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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.

 

 

 

Facebook Shares not working correctly any more?

February 26, 2014 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

Just in case you have wondered why your facebook share buttons may be not working as you expected, Facebook have switched off some of the features of their sharer.php. So if you had share buttons that passed custom variables to the facebook sharer.php something like:

http://www.facebook.com/share.php?s=100&p%5Btitle%5D=This%20is%20a%20test&p%5Burl%5D=http://www.richosoft.co.uk&p%5Bimages%5D%5B0%5D=http://www.richosoft.co.uk/rsimages/myimage.png&p%5Bsummary%5D=This%20is%20a%20test%20message

These will no longer work, but instead they will pick up the Page Title and description for the title and description of the share. If you do not have active accurate OG tags, the custom image in the link will no longer display. If you have an active og:image link that image will display in the share, and if you have an active og:title and/or descriptions it will pick them up instead (once facebook has scraped your page that is).

It appears that if you now want to use a custom share on facebook you have to create an app, get it approved and then use one of the SDK’s to create custom ‘Stories’ and shares etc. or use the OG tags to create the content for the share, which facebook will re-scrape a max of once per 24 hours, so not much use if you have dynamic content for the share
There is several posts on the facebook developer forum, but facebook appear to be ignoring any requests to re-instate what was an easy to use and important feature for websites.

New Facebook share button docs here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs…s/share-button

regards

Steve

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

 

Are your Facebook Posts not being seen?

December 22, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

#facebook

You may have noticed that recently your posts on facebook are not being seen by many people.

There is an explanation for this.

Facebook announced recently that users posts will not be seen by all ‘page likers’ unless you pay for them to be seen, and the numbers of people who do see them will keep reducing over the coming months.

In some cases no-one will see your posts.

Whilst this is OK for businesses that are selling something as they should pay for the service, when you are posting free content or your personal posts, facebook are now saying that you too will have to pay if you want your posts to be seen. You may have noticed the number of pop-ups that have started to appear with messages such as “Boost your post for only XXX.XX”, “Reach more people…”  etc.

Facebook can of course do whatever they want, after all it is their system, but this may lead to many users leaving facebook, if their posts are not seen by anyone, after all what’s the point of posting stuff that only you will see?

I, for one, am not going to pay facebook for people to view my personal posts or free content posts, so am now looking at other alternatives to share my posts, such as Google+, and will post more on my blogs. I am also going to set up a mailing list so that my ‘page likers’ can subscribe and have my content delivered to their inboxes.

If you do not want to pay facebook for people to be able to view your posts, then you may also want to consider the alternatives.

I hope that this post has helped you understand why your posts reach on facebook have reduced substantially, and will allow you to find alternatives before your posts are just for you to see.

Steve

www.richosoft.co.uk

www.myphpsite.co.uk

 

The Dummies Guide to being a Moron on the Internet

December 8, 2013 // Posted in General, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Dummies Guide

Dummies Guide

How to be an absolute moron on the Internet

The Process in 10 Easy Steps

STEP 1

Go to Google, Yahoo and any other free email services and set up hundreds of new email addresses. You will need some that are absolutely meaningless like QwvFHJH@gmail.com and some that will be useful in later steps such as barclaysbank.custserv@hotmail.com.

 

 

STEP 2

Scan internet pages for email addresses, and save them in a database for future steps, or better still set up a web bot to do it for you, it can get them while you are sleeping then.

STEP 3 (Optional)
Write a facebook app and call it something like CityVille or FarmVille or similar, you will be able to get your hands on millions of emails and post to millions of walls once you have got this.
STEP 4

Find some free web hosts and get some web space, get a domain name that means nothing like qtyrew.com and set up some sub domains like paypal.admin.qtyrew.com so they look like they belong to PayPal, banks etc.

STEP 5
Use the email addresses you set up in Step 1 to send emails out to all the addresses you got in step 2, telling them that you have access to millions of dollars and want to get it out of your country and ask them to send their bank details to you. You could also send out some saying you are from a bank or paypal (see how useful that barclaysbank.custserv@hotmail.com is going to be) telling them to enter their login details onto a page you set up on the webspace in STEP 4.   You won’t get many people that fall for it but if just 1 out of a million emails sent does, it must be worth it, yes?
Repeat Step 5 a short while later in case they didn’t reply, and again a short while later, it might work.
STEP 6
Join an affiliate program for a sex site, online drug shop or cheap loans company or the like.
STEP 7
Visit every bulletin board,blog or forum on the Internet, or better still set up a web bot to do it for you, and post links to the sites you are affiliated to. Don’t forget to add your affiliate ID or you won’t get paid if some other moron actually clicks your link and makes a purchase.
STEP 8
Use the affiliate links you got in step 6 in emails to send out to all the addresses you got in step 2. Use a different email address, one of the ones you set up in step 1, to the one you used for other scams and phishes.
STEP 9

Remember that app you set up in Facebook? Well by now it has collected hundreds of email addresses, user names and granted you access to millions of users walls and news feeds. Fill your boots!

