Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Google's Voice Search

Google's voice recognition app finally arrived for the iPhone. You can download it from the Apple itunes store here, iTunes

Google’s search-by-voice application allows users to speak into their iPhone to submit queries to Google’s search engine. This will appeal to users who find it difficult to type using the iPhone keypad, especially when we are so used to using a qwerty keyboard.

Google's voice-recognition technology will be first available for the iPhone, even before devices, such as the G1, running its own Android mobile platform. Google will soon offer the technology for other devices, including the T-Mobile G1, which uses Android. Google also has a voice-search client for the BlackBerry, which, at the moment, is limited to maps.

But Google is playing catch-up. Yahoo and Microsoft already offer a voice-recognition option for mobile phones. Microsoft's Tellme and Yahoo's oneSearch both offer voice services.

I suppose the voice search will be most useful when a you might need to call directory assistance or do a simple search, but you can not do it safely, or legally, on a keyboard while driving. Especially here in South Africa where there can be hefty fines given for talking-and-driving. Another benefit might be the ability to search for potentially long queries that would be difficult to type.

But accuracy will still be a factor. What with all the different languages around. 11 official languages here in South Africa. What about all the different accents and word pronunciations. Apparently it works best with ‘North American’ accents. No surprises.

Google's voice recognition is far from perfect. Getting most searches right, but still inconsistent. The biggest let down, and perhaps not fully shown in the video released by Google, is the fact that you cannot search your contacts via voice. You still have to do a manual type search. But you can use a separate app available for the iPhone, "SayWho", which will dial your selected contact for you, using voice recognition.

Could voice recognition be the next killer app for mobile? The voice recognition market is growing at galloping pace. In 2006 voice recognition technology sales where in the region of $1 billion. That number is expected to swell to $2.6 billion by 2009.

What are your thoughts? Have you downloaded it yet? Have you used it? Has it worked?
Let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Google goes for video and voice chat

On Tuesday Google Inc launched a free Web-based service that competes with the likes of eBay's Skype. Google recently added a voice and video chat feature to its Gmail email service.

If you are a Gmail and Google App subscriber, you can now choose to speak with friends on a video screen and at the same time IM them in a Google Chat box.

The video screen can be popped out of the chat box and moved around your computer screen. You can also change the size of the video pop-out screen and even make it full size.

"The idea was to make it quicker and easier to communicate with other people by whatever means is best convenient," said Google spokesperson Jason Freidenfelds.

"It's a nice alternative for businesses looking for another way for people to connect," he said.

This new addition to Google apps is available for both PC and Mac users.

A webcam and small web browser plug-in is all that you need to use the video chat. if you do not have a webcam, don't fret, you will still be able to chat with friends by voice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Which is better Google Pagerank or Alexa traffic rank?

Having just started my new business and website, http://www.integralwebsolutions.co.za about three months ago. I also started a blog called the brave programmer at http://blog.thebraveprogrammer.integralwebsolutions.co.za

I find that I am obsessed with statistics. I check my Google stats at least three times a day. I check my blog stats at least as much. In fact I have three blogs and I am obsessed with them just as much.

I am always trying to find ways and means to increase Pagerank. Trying to find good quality back links, writing articles and blogs. Joining Social Networks. Trying to optimise every page.

Some of this has paid off. But I still think there is a lot to be done. My Pagerank has gone up, not by a huge margin. But then you're only working with a range of 10, not much play there.

My Alexa ranking has gone from 14 000 000 to 800 000. Not bad I think.

But which is better to have? Which is more sort after? Which shows the true worth of your site? Alexa traffic rank or Google page rank?

In my mind I would go for the Alexa ranking. Simply because your website is about visitors to your site, not how Google ranks your site. Yes these are related. But what good is it to have a million links to your site, and a page rank of 10. But you do not get any traffic, your Alexa rank is 9 000 000.

While I do realise that this probably will not happening. I mean if you have a million inbound links and a traffic rank of 10, then surely your traffic is very very high.

But humour me for a second. If this were so, surely the one to push for would be traffic rank. So some have a high Google rank, because of site age, and inbound links. But their site gets no traffic. Traffic means sales, and sales means money.

What are your thoughts. Let me know what you think. Pagerank or Alexa rank? Feel free to leave me a comment.

Google's G1 phone hacked

It was only a matter of time wasn't it? Some bored teenager hacked the iPhone a while back. But that's not all. No sooner had the G1 been released when someone decided to hack Google's latest pride and joy.

Although not as impressive as the iPhone hack. The G1 hack is none the less significant. The hack has the potential to turn the G1 into a brick. As reported here: http://www.koushikdutta.com/2008/11/how-get-root-access-on-t-mobile-g1.html.

The hackers have managed to jailbreak the G1 by taking advantage of a massive loophole in Android.

Android is the open source operating system supplied by Google.

Apparently some Linux geeks hacked the G1 and gained root access in about one minute. They used a widely available PTerminal application to telnet to the device`s IP address.

The hack gives the hacker complete system, or root,access. This means that they will complete administrator rights which comes with full read-and-write functionality of the Operating System. Basically they could do what they liked.

Makes you think doesn't it. If you are one of the big boys, and you make a statement or launch a product. There is always some hacker waiting to throw some pie in your face.

A Google spokesman said the company plans to distribute a patch that will close the loophole.

Testing your web page in over 60 browsers.

So you have developed this mind blowing, gob smacking, beautiful website. It rocks! But the first day you put it up, you get an e-mail along the lines of, "your website sucks, the size is all wrong, things are not positioned correctly, its all outa whack".

What in the world is going on here? Your site rocks, who is this idiot? What is he ranting and raving about?

You soon find out that the unfortunate user viewed your site in a different browser to what you have. The site does not display well in browser xxx.

What do you do? Well you could install all the browsers onto your machine and test them all individually. But that's a scary thought and not advised.

Most would only try and get their site to display well in the three major browsers, Firefox, IE and I suppose Safari.

But as most of you know these three do not agree with each other as to the standards that should be kept. Even the different browser versions display sites differently within the same browser family. I am not going to debate which browser is the best or which is the most compliant when it comes to web standards.

What I am going to do is let you into a little secret. I came across a site that will take a snap shot of how your site looks in over 60 browsers. Now you do not have to test all 60, but you can choose which browsers you want to target.

It navigates to your site, and loads it into each of the browsers that you selected. Takes a snap shot of what your website looks like.

The best thing about this is that it is a free service. 121 computers run by volunteers are used to submit sites to different browsers. They even have some rudimentary stats. Where you can see against which browsers people are testing.

No surprises that it seems that IE is winning the testing race, followed by Firefox, the I think Safari. Opera makes a good showing as well. But there are browsers being tested that I have not even heard of.

The site in question is browsershots, and it can be found at this address http://browsershots.org.
Check it out. If you are into building and testing websites and you believe that you might be having some peculiar display issues. Submit your site to browsershots and see how your site is rendered in the browsers of your choice.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Robbers Hit Northgate - While I was there.

