Who Needs Cyber Babble?


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By Carl Weiss

English: seo block
English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you think that cell phone-speak is an arcane corruption of the English language, you will appreciate this article where we cover how cyber babble got its start and how it continues to proliferate online.  Ever since the first computer geeks started noodling around with computer code, there has been a disconnect between the way technical people communicate with one another and the Queen's English.  As different as the language was back in Shakespeare's day, to the present idiom, the question is one of whether cyber babble is just a flash in the pan, or whether it represents a true evolution in our mother tongue.  So, if you don’t know a SERP from an ALT tag, this is the article you’ll want to read.  OMG, LOL (Oh my God and Laugh Out Loud or Lots of Love depending on how you use it).

How to Get Fish to Jump in The Boat - A Social Media Analogy

By Hector Cisneros

Social Media Iceberg
Social Media Iceberg (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)
Last week, a business broker friend said they had a client that could use my help with his Internet marketing and social media development. The broker gave me the client’s website address and contact information. As I do with all potential clients, I created an initial analysis of that business’ current search engine ranking, social media utilization, global presence, and market competitiveness to see if they could use my help.

CYBERGREED: How the Loss of Net Neutrality Would Rock Your World

Monopoly Tycoon
Monopoly Tycoon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Carl Weiss

What is Net Neutrality and how could its loss rock the world as you know it?  Way back in 1995, when the Internet was young, the rules were established that guaranteed nobody could have undue influence over the speed at which information was disseminated.  What this meant for everyone online was that th big multinational conglomerates, which already had a stranglehold on the radio and TV airwaves wouldn't be allowed to monopolize cyberspace. So from 1995 to the present, the Internet had one speed limit for all.  Online businesses, both big and small could prosper.  However, recent events by a number of cable conglomerates are threatening the way in which we all surf the web -- and not for the better.  If you value your ability to work and play online, read this article in its entirety and learn what -- if anything -- you can do about it.  Ignorance will cost you the loss of net neutrality and increase the cost of accessing and using the Internet forever.

Blogging Secrets of the Pros

By Hector Cisneros

Blogging Readiness
Blogging Readiness (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)
So people are saying need to blog to be successful on the Internet today. However, you’ve also heard it takes too long, and you feel you don’t have the skills nor the time to really make blogging work for  you. You may feel that it’s the right thing to do, but you really don’t know where to start.

The reality is, the best way to start blogging is to assess your skills, increase your knowledge of what tasks lie ahead, roll up your sleeves and dig in. To be honest, that’s how I started, but I also had an advantage. A mentor, Dr. Ivan Misner, took the time to teach me and many other Business Network International (BNI) professionals the blogging ropes. In this article, I’ll address the many complaints and excuses that business people make for not blogging. I’ll impart much of what I’ve learned during my own mentoring process and will pass on some of the techniques I discovered on my own.  If you’re ready to start learning the Blogging Secrets of the Pros, read on and get ready to discover the exciting life of writing prose.

Why Blog?

Blogging allows businesses to publish without the constraints of the 20th century. We’re no longer beholden to publishing companies to get shelf space. More importantly, online blogging is a communications platform that can build your credibility, grow your business, and expand your sphere of influence far beyond your wildest dreams. There’s nothing like high quality, relevant content to prove that you're an expert
 in your field. Your blogs become solid proof that you know what you’re talking about. By the way, when I refer to blogs, I’m really talking about high quality, 1,000- to 2,000-word articles; not little paragraphs that were hastily scratched out.

Moo cards for blogging workshop
Moo cards for blogging workshop (Photo credit: Mexicanwave)
With that clarification in mind, from a marketing point of view, blogging has many advantages. It provides authoritative content that can be enhanced with video, pictures, podcast and backlinks. Secondly, it can provide valuable content for social networks. It can grow a real audience that provides more page views than Pay Per Click (PPC) in any medium, dollar-for-dollar.

What it takes from you, as a business person, is a real commitment to produce this high-quality, relevant content on a regular basis, (weekly or twice weekly). Nine times out of ten, when I hear someone say, “blogging isn’t working for them”, it's because they lack the commitment to produce consistent, well-written content.  However, once committed to your success, you’ll learn what you need to know. Events and circumstances will move in the direction of your focus and mentors and other people will appear in your life to help you achieve your goals. A strong commitment to your goals will keep you on track and help make your readership grow.

