Search Engine Optimization News, Tips and Information

Information on search engine optimization strategies for business.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Use RSS Feeds to Improve Search Engine Optimization and Ranking

RSS is rapidly becoming a "must have" for a proper search engine optimization. But what exactly is RSS?

RSS or Rich Site Syndication (or Really Simple Syndication, depending on who you ask) is a file format similar to XML, and is used by publishers to make their content available to others in a format that can be universally understood. RSS allows the display of articles on third party websites, RSS newsreaders, and the like, enabling easy distribution of a website's content across the Internet. It is a form of content syndication, using distribution lists, hyperlinks and the like to generate interest in (and traffic to) your website.

RSS has existed for several years, but with the advent of spam filters and online blogging, it is fast becoming the choice of ezine publishers who want to get their message across to their subscribers.

However, not much attention has been given to the advantages RSS provides for search engine optimization, until now.

Why Search Engines Love RSS

Many SEO experts believe that sites optimized around themes,or niches, where all pages correspond to a particular subject or set of keywords, rank better in the search engines.

For example, if your website is designed to sell widgets, your entire site content would be focused around widgets.

Search engines like Google seem to prefer tightly-themed pages.

But where does RSS figure in all this?

RSS feeds, usually sourced from newsfeeds or blogs, often correspond to a particular theme or niche.

By using highly targeted RSS feeds, you can enhance your site's content without having to write a single line on your own.

It's like having your own content writer - writing theme-based articles for you - for frëe!

How can RSS improve my Search Engine Rankings?

There are three powerful reasons why content from RSS Feeds is irresistible bait for search engine spiders.

1. RSS Feeds Provide Instant Themed Content

There are several publishers of RSS feeds that are specific to a particular theme.

Since the feed is highly targeted, it could contain several keywords that you want to rank highly for.

Adding these keywords to your pages helps Google tag your site as one with relevant content.

2. RSS Feeds Provide Fresh, Updated Content

This is perhaps the most important feature of RSS. RSS feeds from large publishers are updated at specific intervals. When the publisher adds a new article to the feed, the oldest article is dropped.

These changes are immediately effected on your pages with the RSS feed as well. So you have fresh relevant content for your visitors every hour or day. Major search engines have determined that the relevancy algorithm historically used to rank pages does not result in the most accurate results - and as such have added to the equation an algorithm based on a website's "freshness".

A simple analogy helps explain the logic behind this recent change in ranking algorithms. If you were to do a search for the keyphrase "war on terror", you would likely pull up a huge amount of articles. Let's take two articles for the purpose of simplification. Let's say both articles contain the phrase "war on terror" the same number of times, have the same number of inbound links, and all else is the same between the two articles. The only difference between the two is that one article was written a year ago and the other was written yesterday. Which one would be more likely to contain the information for which you are looking?

Well, using the relevancy algorithm, both articles appear equally relevant. However, they really aren't, because obviously the newer article is more likely to contain the information which you seek. This is why the search engines have added a freshness component to their ranking schemes - in an effort to provide the best results to their users, they should provide not only relevant articles, but "fresh" articles as well. Therefore, nowadays, the most recent article (or most recently updated website) would be listed before the less recent article (or less recently updated website), all other factors being equal.

Does this make sense? It should - and you should now be able to understand why a proper search engine optimization will include the use of fresh content such as an RSS feed, in addition to an optimization for keyphrase relevancy.

3. RSS Feeds Result in More Frequent Spidering

One thing I nevër anticipated would happen as a result of adding an RSS feed to my site was that the Googlebot visited my site almost daily. To the Googlebot, my page that had the RSS feed incorporated into it was as good as a page that was being updated daily, and in its judgement, was a page that was worth visiting daily.

What this means to you, is that you will have your site being indexed more frequently by the Googlebot and so any new pages that you add to your site will be picked up much faster than your competitors.

How does this benefit you as a marketer?

Well, for example, let's says a top Internet Marketer comes out with a new product that you review and write up a little article on, and that your competitors do the same.

Google generally tends to index pages at the start of the month and if you miss that update, you will probably need to wait till the next month to even see your entry in.

But, since your site has RSS feeds, it gets indexed more frequently. So the chances of getting your page indexed quickly are much higher.

This gives you an advantage over the competition, as your review will show up sooner in the search results than theirs.

Imagine what an entire month's advantage could do to your affïliate salës!

Why Javascript Feeds Are Not Effective (as well as frames and iframes)

Some sites offer javascrïpt code that generates content sourced from RSS feeds for your site. Others will offer you an RSS feed display via the use of frames or iframes.

These are of absolutely no value in terms of search engine rankings, as the googlebot cannot read javascrïpt and has difficulty reading frame and iframe content, and as such the content is not interpreted as part of your page.