Two people were shot and wounded in armed robberies at the Northgate shopping mall today, Friday. Now this might not seem alarming to many, as we are so used to crime now days. But the thing is, I was there in the mall with my family, wife, 2 year old daughter, 11 year old son. It could have been me that was shot, or my wife, or God forbid, my kids.

A man was shot in the chest and was in a critical condition. Four robbers fled the scene in a white Opel Astra. No arrests were made but police were investigating a case of armed robbery and attempted murder.

Last week we were at a steers drive through, when just in the next shopping centre, about 200m away, robbers hit the shopping centre. The same gang might have even hit the petrol station the day before in the same shopping centre as the steers drive through.

A week before that, a high jacking occurred not 200m away from where we stay, a person was shot.

A few months before that we were rocked awake in the early hours of the morning by a loud bang. The ATM at the shopping centre up the road from us was bombed.

These criminals are more and more brazen as they start to attack, rob, high jack, and murder during the day and even at the most populated places.

I am proud South African. The government says that the crime rate is falling. Problem is, I do not experience that. I have been in the vicinity of more dangerous life threatening crime in the past six months than in the last two years.

I married a beautiful British girl. Their parents were forced to move back to Britain because they were robbed while they slept, and held up at gun point in the middle of the day. Two separate incidents weeks apart.

I fear for my life and the life of my family. My wife is always nagging me to move overseas, to England. Where its safe.

With the current crime rate, statistics say, its just a matter of time before something like this happens to me. I do not want to take that chance. With all these crimes going on around me, those stats do not seem so far off.

Yes there is crime all over the world. But the blatant disregard for life in this country is beyond explanation. In England, yes they might rob you, but they won't sommer just shoot you and kill you for nothing.

I am a programmer, I develop websites. My site is Integralwebsolutions. I work from home, and my servers and sites are hosted in the states. I don't need to actually live in this country to carry on working.

But I love this country. I love the weather, I love the sport, I love the law abiding people. But it seems like this country does not love me any more.

Just this week, an armed robbery and high jacking took place in Kempton Park. The black police inspector from Tembisa said, "It's time you whites packed your bags and f***d off." Calling the victims dogs and vowing that he would see to it that the white police woman would be shot in a robbery. Cocking his R5 rifle he told the white victim to pack his bags and F*** off as he refused to arrest the criminal or open up a police case of the robbery and high jacking.

With the current brain drain in the country, the lack of skills, the high unemployment rate, and the high crime rate, it is only going to get worse. With criminals running our country, I mean literally, criminals in the government. One might not be surprised at the way this police officer behaved.

If they want me to leave, if they do not want any web developers and programmers in the country, I might just leave. Over time, I would probably get better respect in England, the state hospitals are better, there is better social support, the crime is not as violent. It sure does seem a tempting proposal.

The question is, What would you do? Should we leave or should we take our chances?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is Google's G1 Better Than The iPhone?

Internet giant Google has launched its much-awaited mobile phone. Many claim a direct challenge to the supremacy of the iPhone.

The G1 was unveiled in New York last month and was put on sale in the UK early November. The G1 has been released exclusively by T-Mobile.

It is stipulated that it will go head to head with other mobile products such as Apple's iPhone, the Blackberry and other smartphones from makers such as Nokia, Samsung.

The G1 uses Google's open source mobile software, Android. Many have stated that it is a phone with the capability of a hand held computer. Is it a phone or is it a palmtop, with telephony as one of its functions?

The G1 is a touch-screen mobile phone and includes a QWERTY keyboard when you slide the phone open. Included are applications such as Google Maps with StreetView, Gmail, YouTube and GoogleTalk. mmm Lots of Google stuff. Not surprising.

Is it then a phone or a dedicated smart fancy electronic wireless browser? Is it a way for Google not only to challenge iPhone, but in the same breath to capture and increase their Internet user market. Maybe not only are they trying to stick it to Apple, but Yahoo as well. What is Google doing in the mobile market. I thought it was an Internet giant, a search engine. But then again I have been wrong a few times before.

Not only does it have a keyboard, but the G1 also has a trackball for more precise, one-handed navigation. That's not all, it also sports a 3-mega pixel camera.

But despite the popularity of the Google brand, the G1 isn't 'cool'. It does not strike me as a 'Geek' phone. The same coolness and Geekness that the iPhone 3G had which was a massive success for Apple.

One thing though which might sway the masses towards the G1, is cost. The G1 will in fact be cheaper. Over a two year contract the G1 will be in the region of $380 cheaper. Included will be unlimited mobile internet browsing. Some plans will not only include unlimited data but unlimited texting or SMS.

However the iPhone comes to its own when we talk capacity. Sporting a massive 8GB-16GB as opposed to 2GB-8GB for the G1. This will win over the huge music fans, because if you do the math, you can fit more mp3's, more video and more pics onto the iPhone as opposed to the G1. Seems that the iPhone is more geared towards multimedia, despite the 3 mega pixel camera for the G1 as opposed to the 2 mega pixel for the iPhone.

One thing is for certain, the G1 was designed to bring new possibilities to the art of online communication. The problem now is, can you ever say, "I never got that e-mail".

What ever the case might be. Whether you are a iFan or a Gman, the Gadget wars have just begun.

CNN's Hologram. Real or Fake?

CNN made huge waves on Tuesday night by incorporating, what they claim to be, a three-dimensional hologram into its coverage of the U.S. election. The question I first asked when I saw this was, "was it really a hologram"?

I'm sure that whatever it was, it was very sophisticated. But no hologram. The technology is so complex and computing power is so powerful, that we are not there yet.

At about 7 p.m. EST USA, reporter Jessica Yellin, who was in Chicago, spoke with New York based anchor Wolf Blitzer live "via hologram," CNN said.

She seemed to appear a bit fuzzy as her image was apparently projected a few feet in front of Blitzer. The image appeared to glow around the edges as well. "You're a terrific hologram," Blitzer said to her. Making good use of the power of suggestion.

"It's like I follow the tradition of Princess Leia," she said, making reference to the Star Wars character and obviously some reference to the holograms in the movies. Which also seemed to glow around the edges and appear a bit fuzzy. Kind of coincidental, don't you think?

Was CNN playing on our minds and our infatuation with sci-fi and the likes of Star Wars?

Apparently her image was being filmed in Chicago by 35 high-definition cameras. These cameras were set in a ring inside a special tent. The images were then processed and synchronized by 20 computers to the cameras in the New York studio.

Sources tell me that the CNN anchors were not really speaking to three-dimensional projected images, but rather empty space. The images were simply added to what viewers saw on their screens at home, in much the same way computer-generated special effects, like the hologram of Leia, are added to movies, like Star Wars, as suggested in the interview.

These images were tomograms. Tomograms are images that are captured from all sides. Then reconstructed by computers. Finally displayed on screen. Much like what happened in the movie "The matrix".

