Category Archives: Advertising

7 Steps Of Mega Adsense Earners

The Google AdSense program is like finding money in the street.

Kids in High School are making thousands of dollars a month with Adsense… Housewives, Retiree’s, Mom and Pop’s who’ve never made a dime on the Internet have created full time incomes by simply placing AdSense Ads on their web site or blog.

Then you have the “Super AdSense” earners. We have all heard of them… the Elite few who are on track to make half a million dollars a year or more promoting AdSense sites.

Do not be mistaken though… these people are not building like your Mom and Pop’s do. They have systems in place that create sites for them… people who build sites for them… they have outsourced and automated many of the tedious tasks such as posting to blogs and searching for keywords.

While most people cannot emulate everything these Super AdSense earners do… many of them you can.

Here are 7 Required Steps you can implement today to copy their success.

1) Starting today… treat your AdSense business like it is a REAL business and track what you do.

Begin tracking what you are doing that works… as well as what you are doing that does not work. This will keep you from making the same mistakes over and over, and you can repeat the steps that have worked in the past. As simple as this step seems… most people do not know the reason(s) to their success or failure.

2) Utilize the latest tools and software available.

The Super AdSense earners are not any smarter than your average person. I know many people think they are… but for the most part, they are regular non techie people.

They are smarter in one respect though… they use the latest tools available to them to automate most of the tasks involved with researching and creating sites. They use the latest keyword, site creation and search engine optimization tools available. The tools they use are their secret weapons.

3) Quit chasing the Mega Dollar keywords.

You cannot compete with the search engine experts who create sites for the $80 payout keywords. You may get lucky every now and then… but in the long run, you are better off building sites for the low to mid range payout keywords. The competition is less, and your chance of success is much higher over the long term.

4) Choose broad niches and break it down.

Choose a broad subject as your main theme (lets use computers for an example). From there… break it down into as many sub niches as possible.

Using Computers as the example… you could build sub niches/sites like laptop computers, computer hard drives, computer keyboards, etc, etc. You could literally build hundreds of sites around one major theme and stay totally focused. Once you have exhausted every possible sub niche of that major theme… choose another main theme and repeat the process.

5) KISS

Keep your sites easy to navigate and forget the fancy graphics that distract your visitors attention. Unless you are just building AdSense sites for the fun of it and to impress your friends… the purpose of having the site is to have people click on one of the ads, right? Then keep the site layout simple… dump the scrolling banners, dancing chickens and colored scroll bars… they are distractions.

6) What is the purpose of your web site?

Your web site cannot be everything to everybody. If you have a full fledged ecommerce site, with products for sale… links to other products, it is not a good site for AdSense. If the primary focus of the site is to sell products… let it do that.

Do not distract or confuse your visitor with to many options or choices. The best AdSense sites are AdSense only content sites that sell nothing. They are sites that “Tell”… not “Sell.”

7) Be consistent.

This is not one of those deals where you build one site and you are done. Refer back to Step #4. You must continuously build in order to be successful.

Think of it as planting a crop that you will harvest in a month or two, and the sites you build are seeds. Once the seeds have grown and matured… you will reap the harvest. The more seeds you plant… the larger the harvest.

To sum it up… utilize the tools available to automate as much of the process of building sites – doing research and building keyword lists as you can. This alone will help keep you organized and on track. Be consistent in building… treat it like the business it is and you will reap the rewards of your harvest.

Ten Steps To Grow Website Traffic

If you own your own website or have a page supplied by a program, growing website traffic will be one of the keys to your success. You need a growing, self-generating stream of website traffic and plenty of it. Preferably free and preferably preconditioned to buy your product of service.

This article provides some ideas for growing website traffic.

(1) Directories
Directories are website listings. The trick is to find a directory which receives huge volumes of website traffic. Start by applying for listings in Yahoo, DMOZ and Looksmart. These are huge portals with significant website traffic. Getting listed isn’t easy but once achieved you will see a significant lift in your website traffic. Look at other directories but make sure they have a good traffic rating (use Alexa).

