They Didn’t Think I Could Earn A FullTime Income

They Didn’t Think I Could Earn A FullTime Income Online, But I Proved Them Wrong!

by: Al Martinovic

When I first attempted to make money online I was so naive just like any newbie. But I learned from the school of hard knocks. I learned by trial and error and by just doing.

In the beginning I submitted my site to every search engine under the sun. I tried traffic exchanges, banner exchanges, FFAกs, safelists, online classified ads etc. and not surprisingly I got zero results. If anything… I was very good at getting spammed.

I wasted weeks and even months of my time with stuff that didn’t work. But little by little I started to head in the right direction. I dropped all the stuff that didn’t work and looked for other ways to bring traffic to my site.

I subscribed to a whole bunch of ezines and started posting free ads. The results weren’t great but at least this time I was getting some results. My confidence started to build and I knew I was heading in the right direction.

Then I started to spend a little money on my business and used pay per click search engines and things really started to take off for me and my confidence grew more.

Then I started writing articles and press releases and and in the middle of all this I would spend time learning how to optimize my site for the major search engines to get a high ranking.

The sales started coming in regularly. But I didn’t sit back. I wanted to convert more of my visitors into customers.

I added an optin form on my site to capture email addresses and set up an autoresponder to automatically follow up with my prospects. Eventually I added an alert box to capture email addresses which really exploded my mail list.

I started learning more about copywriting and experimented with different copy and headlines etc. on my site to get maximum results until eventually I had a consistent sales machine over at http://www.ineedsmokes.com

And when I had a sales machine that was on autopilot I then started pursuing other projects to make additional money.

But you know, it took alot of work to get to this point. It is a constant learning process and I still try to learn as much as I can because you never กknow it all.ก

If you think you กknow it allก you are finished because the internet changes so rapidly youกll quickly get left behind.

If you’re new to online marketing… it won’t happen for you overnight. It will take work, dedication and even sacrifice.

You need to keep working your business, be consistent and learn as much as you can about this internet marketing game and most importantly apply what you have learned.

Some techniques and tactics will work great in one business… but not in another. You won’t know unless you try. Find the things that work for you and build upon it.

And eventually… youกll get there too.

About The Author

Al Martinovic publishes the Millenium Marketers Newsletter featuring powerful internet marketing concepts, killer strategies, useful tips, and no bull business advice. Subscribe Free Today: http://www.milleniummarketers.com

This article was posted on November 18, 2003

by Al Martinovic

Top Things You Must Realize When Searching

Top Things You Must Realize When Searching

by: Andrew Malek

For the uninitiated, searching for web pages can seem a slow, obscure process. Unless you have a highspeed Internet connection, web pages may seem to take days to load. And the searching itself – you have to admit it looks weird typing in bunches of plus signs, asterisks, parenthesis, and other funny symbols and operators to find what you want.

To help you in this process and show that you are not, I’ve compiled a top five list of things you must realize when searching the web for information. No pencils will fly, no drums will roll, but you just might learn something.

5. Search Engines Have to Make Money

Before you grumble over the growing number of advertisements and sponsored links that appear in search engine results page, remember that most search engines are free. You’re not paying anything for a very costly service. Thus, these sites have to earn income somehow to stay afloat (computing power and bandwidth isn’t cheap!) So, to put it bluntly… live with it.

(Yes, I know some types of advertising are much more obtrusive than others. Popup ads, dancing animations, and other larger advertisements may make it harder to use some search engines that support these types of ads. If you don’t like it, vote with your mouse clicks and move to another search engine).

4. Sites Go Down

Worse yet, you’ve entered in your perfect search query, looked at the results page, and the first site you see no longer exists!

The Internet changes all the time. Unfortunately, search engines and directories are not able to constantly query every site on the Internet to see if they are still online. Occasionally (in other words, probably frequently) you will find links to web sites that no longer exist. It is just a part of life. Especially with the dotcom bust, many web site owners can no longer afford to host free resources. If they could not convert their traffic to paying customers, they just took their sites down

So when you find a link that is dead, don’t pump your fist in anger … just go back to the results page and move along. Or, better yet, if you’re using a search engine that caches pages, such as Google, just look at the cached version of the now defunct pages and find the information contained therein. It’s like stepping through a time machine!

3. Your Web Browser Will Crash

On a related note, not only do web sites go down – but so may your web browser. Sometimes it will be due to visiting a multimediaintensive web site. Sometimes it will seem to happen for no reason. But it will happen, and when it does, don’t go blaming yourself saying that you did something wrong.

Web browsers, like just about any other type of computer software program available on the market, are not infallible. They can and usually do contain bugs. These may predictably rear their ugly heads when visiting sites containing a lot of multimedia and advanced interactive elements, or they may appear completely at random.

If your web browser crashes, do what I do. Just restart it. Don’t say you did something wrong. Don’t think that you must be so bad with computers that you crashed the Internet. Just restart your browser, and if you have to restart your computer to do so, then do it as well. Most likely the crash is not your fault.

2. The Internet Can Be Slow

No matter how fast your onramp to the Internet may be, there will be times where it seems to take forever to load a web page. This is just the nature of the beast.

As the Internet is a loosely connected network, if certain connections go down, computers may not always be able to route information via other networks. Thus access speed will suffer and your web browser will start to crawl. If this seems to be happening often, step away from the computer, go outside and take a nice, long walk (unless it’s 30 degrees below). You can run your search another time when the speed is back to normal.

And the #1 thing you must realize when searching…

1. The Best Result Just May Be On Page 10

Most people only look through the first page of search engine or directory results, usually the top ten listings. Others may visit the second page, but relatively very few people venture to the higher numbered pages.

This is a shame – sometimes the best results to a search engine query are not in the first ten listings as they may only contain links to commercially driven sites or sites run by web owners who know how to manipulate listings. In some cases web sites containing perfectly good information may not be listed in the top 10, 20, 50, or even top 100 results.

Obviously searching through the many pages and pages of resulting sites will take extra time, especially if you do not have a highspeed connection to the Internet. But, this time spent may well be worth it if you find some gems in the rough! So if you have the time, speed, and patience, browse through the deeper results pages. You never know what you may find!

And that’s it – my top five list of things you must realize when searching. This covers slow access time, results not on page 1, browser bugs, web sites popping up and down and changing management, and the need for sites to make money, causing advertisements to become more obtrusive. Gosh, that just makes you want to go out and search right now, doesn’t it? .

About The Author

This article was written by Andrew Malek, Internet Search Guru and author of Find Stuff On the Net, an ebook that can show even beginning computer users how to navigate the Internet without fear. Gain confidence using your web browser. Master search engines. And more! For further information and free snippets of the book, visit http://www.findstuffonthenet.com/

webmaster@envprogramming.com

This article was posted on May 1, 2002

by Andrew Malek

Market Research Means Money

Market Research Means Money

by: Jason Carr

I recently made a critical mistake in my progression towards business success: I forgot about market research. I had decided that I was going to make some money with an online store. I thought to myself, where should I start? What can I sell? After a bit of brainstorming, I picked a few things that I thought might be good to sell online. I then proceeded to start looking for suppliers. This may seem like a reasonable course of action, but it is not. It is missing a key component of any business plan.

A basic assumption for the purpose of this article is that there is competition involved with any business. Even if you make your own, unique product, similar products will compete against yours. However, the existence of competition is not necessarily bad. The fact that online retailers are selling items similar or identical to your own means that there is demand for your product. Competition is only bad for you, as a retailer, when the market is becoming saturated (or is already at that point).

Check the electronics market for a good example of this principle. Electronics go for rockbottom prices online because there are so many different stores that sell them. The difference in prices between stores usually comes down to the cost of shipping. The competition in this area is extreme. If retailers cut their prices any lower they won’t make enough to survive.

The first person who had the idea to sell VCRs online probably made a killing. Nowadays, nobody makes anything more than a buck or two per unit. For a homebased business, that’s not good enough. Today’s electronics dealers depend on volume, and very good supply sources, in order to make their money. Generally speaking, small retailers cannot sell at those prices and turn a profit.

