers.

    Final Word

    You probably entered into an affiliate marketing program with these things in mind: to save on advertising expenses and to gain more profit.  But if you get into an affiliate marketing program without actually having a landing page, you’ll end up paying too much without getting anything in return.  So if you still don’t have a landing page for your ads, you better start creating one now.  And don’t get us wrong; it isn’t enough for you to have just a landing page—it should be a great landing page!
    Here’s Why You Need To Use Landing Pages





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  • 03Aug
    Web Traffic Comments Off

    Measuring Web Traffic for an Effective Site
    Thousands of data are sent and received by users in the Internet every second. Just imagine how web developers manage to handle such large volume of data (with different genre such as music files, PDF, and others). Most of these are data that potential customers are looking for. If you can find the people who are looking for data or information related to your site, you can direct them to your site and increase your web traffic.

    The more traffic you get, the better it ius for your site to become successful and profitable.

    How can you determine the traffic that flows from a variety of websites? One parameter is by the number of visitors and the number of pages that they view. The website moderator supervises both incoming and outgoing traffic to determine which parts or mostly visitors view pages of it.

    Let us say for instance, you have accessed the webpage of a certain site. Maybe you will notice that there is a certain figure in the page that says, “Welcome! You are the 999,999th visitor in this site.” That is one way the site is determining the traffic in that certain page.

    The gathered data in web traffic monitoring help configure sites and increase its security system against viruses and hackers.

    Measuring Web Traffic

    Creating a website is costly. You need to hire web designers for that matter. In return, your site must be popular among web users so that it can gain advertisers and promoters. Thus, it creates an income on your part.

    By measuring and analyzing your web sites, web traffic you will see if your site is popularly viewed. However, how is this done?

    Traffic around your site is analyzed by viewing the traffic statistics found in the web server record file. It is an automatically generated list of all the pages served.

    This is how it works: A hit is produced when any file is served. The web page itself is considered a file. Images are considered as files, too. Thus, if a certain page has five images, it could generate six hits.

    Sometimes, web traffic is measured by packet sniffing. Usually a software program can interrupt and monitor traffic passing over a digital network.

    As data passes back and forth over the network, the sniffer captures each packet and eventually deciphers and examines its content according to the appropriate specifications. All the data that the sniffer captured is recorded and included in the web traffic analysis.

    The following information is often gathered when supervising web traffic:

    • The quantity of web visitors
    • The average number of page views per visitor. It will indicate that he is going deep inside that particular site possibly because he finds the information useful.
    • Average visit duration- the total length of a user’s visit
    • Average page duration- the length of time the page is viewed for
    • Busy times- the most popular visiting time of the site. It can be used to decide when is the best time to put advertisement and the most ideal to make some maintenance.
    • The most popular pages
    • Most requested entry pages viewed
    • Most requested exit pages would determine bad pages, broken links, or exit pages that may have a popular external link.
    • The top paths or the sequence of pages viewed by visitors from their entry and exit to the site. It identifies which paths he is using to browse the site.
    • The external links to determine which sites are creating the most traffic for a particular page.

    Once the data had been gathered, web planners will now use it as reference on how to improve that particular site. Sometimes, there are problems that may arise from huge quantity of visitors browsing the same site on the same time.

    From the gathered traffic data, they will now plan some site structuring to accommodate larger volumes of users accessing the site.

    Web traffic is an important factor considered when creating a website. Your site will gain popularity to web users if it is easy to access. In addition, fast exchange of information is one of the vital characteristics of an effective website.
    Measuring Web Traffic for an Effective Site





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  • 01Aug
    Web Site Usability Comments Off

    Well-designed Headings to Improve Usability of Website

    When people go online in order to seek information, they usually end up utilizing means in order to best find the content they are looking for. At the end of the day, when they are able to determine if a web page contains the information they are looking for, they become better equipped in searching, deciphering, and even choosing the information they want to access at any given point, but particularly through search engines.

    Headings play a particularly important role when it comes to finding information online, and secondly, facilitating the use of the website within which the content or information desired is to be found. It can be illustrated in two-fold scenarios, one before the website is found, and one when the user is already within the website.

    Headings in hypertext protocol or HTML are a group of text rich with content, usually composed of primary keywords that give a clue or idea about the content of the website. In general terms, a heading is a line or hierarchical label that informs the users as to the content of the website, alongside pertinent information as regards the nature of this content.

    When it comes to searching for particular websites, headings play a pivotal role in having the page show up at all in the results of any search engine query. Search engines, when they ‘crawl’ through the Internet looking for relevant information and related websites, usually put into consideration the heading. Headings are so important here that in order to search engine optimize one’s website, many believe that it must then contain major keywords that truly characterize the content of the page.