Send out links using the affiliate links you got in step 8 to all of their news feeds, with a message something like ‘This user Likes xxxx. Click the link to view’.
What the hell, you might as well send emails like you sent in step 5, to all of these too, got to have half a chance with these, after all they were dumb enough to use your app!
STEP 10
After all this, if you haven’t made any money, and frankly, there’s not much chance you will, but at least you’ve pissed off a lot of people, and that’s probably the police at your door now, you could always try and sell all the email addresses you have gleaned to some other moron who’s thinking of trying the same things.
Hope you enjoy.
Steve

Top 10 FREE Traction Building Ideas for a New Web Site

November 12, 2013 // Posted in Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

The dot com era proved that just building it isn’t enough. The chicken and the egg issue exists you need customers to get customers… and attempting to launch a web site, is that issue on steroids. So, how to get traction?

Here are Ten FREE Traction building Ideas we are trying:

1) Email Your Friends:
Find everyone you know that relates to your target market and introduce them to your website via email… as you know them, leverage every piece of emotional capital you have with them to encourage them to take a look at your new site and join.

2) Ask Your Friends to Refer Others:
If you send an email to people who are your target market, clearly articulate why it is valuable to ‘THEM’ (not just you) to join your site… and then ask and make it easy for them to refer people they know. Here’s an example of an email I wrote that asks for a referral –

“Please forward to anyone that may be interested… entrepreneurs, advisors, people with Blogs, press contacts etc! Even forwarding to four or five contacts will make a big difference for us!

Happy New Year and thanks!

++

I’ve just discovered a new web service bringing potential business advisors together with entrepreneurs and early stage businesses. For Advisors – It’s a great way to discover new deal flow and get involved in a hot new company. For Entrepreneurs – a great way to take your business to the next level in 2007!

The site is called Advisor Garage – http://www.AdvisorGarage.com and was recently featured in Business Week!

Please sign up and forward this email to great advisors and entrepreneurs.
++

After three or four weeks of steps 1 & 2 we found that we had begun to get a few people onboard… So now what?

3) Write a Press Release and get it OUT there…
I can almost hear a few folks swallowing and already considering looking for the next blog… it really isn’t that tough and it isn’t expensive. In fact, its FREE! Don’t believe me? Consider signing up to PR Leap (http://www.prleap.com/learn_more). Not only do they have some good articles which explain for dummies (like me!) how to write a press release but they also offer a free submission service to multiple channels such as Google News, Google Search, Yahoo! Search, Topix.net, Technorati, MSN, Ask News, Moreover, NewsNow and others. According to their website – PR Leap is the best way to send your news release(s) to all major search engines, newswires, and websites. And basic accounts are free!

So what happened with us? Well we signed up, created a one page press release (took about 30 minutes), submitted it and it was approved earlier today. It will appear tomorrow. If you are interested, the link to the press release is: http://www.prleap.com/pr/61185/

The basic plan (read… Free) comes with stats, so I’ll let you know in a few days if the press release was actually read by anyone and if it was picked up by any sites, bloggers, press etc. Let’s see how good PR Leap and our press release writing skills are!

4) A Personalized Toolbar:
A great startup called Conduit (http://www.Conduit.com) offers people the opportunity to create their own, personalized toolbar for FREE. Conduit has a wizard embedded within their website which takes you through the setup process step-by-step. It took about twenty minutes and once you’re done, they create a link to your toolbar download site which you can then share through an email signature or through a click through download on your new networking site. There are a number of cool ways to tailor the toolbar… your branded search, create links to particular pages on your own site, add weather, a radio and so on to make sure its a value download for your customers.

5) Design Your Site with the Customer In Mind and Make Inviting Others Easy
If, like us, your marketing budget is measured by the quarters rattling around in your pocket, then do your site a favor and design it so the ‘Invite Others’ button is never far away. No matter what page the users happen to be on. Bold it, make it big, underline it if you have to but referrals from happy customers are always easier to get than attracting new customers.

6) Friends & Contacts revisited:
Do any of your friends know anyone in the press or people who have blogs ? Well you won’t know until you ask… ASK!

