Author Archives: Sylvia Patterson

Penguin Update for October 2012

Penguin had a huge impact on a lot of SEOs and Webmasters. According to Matt Cutts, the head of the Web Spam team at Google, there is an update on the horizon which will have an even bigger impact.

A recent post by State of Search talked about some comments made by Matt Cutts at a recent conference, SES In San Francisco. It seems that he mentioned that there is a big Penguin update on the way.

When asked specifically about the latest Penguin update his response was: “We are constantly improving. And for those who think the important updates are done now, think again.”

He also said: “You don’t want the next Penguin update, the engineers have been working hard.”

This sounds pretty forbidding, especially for anyone that’s been hit by the previous updates. I have noticed that it has become a lot more difficult with SEO and I see a lot “bounce” in the Alexa Ranking both up and down. One thing that SEOs have been wondering is when will the next Penguin update be released. After SERoundtable published these comments Matt took the time to comment on the article.

In his comments, he says that at SES he was “giving context on the fact that lots of people were asking me when the next Penguin update would happen, as if they expected Penguin updates to happen on a monthly basis and as if Penguin would only involve data refreshes.”

Matt says that it is unrealistic to expect the next update to only include data refreshes. He goes on to say that: “the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm.”

This is building a pretty strong case for the next update could have bigger impact than the previous releases. Something that Matt stated: “expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals and as a result will have more noticeable impact.”

So what are these signals likely to be? Well Penguin is a link based update, so it’s most likely to be link based signals. Well, back at SES Matt said that; “sites that have social sharing, natural sharing, instead of buying links, are generally not going to be hit. By next year, we hope marketers/webmasters get that and natural link building becomes the norm.”

The new Penguin update is going to hit in 2012 if not sooner,rather than later, as he also mentioned that “the engineers have been working hard” rather than the engineers areworking really hard.

Finally Matt’s advice on how to avoid getting hit has always been based on Google’s quality and relevancy policy. In other words, build something unique that adds value, by unique, Google means truly unique. It’s about having information that just isn’t available anywhere else. Google means Matt has focused on this point several times and it’s clearly what Google has always stated..

SEO Cloaking Defined

Cloaking is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser. This is done by delivering content based on the IP addresses or the User-Agent HTTP header of the user requesting the page. When a user is identified as a search engine spider, a server-side script delivers a different version of the web page, one that contains content not present on the visible page, or that is present but not searchable. The purpose of cloaking is sometimes to deceive search engines so they display the page when it would not otherwise be displayed (black hat SEO). However, it can also be a functional (though antiquated) technique for informing search engines of content they would not otherwise be able to locate because it is embedded in non-textual containers such as video or certain Adobe Flash components.

As of 2006, better methods of accessibility, including progressive enhancement are available, so cloaking is not considered necessary by proponents of that method. Cloaking is often used as a spamdexing technique, to try to trick search engines into giving the relevant site a higher ranking; it can also be used to trick search engine users into visiting a site based on the search engine description which site turns out to have substantially different, or even pornographic content.

Cloaking is a form of the doorway page technique.

A similar technique is also used on the Open Directory Project web directory. It differs in several ways from search engine cloaking:

  • It is intended to fool human editors, rather than computer search engine spiders.
  • The decision to cloak or not is often based upon the HTTP referrer, the user agent or the visitor’s IP; but more advanced techniques can be also based upon the client’s behavior analysis after a few page requests: the raw quantity, the sorting of, and latency between subsequent HTTP requests sent to a website’s pages, plus the presence of a check for robots.txt file, are some of the parameters in which search engines spiders differ heavily from a natural user behavior. The referrer tells the URL of the page on which a user clicked a link to get to the page. Some cloakers will give the fake page to anyone who comes from a web directory website, since directory editors will usually examine sites by clicking on links that appear on a directory web page. Other cloakers give the fake page to everyone except those coming from a major search engine; this makes it harder to detect cloaking, while not costing them many visitors, since most people find websites by using a search engine.

Black Hat SEO

Increasingly, for a page without natural popularity due to compelling or rewarding content to rank well in the search engines, webmasters design pages solely for the search engines. This results in pages with too many keywords and other factors that might be search engine “friendly”, but make the pages difficult for actual visitors to consume. As such, black hat SEO practitioners consider cloaking to be an important technique to allow webmasters to split their efforts and separately target the search engine spiders and human visitors. Cloaking allows user experience to be high while satisfying the necessary minimum keyword concentration to rank in a search engine.

