Monday, 31 December 2007

Bargain Electronics from Second Act

I love gadgets HiFi, HDTV's and the like and I also love a bargain... I found a retailer who sells refurbished goods, factory closeouts, end-of-line, overstocks etc. and they have some great brand names on offer too.
One feature they have is their Deal of the Day feature where they have a special deal (currently a Sharp 37" HDTV for $75 plus carriage).
My favourite section is the Audio section (as I am a bit of a closet audiophile) where I saw a very smart Denon surround sound receiver for just $199, with current exchange rates that's less than UK£100...!!

I have spent a lot on refurbishing my PC recently and plan to spend some more on restructuring my home office, after that I'm going to be sorely tempted to start browsing through this website (Second Act) to upgrade my audio-visual equipment. What's even better is that they appear to take Paypal, so my online earnings can be used to buy the Hi-Fi equipment of my dreams... They are HDTV specialists, so if Santa didn't bring you that HDTV of your dreams, pay them a visit and see if you can pick up a bargain.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Website Design

I am currently redesigning my 'cassette2cd.co.uk' website and am employing some totally new tactics that I thought I would share with you. These are not new to good established website developers, but new to me as a keen amateur...
I am using Dreamweaver, but the principles would be the same for any similar software. For the first time I am using proper templates where I can make a change to the single template and the change takes place site-wide. previously I have just created a page called 'template' and built every page around this template. This method is time-consuming when changes need to be made, but the strict template (extension .dwt [dreamweaver template]) option means that you have to know pretty much what your final layout will be before you start working.
I have built the navigation into the template and copyright info (and google analytics tracking - nearly forgot it!). I also placed my high-rise adsense banner in there too along with site title and logo. I made a cell (middle top) for my title which I placed as a background image - I was pleased to discover that I could then make this an editable region of the template even though the background was fixed. This means that each page could carry a SEO aware sub heading right at the top of the page. I have yet to discover if the template element needs to be SEO aware, but will play with that idea later.
I have found that I can arrange the whole template to sit in the centre of the page so that viewers using different screen setting won't get a lop-sided view with the page pressed to the left-hand side of the monitor.
I think that all future sites that I shall build will be done in this way and I have started to make a site here for which I don't have a use yet, but I want to prove that I can make a nice-looking site with the tools that I have and no formal training....

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Light up your life

I have made some money through internet activities over the last month and bought myself some 'toys' to aid me in computer related tasks. First I bought a flat-screen from e-bay, then a hard-drive and a DVD writer. I still have some cash left, so I have been planning to re-arrange my home office completely and nothing creates a good working ambience better than good task-lighting. I found a great website with loads of different light fixtures for every type of situation. My favourite one is the one I have shown below, this is both elegant and functional and will suit the style of my new office.
The same website even has a section for chandeliers and kitchen light fixtures in fact every type of lighting requirement that you might have around the home (or even in the garden) is covered on the Farrey.com website. Navigation is made easy as you can search by 'style', 'brand', 'finish', 'price', and with the amount of products they have, you really do need a good search function. Online shopping with this site means you can take delivery of products that are in stock in just one or two days (within the US).

With home offices becoming more part of every day culture, why not bring a bit of class and functionality into your office with some really nice fixtures and fittings helping to set the tone for your working environment.

Friday, 7 December 2007

SEO - pages to add to your site

I have written before about the importance of having a site-map, whether that be in HTML form,XML or ROR - a site-map helps search bots to effectively index your site. There are two other sections that you also might consider adding to your site:
A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and a Glossary of Terms. Initially you might see why this helps your visitors, but how does it contribute to SEO?
I have a FAQ section on my cassette2cd website (you can see it here... at the time of writing, this needs a LOT of work..) but I never thought about how it could be optimised. The trick is to phrase the questions to match search terms, so that it's possible for your FAQ section to pick up search traffic that your main site might miss.
I have added some explanation of terms to my site, but have not yet gone along the complete 'Glossary' route.. However I should because again having all these terms that are relevant to my website all in one place, will help the site to appear in search results. Not only that, but by linking from the main site to the glossary and then back again (include a BACK button on the glossary page - or make it pop-up) helps to give authority to your main site too.
If you need some ideas for your FAQ section, just look at any correspondence that you have received from your visitors and use the questions that you really have been asked..

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Aim Promote CRM

What exactly is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is an integral part of the modern business model. In days gone by, a business would have filing cabinets full of customer files and the information held there would not normally be used to it’s full potential. What CRM does is to use that information to forge marketing strategies and maximise the data that you already have.
A good CRM program firstly gathers data effectively, and then uses the data it has available in a way that is both useful to you as a supplier, and appropriate specifically to your clients. Where Aim Promote differs is that it offers a vast array of features, but the system is configurable, so the right employees have access to the right information specific to their tasks. This simplifies the system for that individual employee whilst retaining the full array of features intact. This means that your sales people have access to sales-related data and your marketing people have a different set-up allowing them deeper analysis into sales trends etc.

The full system functionality remains intact for the Business manager, Operations manager or other key personnel to be able to interrogate the system and form strategies, which will be, implemented company-wide based on all the relevant data to hand.
Experience tells us that a vast proportion of the employees time can be taken up with trying to manage the system itself, Aim promote has been developed to do a lot of that work, leaving the workers free to do their job

Some of the features that I could use to aid my growing internet empire(?) would include the ‘alerts & reminders’ feature. I find time-management to be the biggest problem especially where I am handling multiple tasks, a system of alerts allowing me to put-off less important tasks while still retaining them as ‘to-do’ items would definitely be on my wish-list.
Of course every budding internet entrepreneur is going to be tracking his or her web statistics on a daily basis. Free statistics services are all very well, but basically you have to accept what is on offer and sometimes you have to get through several layers to find the data you need. Aim promote has web statistics integrated offering you exactly the data you want configured exactly as you want it.
The final feature which is paramount for me, is the online support – you don’t want to be left floundering with super-powerful software without someone to guide you through it. Good support allows you to optimise the package to ensure you are really getting the most out of it.

Whatever you see written about CRM software, you won’t be able to appreciate the impact unless you actually try it, the good news is that Aim Promote are offering a 14-day free trial of their CRM package for you to really get to grips with what it can do for your organisation.