Holograms, on the other hand, are projected into space.
Sources tell me that holographic images are generally captured and projected using coherent light such as lasers. A laser would need to be more than six feet in diameter to capture a person's image, which I believe is impossible. Probably because such a huge light source would be blinding.

I also believe that our current hologram technology requires some sort of floor pad or plate, which is absent from the CNN footage.

CNN reporting that this is a hologram, was this then a lie or the truth? Where then does the line stand between truth and lies? Should journalists and news companies be able to lie about news and technology, in order to gain viewers or readership? Should they twist the truth to increase their rankings in the viewers poll. Should they be sensationalists with no regard to accuracy and facts.

Why would CNN lie about this being a hologram? Is its cheesy reporting, aimed to capture your attention no matter what the truth might be?

The real question is. Do you really care? Are you actually concerned that this type of deception is going on, or are you captivated by the entertainment?

What do you think about this? Did you believe that it was a real hologram? Were you amazed?

Let me and others know. Leave your comment. what did you think?

BTW, CNN could not be reached for comment.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Super Movie Computer

Ever watched a movie and seen how ridiculous the computer interaction is or how computers behave, unlike normal computers in real life.

I came across a site which lists 28 of some really funny and unbelievable things computers and people do. http://www.geekpolice.net/jokes-fun-stuff-f1/things-computers-can-do-in-movies-t3806.htm

Here are a few of my favourites.

1. You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.

2. You can also infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing "UPLOAD VIRUS". (See "Fortress".)

3. All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain's desktop computer even if it's turned off.

4. People typing on a computer can safely turn it off without saving the data.

5. A hacker is always able to break into the most sensitive computer in the world by guessing the secret password in two tries.

6. You may bypass "PERMISSION DENIED" message by using the "OVERRIDE" function. (See "Demolition Man".)

7. Computers only take 2 seconds to boot up instead of the average minutes for desktop PCs and 30 minutes or more for larger systems that can run 24 hours, 365 days a year without a reset.

8. Complex calculations and loading of huge amounts of data will be accomplished in under three seconds. Movie modems usually appear to transmit data at the speed of two gigabytes per second.

9. Computers can interface with any other computer regardless of the manufacturer or galaxy where it originated. (See "Independence Day".)

10. Computer disks will work on any computer has a floppy drive and all software is usable on any platforms.

11. The more high-tech the equipment, the more buttons it will have (See "Aliens".)

12. Most computers, no matter how small, have reality-defying three-dimensional active animation, photo-realistic graphics capabilities.

13. Searches on the internet will always return what you are looking for no matter how vague your keywords are. (See "Mission Impossible", Tom Cruise searches with keywords like "file" and "computer" and 3 results are returned.)

What are your favourite great movie computer moments. Leave us a comment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Updating Multiple Social Networking Sites

Social Networking? Can be a life saver or a pain in the never region. Can take up a large portion of your day, and life. Can be a great business tool or a production black hole. Like most things, SN (Social Networks) can be good or bad. Depending how you use them.

I know of some people who spend up to three hours a day, updating their SN sites. Things like blogging, Facebook, twitter, plurk, flickr. This seems to escalate depending on how many SN sites you keep active.

When I first started out with my new Internet Business, website design and development, I added SEO to my stable. One of the things I learned quickly was that SN could drive traffic to your website. Help with building back links and help promote your website.

So what did I do? I started to join multiple Social Networks, including Facebook, twitter, plurk, linkedin etc. I also started blogging setting up multiple blogs. Some have similar content some are vastly different.

I soon found out that this took up a large amount of time. Having a new business I could not justify all the time spent on SN. I needed to bring in paying clients, I found it more profitable to spend time coding than Social Networking. But still realised the importance of SN.

I was in a bit of a dilemma. I knew that Social Networking could help me, but had no time to dedicate to it. As a result a lot of the SN sites were neglected. I only focused on the ones I thought might benefit me.

Enter in ping.fm. Ping.fm is a service that helps with updating multiple Social Network sites. By writing, or blogging in one place you can update everything. Their motto - "Ping.fm is a simple service that makes updating your social networks a snap".

Once you sign up, you add various services to your account that you want to update. They have many services in their stable and are adding more. Things like Blogger, LiveJournal, Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, LinkedIn. etc.

By writing in one place, ping.fm, you can post (ping) to all your SN sites. Updating your status, ,micro-blogging, full blogging. I am doing this right now. This blog was sent to multiple blog sites via ping.fm.

Whether it is advisable to send the same thing to multiple blogs is for another discussion.

With ping.fm you can ping (post) to all your Social Networks at once, or to a selected group, or to individual ones. This is done by triggers. These triggers help ping.fm to know what you are trying to do. For instance, you could just make status updates, or post to your micro-blogging sites like twitter and plurk, or even post to you full blogging sites like Blogger and Wordpress. You can ping them individually or as a group.

You can even create your own triggers, so that you can post to your own combination of SN sites. For example, you might want to only post an update to Twitter and plurk. Create a trigger, write your update, and ping using that trigger.

Ping.fm makes it even easier to update your sites by providing other services that you can use to update them. Services like Instant Messaging. Do you have AOL IM, or Live Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger. Set up a ping.fm contact using their application key, and then you can update your Social Networks through your IM client.

If that does not work for you, you can set up an e-mail to update you Social Networks. This I find will work great for those who are behind a company firewall and are prohibited to go to certain sites. With an e-mail you could possible circumvent this and update your Facebook or twitter via e-mail. Although I haven't tested this out, I see no reason why it should not work.

If you have tried this out. Leave a comment and let me know how it went.

What if you have been banned from the internet and e-mail. Well ping.fm have provided another way for you to update your SN sites. Through the use of your Mobile phone or iPhone, you can update all your SN sites. You can even SMS (text) your updates in, or send e-mails from your Mobile and iPhone.

All in all I am impressed with this service. It certainly has taken out the drag of updating SN sites. I recommend you take a look and let me know.

Leave me a comment, tell me what you think.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feeling overjoyed at the moment. Got my first Client enquiry via Google organic search. Sounds Promising. Has my SEO paid off.
It's Monday morning. Another day at the office and deeper in debt. Got so much work to do today.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yes Yes Yes !!! Liverpool won 1-0. Top of the Log

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The software project

This is so true. Lack of communication and understanding. Developing software is definitely not an easy job. Everybody has their own ideas as to what the final product should be.
Click on the cartoon image to see a larger version.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Top 10 tips on SEO.

1. Good Keyword Research.

Make sure that before you build a site, you figure out exactly what kinds of keywords you will want to target. Your site should include keywords that your prospective clients key into the major search engines. Useful keyword research tools include Wordtracker, Overture, Keyword Discovery and WebCEO.

Another factor to consider is the competition for your keywords. You do not want to use keywords that your competitors are already competing for. The result being that you will probably not rank well.

You need to have keywords that have a high KEI or Keyword Effectiveness Indicator. This is how effective your keywords are in the world of search engines. You do not want to have a keyword phrase that no one uses, nor do you want to have a keyword that has loads of competition. The KEI is the balance between well used search phrases and less competition.