(2) Traffic Exchanges

Every website you view in a traffic exchange generates credits which are exchanged for views of your site. This website traffic is free and can be generated almost instantly. The more sites you view the more people visit your website and the more your website traffic grows.

(3) Article Writing

One of the most effective methods of generating website traffic. Best of all its free. Magazines, Ezines and Webmasters are always looking for fresh content. Just write an article on any topic which interests you, optimize it for keywords and be sure to include your website URL in the bio line at the bottom of the article. Then submit it to ezine directories on the web. This will generate website traffic and create backlinks to your site, which in turn helps with search engine rankings.

(4) Search Engine Optimization
Making sure your website is search engine friendly will certainly help grow your website traffic. Ensure all the meta and alt tags are completed, optimize the text for your chosen keywords, ensure there is an H1 header, update your robots.txt, update your google sitemap and ensure google is alerted each time you make a change. There are a number of sites which provide a “spider simulation” which shows you what your site looks like to a spider and what you can do to improve its search engine ranking.

(4) Blogs
Ensure your blog is located on your site, that it links to your key pages and that you ping each time your blog is updated. A regularly updated blog will attract readers which in turn builds website traffic.

(5) Forums

Leaving your URL in forums will generate website traffic in two ways. First, people who read your post are likely to click the link to checkout your site. Secondly search engines will generally accept the link a counting towards your link popularity.

(6) Viral Advertising

If you have a message and you tell 10 people and they each tell 10 people and so on, by the time the message goes through 10 levels it has been passed on to a million people.

A similar principle can be used in marketing. If you produced a free report or ebook filled with links back to your site and gave it away, the chances are those you gave it away to would do the same thing. Your links would be spread all over the Internet and your website traffic will grow.

There are also couple of viral websites which successfully use the same principle to grow website traffic. Follow the link in the resource box below to see some examples.

(7) Reciprocal Links
By swapping links, webmasters hope that people will click on their link in other websites thereby generating website traffic. This strategy is one of the very best ways of generating free, targeted website traffic and should be high on your list of priorities. It also is highly rated by search engines

(8) Classifies Ads

Do a search for “classified ads” and you will find many sites, which accept classified advertisements. Make sure you place your ad in a site complimentary to your product. Generally sites at the top of google/yahoo searches will perform better than those lower down. Again make sure the site you are placing your ad on has a high traffic rating or it will not assist with your website traffic.

(9) Pay Per Click Advertising

Programs like Google’s Adwords will deliver pre-qualified targeted website traffic to your site. I have found this to be an excellent way of delivering high converting website traffic.

(10) Expired Domain Names

Some expired domain names are still receiving traffic. If you are lucky you can pick one up quite cheaply. These can provide a very cheap source of long-term website traffic.

The greater your website traffic the closer you will come to your goals. I hope this article will help you grow your website traffic and reach those goals.

To your success!

How To Become An Expert In Your Niche Business

What is a niche business? A niche business is one that caters to the common needs and interests of a focused group of people. For instance, people who play golf forms a niche market and people who are golf instructors form an even tighter and smaller niche.

The advantage of going niche is that you can become a specialist in that chosen market. Instead of knowing a bit of everything, you concentrate your efforts on the one area.

Becoming an expert in your niche does not happen overnight. It takes time, skills, dedication and money to build up your knowledge.

Here are 7 great ways to become an expert in your niche business:

1. First and foremost, you must have a strong interest when selecting your niche. If you are going to spend a lot of time researching on this area, a strong interest will help sustain your efforts and keep you going.

2. Read aplenty and stay current! Surf the internet for industry news and related fields to your niche. Go to the bookstores and the library. Subscribe to newsletters or ezines of your competitors.

3. Attend workshops and learn from the super experts. Learn also in related topics so that you can expand on your knowledge base.

4. Test out tools, resources, software or just about anything that can be used for your particular niche. For instance, if you are a florist selling exotic flowers, knowing what is the best way to take care of the delicate blooms will help make you an expert!

5. Hang out in forums where your target market is likely to be. This is an excellent way to get to know what are the common problems and obstacles faced by your prospects. Make sure that you find out the answers or solutions to these problems so that you can post your comment and findings. Some forums even allow you to insert a link back to your website.

