Original Search Engine LogoImage via WikipediaYou spent a good deal, worked hard for many days and nights and built a great website, but alas! it doesn't get enough visitors. There are millions upon millions of pages of web content out there and your website is totally lost in the shuffle, like the proverbial needle in a haystack. When search engines ignore your site, your site becomes non-existent in the cyber world. The real problem with your website is that it failed to harness the most cost-effective and powerful Internet marketing strategy: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!

Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your site appear at the top of search engine results for your domain-specific keywords and phrases. The higher your website ranks in the results of Google, Yahoo, MSN etc., the greater the chance that your site will be visited by many, which in turn would skyrocket your sales.

Simply put, Search Engine Optimization is about making your website visible on search engines. Its commercial purpose is to be the first to hit a customer base effectively.

Why Search Engine Optimize?

Everyday, millions of people search the web to find out what they look for. If your website doesn't come up top in the results, you lose your business to your competitors. SEO is important not only because it brings lots of visitors to your website, but also because it helps to increase the return on investment, if harnessed properly. Say for example, you have a website that sells mobile phones online. Optimizing the site for targeted keywords like 'low cost mobile phones' would bring it to the top results on popular search engines. This would in turn bring prospective customers to your site, which would result in higher sales.

However, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that requires patience, careful planning, and a long-term approach. Don't worry, here are 4 easy steps that will help you get started with optimizing your website.
4 Easy Steps to get started with Search Engine Optimization

a) Create traffic targeted content

Identify the keywords, i.e., words or phrases using which your potential customers will search the web. Example, if you are a hair salon, they will probably search using the keywords "hair cut", "hairstyle", etc. After identifying and gathering a set of keywords, categorize them under various themes and write web contents on those themes. That is, under the "hairstyle" theme, you can put keywords such as hairstyles, crew cut, long cut, short cut, curly cut, layered cut, etc. Using a Keyword Suggestion tool, you can see how many people search for a certain keyword. Any keyword for which the number of listings is less and the number of searches is more gives you a better chance of ranking higher than keywords for which the listings are more and the searches are less. Once you got the right keyword, use it appropriately in the page so that the page appeals to both the visitors and the Search Engines.

HTML tags such as title tags and meta tags also play a role in ranking top on search engines. These tags must contain only relevant keywords. Neither fill these tags with keywords that don't appear in the content nor leave them empty.

b) Make your pages Search Engine Ready

Check if your pages are search engine ready, i.e., are they crawlable by search engine spiders, is there something in them that will make the Search Engine neglect the page or give it a lower ranking.

To make your pages search engine ready

* Your website content must be readable. For the sake of appearing top on the search engines, do not make the content clumsy by repeatedly using the keywords. These kinds of clumsy sites may get top rank, but won't get readers.
* Add only relevant keywords: Do not stuff the website content, title tag, and meta tags with too many keywords. The keywords that are provided in the title and meta tags must appear in the website content.
* Do not add invisible text: Most of the search engines find them out and ban those sites.

c)Submit your site to Search Engines.

Now that you have made your site search engine ready, start submitting it to the popular search engines. That way, they know your site exists. Some search engines may require periodical submission. If you find the submission process tough, get a Site Submission tool available on the web. (More on Submitting to Search Engines)

d)Track your performance

Often times, people complain that their position in search engines has gone down. We must not forget that Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process for reasons like, Search Engines changing their algorithm frequently, new sites coming up for the same keywords as yours, your watch sites (competitor sites) optimizing themselves for search engines and so on. Thus, it is important you keep track of where you rank for each of your keywords in the most important search engines and constantly modify the content so that search engines know that your page is active. This enhances your rank on the search results.


Although Search Engine Optimization seems to be so complicated at the outset, it really is a simple and interesting process that you will enjoy doing yourself. Search Engine Optimization is the most cost-effective, easy to implement Internet marketing strategy that can get you more traffic and in effect more revenue. So go ahead, start optimizing your site. Happy Search Engine Optimizing...

