You have probably gotten an email or two, or phone calls telling you how you can be on the first page of Google! Get your 1000+ backlinks for only “X amount of dollars” and watch your website climb to the top of the search.
This statement used to be somewhat true until Google made changes a few months ago. Penguin. Penguin is a change in Google’s algorithm, not a penalty. When it’s a change in the algorithm, it affects ALL websites, not a singled out site. This update has pretty much killed buying links as a strategy to get your website ranked high in a Google search. Don’t get me wrong, backlinks are good AND necessary in your Internet Marketing Strategy. Continue reading
Last week I was delivered one of several Yellow Books I get each year. I was somewhat amazed at what was delivered. The Yellow Book has always been one of the largest books delivered in the area — and to my amazement it was almost half the size of
What’s going on with the Yellow Book? Do you recall, back in November of last year, I talked about promoting your business yesterday and today? (If not, click the link and read it
) I wrote back in November that the yellow book used to be one of the best places to market your business and that in the future things would change. WOW! I was right. The evidence of this year’s Yellow Book shows us that marketing your business is changing – and fast!
Internet Marketing is the way of the future. Google, Bing and Yahoo are evolving into a living and breathing directory where information changes in a blink of your eye. They allow people to find information anywhere in the world; but primarily focusing on local business, along with offering so much to business with websites. Now even the yellow books have to rely on Google, Bing and Yahoo to survive; offering the same tools that are available to every business owner.
When we started our website development business back in 1999 there were only a handful of web developers in the area. By mid 2008, the growth of website developers increased tremendously. The prices for designing and developing a website ranged anywhere from $99.00 to over $10,000.00.
Competition was at its highest. It also brought in some very questionable practices by some of the website designers and developers. Ever since the vast growth we have had numerous businesses come to us and ask us “what is wrong with our website?” or “my webmaster will not return my calls”. The next most common statement we hear over and over again… “We paid them so much money to build our website and now we don’t have the monies to fix it — can you help us?”
The majority of business owners don’t know where to start or what is involved in having a website. This lack of knowledge opens the door for unscrupulous practices which usually leads to unpleasant results. It is VITAL that every business owner knows what is involved in building any type of website whether it’s a small 1 page calling card website to large websites with several hundred pages.
I have a business friend that just launched a beautiful new website. She used the company that developed her original site… this company literally framed her website. They built the website on a different hosting company then where the website was being hosted, then used i-frames (inline frame – an HTML document being inserted into another HTML page) to publish the website with their hosting company. The problem with this technique is, search engines will not be able to see the content of the website. The result of this practice is the website will not place very high within the search engines.
Let’s go back about 15 years ago — when one of the best ways to market your business was having an ad in the Yellow Pages. It was the best way to find a business because just about every home and business had at least 1 or 2 phone books. As a
business owner, if you did not get your ad in by deadline, you were left out until the following year. Businesses suffered because of it. Today, there are at least 2 different “yellow books” being published, and if you don’t advertise in both of them, you take the risk of some people not seeing you.
Now, search engines are the new directories. The Yellow Pages are beginning to rely on the search engines because their books are not being using as much as past years. You find more and more people using the yellow books as a door stop or a booster seat for their kids. More and more people are using the search engines in order to find businesses and what they have to offer.
With the age of the smart phone now upon us, we are seeing an increase in mobile searches and with that comes maps that show where a business is located. Who would have ever thought several years ago, that you’d be able to find a business on a map – on your phone, driving down the road? Let’s also not forget about how many people have computers with high speed internet connections in their homes. They, too, use the search engines to find businesses. The yellow pages become outdated quickly, as they are only printed 1 time a year, whereas the internet offers fresh information on a daily basis.
What is artificial intelligence?
It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable. ~ John McCarthy
Is Google developing their search engine to be some type of artificial intelligence that can predict what you are searching for? What’s next – talking to your computer and telling it what you are looking for? If you were a “Trekkie” (Star Trek fan), that’s what they did all the time! Some of the things that they did on that show are things we are using today, in some form or another. Was Gene Rodenberry ahead of his time?
If you’ve been around the internet long enough, I’m sure you have probably seen someone say something along these lines “We will submit your website to Google and other Search Engines and make you #1!”
We have found that a lot of people think that this signifies that company works for or is a partner with the search engines like Google. They have the “in” with the search engines…and if they submit your website to the search engines that you will definitely be found in a search.
Let me just say, none of us has any special “in or pull” with the search engines. The search engines’ algorithm to position websites is their trade secret. Over time companies that specialize in website placement have learned what it takes to have a website positioned high in the search engines.
What I am talking about is “robots.txt”. This is a text file that is uploaded to the root of your website and works with the search engines.
Now, you don’t have to have Robots on your website; but not having this file may cause some issues. Let’s say you have duplicate pages in your site – one for viewing and the other one for printing. You may not want the search engines to index both pages because this could impose a penalty for duplicate content. You also probably wouldn’t want your print page to be indexed, as it would have nothing referring back to your website on it.
A robots.txt file tells the search engines the pages that you don’t want them to visit on your website. For the most part the good search engines will obey what you ask them to do. There are some rogue search engines out there that will bypass the robots.txt file, so if you have some sensitive data on your website, you need to lock them up.
What is a “meta description tag”? It is a brief and concise summary of your content within your web page that can be used for search engines or directories. This description should be relatively short.