6. Use branding for higher perceived value: Buy and register your name as the domain name.  Brand names are built gradually overtime. So set aside time each week devoted to promoting your brand name. This could be giving free advice, lectures and giving press releases.

7. Have an opinion. People like to look up to experts who articulate their views. You are likely to be a winner if you can also justify your opinion with facts.

Five Unique Ways To Get Free Advertising

Here’s 5 POWERFUL ways to get some free advertising

1. Give Testimonials
When you purchase a product or service and it exceeds your expectations e-mail the business a testimonial. Tell them in the testimonial the benefits you got from the product or service. Give them permission to publish the testimonial on the web site if they include your sig file at the end.

2. Leave A Message
When you visit a web site with a discussion board leave a message. You could post a question, interesting content or a compliment about their web site. Include your signature file at the end of the message. Some discussion boards let you post your banner ad or text link.

3. Sign Guest Books
When you visit a well designed web site leave a compliment on their guest book. You could give them a compliment on their content, ease of navigation, graphics etc. When you post your compliment include your sig file so other people will see it when they sign the guest book.

4. Write A Review
When you visit a web site you enjoyed a lot write a review for the web site Write about the benefits you gain from the site, the web site design, interesting online services it offers etc. E-mail the review to the web site. Tell them they can publish it on their web site if they include your resource box at the end.

5. Send An E-mail To The Editor

When you read a good article or enjoy a certain e-zine, e-mail a compliment to the editor. Give the editor permission to publish the compliment in their e-zine if they include your signature file at the end. The editor may post it on his or her web site.

The jewel of the advertising world

What is the most-read advertising medium when traveling? It is not the map. And definitely not the newspaper. It is the one they called the Brochure.

Brochures have become considered the “gem” of the advertising world. What added to the interest of brochure is that not only did they serve as guide for those who have no idea whatsoever, they are also used as marketing tools for businesses and companies alike. It can be noted that not all brochures are effective in these purposes, which leads to the questions: What should be in a brochure to make it effective, all the while interesting?

The main thing to be considered is the cover of your brochure because it is the first thing that people sees upon holding them. The message that should be written there should entice the reader to look inside and read more. Graphic designs can also be an added factor. Captivating pictures and life-like images are sure captures but they do not really explain what the brochure is about. Designs are just first hand insights. The main key is the words you use. Using words to attract and provoke curiosity are like hypnotizing them to do whatever you want them to do next. And that next thing would be to read further into the brochure.

Another approach that people use in a brochure is the “pity” approach. This type of approach entices the emotions of the readers. The guilt feeling coupled with a hint of curiosity make them go through the brochure. Graphic images can only heighten their already intense emotions. Take, for example, brochures that present malnourished children or poverty stricken places and even beggars sleeping on streets. The initial reaction to this is pity. And with conflicting emotion of compassion and apathy, the readers tend to look for and see what all was that about. See how a simple picture can be effective marketers?

And lastly, the most important contents that should not be left out in brochures are the details about your company or business. Besides the name of course, contact details should be prominently put in all the right places. Sometimes the owners forget to put in information like contact numbers and operation times. These details pertaining to the owners are the next important things in a brochure. After reading the brochures, the readers have the tendency to look for information about the owners. This is their way of checking for credibility and background on the owners and the people advertising these brochures.

To Increase Your Advertising Effectiveness – Stop Selling!

How many times have you heard the old adage, “The customer doesn’t want a drill, he wants a hole in his wall”? While I may disagree with parts of that phrase, one thing is for sure… if you want to increase your advertising effectiveness, you have to stop selling what YOU want the customer to buy and start solving his problems.

What exactly does that mean? For starters, it means finding out who your customers are and what challenges they face. It also means that your ad copy, your tag line, your Web site design, your brochure, your customer service plan and your support need to all work in concert to provide the solutions to those challenges.

The most effective advertising pieces don’t sell… they fulfill. They don’t talk about the company… they talk about the customer. They don’t push price… they provide solutions.

When you focus on the customer in your advertising copy, when you get inside the mind of your customer and speak to their emotional needs, you will see greater results.

Here are 7 tips for creating copy that does not sell… but provides a solution.

