Getting noticed by Google

Google explains how the Google “algorithm” or more formally PageRank™ – the software and hardware at the heart of what is Google – you can read little more here on their Google Technology page.

The founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Lawrence (Larry) Page, wrote this paper on their research into Google – it explains the Google concept. It makes for interesting reading now, some ten years later and Google is perhaps one of the biggest players in our online lives – together with the obvious likes of Windows, Mac and Linux (to name three OS).

The aim of many website owners (not all – but many) is to get to the top of the Google rankings with a specific search word or phrase.

You can pay Google to have a link to your website in plain view on page one of Google’s results page – based on matching your specified “keywords”. Match that is, with those words and phrases rattling around in the hard-drives of the hundreds of thousands of PC’s over at Google Street. If you are not keen on paying, here are a few basic tips on getting noticed by Google (and the other search engines). In future posts, we will add to our list of hints and tips on getting your website noticed – and visited!

1. Reciprocal Links – Try and get as many links as possible to link back to your site from other websites. Part of the Google’s PageRank system looks at how many other sites have links pointing at your page. Get some links pointing at your website – even better if you have some “keyword” texts accompanying your link from the pages of your clients, friends. sponsors and business partners – but do the same for them! Another great way to get your link out there is through wikis, search engines and other private and government directory services. Make sure they are QUALITY links from those “other” websites. By quality we don’t mean listing your site with some shady “get your website noticed search engine submission outfit, working from Dad’s shed”. Make sure that the sites that link to your site, add value to your message and content/product or service.

2. Your website’s Title Tag is very important to Google. By title, we mean the text that is found between the HTML <TITLE> tags in the <HEAD> section of your web page. A page title always appears at the very top of your browser. Always make sure that your Page Title has a definitive connection with the content of your website to make the most of Google’s robots visit to your page. Have a look at the top of your browser now and you will see our Page Title: The Channel Telegraph – Connecting online with Tasmania’s D’Entrecasteaux Channel community. So make sure your page title is on show!

3. Keywords. Google considers keyword density a large factor in ranking pages in search engine results, more so than many other search engines. So when writing the texts for your website make sure you keep the main aims of your website in mind. Keep those words in plain view – words that describe what you sell, or what service you provide, or information that you make available. Repeat those words as many times as you can without being boring – change them around – put them inside phrases and statements. Think about what people might type into Google when they want to find a website like yours – then put those words in your website’s content!

3. Avoid having home pages that only have images. Google and other search engines don’t get as any goodies to take back to their indexes from images – the robots cannot “read” images – they read TEXT! (Having said that Google may well save your image URL for its Google images database). So its great to have images on your home page to illustrate your best features – but don’t just rely on images – put some worthwhile text on the page. Another hint – if you do have images – make sure that they have ALT tags so that people with images turned off can get an idea of what that image might have been about – and Google will see the ALT tag…

Get your site listed on Tasmania Online

When your new website is completed and goes live online, one of your first online stops should be Tasmania Online. Here you can “submit your URL”. Put simply, you are adding your website to the online database of websites that are either Tasmanian based or at least have a reference in some way to Tasmania:

web sites must have significant Tasmanian content, or have Tasmanian authorship, or be located on a Tasmanian server. (Tasmania Online)

(You can read the Tasmania Online submission policy here).

Listing with Tasmania Online is one of the first steps in getting your website noticed on the web. It makes it more likely your website will be visited sooner, rather than later, by the major search engine robots, and also helps with your ranking on search engines like Google and Yahoo – just to mention two. When you do get around to clicking the “Submit URL” button on Tasmania Online – be sure to have some info ready to plug in:

  • Your site title
  • Your URL
  • A short description of your website (you should of course have a short description of your website already – as it it should be one of your site’s main meta-tags)
  • Your name
  • Your postcode

So – get over to Tasmania Online and list your site!

The Channel products and services directory

The Channel products and services directory exists to allow the online listing of products and services in the Channel region. All line listings are free. Yes, that’s right free. So if you have a business, service, product, community group or organisation that you wish to promote online – well here is a good starting point.

Some conditions apply of course! You, your business, service, product or group must be either based in the “Channel” region or adequately demonstrate that you “serve” the region – even though you may not reside or operate from the Channel. When using the free online directory you would also agree to provide your details – name, email and phone – so we can keep we can keep in touch with you with news, special offers and keep you up to date with Channel happenings. We undertake to NOT share this list of members with anyone else – it is purely for the use of the Channel Telegraph.

We can of course offer a fee-for-service advertising and promotion solution to suit your business, product or service needs – from dedicated web pages hosted on the Channel Telegraph, online display adverts, through to web and email hosting services for your online identity and tailored web site designs. Working in conjunction with Tweezy New Media – we have all your online needs covered.

