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SEO Expert Guide – Ongoing Monitoring of Results (part 9/10)

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In the Guide, you have, so far, learnt how to plan for and execute a search engine optimization and promotion strategy. However, this is not a one-off process, but an ongoing and iterative process, where you tweak and refine towards ever better ranking.

To inform this iteration, it is vital that you objectively monitor your performance, using measurable indicators and statistics.

(a) Tracking PageRank (PR)

As I have indicated previously in the Guide, you can find out your Google PageRank at any time by using the Google Toolbar.

Bear in mind that the PageRank system is a logarithmic system, where the average page rank of all pages on the web is just 1.0 (so at PR10 there are just a handful of sites, whilst at PR0 there are tons). The system is also a zero-sum game, in that an increase in the PR of one site is effectively offset by a tiny reduction in the PR of every other site (so that the average stays at 1).

As the internet is always growing and average PR stays the same, you should therefore expect your PR to decline slowly over time (all other things, including SEO, being equal). You can predict how your PageRank might change in the near future by using Rustybrick’s PR Predictor.

You might not be aware of this, but Google makes available to the public a key which gives you direct access to the index database compiled by their crawler. You can obtain you own API key at no charge from: http://www.google.com/apis/

Once armed with your key, I suggest you use the excellent Tracker from Digitalpoint, which allows you to track changes to your PageRank over time (for any number of different URLs).

(b) Key Word Performance Reporting

A simple tool to get you going is the GoogleRankings tool, which allows you to enter a keyword chain and see where your domain appears in Google’s search rankings for that combination.

With your API, you can sign-up for two further great services. The first of these, Google alert, is a useful free-subscription service, which allows you to receive emails showing changes to top rankings for your selected keywords. The second is the GoRank Google API keyword tracking tool (also free) which allows you to monitor multiple domains and keywords all on one page. The easiest way to learn is by doing, so get cracking!

(c) Monitoring your Traffic Rank

Begin by downloading and installing the Alexa Toolbar (and join over 10 million other people who have done the same). Tailored toward website owners and SEO freaks, it provides detailed statistics and information about the Web sites that a user visits (through tracking the surfing habits of it’s millions of Toolbar users).

Alexa gives each site a traffic rank. To get into the top 100,000 sites is the obsession of many. However, do recognise that Alexa has it’s limitations. Firstly, it has much greater penetration in Korea than elsewhere (so Korean sites disort the results). Secondly, at the lower end of the rankings, your own visits to your site can make a big difference to your rankings (as your own activity is also polled by Alexa).

For all it’s faults, Alexa is about the only reliable way to get any kind of idea where your site lies in terms of traffic, relative to your competitors. If you are still miles behind after a few months, try tweaking your keywords and content to more closely mimic (without copying) your successful opponent. Hopefully, you will reap the benefits!

(d) Checking your Back Links

The easiest way to check your Google backlinks is to type link: followed immediately by your domain name. However, Google filters out of these results any internal links and similar links. To trick Google (and force her to leave those in) type your domain name into the Google search bar, with a plus sign between the dot and the tld domain filename. The two cominations for Doug are:

link:antique-door-knocker.com and:

antique-door-knocker.+com (retrieves more results)

For a rigorous and on-going analysis, take your Google API key back to Digitalpoint’s Tracker, a wonderful two-in-one tool which allows you to track (filtered) backlinks and PageRank for loads of individual URLs on just one page.

(e) Interpreting your own Web Statistics

You should not neglect your own log files or site statistics in seeking to understand the success of your SEO strategy. If you don’t already have a stats package installed, I recommend Webalizer or AWStats.

Ignore hits and files. A hit is any element called by your browser when it requests a page. A file is a hit which actually returned data from the server. Given that a single page may register a single hit or hundreds of hits (if it contains lots of images or external scripts and style sheets) it is not very useful data for any kind of comparison.

Unique Visitors are recorded through each new IP address that hits you site. This under-estimates the total, as people visiting your site from the same IP address (such as people on an office network) will be counted as a single visitor. Repeat visitors are a sub-set, where the same IP address has visited more than once (and will be over-estimated for the same reasons highlighted above). If you visitor numbers are on the rise, the chances are that your SEO strategy is yielding results.

Page Views or Page Impressions (PI) measures the number of pages served. By dividing this into total visitor numbers, you can also derive the number of pages the average visitor views. Page views can give you an idea of whether or not visitors are finding what they need on your site and progressing through it or viewing a single page and leaving.

The key measure for you is the Referrer data, where the link a visitor clicked on to arrive at your site is counted as a referrer or referring site. By tracking the number of referrals each month that you get from each search engine (and comparing this to their respective market shares) you can get an idea of how your performance is improving over time.

Search terms and search strings appear in the referring url and can tell you a lot about the key words you have successfully optimized. You might find that you are getting traffic on some unexpected terms and failing on some you hoped would do well. However, this could in fact mean you have hit on some useful words that your competitors have missed! Feed back your findings into future SEO activities.

The Browsers section will typically show you which search engine robots are visiting your site, how often and with what result (ie. how many pages they are viewing). If you spot any areas of underperformance, re-read the crawler guidance at the robot homepage (to make sure there is nothing you are doing to impede the spidering of your site).

Now for some final conclusions and advice on site migration (to your new, optimized masterpiece) …

Navigate the guide

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SEO Expert Guide – Black Hat SEO – Activities to avoid (part 8/10)

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SEO Expert Guide – Conclusions (part 10/10)

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Here Are The Advantages of Reading Motivational Quotes

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One of the greatest motivational speaker Tony Robbins once said, “In life, you need either inspiration or desperation.”

Just as harsh as it sounds, the truth is that we all are desperate in our lives. Desperate to become happy. Desperate to be at peace. Desperate to succeed.

