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The Internet is full

Apr 7, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet, online  //  Comments Off

Is online video and TV streaming clogging the copper arteries of the information superhighway?

It’s generally accepted by anyone and everyone in the know that the internet is growing exponentially. To give you an idea of how much and how fast, consider that last year YouTube alone used as much bandwidth as was needed for the entire internet in 2000.

Trouble is, this growing demand for video and TV download services such as the Beeb’s recently launched and already successful iPlayer is overloading networks so badly that some particularly gloomy experts are predicting the internet could simply grind to a virtual standstill by 2010. They are calling it the broadband crunch.

The problem lies not in the fibre optics and underground cables of the main internet ‘motorways’ which have huge capacities and are constantly upgraded with new technologies but with the ‘last mile’ routers, switchers and copper wires running from exchanges directly into the home.

“There are going to be some real crunches, some real hard times coming. It’s because of the market and the business models which don’t see a way of making a profit,” commented Scott Bradner, technology security officer at Harvard University ahead of an ‘End of the Internet’ debate happening in Boston this month.

Essentially, internet providers are too busy undercutting each other to maximise short term profits without considering the long term implications of neglecting the infrastructure.

“There will not be a fibre-to-the-home network in the next 20 years,” according to BT spokesman Mike Bartlett. “It would be a massive call to say, “Let’s fibre up the nation.” It would take many years, cost billions of pounds [actually estimated at around £20billion], involve digging up all the roads and we don’t know if people really want it.”

There are new technologies in the pipeline that could eradicate these problems, such as nuclear research organisation Cern’s fibre optic linked servers that run 10,000 times faster than broadband. But timescale and guarantees are hard to come by.

As Larry Irving, co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance so eloquently puts it, “We’re not saying it’s going meltdown, but you could have latency. It’ll be like trying to get from point A to point B in London on a Wednesday afternoon. Good luck.”

10 Simple Steps to Boost Search Engine Rankings

Apr 2, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet strategy, keyword, online marketing, organic, search engine optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

There are several steps to follow to ensure top rankings in search engines. Sites that follow these simple steps will likely see their traffic and search engine rankings soar through the roof. The better optimized your site is for the search engines, the better results you can expect.

1. Implement Title Tags and Meta Tags
Title tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization as they are the way to convey your marketing skills to your target audience. The wording should flow smoothly while containing important keywords. This is where the search engines and your target audience get a feel for what your Web site is about.

You want to stress all the viral information in this limited area of space. This is your area for free advertising, so take full advantage of this. Insert information like company name and your targeted keywords that you have chosen for this page. Every page on your site should have unique title tags and meta tags.

2. Offer Quality Content
Your content is very useful for the search engines in determining whether or not your Web site is relevant to your topic. You want quality, keyword rich content. You do not want to stuff your keywords, but place them sporadically throughout you site.

Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that will get you permanently banned from the search engines. Make sure that your content flows smoothly and rolls off the tongue easily. Remember, humans — not search engines — have the ultimate decision to purchase your product or service. Write your content first for your audience and then add keywords where it makes sense to.

3. Acquire Quality Links
Links are a valuable tool for gaining top search engine rankings. Links (backlinks) are viewed as a vote from one site to another, so the more links to your site, the more popular the search engines think your site is. Higher-quality links from authority Web sites are weighed more heavily when ranking your site. So, acquire links from reputable Web sites that are popular.

You want to get links that are related to your line of work to increase rankings. Make sure all your links are related in one way or another to your Web site. If not, then your site will be penalized in the rankings, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

4. Strive for Quality Backlinks
Recently, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) began to crack down on link farm sites (sites where you buy links) by penalizing them in the search engine rankings. Avoid link farms or buying links from non-authority sites, as they will only do more harm than good.

Remember, it’s not the quantity of links you have, but the quality of those links you do have. Make sure your links appear natural, not like they have been paid for. You must have something of quality to offer others so they will link to your site and increase your search engine rankings.

5. Have a Keyword Relevant Domain Name
Before purchasing a domain name, you should look for a URL that has relevant keywords to your company. Ensure that your domain name has some relevancy to your Web site.