Common Complaints and Excuses About Blogging

1. It takes too long. This is the most common complaint. True, writing can be a time-consuming endeavor. However, you can save lots of time by employing specific techniques and using pre-defined blogging models. Once you get used to writing a blog, you will become more efficient and your task will take between one to six hours a week, depending on your communication skills. Besides, if you don’t have the time, it can be outsourced for as little as $600 per month, (to create and publish four articles). I’ve found that working from an established  outline from the get-go helps me get over any initial writer’s block and also helps me write more efficiently. This way I’m not always thinking, “Oh no! I have to write another blog. How should I get started?”

Before I sit down to write, I always outline my blog with these elements:
blogging
blogging (Photo credit: hgjohn)
Title
Introduction - Explains the problem or issue; it could also suggest a so
lution or explores a value proposition.
Body - Discussed the elements listed in your introduction
Summary
Call to Action
Author’s Bio

First, I always brain storm for catchy titles. Then I’ll write my intro, which lists what elements I’ll be discussing in the body. Third, I further outline the body by adding detail of the individual elements mentioned in the introduction. I then include a summary statement, which summarizes the main points of the article. I’ll then include a call-to-action statement, asking my readers to do something such as, “share this article with a friend,” “please comment,” etc. The last thing I include is a short, professional bio.

2. I don't know what to write about. It’s relatively easy to figure out what to write about by just doing a little research in your industry. Start your Google search by typing in “articles about XYZ,” (or blogs, choose one). Substitute your industry name or problem for XYZ, in your query. You’ll find more ideas and relevant content this way, then you can imagine.  You’ll also come up with many title ideas for your blogs as well. Now I’m not saying to copy and paste or plagiarize any of this content directly into you’re your own blog (unless you give the author credit, and some cases, obtain his or her permission in advance), just write your article from a different angle and use your own writing style. I like to write in a conversational style and often use passive voice.

Blogging Research Wordle
Blogging Research Wordle (Photo credit: Kristina B)
3. Learning how to conduct research. I partially answered this complaint with my answer above.  Try lots of different queries based on the key phrase in your industry. Include problems and hot topics you see happening in your industry. You will never lack for ideas and content. I also suggest using “Google Alerts,” as it will automate this process even better. It will bring you articles and blog post on a regular basis without you having to actively conduct a search.

4. Dealing with deficiencies in language and communication skills. This may include any weaknesses in grammar, spelling and punctuation. With modern word processing however, software has made great inroads to solving these problems. Your word processor can actually “teach” grammar and spelling today. If you add such other professional grammar and spelling programs as Ginger and Grammarly, you’ll be able to produce clean English prose with few, if any, faux pas in your text. Of course, if your old school you can read books about writing, grammar and punctuation. For example; The Associated Press Stylebook” and The Chicago Manual of Style”? Many of these books are also available in digital format or as online tools as well.

blogger.com logo
blogger.com logo (Photo credit: Colin ZHU)
5. Not knowing how to use a blogging platform like Blogger or Wordpress. Both of these blogging platforms are relatively easy to learn if your goal is to produce a great-looking blog. If you’re a visual learner, YouTube has tons of video tutorials about both of these platforms. Just make sure they’re recent videos so you’re not learning obsolete features about older versions.

30 Best Ways to Promote Your Website or Blog -...
30 Best Ways to Promote Your Website or Blog -
#13 Email Signatures and Business Card |
Sales Tip A Day (Photo credit: Sales Tip A Day)
6. I don't know how to market my blog. Blogging is a social networking endeavor. The most cost effective way to market your blog is through social networking. Social networks have little or no hard cash costs. Your time should be spent posting your blog and other useful information to your followers. This can include useful articles, pictures, list, ebook, etc. about your industry and of course, your unique authored articles. You will also have to spend time inviting followers, building relationships with influencers, (people who lots of people follow) and followers who are willing to share your blogs and posts with their fans. Ask your best customers to provide testimonials and reviews. Have them post these testimonials on their social networks, and always ask your followers and readers to leave comments and share your post with friends, family, co-workers and associates.  A great way to make this happen is to be proactive and help others the way you want them to help you, (givers gain). If you want to learn more about how to build your social following read The Twelve Secrets of Social Media Successand Seven Secrets of Social Media Magnets”. You can also type “Social Media” in the search box of this blog and find more than a dozen other articles and podcast on this subject.