What you need is code that parses the RSS feed and renders the feed as html content that's part of your page. This cannot be overemphasized.

This is achieved using server side scripting languages like PHP or ASP.

An excellent PHP scrïpt is CARP, which is the one that we recommend to our clients. This PHP script converts the RSS feed into HTML code that is easily readable by the major search engines.

For more information, or to implement an RSS feed into your website as part of a thorough search engine optimization, please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.

About the Author:

Matt Foster is President and CEO of ArteWorks Business Class, a company which specializes in search engine optimization and search engine friendly website design and ecommerce solutions.

Portions of this article taken from "Get Better Search Engine Rankings with RSS" by Satyajeet Hatangadi. Satyajeet Hattangadi is the CEO of Novasoft Inc, a software solutions provider, that specializes in affordable customized software solutions. Get the Fr-e-e Email Course "RSS Riches" and learn how to use RSS to get high search engine rankings and monetize your website at http://www.novasoft-inc.net/traffic-turbocharger.


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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Why You Should Write An Article, Today!

Do you own an online business? A web site? Are you promoting affiliate programs? Then you should be writing articles.
Why? Let me ask you, what is the main purpose of your web site?

Of course it’s this: to make sales. And to make sales you first need traffic. You somehow need to get visitors to your web site if you want to be successful.

And here’s the thing...writing articles and publishing them on the Internet is a very effective way of achieving just that!

Instead of spending your time and money on ineffective means of advertising, write a short article every now and then.

Write about recent developments and trends in your niche or area of expertise, about the product or service you’re selling. Teach people how to do something, or give them practical tips. Predictions work well, too. The list of possibilities is almost endless.

There are numerous article directories out there, and they will be happy to add your article to their online directories.

Where people like yourself look for good content to reprint on their web sites or in their newsletters. So your article gets read and the readers learn about you, your business, your web site, your product.

But that's not all.

It gets distributed and reprinted over and over again, constantly reaching new readers! Without any effort from your part, besides submitting your article to a few directories!

The positive effects could last for literally years.

People who enjoyed reading your article and found your information useful, will be tempted to (re-)visit your web site. And tell their friends and business relations about it.

The result is free, targeted visitors over a long period of time. These visitors are hot prospects, because they are already interested in your business or offer...

Now that’s the kind of traffic you want!
That’s the kind of traffic that will result in sales!

And that’s still not all you will gain from writing and publishing articles. Did you realize it will considerably improve your web sites’ search engine rankings as well?

See, the search engines constantly scan (they call it
"spider") the Internet looking for new content to keep their listings updated. They scan the high-traffic, very popular web sites more often than sites with little traffic. As article directory sites are such high-traffic and popular sites, the search engines will pick up the links to YOUR web site so much faster. Because at the bottom of each article you add a "resource box", which of course contains a link back to your web site!

Let me ask you one more question...

How many times have you been told that you need to buy some expensive software product or hire a specialized company to get your web site even submitted to those same search engines? Plenty of times, I’ll bet!

Write a new article regularly, get it published online (in as many article directories as you can), and let the search
engines find YOU instead. It will happen, automatically.

By now I hope you begin to realize the huge benefits publishing online has, and what it could mean for your business.

Give it a try, you won’t regret it.


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Jim Boere is the founder and owner of
OnlineBizPromotion.com and publisher of the weekly online
publication: "Home Business Tips Newsletter". For more articles, the newsletter archives and contact details, please visit http://www.onlinebizpromotion.com
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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Blog and Ping - A Search Engine Traffic Bonanza

Everyone is talking about blogs these days as the magic money-making marketing tool. Some of the hype may actually be true, but I suggest you cut through most of what you read about blogs just long enough to understand why every business needs a blog.

