Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Isulong SEOPH: Social Networks - Search Engine Marketing for Web 2.0

Networks – Search Engine Marketing for Web2.0

Warren Pattison

Social networks
are getting a lot of attention these days including Wikipedia, del.icio.us and
MySpace. Along with the buzz, these sites are also generating a lot of traffïc!
How can you integrate links for these types of social network sites into your
search engine marketing program? While there are an increasing number of social
networks, this article will stick to the above as they are kings of their
domains so to speak.

I recently had
the opportuníty to attend Search Engine Strategies in New York City this past
February, 2006. While attending a session in regards to community marketing
tactics using both Wikipedia and tagging, the panel asked the audience, "Who
here knows what Wikipedia and tagging are
?" - less than half the room
raised their hands.

Let me give
you an overview of these concepts.

Wikipedia is a
frëe community content driven encyclopedia. I have included an excerpt about
Wikipedia from their about section located at About Wikipedia.

"Begun in 2001, Wikipedia has rapidly grown into the
largest reference website on the Internet. The content of Wikipedia is frëe,
written collaboratively by people from all around the world. This website is a
wiki, which means that anyone with access to an Internet-connected computer can
edit, correct, or improve information throughout the encyclopedia, simply by
clicking the edit this page link (with a few minor exceptions such as protected

Your benefits of using Wikipedia as an online marketing strategy are various.
To begin with, your submitted content about your product or company may be very
short and simple to begin with. As your content ages and more members view and
contribute to your content with edit revisions, your content submission will
grow and grow. For example, your submission may start out as a forty word brief
that may turn into a multi-page article. Additionally, Wikipedia has a good
Google Page Rank of 9 which will help boost your website's PR with a quality
backlink from your submitted content. Finally, using keywords that relate to
your site in your contribution will assist you in controlling more space within
the search engine results' pages for your particular brand, product or name.
For example, doing a Google Search for the term "Microsoft" returns a
Wikipedia content entry about Microsoft in the tenth position of the Google
SERP for "Microsoft".

You should
only submit content about a famous person, a patented product your company
invented, a trademarked brand, famous places, etc. When you write your content
you will want to write from an extremely neutral viewpoint. Don't write all
sorts of features and benefits; write more factual based information related to
your subject. Your focus needs to be the community and not your subject. Tread
lightly, the community is helpful to assist you in producing additional
content, but be careful of keyword spamming and link spamming.

Although there
are many benefits to using Wikipedia for SEM, there are also just as many
caveats to using it. Submitting content to Wikipedia is a double-edged sword.
You will only want to contribute to Wikipedia if your product or service is of
relevance to the community. Using spammy techniques in your content or
submitting an entry that has no real value such as "another affíliate
website" could have the opposite of desired effect by producing negative
feedback about your brand or product from the community.

Tagging on the
other hand doesn't have quite the negative drawbacks as posting to Wikipedia.

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site where
members contribute links based on tags that anyone can search. I have included
their about page found at del.icio.us/about

is del.icio.us?

is a collection of favorites - yours and everyone else's. Use

     del.icio.us to:

  • Keep links to your favorite articles,
    blogs, music, restaurant reviews, and more on del.icio.us and access them
    from any computer on the web.
  • Share favorites with friends, family, and
  • Discover new things. Everything on
    del.icio.us is someone's favorite - they've already done the work of
    finding it. Explore and enjoy."

There are a
few simple techniques for commercial tagging through community type sites such
as del.icio.us: create bookmark worthy content or link bait, get your tags in
front of the right people or choose the right category, give your created tags
only one self generated bump in del.icio.us, rinse and repeat about once a
month. Below is an excerpt from del.icio.us to help you answer what various
parts of tags are:


When a user
saves an item on del.icio.us, it is posted to the front page as well as the tag
page for each chosen tag. A sample is below explaining the various information

Here is a
del.icio.us example listing under the tag "web 2.0":

O'Reilly --
What Is Web 2.0
    save this

by Scottcard
to web2.0   oreilly   article  
reference ... saved by 2938 other people .