1. Talk TO the customer, not ABOUT the company. Yes, you have to mention your company name so they’ll know who you are. But the majority of your copy should speak to the customer and his/her needs. Not: “ABC Web Site Designers has been in business for 13 years. We do great work. Our clients think this or that. We provide design, java and cgi. Our customer service can’t be beat. ABC is the best and you should use us.”

2. Use “you” and “your” and write as if only one person were reading your ad or site. Make your copy personal.

3. Get Real! Use real-life examples in your copy. Reach your customers on their level by identifying with them. Instead of something like, “You can get more organized and stay that way” say “You’ll be able to find your keys in 5 minutes or less and never again wonder if you or your spouse is supposed to pick up the kids today.”

4. Get emotional! Most buying decisions are emotional. Your ad copy should be, too! Bring out their frustration, their anger, their greed. Whatever the situation calls for, use those emotions in your copy. Example: “After you throw the plunger across the room and SCREAM… call ABC Plumbing.”

5. Benefits, benefits, benefits. I know you’ve heard it 1,000 times, but you simply must fill your copy with benefits. Always answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

6. Show them they’ll get results. Tell your customers what life will be like AFTER your product or service solves all their problems. By showing them that they will get their desired end result, you make a very persuasive argument for your product.

7. Be their friend. Let your copy portray you as “easy-to-like”. Show your customer that you’re their friend who is willing and able to help instead of just another business who wants them to buy.

When you put the focus on the people with the money… the people who keep your business up and going, you can work wonders with your copy. You’ll see your sales improve if you just quit selling!

Sex in Advertising: Does it Sell?

We’re surrounded by advertisements that desperately compete for our attention. Everywhere we look, we find ourselves inevitably drawn to images of scantily clad attractive men and women that are supposed to somehow inspire us to purchase products they endorse. Sure, this attention-getting strategy is popular. But, is it effective?

Sex appeal can increase the effectiveness of an ad or commercial because it attracts the customer’s attention. It’s human nature to be curious about sex. A pair of long legs on a billboard is more likely to catch (and hold) a guy’s attention than a puppy, regardless of how cute it may be. Even women are drawn to them, perhaps with the desire of having goddess-like legs.

However, misuse of sex appeal can be costly. Many campaigns deemed offensive have started brand boycotts that affect sales and damage brand reputation. Abercrombie & Fitch has been involved in several scandals, the latest from their most recent catalog entitled “XXX Wet, Hot Summer Fun.” On April 18, 2002, only a week after the catalog hit the stores, the Illinois State Senate passed a resolution condemning A&F’s advertising tactics. This resolution, backed by several nonprofit organizations, suggests citizens and shareholders boycott Abercrombie’s products and to take a stand against the company’s marketing strategies. Although sexy images in catalogs are not at all uncommon, “XXX Wet, Hot Summer Fun” featured naked boys and girls frolicking in natural settings. Not quite appropriate for an apparel catalog targeted at teenagers.

Sex in advertising has stirred controversy for many years, an advertiser must be careful when incorporating it in a campaign. Great advertisers consider not only the attention-getting power of an advertisement or commercial, but also what kind of emotional response it provokes in customers. Studies show that the attractiveness of the endorsing model provokes positive responses. Nudity and graphic erotic content, while still increasing consumer’s attention, doesn’t really generate positive feelings among viewers. In other words, advertisers must be careful to avoid the “cheap shot,” which may negatively affect a brand’s image.

To avoid that, the sexual content in advertising must be appropriate to the product category and have a proper underlying message. In 2000, Heineken launched the “It’s All About the Beer” campaign. One spot, called “The Premature Pour,” shows a beautiful seductive woman pouring Heineken into a glass. When a guy across the bar responds by pouring his own, he nervously pours too fast and spills foam all over the table and himself. The sexual content is implicit, yet direct. The sexual reference in this and other spots in the campaign worked, causing sales to rise 13% in the first two quarters of 2002. However, Steve Davis (VP of marketing in Heineken USA), claims that, “Provocative is a very good place to be, as long as we’re not inflammatory. But the spots also work for a different reason. From the tag line to the plot, they are about a desire for Heineken. Our ads make the beer the hero.”

