Lesson Learned From An Affiliate Link Disaster

Neglect caused one of the biggest disasters my website faced in its 5 years online. I was too busy managing other websites to pay attention to the day to day metrics of one of my own. Then one day, I went to my site and my desktop virus protection was blocking it. Hmmm, now what? So, I did a search in Google for my site and low and behold, beneath the url was a lovely little message saying “This site may harm your computer.” I was baffled. The site is just an informational website with no downloads. Upon logging into webmaster tools, I discovered that an old affiliate link from 2 years ago (which was inactive) was the cause. Down went my rankings. Down went my traffic. Stupidly, I had never removed the code from my site and was completely unaware that Adbull was known for distributing malware.

When Adbull was in beta, the earnings were great. A friend had recommended it and I didn’t know much about it. Then I received emails complaining about the annoying pop-ups and decided the earnings weren’t worth chasing visitors away. At that point, I just deactivated my account and forgot about it.

The Frenzy

Every darn Adbull code had been manually placed within the body of the page. Once I knew Adbull was to blame, I was racing to remove every last code from thousands of web pages. Several times, I thought I’d gotten them all, submitted for a malware review and was given a sample link where the code still existed. Three times I went through this craziness, but the last time, Google was not displaying any page where it was found. I was losing sleep, thinking that was the end of my site and I’d never figure out how to get out of it when a week or so later, the malware message was finally removed.

My Lesson

You never know what third party websites will display on yours. Who would think a code that was no longer working would trigger malware detection. I’ve grown tired of trying out affiliate after affiliate who has contacted me promising high CPM rates only to discover they display only low CPM ads on my site. Realistically, it’s not worth trying out every new affiliate. Stick with the reputable ones or find a better monetization model. Take the time to find out what an affiliate program‘s reputation is so you can avoid having a bad one ruin your own.

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Theresa Happe works with Afternic.com, the largest domain auction marketplace offering thousands of available and premium domain names for sale.

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How Local SEO is different from National SEO

Search engines are exclusive tools that assist users in finding out required data sources and guide users to their preferred online destinations. Users can reach their preferred web destination only if they know the exact web address or the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). In cases where they do not know the URL, they rely on search engines to take them to their destination. Popular search engines like Google and Yahoo collectively receive more than a billion search queries daily. The keyword in a search query has a lesser probability of matching the keywords in a website, so search engines show up a list of websites with somewhat relevant keywords in their results. Webmasters practice search engine optimization to make their websites visible to search engine crawlers when they search for keyword relevancy in a niche.

Search engine optimization is a process that involves the practice of certain methods that enhance a website’s ranking on search engine results page. There are a couple of techniques employed in search engine optimization, they are: White Hat optimization and Black Hat optimization techniques. Generally white hat optimization techniques are ethical and organic, whereas black hat optimization techniques are unethical and inorganic. On the flip side, there are two SEO types classified based on the targeted geographic location of a business, they are: Local SEO and National SEO. Local SEO primarily focuses on local cities, nearby counties, and nearby states. National SEO primarily focuses on the country as a whole and in certain cases neighboring countries.

Webmasters select the type of SEO depending on the geographical area their business serves. Most SEO service providers primarily offer national SEO services, as it helps them generate reasonable amount of money. National SEO helps business broaden their reach and offer their products and services over a large geographical region. But small businesses such as bakeries, motels, hair salons, restaurants, and other local service providers serve only a small geographic region, hence must opt for local SEO. Local SEO and National SEO techniques have their own advantages and disadvantages. Businesses can save expenses, expand their business reach, and generate sales and business leads by choosing the right SEO
type.

Local SEO is applicable for small businesses targeting local customers. This SEO type primarily involves updating business related information on Google Places, Google Maps, and other local information providing web portals. Webmasters use local keywords that are a combination of your business name and nearby geographic locations. Local SEO is said to be less effective when compared to national SEO. For instance, if you conduct a local search on any of the popular search engines, you can view competently optimized results first followed by a list of websites. Local SEO is vital for the success and popularity of a local business. Some of the advantages of Local SEO: requires minimal funding, generates quality leads, and provides quick results. Some of the notable disadvantages of local SEO: does not offer broad reach and nationwide exposure, and generates only minimal web traffic.