In order to be successful it is essential that you know what you’re up against, and that means market research.

If you are selecting your products, then you need to know which stores already sell those products. You also need to know how many stores there are, how much they are charging and, if you can find out, how well they are doing. Could you sell for less (if only a little)? What are other ways you could differentiate your store from the rest?

If you already have your product, then you need to know where and how your competitors are advertising. Are they concentrated in one location? Are there good places that they have overlooked? How much is it going to cost to compete with them for prime ad space?

So, you may ask, where do I begin? The answer is Overture. Owned by Yahoo, Overture is one of the largest and most reliable payperclick advertising services. Their program can be an extremely effective, but that is something for another day.

What you need for research requires no signup and belongs to no program. There are two web tools in the Overture Advertiser Center that can be amazingly useful. The first is the Search Term Suggestion Tool. This tool allows you to look up a keyword, like ขdigital cameraข, and find out how many people searched for that term last month. Not only that, but the tool will suggest a list of related terms, like ขdigital camera reviewข, for your consideration.

The number of searches per term comes from Overture’s partners like Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, CNN, etc. This is critical information because it tells you whether or not people are looking for your product online and, at the same time, shows you how they are searching for it. This indicates a certain demand for your product.

You may be able to judge the size of the demand, to a certain degree, by the number of searches for your terms. For example (numbers taken at time of writing and may not reflect current rates):

Digital Camera – 1,337,422 (high interest)

Used Car – 890,346

Mountain Bike – 133,553

Blender – 26,648

Bubble Gum Machine – 1,502

Chapstick Raspberry Vanilla – 25 (very low interest)

Keep in mind that users searching for ‘digital camera’ are not necessarily shopping for one. They may just want information such as reviews or feature lists. It is also good to remember that if people are searching on Yahoo and MSN, as in the case of digital cameras, then you can safely assume that even more people are searching for the same things on Google.

The second tool Overture provides is the View Bids Tool. This tool allows you to take the keywords that you found with the term suggestion tool and see how many ads there are for each term and how high the bids are (in order to be listed on top of your competition you must place a higher bid for the term you want). This tool can help you judge your competition.

For example, at the time of this writing there are 131 ads associated with the term digital camera. The top bid is 79 cents per click. Bubble gum machine has 13 ads with a top bid of 49 cents. Chapstick Raspberry Vanilla, not surprisingly, has no bids on the term which means that the top spot could be purchased for the minimum price of 10 cents per click.

After you have your information from Overture, Google is your likely next step. To my knowledge, Google does not provide any analysis tools to the general public, though information is available to registered advertisers. Despite this limitation, it is easy to find your competition on Google. Simply enter your search term and check the right side of the results screen. The first page should show the top advertisers. Checking subsequent pages will reveal the entire list of advertisers for that term.

Tip: Sometimes advertisers may be targeting your term, but not selling your product. Read through the ads and visit the sites to get a more accurate idea of your direct competitors.

The natural results (the normal, nonad results) of your search are important as well. Check those to see the top ranked sites in your market. Those sites are probably there because they employ search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Users are much more likely to click on the natural results than they are the ads. The stores at the top of the list are likely to be well established and may represent some solid competition.

Visit your competitor’s web sites and see what they are selling. Check for site quality, organization, ease of use and amount of products sold. Perhaps they sell your product, but it is lost in a vast sea of other related merchandise. That means better chances for your niche store. Maybe their site is ugly or hard to navigate. These are points at which you could gain an advantage over your rivals. Checking other sites will also give you ideas about how to run your own store.

The third step in this process is to check out Yahoo! Shopping. Yahoo! hosts what is known as an online mall. That is, retailers setup stores with Yahoo!’s services and are then included in Yahoo! Shopping’s listings. This can be a good way to get fast traffic. For market research, it means easy access to competitor sites. On the Yahoo! Shopping main page, do a search for your product (Braun blenders for example). The results will show sponsored ads and normal listings. The sponsored ads come from Overture, so you should already be familiar with those.

The normal listings come from a combination of Yahoo! Product Submit results and Yahoo!’s webcrawler search database. What is important in this list is actually displayed just below the top sponsor listings and just above the normal listings. There should be two numbers: the number of products found and the number of stores they were found in. For ‘Braun blenders’ there were 989 matches from 76 stores (at time of writing). Those numbers give you an indication of how many stores you’re up against.

Note: If there are too many matches, the number of stores will not be displayed (ex. ‘sony dvd player’ yields 3,660 matches). Of course, numbers that high shout, ขbig competition,ข even without store numbers.

Here again you have the opportunity to scope out competing stores. The thorough researcher would get their names and site locations. This may seem time consuming, and it is, but it will help with future research.

Our final recommendation is to visit eBay. Once there, find the eBay Stores area (located in the Specialty Sites box on the homepage at time of writing). Enter your search term to see how many eBay stores are selling your product. ‘Braun blenders’ shows ten items in eBay stores (not bad compared to Yahoo!). In addition, the search may show regular listings below the store results. These results should give you some idea of the popularity of your product as well as the feasibility of selling it on eBay.

Quick Recap:

Overture (free analysis tools)

Google (ads and natural results)

Yahoo! Shopping (number of stores)

eBay Stores (same deal)

Remember, some competition is good because it shows that there is an interest in your product. Too much competition is bad because it means low profitability. The spot where you can make good money is somewhere in between (most likely on the low end of the competition scale). Unfortunately, I know of no exact way to calculate your chances of success. For those who can afford it, hiring a market research professional might help considerably with that calculation. In any case, a solid business plan built on thorough market research will certainly boost your chances significantly.

About The Author

Jason Carr is a small business owner, dedicated student of ecommerce strategy, and producer of BeginBiz, an online resource for those looking to start an internet business.

BeginBizAdmin@startnetbiz.com

This article was posted on September 15, 2004

by Jason Carr

Write Articles Geared to Your Local Market to Bols

Write Articles Geared to Your Local Market to Bolster Your Local Search Visibility

by: Lynella Grant

The Shortest Distance to Your Home Town Enterprise is Over the Internet

Combine two dynamite online methods for bringing your business to the attention of buyers Local Search and widely posted articles you write. Doing both gives you a jump on your local competition, plus additional credibility and exposure to your market.

Local Search occurs by adding a geographic term is added to a search engine query. Instead of results comprising millions of pages, only businesses within your specific area are included. For example, entering Florists + Boston only returns Boston florists a small pool of available choices.

Geographic terms can be town, state, region, zip code, etc. Results appear on both a list and map, so the most convenient stand out. Today, nearly 40% of search engine queries ask for Local Search information with that number increasing rapidly. 70% of buyers go online to conduct research before they buy, even from local merchants. So the impact is considerable.

Articles Deliver Credibility and Links

When you write articles and post them widely to Internet directories and ezines, your knowledge is spread to thousands of readers. Sites displaying your articles link back to your website. That encourages readers to seek you out. Links also increase search engine rankings, which push you higher on the results lists. Capture all the benefits http://www.promotewitharticles.com/benefits.html that come with writing articles.

You’re Not Competing Against the Whole World

The widespread assumption dictates shooting to be on first page results if you can (most searchers don’t look past the first page). That all depends. If you’re competing against every other business and website out there, that’s true. And your odds are slim. But you don’t need to only the ones competing for the same customers you are.

Besides, sophisticated searchengine optimization strategies or tracking methods are beyond the needs or skills of most small businesses. There’s a danger that SEO demands can easily pull an owner away from their brickandmortar priorities.

There’s a wellknown joke about two men being lost in the wilderness, who come to the attention of a bear. One man stops long enough to put on his running shoes. His friend scoffs, กYou really think you can outrun a bear?ก He replied, กI only have to outrun you.ก

When it comes to Local Search, you don’t have to outrun all the other enterprises that do what you do. You only have to outrun the ones in your local market. Those likely to show up in the same Local Search results you do.

