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How To Optimize Your Site For The Search Engine Of Tomorrow

Saturday, September 30, 2006 by Payday Advance UK

When it comes to ranking well in the search engines many of us take a "best practices" approach. We focus on the best techniques. We are concerned with what you are suppose to do and how you are suppose to do it. There is, no doubt, great value to knowing what works (after all it works). However, there is a down side to this approach. If we only focus on techniques and never bother to take the time to worry about why those techniques are successful, then we may very well find ourselves "surprised" one-day when all of the sudden what worked yesterday no longer seems to work today. This, indeed, is what many people (unhappily) discovered with Google's Big Daddy update.

The search engines, it turns out, are rather dynamic and they are constantly changing the way in which they determine which sites rank well for any given search term. What this means is that long-term success with the search engines requires us to understand the goals of the major search engines and how that effects their algorithm. It is not sufficient to know what the search engines do today, we also need to get a sense of where the search engines are likely to do tomorrow and to build our optimization campaigns accordingly. If we can learn to think like the search engines, then we can start to build and market the type of sites that they want to rank well. And with billions of dollars of cash and some of the brightest minds that roam this planet, the search engines are getting rather good at ranking highly those sites which they want to rank well. Therefore, the prudent, long-term strategy to ranking well in the search engines is to learn how to both build and market our sites exactly as the search engines want us to.

This leads us to an obvious question, or rather two obvious questions. The first question is what types of websites to the search engines like? The second questions is how do the search engines want us to market our sites? The answer to the first question is that the search engines like relevant websites. That is to say, websites which their customers (i.e., people who search online) find relevant for the search terms that they enter. The answer to the second question is that the search engines like popular websites and as such want us to make our sites popular. Note, though, that by popular we mean real world, natural popularity; not contrived popularity. These are sites people link to because they like the site and find it of value.

What this means is that if you can create a site which both the search engine's customers and other webmasters and web-users find valuable then you have a winning formula for long-term ranking success. And while that may not sound so easy, it's not so hard either. It basically requires you to stay abreast of the type of content that people are looking for as well as the types of websites that people find popular (guess what, they are often times, although not always, the same thing).

Relevant Content In terms of creating relevant content the key is to figure out what sort of information, products or services your customers need (remember, often times your customers started out as the search engine customers). Look around at the types of sites that do well, what kind of content do they provide. Talk to your customers and listen to what they want. The more information you can get about unmet needs the greater the chances you have of providing high-quality, relevant content (the type that search engines like showing and people like linking to). The key is to constantly be on the lookout for ways to create the best site possible for your particular field or industry.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Stay up-to-date In any field, there are always new developments, insights, techniques, etc. By staying abreast of these you provide yourself with numerous possibilities for creating meaningful content. You can write about it, apply it, review it, explain it, etc. The new is always interesting. It is also confusing and (perhaps) not yet known. Take advantage of these facts to create interesting, exciting, relevant content.

Play to your strengths Know your area of expertise and take advantage of that to help provide useful, interesting content. If your strength is money, then hire someone to build your content. If you excel at making connections, then perhaps you can encourage other people to build your content. Not everything has to come from you, just something. Figure out what you are best at and act accordingly.

Improve upon existing content Look at what is already successful and see if you can do it better. Look around at all of the different types of content online and see what needs improving upon and then improve upon it.

Real popularity In terms of creating real popularity for your site (and all the links that come with that) the key today is finding those people with the power to influence popularity and then giving them what they want. Blogs, forums, del.icio.us, digg.com, news sites, etc, all of these venues are run by real live people who (if they like your site) have the power to send large numbers of visitors and links to your site. However, they will only do so if you give them what they want. What that means is that in order to create real popularity online you first need to find out what the "powers that be" want and how you can give it to them.

Here are a few examples of what type of content creates popularity online:

Bloggers Bloggers need something to blog about. After all, each and every day they need to supply their readers with new content. So if you can create something that they find of interest then they will gladly write about you and your "creation" (which, of course, will include a link).