National SEO primarily focuses on optimizing your website for a nationwide reach and it is defined as a process that involves the optimization of a website using various keywords so as to rank a website nationally and internationally in certain cases. National SEO is highly competitive as it results in the generation of loads of free online traffic. The costs for opting national SEO is generally high when compared to that of local SEO. Such SEO campaigns are time consuming, and may take a few months to actually reap the benefits of the SEO efforts. National SEO suits e-commerce websites and marketing related businesses, as they expand business reach and provide nationwide recognition.

If you run a well-funded business, you can look into other optimization methods such as search engine marketing and paid listing on search engine results page. There are other options wherein you can also invest in pay-per-click advertising to know about keyword phrases that produce best results. National SEO is a feasible option for medium-sized enterprises and development stage companies. In summary, local SEO is for small businesses that are confined within a small geographic location and national SEO is for companies that want to expand their reach across a country.

This is a guest post by Samantha Kirk of mytechhelp.com, a site that offers savings and current information on Toshiba Support.

Be Contented Only With Good Content

The internet appears to be much like the universe; ever expanding and growing. However, as the net widens, its areas of new space quickly become filled with waste and rubbish if not checked properly. Our online culture has become plagued by terrible content and useless websites which detract from our experience of the web. Our ability to clearly search and receive the best results from search engines is shadowed by poor content which affects the clarity and believability of a search. Therefore online giants such as Google have implemented steps and buffers to reduce the amount of low quality content creeping up the ranking tables for searches.

Out With the Old and in With the New

With the incredible volume of information and sites online, it is a colossal task to sift through and uncover well hidden bad content often cloaked and disguised. Old SEO techniques known as ‘black-hat’ techniques mean that bad content is created or copied and posted to be placed as highly in the rankings of a search engine as possible; higher even than that of good content. This content is often written poorly because its creators have used non-English writers to exploit the ability to save on costing. Many attempt to cheat the systems of Google and other search engines for simplicity, speed and financial gain. However Algorithm updates are put into place by these companies to decrease the rank of sites that do not adhere to the guidelines set by Google’s webmaster and such-like. Companies like Google have set out to combat sites made up from poor content by creating algorithm updates to stop sites of a lower quality being placed before that of higher quality sites, just because of their involvement with SEO. Consequently this gives the browser a better and more efficient online experience.

The Panda Makes a Comeback: Making Bad Content Extinct

Introduced in February 2011, the Panda is one such instillation by Google to help prevent and stunt the growth of websites arising constructed from bad content. Its primary aim is to down-rank websites which are of a poor quality and thus give the consumer a better user experience. It was set to lower the low and raise the high, focussing mostly on quality and content.

The Penguin Gives Bad Content a Chilly Reception

A follow-up to Google’s Panda, the Penguin was introduced in April 2012 to improve the quality of websites at the high-end of Google’s search results. Unlike the Panda which improves the user experience for online consumers, the Penguin deals with spamdering, ensuring that creators of sites with a higher level of content are recognised above false sites.

The Importance of Good Content

It is of the upmost importance that creators of online content and websites provide the best quality content possible to make sure that they are not plagued by bad content and consequently threatened by the Panda or Penguin. There are many ways you can ensure your site avoids the clutches of both of Google’s new pets and here are just a few:

  • Create content which is unique and of the highest quality to ensure that your site is worth exploring.
  • Ensure that the content and information on your site is constantly kept up to date and checked regularly for errors, issues or grammatical and spelling faults. Simple mistakes cost dearly and are un-professional.
  • Establish your brand by making your site stand out in the online market place. If your branding is poor then you will not be worth exploring. Professional help can be sought after from copywriting and marketing companies to improve your image; thus helping to raise the value of your site.
  • Discover your clientele and engage with them. Speak to your customers and gain their trust: this will pay credit to your site. Craft uniqueness for your cause and show it to the world.
  • Keep your site clean and presentable at all times. Constantly show energy and movement by updating regularly and deleting that which is outdated. Keep your site fresh as consumers look for quality, not quantity.

In seeking the assistance of a copywriter from someone like Apple Copywriting you can make sure the content shown on your site is of the highest quality, leaving you contented that you are helping to ‘return high-quality sites to Google users’.

Your Ship Has Come In; 5 Tips for Landing a Social Media Career

It’s almost tough to remember life before social media: we had to call our friends rather than tweet them and we had to mail birthday party invitations rather than create events on Facebook. These days, we watch YouTube videos just as much as we watch regular TV shows, and we read snippets of news on Twitter in real time rather than in the newspaper each morning. That said, social media has truly transformed our lives.

