Web 2.0 Properties And Their Impact On Search Rankings

web 2.0 properties In the paragraphs that follow I’m going to be discussing Web 2.0 sites which you can take advantage of in order to drive lots of new traffic to your websites. Taking advantage of these five resources can also be a whole lot of fun, and in fact, there are hundreds of thousands of people already doing it even though they don’t need any web traffic because they don’t have any websites of their own. Before I get started though, let’s just take a quick look at what Web 2.0 properties are.

What Is Web 2.0?

I think most web savvy people already know what “Web 2.0” refers to. However, if you are new to internet marketing then you might not really understand what Web 2.0 is all about, so I’ll quickly explain. When the web first rose to prominence, virtually all websites and web pages were designed for passive viewing. In other words, you would visit a web page; you would be able to view everything on that page, and of course you would be able to follow links or purchase products or services. However, there were no opportunities to become actively involved in the sites you visited. Today, that era is often referred to as Web 1.0. These days, many websites encourage people to become actively involved. Some sites have been specifically designed to act as community based platforms where anyone can contribute to the site. Examples include sites such as Twitter; Pinterest; Google+; LinkIn; YouTube and obviously Facebook. Countless blog sites also encourage visitors to sign up and participate in discussions and etc. In a nutshell, it is essentially this “community participation” which has given birth to the term Web 2.0. A good comparison example of a Web 1.0 site and a Web 2.0 site would be:
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Online – (Web 1.0) Visitors cannot add, remove or edit content.
  • Wikipedia – (Web 2.0) Visitors are actively encouraged to contribute to the site. They can add new content; edit existing content, or even have existing content removed.

5 Web 2.0 Resources with Massive Traffic Potential

If you want to exploit the full traffic generating potential of Web 2.0 properties, then you need look no further than the ever popular social networking sites. In the next few paragraphs I am going to name and briefly discuss what I believe to be the top five sites for those people who are looking at high quality targeted traffic. I hope you are not going to be disappointed, but Facebook doesn’t make it into my Top 5 list even though Facebook is definitely among the top 10 Web 2.0 sites for community shared information.

1. Google+

Many people, including myself, were not very hopeful of Google+ when it was first launched. Some people even referred to it as being a watered down “amateur” version of Facebook. However, many of us have been forced to eat a slice of Humble Pie because Google+ has become a major source of traffic. When internet marketers and SEO specialists want help or advice, sites like Mashable are often their first port of call. Mashable is a “high authority” website that receives millions of visitors every month; yes, millions. Here is the interesting part… Google+ features on their Top 10 list of referral sites. In other words, they are getting an unimaginable amount of traffic thanks to Google+. There is simply no denying the fact that your Google+ profile page can drive a massive amount of targeted traffic to your site. Additionally, if enough people click the little “share” button, it can have a very positive effect on your search rankings

2. Pinterest

In my opinion, Pinterest has really been slow to take off, but these days it is growing in leaps and bounds. In fact, I really love Pinterest. People are actually creating new businesses on the site. Even if you don’t want to use it for generating more traffic to your site or sites, you can use it to launch a completely new business. According to the Shopify website, Pinerest occupies the number three spot for driving sales. One of the greatest things about Pinterest is the fact that it is so easy to link your pins to your website. In all honesty, I don’t believe any other website can compete with Pinterest when it comes to providing quick and easy direct links back to your site. There is massive potential for your pins or re-pins to go viral, and with it comes sales. If you don’t yet have a Pinterest account, now is the time to get one.

3. Tumblr

Unlike WordPress and Blogger which serve primarily as content publishing platforms, Tumblr is more of a “community” based concept where the focus is on “lots of people” rather than on “lots of traffic”. However, when it comes to Tumblr’s “tag searches” and “reblogs”, it is an invaluable site for generating a ton of targeted traffic, and of course it is made even more powerful due to the fact that it is clearly seen as a high authority site.

4. LinkdIn

LinkedIn is perhaps best known for its B2B business potential, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t use it to create a bunch of targeted traffic to your site. In fact, LinkedIn is one of the top traffic generators for prominent sites like BusinessInsider.com. While many internet marketers fail to appreciate the real value of LinkedIn, others are taking full advantage, and they are reaping the benefits from all the additional high quality traffic.