News sites News sites need stories and/or articles of interest. Is there something about your site which is newsworthy? If so, then package it as a story and write a press release about it (or contact the press directly if you have any connections). Alternatively, offer to write a column or a special article. At the same time, ask them what subjects they are interested in and see if you can either write or hire someone to write an article about it.

Social Media Sites There are no clear cut rules about what types of content do well at sites like Digg.com and del.icio.us. What does well in one industry may be of little interest to another. It is best to look at the types of content which are popular for your industry on these sites and then to create similar content on your site. With that said, certain types of styles seem to do well (such as lists or how to articles). Figure out which styles work best for your target audience and write your content accordingly.

Content is king So, at the end of the day, high rankings which last revolve around one word, content. But take note, not all content is the same. The search engines may like one type of content, bloggers another, and people on digg.com yet another. The key to long term success online is becoming aware of which content speaks to which audience and then learning how to efficiently give each party what they want. What's nice is that the same content can often times be reworked to appeal to the particular needs of different groups . Either way, content is now king (indeed, it has been for a while). So go out, create lots of it, make sure that it is relevant and of the highest quality, and you and the search engines can live together happily ever after.

by Moshe Morris

5 Quick and Easy Ways To Stop Blog Spam Before It Hits Your Blog

Friday, September 29, 2006 by Payday Advance UK

Unless your Lisa Picarille from Revenue Magazine ( check the trackbacks on this whoper )you know that you would have to be a idiot to automatically approve all comments and trackbacks on your blog right? Well Even that is a pain in the ass so I made a list of ways to stop the spam before it gets that far.

I have come up with the 5 easiest and best ways to fight comment spam. These are ways to stop spam from ever getting to your blog…. btw if you dont know what akismet is then stop right now and set that up first. This is just to help you stop the spam from even getting the that level. The first 2 require editing of the .htaccess. The rest are wordpress plugins.

5) Deny Access to No Referrer Requests

When humans comment on your blog they have read the post and leave a comment. This of course leaves the referal from your blog. One easy way to block spammers is to check for the referal. Simply paste the lines below into your .htaccess file in the root of your webserver.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-comments-post\.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*shoemoney.com.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) ^http://whereyouwanttosendthem.com/$ [R=301,L]

What you need to edit:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-comments-post\.php* - If you are not running a wordpress blog then you will want to change that to the file that gets the post for comments.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*shoemoney.com.* [OR] - obviously you want this to be your domain.

RewriteRule (.*) ^http://whereyouwanttosendthem.com/$ [R=301,L] - this is where you are redirecting them too. This probably does not matter since the automated spambots will not follow redirects.

Done!

4) Kill tor anonymous proxies

Thats cool people want to surf anonymously and all that but being that about 75% of my comments come from tor proxies its much easier just to block them.

simply go here and copy this to your .htaccess to block all the tor servers

3) Stop Comments On Older Posts

Spammers target older posts for 2 reasons.

A) they show up in search engines and thus they know:

  • search engines value the page pr wise
  • it could be relavent to the keyword they are trying to spam

B) You wont see it. - since the post is old its unlikely that you would ever notice thus greater chance of sneaking it by you.

You have a few options to fix this-

You can manually disallow comments for posts after x amount of days (ick)

If you have wordpress you can download this plugin
which will automatically close off comments and trackbacks after 21 days.

If you have some h4×0r skills you can setup a cron job (thats a automated task to us ninjas) that will edit your database directly checking for past posts and setting the comments and

2) Blacklist Repeat Offenders:

When some spammers do get in you can blacklist there ips so they wont ever be able to again… this process does suck a bit but its a option.

Again edit your .htaccess file:

order allow,deny
deny from 192.168.1.1
deny from 192.168.1.*
allow from all

Remember * represent wildcards

1) Rename your comment file

The default for wordpress is wp-comments-post.php by simply renaming this file to say… wpc.php then changing your theme to reflect the different location for the comment file you will ward off a TON of spammers. This will kill 100% of the automated spam bots.

