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SEO Principles

May 24, 2014 // Posted in General, Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Google

Google

Search Engine Optimisation is key to your site being found on the Internet.

SEO is your way of improving your website’s ranking in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The more time and possibly money (if employing an external management  company) you spend on SEO, the more chance you will have of being the first search result listed by Google – which is the ultimate goal of any website and to be easily found by your potential customers.

The simplest technique is by altering the text, or ‘content’ on your website. To do this you must first understand your website’s target audience, who are they and what words will they type into Google when they are looking for this particular service or product?  There are of course many possibilities, and it is important to investigate those options and compile a list of your best appropriate keywords and phrases.

Once your keywords and phrases have been researched, your content can then be re-structured effectively so that it is ‘optimized’ and SEO friendly. You can have professional help with this, so talk to an SEO specialist company about what they would recommend. Other important actions include linking, (both internally – from your own site, and externally – other websites providing good linksto yours preferably from PR3 or higher sites) and implementing meta-tags, sub-headings, and website descriptions on all of your web pages. Content is king, so your success will be determined by the quality and relevance of your page content.

Important SEO principles  like ‘Black Hat’ and ‘White Hat’ SEO strategies. These two are very different  and it helps to understand the differences between them before talking to an SEO company about tactics for your website so you can make the right decisions.

‘White Hat’ SEO companies will use or recommend good design, good relevant content and appropriate linking. These will achieve longer lasting results and ranking.

‘Black Hat’ SEO companies, on the other hand will use underhand and inappropriate tactics to get fast results but at the expense of long term strategies and a sustainable website. They will hide bulk keyword text by using a background colour the same as the text so the text doesn’t display, or use font-colours to do the same or very small font sixes so that the text is not readable by humans. This will result in an immediate increase in ranking initially in some cases, but it won’t be very long before the search engines start imposing penalties on those sites and may even remove them from their search results completely.

So if you choose to use an external SEO company, be aware of these two types of SEO companies and ensure you choose the right one.

Keep up to date with what search engines are considering when ranking web site pages and adjust your content accordingly regularly to keep your site high in the rankings.

Also make sure you re-submit your site map to search engines regularly, and every time you make major changes to your site to keep your search results accurate and not link to now non-existing pages or content.

 

 

Time to think differently with facebook likes and shares

April 23, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

#facebook

Apart from the obvious visual changes in facebook, some of which, in my opinion have not improved the facebook experience, facebook are changing some of the processes around sharing and liking.

 

If you have an online marketing strategy,you may want to start rethinking how you use Facebook in light of the recent announcement from the company about business spam.

Facebook, like Google, is making changes to its algorithm to ensure users get the best content – most relevant, newest and most original. That bit makes sense.

 

Facebook, however, isn’t just thinking about the content – it also wants to be highly profitable. There philosophy is ‘Why give away free advertising to businesses when you can charge them for it?”

Facebook feels that if they restrict the free visibility they give to businesses, that businesses will pay to get it back.

So what is facebook changing?

1. Asking for Likes, Shares and Comments

 

People and businesses asking for likes, shares and comments in order to promote products is commonplace and expected. Increasing likes, shares and comments, posts appear in many newsfeeds, increasing brand and product visibility – without the company having to pay for it.

Facebook, however, is now calling this common practice,  “like-baiting.” And if you do it, the chances are that your business or website will now be prevented from appearing in users newsfeeds. This means that in future it will be much more difficult to get your ‘organic’ posts to appear in users newsfeeds.

Facebook,  want to crack down on this ‘like-baiting’ practice in order to provide users with, what they say is, ‘a more relevant experience’. After all they want users to find content that matters to them. Otherwise what’s the point and they won’t make any money out of organic posts.

 

2. Frequently Re-Circulating Content

 

In addition to “like-baiting,” Facebook is now making efforts to limit the amount of content that is being re-circulated on News Feeds. Going viral used to be a golden egg search marketers could hope for. Now it holds much less power.

 

Before when content would go viral, it would often happen in waves. Every few months, it would go viral again. Facebook considers this content less relevant to users. According to Facebook, users are complaining about re-circulated content.