You will first
notice the title with the link to the site, next is an option to save the link
to your tags. Secondly, you see a Username Scottcard. Here you can clíck the
username to see Scottcard's tags. Next you can clíck on the next links to see
other related-sites within those tags. Lastly, you will see a highlighted link
where you can view the members who have saved this site.

The good and
the bad of tagging is that you will receive good quality backlinks to your site
and increase visibility. The bad is that the majority of the time your tags
will be removed from community members because the members are technically
savvy and intolerant of any type of commercial push. Choose your keywords
wisely and make sure your tag is in the right place and contributes to the
community. Other tagging sites to consider are: Technorati and Digg.
There are many others, but these are the ones that matter.

I see tagging
or social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us gaining in popularity within
the next three years as blogs did two years ago. Yahoo has already taken notice
by purchasing del.icio.us and flickr. Digg.com and furl.com
are also making headway. Other sources to consider are the social network sites
for developing a web2.0 SEM strategy.

MySpace is the current king of social
networks, as it is literally a social-space network with 2.5 times more daily
users than Google (psst, this is a huge untapped market). The domain dates back
to 1999 where it was originally an online hard-drive of sorts. The current rendition
took hold in 2003 making MySpace barely three years old. The main demographic
is made up of teens to 20-somethings. The music industry is currently using
MySpace as a marketing tool, not the labels themselves, but the bands. For
example, Pearl Jam is announcing their upcoming release for May with sample
songs and concert date announcements. One of their sample songs from their
upcoming albums is one of the most played songs across the entire MySpace
network. Independent film makers have also taken notice. In February 2006,
amatëur filmmaker David Lehre released a short film called MySpace: The Movie.
This short film has quickly become a hit, registering over six million views
following its release.

from MySpace traffïc is pretty straight forward. You will want to create a user
profile and post links to your company or websites such as blogs, feeds, etc.
Profile note, you can post html code in any field regarding your profile. Next,
create your social pipeline of users and keep the demographic inline with any
product or link you wish to shamelessly promote in the future. You don't want
to get spammy here either. The downside would be getting your user profile
terminated from MySpace or members posting negative comments within your
profile. Again, tread lightly by thinking neutral and keep the benefit of the
community in mind.

opportuníty costs associated with community based SEM are very high. However,
tagging in particular may be time prohibitive for most organizations as it
requires a lot of trial and error. Tagging can seem like a waste of time as
most tagging submissions will be removed by community members who find your
submission "spammy". Time spent on tagging isn't a problem for most
sole proprietors, but can be costly to your employer who is left with little
equitable return to show for your time spent.

Web2.0 sites such as Wikipedia, del.icio.us and MySpace, will prove effective
for your business if done properly. Remember to tread lightly, don't use
"spammy" techniques and stay neutral keeping the benefit of the
community at heart in your content development. Doing so will help your
business to avoid a negative backlash toward your brand from the community you
are developing content for.

The Author

Warren Pattison is the Director of Search for Elixir Systems, a full service
search engine marketing company specializing in organic search engine
optimization services, online public relations management and paid search or
PPC management. For more information visit ElixirSystems.com. This article can
also be viewed at http://www.elixirsystems.com/articles/a060322.php.

Isulong SEOPH: Marketing Your Business is Essential

Marketing your business is of high importance in increasing your customer
base and product/service sales. There are many ways you can market your
business and receive results. Keep in mind that the average return on your
efforts is 1%-3% return for the contacts made. Therefore, the more contacts the
more responses you'll receive.

Letters to your prospective clients is one of the best ways on communication. It gives
you the opportunity to introduce yourself and your products/services to the
prospect, with information on why they should respond to your letter. You want
to keep your letter brief and to the point. You can lose the prospects'
interest if you use too much verbege. Be concise and to the point. Use nice
stationary and matching envelopes when using this method of contact. The more
professional your letter appears will ensure that the recipient will at least
look at it and read the content. Plain white paper and cheap regular envelopes
do not generate the same interest. Use light gray or ivory as statistics show
these are the best colors for business letters.

Faxing letters of flyers is another method of marketing. There are laws
regarding this method. You need to have permission to fax which you can get by
calling and asking permission. Make sure you document who gave you permission
to fax. When you call for permission, identify yourself, your company and
briefly what type of information you want to fax. If your prospective client is
interested in your product/service, they will usually give you the needed
permission to fax it to them.