Consider all the plumbers who could show up in a Local Search for:

Plumber + กyour townก. Visualize three groups:

1. Those who won’t appear in the search because they’re not listed in the search engine data bases. See if your business is included in those databases at http://www.localsearchresources.com/listed.html

2. Those who appear in the results, but who have done nothing further. They won’t show up in all the search results they could have.

3. Those adding specific information for search engines, website visitors, and their local customers: a) enhance their website, b) provide searchenginerelevant information on their pages, c) provide easytofind information that Internet users are looking for.

#3 lets you outrun the other guy. Your articles help you to do that, too. Of those who show up in your search results list, how many are likely to have such additional information (and keywords) for the search engines to draw upon? Your information seems more complete and relevant—leapfrogging you to the front.

Adapt Your Articles for Your Neck of the Woods

The usual method for getting better search engine rankings is to post articles widely to article directory sites and ezines interested in your topic. That’s how the game’s played for ecommerce topics, or products and services with a national reach.

But that’s not primarily what you’re after as a small business operator. Certainly, you’ll benefit from links from other posting sites and links to your website. But you’re interested in reaching the people who live in your area. They’re the ones you want to read your articles and be moved to come to your place of business. Your priority is to build relationships on the local level.

So also post your articles to websites or portals in your community. They may not have high page rank, but they have access to your local customers. And links among local enterprises help to support each other and the local economy. Aso, print off a stack of your articles for handouts in your storefront.

Write your articles differently. Mention your town in your title or keywords. Make sure your signature file (sig) says your town and state. Use examples that are specific to your town or region. กChoosing roses that can thrive above the tree line.ก Refer to landmarks or make geographic references that the locals will recognize. The search engines will pick up some of those references, and they’ll boost your Local Search prominence.

Learn to Make the Most of Local Search Exposure

The easier you can be found online, the more ways you appear in Local Search results. It’s here for the long term, bringing customers to your door who don’t respond to your other marketing methods. Articles and Local Search awareness will build on each other, and you’ll gain a tangible edge in your local market.

Copyright 2005 Off the Page

About The Author

Dr. Lynella Grant An expert in Yellow Page ads and Local Search. Stand out online and offline, so you capture more Internetsavvy buyers for your brick and mortar business. Free resources http://www.localsearchresources.com 7193959450

This article was posted on September 05

by Lynella Grant

Search the Web More Efficiently: Tips, Techniques

Search the Web More Efficiently: Tips, Techniques and Strategies

by: Daniel Bazac

Studies show that after email, searching the Web is the most popular activity on the Internet. Searching is easy; finding what you’re looking for can sometimes be difficult. Hopefully the advice below will make your next Web search a breeze.

Do you really need the Web?

Before using the Web to search for information, youกll have to ask yourself if the Web is the most appropriate medium to use to find your information. You can find a florist shop in your neighborhood faster by using the local, printed Yellow Pages instead of using the Web. And sometimes a library can give you better, more comprehensive answers than the Web.

However, in most of the cases, the best and fastest way to find information is… a Web search.

Obviously, the first thing you need to search the Web is a computer with Internet access.

Before really starting your search, youกll have to decide which browser you are going to use. As a reminder, a browser, according to WhatIs.com is a program ‘that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web.ก You can select a popular browser such as Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla or Opera or you can use an alternative browser. My favorite: Avant Browser. (I have NO connection with MyBookmarks.com) Keep in mind that some browsers are faster or have more options. You can download these browsers from their companiesก web sites.

Tools for searching the Web

There are many search tools available: search engines, subject directories / virtual libraries, invisible (deep) web databases, meta search engines, etc.

A search engine is a keyword searchable database of Internet files that uses a software program to continually scour the Web. The resulting information is then indexed and stored in its database.

My favorite search engines are:

Google™ [ http://www.google.com/ ]

AlltheWeb [ http://www.alltheweb.com/ ]

MSN [ http://www.msn.com/ ]

Teoma [ http://www.teoma.com/ ]

AltaVista [ http://www.altavista.com/ ]

WiseNut [ http://www.wisenut.com/ ]

A subject directory (web directory) is a searchable collection of Web pages gathered, selected and organized by human editors into hierarchically subject categories. A virtual library is a web directory that includes highly selective links, chosen mostly by librarians.

Web directories cover a much smaller proportion of the Web but using them will bring you more highly relevant results. The largest web directories index a few million pages compared with the billions of pages indexed by some major search engines.

Remember that the web directories like the search engines do not search the Web directly. Instead, they search their own databases of indexed Web pages. Also, be aware that directories might not be uptodate. Some search engines are in fact hybrid search tools because they are both search engines and web directories. (Google™, for example, has a search engine and a directory, powered by Open Directory Project)

Some widely used web directories are:

Google™ Directory [ http://directory.google.com/ ]

Open Directory Project (ODP) [ http://www.dmoz.org/ ]

Yahoo! [ http://www.yahoo.com/ ]

Zeal [ http://www.zeal.com/ ]

JoeAnt [ http://www.joeant.com/ ]

Gimpsy [ http://www.gimpsy.com/ ]

Popular virtual libraries include:

Librariansก Index to the Internet [ http://www.lii.org/ ]

Internet Public Library [ http://www.ipl.org/ ]

The WWW Virtual Library [ http://www.vlib.org/ ]

Internet Scout Project [ http://www.scout.wisc.edu/Archives/ ]

BUBL Link [ http://www.bubl.ac.uk/ ]

The socalled invisible (deep) web is a collection of online information stored in live databases accessible on the Web but not indexed by traditional search engines. Examples of excellent invisible web databases are:

ProFusion [ http://www.profusion.com/ ]

Invisibleweb.net [ http://www.invisibleweb.net/ ]

Complete Planet [ http://www.completeplanet.com/ ]

Resource Discovery Network [ http://www.rdn.ac.uk/ ]

direct search (Gary Price) [ http://www.freepint.com/gary/direct.htm ]

A meta search engine (also known as metacrawler or multithreaded engine) is a search tool that sends your query simultaneously to several search engines, web directories and sometimes to the socalled invisible (deep) web. After collecting the results, the meta search engine removes the duplicate links and according to its algorithm will combine and rank the results into a single merged list.

Because most of the meta search engines take only the top 10 or 20 from each search engine, you can expect excellent results, กla crème de la crème.ก

But be aware that because some search engines and web directories do not support advanced searching techniques such as quotation marks to enclose phrases or Boolean operators no results from those search engines will appear in the meta search enginesก results list when those techniques are used.

Remember, meta search engines do not maintain their own databases and therefore cannot accept web site submissions.

The best meta search engines are:

ez2Find [ http://www.ez2find.com/ ]

Vivisimo [ http://www.vivisimo.com/ ]

InfoGrid [ http://www.infogrid.com/ ]

Infonetware [ http://www.infonetware.com/ ]

iBoogie [ http://www.iboogie.com/ ]

A special kind of meta search engine is the search utility (also called desktop search programs or clientside search software). Unlike the webbased meta search engines listed above, search utilities are software programs that you download to your computer. The most popular are:

Copernic [ http://www.copernic.com/en/index.html ]

Arrow Search [ http://www.rtsoftware.co.uk/arrow_search/ ]

SearchRocket [ http://www.searchrocket.com/ ]

WebFerret [ http://www.ferretsoft.com/index.html ]

ProtoSearch [ http://www.npccenterprises.com/products.shtml ]

Meta search engines are excellent tools, but they do not eliminate the need for search engines.

For more about meta search engines, see my article: The Meta Search Engines: A Web Searcherกs Best Friends.

Which Search Tool Should You Choose?

If you’re looking for specific information use search engines.

If you’re looking for a unique or obscure search term or if you want to make an indepth analysis of whatกs out there on a specific subject, then use meta search engines.

If you’re looking for general information on popular topics, use subject (web) directories.

If you’re looking for scholarly information use virtual libraries.

If you’re looking for realtime information or for dynamically changing content such as the latest news, phone book listings, available airline flights, etc., then use specialized databases (invisible or deep web.)

There are thousands of search engines, hundreds of meta search engines and dozens of web directories and specialized databases. Choosing the right search tool from the start can make the difference between a successful search and a frustrating experience.

