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    How To Avoid Spam In Your ALT Tags and Optimize For Image Search

    SEO has many parts to it (understatement of the year). One of the topics that come up quickly, and often is the idea of optimizing images. In fact, done correctly, image search can give you a nice traffic lift, and if you license out your images for use across the Internet – well, you know what can happen. Try it: Enter a search phrase into Google, and select the “Images” link from the left navigation area. You’ll see the image display results.

    How can you optimize for images on your website?

    Over the years, the HTML ALT attribute (the popular term is “tag,” which is technically incorrect, but I use it here since most folks are familiar with that term) and its use have not been utilized well for search engine optimization. It has been used–still is– as a spammy way to try to manipulate results for search engines.

    Learn how to optimize for users and search engines in this short post and discover the ALT attribute techniques that work. And, we look at 508 accessibility issues –  it is also included briefly in the video snippet.

    The basic syntax looks like this: <img src=”keyword-specific-name.jpg” alt=”description of my image”>. Where spam would enter the scene is via keyword stuffing (many words crammed into the ALT attribute) in hopes of getting ranked by those keywords inserted. You guessed it:

    This does not work, and certainly is no long term strategy.

    Do it correctly and optimize for Google’s image search by providing a good filename and a short, related description. If you are looking to brand yourself, you may even graphically place a transparent logo or overlay text right on the image. This way, when it shows up in image search, users have a reference of its origin. You see this often on videos (i.e.: youtube), where a reference to the website sits on the bottom of the screen during play–as a reminder of where it came from.

    Enjoy this SEO video about ALT / image attributes from the Google Search Spam Cop, Matt Cutts.

    What do you think?

    Alert: How To Avoid The New Black Hat Social Media (cloaked links)

    I see you

    Dear Social Media User: I see your PC!

    In the world of search engine optimization, the words ‘black hat’, ‘cloaking’ and ‘IP redirects’ are familiar expressions. So are terms like ‘keyword stuffing’, ‘invisible text’ and ‘doorway pages’.

    Google fights hacking attempts, unethical and spamming practices every minute of every day.  They have hired the best of the best to combat the rogue internet butt-heads out there.

    Traditional cloaking within SEO is often related to spamming search results so that when a user clicks a link, it ‘redirects’ to another website (there are several others). If you searched for ‘baby strollers’ and a click from Google results takes you to a Viagra site – well, that’s an example of the worst kind. You are now hurting human beings as well… Google truly hates anything to do with it (that’s the technical term), but of course – you cannot hurt a software engine. (That’s part of the allure of hackers – try to beat the “Google giant” – and make (tons) money in the process – until they get shut down). Bottom line: if search results are not good/relevant to the query, Google doesn’t make money.

    Now, enter a new bug to the Internet world: Cloaked links for Social Media. To a tech person, it’s perhaps not new (a link is a link is a link), but to the average social media user, it can be a scary situation: Your PC can be totally infected from a (seemingly) trusted link within Facebook, for example. It’s too late – you may find that your entire PC has been compromised, infected.

    What can you do?

    read more

    Are Your SEO Keyword Bids Too High?

    I met somebody a few years ago at a search engine conference (SES San Jose), and he was big-time into SEO. This guy was really on top (no pun intended) of things. And, he laughed (hard) when I asked about bidding for seo-related keywords using paid search. His point was this: “shouldn’t your SEO keywords already be placed at the top in Google since you’re an SEO?”. He continued, “why should you have to buy those keywords”? I agreed at the time. If you’re serious about SEO (search engine optimization), you must be at the top, and the preferred position is #1, of course.

    However, I make this point: if you rely on just one marketing tactic alone, you’re not being on top of things. It’s like a stock portfolio. You don’t place all your money in one stock, or investment type. You have to spread it across multiple accounts, types, investment institutions and locations (abroad too). SEO is one of those types. PPC is another – where you get to pay your way to the top.

    Now, the PPC (Google Adwords for this post) bid prices have become very expensive, and especially for top (head) keywords like “search engine optimization”. Today, being ranked on the first 1-3 positions in Google Natural – is ultra competitive. Buying keywords is also out of range for most businesses. So, how do get to the top in a major search engine, without the time and major expense? Can you get to top positions for pennies on the dollar?

    It’s easy – if you know how. Let’s break it down in this post.
    read more

    Business Twitter Marketing Tools You Should Use

    discover twitter video new clinton, richard branson, garyvee and more
    (see twitter discovery video below). Twitter is growing by leaps and bounds. With over 200 million users, and 140 million tweets a day, you can see why that is. From President Obama, Secretary of State (Clinton) to the uprising in Egypt, and everything in-between, you are looking at more than just a simple chat system.