IP Cloaking refers to the ability to send the same email multiple times. IP Cloaking is used to maintain the integrity of an Email Token and a corresponding SendMail Server. Batch emails are released with huge email lists. As email addresses in the list are returned due to failure, the IP Address must be randomized to prohibit being flagged for spam. IP Cloaking is used in this stage of email blitzing as a tool to build a list. Once a list is built, the IP Address no longer needs Cloaking because the list contains real email addresses.

Ralph Tegtmeier and Ed Purkiss coined the term “mosaic cloaking” whereby dynamic pages are constructed as tiles of content and only portions of the pages, javascript and CSS are changed, simultaneously decreasing the contrast between the cloaked page and the “friendly” page while increasing the capability for targeted delivery of content to various spiders and human visitors.

Cloaking and IP Delivery

IP delivery can be considered a more benign variation of cloaking, where different content is served based upon the requestor’s IP address. With cloaking, search engines and people never see the others’ pages, whereas, with other uses of IP delivery, both search engines and people can see the same pages. This technique is sometimes used by graphics-heavy sites that have little textual content for spiders to analyze.

One use of IP delivery is to determine the requestor’s location, and deliver content specifically written for that country. This isn’t necessarily cloaking. For instance, Google uses IP delivery for AdWords and AdSense advertising programs to target users in different geographic locations.

IP delivery is a crude and unreliable method of determining the language in which to provide content. Many countries and regions are multi-lingual, or the requestor may be a foreign national. A better method of content negotiation is to examine the client’s Accept-Language HTTP header.

It should be noted, many sites have taken up IP delivery to personalize content for their regular customers. Many of the top 1000 sites, including sites like Amazon, actively use IP delivery. None of these have been banned from search engines as their intent is not deemed deceptive.

Google SEO Update 2012

This is an article from Google regarding their SEO strategies for 2012.

Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on website development: for example, hosting, redirects, error pages, use of JavaScript
  • Content development
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • Keyword research
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes organic search results and often paid advertisement (denoted by the heading “Sponsored Links”) as well. Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in our search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in our search results, and it costs nothing to appear in our organic search results. Free resources such as Webmaster Tools, the official Webmaster Central blog, and our discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search.

Before beginning your search for an SEO, it’s a great idea to become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work. We recommend starting here:

  • Google Webmaster Guidelines
  • Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web.

If you’re thinking about hiring a person to perform SEO services, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up. However, a good SEO can also help improve an existing site.

Some useful questions to ask an SEO include:

  • Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
  • Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
  • Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
  • What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what time-frame? How do you measure your success?
  • What’s your experience in my industry?
  • What’s your experience in my country/city?
  • What’s your experience in developing international sites?
  • What are your most important SEO techniques?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?

While SEOs can provide clients with valuable services, some unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site’s presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index. Here are some things to consider:

  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.

Amazingly, Google get these spam emails too:


I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…”

Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for “burn fat at night” diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.

  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.

Ask for explanations if something is unclear. If an SEO creates deceptive or misleading content on your behalf, such as doorway pages or “throwaway” domains, your site could be removed entirely from Google’s index. Ultimately, you are responsible for the actions of any companies you hire, so it’s best to be sure you know exactly how they intend to “help” you. If an SEO has FTP access to your server, they should be willing to explain all the changes they are making to your site.

  • You should never have to link to an SEO.

Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines. These are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive.

  • Choose wisely.

While you consider whether to go with an SEO, you may want to do some research on the industry. Google is one way to do that, of course. You might also seek out a few of the cautionary tales that have appeared in the press, including this article on one particularly aggressive SEO: While Google doesn’t comment on specific companies, we’ve encountered firms calling themselves SEOs who follow practices that are clearly beyond the pale of accepted business behavior. Be careful.

  • Be sure to understand where the money goes.

While Google never sells better ranking in our search results, several other search engines combine pay-per-click or pay-for-inclusion results with their regular web search results. Some SEOs will promise to rank you highly in search engines, but place you in the advertising section rather than in the search results. A few SEOs will even change their bid prices in real time to create the illusion that they “control” other search engines and can place themselves in the slot of their choice. This scam doesn’t work with Google because our advertising is clearly labeled and separated from our search results, but be sure to ask any SEO you’re considering which fees go toward permanent inclusion and which apply toward temporary advertising.