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Ensure Website Visibility With Search Engine O...Image by hongxing128 via FlickrSearch Engine Optimization - An Introduction

Search Engine Optimization is probably the cheapest and most cost effective form of Internet marketing. In fact some studies indicate Search Engine Optimization as being the second most effective marketing strategy. The increasing popularity of Search Engines and the fact that good quality and cost effective traffic can be brought through them to websites has led to the development of a whole industry that revolves around how to make Web pages/Websites more search engine friendly or in other words better optimized. The result of this advent of Search Engine Optimization industry is the feeling among webmasters and novices in the industry that SEO is like rocket science and has to be handled by professionals only. Thankfully, the truth is that anyone can search engine optimize Websites. All it takes to optimize a Web site and get better ranking and traffic are 9 simple steps.
The 9 Simple Steps

1. Select Right Keywords

This is THE most important step and can easily be the reason for your ranking ahead or ranking below your watch sites (competition). Identify the words or phrases using which people search(might search) for your Web page on the Internet. If you sell dog food, your keywords must have something to do with "dog food". Do not use irrelevant keywords, even if they get you more traffic. If you are not sure of the keywords to be used, use any of the following tools to find good target phrases:

* Overture is a great tool for assessing popularity of target phrases.
* Google is great for brainstorming target phrases.
* Word Tracker can help you assess popularity and compare how the competitors use the target phrase.

2. Analyze Competition

Determine who your competitors are. It is quite simple; search for the keyword on popular search engines. The sites that show up above your page are your competitors. Analyze those sites and find out how effectively they have used the targeted keywords. Remember that the more popular a target phrase is, the more competition there is likely to be. Sometimes, it makes sense to target a less popular phrase where you can corner the market rather than aiming for the highest popularity phrase.

Check out yours and your competitor's link popularity. In many engines, you can type: link:http://domain-name and get a link count for that particular site. The more the link count, the better.

3. Page Creation and Optimization

After identifying the keywords, create Web pages by targeting one word or phrase for each page. One common mistake most novice SEOs do is dump many keywords into a page. Not only does it make it difficult for you to rank high for each of those keywords, but also it makes the page less readable.

i) Make sure your keywords are present in the following places:

* Title tag
* META tags: Description tag and Keywords tag
* Body text: Heading tags, comment tags,alt tags and prominent places on the page content

ii) Conduct HTML validation for your Web pages. HTML validation helps you find out the errors in HTML code, which may prevent search engines from indexing your site.

iii)Then check and ensure that your pages are Spam-free. When your page elements, such as Title tag, META tag, and body text, are stuffed with repeated keywords, search engines may consider them Spam and ban your site.

4. Visual Review of Page

* Check whether your site has usable navigation.
* Ensure you have informative and readable content. Good content will ensure that your page appeals to human visitors as well as spiders.

A badly written page may get a good ranking on search engines, but visitors will move away from your site with the same speed they came in. Although Search engine spiders that grade your site will not look for visual appeal, directory editors and human visitors will!

5.Link Building

Get inbound links from quality sites. Quality sites are those that rank high on search engines and/or have a good Google PageRank. If the sites are in someway connected with the theme of your webpage that will help increase your rank better. DO NOT turn to link farms for link building this can get your site banned in search engines.

6. Submitting to Search Engines

If you have followed steps one to five you are ready to submit your webpages to the search engines. Chances are the search engines found your webpages through the links that you built but if they some how missed your webpages don't worry you can always let them know that your pages exist through Search Engine Submission.

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Image representing Photobucket as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown Recently my blog experience some irregularity. This really shocked me when I see the sign Photobucket Bandwidth Exceeded all round my blog. In my mind I was thinking where in the world did I used "Photobucket". Later did I realized that the problem lies with the images with the free template that I uploaded. My blog bandwidth is riding on the free template ptovider's "Photobucket" account.I found out that during the 2nd week of the last 3 months I have been experiencing this problem and have no clue why?

After much research this is what I have discovered. Photobucket has 2.5G of Bandwidth monthly and on the 16th of every month the bandwidth will reset, therefore if you have high amount of traffic coming into you site, you will definitely hit the bandwidth limit before that.

This is what I did - to resolve this problem:

First - Get my own Photobucket account
Second - Download all the image files into it
Third - Login to your blogspot account, go to layout>edit HTML>click Ctrl F
> since the problem is from photobucket, type the word photobucket

The word photobucket from your edit template page will be highlighted. Copy the complete url of all links that has the word photobucket. Download them, one by one and save it to your own Photobucket Account or any filehost that you prefer. Then, replaced all the Photobucket link in your template to your own, one by one, make sure that you’ve replaced the correct photobucket link to the new link to avoid further problems

After when I have done all this my Blog went back to normal again. I hope this will help you solve your misery too.

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A graphical despiction of a very simple html d...Image via Wikipedia Google Adsense is a popular web advertising program which provides a good income source for many websites. There are a set of clearly defined terms of service (TOS) a publisher must strictly follow when participating in the program.