2. Content is King.

Without great content any thing else is pointless. Users will not return to your site. Users will not stay long on your site. The search engines will disregard your site, not index it or even ban your site. Writing good usable applicable content is the number one priority for any SEO or any website for that matter.

Websites that are designed for people, offering easy navigation and fresh, unique content will attract search engine spiders that will want to index the pages.

It is really frustrating when visiting a site looking for up-to-date information, only to find that it hasn’t been updated for weeks. You are then forced to get on the phone to find out the information; so what’s the point in having a website?


Websites that have not been updated regularly will discourage prospective clients and spiders alike. Make sure that your website is constantly updated with fresh, unique content.

3. Build Internal Links

Make sure that you have a high-quality link structure and good navigation on your site, so that not only potential customers, but also search engine spiders can find and index all the pages on your site.

A common mistake is to assume that every visitor will start at your home page. Most will but it's important to check that each page on your site is linked to the other pages. This helps the search engine spiders to quickly index your site. Remember that the way you structure your site navigation will have an effect on how people judge you and your business.

4. Building Inbound Links

Getting other sites to link back to yours is probably the #1 item of importance for your rankings. If “content is king” then “linking is queen”. Importantly though, is that pages that link to you should be related to your content. One-way links from sites carry far greater weight than links that are reciprocated.

Links act like votes for your site and you can't rank well without them. Buying links or being indiscriminate in the places you link to and places you request links from is no longer considered good practice and could potentially get your site banned. Quality rather than quantity.

5. Keyword Density

The amount of times your selected keywords or phrases appear in your content, the relevancy it has in your content and the correct usage of proper grammatical syntax revolving around those keywords is of prime importance. The search engines nowadays, derive the importance of a particular topic from the usage of keywords and their density.

For example, if your site is about programming, but this keyword only appears one in your content, but the word computer appears ten times. Search engines will assume that your site is about computers rather than programming.

Be careful to not overdo it. Search engines take a very dim view on too many keywords in content. This causes it to look un-natural, and is often termed as keyword stuffing.

6. Optimise Your Page Titles

A very important SEO technique is to include your keywords within the Title description for each page. It is of prime importance that the title tag is unique to the subject matter of each page for the benefit of the search engines.

In other words, each page must have a unique title tag. This will help your search engine rankings as well as help users to identify the content of the page.

7. Crawlability Issues

Never hide your navigation and or content behind Flash, JavaScript, or Images. Always try to use text for search engines to crawl your navigation. If you absolutely must have a Flash menu or image-based menu then the best practice is to create a text-equivalent alternative in the footer of your site. CSS can give your text-based navigation similar styling to that of images and the functionality of roll over similar to JavaScript menus. Spiders have a hard time crawling Flash, and equally, perhaps even more difficult time with JavaScript, and they can’t read text that is made from an image.

8. Keyword Emphasis.

Use italics, bold and underlining to further emphasize your keywords. Think of a newspaper and how the bold ,different, bigger titles draw your attention to the detailed story. Users and Search engines are no different. Usage of Strong and H1 –H6 tags show users and search engines what is important on your site, and draws their attention to it. It separates the Keywords from the normal text in a visual and search engine friendly way.

9. Site maps.

A site map, in addition to a clear navigation bar and links between pages, will help visitors to your website find what they are looking for. It will also ensure that search engine spiders visit and index each of your pages. Then submit the site map along with the site to the popular search engines to tell them where you are.

10. Monitor your progress.

Track your progress with a web analytics program. use a tool such as “Google Analytics”. It is easy to use, versatile, and it's free. Google Analytics provides a wealth of information to help you further optimise your site.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Website Design, Coding, SEO - RAP

The Poetic Prophet (AKA The SEO Rapper) is back with another marketing rap. This time he describes how web standards and proper design can affect the ranking and conversion of pages on your site.

Lyrics:

Your site design is the first thing people see
it should be reflective of you and the industry
easy to look at with a nice navigation
when you can't find what you want it causes frustration
a clear Call to action to increase the temptation
use appealing graphics they create motivation
if you have animation
use with moderation
cause search engines can't index the information
display the logos of all your associations
highlight your contact info that's an obligation
create a clean design you can use some decoration
but to try to prevent any client hesitation
every page that they click should provide and explanation
should be easy to understand like having a conversation
when you design the style go ahead and use your imagination
but make sure you use correct color combinations
do some investigation, look at other organizations
but don't duplicate or you might face a litigation
design done, congratulations but it's time to start construction
follow these instructions when you move into production
your photoshop functions then slice that design
do your layout with divs make sure that it's aligned
please don't use tables even though they work fine
when it come to indexing they give searches a hard time
make it easy for the spiders to crawl what you provide
remove font type, font color and font size
no background colors, keep your coding real neat,
tag your look and feel on a separate style sheet
better results with xml and css
now you making progress, a lil closer to success
describe your doctype so the browser can relate
make sure you do it great or it won't validate
check in all browsers, I do it directly
gotta make sure that it renders correctly
some use IE, some others use Flock
some use AOL, I use Firefox
title everything including links and images
don't use italics, use emphasis
don't use bold, please use strong
if you use bold that's old and wrong
when you use CSS, you page will load quicker
client satisfied like they eating on a snicker
they stuck on your page like you made it with a sticker
and then they convert now that's the real kicker
make you a lil richer, your site a lil slicker
design and code right man I hope you get the picture
what I'm telling you is true man it should be a scripture
if it's built right you'll be the pick of the litter
everyone will want to follow you like twitter
competition will get bitter and you'll shine like glitter
if you trying to grow your company will get bigger
design and code right man can you get with it

Duration : 0:3:22
Design Coding

Building an online presence

Having a website is essential in today's business world. Building an online presence should be a top priority for any business. Here is a video with a few tips on building an online presence.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How To Create Your Own Perpetual Traffic Machine

Copyright © 2008 Titus Hoskins


The Internet is such an unknown commodity anything is possible. One of the most intriguing questions concerns the idea of a perpetual traffic machine. Create a website and design a system of automatic programs (both interior and exterior) that delivers content and backlinks to a site that updates itself automatically and keeps growing without any help from the creator. In the process you build a flow of traffic that never stops, even if the site is abandoned or not touched for a couple of years or never again.

Is such a perpetual traffic system really possible? Before you conjure up pictures of HAL and creepy talking computers in distant space... realize that question may carry more weight than it would seem at first glance. But is it like its predecessor, the perpetual motion machine - just more an illusion than actual fact? For curiosity's sake if for nothing else, the idea of a perpetual traffic machine does require further investigation. Such a system would have special interest for millions of webmasters whose main task is acquiring traffic for their sites, not to mention the potential for monetary gain a PTM (rhymes with ATM) would produce. Some credence was given to the idea recently when Tinu Abayomi-Paul, a well-known online free traffic expert, produced with the help of Marlon Sanders an info-product entitled "The Evergreen Traffic Machine."