7. ROI or the overall costs. Many non- and novice bloggers are afraid the return on their time and effort won’t be high enough. Consider this: A blog that’s actively being marketed through social media, that’s continually engaging followers and influencers, and that’s consistently producing high quality and useful content will produce more page views than an equal amount spent on Pay Per Click, dollar-f
Blog Marketing Cover
Blog Marketing Cover (Photo credit: jeremywright)
or-dollar. That’s right. We’ve seen clients spend $500/ month with the right key words, with good ads that have been AB-tested, which actually perform worse than the client’s blog, which cost them the exact same amount per month. (We charge $500 per month to ghost write blogs for our clients). Furthermore , their AdWords campaign was producing 200+ page views per month while their blog was garnering 500+ page views a month. This won’t happen with a poorly written blog with mediocre content, that’s produced erratically, and with inactive distribution. But when all are well executed and setup correctly, the blog will always win. More importantly, their blogs have a much higher credibility score, whereas ads pointing to the client’s landing page has a much lower trust factor. Most small business lack marketing funds, but often can invest their time instead. If you have the money but little time, outsource the blogging and make sure you include funds for the social distribution elements as well.

8. The need for immediate gratification.  The truth is there’s no easy way to make a blog successful over night. You can get on Page One with a lower trust PPC ad over night with AdWords, but it’s by no means as valuable as an organically produced Page One listing from a blog post. The good news is that an established blog (one that’s been producing quality, weekly articles for about three months) can jump onto Page One quickly because blogger blogs, (owned by Google) are indexed daily. Your well-optimized blog post can actually show up in Google search much faster than your website or landing page. Also, if you connect with lots of people (especially through Google+), your Blogger-posted blog will show 
Blog Machine
Blog Machine (Photo credit: digitalrob70)
up in their key word search (because you are connected to them via Google+). Google Search gives a priority not only to the key words that someone types when conducting a search, but also who they are connected to. Your social sharing and your followers social sharing directly effects what’s listed in search. The connection here is Google and using Google apps and web properties.

Finally, it’s important to realize that your blog can serve as your main website. Blogs can hold all kinds of information, just like a website or landing page. This can include, videos, pictures, lead forms, offers — and yes — you can even sell right from your blog pages. They can be edited and customized with HTML 5 code. Blogger has zero hosting costs and, because Google owns Blogger, it’s also indexed daily for Google Search. This means your post will be added to Google’s search much faster than a regular web page or even a Word Press page.

In this article, I discussed the important role blogs have in online marketing for businesses today. I listed solutions to eight common complaints/excuses that business people make for not blogging. I also discussed how blogging can be a very cost-effective, high-trust marketing tool, which, when used properly, generally yields better ROI than Pay Per Click campaigns. These eight solutions lay out a framework for making blogging easier and generate better ROI than many other forms of marketing.  If you’re looking to improve your credibility and standing in your industry, blogging is a great tool. If you’re looking to use your industry expertise as a marketing weapon to get more customers and grow your business, then blogging is worth your time.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

If you found this article informative, share it with your friends, family, co-workers and associates. If you’d like to read other articles we've written on this subject, enter "blogging" in the search box and you’ll find more than a dozen to choose from. In particular, I suggest reading “The Secrets of Blogging for Dollars." If you have something to add, just leave a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses.

If you would like a free copy of our book,"Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century,"please fill in the form below and we will send you this free eBook. Your information is always keep private and never sold.




Hector Cisneros is a partner and COO for Working The Web To Win based in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook,  Google+LinkedIn, and YouTube.  He’s also the co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Carl Weiss make Working the Web to Win simple for every business. Hector is a syndicated writer for EzineOnline and is an active blogger, (including ghost writing) and is a published author of three books: “60 Seconds to Success” (on sale at Amazon and B&N), “Internet Marketing for the 21st Century” (get it free by clicking on the link at Workingthewebtowin.com); and is the co-author of the new book, based on he and Weiss’ popular BlogTalkRadio show, “Working the Web to Win,” now on Amazon.com.

Related articles

Who Wears a Black Hat on the Wild, Wild Web?


Discover Internet Internet Radio with workingthewebtowin on BlogTalkRadio

By Carl Weiss

Courtesy of SocialMediaTherapy.com
If you’ve been working the Web for any length of time, then you know the search engines frown upon what is known as “Black Hat” techniques. This technology has been used to exploit search engine algorithms since the first ones appeared.  The reason black hatting used to be so popular was because it could move your website onto Page 1 in a hurry. 