I visit tons of sites and forums daily , I do notice several instances of misuse of Adsense ads. So here a few helpful Google Adsense tips, probably many you already know, and few you might gain by knowing now. These adsense faq are all picked from the Program Policies, Terms and Conditions and FAQ itself and presented in a simplified manner.

1. Never click your own adsense ads or get them clicked for whatever reason. You know this one very well. This is a surefire way to close you Adsense account. Never tell your office associates or friends to click on them. Keep a check if your family or children are busy increasing your income by clicking your ads and indirectly trying to stop your income. Dont even think of offering incentives for clicks, using automated clicking tools, or other deceptive software. Adsense is very smart to detect fraudulent clicks. Check the ads which appear on your pages by the Google Preview tool if required.

2. Never change the Adsense code. There are enough means of adsense optimization & customizations available to change the colour, background or border to suit your needs. Do whatever you want to do outside the code, never fiddle within the ad or the search code. They know it when you do. The search code has more limitations to colour and placement, but you should adhere to the rules. The code may stop working and violates the TOS.

3. Do not place more than 3 ad units and 3 ad links or 2 adsense search boxes on any web page. Anyway, ads will not appear in those units even if you place more ad units. But this is the limit they set, so it is better to stick to it.

4. Do not run competitive contextual text ad or search services on the same site which offer Google Adsense competition in their field. Never try to create link structures resembling the adsense ads. Never use other competitive search tools on the same pages which have Adsense powered Google search. They do allow affiliate or limited-text links. Update: Google has allowed you to run contextual advertising like Yahoo ads, Chitika etc provided the ads do not resemble Adsense ads.

5. Do not disclose confidential information about your account like the CTR, CPM and income derived via individual ad units or any other confidential information they may reveal to you. However, you may reveal the total money you make as per recent updates to the TOS.

6. Label headings as “sponsored links” or “advertisements” only. Other labels are not allowed. I have seen many sites label ads with other titles. Dont make your site a target in a few seconds gaze.

7. Never launch a New Page for clicked ads by default. Adsense ads should open on the same page. You may be using a base target tag to open all links in a new window or frame by default. Correct it now as they do not want new pages opening from clicked ads.

8. One Account suffices for Multiple websites. You do not need to create 5 accounts for 5 different websites. One account will do. If you live in the fear that if one account is closed down for violation of TOS, believe me they will close all accounts when they find out. You can keep track of clicks by using channels with real time statistics. They will automatically detect the new site and display relevant ads.

9. Place ads only on Content Pages. Advertisers pay only for content based ads. Content drives relevant ads. Although you might manage some clicks from error, login, registration, “thank you” or welcome pages, parking pages or pop ups, it will get you out of the program.

10. Do not mask ad elements. Alteration of colours and border is a facility to blend or contrast ads as per your site requirements. I have seen many sites where the url part is of the same colour as the background. While blending the ad with your site is a good idea, hiding relevant components of the ads is not allowed. Also do not block the visibility of ads by overlapping images, pop ups, tables etc.

11. Do not send your ads by email. HTML formatted emails look good and allow placement of these JavaScript ads. But it is not allowed as per TOS. You do not want impressions registering on their logs from any email even once. They are watching!

12. Keep track of your content. So Adsense is not allowed on several non content pages. But it is also not allowed on several content pages too. Do not add it on web pages with MP3, Video, News Groups, and Image Results. Also exclude any pornographic, hate-related, violent, or illegal content.

13. Do not alter the results after ad clicks or searches - Ensure you are not in any way altering the site which the user reaches to after clicking the ads. Do not frame, minimize, remove, redirect or otherwise inhibit the full and complete display of any Advertiser Page or Search Results Page after the user clicks on any Ad or Search results.

14. Avoid excessive advertising and keyword stuffing - Although the definition of ‘excessive’ is a gray area and is subject to discretion, yet Google adsense with correct placement, focused content and high traffic will get you much more income than other programs, so excessive advertising is not required. Keyword stuffing does target better focused ads, but overdoing it is not required.

15. Ensure you Language is Supported - Adsense supports “Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Danish, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, English, Polish, Finnish, Portuguese, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Swedish, Italian and Turkish”. In addition, AdSense for search is available in Czech, Slovak, and Traditional Chinese. If your web pages language is not supported, do not use the code on such pages.