Right now, that’s not to say this won’t change, search engines are in love with real blogs. By real blogs I mean blogs that are set-up and run by businesses that offer useful content on them. Like every successful marketing method there are people out there setting up fake blogs and dumping garbage, but keyword rich, content into them in order to trick the search engines into ranking the content highly. [Please resist the urge to add to this form of search engine spam as it may actually get you banned by a search engine.]
When you understand a little about how blog software works you get a better understanding about why search engines love blogs. Here are the top reasons that business blogs and search engines go hand in hand.
Lots of Pages
Each blog entry is shown in chronological order on a blog’s homepage but, each entry is in reality its own web page, with its own unique URL and title. So, an active blogger can create hundreds of keyword rich web pages in a matter of months.
Change Is Good
In order to claim your place at the blogging table you must commit to making posts often—4 or 5 times a week perhaps.
This commitment means that you are creating, updating, changing some portion of your site several times a week.
The typical small business web site is lucky to receive an update several times a year. Search engines like change.
Wake Up Call
Because search engines love changing content, they are ever ready to visit a site when it is updated. One feature unique to blog software is something called a pinging.
Basically, what you are doing is sending out a message to various blog directories to come and visit you site because it has been updated. Once a search engine has located your site, this is like a personal invitation to come back and get the new stuff. I use a site called Ping-O-Matic to send pings to multiple services. Some blog software can be configured to do this automatically.
RSS Directories
Blogs also have a built in distribution method known as RSS. This allows you to push your updated content out to people who subscribe through an RSS reader such as Bloglines or FeedDemon as well as Yahoo and MSN. This ability allows you to communicate directly with subscribers but it can also help get your main site noticed and indexed by the major search engines. Yahoo, for example, allows people (including you) to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. On the day you create your blog, you can subscribe to it via a free MyYahoo account and Yahoo will visit and index your blog for free. It has no choice.
Linking Is Key
Part of the blogging culture is the predisposition to link to and from quality content that relates to the subject your are blogging about. In other words, bloggers like to link. Links from other high quality blogs will send traffic and get your blog and web site noticed.
So, your blog marketing strategy a little like this: Set-up a blog and start posting. Ping each time your make a new entry. Submit your blog to the major blog and RSS directories. Start looking for link partners. Repeat
In the last few weeks I set-up blogs for an attorney, a label manufacturer, and a remodeling contractor. In each case, the blogs were indexed and spidered by the major search engines within 48 hours. Traffic to the main web sites for these businesses (although a bit meager to start
with) has already doubled or tripled. Traffic from each of the major search engines is now showing up for a large number of important search terms and phrases.
Who knows how long this blog traffic bonanza will last but at this moment a blog has never made more sense.
If you’re convinced that you need a blog but don’t want to hassle with setting it up and learning how to promote it properly, check out my basic blog coaching package. I do the work, you’re up and blogging and promoting your blog in a matter of days.


Copyright 2005 John Jantsch. John Jantsch is a marketing consultant based in Kansas City, Mo. He writes frequently on real world small business marketing tactics and is the creator of "Duct Tape Marketing" a turn-key small business marketing system.
Check out his blog at http://www.blogger.com/www.bloggingbusiness.com
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Thursday, May 05, 2005

The 7 Steps to Promoting Your RSS Feeds on Your Website

Copyright 2005 Rok Hrastnik

RSS gets 100% of your content delivered, but it’s no good if no one subscribes to your feeds.

So your first order of business after planning and creating your feeds has to be promoting them to your visitors.
The only problem is that most internet users still don’t know what RSS is, so you do have your work cut out for. But using the system outlined below you shouldn’t have any problems. Actually, after implementing this system, you should be achieving better results than the majority of publishers out there.

1. HOW RSS FEEDS ARE GENERALLY PROMOTED

RSS feeds are generally promoted using the orange XML or RSS buttons, and often also with buttons that enable visitors to subscribe directly to the feed with their RSS reader.

Usually, if clicking on the RSS button, the visitor only sees a lot of confusing XML code. They in fact need to copy & paste the link in to their RSS reader. But since most still don’t know what RSS is, using this approach will only waste potential subscribers.

To achieve success, you’ll need a different approach.

A] Create an RSS presentation page, on which you explain:
- What RSS is
- How the visitor will benefit from using RSS
- Where they can get a free RSS aggregator (recommend one
yourself!)
- How they can install it (provide step-by-step
instructions)
- How they can subscribe to your RSS feeds
- Why they should subscribe to your own RSS feeds

Then, on this same page, include the links to all of your RSS feeds.

In addition to the standard orange RSS button, also include direct links for subscriptions via MyYahoo! (get it here
http://my.yahoo.com/s/button.html) and other relevant services, such as Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com).
There are about 5 RSS readers you should cover with these buttons.

B] Now promote this RSS presentation page as much as you can using all of your available channels.

2. LOCATION AND CONTENT

It’s all about location, just like with the subscription box for your e-zine. If they don’t see it, they won’t subscribe. And if you don’t motivate them enough to check-it out, they’ll just ignore it.

A] Promote your RSS feeds directly
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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Market Your Business through Newsletters

Most business people on the web subscribe to at least one newsletter, if not more, that focus on different aspects and markets they are interested in. Because of this, it is important for your company to also have a newsletter that provides viable, relevant, and current information and that also markets your product or service. You might be a bit intimidated when it comes to writing a newsletter, but really all you need is a couple hours and a few good ideas
Copyright 2005 Paul Jesse, http://www.sheamarketing.com

This should not be difficult if you are keeping up with the constant changes and improvements in your niche market. You will want to be always one step ahead of the rest of the newsletters in order to maintain and build a larger subscriber base quicker.