Your sub domains should not be long and full of strange characters and symbols. This will only confuse the search engines and your human visitors. The simple domain that has your keyword specific to your page is great for the search engines and human readers.

6. Use HTML
Search engine spiders have a hard time reading coding other than HTML (hypertext markup language). To avoid any confusion for the spider, have your Web site written in HTML — not Flash. If you are a large, well-known company, this does not play as big a role, but if you’re a small company trying to make a name for yourself, ensure that your programmer is using HTML.

7. Make Site Navigation Easy
You want a Web site that is easy to navigate through. The more confusing and broken links to your site, the less likely it is that the spider will fully crawl and index all your pages.

You want to submit a xml sitemap for Google so it can find and index all the pages in your Web site. Sitemaps are a necessity for Web sites getting all your pages indexed and included in the search engines.

8. Use Fresh, New Content
Search engines do not want old, outdated content on their search results, so you must make sure to add new content to your site on a consistent basis. Both humans and spiders like to see new content on your Web site. Make sure to update your content to make sure it is up to date and relevant.

You can make simple grammatical changes to your site or add pages — anything counts as new content. If you stop adding new content to your Web site, your rankings will start to slip and fall way below your desired results. If you see your rankings start to slip, make sure you add new content to your site.

9. Add a Blog to Your Site
A blog is a great tool for keeping visitors up to date to with your site. Blogs help promote your site and give your visitors another way to locate your Web site. Blogs and blog posts get indexed in the search engines quite quickly as well.

If you start a blog about the industry you are in, you can quickly build up your rankings. Blogs are especially useful for adding fresh content to your site. Blog posts are seen as new content, so post in your blog at least once a week to keep your content new. Blog postings do not have to be relevant to your Web site, but it does help to keep the content somewhat relevant to build up and authority blog.

10. Make Your Web Site for Humans – Not Spiders
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes committed by newcomers to Internet marketing. They write and organize their Web site for the search engines to achieve high rankings, yet the traffic that comes in does not make a purchase.

You want to have a Web site that is easy to read and comprehend — not a site that is made for the spiders to read. Ultimately, your site is viewed by humans who hold the purchasing power. Ensure that your Web site is easy to read and does not have any misspellings.

When SEO Isn't Really SEO

Apr 1, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet advertising, online marketing, search engine optimization, seo  //  Comments Off

A potential client recently asked a good question. She regularly reads various search-engine-optimization websites, and she was confused as to the current meaning of the term “SEO.” What, she wondered, was the difference between SEO and online marketing?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is constantly changing. As the major search engines update their algorithms and redefine how their search results will be determined and displayed, the SEO industry must adjust and redefine to follow those trends. But there is a new trend as well: Search optimizers going well beyond search engine results and into other marketing areas but still calling it SEO. It gets a bit confusing.

By definition, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website with the goal of having major search engines (primarily Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live Search) return pages from that website in highly-ranked search engine results. SEO is almost always employed as a form of marketing, but it is a very specific form of marketing that takes place within the search engines.

Lately, some industry blogs have suggested that SEO has grown beyond its primary parameters, suggesting that successful SEO includes expanding into other realms of marketing. I don’t think that makes any sense. By definition, SEO – search engine optimization – does not include any form of marketing that goes outside of search engines. The use of the term SEO in such a way is disingenuous and confuses many webmasters and owners of ecommerce sites.

Let’s be clear: Online marketing (also referred to as web marketing and Internet marketing) is a term that includes SEO as one marketing aspect among many and not the other way around. It may be a matter of semantics, but as there are well-defined terms to describe the wider practices of marketing on the Internet, why is there a need to redefine SEO to reflect that process? It’s a very useful term as is!

Some SEO professionals may be recognizing that search engine optimization is moving away from a stand-alone industry and towards being one arrow in the quiver of the online marketing industry. They are compensating for this by simply including more forms of online marketing under the SEO heading.

But SEO practitioners shouldn’t fear this move. If the natural path of SEO is to interact with other forms of online marketing, so be it. One can hold this SEO position quite confidently because SEO is not going away. Or, SEO practitioners can expand their boundaries to become more general online marketers – and call themselves just that. But, it should be one or the other; there is no point in redefining terms.