Another tool from WeBuildPages.com

The WebuildPages site is a great resource for bloggers and webmasters alike. Todays 'top tool' is the link back checker which assesses the link popularity for any URL and splits the result into the different search engines. For example, here is the result for this blog


Domainlivewyre.blogspot.com
Search Engines
Yahoo! 1,157 (check)
Yahoo! linkdomain 1,420 (check)
Google 38 (check)
AltaVista 605 (check)
Total 3,220

Why not check out some of the cool SEO tools at this site, each of their little applications tells you something you probably didn't know about your site...and they don't even pay me to plug them!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Tracking systems for the modern business

For anyone working in a modern working environment, there can be no doubt that work-related technology has been advancing in leaps and bounds at a phenomenal rate over the last few years. Think back to when Windows software was new in 1990, and contrast that image with your current workspace and home technology that you use on a daily basis. It is now perfectly possible, and indeed, normal to access the internet on the move either via a laptop, PDA or mobile phone. The kind of tasks that can be carried out via web servers, GPS, GPRS and SMS technologies make a reality of what was previously limited to ‘futuristic’ films and TV programs.
In the last few weeks, we have been testing mobile phone tracking at my workplace and are considering vehicle tracking for two reasons. Firstly, it is undeniable that this technology will aid the bosses to clamp down on shirking and possible fraudulent overtime claims. Secondly, there are the issues of efficiency where a worker may be able to be easily re-routed if his route and progress can be tracked. Coming a very poor third, but nonetheless valid, are the health and safety concerns of lone working. We often work on unmanned sites sometimes in precarious situations, a static signal over a number of hours might be enough to raise concerns about a lone workers safety and enable someone to mobilise possibly vital assistance.

The technology we looked into is simple enough, but today I came across a system which blows the system we’ve been looking at, totally out of the water… The company offering this service across the USA is GP Insight, and their GPS tracking system is seriously impressive. The tracking device fits directly into the vehicle diagnostics system and reports all the data you could possibly require. The package reminds me a little of the type of system that a motor-sport team would use to regulate a racing car. The system can report the position of the vehicle, the speed, the fuel consumption, a list of all the stops and starts the vehicle made, how long a vehicle spent at a specific location. Not only this, but early warnings of engine problems can be generated, vehicle maintenance can be easily overseen and you can even link up with a breakdown service as part of the package.

This system is ideal for every aspect of fleet management and can provide live tracking of the entire fleet on one overview map. There is an excellent on-line support website with an extensive list of FAQ’s and resources. Further support is provided by the blog, which is a really innovative way of informing clients about the latest software developments and how to get the best out of the system.
You may be thinking that systems like this are only within the reaches of global corporations like UPS (actually I wish couriers DID use such a great system…), but the price of the package breaks down to between $1.50 and $2.00 per day per vehicle. This type of stuff, once a fantasy, is not only available but affordable too.

Statistics the key to growth

Having the right information, and being able to interpret it is the key to growing your business at any level. I am aware that traffic on five websites I manage has been growing steadily over the last month or so, and I get those statistics from Google Analytics for free. I also use Technorati to assess how much link love I am getting from other blogs.
Without these free services, I would be pretty much flying blind when it comes to assessing the impact of changes I am making on my websites.
If you register a blog with Technorati, they can tell you when people have provided a link to your blog on their blog, this blog has almost 300 unique links registered with Technorati, my other blog has nearer 500.
Google Analytics can tell you how many visitors found your blog or website, what search terms they used, and where in the world they came from. If you haven't yet got either of these up and running, now is a good time to start...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Berlin and Vienna Hotels

I was taught German at school and have had the chance to visit Germany on a number of occasions, although it has been a long time since I last visited. In fact it was long before the Berlin Wall came down, so I have never been able to visit Berlin though I would love to go.
I believe that the building and Hotels in Berlin are well worth a visit, The Brandenburg Gate would be a thrilling sight, symbolising as it does, where the Berlin Wall used to be. Berlin has much to offer in terms of restaurants, art galleries and nightlife. There are hundreds of clubs and thousands of bars in Berlin, giving the city a joint reputation both as a historical landmark and a vibrant nightspot.Recently restored as the capital city in the new unified Germany, Berlin has plenty to keep visitors from all interest groups busy. Try the restaurants and hotels in Berlin to discover the hospitality of the new Germany.

I was eight when I visited Austria, it was the first place I ever visited outside of my own country, and it still retains a fascination for me as being both familiar yet at the same time exotic (at least exotic for an eight year old…)
Staying at Hotels in Vienna offers you culture rarely paralleled anywhere in the world. From the Vienna State Opera to the Vienna Philharmonic or the world famous Boys’ Choir. Vienna is a place for musical pilgrimage that has, in it’s past attracted the likes of Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn.Immerse yourself in the sophistication of Vienna’s coffee-house culture and marvel at the architecture, no visit is complete without a visit to the stunning former Imperial summer house Schloss Schönbrunn.
Hotels in Vienna range from the full five star treatment to the smaller family-run establishments holding a charm all of thier own.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Post and Learn

It struck me today, that whilst researching for subjects to post about (even paid posts) that a good blogger is learning all the time. Passive learning is a direct symptom of creating blog posts, you have to learn something new in order to write something new. You have to learn in order to keep a blog content fresh. The circle is then repeated if visitors to your blog learn something new too. Knowledge is the currency is of the blogger, in 'spending' the knowledge, it is passed on to someone else (assuming anyone is reading!!!).
There is an effect in economics called 'the multiplier' and it examines how spending creates wealth for others, and the quicker you spend, the quicker the economy grows... I won't go into the mind-staggering details, but suffice to say that the same can apply to knowledge. Accelerating knowledge around the world in the way that the internet can, enables the 'economy' of knowledge to grow more quickly.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Traffic or pagerank revisited

Since writing about this a few days ago, there have been some developments in the paid blogging world. Namely that Google have pursued paid post participants and dropped their pagerank.
This will end the pursuit of paid posts on high PR sites if Google are successful in punishing every PayPerPost participant.

However PPP have introduced their own rank called ReakRank which is based mainly on traffic - this turns on it's head my theory that PR was more important than traffic, that or PPP have had to change strategy.

My PR was 4 on the blog where I do PPP posts, my new PR has been dropped to zero, and my Real Rank is 2 - presumably this may limit paid posts with PPP as if I had PR2?

Either way, there seems to still be paid posts available, and this will hit PPP, blogsvertise, smorty and all the service providers harder than it will hit me... I expect some new strategies which will keep paid posts alive in the future and prevent Google from crashing the market.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Online Shopping with Mpire

On line shopping is taking over from high street shopping, and the post-Christmas statistics will no doubt show that more and more people are buying online. So how do you know where to look? Many people will prefer to use Ebay (me included) others may prefer Amazon or some other service, there’s no shortage of on-line stores after all…

One website that can locate the best deals from ALL of these on line resources as one search result is Mpire.com.
I thought I would test out the ability of the search engine to deliver results for something very specific, so I entered the term ‘rubber elephants’. To my surpise, I had quite a lot of relevant results including a load of 1 inch rubber elephants for sale on Amazon, 107 entries for rubber elephants for sale on Ebay, but sadly no rubber elephants on Craigslist in New York…

Searches are not restricted to domestic items, but are just as applicable to industrial and commercial work. At work today a colleague was looking for a ‘Genie’ lifting device so I tried out Mpire and got a list of new equipment available from 'Amazon', 'Net shops' and 'Northern Tool and Equipment' websites, and 30 results from Ebay.

