At WordCamp Mid Atlantic 2009, Anil Dash, CEO of Six Apart announced that they offer plug-ins for their bitter rival WordPress. ReadWriteWeb has stated that this action is like “Apple releasing software that runs on Windows”. This attempt is a strategic move to monetize through the popularity of WordPress.
Six Apart has clearly stated that their effort is to help bloggers irrespective of blogger tools used by them, to make the most of their blog using powerful services.
1. TypePad Connect
TypePad Connect is a free and easy to integrate service that brings a whole new level of community to your site. People who wish to leave a comment on your blog, can create profiles using their Google, Facebook, Yahoo or OpenID accounts. They can also follow each other’s activity across the web. It also enables users link to their rich profile that contains their comment history, and links to their own blogs and their accounts on Twitter, Flickr and other services.
2. TypePad AntiSpam
TypePad AntiSpam engine is a free plugin for bloggers, to protect your wordpress from invasive comments. It adapts to every changing spam technique and gets smarter every time you report spam.
3. Six Apart Media
Six Apart Media offers advertising solutions to allow WordPress bloggers to monetize their blog. Bloggers will have total control over the display of ads on their site.
Blogs.com is Six Apart’s blog directory where a team of passionate editors chose featured blogs based on their quality, popularity and relevance. Now, WordPress users can submit their sites as well and get the latest buzz via editorial round-ups and top ten lists.
When offering vastly similar contents in web pages, Google will consider them as duplicate content and index only the web page that best suits the search query. Due to this procedure, the webpage which has to be indexed is missed by Google.
For instance, http://www.example.com/products?trackingid=car
and http://www.example.com/products?categoryid=blackcar are duplicates of http://www.example.com/products. When the query is for black color, the http://www.example.com/products?categoryid=blackcar is indexed instead of http://www.example.com/products.
To overcome this issue, Google has introduced a new HTML called “link”. By adding a
element to the site code, webmasters can suggest identical pages to Google.
Copy this link into the section of all non-canonical versions of the page, such as http://www.example.com/products?trackingid=car and http://www.example.com/products?categoryid=blackcar.
The result of this approach is that the crawler does not need to crawl the duplicate pages to identify the canonical relationships.
Remember, you can suggest canonicalization only across sub-domains and within a domain, and not across domains.
Webmasters need to take care of websites, and feed them regularly to help them grow steadily. Here are five essential tasks that you need to do daily to keep your site at the top of search engine.
Search engines are willing to offer only fresh content to their users. So it has become a must for you to post fresh content on your website. It is best to change the site’s content regularly. You need not change the whole page, just reframe the existing content or update existing content with additional data. Try to add more articles and information to your site on a regular basis.
Check whether all links on your site are live and direct to the correct page. The links’ label should be relevant to the page that they link to. Don’t overload your site with links; have control over all links on your site. Make sure that all features in your site work well.
Advertising is an effective marketing strategy followed by marketers right from a very early stage, to bring brand awareness among people. So advertise your site on the net, by placing links to your site in relevant pages for free, or for a minimal amount, and exchanging links as well. The commonly followed web advertising techniques are Pay per Click (PPC), Cost per Action (CPA), article marketing and email marketing.
4. Social Bookmarking
Bookmark your site in popular social bookmarking sites like digg.com, Yahoo! Buzz, Technorati.com, StumbleUpon.com etc, and tag/categorize it with relevant keywords.
5. Promote it
Actively participate in blogs and forums relevant to your site by raising questions, giving suggestions, rating answers etc, and leave your site link in the signature section. Build a friends list by adding users who have replied to your post. Leave your site link in the signature of all emails you send out. Write articles on any subject relevant to your site, and post them on article directories like Ezine articles. Don’t forget to add your site link in the author’s biography box.
In the net world, spam has become a common threat among webmasters. Recaptcha has come to rescue them, by offering images of letters and numbers for humans to decipher. The Recapthca integration module is offered as an add-on with MarkIt, to help webmasters safeguard their site from spammers. Social bookmarking site will attract more visitors, so spammers are concentrating more on social bookmarking sites. So it is the must use add-on for MarkIt users.
Facebook is the popular social networking site that has pulled in more than 75% of net users. So offering some means to make use of Facebook information like profile, friends list and account details of Facebook in a site will attract more users. This attempt is a strategic move to monetize through the Facebook popularity. Another add-on module called ‘Fconnect’ of MarkIt, will enable users to login using their Facebook Id. It doesn’t stop with this; users logged in with their Facebook Id can invite their Facebook friends and even add their MarkIt site details to Facebook profile box. Fconnect will be the right choice for raising the site members’ count.