Telemarketing is another source of marketing. When telemarketing, make sure you are not
aggravating your prospect when calling. The best method we've found is to
introduce yourself and your company, briefly tell the person answering the
phone what your call is regarding and ask for the owner, manager or decision
maker to call you back. If your subject matter is of interest to your prospect,
they will call you back. Telemarketing is more cost effective today due to the
phone companies that offer unlimited long distance rates.

Brochures are a more expensive way to market although you can get a wealth of
information regarding your product/services out to your prospective client. You
need to make sure that your brochure is attractive on first sight using color
and art work that depicts what you are selling. Additionally, you want to give
as much information about your products/services as possible, but at the same
time, you don't want to give all of your information away. You want to leave a
few unanswered questions to generate an interested response from the
prospective client.

Internet marketing in todays world is an effective means of marketing. You can build
websites at little or no cost. If you choose this method of marketing, you'll
need to get your website submitted to as many search engines as possible for it
to be effective. Even if you are not exposed on the internet, it helps to have
a website to direct potential clients to.

Additionally, in all forms of communication, make sure you have
all means of contact printed on all materials including your phone number, fax
number, email address, physical address, and web site address. Do not use a P O
box as an address. With all of the scams today, a physical address gives more
credibility to your business marketing efforts.

In summary, what ever means of marketing you choose, be
consistent! Even if you only contact 25 new prospects a day, daily marketing is
critical to building your business.

About the Author: Michele Graham, CEO and Owner
of Professional Healthcare Management. http://www.phmnetwork.com
- http://www.healthcarenewsonline.com
- http://phmnetwork.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Isulong SEOPH: The 4 Can't Miss Keys To Copyright

I found this article interesting especially for those Isulong Seoph participants who wish to make writing a career.

Copyright is the writer's security blanket. It just makes you feel better to
know your words are protected. I once knew a writer who was so scared his work
would be stolen, he never sent it anywhere. Talk about counterproductive! But if
you can understand these four simple copyright keys, you can rest easy and
submit at will.

1. Create!

That's all you have to do to copyright something: write it. You don't have to
publish it and you don't have to register it with the United States Copyright
Office, although there are certain advantages to registration (see below). The
moment a piece is written down, it automatically gains copyright and that
copyright is owned by the author.

2. Give Notice.

That's when you put that little encircled "c" on the work. You can also use
the word "Copyright", then your name and the year of first publication. For
instance, this newsletter is "Copyright 2005 Sophfronia Scott". It tells the
world that the work is protected so someone can't show up in court and claim
they didn't know it was. Speaking of court...

3. Register Your Copyright.

Again, registering with the United States Copyright Office is really just a
legality. You don't have to do it. But you do get a few benefits for the $30 fee
that are worth considering.

Registration makes your copyright a matter of public record and--get this--if
you register and someone later infringes on your copyright and you take them to
court, you will be able to sue for "statutory damages and attorney's fees". With
an unregistered work you can only get an award of actual damages and profit. To
learn more on how to register your literary work go to http:// www.copyright.gov/register/literary.html.

4. Send Copies to the Library of Congress.

Once your book is published, you're required to send two copies to the
Library of Congress. It's called a "mandatory deposit of published works". If
your book is produced by a traditional publisher, the people there will do this
for you, but if you are self publishing, keep in mind that you have to do this
yourself. You have three months after publication. It doesn't hurt your
copyright if you don't do it but, according to the Copyright Office, "failure to
make the deposit can result in fines and other penalties."

That's it! Pretty simple, really, but all the more reason why it should not
become an artificial roadblock to your continuing and submitting your work. One
last note: you can't copyright an idea. I have heard writers say they submitted
a story or book proposal and someone else came out with a book just like it, so
the agent/editor/writer must have stolen their idea. Well, not quite. It is
highly likely that someone else just had the same idea. It does happen. And yes,
it is possible for someone to steal your idea--just make REALLY sure that they
have done so before you make the accusation.