Before Starting the Search

The easiest way to find information is when you know a web page Internet address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) such as Fortune Magazine at http://www.fortune.com. You can find these addresses on business cards, TV commercials or newspapers. Simply type the URL in the browserกs address box and hit the (PC) or (Mac) key.

Be aware that in most browsers, you do not have to type กhttp://ก or even กwwwก before the domain name. You can access a site simply typing the domain name such as กsony.com.ก

Special note: Be careful when you copy and paste a long URL from an email message or from some web sites. URLs that span two lines have a gap (space) between the last character of the first line and the first character on the second line. First, get rid of the gap and then paste it in the browserกs address line.

Other times you may not know the URL but… you can guess it. Often companies will use their name, acronym or abbreviated name followed by ก.comก, such as ibm.com or apple.com. The same thing is true for educational institutions (add the ก.eduก suffix) or government sites (add ก.govก) So, whenever you don’t know an URL, you can try to guess it.

If you do not know the URL, youกll have to find it by searching the Internet. In many cases, a simple search on the name of an organization within most search engines will return a direct hit on their web site.

Tips For Searching Smarter:

Read the search engineกs กsearch tipsก or กhelpก page before using a search tool. Strangely enough, most of the time youกll find the กsearch tipsก link on the กAdvanced Searchก page or on the ‘results page.ก Anyway, regularly check the search tips page because the rules often change.

Customize the output of the results. Use the search engineกs กpreferencesก page. Some search tools allow you to select the value for:

the total results per page; usually 10 by default (select

the maximum often 100)

the search toolกs timeout select the maximum

the search depth select maximum.

Be sure to save the new กsettingsก or กsearch preferencesก for the next time you use the search tools. Also, set the browser you use to accept cookies.

Tips To Make Your Search Faster:

If you’re searching for information and you are not interested in graphics on the pages you see, turn off or disable graphics. You can also turn off sounds, animation, Java, JavaScript, etc. See your browser documentation for instructions.

If you decide to keep the graphics, in the case of a กheavyก page, you can always press the button in the browser, immediately after you see the text and before the graphics are entirely loaded.

More Tips:

Most search tools are caseinsensitive which means that you can construct a query your search request by typing all the words even proper names in lower case text.

If you type a long query, most of the search toolsก search boxes are not very wide so you cannot see the entire query. Write the query in a word processor and then กcopy and pasteก into the search box. Be aware that Google™ only allows 10 words in the search box.

Some search tools offer an option called กsimilar pagesก (Google™) or ‘related pagesก (AltaVista and Teoma.) Clicking on that option will show you relevant results for the page you’re interested in.

Some search engines have a function called กsee more hits/results/pages from the same domain.ก Sometimes it can be useful.

Also, some search tools, such as Google™, allow you to see an English translation for a results page that is written in a foreign language. If you want to translate a web page and you have the URL, you can also use these sites:

Systran [ http://www.systransoft.com/ ]

Fagan Finder [ http://www.faganfinder.com/translate/ ]

AltaVistaก Babel Fish [ http://babelfish.altavista.com/ ]

alphaWorks (IBM) [ http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/aw.nsf/html/mt ]

Remember, don’t expect perfect translations because that seldom happens.

Looking for pages in a specific language? Some search engines (Google™, AlltheWeb, etc.) have an advanced search page that allows you to select the language from the pulldown menu.

If your search terms contain letters not present in the English alphabet such as กéก or กüก (example fiancé or München), use Fagan Finderกs (Search Engine Ultimate Interface) which allows you to use these special letters in many major search engines. It makes a big difference. A search for Munchen in Google™ gives 570,000 results while for München กuก with umlaut gives 51,700,000 almost 10 times more.

So, letกs start searching!

Most of the search tools can be searched using keywords. Web directories and the invisible web databases can also be searched by browsing categories and subcategories.

Start with a popular search engine such as Google™, for example.

Before typing the keywords, take your time and brainstorm relevant words. Create a list of search terms. Write them down. A few seconds of brainstorming could save you minutes or hours of retrieving irrelevant results.

Advice for Searching Better:

Select the most descriptive words. Brainstorm thoroughly.

Use at least two keywords.

Place the most important words or phrases first. Whenever two or more words can appear in exact order, enclose the words with double quotation marks (กword 1 word 2ก.) Example: กUnited States.ก If you use a longer phrase, you will achieve more precise results. With a very long phrase, however, you may get zero results. Some search engines allow you to select the กphraseก option in the pulldown menu on their advanced search page or you can type it in special phrase search box, so you don’t have to use quotes.

When possible, use unique, rare or unusual keywords. The more uncommon / obscure or less frequent the keywords you use are, the fewer and more relevant results you will get.

Use nouns and objects as keywords. Do not use the socalled กstop wordsก such as กwhat,ก กwhere,ก ‘the,ก กin,ก กand,ก etc. Many search tools ignore them. If you need a stop word to appear in the results, place the implied Boolean operator ก+ ก in front of that word. The standard Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT (or AND NOT), NEAR, BEFORE, AFTER and the Boolean logic ก(parenthesis)ก, are used to construct complicated queries. The implied Boolean operators ก+ก and กก can replace the AND and NOT respectively. An example of Boolean logic is (tips OR tricks) AND (กsearch enginesก OR กweb directoriesก). It will find tips or tricks for search engines or web directories. Check the search toolกs tips to see if they accept Boolean operators. For example Google™ does not support full Boolean logic.

Do not use common terms such as Internet, Web, etc. except for cases that it is necessary. (For example, the query is กsearching the webก with quotes.)

Avoid redundant terms and complicated query structures.

Choosing the right words for your query is the most important part of web searching. The more specific the search term, the more relevant your results will be and the more likely it is that you will find what you seek. Remember, work smarter not harder.

The secret to constructing a professional query is to type words you expect to find in the matches.

Note: Some search tools, such as Ask Jeeves allow you to use the socalled กnatural language.ก This means that you can construct a query as a question in plain English, such as กWhatกs the weather in LA?ก When you have a specific question in mind, these tools can be helpful.

Checking the Results:

After typing your keywords into the search box press either the กenterก key on the keyboard or, click on the กsearch,ก กfindก or กgoก button on the search toolกs homepage. You will receive a list of documents that hopefully match your query. If you do not, it may be because some unscrupulous webmasters use unethical methods to cheat the search engines and achieve undeserved, top rankings for their sites. To learn more about this topic, please read my article, กSearch Engine Spamming Sucks!ก

The results returned, also called กmatchesก or กhitsก will be web pages related to the subject you’re searching for, ranked in order of relevancy according to the search toolกs algorithm or by date, URL, title, etc.

Each result will contain information such as the title of the page, a short description, the pageกs URL and the size of the page.

Now you have a tough job. You have to decide which of the search results will take you to the most informative site. Your best bet is to take a look at the title and description of the page. Are they relevant to your search? If yes, open the page. If not, check the next result, by scrolling down on the right side of the browser.

To view a page you have two options:

Click on the title of the page even if says กNo titleก or ก?????ก. Place the cursor on the page title and the cursor will change to the picture of a hand. Usually the links are in blue and underlined, but often they are not. You can find links in any color, including black, which makes it difficult to recognize a link in text of the same color.

The second method is to open the page in a new browser window. Rightclick over the title of the result. This produces a popup menu. Select กopen (link) in new window.ก After checking the result, close the new browser window. You will still have the first window browser with your search. Some search tools have an option that allows you to open the result in a new window. Don’t get used to that, do the right thing: open a new browser window by using the mouseกs rightclick.

If you use the first method most likely you will not use the back button to go back to the results page, but instead you will simply close the window, losing the search page altogether.

Criteria for Evaluating a Web Resource:

First of all, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Recently I found a page where it stated that Google™ has about one billion web pages indexed. Well, according to Google™, it indexes 3,307,998,701 web pages. Be careful what you believe. Governmental agencies, educational institutions, libraries and prestigious publications are the most reliable sources of information. Be circumspect with information found on personal sites stored in free hosts.