Tinu's story is very interesting. Tinu had built up a whole array of sites and optimized them successfully for countless keywords in all the major search engines. She had built up a steady flow of traffic, resulting in thousands of visitors "a day" to her sites. This in itself is not that extraordinary, but that's not the full story. Because of a personal illness she abandoned or left alone most of her sites for over a year or more - only to discover the traffic systems she had put into place didn't just dry up, they still kept producing tons of traffic even though the sites weren't being updated.

The traffic was still coming. The traffic was still fresh. Tinu basically built her perpetual traffic system around three major areas: High Profile Article Marketing, Exact Keyword Focus and Blogging/RSS Feeds. Tinu's system proves you can create a traffic system for a year or two, but the real question is will it still produce traffic five years from now? Fifty years from now? How about a hundred years? The real question: how long will such a system work without fresh input of unique content like the viral articles and blog posts now feeding it? This question is even more tantalizing when you consider it is now possible to create fresh content on your sites with RSS feeds, blog comments and user contributed content.

What's more intriguing is the fact that all aspects of a website can be automated, including payment for all renewals: domain, hosting, autoresponders... as well as the collection of revenues such as affiliate commissions and advertising fees.

Are we at the stage where the Internet will be filled with these automated human-less web sites drawing traffic/visitors and slowly building and expanding on their own for eternity? Many cynics would argue this is already the case with the majority of sites on the web. In case you like that idea and want to fully embrace this brave new automated perpetual Internet, here are a few tips to create your own eternal traffic machine:

1. Build lists and pre-load your AR system with follow-up messages to keep visitors coming back to your site. You can rotate these messages and ask your subscribers to opt-in to different lists on related subject areas. Always ask your readers to recommend your content to others.

2. Use social bookmark software or links so that your visitors can easily bookmark your content which brings in both new links and new traffic. Simple programs like the one offered by Addthis.com will get your visitors building your backlinks for you, bringing in fresh visitors who in turn will also bookmark your content.

3. Write viral articles, reports and ebooks that have your backlinks in the resource boxes. Likewise, viral software programs can help bring a constant flow of traffic to your site. If your content is of a high quality and your themes universal... new sites will pick up your content and build your backlinks, creating fresh traffic. The search engines will also index these new links and your rankings will increase, bringing in more traffic.

4. Use blogging and RSS feeds to get your content out there. You can also use these RSS feeds to bring in new fresh content to your site. Creating new content will be your main obstacle to creating perpetual traffic... you can get new content from feeds but will it be unique? Comments in your blogs could bring in unique content but if you're not monitoring them, you must have solid software in place to fight against spam.

5. Have "Tell a Friend" forms on all your content. This will bring new traffic to your site, which can be self-refreshing as new people discover your content.

6. Encourage user generated content such as articles, comments, posts... you can even have a community monitoring system where your site's members monitor this new content.

7. Form JV alliances with webmasters in your related field. Do co-registration so that you help build each other's lists and traffic.

8. Likewise, if you have products to sell, create an affiliate program to get your affiliates to build your traffic for you. Affiliates are an excellent source of permanent traffic.

9. Automate all aspects of the running and managing of your website. Set up automatic payments for your AR system, hosting, domain renewal, PPC payments... thru PayPal or credit card. Likewise, receive affiliate commissions thru PayPal or direct deposit. Many advertising programs like Google Adsense offer direct deposit.

10. PPC Traffic - While we have mainly looked at free traffic systems, don't forget creating a PTM is relatively easy with Pay Per Click advertising if you know what you're doing. Target less competitive keywords to keep your costs down, tie this traffic into a good squeeze page for feeding your AR system with leads and have a good landing page that converts. You can create a system that delivers perpetual traffic and pays for itself from your affiliate commissions and advertising fees.

In summary, the argument for the existence of the PTM mainly relies upon the quality of your content or site. Is it unique enough to draw in new visitors? Does your topic have universal appeal that people never tire of? Does it solve or offer advice on a common human problem? Will or does it have a viral "word of mouth" element to it? As we move to a more and more automated world, all the automated programs and hardware are in place for the creation of such perpetual traffic machines. Computers, autoresponders, content management software, RSS feeds, viral marketing, direct deposit, automatic payments... and the list goes on. If we haven't already created the perpetual traffic machine - we are getting tangibly close to doing just that.





About The Author:


The author is a full-time online marketer who practices what he preaches. While not exactly pretty, one of the most popular downloads on his sites has been a Free Perpetual Desktop Calendar which of course has links back to his site. Free Desktop Calendar You can find a review of Tinu's Traffic Machine here: Evergreen Traffic Review

Copyright (c) 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.




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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't Ever Give Up!

Most know of the great overpowering giant called Microsoft. Many of the small software operations either die out, or are completely overshadowed by the giant beast. Sometimes Microsoft will just devour them. When you have been with a programming language for close to 20 years, changing to another one is a frightening and daunting task. Nevertheless it can be done. I did, so you can too. The trick is to start and take small baby steps. Here is a rehash into the modern age of an old cartoon that should embody the fight of the small guy.

\Dont GIve up\

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Is DBI going the way of Ashton-Tate, Is dBASE dying a second death?

I have just read an article about the supposed demise of Vista, and in particular Microsoft. The author goes on to say the the demise of Vista would be due to its continual hold on compatibility. He says that the OS is bloated, they have added and added functionality and not taken any out. He compared this with the demise of Ashton-Tate and dBASE, and mentions that this too was as a result of continued bloating of the software due to compatibility.

In 1988, dBASE had 63% market share of the database market.  Not only the PC database market, but apparently the entire database market.  Ashton-Tate was on top of the world, and knew it. What happened to the beloved dBASE? How did the Big Giant fall? By 1989, dBASE's market share dropped to 43%.   A 20% drop in just one year.  When Microsoft Access came out in 1992, they took over the world, especially in the desktop database arena, dBASE and many xBASE depravities were dead or dying.  dBASE Crashed to the ground. In less than four years it was no longer heard of, except in legacy and niche markets. dBASE tried to regain what it once had. Eventually releasing a windows version. Also a 32bit windows version made it to the shelves. But it was like trying to blow up a deflated balloon with a thousand holes in it.

Doing a small keyword analysis. I found that the term dBASE returns only 153 daily searches on Google. I would venture to say that probably a large majority of people using the search term are using it and meaning “Database”. Where as something like “Visual Basic”  return  over 2300 daily searches, and “.NET” close to 3000. Although this is not conclusive, it does make a point

Trying to keep their compatibility with the old, i.e. DOS, and trying not to loose their DOS based Customers is what eventually killed dBASE.

dBASE had to be Backward compatible at any cost. Ashton-Tate created extremely bloated and arcane features added it to the product in order to support such compatibility.   Ashton-Tate believed the effort to switch would remain higher than the effort to keep using the product. In some cases it was true, in many, not. People across the world switch to windows based software, and along with it to software packages that supported the new OS, like Access.