Sophfronia Scott
Author and Writing Coach Sophfronia Scott is "The Book Sistah" TM. Get her
FREE REPORT, "The 5 Big Mistakes Most Writers Make When Trying to Get Published"
and her FREE online writing and publishing tips at http://www.TheBookSistah.com

Isulong SEOPH: A Brief History Of Copyright Law

A Brief History Of Copyright Law   by George Johnson

Authors, patrons, and owners of works throughout the ages have tried to
direct and control how copies of such works could be used once disseminated to
others. Mozart's patron, Baroness von Waldstätten, allowed his compositions
created for her to be freely performed, while Handel's patron jealously guarded
"Water Music."

Two major developments in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries seem to have
provoked the development of modern copyright. First, the expansion of mercantile
trade in major European cities and the appearance of the secular university
helped produce an educated bourgeois class interested in the information of the

This helped spur the emergence of a public sphere, which was increasingly
served by entrepreneurial stationers who produced copies of books on demand.
Second, Gutenberg's development of movable type and the development and spread
of the printing press made mass reproduction of printed works quick and much
cheaper than ever before.

The process of copying a work could be nearly as labor intensive and
expensive as creating the original, and was largely relegated to monastic
scribes before printing. It appears that publishers, rather than authors, were
the first to seek restrictions on the copying of printed works.

Given that publishers commonly now obtain the copyright from the authors as a
condition of mass reproduction of a work, one of the criticisms of the current
system is that it benefits publishers more than it does authors. This is one of
the chief arguments in favor of peer-to-peer file sharing systems, making an
analogy with the changes wrought by printing.

An interesting attempt at copyright in the early modern period was the notice
attached to the ha- Shirim asher li-Shelomo , a setting of the Psalms by the
composer Salomone Rossi, which happened to be the first music to be printed with
a Hebrew type-face text (1623). It included a rabbinical curse on anyone who
copied the contents.

While governments had previously granted monopoly rights to publishers to
sell printed works, the modern concept of limited duration copyright originated
in 1710 with the British Statute of Anne. This statute first accorded exclusive
rights to authors (ie, creators) rather than publishers, and it included
protections for consumers of printed work ensuring that publishers could not
control their use after sale.

It also limited the duration of such exclusive rights to 28 years, after
which all works would pass into the public domain.

There were territorial loopholes in the 1710 Act. It did not extend to all
British territories, but only covered England, Scotland, and Wales.

Many reprints of British copyright works were consequently issued both in
Ireland and in North American colonies, without any license from the copyright
holder required. These works were frequently issued without payment to British
copyright holders, so they were cheaper than London editions.

There was, between 1710-1774, legal debate about what length of time was
meant in the 1710 act.

Publishers in Scotland, in the 1730's, began to reprint titles that they no
longer considered to be protected by copyright. Scottish publishers printed what
they perceived to be public domain English works whose copyright had expired.
They sold these titles in Scotland, and in the English provinces. English
publishers objected to this, on the basis of what they saw as common-law rights
and property (under the concept of common-law rights in the English system),
which predated the Copyright Act. Under common-law rights, rights in published
works were held to continue into perpetuity.

The case of Donaldson vs Beckett, in 1774, brought disagreements on the
length of copyright to an end, and changed common law in this regard. The
outcome of the case resulted in the decision that Parliament could, and had, put
a limit on copyright length.

This decision reflected a shift in English ideas of copyright. The English
lords who made the decision in 1774 decided that it was not in the public's best
interest to have London publishers control books in perpetuity, particularly as
English publishers not uncommonly kept prices higher than otherwise.

Concepts of the roles of the author and publisher, of copyright law, and of
general Enlightenment notions, all interacted in this period of copyright
development. Authors had been previously seen to be divinely inspired in some
sense. Patronage was a legitimate way to support authors, in part because of
this. Authors who were paid, rather than entering into patron-relationships,
were often regarded as hacks, and looked down upon. However, the notion of
individual genius was becoming more common during the 1770's (the generation
after Donaldson v Beckett), and being a paid author therefore became more

The Irish also made a flourishing business of shipping reprints to the North
America in the 18th century. Ireland's ability to reprint freely ended in 1801
when Ireland's Parliament merged with Great Britain, and the Irish became
subject to british copyright laws.