Before 2000, black hatting was practically a requirement, since the practice was so prevalent. However, during the past few years, search engine operators have designed their “spiders” to search and destroy anyone employing black hat techniques.  In fact, the past half dozen updates on Google have been designed specifically to crack down sites using these techniques.  This has resulted in a number of sites being either unlisted or even blacklisted.  The problem we have today is people still don't understand where the line in the sand has been drawn regarding black hat practices and technology. In this article we're going to show you what are considered black hat techniques so you can avoid them, and who’s still wearing a black hat on the Wild, Wild Web.  

The problem today is most people still don’t know where the line in the sand has been drawn when it comes to black hatting.  And the line keeps getting moved.  So to make it easy to understand what is considered black hat SEO, I’ve compiled the list below.

Keyword Stuffing relies on inserting repeated keywords within the text, hidden text, title or meta tags in order to generate increased relevance of a page. (By “hidden text” I’m referring to the technique of writing the text in the same color as the background so that no one, with the exception of the spiders, is able to read it.)
Spamdexing, like keyword stuffing, involves repeating unrelated phrases, to manipulate the relevance or prominent resources indexed in a manner inconsistent with the purpose of the indexing system.  Again, the idea here is to fool the search engines into rating some keywords higher by trickery. So if an SEO professional (I use professional loosely here) mention manipulating the search index in any way you know they are trying to trick the search engines.

Doorway Pages are web pages created specifically for spamdexing.  Also known as bridge pages or jump pages, their purpose is to redirect those who click on the page onto another website.  If you have ever clicked on a search engine listing only to be redirected to a porn or a spam site, then you have hit a doorway page.  Doorway pages are relatively easy to identify, since they’re designed for search engines and not for people.  They redirect the reader so quickly that it’s virtually impossible for a human being to even see the original page.

Link Farming does not involve the swine, cows of chickens, although the search engines tend to treat perpetrators of the technique as swine and slaughter anyone ranking using these techniques to trick the search engines.  Link farming creates numerous backlinks for a site by generating an increasing number of fake sites that link to your own.  Back in the late ’90s and into the first few years of this century, paid link farms proliferated like weeds online.  Since a large number of links indicate popularity to the search engines, these businesses did quite well until the search engine spiders became savvy enough to determine real links from the farmed kind.  Today, relying on fake links is one of the quickest ways to get unlisted.

Courtesy of Sites18.com
Cloaking doesn’t have anything to do with the TV series “Star Trek,” although it works for web sites much the same way it worked for the Klingon birds of prey.  Cloaking involves hiding the presence of Flash animations by displaying a text-only version for the express purpose of getting the search engine spiders to ignore the fact you’re employing Flash (by the way, Google’s spiders hate Flash.) In many cases the flash has nothing to do with the text that is displayed and hence is a trick to deceive the search engines.

Duplicate Content on Multiple Sites is an SEO no-no.  Many people try to game the system by creating clones of sites with different URLs in order to generate top ranking.  The problem is. Once the search engines catch onto to this tactic (and they always do), all of these sites will wind up unlisted.  It’s better to create unique content for each Landing Page (so they’re not carbon copies) in order to go after the SEO high ground.  They can have a similar skin, provided that the guts are different.  This pertains to articles, blogs, podcast, videos and other such content. Make sure your content is repurposed enough or the search blogs will label your content as duplicate and assume you are trying to trick them.

Courtesy of All spammedUp.com
Automated Content Generation is becoming ever more popular with website owners.  Everything from page generation to autoblogging is now the current rage.  The problem is, automated systems are still not sophisticated enough to take the place of a human being and the spiders can tell the difference.  In fact, for the most part, they regard the use of automated content generation as cheating.  On top of that, many of these systems just scour the web for other peoples content to create so called new content. This is plagiarism at the least and stealing at its worst. Search bots have gotten very good at spotting automated content. Therefore, if you ever hope to win the war for keyword dominance, this is not a technique I would recommend.

What happens if you get caught being a black hatter?

If you or anyone in your employ is caught using black hat SEO, the penalties can be severe.  Not only will your websites start disappearing from Page One, but depending upon the infraction, you may never be able to get back on top of the heap again.  Google especially, has a long memory. 