It offers one more add-on named ‘Zementa API Integration’ which suggests relevant tags collected around the web while adding a bookmark to help users select tags just on single go. This module will reduce the time taken to track down information to include.
Speaking on the announcement, Sheerin, Vice President Marketing at Agriya, said “We, at Agriya, always work for our customer satisfaction. We try to bring something new into our product and make it unique in the market. The release of the add-ons for MarkIt is one such effect. We are sure that customer will really love to add those modules and make it success.”
Firefox has become popular among net browsers due to its attractive features including tabbed browsing, spell checker, live bookmarking, an integrated download manager, keyboard shortcuts, and an integrated search system that uses the user’s desired search engine.
Firefox offers thousands of add-ons that provide users the capability to customize Firefox according to their requirements. Here, we have compiled add-ons that help webmasters in search engine optimization.
Twitter is one of the social media used by SEO experts to share their activities like recently posted articles, press releases, recent updates on products, with millions of people around the world. Twitterfox add-on will place a small icon near Firefox’s bottom tab. It will notify you when your friends update their status in Twitter, and also offers a text field to update your status. Thus you can follow up on tweets and update your twitter status without logging in to Twitter.
SearchStatus is specially designed for Search Engine Marketers (SEMs) to provide extensive search related information like Google PageRank , Compete.com ranking , Alexa popularity ranking, Alexa incoming ranking, Linkscape mozrank, backlinks etc, of a visiting site. From this information, SEM can get a balanced view of a site efficacy. Analyzing a website or blog is so easy with SearchStatus.
As IE is used by more than 60% of internet users, it is a must for web masters to check how well their website works on IE. IEview is a simple Firefox extension that opens a current page or a selected link in IE with a single right-click, to check how their design works on IE without leaving Firefox. This add-on is useful for cross-browser testing.
Colorzilla is a color picker tool which is useful in choosing colors for advertisement headers or web design. It integrates a number of color-related analysis tools with your browser to get the exact hexadecimal code of colors. On placing your cursor on any specific pixel, the Eyedropper feature of colorzilla will display the RGB numbers, hexadecimal code, X-Y axis location and CSS properties of that pixel. Color plays a major role in attracting visitors. If you find attractive colors on any site, you can get its color code and use it in your site’s CSS design.
A website should convey messages clearly without any errors. A website filled with misspelled words, will definitely lose its power among visitors. English Dictionary is a very useful add-on that checks for spelling of English words. This add-on will facilitate your work by checking spelling and grammar as you write texts.
You had a brilliant idea, you launched a business and you’ve started your website. But what do you to promote it? How do you get people to come to your website? And then how do you get them to buy your products? Here are a few tips to market your business online:
One of the easiest and smartest ways to get more traffic to your site is by getting a high rank in popular search engines. To get listed with search engines like Yahoo, Google or Inktomi, you have to submit your site to them. Make sure that the keywords under which you want your article to be found are effectively used and are placed at the top of your articles/pages.
Ensure that the titles on all your pages are relevant and linked to what your business is about. Try to get yourself a domain name that goes well with your business, or if you are a well known, well established company, then try to use your company’s name.
Use your website address on everything you print for your business purposes – letter heads, visiting cards, etc. to promote your business offline as well. Since most people now turn to the web to obtain details and read reviews, it’s good to direct them to your website in every way possible. Try to let the local, national and global press know of your website. Make use of press releases both online and offline.
Advertise online. Both free and paid ads work well. Place classified ads on the net and provide crisp details of what your business offers. Web banners are another effective technique to let people know of what you provide and guide them back to your website through links.
The content on your site needs to be precise, of good language and detailed. Once you’ve managed to direct traffic to your site, you need to keep your visitors from just browsing through and moving on. They need to be convinced into buying something.
Use a good design, with appropriate colours and placement, use good pictures or flash, provide videos on your site, and keep all your text well written. One of the main reasons people are going to keep coming back to your site is because of good comprehendible content. Use a site map for better navigation. Nobody really has the time, and a well constructed site map will definitely be appreciated.
Publish articles about your business, write blog posts and welcome suggestions. Interacting with potential customers using chats, forums and blogs will be of definite help; provide a platform for people to interact with each other as well on your site.
Hitwise, an Internet traffic monitor, reports “In the four-week period ending in April 2008, nearly 10% (9.84%) of registered search engine traffic came from paid clicks. But in the four weeks preceding May 9, 2009, this figure declined from 26%, to 7.25%.” Experts say that the main reason for this decline is the economic downturn which led most companies to slim down their marketing budget.