    Moreover, aside from the HTML content rich code headings, it’s also important to put primacy upon the heading that is present within the main text body displayed on the website. This is the huge hierarchical label or title that gives the readers an idea of what is contained in the page.

    In search engine results, these in-text headings are extremely important because they are what most search engines use in order to label each individual link derived from the search. This then can then determine if the user will find the heading relevant enough to the search he or she is looking for. By providing an efficient heading, one is already providing a great convenience to the user by making the website readily accessible and usable.

    More importantly, once the user is already within the realms of the website, headings in particular guide them as they explore its complete contents. When the heading reflects effectively the very content of a single page, the website as a whole is made more usable as no page is designed to mislead the user into thinking the information he or she is looking for is within that page.

    Another great function of headings in a website that may be used to subdivide various information contained in them is that it facilitates the scanning through of information of users in a page. As it is, users are oftentimes not interested on the content found in its entirety in a page, but only a particular part of it. By allowing them to be guided by headings, websites become more usable, friendly, and convenient for all its users.

    Moreover, it gives users a general idea about the hierarchical structure of the website and how information is organized. The flow of this information, and the understanding of the users of this particular flow, is of importance to users as this could very well determine their understanding of the concepts explored in the information presented.

    Headings also imply that when users scan for information they need selectively, they may pick out particular portions of the text in between headings without necessarily compromising understandability and being taken out of context.

    The most convenient use of headings is when text-heavy pages utilize a small portion of table of contents at the top of the page, where the information is subdivided into their respective headings. In this way, users are already able to have a general understanding of what the website contains in a direct and straightforward manner. Thus, if the table of contents is also link-activated, it will allow for them to skip only to the information they need.

    At the end of the day, headings improve a website’s usability by simplifying information made available to users and organizing them into a format most convenient. It allows for users to first, find the information they need through a search engine, and once within the website, determine and scan through the text easily in order to find the information they need in a short time and with very little trouble.

    Well-designed Headings to Improve Usability of Website





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  • 30Jul
    Web Site Usability Comments Off

    Locating Links: Enhancing Website Usability

    The Internet is what it is because of connections, bridging one computer to a host of others. Because of this we are able to access information at a click of a button.

    The things we click are called links, and they can be likened to the synapses of a brain – connecting the user from one document to another.

    One of the main tenets of website design is that a page must be able to link to another page. Failure to do so renders the page dead – and is a lot like crashing into a brick wall as you speed down the information highway.

    That said, website designers, both pro and amateur, make it a point to include links into every single page they design. But it is simply more than just slapping on links anywhere. Links are as vital to a web page as the content on it for without it, a visitor will be hard pressed to connect to other documents on the Internet.

    In any website, there are different kinds of links. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to laying out links on a web page. But over time, certain conventions have emerged that seem to have become an unspoken standard in design. Deviations certainly will not depreciate a website’s over-all impact, but it may require some amount of time for the visitor to get oriented.

    Whether you tend to follow conventions or not, it is best to be acquainted first with the rules, so that you will know what to break and how to break them.

    But first of all, for the sake of clarification, imagine a website to be like a book. Of course, you know that a book holds several pages. In the case of a website, the pages are called web pages.

    A web page basically has two kinds of links: Internal and External.

    Internal links are what connect pages of the same website to each other. Going back to our book analogy, an internal link connects a page to another from the same book. So a visitor can access the contact page of a website from the home (or index) page via an internal link.

    An external link, on the other hand, connects a web page to another web page from a different website. So an external link is something like a connection between two pages from two separate books.

    Layout Conventions
    Over the years, as more and more users and websites are added to the Internet, certain conventions or assumptions about the location of links have been formed.

    The most common of which are the internal links on either the top or left margin of a page. Seeing that these two areas are the ones first noticed by a user, designers felt it was natural to place internal links that would connect the pages of the same website together. Because of the nature of its location, links on these sides of the page are prominent and graphic designs on them.

    Another area where internal links are located is at the bottom of the page, usually where the copyright information is placed. However, unlike the top and left margin areas, the links at the bottom are discreet and usually rendered in small fonts (like the copyright info). This is done primarily to avoid redundancies in design, while still providing alternate sources of links should the others fail.

    External links are usually found in the body of the text or in the right hand margins of the page. No specific rule exists for this, and the conventions arise merely out of common usage.

    However, some designers have surmised that the tendency to place external links within the body of the text is done because references to information outside the website should be described or explained, whereas internal links need little to no explanation at all.

    Another theory is that the right side feels like the outer part of page. This assumption is built on the observation that reading is done from the left to the right. So the right part of the page indicates the end of a page, thus references outside the website find themselves allocated to this area.