    And, a new video was released today – Discover Twitter that shows you how other people use it. (see below). It’s considered a social media power tool. Not everybody are in love with Twitter. But, if you are – and understand how to leverage 140 characters and social media with Twitter, you’re not alone. Millions of people use Twitter, and frankly – could not live without it. Twitter breaks news faster that major news media, and connects people all over the globe, including locally – as you’ll see.

    The source code is available via an API (application programming interface), which means that there is an opportunity for technical folks to create 3rd party applications.  Not every tools is great for business, and some have not made the cut to massive popularity.

    The below list represents the top Twitter marketing applications for accounts, contacts, tracking and more.

    What are the top Twitter tools to look at?
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    3 Bureau Credit Free Report Score to Improve Borrowing Power

    credit score and credit reportingWhen it comes to mastering your money, both personally and in business – an important piece to success is the (dreaded) credit score and credit report. It’s often referred to as the FICO score.

    The 3 bureaus that provide all your credit information are Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax.

    The reports and scores are important to have in your possession. But, you should also to keep track of changes – over time.

    Things do change, and sometimes without you knowing it. Therefore, you should stay on top of it, and know your options.

    To get a free report – follow these easy steps. And, you should go do it right now. Your privacy is protected, and this applies to the United States specifically.

    And, after you’ve done and printed out the below, consider calling your credit card companies and ask to lower your interest rate. In fact, a good score and good payment history will in most cases allow you to do this. See – the credit reporting and scoring discovery is already helping you.

    read more

    How to Get a Shopping Cart on Your Web Site (7 Secrets)

    add website shopping cart buy nowE-commerce. This word did not exist before the Internet. What is the definition of it?

    Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-comme-commerce or eCommerce, consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks – Wikipedia

    Ecommerce is all about selling on the web. Unlike ‘information’, e-comm uses a different approach, and must have technology and important security and verification options in place to enable credit card purchases and payment transactions online.

    If you want to sell products on the internet through your web site, there are two options available to you.

    The first is to provide potential customers with your personal contact info, so that they can call, e-mail, or send payment through regular mail in order to make a purchase (offline).

    The second, which many vendors find more convenient, is placing a shopping cart, and enabling “add to cart” buttons on your site (online).

    Setting up a retail page with a shopping cart can be done in several convenient steps, so you can be selling products online in no time at all.

    read more

    What is Web 2.0?

    what is web 2.0The buzzword Web 2.0 is thrown around a lot. Is there a Web 3.0? It depends on who you talk to. Let me explain.

    Throughout the years that the internet has been up and running there have been a number of electronic and technical advancements that have helped to change the shape of the internet, and the way we use it to communicate. When the internet first became popular, the only way to communicate with other web users was through e-mail or live text chat services. With the introduction of Web 2.0, this changed completely.

    What does Web 2.0 mean?

    read more

    Twitter Advertising Halts Application Development?

    Twitter has become a powerful platform within a growing social media community.

    However, not everybody subscribes to Twitter’s simple interface, quirky “chat” like work flow and 140 character limit. Not everybody sees the benefit of joining or conversing on Twitter, when sites like Facebook and LinkedIn do more of the heavy lifting for business development and ease-of-use.

    Truth be told, Twitter is a bit of an odd-ball in the mix of social media – but a power tool none the less.

    Twitter management is telling developers to stop making 3rd party applications. And, they are getting rather animated about it. Why is that?

    read more

    How To Get A Website For Free

    It amazes me still – that folks don’t know how to get a website up and running, and much less for free. It is possible. (True, it may not be the best choice for a growing business, but you can start on the cheap, and change later).

    The internet has become a leading form of communication. From advertising to social networking to electronic commerce, the web is a base point for numerous types of exchanges and transactions.

    The technical landscape of this world is composed of web sites, a necessary part of building an internet presence. There are many ways to get a website, and this post will discuss a few of those ways.

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    Millionaires Who Give Away Money (Like Crazy)

    When you started your small business as an entrepreneur, you had big dreams, hopes and goals (and you still do!). It’s possible that at first, it was very ego-based: to serve yourself, customers and only those close to you. Then, as you made more money, you’d buy more stuff, invest back into the business, possibly selling it, and retire in style, hoarding all the money (maybe not that last one).

    And now, as you continue to build wealth for yourself, society and others, it becomes exciting to think about new opportunities to give even more – literally giving money away. In fact, giving money is what rich people do. Poor people try to hide it. Interesting how that works. The rich have figured something else out.

    Many other entrepreneurs and business people have gone before you and have set up big donations and programs to help, dating back to the industrial revolution. Remember the Rockefeller’s and the Carnegie’s? They helped define the structure of modern philanthropy.

    Clearly, there are variations in philosophy and differences in goals here, but a common thread is wanting to give back. (Of course, there is government giving money waste, but that’s for another time).

    read more

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