16. Maximum 2 referral button per product per page - With the launch of the Google adsense referral program, you are allowed to put only 2 referral buttons for adsense referral, adwords referral, Google pack and Firefox with Google toolbar referral. Update: This feature is closing Aug 2008. [ended today]

17. Do not specify Google ads as your alternate ads. - Several services like Chitika eminimalls allow you to place alternate urls, when a targeted paying ad cannot be displayed. This involved creating an simple html page and putting the ad to be displayed instead. Even Adsense allows an alternate url feature instead of displaying public service ads. But never use Adsense ads as alternate urls.

18. Do not confuse with adjacent images - It was a common policy to increase CTR by placing same number of images as the number of text ads, which falsely gave the impression that the text ads represented an explanation to these images. Inserting a small space or a line between the images and ads is not allowed. Make sure that the ads and images are not arranged in a way that could easily mislead or confuse your visitors

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Definition of Web 2.0

Posted by stormwhistle | 3:57 AM | , | 0 comments »

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia Why does Web 2.0 – a complex, subtle, yet practical topic – need so much definition? That question was addressed by social computing and Web 2.0 expert Dion Hinchcliffe in an end-of-year round up that he compiled all the way back in December 2005. To this day it makes a very handy starting-point for anyone seeking to get themselves up to speed.

Hinchcliffe's "Best (Or Most Interesting) Web 2.0 Definitions and Explanations" list was as follows. (Remember he was writing in December 2005, after what he called "the rough and tumble ride" that 'Web 2.0' as a term had in its first 12 months.)

  • O'Reilly's What Is Web 2.0 - The famous meme map alone is worth serious study and is the central work defining the interlocking elements of Web 2.0.  O'Reilly touches on Web 2.0 as having more of a "gravitational core" than being a concrete set of technologies.  He also introduces all the major planks of his vision of the next generation of the Web as a set of best practices from the first generation.  A terrific read worth every minute spent on it.  Finish this before starting the rest.

  • Wikipedia Definition for Web 2.0 - While this entry undergoes near constant revision, I recommend a visit to see what an amalgam of opinionated contributors brings to the table for Web 2.0 definition.  Devoid of hype or even many buzzwords, the entry has become somewhat disappointing but the key facts are present and is also notably lacking in major anti-hype.  In the end, a balanced if slightly boring view produced by a little wisdom of the crowds.

  • Richard MacManus Defines Web 2.0 in February, 2005 - It's amazing to see how far along things have come when you read the very interesting pieces hyperlinked within.  Richard does a bang-up job rolling up prevailing opinion at the time from around the Web.  He finally settles on Web as Platform for the time being, but of course, the concept would continue to grow.

  • The "Official" Web 2.0 Compact Definition - Tim O'Reilly realized his 5 page essay would not result in a pithy definition and so he obliged everyone in October with a more compact definition.  While quite the run-on sentence, the definition does capture the essence: "Web 2.0 is the network as platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated service that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an "architecture of participation," and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences."

  • A Cumulative Web 2.0 Definition:  Here is an interesting one, if more than a little obtuse.  Incredibly, this is what comes up first in Google when you search on "Web 2.0 definition", presumably because the word definition is in the title and a few people have linked to it.  While technically not inaccurate, it's not very complete either.  I can't help wondering if partial definitions like this are a big part of the problem people are having understanding the concepts.

  • Jeff Clavier Tries His Hand At Web 2.0 Definition - And does a credible job.  He puts openness of data and services as job #1, then rich application experences, and then low cost of delivery using lightweight programming models and techniques.  A bit of a light definition in my personal opinion but highly accessible.

    Paul Graham Weighs In On Web 2.0 - Here is one of the most recent explanations and one of the clearest headed.  While I certainly don't agree with everything he says, it's an excellent antidote to some of the most extreme Web 2.0 hype, while not throwing out the baby with the bath water either.  A must read.

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    Y! Buzz The Web Content Directory

    Posted by stormwhistle | 3:05 AM | , | 3 comments »

    Y! Buzz is a new service provided by Yahoo, if you are familiar with Digg.com you will know what I mean.

    * The buzz can be about anything - a great story on a major news site, an extraordinary bit from an obscure site, an intriguing video, or a fantastic blog that shouldn't be missed.
    * Instead of editors, people like you determine the top-rated stories.

    How it works.

    * First, we determine the most popular topics that people are searching for on Yahoo!.
    * Then, we showcase the most popular stories within those topics, based on activities like voting and emailing stories to friends.
    * Stories with most Buzz may be published on the Yahoo! home page - you can impact what millions will see on Yahoo!.

    Happy Stinging!! Opps sorry it is Buzzing