  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?

One common scam is the creation of “shadow” domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO who claims to be working on a client’s behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor’s domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.

Another illicit practice is to place “doorway” pages loaded with keywords on the client’s site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO’s other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.

  • What are some other things to look out for?

There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with a rogue SEO. It’s far from a comprehensive list, so if you have any doubts, you should trust your instincts. By all means, feel free to walk away if the SEO:

  • Owns shadow domains
  • Puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
  • Offers to sell keywords in the address bar
  • Doesn’t distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
  • guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
  • Operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
  • Gets traffic from “fake” search engines, spyware, or scumware
  • Has had domains removed from Google’s index or is not itself listed in Google

If you feel that you were deceived by an SEO in some way, you may want to report it.

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit: and click on “File a Complaint Online,” call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to:

Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580

If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, please file it at

Your Own Internet ATM Machine

Imagine Having Your Own Website Like In Reality – Your Own Internet ATM Machine! Can you imagine how great to would be to have your own or Travelocity.comsite? I mean, they are a license to print money aren’t they? Over $8 trillion a year gets spent on travel, and that is a growing number each year. And amazingly, most of it is spent on line. I even heard a reported statistic that 53% of all money spent on the internet is spent on travel. And most of that is spent through travel portals like Expedia and Travelocity. So having one of those is the key to the treasure chest right? Well, now you can have your very own site, with the same great products, and even the same great pricing. So what’s the difference you ask? Simple really, you get the commissions! Its almost too good to be true, your own professional website, hosting, data feed etc. So there has to be a catch right? So it must be hugely expensive? There must be massive license fees? You must be really smart to use it?Guess what – No, No and No. I can show you how to have your own dedicated website, with all the products and pricing that will compete directly with Expedia, and it is going to cost you $25 a month. Now I don’t know about you, but that seems like a great way to make money in 2012. Even better, the site is automated so you don’t have to do a thing sales related – just drive the traffic to the site in the first place and the rest just occurs naturally and with no work required from you. This is about to be launched so if you want in send me an email and you will be a web travel business operator in no time!

5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool


5 Reasons Why Blogging is the New Internet Marketing Tool

Blogging is a concept that started in late 90s. It used to be a way to comment an existing webpage, an opportunity for visitors and readers to react or voice out one’s opinion on the said page. What started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal take on just about anything and everything under the sun. As it continues to move forward, online advertising has tapped into the blog’s potential. Here are 5 reasons why you should use blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

1.Blogging is simple. The simplest way to get your piece on the net is through blogging. No skills are necessary; an average adult can read and type, or at least click a mouse. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product. If you have a PC and an Internet connection (who doesn’t?) then you can blog and advertise.

2. Blogging is authentic. In this day and age where advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, unscathed by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience. You definitely want to buy a tried and tested product.

3. Blogging is free. Because blogging is yet to be proven as a mainstream online advertising media, most sites see it as something to augment current marketing tools and thus offer it for free. Any opportunity for free webtime is definitely a bonus especially to businesses that are starting up.  Needless to say, paid blog pages can generate more income for your seriously growing business.

4. Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. As such, you become an expert on it; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs. As companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they may soon get in touch with you for advertising on your blog page, or make you an affiliate, which pays for every referral generated from your blog site.

5. Blogging builds your market. Unless you are a Hollywood star, chances are, only your Mom reads your posts.  Mom has a lot of friends, so she lets her friends know how interesting your blog site is. But you need not depend on Mom to increase your readership base. Look into the following ways to build your market through blogging:

  • By using your e-mail. Today, blogging is overcoming the e-mail’s popularity in quickly and effectively reaching and expanding a market.  In this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading e-mail is simply taking longer than clicking into a blog site.  Let them explore your site by using a short e-mail message as teaser to your blog site.  If your e-mail is on an entirely different subject, use your e-mail signature to give a link to the site.
  • By using subscription. An easy way to get your readers e-mail is to give them an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite. Keep some exclusive information for your subscribers to entice readers to subscribe and give their e-mail address.  Just be responsible in using their e-mail address, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.
  • By understanding your readers. Conduct a simple survey for your readers to understand their profile and advertising preferences. Ask consumers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a trial that you shared.  In this way, it is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.
  • By joining a blog network –A network of blogs maybe a collection of blog sites that share the same industry, interest, readership base, payment mode, etc. Consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject.  Clearly, more bloggers are better than one.
  • By using RSS. RSS is the fastest growing technology on the Internet today. As such, having RSS feeds to your blog is definitely another means of generating awareness for your readership base. Having a variety of feeds can add interest to your blog site.
    Give your business a boost by effectively using blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

Why is Social Media a Good Choice

Social media marketing is a recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communications is a practice organizations follow to connect with their target markets. Integrated marketing communications coordinates promotional elements: advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing and sales promotion. Increasingly, viral marketing campaigns are also grouped into integrated marketing communications. In the traditional marketing communications model, the content, frequency, timing, and medium of communications by the organization is in collaboration with an external agent, i.e. advertising agencies, marketing research firms and public relations firms. However, the growth of social media has impacted the way organizations communicate. With the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business connections, share information and collaborate on projects online.

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it is coming from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself.

Gate One Marketing and Social Media Marketing


Gate One Marketingis a results-driven international marketing services company dedicated to helping businesses acquire new customers and retain them. Gate One Marketing has almost 20 years of experience in Internet Marketing Projects with offices in the USA, and Sweden. Gate One Marketing acts as your Internet Marketing department; however we are an independent company devoted to your Internet Marketing success. First, we will discuss why business should use Social Media Marketing.

Why is Social Media a Good Choice?

Quite simply, because Social Media works, especially for small and medium sized businesses who are interested in using Internet Marketing. Regus, a research company, published a study in July 2010 that explored the role of social media marketing in customer acquisition. The study found that almost one-half of small businesses have successfully connected with new customers through social networks. Compare that with the fact that only

28 % of large companies reported that they had found new customers on social networks, and it’s clear that small businesses have a definite advantage when they use social media marketing. (Medium-sized businesses were somewhere in the middle at 36 %.) When you’re looking to find new customers or are looking to engage more with your existing ones, we present 10 reasons why you should consider social media marketing strategies using the Internet.

1. They extend you, your brand, and your relationship with your customers.

The two goals of marketing are to find new customers and to keep your existing customers updated. You use email marketing to reach your existing customers’ inboxes, and you can use the reach of social media sites to extend your presence into other interactive areas of the web where your customers and members gather with their friends, family, coworkers, and peers.

Think of it this way: When one of your customers or members shares a piece of your content (e.g., an issue of your newsletter, a blog post, or an event check-in), or talks about your company on a social media site, he’s offering his endorsement of what you do and sharing you with his network — without you having to lift a finger or spend any additional money. This introduces you to many more people than you’re currently connected to, and can bring new business, members, or donations your way. There’s data to support the value of word of mouth: According to Nielsen, 90% of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know, and 70% trust consumer opinions posted online.

2. Social media marketing sites are popular.

Facebook alone has more than 500 million users. (To put that in perspective: That’s about 190 million people more than the population of the United States.) In addition, Twitter claims 145 million registered users, LinkedIn has 70 million users, 33 million people use Yelp, and Foursquare claims it has 3 million users (and growing). Point is, chances are good that many of your customers and members, or the people you want to reach, are using at least one social media site.

3. Social media isn’t just for college kids.

One major stereotype associated with social media is that it’s only for young folks. This is not true at all. In fact, according to Pingdom, a web monitoring provider, 25% of users of social networking sites are between 35 and 44, and 57% of the users are older than 35. That same study revealed that the average age of Facebook users is 44.

4. Social media users are active.

In June 2010, Facebook revealed that half of its users log in on any given day, and that users spend more than 500 billion minutes on the site each month. In addition, more than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, blog posts, photos, videos, etc.) are shared each month on Facebook. Similarly, Twitter claims that its users post 65 million tweets every day. Yes, some people join social media sites just to listen and observe, but most do it to engage, converse, and participate.