Sex sells, yes, but only when used “in good taste.” As marketers we must think not only in getting customers’ attention for the short term, but also in building a brand reputation that will yield long-term results.

Market Your Dream Online: Internet Advertising Advice

You need to be advertising and marketing your home-based business, but what does it all mean? You need customers. You need sales! But where do you start?

  • FFA Pages
  • Banners
  • Traffic Exchange Programs
  • Reciprocal Linking

These are just some of the ways for your home-based business to be advertising and marketing online (meaning on the Internet). But, what do they mean?

FFA Pages — You submit your site to a FFA page (or network of pages) and agree to get one E-mail from every other website that is listed there. Definitely not a good idea (see our Advertising/Marketing page for more details).

Banners – These are ads shown at the top (usually) of many webpages and they sometimes rotate to show a different ad each time the page is loaded.

Traffic Exchange Programs – You submit your ad to be shown to other members of the program when they load the program start page.

Reciprocal Linking – You place a link to someone’s website on your site and they place a link to your website on theirs.

Other Internet Marketing Suggestions

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Keywords are placed throughout your website’s pages to tell the search engines what your page is about. Keywords are simply words (or combinations of words) that describe your business.

Content is king. Provide good content (basically, articles about your area of expertise) about your subject and sprinkle the keywords (and combos) through the page. This basic strategy will get you a higher ranking with the search engines and many more customers because you’re giving them something that they need — information!

PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising – Instead of submitting your pages for inclusion in the search engine’s database, you bid on the keyword(s) that relate to your website. You can find out in advance what other sites have bid for a particular keyword and then decide if you want to outbid the number one spot or maybe bid a little less and get the number two, three, or four spot (or lower if the keyword is expensive).

Ezines/Newsletters – These are delivered through E-mail and can be either plain text or HTML with full graphics. Although they can sometimes be expensive, you can get free ads by writing articles about your subject area and contribute them to the ezines. Why would you want to give them away? Because you can put in a “Resource Box” at the end of each article. At the very least this box will contain your name, website address, and a brief one or two line “bio” about you (some ezines allow more room). See, free online advertising for your home-based business!

Advertising Approach For The First-time Webmaster

Author :Royan Shaw

For the first time internet entrepreneur [newbie] the best ways to promote your website at first instance are :

1. Express inclusion of your website for the usual 12 months offered by most of the major search engines. You can choose express inclusion for askjeeves, inktomi, altavista,msn etc but keep in mind to have your site submitted to the local index of your region.

For example if you reside in Toronto, Canada and you are submitting for express inclusion in the DMOZ or Canada.com search engine/directory you must ensure that your site is indexed in the Toronto’s business and economy directory. Get your site in the local index first things first.

If your submission listing includes the regional version of the DMOZ directory then thats good enough to go.

One point to note is that many of the major search engines and directories actually inter-relate that is they search across each other’s database therefore submitting to only one major engine or directory will satisfice for the Internet Marketing beginner.

2. Next, the most overlooked approach for the first-time website owner is the maximisation of the benefit of offline marketing methods.

Promote your website in exactly the same way you would have promoted a normal business by telling everyone about it.

Word of mouth is still the best way to promote a new business.

Put your motto and logo along with your url address on everything from a pin to an anchor. From stationery, pens, letterheads, postcards, flyers,posters, in your usual email, the list goes on…

You may consider placing classified ads in the local newspapers.

Run other programs such as sponsoring quizzes, prize competitions, trivia and other participating programs with your website address. You might ask readers to submit the answer to a quiz by visiting you website. Anything that gets the local community to know that your website exists. You can do it !!

FACT : You have to make it local before you go global.

Most start-up webmasters usually make the mistake on concentrating on those numerous ways to promote their site and become confused on deciding what works best. What works best can only be determined by careful evaluation of each and every advertising scheme in use on the web today :

  1. Publisher/advertisers programs
  2. Banner exchanges
  3. Exit ads
  4. Pay-Per-Click
  5. Link Exchanges
  6. Search engine blasting
  7. FFa, classified ad posting
  8. Rotator pages
  9. _JavaScript based pop-ups etc
  10. Express submit to search engines
  11. Search Engine Optimization
  12. Adwords by Google
  13. Others

Its interesting to note that no seller of the above services except for Google and the other search engine services has ever took the time to evaluate your website to decide whether or not your site is most suitable to fit the advertising package they are offering.