Your probably saying to yourself… well so what? How could this effect my revenue! Well the answer is all the hardwork and time you have spent building the reputation of your site can be QUICKLY destroyed by giving these spammers NAKID (no link condom) links. You know what they say… Imagine everyone you link to and who they have linked to and who they have linked to …. eek!

Blogging: A Start-Up Guide

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 by Payday Advance UK

Blogging is so easy that you probably do not need a start up guide, but for those who have blogaphobia, I am doing this.

1. By reading this you are half way there. This is a blog style post.

2. If you post, you are blogging to an extent.

3. If you take my advice and get a blog, you are a blogger.

4. If you sell anything, or create money trail, you are making money blogging.

Now that I've bored you with a list, you probably want something good. I'll give it to you. If you have never blogged, this little start-up guide is for you. If you have blogged, maybe you just need a refresher course.

Anyway, you probably want to know how to blog. You know what blogging is and you know you can make money with it. What you may not know is how you start.

Well, it's easy. Choose a provider. Make sure it's someone who has the up-to-the minute programming so you don't look ancient.

Create an account -Then, start writing! Alas, you are going to say "exactly HOW do I just pop into the blog and write?"

It's not some horrid thing where you have to have a book next to you figuring out designs and codes. For the most part, there are layouts you choose from and often you can even pick colors of fonts and such. It's like decorating a living room, only this is a living room about 12 million people could possibly visit. So make it look nice!

You don't have to have software usually or anything snazzy. You simply pick a design or layout and create a look or image based upon choices that you'll be prompted to make.

Is it an article, a column? What the heck IS a blog? As mentioned before, in another article -blogs are actually entries. It's like a diary or a journal. You simply write, but note - that whatever you do not want the world to see, do not write. After you write your entry, you will be asked to publish or post it. Once you do that you still can often, go in and edit or delete it. You will usually give your blog a title. You type your entry, which you may call "blog" or "Content" and away you go. You've just blogged.

Sometimes, you allow (or not allow) the public or a select bunch you've invited to make posts or comments to what you have written. This makes for fun if you do allow it but sometimes it can be downright harsh. There is usually no screening on posts unless you specifically in your template and choices make sure no one has potty mouth or gossip mouth. The way to do this is to be a moderator, or to even hire a moderator. This way, all posts first go to an email address (they have no idea) and you or someone with some degree of ethics and standards, will edit, delete or allow the post to go through. That personally is my advice; don't let downers, potty mouths or idiots post on your site unless you are really sure that you will attract only a top-notch crowd. Since blogs are often public places - think of the blog as a public bathroom. Only let the people in who flush and wash their hands. This is an especially nice feature also for control freaks.

Do I have to be youngish? Hip? Can I be a boomer or older than dirt? Anyone can blog. There is no set rule of thumb. It used to be hip kids, journalists and maybe a select other few who did it. Now, you have grandparents who blog and let their kids blog also - and grandkids. It's a great way to keep the family as a unit if you keep everyone together, you know?

Blogs are special. They are unique. They are really nothing more than a public diary or journal - where a web site is all about people going to the site and just staring at it, a blog is all about saying, "Come on in and sit a spell" - which is why you will find that blogs tend to be more upscale, than say, a chat room or chat board. Blogs are the welcome wagon of the internet. Chat rooms are like a seedy bar. Chat boards are like hospital waiting rooms where people sometimes share doom, gloom and gossip. But Blogs are really usually positive. Sure you will have that negative blog here and there - but a decent blog owner will beget decent posters for the most part.

It is a small world. So, when you visit a blog, or when you have a blog - expect people to comment online. It's a diary where people will actually say - "this is cool, and I want to be a part of your life and share this with you" and...they will! If you allow this in the template, you will have comments that agree, disagree or just share. You may have folks promoting themselves, or you may have cheerleaders supporting your blog. Either way, it's a great way to make friends and yes, make money if that's what you wish.

You need to realize that your blog could and very well may be found on the net during someone's search. For instance, if you have certain tag words in your blog, or it's just plain popular, a key word search could turn up your blog. It's the net, and it's public. Blog smart!