5. Social media provides instant feedback.

Active users means you’re going to get your customers’ and members’ opinions (positive and negative) about everything — your products, your services, your employees, your events, and more. This will give you important real-time information to make changes or adjustments, or to put a bigger spotlight on things that are working. And, you can use social media to detect trends and then take a deeper dive with an online survey.

6. Social media encourages two-way communication.

As hard as we try to make it more interactive, email on its own is a one-way communication channel. On the other hand, sites like Twitter and Facebook allow you to more easily have a “conversation” (albeit a public one) with your customers and members. You can see what they’re saying about you and you can respond, and vice versa. Using tools like Google Real Time Search ( or Twitter Search (, you can quickly see any mentions of your business, organization, product, or service, or you can look up key terms related to your business or organization and find out what people are saying about them. Even better: Tools like NutshellMail ( allow you to have all that’s being said about you sent right to your inbox, and you can respond right there.

Speaking of which, responding on social media is simple. For example, with Twitter, you don’t even have to be following someone or connected to him to post a response. If something relevant comes up in your search results or in a NutshellMail email, you can respond by mentioning the person’s handle (i.e., his username proceeded by the @ symbol) in a tweet. On

Facebook, if someone posts a comment on your Page, you can respond right there on the same item. (Of course, sometimes it’s better to respond privately. Use your judgment to decide what’s appropriate for your situation.)

7. The sites can share a lot about you.

Profiles on these sites can help boost awareness about your business or organization as they can contain pertinent information about your products and services. Think of them as dynamic yellow pages for the digital age. Much of your activity and profiles on social media sites can be made “public,” meaning they can be indexed by search engines — one more way to make sure your business or organization comes up as the answer when someone is searching for a solution to a problem.

8. Social media marketing sites are free.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Yelp, and other sites all offer free accounts for businesses and organizations. You can even blog for free with services like, Google’s, or Some sites — like LinkedIn — do offer paid accounts with features that are targeted at more advanced users, but for the purposes of getting started, there’s no upfront cost for most of the social networking sites.

9. Social media sites allow you to be personal and professional.

On Facebook, you can have two identities: one for you and one for your business or organization. Facebook offers an option known as Pages, which are different from the standard Friend connections, and allow you to post messages just to people who Like your business or organization, keeping any personal information about you separate and contained to your profile.

10. Social media is everywhere.

You don’t have to be at your computer to post to any of the major social media networks — in fact, quite often you don’t even have to be on a social media network at the time to post to one of them. For instance, you can post to your Twitter feed via a simple text message or to Facebook by sending an email. If your site has a Like or Tweet button on it, all a reader has to do is click that and a link will show up in his newsfeed or Twitter stream. If you have a Smartphone like an iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile device, there are applications that let you update your social networking sites on the go. You can go beyond text too: Your mobile phone’s camera can be used to capture images and video, which can be uploaded to your blog and social media accounts right then and there, giving customers a richer (and real-time) media experience. Many of the popular blog platforms also allow posting from a mobile device.

Productivity and the Internet

There’s a good chance you’re reading this article during your workday as a distraction from whatever it is you’re supposed to be focusing on at work right now. Whatever you were working on, which you still need to finish up, is likely open in another window.

“It’s just a few-minutes break. No big deal?”

But I’m guessing this isn’t the first article you’ve read, and when you’re done skimming this, another one might catch your eye, over there on the right. Or you’ll get an IM from a coworker asking for restaurant recommendations in Atlanta, where they’re traveling to tomorrow on business, and you’ll be tempted to give it some thought, after all, you used to live there and they need your help. Add in a few tweets and a scan of your Facebook newsfeed, and before you know it, you just lost half an hour from your workday.

The Internet is the world’s greatest productivity tool, but also the world’s greatest time killer. Even email, which has put all executives on communication hyper mode since the BlackBerry, wastes a lot of time. As The New York Times pointed out in a recent article on Google CEO Larry Page: He doesn’t like email, even Gmail, saying “the tedious back-and-forth takes too long to solve problems.” One time he forced two executives to settle a dispute, which they had been waging over email, in person and before leaving a room. Email probably wastes time in your everyday life too. Say an email comes in from your boss or a new business prospect that you believe requires a grammatically correct, well thought-out, yet email-brief essay. It could take you 30 minutes to write but you could say it all in 30 seconds or less.