The best approach is to evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. Not everything out there works for everybody in every instant. Test your website across every platform say 10000 visitor package each and assess the outcome one by one.

Some will work better than others but the ones returning the higher rate of response doesn’t necessarily mean they are the most profitable unless they each cost exactly the same per 1000 visitor.

What I had recommended in the first two paragraphs above should work best for the first-timer and is the most prudent approach.

Be careful when trying to find the best way of advertising, Don’t be caught up in the Internet Marketing clutter out there as every you come in contact with will tell you the advertising method they sell is the best.

Ignore whatever testimony you see written on these webpages, use these services under a trial based approach before you order that 100000 package or start paying that monthly subscription.

Any method you are interested in should be test and proven in quality. Careful thought and consideration should be given in order to plan, make decisions and control your business operating expenses.

What works for seasoned campaigners of Internet Marketing does’nt necessary works in the same way for the starter.

Your website is unique just like your fingerprint and its now your duty to determine the most economic,effective and efficient approach in promoting it.

The Online Advertising Confusion

The World Wide Web was an enormous step for mankind, a step not seen since Neil Armstrong sullied the surface of the moon. The idea behind the WWW came across as a veritable information highway where documents, data and info could be rapidly sent and accessed by millions the world over. The potential behind the web is enormous and even now the scope is not fully utilized. The possibilities for growth, for extended usage, are available and enormous yet the system is stagnating and it is very possible that people will soon turn away. The average person seeking information may well return to old-fashioned libraries and the good old book to find the information that they require if the face and image of the WWW is not altered very soon and in-line with customer demand.

The ability of any user to gain information from the Internet is enormous, simple and with positive results. But the information received is increasingly becoming that which a paying body prescribes and thus is advertisement biased or pointed towards the end purchase of a product. Hotels advertise a city or holiday resort with the point of view of potential tourists coming to stay. A detailed description of moon cakes in Taiwan although complete and detailed would certainly be with aim to make people buy some from the store hosting the website involved.

Initially the Internet was heralded as a one-stop point for gaining any type or form of information with the click of the mouse. This is certainly true except with regard to loose information that has no affiliation towards an end purchase or a users change of heart. Certainly this type of information is available and millions of websites exist but unless a user has prior information on how to access this site then the chance of it being found amongst the masses is minimal. Most web users find or locate information by using a search engine. Most web users input their request and wait for results to come up as prescribed and ordered by the search engine system. If for example a request was entered for “travel tales on the sea” many, possibly thousands of choices will appear in return. Number one in the pole position will probably be Amazon.com who feels certain that anybody looking for a story would probably find it amongst their collection – naturally obtainable at a price. The next on the list might be Ebay who feel that certain travel products might appease the searcher or it might be goarticles.com an articles selling service who would assume that travel tales of the sea would be somebody looking to buy such from them and for their own use.

Certainly each and every result that is produced on the first page would point the user towards large companies who are selling an item of one sort or another. The user though may in fact just want to read some Travel Tales of the Sea without having to fork out cash or to issue his/her credit card information over the Internet.

In the bowels of the search results in pages that are covered in dust will reside some very comprehensive and useful websites, eg: http://www.seadolby.com a website that is filled with free and in-depth Travel Tales of the Sea. The possibility of any user keeping interest long enough to get to this web site listing is minimal and long before it is reached the user has either fallen asleep or entered another search on a different note. In short the average user does not get past the first page of a search engines results and probably not past the first three that come up: e.g. amazon.com, ebay.com and goarticles.com

Although not-for-profit informational web sites are many and filled with amazing and detailed info these sites ability to gain attention on the world stage is difficult unless money is poured in to boost their ratings and rank positions on the search engine results. Nowadays many search engines have entered the pay-per-click arena with companies putting forward money to buy keywords that will most likely be used to boost their website. Some company buys the word “Travel” and this word is then basically lost forever to the lone free-for-all info site who cannot afford to pay money to boost their popularity.