The search window even anticipates your search term and offers a list of possible matched items. There is even data on price trending for the item you have searched on. I have to admit that this is an excellent service, if you are already using Amazon or Ebay, why not try using a service that can get results from both sites at the same time….

Traffic follows your activity

Building traffic to your blog is hard if you are busy actually working on your blog or other projects. The good news is that you don't have to work that hard on traffic-building if you are keeping your content fresh.
I have been posting very actively this month on three blogs and can confirm that even if you don't devote any time to driving traffic to your site through tried and tested methods, the traffic should naturally follow your activity. All of my websites are experiencing definite upward traffic trends during this period of increased activity without me having to actively seek it.
This is good news for one-man-band operations where the same person is responsible for writing content, and publicising the site and designing the layout etc... Work on the content alone and (as long as your site is being 'spidered' and you have some traffic) the new traffic will naturally follow.
Recently I have been experimenting with writing topical 'news' posts on a specific topic on a new blog, and can report that this is certainly a traffic catcher... I posted some up to the minute news last night and my traffic shot up according to Google Analytics (more than 500%!!). So far, this particular project has not generated any significant income, but the experiment is purely about generating traffic at this point.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Christmas Presents

In the run up to Christmas, there are folks who are easy to buy for, and those for whom it is somewhat harder to find the right present. If you're struggling with presents for little ones (traditionally far easier to buy for!) you could try Shopwiki.com where a whole host of child-related goods from all sorts of shops and suppliers has been assembled for you to browse through.

One toy that my little one has had hours of fun with is along the same lines as the ‘Aqua-doodle’,
I particularly liked the travel version which would be perfect for use while in the car or on holiday. I have even been known to use it myself for illustrating things to my wife, and coming up with designs for graphics!

Of course, the old standby is socks for when you are really struggling, and shopwiki have a staggering array of girls socks and boys socks on offer.

And for the new parents or even grand-parents expecting little visitors over the holiday period, there is the all-important child-safety section with all the stair gates, playpen and safety gates which are so important for protecting your little ones. In our house we have a range of these, we had one at the top of the stairs, one at the bottom, one on the office, and a playpen that doubles as a fireguard for our open fire.

Why not visit one of the links above and browse around for the perfect Christmas gift?

Traffic or pagerank

I have long pondered this... why do advertisers rate your site by pagerank when they are assessing a site for suitability??
Well my conclusion is that advertisers (those who pay for paid posts) are actually planning to increase the likelihood of their own site popping up in search terms. Although I have good rank on the two blogs that I do paid posts for, neither of them receive huge amounts of traffic. So if the advertiser wants a high PR, rather than high traffic and high visibility for the post (though I am sure they object to it!!), then he must be looking to raise search engine visibility for specific anchor text primarily. Not all advertisers request specific anchor text though, so I guess any back-links with relevant text is the aim in those cases.
If you were advertising on a bill-board, you would look at the position of the board. Is it visible to lots of people, is it visible to my target audience? In the case of blogs, the advertiser is concerned with the back-link value rather than the passing trade, or so it seems...

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Bad Credit advice

Debt is a worrying feature of today’s economic environment, and I believe all of us should be striving to free ourselves from debt where possible.
Credit card debt is a millstone dragging a great many households into a never-ending debt cycle which can only be beaten through determination and making some economies (sometimes unwelcome) in the way we spend our money.

If you find yourself with a bad credit-rating, there is a new resource which can help by providing resources for getting your own credit score and ‘repairing’ your bad credit record My advice, if you are in a bad credit situation, would be to remember to read all the small-print and add up any charges before signing up for something, your only route to improving your situation is to spend less (however obvious that may seem, sometimes the simplest messages are the ones we ignore!). This resource also offers a range of credit solutions for those with a bed credit rating.

Personally I have cut about $8000 off credit card bills in the last couple of years and plan to lose the rest with free 0% credit cards, but that hasn’t meant that I haven’t had to curb spending, quite the contrary, my spending has been dramatically cut and I hardly ever even take any money or credit cards with me when I go out – plenty of time for that when I am debt free!

For me the lure of being debt-free has enabled me to focus on the future and being prepared to go without today. Even if you think your debt is manageable, keep a record of how quickly your debt is rising (especially over Christmas) and you might be surprised at how easy it is for us to be comfortable with our debt.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Top SEO tools

I found a new website resource for SEO tools at WeBuildPages.com, one of their top ten online tools is the 'Top Competitor' tool. This tool reports on the top rated sites for any given keyword. All you do is enter your chosen keyword, press 'check' and the application will fetch the top ranked websites for that keyword. It is then down to you to visit those sites to see if you can assess what they are doing to get such high ranking, and to see if there are any lessons to be learned.
I searched for make money online, and was surprised to find a blogspot blog at position three, way above John Chow and doshdosh (that will mean something to the blogging community). You should get over there now and bang your keywords in to see what you need to work on....

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Real Travel Blog

Out of the RealTravel website, comes the real travel blog where everything from the world of travel and the world of travel blogs can be found. I liked the featured travel blog sections where the editors have chosen to feature the best parts of different travel blogs. I was struck by how well written these articles were, really bringing the far-flung places of the world to life with well chosen words.
There are articles on places as diverse as French Polynesia, Hawaii, New York, New Zealand and Europe, all of them providing hints and tips along with fascinating personal travel experience.

The posts are well tagged with sections for hiking, food and wine, solo travel, family travel etc. This blog really has something to say about every sort of holiday, and appears to have a large amount of contributors all adding to the general knowledge base. Added to this is the ability to comment on each post. A lot of information-based blogs don’t allow you to comment, but this one gives people to opportunity to have their own say, either about the destination in question or about the way the post has been written.

I thought I should try and pick a favourite entry so I went for the Killamanjaro story, if only for the delightful photograph of the ‘The Hallgrens’ at the peak. The Hallgrens have travelled round the world and provided other stories and pictures for the blog.

This site even offers you the chance of setting up your own travel blog for free.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Website reviews

One of the better ways in which we learn about how to present a website or blog, is to look at other people's work and lift out the best bits and apply them to our own work. There are not many completely original websites around, everyone borrows ideas from somewhere - the same principles apply to any scenario, but especially to blogs and websites. it is entirely expected that you will see something on one site and then implement something similar on your own. If you do this. it is always a good idea to credit the originator with a link. I intend to carry out some website and blog reviews and post them here.