5. Twitter

To be honest, I was very tempted to exclude Twitter from this list because I feel that it has to a large extent already been exploited to a point where there is no longer any real traffic generating value. However, since this post is all about Web 2.0 and traffic, it would be irresponsible of me to not mention Twitter. After all, Twitter is a phenomenal micro-blogging platform with one very unique and distinct advantage over the others. I have not yet managed to figure out why or how, but Twitter tends to have a very clear influence on site rankings. There are a lot of bloggers out there who have seen their search engine rankings improve simply by using Twitter to their advantage, and as we all know, better search ranking means more traffic, and more traffic means more sales. Web 2.0 has without a doubt changed the face of the World Wide Web, and if you are hoping to be successful, you need to adapt accordingly. There are of course many things you need to focus on, but a good start would be for you to establish a presence on the five social media platforms mentioned in this post and definitely along with Facebook.

Panda vs. Penguin – Understanding Google’s Assassins

panda vs. penguin

If you are actively involved in internet marketing, then I’m pretty sure you already know just how difficult it can be to get your website or websites ranked favorably with Google. Whether we like it or not, your online success is massively dependent on search engine rankings and organic traffic. Studies have shown that the average person very rarely pays any attention to search results appearing beyond page three.

Generally speaking, if people don’t find what they are looking for on page one of the search results, a large percentage will click on to page two. If page two also doesn’t yield the desired results, many people will move on to page three, but that is where it usually ends. At this point, most people will try typing in a different search phrase. In a nutshell, you need to do everything within your power to get your site and/or content ranked on one of the first three pages of Google’s search results.

Pre Panda and Penguin Days

Getting your content into the top spot has never been easy, but up until quite recently, there were several SEO (search engine optimization) tactics which could dramatically improve your chances. While this was great for some website owners, it was actually quite a pain in the butt for regular people like you and I. It wasn’t uncommon for the front page of search results to be dominated by sites and/or content offering absolutely nothing of value. In short, if you had enough backlinks out there, you could get your site ranked on page one.

Thankfully Google decided to put an end to this. First came their much feared Panda algorithm update, and this was soon followed by their dreaded Penguin update. Yes, many good websites unfortunately got caught in the crossfire, including two of my own sites, but in my opinion, Google has done an excellent job. Okay, let’s take a look at Panda vs. Penguin.

Panda Algorithm Update

Panda is a highly complex search and rank algorithm update which first made its debut in 2011. The primary goal of this update was to systematically lower the search engine rankings of “low quality” websites, thereby making it easier for “high quality” websites to occupy the most favorable rankings.

Since it was rolled out in 2011, Panda has been updated on a number of occasions, with the last update being designed to “punish” over-optimized websites. These are essentially websites which have been optimized primarily for the search engine rather than for actual people. In other words, they don’t offer much real value to real people. This is what Google has to say about Panda:

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites with copied content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites with original content with information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”.

Penguin Algorithm Update

Penguin was rolled out in 2012, and as with Panda, it too has been updated a number of times. One thing is for sure, and that is that thousands of websites got severely hit when Google rolled this one out. Google has also gone to great lengths in order to keep the specifics of Penguin a secret. Here is what Google has to say about Penguin:

“Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable without deep analysis or expertise, but the common thread is that these sites are doing much more than white hat SEO; we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings“.

As is to be expected, there is no shortage of speculation with regards to what might or might not attract a penalty. While nobody can be 100% sure, most SEO specialists believe the following SEO tactics will almost certainly expose you to the wrath of Penguin:

  • Keyword stuffed links
  • Poor quality articles linking back to your site
  • Excessive use of exact-match domains
  • Overuse of exact-match anchor text
  • Spammy blogging
  • Link Spamming
  • Use of invisible texts in webpages or your website content

Has One Or More Of Your Websites Been Penalized?

When Panda first made the headlines, and again when Penguin arrived on the scene, I had people asking how they could determine whether or not their sites were penalized. As you may well know, Google doesn’t send out any sort of penalty emails, but they do make certain tools available to you which you can use in order to see whether you have been bitten by their Panda or their Penguin.