    For some reason as more and more text advertisements (such as Google AdSense) proliferate, the location for such external links are designated at the center or the right side of a web page.

    And yet, as mentioned before, these are merely conventions and NOT rules set in stone. Designers have all the freedom to layout information and links however they want. Deviations from such standard practices simply make the surfing experience for these websites slightly more interesting than the rest. The important thing is that connections are made and everyone can continue to cruise and surf the Web one link to one page at a time.
    Locating Links: Enhancing Website Usability





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  • 26Jul
    SEO Basics Comments Off

    Spamming is Not a Good SEO Technique

    Perhaps very few things can illustrate competition as vividly as the Web. After all, how can one website compete with thousands of other websites just like it?

    If the attention span of an average Internet user is as expansive as a search engine’s listing, then there’s nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, though, that is not the case. Very likely, a person conducting a search on the Internet will probably just browse through the top 3 to 5 SERPs (search engine results pages) and stop there. Website that get buried in the 10th page and onwards will probably not get too much attention if certain measures are not undertaken.

    Those measures are what are called search engine optimization (SEO). Experts in this field perform certain procedures which may be seen a “website boot camp” to get your website into fighting form that will compete in the top rankings of a search engine.

    However, as it is with almost everything else, some shortcuts exist that are able to “cheat” search engines into placing a particular website at a high ranking, despite the fact that it offers no real information. These sets of shortcuts are called “spamming”.

    SEO spam (or spamdexing) is a set of techniques that manipulate a website for the purpose of creating an unrealistic boost in its rankings on SERPs. Here are just some examples of some SEO spam:

    1. Cloaking
    When a website presents a set of information to a search engine different from a set the user is seeing, then cloaking has been done. What usually happens is that the web page’s code is relevant to the user’s search keywords, but when the user visits that particular web page, he user sees a document that has little or nothing to do with his search.

    2. Artificially networked sites
    There is really nothing wrong with creating links between one site to another so long as the links are relevant and serve to connect useful information.

    However, spammers who perform this technique set up several web sites and link them together even the sites contain no real and useful information. The purpose for doing so is simply to create the illusion of a highly referenced site because of its density of links. If this is the case, then it can be considered spamming.

    3. Blog and Forum Spam
    Online blogs and fora are a great source of information since it these formats are built to be updated within short intervals. This, in itself, what makes it a good reference for information, which is why search engines like to visit these sites and rank it well for the quality of information it holds.

    However, spammers have taken advantage of this by flooding blogs and fora with irrelevant links to the websites they want to generate artificial ranking for. Not only are they cheating the search engine company by misleading a user to irrelevant information, they also interrupt the bloggers and the forum participants, which is downright rude.

    4. Hidden text.
    Similar to cloaking, hidden texts are meant to make search engines think that a page is about one thing, while it is actually about another. But it fools the search engine this way: the text that the search engine is able to reads is camouflaged by making the text font color the same as the background. What happens is that the user is unable to read what the search engine saw, and therefore may be looking at a document that is not related to the user’s search.

    Other techniques are to create small, imperceptible links that a user can accidentally click on, thus generating more hits for a website even if the user had no intentions of visiting that site at all.

    By this time, you probably already know why spamming is done. It is a shortcut used by some unscrupulous website owners to make their website rank high on SERPs. Folks who pose as SEO experts use these spamming techniques to get money for doing little to no work.

    Now that you know who they are, and how they do it, here’s why you should have nothing to do with spamming and the people who condone them.

    The whole point of the Internet was to create a wealth of information that everyone can access and add to. The whole idea was to be able to create a place where information can be created and shared with others so that it can foster understanding despite physical borders.

    Other results of this information have led to the development e-commerce and online businesses, which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It still contributes to a community of information and sharing.

    However, spamming is fundamentally profiting at someone else’s expense. A spammer profits by using other people to make his website rank higher than others without taking the necessary time and effort to make his website useful and relevant as what others have done.

    It speaks poorly of website owners who see nothing but their own bottom lines in using the Internet. It is basically exploiting the trust and the willingness to share, which made the Internet such a promising venue for everyone.

    Finally, it demeans honest SEO experts who take the time and effort to produce quality website and make it a point to follow the rules. Search engine marketing is helping to level the playing field so it can allow businesses of any to advertise right along side each other. And that is a commendable thing, which everyone should gladly support.

    Search engines, on their part, are developing smarter technologies to detect spamming techniques in order to give users the best list of information from the Internet. Eventually, the spam methods mentioned above may be eliminated. But it is very likely other more sophisticated ones will come up. On your part, you can report spammers to these search engines when you encounter them. The more people like you who do this, the easier it will be to apprehend these cheaters and make it more difficult for spammers to do their thing.





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