If you’re like most people, your email and IM are continually on, churning away in the background of your day. Whenever something comes in, you stop what you are doing, flip to the new message and then jump back to your work. Don’t kid yourself that you’re “multi-tasking.” Multi-tasking is a myth, says Winifred Gallagher in her book Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. You’re actually switching back and forth between two activities. “The extra effort involved actually makes you less rather than more productive; your overall performance will be inefficient, error-prone, and more time-consuming than if you had done one thing at a time,” Gallagher writes. Get enough messages and you’re never really getting anything done all day. And don’t get me started about how productive meetings are when everyone is BBM’ing.

My goal isn’t to tell you you’re a giant slacker, frittering away your workdays. Instead, think about it in reverse. Imagine how much you’d get done and how many fewer hours you would have to work if the Internet weren’t killing your work time. Just think about what you could do with all that extra time: Go to the movies. Hang out with your kids. Or, heaven forbid, work more, and be so much more productive than your distracted peers that you’ll get promoted faster and make more money.

Here are a few things I’ve learned to do that help me get the most out of my day:

  • Turn off IM. Unless you have a compelling reason for real-time IM’ing with someone–for example, you are communicating with a colleague on an airplane and IM is the only choice–turn it off. IM is simply an invitation for people to interrupt your work and ask you trivial questions.
  • Check your email only a few times day. Email is asynchronous–senders don’t expect an immediate response. Take advantage of this by turning off your visual and audio alerts, and checking it just a few times a day.

When I do check email, I have a rule that I respond immediately to every email as soon as I read it, unless it’s an email that needs no response at all. This discipline forces me to send short emails; because I want to get to the next message and never causes me to read an email twice. The result is much less time spent on messaging. The same thing for texting and checking voicemail.
 Have 30-minute meetings. With the exception of formal meetings, anything useful in a meeting can be accomplished in 30 minutes, especially when phones, email, and IM are not allowed.

  • Schedule time for social media. Keeping up with the news is crucial, and maintaining a social media profile is important for professional purposes. But do it wisely. Make it something you schedule time for. I do it as soon as I wake up, and if possible, while I’m eating lunch. Once it’s a scheduled activity like anything else, it doesn’t become a filler that takes up your entire day.

So take it from someone who founded a number of Start-up companies: Spend your days a little less connected and you’ll be more productive, happier, and have much more free time. Now share this article and get back to work!

SEO Improvement Practices

So you’ve gone through the initial SEO improvement practices. You’ve assessed your current standing, identified keyword opportunities, optimized around your keywords and begun a link building campaign. Rather than looking at this as the end of your SEO improvement, look at it as the beginning! Now you know what’s important, how to identify opportunities, and how to act on them.

The following best practices for monitoring and continuing to improve SEO.

 Set Up a Ranking Dashboard

KeywordTarget PageConversion RateMonthly SearchesKeyword DifficultyRanking
Boston PR (+2)
Public Relations,400636 (-3)
Branding,400642 (+1)

Keep in mind that each of these keywords will have a corresponding ‘keyword family’ that contains all the modifiers of the keyword. The search volume within this keyword family is likely many times larger than that of the keyword itself. If you want to get more granular, you can monitor keyword families instead of keywords themselves.

Experiment with Keywords

The keywords you are currently targeting may not be the best ones at drawing in traffic and converting traffic into customers. If data on search volume, difficulty or relevance tells you that another keyword would do better in any of these metrics, test it out.

Maintain On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization should be maintained alongside your keyword experiments. Additionally, you should not modify the content of any page without keywords in mind. Changing basic elements such as your page title or even on-page text can change your rankings.

Maintain a Focus on External Link Building

Regularly invest in link building, since this will help your SEO like nothing else. It also requires more long-term commitment and networking.

Continue to Look for Opportunities

By constantly working to improve your SEO, your site itself will evolve. You may need to explore new keywords or create new pages targeting different keyword families.

Courtesy of HubSpot

Affiliate Marketing

3 Tactics All Affiliate Marketers Need To Succeed

There are 3 major tactics that have worked before with online marketing and is continuing to work in the online affiliate marketing world of today. With these top three marketing tips, you will be able to increase your sales  in online affiliate marketing.

What are these three tactics?