Blogging is for you, even if you think it isn't. You may think you are not a writer. So what? First of all, if it is a personal blog meant for only a few folks, and you don't care that you are not a thespian of the paper, then don't worry about it. Also, you don't have to be a super-duper writer at all. Even if you are a writing savant, you certainly at least have an opinion, correct? Voice it through blogging! You also probably have a passion such as gardening, cooking or fixing old cars...that a bajillion people also have, that you could talk to and share with. Again, you can make money. If you like gardening, you may want to think about selling seeds, or dried lavender from your garden, or renting ad space or a few thousand other ways to make money. Maybe an online course where you teach the power of planting? As long as you have passion and ideas, there will always be possible ways to make money that are fun and proactive.

Blogging is absolutely one of the most easy, fun, economical yet possibly financially rewarding hobbies you can start for yourself.
by Claire Brent

Current Trends In Web Design

Friday, September 15, 2006 by Payday Advance UK

I have visited a lot of sites like Adobe, orange, Digg and others, I keep exploring the web on daily basis, so this article covers most of the current design trends which I recognize as high-quality ones.

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Open Source: changing the world and web

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 by Payday Advance UK

"Let ’s face it, not everyone is a tech junkie at this stage in their life (I know that I am not) but the further one gets in their college career, the closer we get to the corporate realm, and it is important to note one of the most interesting tech issue revolutionizing our world, open source programming."
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GMail Hacks/Tips

by Payday Advance UK

I’ve been using GMail
since 2004 and have always thought it was the best email service. With the large
amount of space it offers, and the amazing features
the possibilities are endless. The filter feature is easily the best feature
of GMail. You can use it for its purpose - to filter spam and other unwanted
emails. Or use it in some unique ways such as bookmarking, and storing recipes.
Here are some nifty hacks/tips that allow you to get the most out of your GMail
account.


  1. GMail based blog

    This is an awesome idea to allow you to blog via GMail.
    Who needs an SQL database when you can save your posts to GMail?

  2. Encrypt
    all GMail traffic


    This is just a simple tip allowing you to encrypt your whole
    session. When you go to GMail.com only the login is encrypted. When you
    go to GMail.com.
    At https://gmail.google.com the whole session is encrypted.

  3. Make a GMail
    partition


    This is a simple yet brilliant idea to make use of that 2.7 gigs
    and counting of space GMail allows. This will create a new “partition” in
    explorer. You can then save files/folders to your GMail account via the explorer
    interface.
    Create one simple filter so none of the files clutter up your inbox and you’re
    set. I believe this is against the GMail terms of service, but I’ve
    been using it for a while with no problems.

  4. Linux on GMail

    This awesome hack allows you to have a Linux file system
    installed on your GMail account. It will give you basic *nix commands such
    as cp mv rm and ls.
    This is by far the neatest of all these.

  5. Use GMail as notepad

    It’s such a simple yet effective idea. Using GMail’s
    ability to save drafts you can edit and save text just like notepad. There
    are actually
    more advantages to using GMail as a simple notepad such as spell check and
    the fact that you can access the documents from anywhere.

  6. GMail skins

    Tired of the same old default GMail theme? Not anymore. Use
    this simple firefox plugin to change the color and basic layout of your
    GMail account.

  7. GMail manager

    This firefox plugin allows you to manage multiple GMail accounts
    from firefox. It will give you basic stats about all your GMail accounts,
    and can check for
    new mail at a user defined interval.

  8. GNotify


This one is actually by
Google. It’s a simple yet totally needed plugin.
It tells you when you have mail with a very unobtrusive notify box in the lower
right hand corner of your screen. It also opens a new tab in your browser with
the email and subject already filled out when you click a mailto: link. This
is a must have for people who depend on their email.


for people who depend on their email.

UK Social Networks

Friday, September 01, 2006 by Payday Advance UK

Hitwise just posted their latest stats on the UK social networking scene. The leaders have already been reviewed here: MySpace, Bebo and Piczo.
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