5 Helpful Tips for Scoring a Job in Social Media

Social media is an excellent way to market yourself during a job search, but it’s also become a job in itself. Careers like social media strategists and online community managers did not exist as recently as a decade ago. If you’re a social media junkie—with or without a background in traditional marketing—a social media career could very well be your dream job. Here are five tips that could help you land a job in social media:

1. Make sure you have accounts on all social media platforms.

Foursquare and Google+ and Pinterest, oh my! (Yes, there’s more to social media than Facebook!) Social media has truly taken the world by storm and if you’d like to reach the end of the rainbow, you should have accounts on all platforms and understand how they work.

2. Optimize your own social media accounts.

When you tell a potential employee that you’re a social media guru, you better be able to back yourself up. A YouTube channel with one thirty-second video clip that you made three years ago and a LinkedIn profile that hasn’t been updated in ten months aren’t good signs. Keep your accounts fresh and active.

3. Be social (duh!)

When it comes to social media, one of the most important things to do is … well … be social! Interact with other people. Respond to their status updates and tweets. Have online conversations with them. People want to be “heard,” so start listening.

4. Brand yourself and showcase that brand across all of your social media accounts.

Whenever possible, use the same account name on all social media platforms. At the very least, choose usernames that are very similar. Other people won’t be able to put two and two together if you’re known as BroadwayGirl on one site and WorkoutFanatic on another. It’s also a good idea to use the same picture of yourself as your profile picture across all social media networks.

5. Use social media to help others.

Love cooking? Start a cooking blog and share your recipes with your readers. Are you an avid scrapbooker? Take pictures of your layouts and tweet them to your followers. Stay involved in your favorite hobbies and passions and use social media to spread the word across the globe. You want potential employers to consider you an expert!

Utilizing your social media skills for an employer will be slightly different than updating your own accounts for fun, but your workday will seem to go by so much faster if you have a job that you enjoy. Follow the advice mentioned above and your ship will be here before you know it!

Michael “Big Mike” McCaffery offers dish network deals and enjoys helping people find jobs in the technology industry.  If you would like to connect further, check out his LinkedIn page.

So What Does SEO Expert Services Mean, Anyway?

Would you desire an expert or novice when seeking a service? The answer is pretty obvious. However, a name is just a name to a degree…unless someone acquires some sort of certified degree, like a medical doctor. SEO expert services are not particularly ‘doctors’ of the industry, there is no official regulation. However, plenty of providers give top-notch service. The eventual service is what earns the adjective, ‘expert.’

When searching for an SEO provider, consider the following; think less of adjectives.

Experience in Your Industry

SEO agencies address a number of verticals, potentially all of them. That’s great for industries; yet, is it particularly great news for your business? One must wonder. What is a given provider’s direct experience in working within your industry? What types of initiatives (if any) were addressed? Even if a provider did work in your industry it could have been on varied fronts. You and yours may need content while the service provider addressed social media. They could be an expert in social media; but that’s not your particular need. Consider an agency’s level of direct experience.

Customer Service

What does customer service mean to you? Does it exist outside a provider’s level of expertise? In many cases, it does. Think about the notion of a medical doctor’s bedside manner. Do some great tactical doctors do poorly in communicating with patients? Some do. Similarly, ensure your chosen provider provides great services regarding optimization, but also great customer service too. Depending on your level of interest, you may adopt an intensively close or hands-off approach to your campaign. Either way, you’ll want your chosen provider to relay exceptional service.

Tailor Made

Forget about the general ‘expert’ adjective in SEO expert services. Rather, seek an agency which will tailor craft your business’ campaign. Doesn’t that make more sense? Will what works for another work for your brand? That seems not very scientifically or practically sound. Seek a provider that knows how to assess situations; then engineer brand-specific implementations. Actually, the more unique the better; you wouldn’t want competitors trying to ’emulate’ your initiatives.

Expert is Contingent on Engines

It’s difficult to be a traditional ‘expert’ if methods are contingent on outside factors. Search optimization is based on search engine algorithms. SEO expert services know where to place a client’s online assets and how much emphasis should be placed on the element of ‘search’ alone. For instance, social media is not directly involved in ‘search’ but attributes to online marketing success. Real experts understand how to make online marketing work for respective clients.

Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.