Panda was released on the 23rd of February 2011, while Penguin was released on the 24th of April 2012. Using Google Analytics, you will need to see if either of these dates corresponds to a sudden decline in web traffic to your site. Also, because there have been a number of updates to both Panda and Penguin, you really should be looking for any unexplained decline in traffic occurring at any time after February 2011.

You should also take a look at your Google Webmaster Tools because Google will sometimes send messages to site owners if questionable activity has been detected on their websites. It is important to remember though that there are many things which can have a destructive impact on your traffic and your search rankings. However, if the changes coincide with the release dates of Panda or Penguin, then there is a strong possibility that your site was hit by either one or both updates.

What to Do If You Have Been Hit?

Naturally, if you have been hit by one or by both of the updates, you will need to start making the necessary changes. Your best bet is to remain calm and focused because Google is not going to backtrack just because you are not happy.

There is a ton of information freely available on the internet which can help you to recover from a Google slap. Alternatively, there are many SEO service providers out there who have the knowledge and expertise for getting your Google penalties removed.

So, when it comes to Panda vs. Penguin, which of the two is the bigger evil? I think we all know the answer to this question. Both of them had a significant impact on how websites are ranked, and both resulted in many websites disappearing from page one results. However, many reputable websites have benefited tremendously, and yours can too, so I personally don’t think either of them are evil monsters.

Traffic vs. Revenue – Analysis From a SEO Prospective

traffic vs.revenue

Whether you are already generating an income from one or more websites, or whether you are planning on doing so in the nearby future, it is imperative that you fully understand the relationship between website traffic and revenue. In this short article, we are going to take a look at this from an SEO prospective.

On one hand we all want our websites to generate as much revenue as possible, but of course we also need to acknowledge and accept the fact that without web traffic, there simply won’t be any revenue. Does this mean our top priority should be to drive massive amounts of traffic to our sites, and just leave future revenue potential in the hands of fate? Absolutely not!

As we all know, revenue is what we are chasing, so of course we can’t afford to neglect that sphere of our online venture, but in my opinion, many people could benefit financially simply by adopting better SEO practices. As a general rule, I rate traffic higher than I rate revenue, and I can say that this approach works well for me. Okay, let’s take a closer look at traffic vs. revenue.

Visitor Numbers and Site Revenue

A very common misconception is the widespread belief that the number of sales you make on your site is determined by the number of visitors you get. If this were true, a lot of sites which currently are very successful would be earning very little revenue. Likewise, many stagnant sites would be making a killing. I can assure you, there are many websites out there which get tons of traffic, but they generate very little revenue.

While I know some people will disagree, I can tell you from experience that it is actually relatively easy to drive massive traffic to your site. Driving tons of “QUALITY” traffic to your site is another matter entirely. When I say “quality” traffic I say targeted traffic. In other words, visitors who are actively searching for that which you have to offer on your site. These are the sort of visitors you want to attract and keep because they are the most likely to end up buying from you.

SEO and Web Traffic

There are of course many ways you can go about generating an impressive amount of traffic, but I am not going to go try and discuss all of them here. What I am going to say though, is that a robust SEO strategy is essential for the success of virtually any online business.

A recent study found that “organic search” drives roughly 51% of traffic. If you want a slice of that pie, you need to ensure that your site ranks favorably with the major search engines. Websites which haven’t been properly optimized are not easily going to show up in search results, which in turn means fewer visitors, and fewer visitors equates to less revenue. So, if we look at traffic vs. revenue from a SEO prospective, we can see that visitors are more important than revenue.

If you have a solid SEO strategy in place, you WILL get visitors, and they will be QUALITY visitors. Providing your website has been designed and set up correctly, and providing your service or product is priced reasonably, revenue will inevitably follow.

More Traffic or Better Conversion Rate?

As I have said earlier, more traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to more conversions, unless the extra traffic is genuinely quality traffic. Let’s take a look at an example where your website is a really good steakhouse located about 500 meters from a busy highway; your web traffic is the cars arriving at your restaurant, and your SEO will be signs and billboards advertizing your restaurant to passing motorists.

If you erect a large billboard displaying the words “Naked Pole Dancers”, you will almost certainly get loads of cars arriving at your restaurant. However, how do you think all those people are going to feel? It won’t matter if you have the best steaks in town. The fact remains that you deceived them, so not only are they going to leave, but they will probably never be willing to visit your restaurant again.