Six Tips For Evaluating A Site:

Is the web site published by an authoritative source? Is the author a recognized expert in the field or subject area?

Is the information relevant, credible and accurate? It doesn’t hurt to cross check two to three additional, reliable sources.

Is the site current and recently updated?

Does the site have a professional กlook and feelก: structure, layout, color scheme, navigation menu(s), etc.?

Are there spelling, grammar or punctuation errors?

Does the site have contact information such as a postal address, phone or email?

Four Additional Tips:

Don’t look only at the top ten listings. Excellent results can be found on the top 20, or even top 50 results. This is why customizing the result output at 100 results per page is handy. You don’t have to open a next tenresultsperpage page. If you don’t find relevant results in the first 20 to 50, reformulate your query or try another search tool a meta search engine, for example.

Check only results that truly looks relevant.

Be aware that many search tools list กsponsored linksก at the top of their results page. These are not results from the search toolกs database. Instead these results are paid listings from corporations that have an interest in providing you with information about their products or services. Studies show that searchers find it hard to distinguish between regular and paid results, so be aware that these exist.

To quickly discover if a result is relevant, use the กFind (on This Page)ก command of the browser (in the Edit menu) or simultaneously press CTRL and F keys then type one of your important words and press กFind nextก. You will find the location of that word, and you can see if the page is really relevant or not.

What To Do When You Get TOO MANY Results:

Itกs common to receive millions of results, often unrelated to the search. To receive more relevant results youกll have to refine or even rethink the search. Here are some ideas to help you refine your search:

Add one or more descriptive words to your query.

Use phrases. Enclose two or more words that can appear in exact order within double quotation marks.

Exclude words you don’t want in the results by using the implied Boolean operator กก. Example: the query ‘red applesก กyellow applesก will find pages that contain ‘red applesก in that order and will not include pages that contain กyellow apples. ก As you see, there is no space between the กก sign and the word or phrase you want to exclude. There is, however, a space between the กก sign and the previous word.

Use the search toolกs กadvanced searchก functions. Limit your search by language, date or by field searching: title, URL, link etc. See the search toolกs กsearch tipsก for details.

What To Do When You Get Too Few Or Irrelevant Results:

Sometimes you will get messages like กYour search did not match any documentsก or กNo pages were found containing your queryก or กNo results.ก Other times you may get few or irrelevant results.

What You Should Do:

Check the spelling of the query. Some search engines automatically detect misspelled words and will show the correct spelling. Just click on the suggested word or words.

Delete the least important word from the query.

If you used a search phrases try eliminating the double quotes.

Use more general terms, alternate spellings, plural forms or synonyms. Recently, กGoogle™ introduced a new advanced search feature that allows you to not only search for a particular keyword but also for its synonyms. Just place the ก~ก (tilde) diacritical mark directly in front of the keyword in your search query. For example, กbrowser ~helpก not only searches for กbrowser helpก, but also for กbrowser supportก, กbrowser tipsก and กbrowser tutorials.ก

You can also check the spelling of the Web pageกs URL if you typed it directly into the address field of the browser.

If all the above strategies fail, switch to another search tool, preferably a meta search engine such as ez2Find (formerly ez2www.)

Remember: if you’re doing a serious research, consider asking a professional Web searcher to do the job. In a few hours, he may find information that would have taken you days to find.

If you receive the message ‘the page cannot be displayedก or กNot foundก the page has been discontinued.

What you can do:

If a page that doesn’t display is not the siteกs home page you can use the following trick. Cut the Web address of the page starting on the righthand side and stopping at every forward slash (/). Letกs say that the URL of a dead link is www.domainname/archive/article_1.html. First delete กarticle_1.htmlก and click กenter.ก Hopefully you will see the กarchiveก page and the กarticle 1.ก If not, also delete กarchiveก and click กenter.ก Hopefully you will get the home page and there will still be an option กarchive.ก

When you cannot see a page, use the กcachedก function of some search engines, such as Google™. Go back to the results list and click on the กcachedก link near the result. You will get a snapshot of the page stored in Google™กs index. Keep in mind that Google™ does not cache all the Web pages in its index and cached pages are often not uptodate. Wayback Machine can also show you previous versions of a Web page. Simply type the URL and than select a date in the results list. Keep in mind that there are a limited number of URLs indexed in the Wayback Machineกs database. Be aware that sometimes receiving few results means that ONLY a few results matched your query. Switch to a meta search engine and I guarantee you will receive better results.

Sometimes a search tool simply will not work. Why? Because it may be disabled or undergoing changes. Try again later. Other times you might receive messages like ก503 Server is busyก or ‘too many users. ก Check back later. For U.S. residents, early morning and late night are the least busy times.

Qualities Of A Good Web Searcher:

Patience. You can find what you’re looking for in ten seconds, ten minutes or never. Keep in mind that searching the Web can be a very time consuming operation.

Persistence. Don’t be scared of millions of results. Don’t give up too fast. Searching the Web is a process of trial and error.

Good memory. When conducting extensive research, youกll have to remember all your previous search queries so you know what terms you have already tried. Write them down itกs easier.

Good organizational skills. Plan your strategy ahead of time and stick with the plan.

Creativity. Select the best words for your query.

Decisiveness. Learn to quickly recognize relevant results in the search engineกs result page. Don’t waste your time with search tools or strategies that don’t work.

Learn and accept the Webกs limitations. Sometimes you cannot find the information because there is no information available on the Web related to your search. But this happens very rarely. Most of the time, the problem is not a lack of information but rather being overwhelmed by relevant results. That is if you know where and how to search.

And yes, practice, practice, practice. The more you search, the more youกll know and soon you will be scoring the most relevant results in the timeliest manner.

A final piece of advice: use bookmarks or favorites.

When visiting a page that you think you might want to visit again, itกs wise to save its web address (URL) in your กbookmarksก or กfavoritesก folder in your browser or much better in a Webbased bookmarks manager such as MyBookmarks.com which allows you to access your bookmarks from any computer at any location. (I have NO connection with MyBookmarks.com)

The next time you want to visit that page, you simply open the saved bookmark instead of searching again or typing the pageกs URL.

Be aware that in time you can collect thousands of bookmarks. Be smart and organize them in thoughtfully labeled categories and subcategories.

Last but not least, backup your bookmarks just like all the other important information you backup from your computer.

Rest assured that finding information on the Web is never a question of luck. Instead it is the result of a thorough understanding of how search tools work, combined with mastering the art of creating a targeted search query. Searching the Web is not difficult. Like any task, you simply must press the right buttons.

Good luck with your searches!

Note: Google™ is a trademark of Google Inc.

Do you have searching tips not listed above? Please send them to mailto:danielbazac@hotmail.com. Thank you.

About The Author

Daniel Bazac is the Search Engine Marketer for Web Design in New York [ http://www.webdesigninnewyork.com ], a site design, search engine optimization and promotion company. He also maintains Bazac Weblog [ http://www.bazac.blogspot.com/ ] a blog about the search engines and search engine marketing news and articles. He can be reached at danielbazac@hotmail.com.

This article was posted on November 07, 2003

by Daniel Bazac

From Marketing to Tea, Any Type Of Website Can Ben

From Marketing to Tea, Any Type Of Website Can Benefit From Paid Optimization

by: Lorraine Bevere

A Search Engine Optimization firm can be an invaluable asset in your Internet marketing campaign. They specialize in knowing how to highten your search engine positions, monitoring those positions on the regular basis, and adjusting their strategies to account for unwanted results in any given month. Since this takes a lot of effort, time, and specialized knowledge, it can be in your best interest to go to an outside source rather than try to maintain high search engine positions on your own.

However, like every business, there are good companies and there are lemons. Knowing the right questions to ask and the criteria to look for will help you in choosing an affordable, effective search engine optimization company.

When looking at different companies, begin by considering the approach they employ to raise your search engine positions. Steer clear of companies that use cloaked, doorway, or bridge pages to raise your positions. These techniques violate most search engine policy, and in the worst case scenario, will only get your website severely penalized, if not removed entirely from a search engineกs index.