One of the most important things for your newsletter is not only to be relevant, but also to look professional. People see the newsletter before they actually read it and if it looks unprofessional, subscribers could easily unsubscribe without ever reading it and you will lose a subscriber.
There are many software programs you can buy that will help you build a newsletter that is not only professional, but has additional design features and the like. This is important because appearances can often mean everything so far as getting people to actually read what you have written.
There are plenty of programs available online and web sites that cross compare programs features and prices. This will help you make a good choice in the program best for you.

Next, you will want to have a reason for people to sign up for your newsletter. People do not subscribe to newsletters without good reason and interest, so you will want to make sure that not only does your letter look professional but that it provides professional information or other items your subscribers want like access to e-books, toolkits, advice for marketing, business or other things.

Additionally, make sure you have an automated program that initiates newsletter requests and processes newsletter remove requests. IF not, you might find yourself spending hours adding new e-mail addresses and removing others. Most people would rather spend this time on their business rather than upkeep of email addresses. This program will certainly be worth whatever it costs.

Also, you should know that over 70% of sales are made after at least the third contact with a potential customer, so marketing your products in a newsletter to weekly subscribers will mean increasing your sales and revenues.
This is important for a successful business, so make sure you are providing cutting edge information for your subscribers and giving them a reason to stay a subscriber.
Once you have your professional newsletter in place, watch as the subscribers increase day after day and watch how your sales are affected as well as traffic to your site.
Marketing via a newsletter can only help your web page and revenues.


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Paul Jesse is a retired government employee turn Internet Marketer. For work at home resources go to:
http://www.sheamarketing.com

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

What do search engines really want?

First, the biggest indicator of a good site was good, relevant, content.

Second came the link popularity fad, were exchanging links became a way for one page to "vote" for another page. This is still important, but another factor has come into play - that of 'link relevancy' - it does no good to have a basket weaving site link to you when you are a veterinarian - try to get links relevant to your site, and you will see a much stronger outcome.

Finally, the major search engines aren't just looking for the above, they are looking for a quality called "Freshness". Take for example the search term "War on Terror" Last year's newspaper may be equally relevant to those terms as todays newspaper is. So who get ranked higher? The site with the freshest content. Updating your content can be easy - just the addition of a simple blog does wonders.

For more information, please visit www.arteworks.biz
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Monday, May 02, 2005

The Only 6 Steps You'll Ever Need To Know To Generate Traffic And Leads For Your Website

However, generating traffic and leads for your online business is not at all difficult if you know your product or service, can recognize your target audience and your website is ergonomically designed to capture leads.
Here are six additional tips to help you prepare for generating traffic and leads for your website.

1. Set Up Your Auto-Responder - In order to capture leads and follow-up with your prospects, your website must be equipped with an automated email system, better-known as an auto-responder. When a visitor arrives on your website, you must make it easy for them to subscribe for your information. Therefore, you will need to install a piece of script on prominent pages of your website to create opt-in forms or hyperlinks for them to use to subscribe to your mailing list.

2. Understanding Your Auto-Responder and Direct Email Marketing - Before starting any email marketing campaign, be sure that you fully understand how your auto-responder works. This can be easily accomplished by subscribing yourself to your auto-responder. Be sure that your outgoing messages are in compliance with the CAN SPAM ACT of 2003 and require each subscriber to double opt-in to your list.
Additionally, you must make it easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe and be willing to manually unsubscribe them should they experience problems.

3. Write Compelling Web Copy That Gets Results - Your web copy also plays an important role in determining the success of your traffic and lead generation efforts. In other words, your copy should instill excitement, motivation and curiosity in your visitors. Make it as clear as possible what you want them to do and give them lots of incentives in the form of free bonus gifts for doing so.

4. Generating Short-Term Targeted Traffic And Leads - Once your auto-responder and website are properly set-up, it is time to start directing traffic to your website. The quickest and easiest way to generate traffic and leads for any business is pay per click marketing. Why? First, you only have to invest a minimum of time and effort into setting up your advertising and, once you’re done, you can get results near real-time. Second, you have control over the targeting of your campaign. This is very important. You want your ads to reach only the most likely prospects, and pay per click marketing assures you of this because you control which search terms trigger your ad.

5. Generating Long-Term Targeted Traffic And Leads - While pay per click marketing is considered to be the short-term solution for generating targeted traffic and leads fast, it is also considered to be one of the most expensive ways to advertise your business. Therefore, you should consider adding other time-honored and advanced marketing resources to your arsenal such as joint-venturing, co-registration services and article distribution for long-term list growth.

6. Build A Responsive List By Offering Useful Content - When your list begins to grow, offer your subscribers useful content closely related to the kind of products or services that you offer. This information can be in the form of a simple newsletter, article, e-report or e-book.
By giving away free content first, your subscribers will grow to know and trust you. Then and only then is it safe to periodically sprinkle your content with offers to buy your new product or service.

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