Posts Tagged ‘off page optimisation’

Social Networking Sites

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Though it has become quite impossible to imagine a world now without Facebook, Linkedin and Myspace there was indeed a time when none of these existed. These, as you know, are some of the most popular social networking websites around. There are many more to fill the list, and most of them have taken very little time to become a part of the daily practices of the population all over the world.

What are social networking sites?

Let’s start with what is social networking, though of course you’d know that by now. Plainly and briefly put, it’s the joining of a group of people who are interested in a common topic. A social networking site allows its users to create profile for themselves and interact with others who have created profiles in the same site. There are social networking sites for almost all the topics under the sun, be it education, dating, business or even astrology and parenting.

What are the boons and banes of social networking sites?

Social networking involves many things, both good and bad. Updating your whereabouts to your friends and relatives, reading others’ profiles and sometimes contacting them, connecting with old acquaintances, connecting with people in other countries and other cultures, finding people across the globe with similar tastes, etc. are a few of the advantages you get from social networking sites. However, as with anything connected with the Internet, social networking also has its own set of vices. For the starter, there is no way of knowing whether a profile of a person you come across in any of these sites is genuine. Added to that, the amount of data theft and virus infection happening through these sites is enormous.

How can you protect yourself in social networking sites?

Much as you think it is dangerous, there is no way of denying that social networking sites could be a lot of fun. Used in a more discreet and precautions way, these sites can be really helpful and enjoyable. Here are a few suggestions on making your online social networking a pleasant and fun-filled experience.

  • Keep a track of the information you provide in the website.
  • Restrict others’ access to your profile page.
  • Avoid providing any information that can enable someone to locate you.
  • Consider not providing your photo in any of these sites. Even if you provide it, block it to anyone who is not your friend.
  • Avoid flirting, even harmless ones, through social networking sites.
  • Be wary of any “friend” who wants to meet you in person.

Social networking sites for business

The fact that social networking sites work out well for business is a discovery that is quite recent. There are quite a few websites for social networking like E.Factor and Biznik that are meant for enterprise and business promotions. Because of these sites’ reach into and influence over the masses they are very effective in marketing and promoting. However, as with the normal social networking sites there are a few aspects that you need to take care of.

  • There might be hundreds of networking sites for business. But you needn’t join all of them at the same time. Take time and establish yourself in each one of them.
  • Learn to use the website well. It makes you faster and therefore stronger in using it.
  • Plan ahead. The way you go about the website depends on what you want from it.
  • It’s always better to be courteous and well-behaved in social networking. It’s socialising after all. You are seldom rude and ill-behaved in real life, especially when it comes to your business. So be it in here too. There is little glory in public battles with competitors.
  • Practice discretion. There is no reason to declare everything related to your business to everyone.
  • Be responsive to comments. Reply well and don’t hesitate to comment for others as well. Asking for feedback is also a good idea.
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Web Directories & Specialised Search Engines

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

When you are trying to market your product online your first choice is always to bring it to the front page of Google. This is hardly surprising considering the fact that Google has a huge monopoly over online search. However, it would be a good idea to keep yourself informed of what is the alternative you have if you think you can’t make it to the front page in Google within the time you have in hand. And, of course, its not news that it’s a difficult task.

So what are the other ways in which you can make your product or service popular? One is to submit your site to other search engines like Yahoo!, MSN, Alta vista, etc. Still, that’s not going to compensate for not coming on the front page of Google. What’s the next step? One could be web directories. Or the other, specialised search engines. Wondering how they can help? Or even what they are? Alright, let’s check out.

Web directories

Web directories are a collection of links that are arranged in different categories. Web directories help the user if they search for a particular topic in the directory. They’ll find the necessary link to the site on the topic they are searching for. Though the traffic to your site through such web directories would be lesser than that from a major search engine, the quality would be high as those who reach your site is reaching after searching exactly what your site is talking about.

Specialised search engines

Specialised search engines work the same way the normal search engines do but their index would have websites dealing with a particular topic. Thus there would be search engines that deal with music, books, sports, etc. This again is beneficial as the users are in search of exactly that particular topic or product. The probability of conversion would be high.

Do you get the feeling of any similarities in both? They do have a common point which is that they provide links to websites belonging to specific categories. However, web directories and specialised search engines are more different than they are similar. Here is a list of differences between both.

Web directories

  • Would contain a review of the site content along with the link to the site.
  • Links are categorised and edited by webmasters.
  • Categorisation is done after the checking the whole page.
  • Sometimes links are submitted after payment of some amount
  • Less chance of the links added in the wrong category as the categorisation is done by webmasters
  • Require manual effort and maintenance

Specialised search engines

  • Would have only a short description along with the link, as in the usual search engines.
  • Links are crawled by robots
  • Categorisation is done after only checking for the presence of keywords
  • No payment is necessary as the crawlers would automatically reach the website
  • More chances of wrong categorisation as the process is automated
  • No human interference required. The search engine crawlers would find the site according to the number of keywords

There! That should put an end to your confusions regarding web directories and specialised search engines. The tip for you here is that even while you carry out the normal optimisation for search engines you can add your link to different directories and specialised search engines. After all, any publicity, big or small, is good publicity.

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