Quick – get a Wiki

In Hawaii wiki means “quick”. On the web it’s a wiki you goto to find the information you need – now! (Idle Thought: Just how many people answer questions on radio quiz shows while key-tapping on a Wiki or Google? I have sometimes searched for an answer to a puzzler – but not as a participant!).

The most well known Wiki is of course Wikipedia. It’s essentially an online encyclopedia that has been around since 2001 and has become a very popular way to get some quick facts and figures. It is often criticised for being inaccurate, with concerns over the “independent” nature of the edits made by anonymous contributors. There have been some interesting “edits” made on Wikipedia. Like Pepsi changing some adverse comments on the effects of Pepsi on your health; someone at the New York Times adding the word “jerk” many times in an entry on George Bush..and many more. How were these edits found out? Well try WikiScanner – a site that allows you to check what IP address made anonymous edits on Wikipedia and then that IP address can be linked to a particular organisation. Wikipedia itself has a good article on the WikiScanner.

But Wikis can be much, much more. Anyone can set up a Wiki. You can even get one hosted for free. I have personal experience in using Wikis. I am helping build an Oral Histories Wiki for my local community. All that are involved can log in and make edits and additions. In another example, our community are doing something local in relation to Climate Change by establishing a Wiki network where information can be exchanged – like car-pooling, buying fresh food locally and so on – visit the Channel Community Network Wiki.

Wikis are these days increasingly used by all manner of groups, organisations and businesses for collaborative access and contribution to a diverse range of data. A good blog that covers many of the issues relating to the rise and rise of Wikis is Grow Your Wiki – it has a great range of articles on Wikis and Web2 – well worth a look.

To get you started here is a short list of free Wikis:

Wetpaint

Wikispaces

Wikidot

PBWiki

Zoho

NOTCOT

There is so much to see on the web! And so little time to actually getting around to seeing it…

Here begins a new category that will build to be (hopefully) a useful list of the unusual, the weird, the fun, the educational and the down right strange – all out there on the web…ideas and suggestions welcomed!

First cab off the rank is NOTCOT.org – I like the approach and there are some excellent design and art links – together with some interesting content across a range of topics – mostly “picture posts” with links to the original source.

NOTCOT is a fascinating repository of design and ideas. This is what NOTCOT say about themselves:

NOTCOT Inc is a growing network of design sites currently including NOTCOT.com and innovative community contributed sites NOTCOT.org + TasteSpotting.com + NotCouture.com.

NOTCOT is a visual filtration of ideas + aesthetics + amusements. NOTCOT’s two sites have become the daily sources of inspiration for creatives everywhere, fighting the good fight against “creative block” since 2005 with visually stunning imagery, the latest in international trends, and a passion for all things well designed.

NOTCOT.ORG is a community of creatives, design lovers, and trendsetters – where .org serves as the studio bulletin board gone digital – each image and caption brings you to a place worth visiting. It’s about sharing what inspires you. Bookmarks, del.icio.us, digg, blogrolls, etc. make you read, search and think. This is the PICTUREBOOK to their novel. NOTCOT.COM is the editorial face of NOTCOT, offering in-depth features on products, artists, technology, innovation, and up-and-coming trends….

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is one of the many changes we have seen in recent years. Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004, refers to…

a perceived second-generation of Web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users. …(ref: wikipedia).

The development of Web 2.0 applications across the web is staggering. Just a quick glance at the plethora of apps at a directory site like Go2Web20 is mind boggling! While many seem to offer a different way of doing the same thing – many are an indication of the way in which we use the web is changing. As we build The Channel Telegraph we will try and highlight the good, bad and ugly of those Web 2.0 apps that seem to be popping into hyperspace every minute of the day…somewhere in the world.

Getting a better broadband deal…

I shouldn’t complain I am very happy with Netspace and the broadband plan I have chosen. $49.95 for 512Kbps @ 30 gb download…for those who live on my side of the black stump – that’s not bad…

But surely we must start to get a better ADSL internet access service, together with competitive pricing in Australia…

While the U.S. isn’t the best comparison for Australia in broadband provision options – many locations in Europe have even better infrastructure and hence better plans and pricing – its a good place to start…

I pay $39.95…

– in the U.S with Verizon you pay US$29.99 ($33.60AUD based on 1 AUD = 0.892499 USD)

But they get unlimited downloads, 3Mbps down and 768 Kbps up….

http://www22.verizon.com/content/consumerdsl/plans/all+plans/all+plans.htm

In Europe with BT will give you unlimited downloads at 8Mbps for EUR24.99 ($41.37AUD) (and that plan includes the cost of a wireless hub and phone and you can get free phonecalls……arrrrrgggggghhhh! – and then there’s Telstra’s service and pricing!! ;-(

http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProducts/displayTopic.do?topicId=15764

Why not Australia….??

Musings from a hill overlooking the D'Entrecasteaux Channel