Tag Archives: MSN

The Domain Name Game

You probably know that a domain name is a name given to a website or email account. Because IP addresses mark individual computers, the domain name is usually much easier to remember as it can be a catchy phrase or an on target description of what the website has to offer. In this day and age, the game of domain name selection is heated and often times a demanding field.

What does an effective domain name get you, anyway?

You may ask yourself why is it so very important to have a good domain name for your website. Besides being the best way to attract your customers, it is one of the best ways to have customers remember you. The returning customer is after all the best one to have. Yet, many websites fail at this point simply because there are so many other, just as good if not better, websites out there. Having a good, on target domain name is necessary for name recognition.

Finding Your Domain Name

Just like writing a jingle for a commercial, having an effective domain name should be something that people will remember. Catchy phrases or very targeted phrases can be the best way to get the attention of the user. More than likely, the first time they find you will be through advertisements or through a web search. But, once they are there, getting that domain name into their heads for next time is necessary.

But, its not really that easy. There is huge competition of domain names and many times you will find that the ‘good ones’ are already taken. But, when you get creative and think outside of the box you can really find the right niche and make your domain name the next one to be remembered.

There are also many information portals now devoted to the subject and we recommend reading about it at one of these. Try googling for “domain names” and you will be surprised by the abundance of information on the subject. Alternatively you may try looking on Yahoo, MSN or even a decent directory site; all are good sources of this information.

Search Engine Optimization History

Webmasters today spend quite some time optimizing their websites for search engines. Books have been written about search engine optimization and some sort of industry has developed to offer search engine optimization services to potential clients. But where did this all start? How did we end up with the SEO world we live in today (from a webmaster standpoint seen)?

A guy named Alan Emtage, a student at the University of McGill, developed the first search engine for the Internet in 1990. This search engine was called “Archie” and was designed to archive documents available on the Internet at that time. About a year later, Gopher, an alternative search engine to Archie, was developed at the University of Minnesota. These two kinda search engines triggered the birth of what we use as search engines today.

In 1993, Matthew Gray developed very first search engine robot – the World Wide Web Wanderer. However, it took until 1994 that search engines as we know them today were born. Lycos, Yahoo! And Galaxy were started and as you probably – two of those are still around today (2005).

In 1994 some companies started experimenting with the concept of search engine optimization. The emphasis was put solely on the submission process at that time. Within 12 months, the first automated submission software packages were released. Of course it did not take long until the concept of spamming search engines was ‘invented’. Some webmasters quickly realized that they could swamp and manipulate search results pages by over-submission of their sites. However – the search engines soon fought back and changed things to prevent this from happen.

Soon, search engine optimizers and the search engines started playing some sort of a “cat and mouse” game. Once a way to manipulate a search engine was discovered by the SE-optimizers they took advantage of this. The search engines subsequently revised and enhanced their ranking algorithms to respond to these strategies. It was clear very soon that mainly a small group of webmasters was abusing the search engine algorithms to gain advantage over the competition. Black Hat search engine optimization was born. The unethical way of manipulating search engine resulted in faster responses from search engines. Search engines are trying to keep the search results clean of SPAM to provide the best service to customers.

The search engine industry quickly realized that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as an industry would not go away, and in order to maintain useful indexes, they would need to at least accept the industry. Search engines now partially work with the SEO industry but are still very eager to sort out SPAMMERS that are trying to manipulate the results.

When Google.com started to be the search engine of choice for more than 50 of the Internet users it was highly visible to anyone in the industry that search engine spamming had reached a new dimension. Google.com was so much more important to the success of a website that many webmasters solely concentrated on optimizing their sites for Google only as the payoff was worth the efforts. Again – Black Hat SEO took place, pushing down the honest webmaster and their sites in search results delivered. Google started fighting back. Several major updates to Google’s algorithms forced all webmaster to adapt to new strategies. Black Hat SE-optimizers but suddenly saw something different happening. Instead of just being pushed down in the search results their websites were suddenly completely removed from the search index.

And then there was something called the “Google Sandbox” to show up in discussions. Websites either disappeared into the sandbox or new websites never made it into the index and were considered in the Google Sandbox. The sandbox seemed to be the place where Google would ‘park’ websites either considered SPAMMY or not to be conform with Google’s policies (duplicate websites under different domain names, etc.). The Google Sandbox so far has not been confirmed or denied by Google and many webmasters consider it to be myth.

In late 2004 Google announced to have 8 billion pages/sites in the search index. The gap between Google and the next two competitors (MSN and Yahoo!) seemed to grow. However – in 2005 MSN as well as Yahoo! Started fighting back putting life back into the search engine war. MSN and Yahoo seemed to gain ground in delivering better and cleaner results compared to Google. In July of 2005 Yahoo! Announced to have over 20 billion pages/sites in the search index – leaving Google far behind. No one search engine has won the war yet. The three major search engines however are eagerly fighting for market share and one mistake could change the fortune of a search engine. It will be a rocky ride – but worth watching from the sidelines.