No matter what kind of website you run it is vital that you are not of the opinion that only certain topics would benefit from paid optimization. A website about Tea might benefit just as much as one about marketing or even loans.Why would tea being the subject matter? Well quite simply paid optimization could benefit any subject.

Another important element is to get a guarantee that the company you hire will not work with your competitors while they are working for you. Obviously, this would seriously compromise the effectiveness of the search engine optimization campaign. Be aware that some companies will use the success they achieve for your website to sell their services to your competitors. So get your guarantee in writing, and make sure it is legally binding.

Of course, one of the most important factors you want to check out is the companyกs track record of results. However, don’t take the companyกs word for it. They will undoubtedly be slanting their results in order to sell their services to you. To go beyond their simple statement of success, ask them a few pertinent questions, and verify their answers.

Also, find out what keywords and phrases they are claiming great results with. Itกs easy to get high rankings with unpopular words. For instance, the keyword กcat leashesก will get high popularity ranking because no one else would think of using it. What you are looking for is good results using popular keywords. Check out the software Wordtracker, available at www.wordtracker.com. You can order a free trial, or a subscription ranging from 1 day to 1 year. This software rates the popularity of keywords and phrases based on actual search engine use.

Next, look for good results over an entire site that the company claims to have successfully worked for. You want to see a wide range of positions over a number of different search engines using different keywords or phrases for the entire site. Request a report for any client the company claims to have done well for. This report should show good positions on a number of the most popular search engines for a variety of different, popular keywords and phrases.

When you are checking out search engine optimization companies, make sure they have actually done the work they are claiming to have done. Some companies will use other companyกs results in order to get you to sign on with them. If you are in doubt, call the company they are showing you results for, and ask for the name of their search engine optimization company.

Itกs important to keep in mind that a successful search engine optimization campaign will result in maximum exposure across a wide range of popular search engines using a variety of keywords and phrases. This is the formula for a successful campaign, and you should keep it always in the forefront of your marketing strategy.

Ask the search engine optimization company you are considering for a report that shows you rankings across a number of popular search engines for a period of at least six months. Remember: search engine marketing is a process that is continual, and you need a company that not only understands this, but keeps constant tabs on your search engine positions. That company must also be able to adjust its strategy in the event that search engine rankings drop.

Since search engine marketing is an ongoing process, your positions must be constantly monitored. If you want your search engine optimization company to do this for you, request a sample of a monthly report. It is essential that this report should show rankings for the most popular search engines. Don’t be impressed by a report that only shows great results for a limited number of small search engines. These are fairly easy results to acquire. Also confirm that the popular search engine results they are showing you are indeed the popular search engines currently.

Be sure the sample report the company shows you is in a format that you can easily understand. For example, it could be in the form of a chart that covers a period of at least six months and presents data such as the top 50 positions broken down on a monthly basis or the top 5 pages each month. Then, ascertain that the company you are considering actually monitors these positions or pages every month, and that the sample report they show you includes findings and recommendations for the specific site. This insures that the company will actively monitor and make adjustments to their strategy on a continual basis rather than simply gather statistics on your positions. You need a company that is actively participant in your search engine marketing campaign, not just an information gatherer.

Obviously, your finances have to figure into your choice of company, but bear in mind that a search engine optimization company is crucial the success of your marketing campaign. It is not just a casual accessory. If you cannot afford a company that will do a thorough and reliable job for your website, you might consider waiting until you do have the finances in place.

If you have to find a company and can’t wait for your finances to catch up, you may be able to find an affordable company that will also be able to supply quality, reliable work, such as a fairly new company. Just remember that there are risks involved with using a company without a proven track record and that risk is your money! Don’t take that leap unless the company can supply you with a least a few references.

References are the most reliable indicator of a good company. Don’t use a company that won’t show your references because of any reason, confidentiality included. Remember even doctors will provide references! The firm you choose should provide you with a minimum of two references, one that is from the past, and one that is current.

When you contact these references, be prepared to ask precise, specific questions so that neither of your time is wasted. Ask them what their experience was like with the company, such as their availability to answer questions and deal with problems and their ability to meet deadlines. Ask the reference to rate the overall performance of the company.

The most essential question to ask is whether the work of the search engine optimization company resulted in higher profits for the reference. Without profits, it doesn’t matter whether your positions are at the top of the list or not.

Well now you are armed with the relevant facts take the bull by the horns and your website about Tea, marketing or absolutely any kind of subject could end up with a totally new lease of life and your stats counter could start to rise like a thermometer in a heatwave.

About The Author

Lorraine Bevere is the owner of Fog tea which is an excellent source of information about tea. For more information, go to: http://www.fogtea.com.

This article was posted on August 25, 2005

by Lorraine Bevere

The Biggest Problem With Your Marketing Is…?

The Biggest Problem With Your Marketing Is…?

by: Karen Fegarty

What is the biggest problem most marketers have? Who knows. We don’t, and they certainly don’t either. That is exactly the problem. Most marketers don’t know whether or not their campaigns are working because they don’t know how to track the results.

I can’t count the number of people I know who create a marketing campaign and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars implementing it, then don’t even bother to track the results. How will you ever know if, when, and why your marketing is successful, or unsuccessful, if you don’t see hard data on your results?

With online marketing, itกs easy to find out where and when your marketing dollars are being wasted. Using online tracking you can:

Track how many people respond to your online ads If people don’t respond, then you can simply alter your ad and try again.

Track when people respond to your ads Do they respond immediately or do they wait a week? This helps you to determine a time frame for sales activity.

Track whether people are opening your email marketing or bulk email messages If they aren’t, maybe you need to change your subject line or find a new list of people to email.

Determine which ad copy or text brings the best results The right words make all the difference in advertising. Online tracking helps you determine which words will pull sales.

Monitor the click activity on your site What you really need to know are the number of unique visitors you receive. A unique visitor is each individual visitor who clicks on your site, regardless of the number of times they click on your site. The number of clicks you receive is less important than the number of unique visitors you receive.

Online tracking can tell you all this and more. Whatever online marketing you use, from banners to popunders, ebooks to articles, make sure you know what works and what doesn’t. Use online tracking and save yourself money, time and energy.

By Karen Fegarty

http://www.eztrackz.com

About The Author

Karen Fegarty karen@ezTrackZ.com is the CEO of MailWorkZ/ezTrackZ, an emarketing technology company focused on developing and marketing leading email marketing and tracking tools. TRACK YOUR RESULTS in a variety situations with ezTrackZ. Don’t waste money on ineffective marketing. Visit http://www.eztrackz.com. Reach Karen at karen@mailworkz.com or 902.835.5009.

This article was posted on October 15, 2004

by Karen Fegarty

Marketing is a Patience Game

Marketing is a Patience Game

by: Darrin F. Coe

ขGet your positioning and your programs implemented properly, and the numbers will come. But you’ve got to have some patience.ข

– Jack Trout with Steve Rivkin

ขThe New Positioning. The Latest on the World’s #1 Business Strategyข

One of the biggest derailers of successful marketing is the process of continually changing your marketing strategy. According to Jay Levinson, author of the Guerilla Marketing series of books, says in the book ขGuerilla Advertisingข, that many great advertising campaigns are abandoned much to early before they have a chance to produce great results.

Understand that because consumers are bombarded by advertising images and messages constantly, they will perceive those messages and images that are consistent. You need to slowly work your way into the brain of the consumer. Bullying your way in may produce some short term results but given the way consumers think, a bullying approach will soon be dismissed and filtered out.

The key to great marketing is simplicity, focus, and patience. Continually being in the consumer’s awareness with a simply message and a strong focus will yield better long term results than a complicated, bullying message that slaps the consumer alongside their frontal cortex.

Again, referencing Jay Levinson, you should consider your marketing and advertising as a conservative investment that you expect to yield big payoff over time. Marketing and advertising is not a speculative investment, in which you win or lose big.

As you develop your marketing plan, build in patience and consistency. Consumers like stability in a business and one way to build stability is a consistent marketing message that they are able to get used to seeing and processing. This type of campaign is comforting to the consumer who is used to in your face advertising being blasted at them over multiple media channels. You may not see the numbers change immediately but they will come with patience.