Italia!

A country I have not visited except when passing through, but certainly aim to visit properly in the future: Italy dripping with romance, fine wine and good food - what more could you desire from a holiday - There is so much on offer in Italy, one hardly knows where to start.

Where better to kick off than in Rome? The Colosseum, the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish steps... you could spend weeks in Rome alone. The Vatican with it's wonderful heritage, architecture and sculptures would certainly form part of anybody's visit to the Italian capital city. Rome restaurants, rome hotels and bars would keep you entertained through to the wee hours.

And who would not visit Venice given the chance? this unique city offers the famous canals, the Doge's Palace, the Bridge of sighs and St Mark's Basilica amongst it's treasures. With venice hotels and a whole vista of sights and experiences, any tour of Italy must take in Venice though it certainly merits a holiday all of it's own...

Now Milan is where they take their music (and their football) seriously. Milan boasts La Scala, believed by many to be the true home of opera. Milan is also home to the Leonardo Da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology and AC Milan... The San Siro (Stadio Giusseppe Meazza) is a place where many football devotees would gladly go to pay homage. Why not stay in Milan hotels and take advantage of some Italian hospitality.
Italy, Italy hotels, architecture, music, food and wine has something to feed the soul, the mind and the belly all at the same time.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Beckham News - a review

For football fans in the UK, there has been a dearth of information about how David Beckham has been getting on in the USA at LA Galaxy. A blog has been set up to chart the progress of the ex-England captain as he attempts to highlight soccer to the USA public.
The aims of the blog are strictly sports-related, with no mention of posh-spice anywhere to be seen (might have missed a trick there - but this is a principled serious attempt to report news not fluff).
The blog reports on all games that Beckham has played in, the injuries, the England team where it impacts on Beckham and follows the story leading up to the European Championships in 2008.
Once the internationals are over, there are a series of exhibition matches and charity matches to report on, but don't forget, this blog won't be talking about the effect LA has on Beckham, but the effect Beckham is having on the pitch....

Short-term loans

Pay day loans provide No Fax Payday Loans for short-term emergency borrowing ie. just until your paycheck comes in. No fax, no written application.

Please note that this speedy type of borrowing is not the sort of borrowing you should habitually use, but a very quick convenient way to get money quickly. The borrowing rates (if you were to compare them with typical APR) are very high, but that's the price you pay for the convenience of having a loan of between $100 to $1500 approved almost immediately.
You can phone them or apply for a loan online, and each loan rate is negotiated on a case by case basis from a range of lenders, funds are generally available by he next working day.

I really want to stress that this type of borrowing should only be used in an emergency when you need funds approved immediately, and it is gratifying to see that the service will only offer loans to those who are in steady employment.

If you are considering taking out a loan, then you should test the market to find the best deal, if your in a tight spot on a one-off basis, a loan from Payday loans would help in the short-term. My advice would be to pay high interest borrowing off as an absolute priority.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Website hosting

There are stacks of website hosts out there nowadays offering great deals from about two or three dollars a month upwards, but did you know you can host your own site for nothing?
You would normally pay for a domain name and a host, but if you add some free server software (such as Apache) to your hard drive, you can configure it to behave as a host using your IP address instead of a domain name.
You may have noticed quite a few disreputable sites use this method so that a host cannot remove their website which will be selling fake goods or medications or worse....
So I'm not recommending this method especially as it will mean that your computer will have to be online all the time and will have to cope with any traffic that visits your site. In fact it's probably quite a bad idea, but I wonder if you knew that this could be done?

Please note, you should never click on a link that has an IP address instead of a URL, unless you know exactly where it points to. However, you could use this method for acessing files from home from another site (but be aware that anyone else could too!)

triOS Colleges in Toronto

Breaking into the job market is a sophisticated process in the current economic climate and being properly prepared is the key to getting the job you desire.

Toronto Colleges are paving the way with an innovative private college set up to prepare job-ready graduates for a new career. Typically this service would be useful to newly qualified job-seekers, those returning to work after a career-break, or even workers coming into Canada from abroad. The triOS Ontario College can offer services to job-seekers in the areas of Business, Technology and Healthcare, being a private establishment, they are not limited to the educational calendar start new classes on a monthly basis.
They offer job-specific training, careers advice, job placement, interview skills training and help with job search methods.

If I were to consider working in a new area, Ontario would be on the top of my list of places that I have visited and would like to work. If I were to consider applying for jobs in Toronto and the surrounding area, The triOS Toronto College would certainly be my first port of call for first-class preparation for the job-market.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Pagerank grumbles

I have seen far more reaction to the latest change in PR than the last PR shake-up where I seemed to be one of the few to have suffered. It turns out that it was good preparation and I would urge other bloggers to take heart from my experience.
I lost PR on my two blogs in May quite drastically whereas few others were affected, this time around, both my blogs have been awarded far better PR than they had before. In the last month or so I have noticed a lot of bloggers bemoaning that they have dropped ranks, and even some advertisers asking for promotion blogs to declare their NEW rank, not their OLD one... I seem to be one of the few who are actually very happy with the new ranks.
Take heart if you lost some rank, keep plugging on, and if you have the same experience as me, you should be back bigger and stronger than before.
My feeling is that many bloggers will lose heart this time around, and the best blogs will float to the surface (I know I considered packing it all in...). Stick with it, do what you do best and bi in it for the long run, that's my advice....

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Shopping cart software

Whether you have an existing website or plan to build a site, you may be considering having an e-commerce element to your site. It may be appropriate for you to have a section where your visitors can browse you products or services and make purchases securely over the internet.
If you were so inclined, and had the knowledge and time, you might start coding it yourself - a better solution might be to purchase the service from a tried and tested software house.

Ashop shopping cart software offer a secure service that can be easily added into your website hosted on their own servers and available with full support for a monthly fee. This software will allow your customers to use all major credit cards to make their purchases directly from your site.
The advantage of such a service is that the software is tried and tested, and they also offer a stack of add-on services such as visitor tracking, keyword reports, SEO hints and tips with all you pages automatically optimised for SEO.
If you're interested in having a shopping cart to implement automatic purchases via your website, why not use a service that has been successfully tried and tested by hundreds of webmasters already?

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Anchor text success

Recently I have recently begun blogging at a rate more like the daily rate that I was posting some months ago... and I noticed that the visitors to my blogs were starting to build. That triggered my curiosity, so I used Google Analytics to see where my new traffic was coming from.