What does this imply for ecommerce sites that are simply trying to employ some SEO to boost sales? Well, first and foremost, a well-optimized and usable site is still priority number one. The best bang for your buck (or your time) is addressing the basic SEO assets of an ecommerce site because natural search engine results are still one of the best ways to drive traffic and sales.

If the SEO is solid for a website, look to augment it by incorporating other forms of online marketing, especially social media. Get involved in the blogosphere whether you do it yourself or hire an outside firm. Taking into consideration a website’s focus and demeanor, consider using YouTube and other video sharing sites to promote a website and drive traffic directly. Remember that PPC (pay per click) search advertising, while often overpriced, can augment a natural search campaign.

But don’t be confused by those who are twisting terms. SEO is still SEO – search engine optimization. Make SEO the skeleton of your online marketing efforts, but don’t be afraid to hang a little muscle and meat on those bones. If your optimization is strong, other online marketing avenues may be a natural – and logical – step towards more sales.

Young People Get Their News Online

Mar 14, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, online marketing  //  Comments Off

Younger people get their news online Research by comScore has revealed that young people are now getting their news from websites rather than buying newspapers.

The study highlights an opportunity for online marketers who are likely to benefit from the increasing number of young people who are using the internet for everyday activities.

“That current generations are growing up getting their news online for free is an indicator that print circulations are likely to continue their decline,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore.

“But the internet represents a significant opportunity to extend – and even improve upon – existing news brands and reach out to new consumers with living, breathing real-time content.”

He added that although the number of people buying print news is declining, it does not reflect a fall in the number of people who are reading about the news, “in fact, just the opposite is true”.

This week, social networking site MySpace signed a deal with Channel 5 to provide its younger members with a regular news bulletin, which can be accessed online.

SEO Tip

Mar 13, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet strategy, seo  //  Comments Off

God grant me the serenity
to accept the SERPs where they are (for now)
Grant me the courage to change the tags that I can,
And the wisdom to update my pages daily.

A search engine optimization tip that I know helps me sometimes through the day.

–N

SEO's What makes them tick?

Mar 12, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   jerry, seo  //  Comments Off

You hear all sorts of stories about seo’s but what really makes them tick?

The Winning?

The Challenge?

The Money?

Doug over on his new blog Doug’s Mouthpiece lists these characteristics

large number of dyslexics
large number of left handers
all are obsessive
most can’t finish a task
most did not do well in academia
most are hopeless at being employees
they all like to work at night
most are heavy drinkers
most are over weight
they are all odd
most have bad diets

What do you think makes them get up on a morning or night

Local Optimization – Local SEO

Mar 11, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, search engine optimization, Winnipeg  //  Comments Off

Local search engine optimization is something that every business with a website should take very seriously. Advertising locally can only get you so far, having your website optimized with geo-targeting and proper keywords in mind, you can bring in a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss.

Using a single keyword phrase in geo-targeted optimization could mean that you lose out on a lot of traffic and potential customers. While it may be the most widely used phrase in terms of your business, bear in mind that not everyone searches the same way. As an example, “local restaurants” may be the most obvious of search terms, but some people will search for those same restaurants as “best eatery” or “local hotspots”, the terms are many; it pays off in the end to remember that.

Local SEO can definitely be focused around a single main search term, but add others throughout the site. This can help boost your ranking on the search engines and you´ll find that your traffic will increase.

–N

SEO all the way to Pics

Mar 10, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   search engine optimization, seo strategies, website optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a virtual no brainer when it comes to the long term marketing of your website. When you work to develop your website using SEO strategies you will likely focus most of your approach on the development of knowledge-based content filled with keywords or phrases that assist in positive site rankings.

Some online business owners do themselves a disservice by stopping short of full optimization. For instance site development can include adding SEO keywords and phrases to meta titles. This is information visitors will not see, but search engines will. Since they pay attention to the meta titles shouldn’t you?