7) Join Linked In (http://www.linkedin.com)
If you haven’t already, consider joining linked in. Yes, its another networking site, and you could consider them the competition (In your dreams!)… but after joining you can search through the directory and find people that may either a) be interested in joining your site or b) encouraging others to do so. If you aren’t a member already, take a look

8) Groups & Forums:
Are there Yahoo (http://groups.yahoo.com) or Google Groups (http://groups.google.com) or other online forums that include the types of people you want to attract to your new networking site? If so, join them but beware… most groups want members to contribute to the discussions and no groups appreciate spam. So find the best forums for your target customers, join and spend some time getting to know what subjects are being discussed. Give it a week or two then jump in and add some value… and make sure that your post includes your email and perhaps the web address. If it is valuable, then members may check out your new site…

One last thing, if there aren’t any good groups with your target customers… consider creating your own… and make it it feeds your new networking site. Here’s one I started and yes… I know it only has a few members… but its more links in the internet for your website which appears in your google or Alexa results: http://groups.google.com/group/Harvard_Entrepreneurs_Startups?lnk=oa&hl=en

9) Write to your Existing Members:
Do you have a few members? If so, email them occasionally (Not every day!) and remind them of the value of your site… perhaps highlight a particularly useful tool or feature of your website. Maybe reach out to some of the individual members and ask them if you can write about them joining the site, a person feature if you will. At the bottom of each of these emails… give them a few sentences (above for example) to send on to others they know. Stress how much you would appreciate their help and how important they are to you and your young business.

10) Drum roll… .badda badda badda… .Create a Blog!
Here’s hoping that a blog is the tenth and most valuable means of getting the message out there about a new networking site. (WordPress.com is FREE)

Originally posted by : Andrew D. Ive

facebook to Introduce Hashtags

June 13, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

#facebook

#facebook

 

facebook are to  introduce hashtags, so what are hashtags?

 

 

 

 

 

A hashtag is a word or a phrase prefixed with the symbol #  It is a sort of meta tag.  You can #tag words in short message systems such as Twitter,  identi.ca, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Google+ and now Facebook like:

#facebook is a #social #network that anyone can post comments.

Hashtags provide a means of grouping such messages, since you can search for the hashtag and get a list of messages that contain it.

Some sites offer the option of collecting all hashtags from a range of different messaging services and grouping them all together, making it easier to see who is talking about a particular subject.

Hashtags can also be used to identify ‘trending’ topics.

Here’s a little more about hashtags beginnings:

The first high-profile application of the hashtag was by San Diego, California resident Nate Ritter,who included #sandiegofire in his frequent posts on the October 2007 California wildfires hitting San Diego County. Internationally, the hashtag became a practice of writing style for Twitter posts during the 2009–2010 Iranian election protests, as both English and Persian-language hashtags became useful for Twitter users inside and outside of Iran.

Beginning July 1, 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink all hashtags in tweets to Twitter search results for the hashtagged word (and for the standard spelling of commonly misspelled words). In 2010, Twitter introduced “Trending Topics” on the Twitter front page, displaying hashtags that are rapidly becoming popular.

 

 

How to remember many Strong Passwords

May 24, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

We all use the Internet more and more, and now regularly visit many sites that require a password.

Strong Passwords are Good

Strong Passwords are Good

 

But how do you remember so many different passwords as it is best to set a different password for each site?
You can do this effectively by:

 

 

  1. Write just part of your password down, or store in a file, or on your mobile phone. But what if someone steals my phone or computer or finds my paper? That is OK, because you are only writing down part of your password, and they will not know what site it refers to, as we will see in a moment.
  2. Create STRONG passwords with letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters, and keep them as long as possible. Mix upper and lower case characters. This way they cannot be guessed. Never use your date of birth, or house number/post code or name in your password, as people can get these off the Internet in places like Facebook etc.
  3. Now you need to create your passwords:
  • Think of a PIN that you will always remember, 3 ,4 or 5 characters long, something like  3478# or 8#7 or 23&4.
  • For each web site you need a password for create a code that helps you remember what site it is for e.g.,  FBk for facebook, RSoF for RichoSoft, TWit for Twitter etc.Next add some random characters  e.g., 4556, or zc98@.  Use different random characters for each password.

    These you write down, save in a file or store in your phone. Anyone finding these would not know what they refer to, and the password is not complete anyway, so would not work.

You now have passwords that look like this:

FBk298745+C
RSoFhgTf89%F
TWitBV65W_u

 

  • Next we use your PIN. Decide whether your PIN will be at the beginning or end of your password, and when using the passwords add  your PIN, to this position. So if we had a pin 3478#  our passwords above  would become:
FBk298745+C3478#
RSoFhgTf89%F3478#
TWitBV65W_u3478#
OR
3478#FBk298745+C
3478#RSoFhgTf89%F
3478#TWitBV65W_u
  • These full passwords are the ones to use on the sites, and now we have STRONG passwords that cannot possibly be guessed, and you only need to remember the PIN Part and whether it is at the front or back. The rest is written down or saved  so you do not forget it. By having a different password for each site, if someone does actually find out one of your passwords the others are totally safe.
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