I should state for the record, that I am not talking about this blog, but my blog about paid to blog schemes - the more observant readers will note the use of anchor text to link to the other blog, and with good reason... I read some time ago about the importance of using anchor text to link to a web page and how that might help Search Engine rankings. So when I embarked on a viral-linking scheme I decided t use the anchor text 'paid to blog' and have continued to use it where applicable as both anchor text and as a keyword.

I checked my analytics today and noted that I was being sent visitors from search engines (note that in the blogging world, one isn't necessarily looking for SEO as a lot of significant traffic can come from social sites and blogging partners etc..). The remarkable thing is that the search terms were all single use one-offs except for one: 'paid to blog'. Whereas every other term used to find my site only appears once, in comparison 'paid to blog' appears a staggering 22 times....

Now I'm not saying that I get stacks of traffic from anywhere, or that the proportion of traffic I am getting from Search engines is in any way significant, just the the traffic I am getting has absolutely centered on my chosen anchor text. How can this help you? well first off you need to decide on an anchor text which you think will drive visitors to your blog and then use it mercilessly. How will this impact on me? Well, I have to make sure that when those visitors arrive at my blog, there is something relevant for them to read which will keep them there...

Friday, 9 November 2007

Wi-Fi from BT

Technology moves so fast today that there is enough computing power in the modern home to run a reasonable-sized business of 10 years ago, and more technology in a single mobile phone than would have been required to run a large business of 20 years ago.

Internet access is not enough nowadays, wi fi broadband is available and widely used around the UK. BT’s wireless Home Hub is available with BT’s wireless broadband option 2 for under £14 per month for the first 6 months.

This option offers up to 8Mb download speed with 8GB download limit per month. For a small additional fee, they will even send round an expert to get your network up and running… Option 3 offers even more for under £19 per month, you get the Home Hub phone and unlimited downloads. With both these offers from BT, you even get free use of BT wi fi hotspots around the UK with your laptop (option 2 limited to 350minutes per month). Both options also offer 5GB of online storage in the ‘Digital Vault’.

BT offer good support for their broadband packages, and most users are starting to appreciate how valuable that sort of service is. BT can offer support for your PC problems as well as your broadband connection.

Blog earnings

Just about 9 days into November and I am happy to report record earnings through paid postings. My newly-attributed pagerank has given me many more paid opportunities than previously and I have already almost overtaken my previous attempt to maximise earnings in a month.

In May this year I earned $187 in 31 days, and I am looking forward to reporting this month's figures which are already within $3 of my previous record even after just 9 days. My strategy has been to take as many opportunities as possible in case there are no decent ones the next day. So far there have been plenty of tasks on offer, but there's no guarantee that this trend will continue. I really hope to be able to reach a target of $500 in November.

I am always looking for new legitimate ways to earn money via websites, and you can be sure that I will report any that prove profitable.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

UK destinations

Closer to home (for me, at least), you may need to visit one of England’s major cities for business or to visit friends. CheaperThanHotels offers a service to find you last minute accommodation, often at reduced prices…

You may be interested in Hotels in London, Britain’s largest and busiest city by far. London has the splendour of a major European Capital with the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. London is packed with the culture of the West End theatres, cinemas, clubs and any sort of entertainment you could desire.

England’s second and third cities respectively are Birmingham and Manchester, both traditionally industrial areas, but enjoying a renaissance as centres of service and culture. Many British cities have made use of their industrial waterways and Birmingham has used it’s canals to create a scenic backdrop to the theatres and clubs around the city centre. A fair few Hotels in Birmingham are to be found in the same district, along with top restaurants and nightlife to suit every taste.

Hotels in Manchester offer you the chance to visit the famous Theatre of Dreams where Manchester united ply their trade along with bustling nightlife and a rich cultural heritage. Famous for it’s clubs, Manchester has always been a place to experience great hospitality

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Gimpshop

Photoshop has proved an invaluable tool for website builders, photographers and designers over the years, but Gimpshop is all set to upset the graphics software market... Long hailed by Linux users everywhere, Gimp has crossed platforms onto Windows PC's everywhere. And get this: It's free, open-source as free as a bird... you won't have to pay a cent.
Website building without having to pay a penny, that's the kind of stuff I really want to bring to you. If you want more, just keep reading....
For more on this and other free software, visit this link...

Monday, 5 November 2007

EasyToBook hotel website

There are many websites for booking hotel accommodation scattered around the worldwide web, many of them offer hotels from just one company, others don't offer a great range of different types of accommodation or special deals. I have just found one website which offers the complete solution.
EasyToBook.com offer accommodation ranging from 1 star to 5 star in every major worldwide destination. There are special online deals for many of the featured hotels.
You may be looking for fine-dining Italian style in Rome amongst the historical building and unique Roman atmosphere.
You may fancy Christmas shopping at some of London’s exclusive stores whilst taking in the majestic buildings such as Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London.
You may prefer to enjoy the ‘craic’ in Dublin's fair city and the romance of the emerald Isle. Whichever destination is the ideal place for you, EasyToBook has the hotel at the right price, all laid out in an easy to read format on a well-constructed website. Not only that, but it transpires that rooms are in fact Easy To Book…

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Enlightened about lamps

Today I learned a new word ‘torchiere’ I was intrigued and followed the link to end up on Farreys.com where they sell all types of lamps for use in the home or garden. It turns out that torchieres are a kind of standard lamp, but the type which is also an up-lighter… (see the photograph)

Farreys have an extensive range of lamps including desk lamps and floor lamps along with outdoor lamps for your deck or for wall-mounting. They have a neat search tool with drop-down menus so that you can quickly find all the products available in either wide or narrow search terms. You can search by brand and by price, you can specify the style, finish and application.

There are thousands of products to sort through on this site, and they are not limited to lighting, you can also find air purifiers, cooker hoods and many other products for the home and garden. Stock items are shipped in 1 or 2 days within the US, and all forms of payment are accepted. All that remains is for you to visit Farreys.com yourself….

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Making money online

So much rubbish is spoken about making money online, but it is possible to make some money if you ignore all the crazy schemes that promise $1000 a day. After all if you could make $1000 a day, why would you bother to market your ideas of how others could make that money when you could put your energy into making revenue yourself if you were genuinely able to???
However, as I said, a certain amount of cash can be made online through various means, my own personal favourite being 'paid to post'. I have recently gained pagerank on this and my other blog, so you will see more paid posts here, but I hope readers will find them well-written and informative.
For more about genuine ways to make money online, please see the Livewyre.NET article. I will talk about some of the schemes I have used in later posts on this blog, but you can read about these schemes over at Munny4Hunny too.
In my experience so far, I would have said that it is possible to make about $200 a month with one blog with a PR2, but hope to find out this month, how much can be made with a PR3 blog AND a PR4 blog with paid posts.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Favourite destinations

When I think about going on a touring holiday, my favourite destination without a doubt is France. France has it all from the sophistication of Paris, the rural beauty of the Loire valley and the French Alps, to the bright light and freedom of the Cote d’Azur and Monte Carlo. France is full of contrasts, I have visited four times and have experienced something different every time.