Some website owners also stop before they provide a full compliment of SEO strategies in other text based areas of their website. This may include the ‘about us’ section that allow visitors to learn more about the company. Presumably your SEO keywords relate to your business. The use of those keywords in this section is very important.

Site owners can tastefully place their keywords in product descriptions and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) segment of their website.

Your home page should also include SEO strategies. The truth is you should pay attention to every single page and every text entry you place on your site. This includes any forums or blogs you might host on your site.

One area that is often overlooked when it comes to Search Engine Optimization is the photos you might display on the site.

Visit virtually any website and roll your cursor over a picture. In most cases a small yellow box will pop up and a series of words will pop up to describe the picture. Most visitors do not use this function so enterprising web owners will use photos to increase their SEO exposure since search engines do pay attention. You can use the name of the website or the primary key phrase you are using to enhance search engine placement.

There are other areas where SEO principles apply, but the above principles should help you fully develop a website that is inviting to a system that can do more for the long-term marketability of your site.

SEO principles are not the stuff of overnight success. In fact it can take several weeks for search engines to crawl and index your website to improve your website’s placement in overall search rankings.

Think of SEO like you might a mutual fund. You invest in SEO, but the accumulated interest can take time to mature. Ultimately it is a sound investment, but your interest is always drawn later than your investment. It also has the potential to return more than you invest.

It always surprises me to see web owners who refuse to consider the use of SEO because they believe that the merit of their business is based exclusively on marketing skills that may be best applied in a brick and mortar environment.

The problem is the skills associated with online marketing operate on a different platform. You will help yourself, search engines and best of all your potential customers by making sure your site is optimized for search engines – all the way down to the photos.

"On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog."

Mar 10, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet advertising, online marketing, website optimization  //  Comments Off

Or do they?

A new analysis of online consumer data shows that large Web companies are learning more than ever before about the details of what people search for on the Internet. The analysis was conducted for The New York Times by the research firm comScore, provides what advertising executives say “is the first broad estimate of the amount of consumer data transmitted to Internet companies every day.” What’s indicated is that Web companies are, in effect, taking the trail of crumbs people leave behind as they search the Internet and analyzing them to anticipate people’s next steps. So anybody who searches for information on topics such as sports equipment, clothing, hotels and soft drinks may see ads for those products and services later on.

Web firms once could monitor the actions of consumers only on their own sites. But over the last couple of years, the Internet giants have expanded their reach by acting as go betweens that place ads on Web sites, and as a result, can follow people’s activities on far more sites.

ComScore analyzed 15 major media companies’ potential to collect online data. The analysis captured how many searches, display ads, and page views occurred on those sites and in their networks. Yahoo came out with the most in a month on its own sites, MySpace, owned by News Corp., and AOL, a unit of Time Warner, was not far behind. Google also has scores of data-collection points, but the company says it is unique in that it mostly uses current information rather than past actions to select ads. The depth of Yahoo’s database helps explain why AOL is talking with Yahoo
about a merger and Microsoft is willing to pay more than $41 billion to
purchase.

The comScore figures includes the data that consumers leave behind as they browse, and does not take into account voluntary exchanges of information such as, registering for sites or e-mail services.

–N

Search Engine Optimization is BIG

Mar 6, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, search engine, search engine optimization  //  Comments Off

These days, search engines’ results are directing people to sites, products and services. That is why search engine optimization has gained a big importance. Search Engine Optimization is also important in the age of the powerful web when more and more people are buying everything online.

Power of the web has promoted online shopping culture and customers mostly develop confidence in their favorite product by seeing them in searches and decide to buy. If they do not see a results, the odds of the online purchase are reduced. But if they see result of a brand they know clearly and like, then they will check the price and terms, make their selection, and purchase.

Businesses try to strengthen their presence by Search Engine Optimization. For measurable results in searches, businesses need to know what they want to project, should be committed to build by doing whatever is necessary to get the message to any segment of a target market.

This can be best done by a experts and professionals. Fresh Traffic are one of the best to build a powerful web presence that remains in front of the eyes of the customers.

Explore resources and information, rich site content and learn how they can position you at a vantage point. Better still, let them handle your optimization strategies.

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