The 1886 Berne Convention first established recognition of copyrights among
sovereign nations, rather than merely bilaterally. Under the Berne Convention,
copyrights for creative works do not have to be asserted or declared, as they
are automatically in force at creation: an author need not "register" or "apply
for" a copyright in countries adhereing to the Berne Convention.

The USA did not initially sign the Berne Convention and would not do so until
1989, however many European countries did. The UK signed on in 1887, on behalf
of itself and its colonies, but did not implement large parts of it in British
law until 100 years later, with the introduction of the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act of 1988.

Isulong SEOPH: 25 Ways to Add Quality Content to Your Website - Part 1

We've known for a long time that quality matters to Google. In a post Senior Google Engineer Matt Cutts made to his
blog, "quality" was mentioned several times as being important
to Google. Quality matters when it comes to content, and it matters when it comes to links.

However, building content and links doesn't have to be painful. Web site owners tend to think of content in a very limited way.

So, let's open up our creative minds and think of all sorts of ways of adding quality content to a Web site.

A few things to remember:

  • You're only confined by the boundaries you set for yourself and your Web site. Allow yourself to think in a totally different
    way than you've thought before.

  • Your Web site content should be written for your buying customers . . . not for you. Your Web site content should not be
    written for the search engines. The search engines are not your target audience.

  • Think of the overall picture of your site, as if it were a living, breathing entity. After all, Web sites should continue to
    grow on a constant basis and nevër be stale or stagnant.

Let's Get into the Fun Stuff: Quality Content for Your Target Audience

1. A calendar of events.
This is ideal for sites like real estate sites to show upcoming open
houses; book stores to promote upcoming book signings or writers'
meetings; collectors' sites to show meetings across the country, etc.
Be sure to allow visitors to send in their own event to be posted to
the calendar.

2. Maps.
Consider real estate sites, hunting or fishing sites, camping sites,
hotels, or any outdoor recreational sites for maps. Be sure to add
content at the bottom of the map that describes the map and outlines
its purpose as it relates to your site.

3. Before/after experiences.
This is perfect for products or services you're selling where customers
can write in and discuss how this particular product or service helped
them. These could turn out to be mini articles, or use them as

4. Pictures from your customers.
You could set up a special place where past customers could post their
pictures and journal entries on your site. This is ideal for vacation
sites, recreational sites, wedding sites, baby sites, photography
studios, etc. How could you use this idea on a Halloween site? On a
flower site?

5. Online coloring sheets.
Use your imagination here. If you set up some coloring sheets about
your vacation property, kids could color those sheets and post them
online before their trip in their own special online area. After the
trip, their parents could post pictures and a journal of their trip.
This is their "Web site" about their trip, all hosted on your site as a
perk for booking through your vacation site. What are they going to do
with this information? They're going to tell their friends, Grandma and
Grandpa, Aunt Edna, etc. They're going to link to it. You can use this
perk as part of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) when
differentiating yourself from your competition. You'll be building
one-way links from your past customers, plus visibility for future
customers. Win/win situation. You'll think of many ways of adding
coloring sheets (or similar creative activities for kids) to your site,
if your site is the type that would work for kids.

6. Blogs or forums certainly add fresh content to a site.

7. Articles or new pages of interest to your target audience. Write new content on a regular basis – once or twice a week
should be your goal.

8. An expert Q&A on the main page of your site. Get an expert to answer questíons, and post one question/answer a week (or
a day – whatever you can handle) on the main page of your site. Have past Q&A's in a searchable archive on your site.

9. Product reviews.
If your industry has products or software to review, consider writing
candid reviews of those products. Publish the reviews on your Web site
as well as publish them in a few of the online publications. Readers
are always interested in totally candid reviews, where the writer lists
the positive as well as the negative aspects of a product. If you have
a landscaping business, how could you use this idea? What products do
you, as an expert, prefer to use, and why?

10. Short tips. If your product or service lends itself to short tips, write up a series and publish them on your Web site.
Send them out in your newsletter. Get your readers to send in tips as they use the product. Offer a discount off additional
products if they submit tips.

11. FAQ's. FAQ's are content – content that your target audience wants to know. As you get questíons from your readers, add
additional Q&A's to your FAQ's to keep them current.