 

They’re also complaining about content that isn’t going viral, but is being re-posted by the Pages. Taking the same content and re-posting it will now get you off the News Feeds. Testing so far has shown users are hiding 10% fewer stories from Pages when this update is in place.

 

3. Spamming Links

 

Spamming links come in many forms. Some posts have confusing formatting, and users are “tricked” into clicking on a link. Others say they link to something of relevance, such as a photo album, but when users click on the link, they end up on a website chocked full of ads.

 

How is Facebook determining which links are spammy? They’re tracking the frequency of how often the original post is liked or shared with friends after the links have been clicked. And this can be a problem.

 

If businesses are posting legit content, but it’s just not getting the number of likes or shares it needs, it could end up being flagged by Facebook. What is a business to do? Ask users to like and share their posts – exactly what Facebook is saying they no longer want businesses to do.

So what are you to do to promote your business on facebook?

1. Don’t ask for likes, comments or shares.

2. Don’t re-post items over and over again.

3. Don’t post misleading links.

4. Last resort, pay for advertising.

 

How to get a specific image, title and detail to display in the facebook share on facebook when someone clicks the share button on your page

February 28, 2014 // Posted in Computer Tips, General, Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

 

#facebook

Facebook have recently removed some functionality from the sharer.php and share.php, so that you can no longer send customised parameters to the sharer such as images, title and detail description.

You now have to either create an app or you can use the Open Graph tags.

The open graph tags are used in the following way:

Add the following to the head section of your page, either in an html fragment or directly into the page HTML:
<meta property="og:title" content="My Web Site Title" />
<meta property="og:type" content="website" />
url" content="http://www.mysite.co.uk" />
<meta property="og:image" content="http://www.mysite.co.uk/images/myimage.jpg" />
<meta property="og:site_name" content="My Site" />
<meta property="og:description" content="Here would go the details about your site that you would like to appear in the description area." />
<meta property="fb:admins" content="1996403603" />

Replace the highlighted areas with your own details.

The fb:admins is the id of the user that manages your facebook pages, here’s how to find it: Go to 

https://developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer/  (While you are logged into facebook)

You will see the following:

The highlighted number will be your fb:admins ID. 

Then add your share button, image or text and add a hyperlink like:

http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://www.mysite.co.uk/index.html

Set the target to New Window

Add an an onclick event to the hyperlink by adding the following over the __AddCode=”Here” tag of the hyperlink in the attach HTML.

onclick="var w = window.open(this.href,'_blank','width=600,height=400,left=20, top=20, menubar=no,resizable=no, scrollbars=yes,status=no,toolbar=no'); if( w != null ){ w.focus(); }; return false;"

The onclick event will open the sharer page in a pop-up window so that the user doesn’t leave your site to share the page.

Ok so far so good, but if you click your share button now, it will not pick up the details in the OG tags but will try and find an image on the page and use the page title, it will also try to find some text on the page to use as a description.

The reason is that facebook needs to ‘scrape’ your page first to store the details in the OG tag. So we need to force facebook to ‘scrape’ your page. To do this go to  https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/ and enter your full page URL in the box and click Debug:

You should get a result something like the one below with no errors:

Now reload your page and click your share button, it should now show the Title, description and image you set in the OG tags.

Your share pop-up should then look something like:

 

Facebook will re-scrape your page every 24 hours, so if you make changes to your OG tags it may take 24 hours for them to change when you click your share button. If you need any changes to take effect immediately, then just go to the OG debug page and re-debug your OG tags on the page again.

 

 

 

Who is Google sharing your info with?

December 31, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

Google

Google

I ask this question for one reason.

 

A short while a go, I was searching online for a Code signing certificate and was also looking at the hosting options currently available to see if there were any exceptional deals.

That was fine, did some searches and found some of what i was looking for.

Then I went into Facebook, now call this a co-incidence if you like, but I do not think there was any co-incidence at all. Google is sharing my information with Facebook!!

How do I know this?

Because now when I go into Facebook, I keep getting bombarded with adverts for SSL certificates and Hosting companies, and no there is no co-incidence about it, as I had never had an advert for SSL or Hosting on Facebook before, until I searched on Google for them.

If Google are sharing your browsing and search history with Facebook, what and with who else are they sharing?

Be aware and careful out there.

Steve

 

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