Today we are sitting at .NET 3.5 CLR. Window 7 (Vista’s Successor) has been announced. The world is moving to .NET. Everything is .NET, ADO.NET. Borland, previous owners of dBASE, has switched over as well, many other xBASE products have made the leap. They have left the com32 compatibility boat behind.

Yet for some reason, DBI and dBASE have chosen not to go the .NET route but instead have decided to be backward compatible with cm32 applications and the com32 market. Is this  history repeating itself. Has DBI not learned from pas mistakes about compatibility. When we are so many versions and so many years away from com32, dBASE still keeps compatibility with that historical and dying market.

It is probably too far now do make the huge jump over to .NET3.5 and the only thing going for dBASE and DBI is probably their small market and their faithful following.

As I look and frequent the dBASE news groups, I do not see the activity I once saw, even though it was then still very low, when compared to other competing software news groups. I do not see some of the old names there any more. Where have they gone? To me, it seems that the dBASE market is still dropping. How far will the drop go until all give up and there is a mass exit.

I believe that the eminent demise of dBASE will be as a result of their stubbornness to keep their product compatible with the com32 market and their faithful few. Yes, it would have been a cost to start the journey down the road and follow the rest of the world. It would have been a cost to go the .NET group. But now the cost is so much more, that you are almost forced to stay were you are. I believe dBASE could have benefited from going the .NET route. Because of the way the CLR is constructed, I believe that dBASE would have gained a significant increase in their market share. Because of the CLR, a lot of functions that are well known in either the likes of VB and C# would have been the same in dBASE, thereby bringing comfort to millions.

Yes, DBI is starting to look at .NET, or at least some part of it. But I think that the horse has bolted and that now its a bridge too far.

What do you think? Do you think that dBASE is on its last breath struggling to survive? Do you think that it should go .NET? (Vote on the side bar). Do you think many more faithful will leave, or do you think that dBASE has what it takes to gain more market share?

Oh how I had wished and hoped that dBASE would one day rise again. How I wished that I could boast again of this great software. How I longed to compete with the rest of the world. But alas it was not so. If dBASE had learnt from its own history, I believe they would have had much more market share than what they now have, including me.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Programmer can cook

Recently my wife had back surgery. She went into theatre at 14h45 and came out at 20h00. Apparently she only went into surgery at 17h00. But that is still three hours.

Anyway while she was in hospital for three days, my sister looked after our two children. So I promised to repay her for her kindness, not that she did not enjoy it. I decided to cook her a meal. So I made mushroom and potato soup for starter. Then Apricot-Maple Glazed Pork Chops with veg. Then we had creme brulee for desert.

She was so excited, because she did not believe that theses keyboard fingers could ever make a meal. But I did. So what I decided to do is to give you the recipe of the Apricot-Maple Glazed Pork Chops here on my blog, but put it into a type of code syntax.

//Pork Chops
PorkChops APC = New PorkChops();
APC.Number = 4;
APC.Measure.Inch = true;
APC.Thick = 0.25;
//Butter
Butter But = New Butter();
But.Measure.Teaspoon = true;
But.Amount = 2;
//Shallots
Shallot Shallot = New Shallot();
Shallot.Measure.Cup = true;
Shallot.Amount = 0.25;
Shallot.Dice();
//Apricot Nectar
ApricotNectar Nectar = New ApricotNectar();
Nectar.Measure.Cup = true;
Nectar.Amount = 0.5;
Nectar.Refrigerated = true;
//MapleSyrup
MapleSyrup Syrup = New MapleSyrup();
Syrup.Amount.Cup = 0.25;
//Chicken Bouillon
ChickenBouillon Bouillon = New ChickenBouillon ();
Bouillon.Measure.Teaspoon = true;
Bouillon.Amount = 0.25;
//Apricot
Apricot Ap = New Apricot();
Ap.Amount = 4;
Ap.Type = "Dried";
Ap.Cut().ToHalf().ToThinSliced();
//Parsley
Parsley Par = New Parsley();
Par.Measure.Tablespoon = true;
Parsley.Chopped().ToFine();
//Pot
Skillet Pot = New Skillet();
Pot.Size = "Large";
Pot.Add(but);
Pot.But.Melt();
Pot.Add(APC);
Pot.APC.Cook();
Pot.APC.Turn(1);
Pot.APC.Cook.Pink = false;
//Serving Plate
Plate Plates = New Plates();
Pot.Collection().Transfer(Plates);
//Sauce
Pot.Add(Shallot)
Pot.Shallot.Cook();
Pot.Shallot.Stirring("Frequently").TillTender();
Pot.Add(Nectar);
Pot.Add(Syrup);
Pot.Add(Bouillon);
Pot.Collection(Sauce).BringToBoil();
Pot.Collection(Sauce).ToStirring = "Frequently";
If Pot.Collection(Sauce) = Thick;
Pot.Collection(Sauce).Remove();
Sauce.Pour().OnToPork();
Ap.Sprinkle().ToPork();
Par.Sprinkle().ToPork();

..
..
Enjoy = true;
Return;

Now I know that this might not be syntactically correct. But I have done this so that those who read this who are not into programming, might by some sort of imagination, understand what is going on.

Below are some Pictures as to how this turned out.

HPIM4778blog
Apricot-Maple Glazed Pork Chops

HPIM4777BlogApricot-Maple Glazed Pork Chops

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

SQL Running Totals

Ok so I had to do some graphs for a client. Which was not too bad. I created a view in MS SQL database, which took me a while because my mind was totally focused on one way of doing it. I then went to the MS forums and got some great Ideas.

The graph was a total of things per process per month. SO this worked, but it did not include the missing months. So I had to come up with a way to include counts of 0 for the missing month, have them included in the result set as rows so that I can graph them. What did I do?

I search the News Groups and got some responses but eventually did a combination of suggestions.

First I creates a list of joins like so:

SELECT     'January' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 1 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'February' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 2 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'March' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 3 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'April' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 4 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'May' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 5 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'June' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 6 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'July' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 7 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'August' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 8 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'September' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 9 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'October' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 10 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'November' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 11 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'December' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 12 AS mnth