Since all your visitors are leaving immediately, you change the billboard to read “Juiciest Steaks in Town”. Suddenly you are getting very little traffic, but those cars that do arrive, are there because they want to try your steaks, which in turn means your revenue increases. Again, from a SEO prospective, targeted traffic is probably the most important aspect of your online business.

Quality Traffic but Poor Conversion Rate

If you are 100% sure that you are getting high quality traffic and still not seeing conversions, then you need to determine where the problem is. It could be the design of your landing page; it could be your sales copy, or etc. This is actually quite a common problem, and in fact, it is also the reason why seasoned internet markets recommend getting this aspect of your site perfected before you focus too much on traffic generation.

Now, please don’t think that I am disputing this advice, but my argument is that it is far easier to perfect your conversion rate if you are already getting targeted traffic. As with many things, it is all about finding the right balance.

A Motivational Look At Things You Can Do To Promote Your Brand

promote your brand

How would you like to go for a Big Mac? What is a big Mac? Come on, I’m sure most of us already know that a “Big Mac” is just one of the options you’ll see on the menu when you walk into any Mc Donald’s restaurant. Draw a sketch of an elderly guy, give him a pair of spectacles; a goatee beard and dress him in red and white, and hey, we don’t have Santa Claus; we have KFC.

Perhaps the most famous is Coca-Cola. Just last year, the Coca-Cola Company did the unthinkable. They removed the name “Coca-Cola” from their cans and bottles, and instead, replaced the company’s name with popular boy’s names and girl’s names. They did of course continue to use their trademark “ribbon” logo, and the color scheme we are all so familiar with.

Did sales go down because people never wanted to drink a bottle of Martin, or a can of Shawn; Peter, Ludvic or whatever? No, the concept proved to be a phenomenal success. Consumers were rushing to the stores to get their hands on their very own personalized bottle of Coke.

Now, one could see this as a sign of arrogance, but at the end of the day, it showed just how powerful “branding” can be, and this is why you need to promote your brand as aggressively as possible. Obviously you and I cannot compete with the giant corporations, but with some effort and some creativity, we can and should work towards getting some of our own brand recognition.

Uniformity and Consistency

Sure, Coca-Cola can play around, but I certainly don’t think we should be trying it. If you have settled on a name, be it for your business, your product or your service, then you need to stick with that name no matter what. Of course, it is always best to think of a name that is easy to pronounce regardless of a person’s nationality, and a name which is easy to remember.

Once people have heard and/or seen your brand name a few times, that is the name that is going to stick in their minds, so don’t change it. When you do content marketing, make sure you promote your brand name. You do not need to include it in every post you write, but you can still slip it in, for example, in the form of internal links. For instance, if you would like to find out more about cutting edge SEO, you can just go ahead and click here.

Did you see what I just did? I added a link which many readers might find helpful, but the same link is going to direct you to our “services” page at PandukaConsultants.com. Apart from promoting your brand being on pages that you publish on your site, you should also promote your business on social media sites as well as press releases. However, before I go there, I have something else which I need to share with you.

Logos and Color Schemes

A lot of advertisers will argue with me, but personally I don’t think it’s that important for your entire site to have the same color scheme. Sure, colors can make a difference, and your choice of colors on your sales page can even increase conversions. You can read more about it in this article.

However, let’s not worry too much about having a consistent site-wide color scheme. When I talk about logos and colors, I am essentially referring to the sort of thing you see Coca-Cola doing. Choose a simplistic logo, and embed it in a color that never changes. Basically, you want brand name; your logo; and color to work as one.

Social Media Websites

Naturally, you want to spread your brand name on Facebook; Twitter and etc. What you don’t want to do; is you don’t want to ignore Pinterest. This is a great site that actually makes it possible for you to promote your products or services in a very “non-pushy” sort of way. I also highly recommend the use of press releases.

Promotion in the Real World

If you are restricted by your budget, print out a bunch of flyers with your business details on, and maybe a “limited time only” special offer. If you can afford ordering and handing out promotional gifts like pens; calendars and coffee mugs, then do it, and don’t forget to include your business card.