12. How-to guides.
People love "how to" guides. If you sell online plumbing parts, why not
have a "how to" guide on installing a new toilet? Make it easy on your
customers, and they'll come back to you again and again. Create a
series of "how to" guides. Be The Toilet Guy on the Net. May not sound
too glamorous, but if you're highly visible on the Net and are
converting traffïc to sales, you can afford to be glamorous OFF the Net!

(Continued in Part 2)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Isulong SEOPH: CSS Image Replacement

I've read this article from SEOPhil.org site. It's quite interesting especially for us SEO-conscious web developers:

I guess we all know, Search Engines cannot read the letters on a jpg
file. If on the mast head of your website you have some image that uses
a really nice font saying:

“My Company Name - My Unique Selling Proposition Why You Should Get My Service.”

Search engines cannot see that. That is one reason why the Alt Attribute supposed to be used, but if you want to use purely text, you can do a CSS Image Replacement technique.

In your HTML File:

lt.gifdiv id=”myimage”gt.gif


My Company Name - My Unique Selling Proposition Why You Should Get My Service



In your CSS File:

#myimage {

background: url(”../images/path/myimage.jpg”);

height: 100px;

width: 760px;


#myimage span {

display: none;


What are the rules?

Content cloaking is a no-no. Where this means hiding content that
people cannot see, but search engines can see in your attempt to modify
the SERPs. Most of the top SEO experts believe that search engines
really have no way of detecting this on a large scale even if they have
been talking about it. And most of the time when a site gets banned for
cloaking content, it was due to someone that reported it to the search
engines, then they looked into it manually.

If you are going to look at the code above, the text you typed will
not appear on the page when viewed on the browser. But search engines
will see it. People using a browser will see the image. So it is
important that what is written on the image, is also exact same text
written inside the span tags.
Mainly because, why your site gets on top of the SERPs, the first
people that look into your code are your competitors. And sometimes one
way to go on top, is to put your competition down. So never do
something like this:

lt.gifdiv id=”myimage”gt.gif


My Company Name - My Unique Selling Proposition Why You Should Get My
Service - My company does this, this, and that. We also offer this and
that, we are the best in doing all these things. product 1, product 2,
product 3, service 1, service 2, service 3.



Especially if that text is not written on the image itself.

If you want working examples… you can check

http://www.ame-phil.com *

*This is just a web design client, not an SEO client, so not everything is optimized here for SEO.

I assume you are already running Firefox. If not, download one now, then download the Web Developer Toolbar.
With that tool bar you can do a lot of stuff needed by a web
designer/developer and one of them is to disable CSS. Once installed,
it is a simple Ctrl-Shift-S and check how the site I showed you above
appears with CSS disabled. This is somewhat like what the search
engines will see. Check the logo on the mast head, that is using CSS
image replacement, as well as the graphical page titles in the main
content. (Those on Safari, yeah I know, I will that difference in color.)

And i found these comments interesting:
The key to proper image replacement should be to avoid using
“display:none;” and instead use
“text-indent::10000em;overflow:hidden;”. This solution is much better
because you need not alter your HTML source to suit your design, which
is the main ideas encouraged in separating style and content.
Actually there are many ways to do image replacement but what I use
right now is similar to what Markku uses only I’m using a negative
Incidentally, I found this page re: Image Replacement:

MIR: Malarkey Image Replacement

Image replacement is a topic which keeps reappearing on websites and in books. There are whole sections devoted to the pros and cons of each method in books such as Web Standards Solutions and The Zen of CSS Design.

Personally, my preferred image replacement method is Phark as it
requires no additional <span>s. But Phark is known to cause
scrollbar issues in certain browsers and breaks in IE5 and of course
'breaks' in the rare CSS on, images off scenario.

Do the mess around

I'm working on a personal site design project which focusses purely
on typography and uses no images, one font and only one colour (plus
black and white). In doing this I discovered that replacing,

element { text-indent:-999em; overflow:hidden;}


element {letter-spacing :-1000em;}

had some curious black hole style effects. So I started to make some simple tests and when they worked I followed them up with an examples page.

I still have to test these styles first before i make my comment.