Which gave me a list of Months with at least a 0 count. I then added my initial query:
SELECT     TOP (100) PERCENT DATENAME(mm, Issue.CreatedDate) AS Month
, COUNT(*) AS IssueCount, dbo.ActivityTask.ProcessId
FROM dbo.Issue AS Issue
INNER JOIN
dbo.ActivityTask ON Issue.ActivityTaskId = dbo.ActivityTask.ActivityTaskId
GROUP BY DATENAME(mm, Issue.CreatedDate)
,
MONTH(Issue.CreatedDate)
,
dbo.ActivityTask.ProcessId

and then did a cross join on this. The final query looked like this.
SELECT     TOP (100) PERCENT p.ProcessId
, SUM(p.Issuecount) AS issuecount
, mnth
,
month
FROM (SELECT y.ProcessId, x.mnth
,
CASE WHEN y.month = x.month THEN y.issuecount ELSE 0 END AS Issuecount
,
CASE WHEN y.month = x.month THEN y.month ELSE x.month END AS
month
FROM (SELECT 'January' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 1 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'February' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 2 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'March' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 3 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'April' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 4 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'May' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 5 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'June' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 6 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'July' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 7 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'August' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 8 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'September' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 9 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'October' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 10 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'November' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 11 AS mnth
UNION
SELECT
'December' AS month, 0 AS IssueCount, 12 AS mnth) AS x
CROSS JOIN
(
SELECT TOP (100) PERCENT DATENAME(mm, Issue.CreatedDate) AS Month
,
COUNT(*) AS IssueCount
,
dbo.ActivityTask.ProcessId
FROM dbo.Issue AS Issue
INNER JOIN
dbo.ActivityTask ON Issue.ActivityTaskId = dbo.ActivityTask.ActivityTaskId
GROUP BY DATENAME(mm, Issue.CreatedDate)
,
MONTH(Issue.CreatedDate)
,
dbo.ActivityTask.ProcessId) AS y) AS p
GROUP BY p.ProcessId, month, mnth
ORDER BY p.ProcessId, mnth

This worked great. It gave me totals per process id and per month. I was no able to graph this and then also include a 0 count if there was no processes identified in the database. But this was not enough. The client now wanted a second axis on the graph, showing a YTD figure. But not just the grand total of all the months per client, but a running total per client.

Now a running total is pretty much easy to implement. All you have to do is insert a sub-query as the field for the running total. Something like this using adventureworks:

select count(*) Customers
,(
select count(*) as Running from Sales.Customer a
where a.TerritoryID <= b.TerritoryID
)
Running from Sales.Customer b
group by TerritoryID












































CustomerRunning
34333433
643497
713568
45818149
978246
16859931
185011781
182013601
363117232
195319185

Ok so that's a running total. But when you have multiple groups, you want the running total to reset after every group. Simple solution. Create a view with all the rows, then using the were clause you can make sure which groups need to be reset. So with the final query above (not the adventureworks one) in a view I created a second query utilizing the view and added my running total.
select *,
(
select top 1 sum(issuecount) from view_IssuecountByMonthProcess a
where a.processId = b.processid
and a.mnth <= b.mnth
) as YTD
from view_IssuecountByMonthProcess b
order by processid, mnth

This might not be the most elegant way of doing it. But it works great for me.

If you think you might have something to add. If you think you might have a better solutions. Let me know. Leave a comment.

Now back to my website to do some business.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Learning new programming languages

In one of the newsgroups that I frequent, a fellow programmer was expressing the difficulty he is facing in learning a new programming language. That reminded me about the difficulties I faced in the past, and even now with regards to the same subject. It is easy to give up. To become discouraged. It, at times, seems all hopeless, and that nothing will ever stick into this thick skull of mine.

Like everything in life, time, practice and research (learning, education). Watching my 22 month daughter learn new things is amazing. How long it seemed before she could learn to walk. She tumbled and fell and hurt herself many times. But that is now all forgotten, and the hard work has paid off, because guess what, she walks and even runs, or at least some derivative or a fast waddle, now. Now it seems like an eternity before she starts to talk, but she is getting there, with a few sounds and words. But guess what, there is going to come a day, when her parents would seemingly wish she would stop talking. Programming is exactly the same. We must adapt to new ideas and new methods. For some that is difficult and painful, for others its a breeze. But once you have mastered the skills, and taken the time and discipline to complete the task, the results are fantastic. You look back and say to yourself that it was all worth it, and the journey was not that difficult. The strange thing is that the more you learn the easier it is to learn.

My encouragement to those of us who are embarking on the new journey of learning a new programming language, is stick to it. Persevere. It will eventually come right. I have started out on many new courses, currently I am building an Internet business. I am learning new things about the Internet, like Search Engine Optimization or SEO. I am trying to figure out what is the best look and layout for my homepage. But with trial and error, and time, I believe it will come right.

Don’t give up. Are you struggling? How has your learning curve progressed? Let me, and others know about your struggles and how you were able to overcome them. Share some tips and tricks that you have discovered. Encourage those of us who feel that we are at the bottom of the programmers pit. Leave a comment.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Multiple Search Engine Submissions and Spam

So I am reading up on SEO. I came to the conclusion that you have to submit stuff to the search engines. Things like sitemaps and my site URL etc. So I found an interesting piece of software, amongst the functions it has is the ability to submit to multiple search engines. Some of which I recognise, some I don’t.

So I think to myself what the heck. Lets try it, what can I lose. So I choose all the Search engines possible and click the submit after filling in some details. True to the software’s word, it submits my site to the Search Engines.

What I overlooked is that there was a small warning suggesting to use an alternate e-mail address. For spam reasons.

Boy am I regretting that. I have received more spam today than I ever did in my life. They just keep coming. Sure, some are not spam, and could be very useful. But I do not feel like wading through tons of e-mail to pick out the good ones. I have had to put up all sorts of rules to at least minimise the spam. Perhaps I should at some stage change my e-mail. But that's such a job, notifying friends and family and clients and co-workers.

My advice, if you are going to submit to lots of search engines, create a bogus e-mail or at least one of those public free one like gmail or yahoomail. You wont regret it.

I have to ask myself the question, now that I have learned a valuable lesson. Is it worth trying to your site publish to hundreds of search engines. Aren’t Google, MSN, and Yahoo, perhaps Alltheweb, and AltaVista the main ones. I could think of some local engines like Ananzi and Aardvark. But the list is probably 10 or less. My advice, is to be careful, choose your submissions. Make sure that it brings value to your business.

For your web design and development needs

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I got Stumble upon horribly wrong

I guess I got this whole thing of stumble upon wrong. I read, "post blog". So I did. Guess what I found? It has some limitations. Stumbleupon thinks of it more as a review than a blog. If so, why not have things like, "My reviews", or "Post Review" or "Reviewed" rather than things like, "My Blog" or "Post Blog". Don't you think it's a bit confusing. I don't mind posting reviews. I mean I could even review my own or another blog if needed.
As a result of this, my carefully written blogs have been cut short in their prime. I look like a bit of an idiot.
Where do I find the "Blog"/"Review" limits?
Any one else have any other thoughts on this?

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Social Bookmark Sites to Help Improve Page Rank

Do social bookmark sites really help drive traffic to your site. Do they help in improving your sites page ranking. I wonder? It seems to me to be a catch 22 situation. In order for people to bookmark your site. They have to find it first. If people can find your site. What's the point in bookmarking it, if its just to drive traffic and improve rankings..

Well I am unsure about this. Seeing that I am also learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and have come across many sites that suggest this. I am going to try it. Apparently there is a lot of merit in bookmarking. I can see why. If you can get as many inbound links to your site the better.

But bookmarking is largely a human intervention. How do you get people to bookmark your site or blog if they do not know it exists or don’t really care. This is part of my overall research. It seams that it is but a part in a whole series of things to do to improve page rank and popularity.