Gathered Statistical Data Announces That Blogs Will Dominate

At a distinctive and stable growth rate of Blog users at an average of more than 100% within a researched 190 day cycle, the Internet should be ready for a “Blog Boom” anytime soon. Microsoft announced more than 4.5 million weblog spaces were created in MSN Spaces since 11 January 2005. On average, users are updating about 170,000 blogs on MSN Spaces every day and uploading about 1.9 million photos a day.

France music radio station SkyRock’s Skyblog is no exception. They will have an estimated 3.5 to 4 million blogs by year end. On average, more than 8,000 blogs are created daily, averaging out about 39 posts and 53 comments per blog.

Blog search engines in particular, are reporting searches in the tens of millions, consisting of a large diversity in language and geographical differences.

Technorati, a giant blog tracking site, finds that its tracking volumes double for every 5 months for the past 20 months. Technorati is estimating a jump at a high 15 million blogs by the end of August 2005, and doubles up to 30 million in January 2006.

Bloggers themselves are not left out entirely by this rapid growth. It is not particularly uncommon for some to celebrate their 100 millionth visitor mark.

It is gathered, that one third of online adult Americans know blogs from a recent survey of the general public. More than a quarter of South Korea’s 50 million population are bloggers.

The What, How, And Why Of Keyword Densities

Keyword density is an important concept for website owners to understand. Keyword density, in today’s Internet, is what will ultimately improve your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. The importance of having a high SEO rating is absolutely critical if you wish to have high volumes of traffic to your website.

Let’s talk first about SEO and what it does. If you type a search into Google, yahoo, MSN, or any other major search engine there are likely to be thousands to hundreds of thousands of results come up on the search engine. So let us imagine that you sell ceramic dolls on your website. Now someone types “ceramic dolls” into a search engine, where in those thousands of website results does your website fall? Does your website rank on the first page? If you are like most websites, your ranking is probably somewhere in the depths of the results ranking well over number 1,000. Imagine a customer seeking what you sell, but not being able to find your business. Do you really think that someone is going to sift through the first 1,000 results to find yours?

Search engine optimization (SEO) simply means that you are going to employ methods that will move your website up in the search engines results for “ceramic dolls” or your own personal keywords. Research and common sense tells us that if a potential website visitor/customer does not find your website within the first 20 results, he or she will move on and try a new search or simply use one of the first 20 websites that he or she has found. This is where keyword density comes into play.

In years past I can remember finding web pages that had hundreds of words listed at the bottom of the page, this was a common practice. The reason for this was so that the search engines would place this website on the results page if a web surfer typed in any of those hundreds of words. Times have changed and so have search engines. Today the search engines are much more sophisticated in how they locate websites to list in their results.

Keyword articles (adhering to certain keyword densities) dramatically improve a websites SEO ranking. Going back to our ceramic dolls example, this site would want a keyword article written with the keywords “ceramic dolls” inside the article. This way when a web surfer types in “ceramic dolls,” the site will come up much higher in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s).

The search engines use certain algorithms that “read” these keywords for the surfer. If you go and type in any phrase into a search engine you will notice that the results show those keywords highlighted in bold. They show you how the keywords are listed in those web pages. Placing articles on your website that contain the keywords your customers are looking for will help your search engine ranking for these specific keywords.

Now, you cannot simply type the “ceramic dolls” over and over again on the same web page. With the sophistication of today’s search engines, doing that would actually harm your search engine ranking. You need to provide articles that not only contain the keywords, but articles that also contain some relevant information as well.

There is great debate over what density to use in a keyword article. Suppose you want a 500-word article written on ceramic dolls. What percentage of the time (density) should the phrase “ceramic dolls” be used? Should it be in there 4% (20 times) of the time, 7%, or 12%? You must be careful because using the keywords too often hurts your rankings, while using too little doesn’t improve your ranking enough. So what is the answer? The answer is that only those that develop the algorithms for the search engine companies actually know………and they aren’t talking. Most people use anywhere from 3%- 15% keyword densities. Some people believe that having the keyword phrase in the title and as the first word of every paragraph helps. Some believe that using “dolls that are ceramic” 18 times and “ceramic dolls” 2 times in a 500-word article with 4% density will work.

Here is what everyone does know, if you are not utilizing keyword rich articles on your website (regardless of the density you choose) you will not be very highly ranked in any of the search engines. Keyword rich articles are one of the best ways to advertise your site. If you want more visitors to your website, who translate into more customers, you must utilize keyword articles to improve your search engine rankings so that people can find your website.

Google Page Rank Is Dead

HELP! My PR page rank is grey, call the development doctor. As the world of Google is turning a mile a minute these days, some really big changes are happening. This weekend, marketers all around the world don’t believe what they are seeing… Google’s Page Ranking system is dead.

Is it really dead?

In an online forum post from WebProWorld.com (A discussion on Google), people from all over are speculating about what is going on. In fact, one member was quick to point out that the last big shift Google had, we saw the PR system go down as well. This begs the question…

Are we on the verge of a BIG PR shift? or,
Are we seeing a Google marketing scheme just to shake people up?