Case in point: We were hired by a client with two physical locations and corresponding websites to help them conquer the search engines.  What the client failed to mention was they had previously hired a so-called “SEO professional” to promote one of their two sites.  This supposed professional had used black hat techniques to get them onto Page One of Google.  This worked for about a month, then our client disappeared Google altogether. 
They hired us a few months later and failed to disclose this fact. After about four months of hard work, we succeeded in getting their first site onto Page One of  Google, Yahoo and Bing.  However, their second site was only placing on Page One for Bing and Yahoo.  After questioning the clients, they admitted they had indeed hired someone whom they knew used black hatting SEO techniques on Google.  So “poisoned” was their second site ranking, that it not only affected their main website, but it also puts the brakes on any other Landing Page attached to their physical address.  This is because Google Maps and Google Local linked any Landing Pages to their actual physical address. Since the prior site and associated physical address had previously conducted black hatting infractions, all of their associated URLs were penalized.  As a result, the only ways for them to generate Page One results were to physically relocate their office, or resort to pay-per-click ads on Google.

What Should You do to Get on Page One of the Search Engines? 

 My answer to this question: Give the search engines what they want. Search engines want to provide users with the best relevant results, and the best pages that match what someone is looking for. To achieve this, a business must be committed to producing high quality, unique, useful and relevant content. It must be publishing it on a regular basis. Regular at the very least means; daily for social posts, and weekly for blogs, videos, slide shares and podcasts. Nurture web partners in your industry that are willing to engage in link exchanges or unidirectional links. Foster social network followers to shares your posts, leave testimonials, and positive ratings of your product/service or company. Lastly, you need to encourage people to read, comment and share all of your unique content (i.e., your blogs, videos, podcasts, slide shares and white 
Courtesy of Accendodigital.com
papers etc.).  Of course, all of this content needs to be keyword relevant and optimized. If you commit to producing this level of content, you’ll receive a Page One ranking because you're giving people what they want and – coincidentally – that’s the same thing Google and the other search engines want.

You Don’t Need to Cheat Them to Beat Them

The reason I shared the previous case is to remind you that if you really want to start “working the web to win,” then you have to stop looking for the easy way out.  Instead of trying to cheat your way to the top, you need to make a long-term commitment to produce and publish high quality, relevant and unique content on a regular basis.  This does not mean that it all has to be unique or yours but it does have to be useful to your followers. Sure, it can take a several months to see the results, but it’s worth it.  Organic position created in this way has staying power. As an added inducement, when the search engines alter their algorithms you won’t be whipped around and forced to start from scratch.  Plus, you’ll never run the risk of being either unlisted or blackballed by the search engines.  Remember, the good guys always wear the white hats.

In this article, I discussed what search engines such as Google deem to be black hat techniques. I’ve shared an example of what can happen to companies that try and cheat the search engines, and also explained what search engines are using to determine page ranking. Using these legitimate techniques produce the rewards webmasters so ardently seek in the new world of Web 2.0.

If you found this article informative, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you would like to read other articles we have written on this subject, enter "black hat" in the search box and you will find more than a dozen articles to choose from.  If you have something to add, just leave a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses.

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “black hat” or "Internet security" in the search box at the top left of this blog.

Until next time. 

If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century,"please fill in the form below and we will send you this free eBook. Your information is always keep private and never sold.



Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.   You can listen to Carl live every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.

Related articles

What Does it Take to Go Global?

Courtesy of www.temenos.ac.uk
By Carl Weiss

Going global is kind of like the weather.  Everyone talks about it, but almost nobody does anything about it.  The thought of going global mystifies many would-be international entrepreneurs. When you think  about this quandary in our Information Age, it’s kind of strange.  After all, we call it the “World Wide Web ” for a reason.  That’s because it’s the one medium that can put any company’s products and services in front of consumers worldwide.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is most small to mid-sized online businesses still limit their sales to their nation of origin.  Due to language and cultural differences, shipping regulations, customs requirements, tariffs and other red tape, many US companies restrict the size of their potential market. 

How Close is the US to Experiencing a Digital Pearl Harbor?


New Internet Internet Radio with workingthewebtowin on BlogTalkRadio

By Carl Weiss
  
December 7, 1941:  “A date which will live in infamy.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

U.S. Navy battleships at Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec...
U.S. Navy battleships at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 (l-r): USS West Virginia (BB-48) (sunk), USS Tennessee (BB-43) (damaged), and the USS Arizona (BB-39) (sunk). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Who can ever forget President Roosevelt’s utterance of those fateful words that propelled the United States headlong into World War II?  The Japanese sneak attack that spurred our reluctant country into jo
ining the expanding European and Asian conflict 73 years ago is not forgotten.  However, what has been lost during the intervening decades is that the US had actually known, through a series of intercepted and decoded diplomatic communiqu├ęs, that a Japanese attack was imminent. Yet the administration did little to take defensive action.