The art of advertising and paying for positions on search engines is only available to the sites that can afford the exorbitant fees. Should a lone site owner who has built his site-up decide to fork out of his own pocket the money to boost his ratings this will only be achieved on one or two search engines or directories and the amount required to compete with the mega-sites is far beyond any hobbyist can afford. Naturally the ability to submit ones site on free inclusion pages and directories is available but as the webmaster and author behind Seamania found out, so much energy and time is spent on advancing the ratings of his site that not enough time is given to the writing of travel tales of the sea, which of course is the basis and sole point behind the website in the first place.

Large for profit websites can afford to hire web-orientated staff to control, advertise and spend time on boosting the rankings of their particular website. Single owner for profit websites can afford to pay marketing specialists and to buy keywords at exorbitant rates. The lone not-for-profit website owner can either spend all day and all week controlling and submitting his site to the thousands of ever changing search engines and directories and suffer from a serious loss of updated content on his/her website or place emphasis on building up content and never have a visitor to his portal.

Many other factors go towards reducing the effectiveness of the individual website than just search result rankings. Many single website owners operate outdated and very slow computers, use old or outdated software and only perform on odd occasions when not playing with their children or busy at work. Many other free info sites have found that subscribing to some lists to boost their rankings has in-fact reduced them to near invisibility. Google and now other search engines condemn sites for using link pages that they themselves do not agree with, so by simply subscribing or joining one of these sites Google may drop a future crawl of the website involved. It is also impossible for the lone not-for-profit website to keep up with ever changing trends and policies. Where payment is made for a lifetimes inclusion in a search engine, the next year may see the demise of this particular engine or its partnering up with another – thus the lifetimes inclusion becomes null and void and to prevent being dropped from the listings another fee is required – read the small print!

Other means to increase visibility is often initiated by offering advertising space to companies like Google, Barnes and Noble or other directories or affiliates. This can result in a slight income for websites (The Seamania website made 40US dollars over the last three months) but never enough to afford placement on search engine results or to purchase keywords. It is also against the grain for many free-info website owners to have to place advertising on their websites as not only is it taking up valuable space it detracts and reduces the free effect the content within. Furthermore should a website choose one companies advertising it may boost their rankings within one search engine but equally so reduce it in another’s e.g. allowing Google advertising space on an index page may increase the page rank in Google but seriously reduce it in Yahoos search results and possible exclusion from their Yahoo Directory.

From the point of view of an Internet User in search of free and not-for-profit biased information he/she does not want to see endless sites where a visa card is required to proceed further. It would be very nice to see the advancement of such directories like Zeal.com who divide their listings into those for profit and those who generally provide valuable and non-profit orientated formation. Naturally the question arises as to how such a search engine would manage to cover the costs of these listings but generally with the amount of people available who regard the Internet as a toy and a hobby projects such as Editor of a category volunteers should not be hard to recruit. The other way would be to have search engines run and operated by governments like public libraries are or built and operated by universities as part of study programs – something practical for students to involve themselves with.

Directories abound whose content is managed by volunteers, the Open Directory Project being the most famous. But sites such as Seamania have found to their detriment that trying to get noticed in amongst the debris found in these directories is not easy. Seamania was originally listed as a Personal website in the boating category but over time the emphasis and content of the website has evolved to become a general travel website. It has though proved impossible to change the location of the site in the Dmoz directory to a travel listing rather than a boating listing.

If at all possible and to prevent users who are sick of being asked for their credit card information or being given 30 different porn sites upon entering Travel Tales of the Sea into a search engine, it would be nice to see a shift in emphasis in the way that the search engines operate their listings.

Certainly the idea of switching on a computer and being faced with two choices, one for sites that are-for-profit and one that points towards not-for-profit sites would be a dream come true. To enter in a search request and to not find amazon.com or ebay.com in the first few results would put cheer to any searchers hopes of finding what he wants. And maybe in this way a true exchange of information may be facilitated and the mass exodus of searchers back to the public library for information may be halted.