In many ways, Google needs to be improved upon their “broken down PR system”. There are so many areas if they payed attention to forums and blogs all around the world, they would have more than enough feedback about their PR system to fix this growing PR issue.

Page ranking is a potentially a great system. It CAN be a great system if it directly ranks websites properly by content, relevance, and not simply by the number of links pointing to an individual website.

These days, you see a website with 15 “medium relevant” links pointing to it while its front page holds a PR of 7-8 out of 10. How do you justify that?

What will it mean if Google’s PR systems stays down?

I believe it will mean a big shift to online marketing. Many newbies out there that are barely legal when it comes to SEO have an opportunity to measure everything they do. In turn, the newbies may even sound professional to their clients. Take away these tools and you are left with true marketing gurus that have stood the test of time and can deliver results for themselves and their clients.

The internet is vastly growing into a pool of professional fakes and scammers. This is really giving the internet marketing community a bad name. Without the Google PR, many people won’t be able to prove their results nor will they have that “fake respect” that you get from having a website with PR 7/10.

What about MSN & Yahoo?

In growing efforts to keep up with MSN & Yahoo’s strong and growing marketing campaign, Google may be feeling left out these days. Many people think that their PR system is simply a gimmick; a gimmick that attracts a lot of attention. By dissembling   this system, you create mass fear and confusion. Bad publicity is still publicity never less?

So, is Google trying to create a buzz?

This could be possible and it could be possible that everything will be back to normal within a couple of days. We won’t know until time catches up with us.

Until then, take this “dark saga” moment and find other ways to build your business online. Don’t worry about what Google is doing, worry about what you are doing to improve your internet marketing campaign.

Sales Without Search Engines

Imagine two day you flip on your computer, log on to the net and go to google.com. The browser alerts you and says that there is no web-site found at that address. No problem you think, as you head on over to Yahoo.com. Same thing. No web-site found at that url. Now something seems fishy, go to MSN.com because you know Microsoft will seldom run out of funds, and their search engine will be up. Nope, instead you get another alert box telling you that there is no web-site found at that url.

Imagine that!

Yes, imagine an web world where no search engines exist, and someone trying to make a living online selling a product or service has to be found.

Where would you start? Where would you list your site(s)? How would you get your site found by your potential customers?

This is the mentality you should always take when promoting your web-site. Sure, it’d be great to have top rankings in the search engines, and get all of that free targeted traffic coming to your site. But  as easily as you achieve that ranking, you could lose it overnight – with a simple filter alter in the algorithm.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Florida” update that caused many site owners panic attacks as their previously highly ranked sites fell off the face of the net. they lost sales, traffic and dreams of web riches.

Why?

As I heard someone famous once say: “Don’t place all your eggs in two basket” – yet  many web-site owners do. they are obsessed with a top ranking in Google instead of building a brand name people will recognize and trust. Top rankings in the search engines should be part of your web marketing strategy, but dedicate only a portion of your efforts to that. You should equally spend your time pursuing partnerships with other non-competitive sectors of the net.

I’m sure you’ve seen a web-ring. To refresh, they are a group of related sites that link to each other. web marketing is the same concept, but on a much grander showcase. You can advertise your site in the costly Pay-Per-Click Arena, and if you have the budget to do so, by all means, that is the quickest way to get found. But keeping in mind that search engines don’t exist, what would you do to get the word out?

1. Press Releases – While they should be reserved for newsworthy purposes (new product/service, acquisition, attending Trade Show or Convention, etc.), they are a great way to get people to visit your site when they are looking for information relating to your product or service. It’s and a great way to build your brand name and to become known as an authority of information in your field.

2. Directory Listings -  simply, this is the easiest way to get your site indexed by search engines. there’s many free directories that you can get your site listed in, and there’s many fee-based directories that are worth the price of adding your site. The added value is that since your site is listed categorically, it helps to re-enforce what your site offers, since it will be found with similar sites.

3. Articles – Expose your expertise! While news story writing is not easy, it is an  valuable asset to your site. By writing, you are generating matchless content found nowhere else and they all know how much search engines love that! It also gives you another way of explaining a product or service without coming off as a sales pitch. Another added benefit of writing articles is that it’s a great way to naturally grow the size of your site in an organic way, and will in turn, make your site become a “hub” of relevant information in regards to your industry.

4. Newlsetters – This should be your site’s bread and butter. The people who have signed up for your newsletter already feel that your site was worth their time to give you their email address, so these people have already place some trust and value in to what you have to say. The newsletter is where you can promote new products and services to interested users without risking any intrusiveness factors. This is the best place to make a sales pitch to your perspective readers!

5. Blogs/RSS Feeds – While to some people this is already old-hat, there’s many users out there (think AOL users) who have no idea about how to customize the content they require to read. there’s many areas to get your blog listed, and it gives an inside point-of-view in to the inner workings of your company or personality, thus giving yet another way for a user to identify with you or your site.

I think it’s safe to say that the search engines will always be around, but to focus entirely on them and ignoring the other resources could be a costly business mistake.

remember to keep your eye on the prize of online success, and customers coming from various outlets, not  the search engines.

-To your online success!