So lets put it to the test.

So why don't you book mark this Blog. You can also go to my new web site. Integral Web Solutions Home of the Best web design, web development and search engine optimisation.
I am trying to claim this blog through Technorati. Lets see if it works.


Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tri-Nations

Just too many mistakes. We lost, well done All Blacks. If we could just learn to control the ball a bit more, and not concede so many penalties. We would be in a better position. I though we were not quite up to standard to win, and we weren't. We were put on the back foot from the get go. Always defending. The All Blacks have not lost against us at home for I think 10 years now.

Next week we try again. Maybe we can work on some discipline.

All your web site design and development and Search Engine Optimisation needs

Tri-Nation Springboks vs All Blacks

Some of you might not know anything about Rugby. But here in South Africa, rugby is a big big BIG thing. We boast as World Champions. Twice. No mean feat. Today we play one of our arch rivals. The All Blacks, New Zealand. Everyone is hoping that we will win. But I have my doubts. I think that we have lost a bit of cohesion and natural game flow. The all blacks seem to be a much tighter knit squad.
What do you think?
Can we win. Well its 5 min to kick off. Better get going.

Tri-Nations Springboks and The All Blacks

Some of you might not know anything about Rugby. But here in South Africa, rugby is a big big BIG thing. We boast as World Champions. Twice. No mean feat. Today we play one of our arch rivals. The All Blacks. Everyone is hoping that we will win. But I have my doubts. I think that we have lost a bit of cohesion and natural game flow. The all blacks seem to be a much tighter knit squad.
What do you think?
Can we win. Well its 5 min to kick off. Better get going.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Search Engine Optimisation for Absolute Beginners III

Gadgets! Who does not love gadgets? We have gadgets for almost everything. Tools to make life simpler and more efficient. to get the job done in less time with the least amount of energy expired. Tools that do a better job. From power tools to vacuum cleaners to cordless electric screw drivers to GPS devices and metal detectors. All theses tools help us in our daily lives. They make us more efficient, make us appear more professional, give us more time and less stress and perhaps even enable us to do that which we couldn’t do otherwise. Yes, tools and gadgets are mans best friend. Oops second best friend.

Why should SEO be any different. Many say that it should be left up to the professionals. Yes I agree in part. If you can do a reasonable job yourself, or you can’t afford the professionals or you are plain just stubborn, or what ever the reason, one should be able to at least attempt the job yourself. If you so feel inclined or forced to do it. Who doesn’t have some tools at home, power tools. Things to fix electrical appliances, or do the odd carpentry job, or even attempt to do some minor construction or building. Many have done some kind of DIY. Some have succeeded some have not. But then you will never know if you don’t try. Also, some just know themselves that if they attempt to fix the broken electrical plug they will die a horrible death. So they are very comfortable in hiring a professional.

SEO is no different. You can try and do the job manually, or you can make use of the vast number of tools that are available to you, or you can hire a professional. Seeing that this blog is for absolute beginners, we assume that you are not a professional and that you want to try this yourself. Believe me you CAN do just as good a job as any professional. It is not impossible. Hey, I am not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination, but I have created some nifty looking woodwork pieces that have had my friend go GA GA.

So what I would like to do here is take a look at some tools that are available to us that can help us out with this SEO thing. Some are free, some require some form of payment and some are limited. But they all help. Before we delve into the nitty gritty of SEO and the strategy of SEO and all the cool stuff I described on my previous blog, lets look at some really cool and nifty tools.

I am gong to divide the tools into two categories, online and offline or desktop applications. Online typically speaks of web sites that enable you to do things, while offline typically requires you to download a program and run it to achieve your or the software's required goal. While some tools are not pure SEO tools but also incorporate SEM (Search Engine Marketing), which we will cover in another blog, they are all helpful in getting your site out there.

Online tools.

Seeing that most people find your site through some form of search engine, and that the most popular are Google, Yahoo and MSN. It stands to reason to see what they can offer when it comes to SEO. After all it is their domain isn’t it.

Google

Google offer a wealth of tools and services for the armature and professional. Most you have to create a Google account for. But its free and well worth it.

1.Google Webmaster Tools.

Improve your site's visibility in Google search results. Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your pages' visibility on Google. All you have to do is add and verify your site.

Links are so important to a web site. Discover your link and query traffic View, classify, and download comprehensive data about internal and external links to your site. Find out which Google search queries drive traffic to your site, and see exactly how users arrive there.

Share information about your site. Tell Google about your pages with Sitemaps: which ones are the most important to you and how often they change. You can also let Google know how you would like the URLs that they index to appear.

View more information about your crawl errors with the new content analysis tool.

2.Google Analytics.

This is a fantastic tool. And its Free. Analyse your visitors. Google Analytics shows you which sites, search engines, and keywords refer your traffic and how visitors interact with your site. They have all sorts of graphs and trends. Statistics that you can drill down too. It is really cool and worth checking out.

3.Google Trends.

With Google Trends, you can compare what interest there is in your favourite topic or keyword. Enter up to five topics or keywords and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most. You can see a snapshot of what’s on the public’s collective mind by viewing the fastest-rising searches for different points of time. You can see a list of today’s top 100 fastest-rising search queries. This is great for optimising your keyword search phrases and terms.

4.Google Website Optimizer.

This tool allows you to test different web site designs and content to see which ones attract and keep visitors, which ones bring them back for more and ultimately which ones are converted into sales. What you do is you create a particular page design with particular content. Let the web site optimizer monitor it. Then create another similar but different page, and test that, so on and so on. Then compare the data to see what users and customers like.

5.Google Suggest.

A spin off of Google search, but with a twist. As you type, Google will offer suggestions and the approximate number of expected results. Not a fantastic tool. But sure does help to find out what keywords are popular and what similar searches others are doing.

6.Google Adwords.

Although Adwords is a pay service. They do have a section where you can do some sort of keyword analysis. You can search specific keywords. Then you get results back of related terms. Their relevance, and what their search volume is. I.E you don’t want to have a keyword term that people never use to search with.

7.iGoogle

This is essentially a Google homepage. Where you can put Google gadgets on. I especially like it, because you can put webmaster tool gadgets, Google Analytic gadgets. These give you a quick overview of how your site is performing, and it also gives you summary reports from theses various services. A one stop, quick glance overall reporting and notification strategy.

8.Adword Traffic Estimator.

This allows you to put in some specific keyword search terms, and then see the search volume. It also allows you to see how much the Internet Advertising community will pay for a particular keyword of phrase. This gives you an idea as to how important those keywords are.

These are just a few services from Google. We still have to look at what Microsoft can offer. They have some cool stuff too. There are also other online sites that can help. Like Alexa, Wordtracker, SEOBook, WebCEO and many others that hopefully I will have time to cover next. But the conclusion is, that there are ample tools out there to help you with your search engine optimisation efforts. It just takes time and effort to see results.

What are you're experiences? Have you played with theses tools yet? Which are your favourite? Drop me a comment and let me know.

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