One trip was our first wedding anniversary to some paris hotels where elegance was the watchword, We dined on the River Seine and climbed the Eiffel Tower, walked along the Champs-Elysees, visited Notre dame, Louvre Museum and experience the buzz of Paris in Springtime.

On another occasion, we visited nearby Versailles and took a trip to Monet’s garden before travelling south to experience more france hotels. In the south, we stayed in Cannes and Menton and Nice where the nice hotels were pleasant and full of character.

The south is my personal favourite, Paris is all very well, but I love the countryside and quaint historical towns (and wineries) of the south. I was caught by surprise by some of the medieval towns that are prevalent around Orange, Avignon and the quality of the Roman remains in those areas. If you are planning a trip to Europe, allow yourself extra time in France to take in all the different aspects that make up one tremendous country. (and that from an Englishman!)

Smorty - paid to post

If you are looking to monetise your blog, then I have found that paid to post programs are more profitable than most other forms of advertising. One such service is Smorty, a scheme that offers upwards of $6 per paid post and allows you to write honest opinion on a range of websites and products. Registering is simple and quick, and you will quickly hear back from them if your blog is acceptable. You are then ready to get paid for blogging. You may register multiple blogs, and each opportunity offered will be for a specific blog. Smorty also operate a points system called a smorty score which helps advertisers to identify good members of the scheme.
The greatest reason for using Smorty is that they pay up within a week of your post being approved and there's not many schemes that payout that quickly - For that reason alone Smorty is definitely worth considering as many other schemes take weeks and weeks to pay out.

My new blog...

I have used some new blogging principles and developed a new blog which I am unleashing on an unsuspecting public....
My new blog seeks to follow the progress of the England football (soccer) star David Beckham as he carves out a career in the MLS at LA Galaxy.
I enjoyed designing the new blog and was able to approach the project in a very different way than with previous blogs as (I hope) I have more of an idea about what I want and how to achieve it than I did when I started blogging a little under a year ago.
There are a few things I need to work on, but I am happy with where it is at right now - take a look and let me know what you think...

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Holiday time

It's about this time of year when the chill starts to kick in, that thoughts turn to Summer Holidays and warmer climes. Lazy days by the pool, reading a good book, or hiring a car and seeing the sights. A vacation means different things to different people.

For some, it’s a hotel with all the amenities, for others, it’s staying with friends and family. I like the idea of the freedom that comes from renting a place and a car for a week or two where you can really relax and feel at home. I really enjoy exploring the surrounding areas and especially trying out the local food.

A location that suits the whole family is important too. I would be more in favour of sight-seeing in San Diego with San Diego vacation rental homes whereas the rest of my family would no doubt be happier relaxing on the beach with Newport Beach vacation homes Whatever floats your holiday boat, you may well find the answer at vacation rentals.

Maybe you own a place that you would like to have promoted at 'Goin2travel' vacation rentals, they have properties from all over the world, pay them a visit, rent out your property and maybe even sort out your own vacation at the same time…

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Makeover for Livewyre.NET

I have been meaning to give Livewyre.NET a face-lift for some time, but designing can be quite arduous when there are so many factors to be taken into consideration. Now, buttons and banners I am fine with because there is a physical limitation EG. 125x125 pixels, and usually just a name and possibly a small strap-line. Complete website design is a bit of a headache because it has to work on so many more levels. I had settled on a design for Livewyre which I was reasonably happy with. However, it came in for a bit of criticism so I tried to patch it up, but was never really happy with the result... Now I am much happier with the new look of the site, it won't suit everyone I know, but then you can't ever hope to do that...
The current Web 2.0 design thinking is to use a clean template based around a white background with a dynamic graphic header. I used the same principle, but have gone for a black background to complement my black-based header design. I anticipate that some people might feel this is altogether too aggressive and masculine-looking, but at the end of the day you have to satisfy your own judgment first...

Monday, 29 October 2007

Page Rank definitely on the move...

Yes, this time PR all over the web has been rising and falling leaving in it's wake alternatively saddened or elated webmasters...
I am pleased to report that I am one of those who has been elated. I had many discussions about PR in May 2007 when I seemed to be one of the few who was singled out for particularly harsh treatment - I lost the PR2 on this blog entirely and was knocked down to zero.. My other blog dropped from PR2 to PR1, not that dramatic you might think, but I was honestly expecting to get a 3 at least... Most webmasters I spoke to had not experienced any change at all during May, so I did feel a bit miffed to lose rank on two sites where most people I know experienced no change at all. I maintain that it was probably due to the excessive linking that took place when I got involved in some viral linking - I am sure the sudden rise in link-backs flagged me up as a dodgy link-spammer... Anyhow I persevered, and am glad that I did now as my rankings have been not only restored, but boosted. This blog is now ranked 3, and my other blog is a 4 which has opened up some good opportunities for the future.
I started a thread over at mmmtalk when I first dropped rankings, and have followed it through to it's happy conclusion, take a peek if you're interested - if you want to know your own PR, check out this link...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Waterproof Memo Boards

Need to take notes out of doors or where you expect to get wet? – What you need is one of the new waterproof memo boards from waterproofmemoboards.com. They come as an A4 sized board in clear or bright yellow, with a waterproof pencil for taking notes. You can secure the board via holes drilled in the top, and you can write on both sides. Perfect for schools, sports clubs, swimming pools, construction sites or the home kitchen or bathroom.

Why not ‘splash’ out on a waterproof memo board as a birthday gift or Christmas present for the gardening enthusiast, sports trainer, bird-spotter or busy Mum?

If you have your own blog, maybe you'd also be interested in the blogging competition for prizes ranging from $5 up to $25

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Some Blogging advice

I am going to try some ideas that other bloggers have revealed, namely creating a new niche blog for a subject that I am interested in, and has a newsworthiness which will mean that there will be new stuff to post almost continuously. The beauty of breaking news is that any significant keywords could be new and you have as good a chance as anyone of getting a search engine slot for a brand new keyword.
I will start this on a free host and then see whether I can pick up traffic for it - I will monetise with adsense though I am considering Auction Ads/Amazon as well. It's under wraps for now until the site is properly up and running, though it is quite refreshing starting a completely new blog (something I haven't done since January). It's a lot easier now that I am a bit more experienced at it, and the site should look a lot better than my previous unplanned efforts.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

DON'T submit your website to Google!