About The Author

Darrin F. Coe, MA holds a master’s degree in psychology and is the operator of ขThe Center For Understanding Consumer Thinkingข at www.consumerthinking.com. His most recent special report, ขThe Internet Consumer Exposedข is available at http://www.consumerthinking.com/exposed1. Contact him for consulting at coe@ris.net or 17192755907 after 5:00 PM mountain standard time.

DarrinFCoe@consumerthinking.com

This article was posted on December 18, 2004

by Darrin F. Coe

Yahooกs Back!

Yahooกs Back!

by: Shawn Campbell

I was all set to write an article predicting the future of search engines, when Yahoo dropped Google and replaced it with its own engine. Now thatกs big news. In less than twentyfour hours, Google went from about 79% of the market share to about 51%, almost overnight. And what a welcome relief it is too! Being #1 in Google was great, but when you had the misfortune of dropping even a couple of positions you really felt it. Now there will be more stability; if you drop in Google today, your hits from Yahoo will remain consistent.

What is the new Yahoo?

Last year, Yahoo bought the AltaVista, Fast, and Inktomi search engines. The new Yahoo results are none of these. Many people are saying that the results come from a new Inktomi because the results are similar; but the results are also similar to all the other search engines out there. In comparing these engines, it seems to me that Yahooกs results are from a brand new engine. Maybe they took parts and ideas from all the search engines they bought maybe they even took the best parts , but whatever they did, the result is something completely new.

Which search engine is better?

I will be comparing Google and Yahoo for the terms กmusicก, กart prints and postersก, กBahamas real estateก, กmosquito netsก, and กliposuctionก. The other search engines all hold less than 4% of the market share (except for MSN which uses Yahooกs Inktomi), so I won’t be considering them. Here is what I found in the top 10 results for each keyphrase:

Music

Yahoo offers a lot of music resource sites. Information about music from different sources such as magazine, TV and other music news sites are found 6 times in the top 10 results. It also offered downloading and file sharing programs 3 times. The 10th result was an audio player program site.

Google has a lot more diversity. There were 3 music resource sites (but no magazines), one downloading program, one CD store, one radio station (Yahoo radio), one music directory, and the 10th result was an audio player program site. Google also had 2 sites in its top ten that were of no value whatsoever; MP3.com which just has one page stating that they no longer offer the services that they used to (with links to their parent company), and music.com, which is nothing more than an email gathering site for a newsletter (not a single link on the entire page).

Googleกs diversity is a big bonus, but the 2 spam/junk/useless sites really hurt it. The results? Yahoo 1, Google 0.

Art Prints And Posters

Yahoo offers 6 stores, while Google offers 5. The other links are all affiliate spam with no content whatsoever (just links to stores), with the exception of one of Yahooกs links, which has some biographical content about artists. So Google has 5 spam sites, and Yahoo has 3 and a half.

Yet another round goes to Yahoo.

Bahamas Real Estate

For this keyphrase, I found results between Google and Yahoo to be quite similar. The only differences were sites by actual realtors and sites that were simply property listings. Both types of results are useful, with Google having an edge in realtors. Google had some lower quality sites, but the information was just as good even though they did seem less professional. On the other hand, Yahoo did have one site that was nothing more than a links page from another realtorกs site. Big boo boo.

This one goes to Google.

Mosquito Nets

It seems to me that someone searching for กmosquito netsก wants either A) to buy them, or B) to learn about them, so I was expecting to find either stores or information about mosquito nets. Yahoo showed me 6 stores and 2 informational pages. The other results were a search result page (not a good result) and an inner page from a previous result (also not a good result).

Google gave me 7 stores and 3 charitable organizations (one of which was a store as well). The other 2 charitable organizations were a news article outlining what they had done regarding mosquito nets and information about mosquito nets.

So even though I didn’t necessarily want the latest news about what a charity did regarding mosquito nets, I think getting the same site twice from Yahoo (not to mention the search result page) is the bigger nono. Google wins this round.

Liposuction

I expected to find information about liposuction, liposuction organizations and either doctors or centers where you can have liposuction done. What I got was a lot of กhow to find a doctorก sites, with a lot of good information.

Yahoo results included 3 sites doubled. This is a problem that killed AltaVista in the late 90กs. Hopefully they will have it fixed soon. Other than the 3 doubled sites, the results included 4 informational sites, 2 sites for finding doctors and one poorly written article about the history of liposuction.

Google gave me 4 good informational sites, 2 good กfind a doctorก sites, one recent article about liposuction for people in the industry, one site with very poor information one written by a single doctor and one site that was nothing more than a directory.

Google gets this round as well. Overall, it looks like Yahoo needs to fix its doubling of sites and Google needs to clean out some spam (poor sites).

And The Winner Is…

You! Having two good search engines to choose from makes searching that much better for everyone. It also makes getting listings better. It also makes marketing better. It also makes traffic to your site steadier. The only way this could have been worse is if Yahooกs results sucked, and they don’t. They seem just as good, if not better, than Googleกs.

So rejoice, and enjoy a more dynamic world of online searching!

Shawn Campbell

About The Author

Shawn Campbell is an enthusiastic player in the ecommerce marketplace, and cofounded Red Carpet Web Promotion, Inc. (http://www.redcarpetweb.com/). He has been researching and developing marketing strategies to achieve more prominent listings in search engine results since 1998. Shawn is one of the earliest pioneers in the search engine optimization field.

Contact: shawn@redcarpetweb.com

This article was posted on April 05, 2004

by Shawn Campbell

Work At Home, Go Bankrupt At HomeItกs Your Choic

Work At Home, Go Bankrupt At HomeItกs Your Choice

by: Isaiah Hull

If you want to make an income working at home, you must mitigate spending in the early phases of your venture. If you spend wildly, you will never make money. I can promise you this now. It happens to almost every person who tries to work at home; it happened to me and I nearly gave up, too.

It is fine to set high goals, but you must always be grounded in reality when it comes to your finances. You must record your expenses and you must plan to buy certain products and services at certain times. If you do not do this, you will overspend and you will fail. This is a guarantee.

Part of careful budgeting is learning what works and what does not. As annoying as it may seem, it is essential to track the results you get from all forms of advertising and expenses. You will have to slash unnecessary costs if you want to succeed. If your marketing plan is to purchase every opportunity you find, operate on a high outofpocket budget, and hope that throwing money at your problems will fix them, you wont see the results you want. You will slowly lose money and confidence.

I do not care how much money you are willing to lose: your success will be directly related to your patience and the economics of your business modelnot an opportunity you might happen to stumble over one day.

Patience is something you either have or will develop quickly working at home. If you do not have the patience to work out problems, to find the best products and services without buying each one, and to buy only when you need tonot when you feel the impulseyou will waste a lot of money; however, this problem will work itself out: either you will go broke and give upor you will learn to have patience.

The economics of your business model is also something that you will shape over time and continually change. When you begin your work at home venture, it is essential to research your field, find the best opportunities, verify them through multiple independent sources, and then create a budget based on your best judgement. It is also essential to be selective when you alter your budget. When you find an opportunity or service that you really want to purchase, write it down. Find more information about it. Come back to it at the start of your new budget period.

If you want to get the highest possible consistent return on your spending, you must maintain a focused, dynamic budget. This means you must concentrate your spending, track the results, and then be ready to change your budget for the next period to reflect your analysis of the previous monthกs outcomes. Do not shift from service to service during the same budget period. This will only obscure your results.

Joining a group of people who want to work at home is one of the best ways to artificially shape your budget model faster. You can find hundreds of these groups on the Internet alone; and in each of these groups, you will find people who are more experienced than you are, have tried some of the things you plan to try, and can tell you what has and has not worked for them. If you want to maximize your spending, this is one of the best places to start. There is no better resource than real, live people, who have succeeded in your field and are willing to tell you how you can do the same.

In summary, working at home offers opportunityseekers flexibility and unlimited income possibilities, but if you do not apply the correct business model to control your spending, your statistical chance of succeeding is low. If you do the following things, you will succeed:

Keep a dynamic, focused budget.