In my opinion, far too many internet entrepreneurs stop work when they shut down their computers for the day. My motto is: “Every single person on the planet is a potential customer”. Talk to them; let them know what you can do for them or their business. Be friendly; be confident in your abilities, and never ever take rejection personally.

If someone turns you away, just remind yourself that you are now one step closer to success. You can read more about dealing with rejection here.

A Beginners Guide To Protection Against Content Scrapers

protection against content scrapers

Internet entrepreneurs have long since appreciated the power of content marketing. It is an incredibly potent SEO tool that can quite literally drive tens of thousands of visitors to your site; a tool that can convert thousands of visitors into paying customers. People have enjoyed reading for many thousands of years already, and it is something which is never ever going to go away.

People love interesting content, and they love it even more if it is free. If you can create compelling content, and you leverage that content in the correct way, you will almost certainly be able to increase traffic to your site. But, quite often, you can actually become the victim of your own success, because with good quality content, comes one very nasty risk, and it is called Plagiarism.

What is Plagiarism, and Why Is It So Annoying?

Let us just say you sit down and you begin writing a great piece of content. If you are writing an article straight off the top of your head, then it’s probably not going to take you very long. On the other hand, if you have to do research, then it could essentially take you a few hours.

Now imagine publishing your new article on your site, and then a week or two down the line, you’re browsing the web; you click on a link, and much to your surprise, there is your article staring you in the face. Of course you are going to be upset and you have every right to be. But now try to imagine how it will feel if your article has helped the scam site to secure a better search ranking than your own site.

Okay, before I continue, please allow me to make one thing absolutely clear: 100% protection against content scrapers is simply not possible. If thieves really want it, they are going to take it. Fortunately though, there are at least a few things we can do to minimize the chances of this happening.

In fact, there are several things we can do, but because I’m writing this post for beginners, I’m only going to discuss a few of the easiest tactics. You can find out more about ordering professionally written content by clicking here.

Don’t Make Life Easy For Content Scrapers

As I have said, there are a number of tools at your disposal, but why not start with something which essentially allows you to kill two birds with one stone? Inserting links in your content that point readers to other pages on your site, is good SEO, and it is also a pain in the butt for sites that steal your content.

Deep linking can help to increase your conversion rates and it can help to increase domain authority, which in turn help to improve search engine rankings. I have already written a post about Deep Linking so I won’t go into it now, but if you want to read it you may click here.

If your article has a number of links pointing to other pages on your site, then you can actually sometimes benefit from your stolen article being published on another site. If that site’s visitors click on those links, they are going to be directed to your site. Still, the person who operates the scam site could of course disable your links, but it all takes time.

Internal linking cannot offer fail proof protection against content scrapers, but it can at least make life a little difficult for them.

Using Copyscape Premium to Protect Content

Copyscape Premium is a great tool for anyone who is concerned about their content being scraped. It cannot prevent someone from copying and pasting your work, but it can let you know when another site publishes some of your content.

In short, Copyscape Premium will scan all the content on your site and automatically assume it all belongs to you. It then scans the web looking for duplicate content, and if it finds any, it tells you what content it is, and also where it is. It is not a free tool, but it is a really good easy-to-use tool which offers great value for money.

Google Alerts for Scraped Content

Anyone with a Google account can use Google Alerts in order to see if their content is being scraped and used elsewhere. All you need to do is copy and paste the title of your article in the Google Alerts “query” box, and then select your preferred action from the drop down menu.

The only problem I find with this is the fact that it will alert you if your content is being used by one of the sites that show up in the top twenty search results. Also, by its very nature, I would say it is best suited for people who only publish a handful of articles each week or each month.

Dealing with Content Scrapers

There are a number of steps you can take, but my advice would be for you to file DMCA report with Google. In short, you let Google know what URL address is of the scraped page on the scam site; you tell what site it is, and you provide your contact details so that they can get in touch with you if need be.

Additionally, you will also need to mail or fax them a signed declaration stating that you are the rightful owner of the content in question. Please, for your own sake, Do Not go down this road unless you are 100% certain that the accused has in fact scraped your content. False accusations can lead to lengthy court cases and hefty penalties.