That's right, the current consensus is that if your site is indexed (and as long as you have valid inbound links it will be...) there IS NO NEED to submit your site to a Search Engine EVER!
Although periodic submission is practiced by many, the likelihood is that these well-meaning folks are wasting their time and risk being identified as spammers if they go over the top and submit too frequently.
Submitting to Directories is a whole different story...
I have written an article about this over at Livewyre.NET - please visit to get the full story

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Competition

Why not enter my
Competition?????
There's $35 up for grabs for bloggers everywhere and anywhere, click on the RED button...

Thursday, 16 August 2007

If you like this, you'll love.....


MY NEW SITE !!!!
Finally up and running and in 'pre-launch' for beta-testing (official launch 20th August 2007)
Please visit and browse around - there's stuff about SEO like on this blog (VERY like what's on this blog...) and other stuff on making money online and reviews and links to free software - something for everyone....
There are other sections planned, but they're under wraps for now. Future developments will be posted here - never mind the pagerank..... ( I think I have been penalised for my viral linking...ha ha)
If you have any comments about the site, leave them here or mail me via the site itself - let me know if you think there are topics that you think Livewyre.NET should address in the future.
LiVEWYRE.NET - Bringing the internet to life - catchy huh?

Monday, 6 August 2007

Labelling posts

In an effort to make this blog more user-friendly, I have tidied up the post 'labels' and installed the blogspot label-list at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.
If you want to search using the labels that I have used for posts on this blogs, try the label list (a relatively new widget offered by blogspot). If you want to do this on your own blogspot blog, then go to 'edit template' from your dashboard and then 'add a page element', the label list is an option offered here.
My advice would be to tidy up your labels before using this widget, removing or replacing labels that only appear once.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Lack of postings

Now if this was supposed to be a dynamic blog, it would have failed in it's objective - I should explain what I set out to do and why this blog is relatively static..
The intention was to fill a blog with a lot of helpful pointers for SEO and general website hints and tips. I haven't been researching the subject as much as I would like, and when I have, I tend to post at my more active blog
- What I have been doing though, is gathering information for my new domain which will carry a lot of the same sort of information, but will be hosted as a 'proper' website. I am not ready to launch yet, but will certainly post here when it is....
I will probably take some time to tidy up this blog and hopefully make it easier to navigate - please treat this site as more of a static resource rather than expecting a load of fresh material. If you have any comments, I will respond usually within 24 hours....

Sunday, 8 July 2007

reviewback - Aaaai Tal

One way to help to raise the popularity of a blog is through review exchanges, reviewback.com is an exchange forum that pairs up reviewers who are willing to trade reviews to increase back-links. That is how I came across the 'Aaaaai Tal' blog. This blog has links to a series of short films made by the authors and posted on YouTube. The video-makers are Portuguese, but their English is excellent - the videos are comic in nature though they might lack a little finesse...
Why not take a look at their blog and rate their videos?
What's more... they even use the same blogger template as me!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Viral Linking debate

I have a feeling that Google will take note of the popularity of this type of linking and will devise a way of stopping automatic page rank improvement via this system. Nonetheless it will certainly provide good results from social bookmarking and community sites, and may be worthwhile just for that alone...
If you want to get in on the act, take a look at this scheme from Founders Cafe...

========= Copy and Paste below this line ==========
Instructions:
Important Update - Please read here!
1.) Copy and paste the matrix of “ViralTags” below courtesy of Founders Cafe (to support Jimmy’s quest of launching his own Internet Startup with a shoestring budget, please consider subscribing to his Full RSS Feed to see his triumps and struggles in real time).
2.) Substitute the Host Tag and one of the “Viral Tags” in the matrix with your anchor text of choice with your blog’s URL. Please keep anchor text to a max of 3 words to keep the matrix size manageable.
3.) When you get a ping back from someone that has your link in one of their “Viral Tags”, practice good karma by copying his/her Host Tag’s anchor text (automatically the associated link will also be copied) and paste it over one of your “Viral Tags” below.
4.) Encourage and invite your readers to do the same and soon this can grow virally.
Host Tag: SEO Blog
International City Travel | Asian Celebrity News | One Million Shirts | Tech at Hand | Rich Minx | Internet Marketing Austria | Ageless Beauty | Web 2.0 Tutorials | Technology Music Life | infokarir jobs | Manila Mom | Link Love | Blogging Money Secret | Internet Startup Blog | Web Design Blog | Daily Life Technology | Make Money Blogging | Steve’s Tech Blog | Agloco Internet Marketing | Daily Bulls Investing | Tech Gadgets Stocks | Affiliate Program | Computer Seventy-Five | Learn about e-Learning | Tech Hack Ramblings | Jack Book | Screen Writer Guy | Overseas Filipino Worker | TechCruser | Startup Entrepreneur Money | Adsense | ForumFinderBlog | Earn Money Online | Really Smart Guy | Earn Income Online | Day Mind Xpression | Entrepreneurship Internet Web | Make Money Blogging | Create a Blog | Pie Hole | start a blog | Make Money Blogging | Marketing Made Simple | Tech Startups Web2.0 | Music Videos | ViralTags | Build Rankings Fast | Mrs Sparrow | Hot Buzz | Weight Loss | Really Funny Jokes | Best of Blogs | Heroin Addiction Codependence | Internet Marketing German | German - USA | Domain Development Blogs | Sundhed og Helbred | Giving Link Love | Business Blog Web | Photoshop Tutorials | Anitokid Chronikos | Klapkids Chronikos | esofthub’s web finds| Everything iPod | Jason’s Random Thoughts | Fun Web Development | Monetize Your Blog | Yung Silent Whisper | Stratz’s Blog | My Journey | ViralTags | ViralTags | The Sankey’s Stories | Blogging for Money | Wealth Blog | Yi JianLian NBA | Gadgets & Technology | Make Money Home | NFL Cleveland Browns | The Broken Bow | Pop Stars | Celebrity Gossip | Fanatic Space | Cheezmizan with Chuva | Catepol | Wolly’s Weblog | Profitable Productive Blogging | Cat on my Head | Bloggointestinale | 2012 Movies | iMod | Lorad Zarcon | Instruzioni | Sid05 Weblog | Bayle | Random Access Life | Mario’s Weblog | Acchiappasogni | Dietro e a Casa | Make Money Online | Anchor Text | Alex 2000 | My Life | Personal Finance | Hanneng.net Tech Blog | Business Twins | Pixie Tail | Gold Rushing’s Blog | Trade CDs | Business Chats | Paid to Blog | beijing olympics 2008 | Beijing Hotels | Beijing Travel | Sexy Celebrities | Stock Trading | stock option | LifeIsRisky.Com | Monkey Wong | Useful Blogging Tips | Sexy Celebrity | Global Tips and Tricks | Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery | Make Money Online | JLS Cisco Networking | Humor Jokes | Mik3 | Web2.0 Founder Interviews | Political Social Media | Master Engrafter | Making Money Online | GoldyWorld Fun | Static Thinkbox | Mariuca | Investing Women Online | Tech Lock-Rahul| The Poor Mouth | Daves Blog | Huma B~ | It’s a Miracle | Visit Egypt Online | Butterfly Feelings | Tell no Lies | McBilly’s Making Money | Earn Money Online | RideIt Like you StoleIt | yoeru | Make Money Online | Revellian | EZ Profit | Make Money Blog | TeamKyoudo | Chew on That | Bad Girls Diary | Chronic Headache | El Commentario Diario | Social Media Munching | Good Jokes | Social Networking Mother | MSU Spartan Sports | The SOHO Quest | Make Money Online | Caribbean Travel Blog | Jehzlau Concepts | Nonsense & Tears | Time Clock Software | SEO Blog | Anything and Everything | Father of One | Web Comic Artist | Justice Investmets | Terrible Horrible Evil | Russian Jokes Videos | Personal Development Blog |

