Google can be your friend or your enemy

It all depends if you follow the rules.  Google can make or break your web presence.  Follow the rules and you’ll be fine.  In fact google will help you along the way.  Google is extraordinarily powerful in its searching algorithm.  As such, google can easily separate legitimate content from the fakes.  Here’s some examples.

Google dont’s:

  • Google can tell if you’re keyword stuffing.  At the very least, Google matches up the content of your keywords (tags) with the content of your webpage.  Don’t stuff your pages with keywords.  Keywords should match your content closely.  It’s better to choose fewer keywords that have the strongest tie ins to your webpages.
  • Presently, Google doesn’t have a favorable view towards tag clouds.  It’s a shame, since the legitimate purpose of tag clouds is to aid in Web 2.0 navigation.  Interested in the “Big topics” the tag cloud helps out massively.
  • Link usage.  There’s no issue here if the purpose is to enhance your content, however, if your links are designed solely to pass traffic, Google can tell.  To Google this looks like link farms acting as hubs between content that isn’t very related.  Google will penalize on site if this is found to be the case.
  • Broken pages.  If it’s difficult for Google to crawl, your “importance to Google” may be reduced.

Google Do’s:

  • Get their Webmaster Tools.  This Google app will let you know if you have broken links, duplicate meta data, not enough meta, or too much meta.  You can pass a site map directly to Google to help them crawl your website.  This is important for self hosted WordPress sites.
  • Get Google Analytics.  This now plugs into the Webmaster Tools, but Analytics can tell you everything you want to know about your site stats.
  • Use original content.  This is the most important rule.  You can’t go wrong here, either.  If it looks nothing like anything else out there on the internet, Google will show you some love
  • Follow the Google rules and terms of service.

Google is still the authority in search engines.  Playing by their rules not only saves time, but also preserves the hard work you have put into establishing your web presence.

Blog Feeds and Google Feedburner Usage

Good afternoon FPO readers,

Yesterday I got FinancialPlaceOnline.com setup with Google Feedburner for delivering site feeds.  So far everything is going well.  The code snippet did take a while to set up right.  Here’s some helpful hints if you are looking to get setup with Feedburner:

  • All feeding is handled from the Publicize tab
  • Make sure to have the correct sender address in the communication preferences menu
  • There are multiple options such as email subscriptions, chickletize, and BuzzBoost
  • A chicklet is a feed linked to an icon.  It can be the traditional loudspeaker icon or any option of predefined feed icons
  • The email feed generated “form” code which can be included in your existing graphics.  Care should be noted not to execute one form within another.  Also, stock Feedburner code sets a style for borders, padding, and an align-center.  I eliminated this and kept with my site specific style class.
  • The management of the feed, once everything is initialized is very intuitive.  If you’re a fan of “set it and forget it”, Feedburner will work well for you!

Below is an example link using Feedburner.  This is a functional subscription link for FinancialPlaceOnline.com if you would like to subscribe to an excellent daily financial read!

Subscribe to Financial Place Online by Email

The internet is watching you

The internet is becoming more populated every year.  With the increase of business that is conducted on the internet as well as advances in software technology, advertisers are taking stronger interest in how to captivate this audience.  The main driver for this is the amount of time that is spent by the average person on the internet.  The difference with TV is that the Internet advertisers can use technology to enhance their segmentation and message.  The principle behind this ability is that when people browse the internet, they leave behind traces of what they have done.  For example, if someone searches the internet for a new car (reviews, safety issues, specs), chances are that they will be greeted with ads wherever they go based on their search criteria.  A search for a Honda Civic would bring up ads from various dealers.  In fact, the technology is so good that these dealers will often be local to the person because of traceability through a person’s internet service provider.  While there are policies in place to protect personal information, the nature of such exact tailoring of ads can be invasive towards people.  It goes a step above advertising a certain product during a specific TV program to capture a target audience.  The advertisements will be automatically generated by a user’s request for a website, whether solicited from that user or not.

Advertising tactics used on the internet bring in business to brick and mortar businesses as well.  Visa and Master Card credit cards are offered by many banks.  Some banks offer both.  By using e-marketing, a bank can arrange for ads to be displayed that advertise Visa when a potential customer searches the internet for Visa cards.  One way this occurs is if a Visa shareholder uses a website to check the price of their stock.  It would be likely that a bank purchases the right to put ads up on this website in the hopes that a user would search for Visa and have an automatically generated ad that offers to direct the user to the bank’s website.  There are many other ways that advertising can be done on the internet.  What makes online advertising so effective is that ads only need to appear when there is a reasonable belief that as a result of a search that someone would have interest in their product or service.  This type of system is efficient and keeps advertising costs low.

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