Remain patient.

Track your results.

Find mentors and friends in your field to help you.

Remember: You can go broke at home or you can retire early working from home. The choice is yours: be patient and economical and you will see results; or act spuriously and reap failure.

Copyright 2004 Isaiah Hull

About The Author

Isaiah Hull is the webmaster of http://www.workathomerightnow.net . Email him personally at mailto:Houolol@aol.com to receive free, personal, stepbystep instructions to build a home business online for an investment of $0 to $300/mo.

This article was posted on October 05, 2004

by Isaiah Hull

Googleopoly: The Motivation Behind Gmail

Googleopoly: The Motivation Behind Gmail

by: Mark Daoust

Just before the close of business on Wednesday, Google announced that it will be launching Gmail, its new free email service set to offer 1000 megabytes of free space to its users. This announcement comes after a flurry of changes at Google, all of which are geared to securing their place as the dominant search engine in light of recent competition offered by Yahoo! and soon MSN. The search engine wars have been predicted for some time now by search engine insiders, and the launch of Gmail is Google’s attempt to win the war before it gets fully started. But is Google really ready to take on the big portals?

It is very unlikely that Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page had any idea exactly how big their original search engine (then called BackRub) would actually become. Google was an innocent project through Standford University. It was a project started in the days of optimism about a free Internet not supported by ads or corporate revenues, but rather the free exchange of ideas. As a result, they focused solely on product. There were no worries about creating a flashy interface, hiring a sharp marketing team, or launching an IPO. They were worried about good search results. The result is that Google is now synonymous with searching the Internet.

Today, Google stands with a much different outlook. The success of the launch of AdWords propelled Google into a class all their own. Almost overnight, Google entered the PPC industry and dethroned Overture as the untouchable kings of PPC. Although other search engines such as Lycos, FindWhat, Kanoodle, and Sprinks had been competing with Overture, none of these engines were able to bring the reach and brand power of Google.

The success of AdWords was a notice to every other Internet giant. Companies such as Yahoo! and AOL – who were providing Google’s results to their users – took notice to the fact that Google had an incredible influence on the Internet, and if they desired, they could leverage that influence into a variety of new markets. Worse yet, Yahoo! and AOL helped Google gain such influence by providing Google results to their users. These giants became nervous, and with good reason. Google started to show signs that they were expanding into new markets. Dictionaries, glossaries, news services, Froogle, Catalog search, maps, blogging, and other services were all emerging from the Google labs and news rooms. If Google was able to instantaneously compete and lead in the highly competitive PPC market, what would happen if they moved in on the territory of Yahoo!, AOL, or MSN? These Internet giants helped make Google powerful, possibly more powerful than they were themselves.

The battle for web searches had begun. Yahoo! has taken the most notable steps by replacing their results provided by Google with their newly acquired Inktomi division based results. To fight Google on the advertising revenue level, Yahoo swooped up Overture, still allstar in the paid search market. Overture, now playing catchup in an industry which they practically founded, launched their own site content match system which rivals Google AdWords.

MSN has vowed to refine their search algorithms to become more relevant. Most of the work being done by MSN has been fairly quiet, but rest assured, there will be a lot of talk about MSN search when they are ready to release their new product to the Internet. And, with every new PC you buy, don’t be surprised if it comes with a host of web searching tools built in.

There have even been rumors over at AOL that they are going to be abandoning their Google based results. The fact is, AOL is scared of Google. As it stands right now, Froogle already steps on their shopping market, and Google News is taking away from AOL’s news delivery service.

By abandoning Google provided results, these Internet giants are attempting to limit Google’s reach. The fact is simple: users still use Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL. They use these services because they offer a host of unique information, updated news, financial reports, maps, phone directories, etc. Most importantly, users visit MSN, Yahoo, and AOL for their free email. While they have these users attention, Yahoo! and MSN will now try to sell these users on their new and improved search results not provided by Google in order to steal a bit of that search engine market.

Just as Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN realized how powerful Google was in the search engine market (and subsequently the danger that posed to them), Google is realizing the real threat that these portals present. If these portals are able to offer suitable search results, users will have less reason to utilize Google’s search. Google has also recognized the main advantage these portals have: free email. Free email is what makes Yahoo! and MSN such popular destinations. People who have email accounts at these locations find themselves visiting these sites multiple times every day just to check their email. While they are there, they have the opportunity to be grabbed by a headline or service offered through these portals. The free email is what brings the users back time and again.

Gmail is a direct attempt by Google to destroy any competition before it arises. With 10 times the amount of storage and what appears to be a superior interface for viewing and organizing mail messages, Gmail is not simply a nice thing to offer to web surfers. Gmail is an attempt to put an arrow through the heart of Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. The services will not be comparable in quality, and that is the way Google wants it. The goal of Gmail is to make Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail look like laughable solutions to web based email.

If Gmail is successful in converting Yahoo! Mail users and Hotmail users, the search engine wars will most likely be much ado about nothing. The battle and war will be won, and the victor will be Google. But don’t expect MSN, AOL, or Yahoo! to simply watch Gmail launch without developing a plan to strike back hard. Yahoo! alone has invested incredible amounts of money to acquire Inktomi and Overture just so they can compete head to head with Google. It would be uncharacteristic of them to simply fold. And do not forget about the power MSN has with their search. Remember that Microsoft controls what search engine is used by default on most every computer around the world. That is a competitive advantage that Google will have a very hard time overcoming.

Gmail will not be the last new service offered by Google. It certainly will not go unanswered by Yahoo! or another portal. It will, however, mark a fundamental point in this search engine war that appears to now be in full swing.

Copyright 2004 Mark Daoust

About The Author

Mark Daoust is the owner of SiteReference.com (http://www.sitereference.com) and TowerSearch (http://www.towersearch.com). Signup for a free TowerSearch account and receive guaranteed top rankings for all of your chosen keywords.

This article was posted on April 06, 2004

by Mark Daoust

Double Your Profits

Double Your Profits

by: Sylvie Minson

Easily Double or Triple Your Profits in Any Business

To some it may seem like common sense, but many folks running their own businesses don’t do this one simple thing to keep their business and profits growing.

Whether you’re running an online, mail order, or traditional business, the key to increased profits is, of course, more customers and more sales. The best way to get more customers is advertising.

You need to take a portion of your profits every month, up to 50 percent in the beginning, and invest it back into your business in quality advertising.

That is not to say you should ignore word of mouth, and viral marketing, but real advertising delivers real results. Use it to keep bringing in new business.

When advertising online be careful to get your ads placed in areas where your target audience is likely to gather. CPC cost per click ads are a good choice online, because you only pay if you get a good reaction.

Text ads are also getting a much better response these days, as opposed to banners and other flashy methods. Banner ads only seem to be effective in building a brand, not in getting measureable, on the spot results.

Popups are nearly dead, given the availability of popup blockers, and the fact that the next generation browsers are coming out with popup blockers built in. Apparently people don’t like popups I know I don’t so avoid them, unless you want to irritate your audience.

Print advertising, on the other hand, is much easier to target, and even if you have an online business, I wouldn’t recommend ignoring the potential of print. Run your ads in magazines and newspapers that deal with your subject.

Whether on line or in print, youกll want to test out different wordings for your ads, and do small runs, until you find the words the pull readers in the way you would like, not just to get inquiries, but results.

When writing your ad, don’t say กWe Have Blue Widgets!ก People don’t really care about what you have, they care about what they want so กGet Your Blue Widgets Todayก is probably going to be more effective.

Ask a question, or if you have something to offer for free a free sample, info packet, or test drive advertise that. Be sure to focus on what the customer gets, not what you have.

When you find an ad that pulls well, stick with it. Don’t change until it stops working, or until you change your offering.

ReInvest in your business, and you can double and triple your profits with ease.

About The Author

Start Your Home Business at www.prosperitynet.com

Get Your Slice Of the American Pie!

© 2004 ProsperityNet.com

This article was posted on August 26, 2004

by Sylvie Minson