1. Use unique web pages to promote each separate product you are marketing. Do not lump all of it together just to save some money on web hosting. It is best to have a site focusing on each and every product and nothing more.

Always include product reviews on the website so visitors will have an initial understanding on what the product can do to those who buys them. Also include testimonials from users who have already tried the product. Be sure that these customers are more than willing to allow you to use their names and photos on the site of the specific product you are marketing.

You can also write articles highlighting the uses of the product and include them on the website as an additional page. Make the pages attractive compelling and include calls to act on the information. Each headline should attract the readers to try and read more, even contact you. Highlight your special points. This will help your readers to learn what the page is about and will want to find out more.

2. Offer free reports to your readers. If possible position them at the very top side of your page so it they simply cannot be missed. Try to create autoresponder messages that will be mailed to those who input their personal information into your sign up box. According to research, a sale is closed usually on the seventh contact with a prospect.

Only two things can possibly happen with the web page alone: closed sale or the prospect leaving the page and never return again. By placing useful information into their inboxes at certain specified period, you will remind them of the product they thought they want later and will find out that the sale is closed. Be sure that the content is directed toward specific reasons to buy the product. Do not make it sound like a sales pitch.

Focus on important points like how your product can make life and things easier and more enjoyable. Include compelling subject lines in the email. As much as possible, avoid using the word “free” because there are still older spam filters that dumps those kind of contents into the junk before even anyone reading them first. Convince those who signed up for your free reports that they will be missing something big if they do not avail of your products and services.

3. Get the kind of traffic that is targeted to your product. Just think, if the person who visited your website has no interest whatsoever in what you are offering, they will be among those who move on and never come back. Write articles for publication in e-zines and e-reports. This way you can locate publications that are focusing on your target customers and what you have put up might just grab their interest.

Try to write a minimum of 2 articles per week, with at least 300-600 words in length. By continuously writing and maintaining these articles you can generate as many as 100 targeted readers to your site in a day.

Always remember that only 1 out of 100 people are likely to buy your product or get your services. If you can generate as much as 1,000 targeted hits for your website in a day, that means you can make 10 sales based on the average statistic.

Should You Use Banner Ads

The most effective advertising techniques involve using images or multimedia. Just think of the success companies have had with TV commercials and roadside billboards.

The concept is simple and applies equally to online banner advertising: The potential customer gets a better idea upfront of what they will receive.

Since banners can often generate higher click-through rate than plain-text ads, that means more traffic and more money for you as an internet marketer.


CPM = Cost Per Thousand impressions (1,000 views of the banner)

When paying by CPM, you generally pay less than you would if you paid by CPC. When done effectively, it can be a better pricing model.

CPC = Cost Per Click (1 Click)

With CPC, you only pay for the clicks you generate (as with Adwords), but this can actually be more expensive in the long run.

Creating High CTR (Click Through Rate ) Banners

Banner advertising can be called “interruption marketing” and your first goal has to be to get the prospect to click on the banner.

Always make sure the banner matches the landing page and try to integrate images into the banner design that match images found on the landing page.

For your banner copy, make sure to use strong “call to action” phrases such as “Warning,” “Scam Alert,” “73/Hour Online Job” or “Single Women Wanted.” Be catchy. Include a short summary of what the offer is about, and use a strong closing call to action – red or orange buttons work well, as do blue or red text links.

For your banner design, you have two basic choices: the do-it-yourself “Ghetto Fabulous” banner, which takes about 10 minutes to create and uses simple stock photos, plain type and text links, or the professionally created (outsourced) “Superstar Status” banners that incorporate flashy graphic design and even flash video animation. Both types of banners work, and which type works best usually depends on the kind of website you are advertising on. The only way to find out for sure is to test.

Most Profitable Banner Ad Sizes

There are a large number of “standard” banner sizes, but among the most profitable are the 300X250, the 336X280, the 160X600 and the 120X600.

Outsourcing Banner Ad Design, and are all good sources for finding freelancers who can create banner ads at reasonable prices. You can also use a unique site called 99 Designs that allows you to create a project and choose a winner from among competing submissions. is another good source, as is, which offers rates starting at just $17. HeyBannerBanner offers designs even cheaper. The advantage of going with one of these websites is that you don’t have to worry about ending up dealing with someone unreliable (the disadvantages, of course, is that the prices are usually a bit higher).