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With so many cutting edge marketing and promotion methods coming into practice these days, it’s easy to forget the basics. A few good manners go a long, long way – an old concept but very applicable to modern Internet marketing and web site promotion strategies.

Introducing my new soap-box – the “Common Courtesy Strategy (CCS)” series!

When you first launch your site, the chances are that traffic will not start flowing immediately, and perhaps never – it’s not just how your site looks or operates that will ensure it’s success or failure. According to numerous sources I’ve come across during my research, the average web site only receives around 3 unique visitors a day! (more…)


Content is King

All Hail The King
On the Internet Content is king and it always will be. This is because the Internet is the information superhighway and most people use it for information of some sort.

The information on a website is its content, generally the more useful and interesting content a website has the more successful it will be, because more people will want to visit it again and again, this is especially true if a website is constantly adding more and more content on a regular basis, be it articles, tutorials, news and opinion or whatever.

Content is what drives the web, OK, OK – what about the vast variety of products that can be bought on the web? (more…)

One of the standard elements of web page optimization is Keyword Density: up until very recently the ratio of keywords to rest of body text was generally deemed to be one of the most important factors employed by search engines to determine a web site’s ranking.

However, this basically linear approach is gradually changing now: as mathematical linguistics and automatic content recognition technology progresses, the major search engines are shifting their focus towards “theme” biased algorithms that do not rely on analysis of individual web pages anymore but, rather, will evaluate whole web sites to determine their topical focus or “theme” and its relevance in relation to users’ search requests. (more…)

Have you ever visited a web site and they ask you to link to their site…and that’s it?! They give you no reason to link. I have to be honest, I won’t link to a web site unless I get some kind of benefit. If you want people to link to your web site give them something in return. The following are some reasons I might link to another web site:

The web site offers a reciprocal link in return. It must draw the same targeted visitors as my web site. They agree to give me the same kind of link (banner, text, graphic, etc) in return. The link must also be in the same position on their web site as it is on mine.

The web site gives away free stuff for linking. They may give me a free membership in their online club or association, offer me a free ad in their ebook, submit my site to thousands of search engine and directories, free e-mail consulting, etc. (more…)

Search engine optimization has come full circle in the last couple of years. Back in the mid 1990s it was easy to achieve high search engine rankings. Just tweak your META tags and site copy with keywords and submit. Then, as more and more webmasters started to catch on to META Tags, it became more difficult to beat the competition. Many companies turned to spam tactics such as hidden text (the same color as the background of the page), hidden links (using 1 x 1 pixel gifs to hide them), doorway pages stuffed with keywords and cloaked content, all designed to be seen by search engine robots and not humans in an attempt to trick the search engines into giving the site a higher ranking.

Thankfully, over the past few years, achieving high search rankings has become fairer and more straight-forward. The search engines have given less weighting to META tags and more relevancy weighting to sites that are popular, of high quality and contain unique, relevant information. Most search engines have developed comprehensive spam filters that weed out the spammers from the legitimate sites and penalize sites caught trying to cheat the system. Google in particular has led the charge for quality over quantity. (more…)

The Basics
You have probably been to a site that had a section called a “Guestbook”. Many sites ask you to “sign their guestbook”, and many of these guestbooks also permit HTML code in the guestbook comments, meaning you or I or anyone can visit guestbooks on web sites all day long and systematically create links back to our sites from hundreds of other site’s guestbooks.

Naturally, some web marketers (probably the ones that think exit pop-ups are useful) think that by signing guestbooks and adding links by the hundreds they will improve their link popularity scores at search engines. Before you get excited and do a Google search on the phrase “sign our guestbook” (1.9 million BTW) and head off like a link monkey, here’s my take on the whether guestbook links are valid, ignored, or penalized, and if they have any impact on the success of a web site’s link popularity. (more…)

Motivation Is Key
What is the motivation for one site owner to link to another site?

The fundamental design of the web allows for any document to link to and to be linked from any other document. This is how the web’s inventors intended it when the hypertext protocol was first developed long ago, before most of us had ever heard of the Internet.

Initially developed as a way to help researchers interlink related documents from computers all over the world, the web was soon discovered by those more interested in commerce, and several years later, here we are. It’s interesting to me that nearly every commercially related web development since its founding has been in some way related to the link (that is, an attempt to find new ways for one site to be linked to another). Banner ads are, at their core, just a link from one site to another. So are text ads in newsletters, buttons, badges, icons, etc. A paid search engine listing or optimized search result is nothing more than a link. Your coveted Yahoo! text listing, that banner that gets you one percent click-through, and even that email newsletter sponsorship — no matter how you spin it — are all links. Anything to be clicked on that shuttles people from one place to another while online constitutes a link. (more…)

More More More…
You know you should have more links pointing to your site, but you’re not sure what the best approach is to pursue them. One of my favorite approaches is to use the search results for terms that are important for my site.

I do a search at Google for a two or three word phrase that I wish I was ranked first for. Then, instead of treating all those other sites listed in the results like they were competitors, I think of them as potential link partners. Chances are not every site linked in those search results is a true competitor of your business. Those sites are competing with yours only for the search terms, not products and services. (more…)

As with any language, one needs to learn it one word at a time. With the rapid growth of the Internet, a whole new set of terms and definitions have arisen. To be successful, a webmaster needs to be able to speak the “language.” Below is a listing of some of the major terms and definitions used when describing the process and important of link building.

Search Engine: A computerized index of the web pages; creating a searchable database. Examples are AltaVista, Google. (more…)

Worth Your Time?
“Link popularity” is the one of newest buzzword in the Internet community and is something the search engine optimizers (SEOs) are discussing nonstop. For those unsure of what it means, link popularity essentially describes how popular your website is, based on the number of links from other sites, that point to yours. It is a bit more complicated than that but, for this article that simple definition should suffice.

It is all about the mighty search engines! The search engines in their quest to produce meaningful and productive results for their users are using this particular property of your website to help filter and organize the massive amount of websites in their databases. So to have you website be “visible” to the search engines and thus their users, you need to work on getting inbound links. It is something you can do yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Either way, it is a “must do” promotional technique. (more…)