Hitwise also stated that the trend is noticeable across all categories except education. In education sites, paid search results have increased from 1.39% to 1.45%, whereas in major retail sites and travel agencies paid search traffic was down to 20% and 25% respectively. Amazon has declared that it will not pay referral fees to its affiliates.
The search giant Google has noted only 3 % rise in the paid clicks across all of its Adsense partners in the last quarter of 2008. Some of the large brands like Orbitz have skipped this paid link marketing strategy stating that they have already got first place for their respective brands.
Another reason for the decline may be due to the availability of other effective marketing strategies like email marketing which is available at low cost. Also some companies have moved to social networking which is the most effective way to reach the intended audience at zero cost.
Companies are getting smarter about searches and have moved to organic search engine optimization techniques like social networking, forum discussion, article submission, directory submission etc. This might be the major reason for the reduction of paid search traffic.
Scansafe, the largest global provider of Web Security-as-a-Service, reported that a stealthy malware called Gumblar targets users of Internet Explorer and forcibly redirects Google search page results to compromised pages. It also steals FTP details of victims and creates a backdoor on the system. It is named for the domain gumblar.cn involved in the attacks.
“The stolen FTP credentials are then used to further compromise any Websites owned or operated by the victim,” Mary Landesman, senior security researcher at ScanSafe, told eWEEK. “As a result, there is exponential growth of these compromises—as more victims are infected by encountering a compromised site, the number of compromised sites also increases and thus more visitors are exposed.”
Landesman told SCMagazineUS.com, “Gumblar attacks have jumped nearly 188 percent over the first week of May.” The report also says that more than 1,500 Websites including Tennis.com, Variety.com and Coldwellbanker.com have been attacked in the first week of May.
The goal of the malware is to siphon dollars from Google’s highly profitable advertising franchises, by replacing links in the Google’s search results page with those of the attacker’s choice.
A Google spokesman told SCMagazineUS.com that some compromised sites associated with this exploit may include a warning, saying “this site may harm your computer” associated with their search results listing.
WordPress has released the Beta version of WordPress 2.8 and called the public to test it and file bugs. A lead developer of the WordPress development team has stated that they have implemented a lot of high-rated features listed in the WordPress Ideas Forum.
The lead developers have given top priority to widget management, theme browser/installer and performance upgrades for the 2.8 version. Apart from this, they have tried to fix some bugs.
I have listed some of the new features that caught my attention:
1. New Theme Installer routines
2. Add Documentation (function) lookup to Theme and Plug-in editors
3. Use “Custom Header” for menu text and revise Default theme to reflect change
4. Separate Comments into a separate postbox, from Discussion postbox, on the Edit Post screen
6. Don’t ask for confirmation when marking a comment as spam
7. Don’t notify post author of own comments
8. Allow the dashboard widgets to be arranged in up to four columns as set via the Screen Options tab.
9. Improved Admin icons (grey-to-transparent shadows)
10. Add column “Rating” in Administration > Links > Edit
11. Improved Widget user interface
12. Add toggle all button to the Gallery tab in the uploader
13. Support more than one gallery on the same page
14. Improved database performance
15. Improved performance for script loading
16. Timezone enhancements for PHP 5
17. Add a function to output a generic widget anywhere in a template
18. Make login more pluggable
19. Add support for blocking all outbound HTTP requests
20. HTTP API updates and fixes
21. Add filters so AIM, Yahoo, and Jabber IM labels in user profiles can be changed.
At Searchology 2009, Google unveiled Rich Snippets that enhance search results by highlighting structured data embedded in web pages. Rich Snippets provide users convenient summary information, including important page-specific attributes like review and price range, to help surfers quickly identify the relevance of their results.
When people search for products or services, they can get reviews and ratings which will help them come to a conclusion. When searching for a person, the search results will offer additional information to help them distinguish between people with the same name. This is the welcome change in the SERP.
Rich Snippets is enabled for Google Custom Search with which webmasters can harness the power of Google to create a customized search experience for their own website. Webmasters can annotate their web pages with structured data in a standard format so as to make Google index custom attributes to offer richer snippets for their site.
Just use the two open standards, namely microformats and RDFa, to annotate structured data on your site. Without any prior knowledge in these standards, you can use them easily just with a basic knowledge of XHTML.
Actually, with microformats or RDFa, you have to label each piece of important text in your web content like product name, rate or review. In order to make computers understand this important text, just provide additional HTML tags. Google or any other search engine software will find the important section of web content easily and display it in useful way.
Annotate your site to offer enhanced search results for your site and make your site visible to your intended audience.
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