Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page
If you have spoken with me about search engine optimization in the past, after exclaiming the virtues of relevant content, at some point inbound links get mentioned – specifically, relevant inbound links! The more inbound links you get from relevant and credible websites the more Google is going to like you. Well, in theory, as I always say, but now I have more recent proof.
In going through my RSS Reader to get caught up on all my hundreds of updates I need to read, I came across an article from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog from earlier in the month that I thought was worth sharing. It backs up what I have been saying and it’s straight from the horse’s mouth – well, the mouth of Google’s Official blog, anyway. Here are the best excerpts:
“Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance. Other signals include things like our analysis of your site’s content, its relevance to a geographic location, etc. As many of you know, relevant, quality inbound links can affect your PageRank. And quality links often come naturally to sites with compelling content or offering a unique service.
How do these signals factor into ranking?
Let’s say I have a site, example.com, that offers users a variety of unique website templates and design tips. One of the strongest ranking factors is my site’s content. Additionally, perhaps my site is also linked from three sources — however, one inbound link is from a spammy site. As far as Google is concerned, we want only the two quality inbound links to contribute to the PageRank signal in our ranking.
Given the user’s query, over 200 signals (including the analysis of the site’s content and inbound links as mentioned above) are applied to return the most relevant results to the user.
So how can you engage more users and potentially increase merit-based inbound links?
Many webmasters have written about their success in growing their audience. We’ve compiled several ideas and resources that can improve the web for all users.
Create unique and compelling content on your site and the web in general
- Start a blog: make videos, do original research, and post interesting stuff on a regular basis. If you’re passionate about your site’s topic, there are lots of great avenues to engage more users.
- Teach readers new things, uncover new news, be entertaining or insightful, show your expertise, interview different personalities in your industry and highlight their interesting side. Make your site worthwhile.
- Participate thoughtfully in blogs and user reviews related to your topic of interest. Offer your knowledgeable perspective to the community.
- Provide a useful product or service. If visitors to your site get value from what you provide, they’re more likely to link to you.”
The see the article in it’s entirety, go to Good times with inbound links
I have never met her but learned of her through a client of ours that her mother worked for. She is a young girl who is terminal with cancer. Her name is Megan and her story is heart breaking. Please take a moment to visit her website and consider a donation to help her mother pay for her medical bills.
Most of our customers use Early Impact’s Product Cart for their e-commerce. Product Cart, while a really boring (but obvious) name, is an incredibly powerful e-commerce shopping cart that we are proud to be certified developers for here at NetSource Technologies.
Earlier this year with the release of Product Cart v3.051, the shopping cart now includes an e-commerce blog widget. This widget can be generated from the shopping cart’s adminstrative control panel. If you’re not familiar with blog widgets, they are simply extra bits of functionality that you can add to a blog.
To quote Early Impacts Wiki site:
The ProductCart E-Commerce Widget allows you to take selected products you have for sale on your ProductCart-powered store and have them show up on your blog, other Web sites, or even social networking pages. The process only takes minutes, and it can be an effective way to easily market your products.
Take note of the “selected products” text from the quote above. This widget is not intended to be a full fledged version of your shopping cart on your blog, as it won’t be. However, if you have a blog to promote your e-commerce store, now you can blog about a particular item and generate an e-commerce widget to sell the product directly from your blog. Instant impulse buy!
Now that’s pretty cool!
Last month I touched on RSS feeds – what they are and how to use them (See RSS Feeds – How To Guide). I wanted to expand upon RSS a bit more and how RSS will continue to play a bigger role in your online world. In this instance, I want to talk about how RSS gives you another avenue to promote your business.
If you are currently involved with Google Adwords (PPC, or Pay-Per-Click), you may be familiar with the Google Content Network. This is where in addition to displaying on Google search result pages, you can have your Adwords display on other websites that are included in the Google network (AdSense). Now Google Adwords can display within a RSS reader. Get a feed about a particular RSS piece of information and you may see a related ad displayed near the posting – your results may vary, depending on what RSS feed reader you are using and where you’re getting the feed from. Love it or hate it for a user’s point of view as it clutters your reader with ads, it is yet another tool to market your business.
It is a fairly new rollout from Google (earlier this year) and they just released some new functionality within the last week, but it is worth keeping in mind for your Adwords campaign. As RSS feeds become more mainstream, its worth will likely continue to grow.
My prediction is that it will be viable for some but not everyone. Just like the high impression/low click through rate of the Google Content Network, it will still take testing to determine if this option for Adwords nets you a good return. But it’s good to have options.
If content is king, why won’t he change his clothes every now and again? That robe is starting to stink…
No matter how fancy we make your site, your clients and customers are coming to it for the content that you are sharing. Your content is compelling them to contact you, to spend their money with you, to become your loyal subjects. Or is it just the same content that has been on the site for the last 4 years? And is that content something you had pushed off to someone else who already had enough on their plate that day, so they tied some bits of information together to get that web designer off their back?
Your site is your online kingdom. To keep your customers in your kingdom, you need to keep them excited and interested.
Just how interesting is your website content? Can you read through it without yawning? Is it stiff and uninteresting? If so, why are you letting that content represent you?