Important: Once I get a ping back from you (I promise to do the best I can), I will add your anchor text and the associated link you designate as “Host Tag” here, replacing one of the “ViralTags” from the matrix above. As more and more bloggers copy and paste this matrix, the more backlinks you will have with your anchor text. If everybody who copy and paste from your blog does the same, pretty soon this will spread and go viral. So, the sooner you participate, the more links with anchor text you will receive.
======== Copy and Paste from Above this line ========

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

SEO - linking via mini-banners

Linking or off-site SEO is crucial for gaining page rank, and a popular way of doing this is to exchange banners. There is a kind of accepted standard for these mini-banners which are both attractive and unobtrusive.
Munny4Hunny is running a promotion offering free custom-designed mini-banners for links - why don't you take a look at the rules of the promotion and have a banner made up for your blog or website.
Below are a couple of example banners:
Stratz's blog Livewyre
You can also click the following graphic to take part:

Free Mini_Banner

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Adsense pays out...

For all you skeptics out there.. I am pleased to announce receipt of my first ever Google Adsense payment directly into my bank account his morning. I had heard so many people doubting the Adsense scheme, and I have received a warning for using a traffic exchange program (I had no idea that this was against Googles' TOS...) - so I was wondering whether I would get booted before the long-awaited payout. I am very pleased to say that my good behaviour has been rewarded...I should make it clear that the adsense is not for this blog (though a very small part of it did come from here). Read through my posts if you are interested in finding out more about my website...

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Have a little patience

I noted that when I first had my website indexed, a google search only got me on the first page if I was really specific ie: 'Livewyre studio' the title of the site (unconnected to the URL www.cassette2dc.co.uk). Just using 'Livewyre' got me nowhere. Time and traffic has rectified all that and if you do a google search for 'livewyre' now, you will find cassette2cd occupying slots 3 and 4. Slot 6 is a free Lycos account that I use, slot 7 is this blog and Slot 10 is me on 'Bumpzee'.
That is a whole lot more satisfying than my first forages into searching for my sites in google... This just serves to demonstrate that the internet is fluid and changes from day to day, week to week and month to month - if you work on SEO, you can get your rankings to the top of the tree. Of course Livewyre is not an important keyword for me as it will not bring new visitors in itself as the word is meaningless, however proof that your site can be on the first page for SOMETHING is a reward in itself.
(Of course, the internet is so fluid that this may all have changed by the time this is published....)

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

SEO - What's the big deal?


Search Engine Optimisation is talked about that much, I wonder if I forgot to explain WHAT IT'S ALL FOR....??


Well, it's like this - we all treat the world wide web like a massive library conducting search after search until we find the information we require. The search engines are the library assistants who will find the information for you, because I forgot to say, in this analogy, you are blind!


Now some of the library assistants are sponsored by Virgin and Sony and Microsoft - they have football-style shirts with advertising on the front (which you can't see 'cos you're blind..). These guys will try to push you towards their sponsors, but all the librarians are really well-read and have their favourite books. They will point you towards the books that they like because of the way they are written.


Newer books take a while for the librarians to read and categorise the information, but eventually your new book (website) will stand alongside everyone else's.


OK I'm bored with this rather bad analogy now, but the point is that the search engine be it google, msn yahoo etc.. is the means by which most visitors will find your site, and SEO is all about making your book popular with the librarian - get it? (Wow, I used google image search and look at the image I found....!!)

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Index Stats


The following terms may be entered into google search to give you some useful basic statistics about your website:

"site:www.domain-name.com" - will return the pages of your site that have been indexed by the google bots.

"link:www.domain-name.com" - will return a search of sites that link to your index page.

"cache:www.domain-name.com" - will return the cache of your index page, giving the date that the index was last crawled and a representation of how the page looked at that time.

"info:www.domain-name.com" - will return a page with a list of searches as in the following example:

Show Google's cache of www.cassette2cd.co.uk
Find web pages that are similar to www.cassette2cd.co.uk
Find web pages that link to www.cassette2cd.co.uk
Find web pages from the site www.cassette2cd.co.uk
Find web pages that contain the term www.cassette2cd.co.uk

"related:www.domain-name.com" - will return a list of sites similar to the domain name you have used. In fact this search comes up with no results when I use my own domain name - I must be unique! If you enter google's own UK domain (www.google.co.uk), you get a list starting with google domains for other countries.

This of course, works for any domain you choose as long as it is actually indexed by google bots. You need to enter the bold phrases above (without " marks) into a google search to get the desired results. Using these terms will very quickly flag up the sites who have genuinely given you a reciprocal link, so worth trying if only for that...
Try it out and let me know what you discover

Friday, 13 April 2007

Write About Us – free linking

We discussed getting your site indexed via linking to another site with a higher PR in the post entitled SEO - Indexing .One site offering such a service is Write About Us , they offer free or paid links to websites and blogs. In exchange, you are required to write an article about them – a return link is appreciated but not a requirement. Write About Us will post your URL on their front page for as long as it takes to get 60 more submissions, as soon as you become link no. 61 on the page, you drop off the end. If you go for the paid service, there are 100 links and they are arranged in order of the highest bid. They even supply you with ‘resources’ you can quote so that you don’t even have to tax your brain too much. It’s a no-brainer, why wouldn’t you do it? Read more about it here