And has this desperation taken us anywhere good? Don’t think so! Stress, anxiety, depression are common to us. So, if a few words can motivate you to find relief, the question is why not? If a few words can boost your morale, the question is why not? Motivational quotes have an important role to play in our lives.

If you are still not convinced about the power of motivational quotes, here are a few advantages that will convince you otherwise.

Motivational Quotes Simplify Complex Ideas

“Sometimes you have to give yourself pep talks”

No offence to anyone, but hours of lecture on motivation can be boring. Compiling the ideas together into a book that features self-improvement quotes has a greater appeal. One simple quote can express ten different ideas without boring you out. In fact, a single quote can have more positive implications on a person downtrodden with negative thoughts than long lectures and presentations.

It is easy to remember them (and use for daily references)

“Life is a one-time offer, use it well!”

Incantations are extremely powerful. When you keep repeating the same thing again and again, your subconscious mind becomes aware of it. And once you penetrate the deep wall of your subconscious mind, your brain will work according to it. Since encouraging quotes are easy to remember, you can keep reminding yourself of the same to guide you, and get a result that is effectively positive.

These are the most effective inspirational tools

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous” – Amelia Barr

Whether you are depressed or stressed, feeling low or just blank, a little motivation can never help. While there are different types of inspirational tools, a motivational quotes book is the most effective one out there. Reading those arousing words can help you channel your negative emotions and deal with them constructively.

They help share POVs

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou

You are not alone! Somewhere someone has been experiencing the same problems as you. And a piece of advice from such a person, with whom you will never meet, but share a wonderful connection of hearts is the best gift for you. So, the nest time you fuss and fret over an issue, search for a quote as such. You will be at ease!

You can find them everywhere

We live in a world that is primarily controlled by the internet (and let us not focus on the cons for once; let us use this gift as a source of all things good as well). And the fact is that encouraging life quotes are easier to come across than finding tickets to lectures. They are free of cost and scattered in abundance all over the internet. Be it Facebook or Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, you will find one perfectly suiting your temperament easily available. And you should definitely be taking advantage of that!

Motivational Quotes help you move forward

“Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.”

Inspirational quotes remind you to move forward in life. That is self-explanatory! When you feel stuck somewhere, stuck in the past, recycling the old memories, one right quote can motivate you to get up and, move past your past regrets and have a fresh approach to life. Motivation quotes are the support you will ever need.

Because motivational quotes push you to take actions

“Thoughts Become Words, Words Become Actions, Actions Become Who You Are”

You think, you plan but fail to take an initiative. An inspirational quote can help you take that action which you were failing to take. These quotes remind you to take action, not just reflect your life with empty words. That should be enough to help you get up and get going.

Motivational Quotes act like a coach

Be it, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins or Nick Vujicic, these people have provided us with ample of inspirational quotes to move forth in life and achieve our dreams. Since they are not available for a session physically, reading their pieces of motivation can act as the perfect guide in your life.

So, stop contemplating and start reading!

This is no time to whine. So what you failed your exam? So what your boss doesn’t appreciate you? So what life is unfair? Pick a motivational quote, get ample of encouragement, put your act together and walk forth. Always remember-

“Never let a stumble be the end of your journey”

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Inspirational Quotes For Graduation Announcements

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Instead of buying mass produced graduation announcements and graduation invitations that look exactly like everyone else’s, go online and add family photographs, personal style, and unique messages to create mementos of this year’s graduate. Of course, high school and college aren’t the only institutions people graduate from: beauty school, law school, police academy, kindergarten, boot camp, and several other occasions warrant recognition from family and friends. Graduation announcements and invitations help ensure that everyone hears the good news, gets to attend the ceremony itself, or is invited to the graduation party.

Certainly, the photographs selected to create memorable graduation announcements and invitations will have a big impact on their appearance. The words used to create the messages can also make or break custom correspondence. Luckily, there are more inspirational quotes available than could be used up in a lifetime. Some are humorous, some are somber, but all of them share the pride and celebration inherent in accomplishing something this big. Recognition is deserved and friends and family will be delighted to share in the good news.

School Pride

Schools nearly always have a special song and a unique slogan used to summarize the dreams and goals held for the students. Portions of these verses can easily be integrated into a graduation announcement. One advantage to using the graduate’s school slogan in the graduation announcement is that the school colors can also be used as the overall color scheme. In the same way as school songs and slogans, popular cheers, books, and even songs can be looked to for inspiration. If the graduate has a special accomplishment, such as sports, academics, or a school club, that fact can also provide inspiration.

Words Of Wisdom

There are countless websites dedicated to famous quotes and words of wisdom. These are just a few ideas that could easily be integrated into a unique graduation announcement:

1. Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. – Milton Berle

3. The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of us is a fuse. -Edward Koch

4. Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. – Anthony J. D’Angelo

5. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats

6. All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

In each case, the quote reminds both the grad and others that this grand accomplishment is really just a beginning, a starting place, from which all things are possible.

Humorous Quips

Using humor to entertain does not necessarily detract from the seriousness of the accomplishment. Unique graduation invitations and announcements can use humor to share this exciting news while still maintaining the academic persona with inspirational, somewhat silly quotes such as these:

1. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. – Oscar Wilde

2. Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. – Gary Bolding

3. The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate. – Doug Larson

4. The tassel’s worth the hassle! – Anonymous

Motivation And Advice

Nearly everyone has advice for new grads. These inspirational quotes, and others like them, can remind us all of the sage wisdom we have been offered.

1. The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future. – Plato

2. Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills

4. You cannot get to the top by sitting on your bottom. – Proverb

5. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson

6. Nothing happens unless first a dream. – Carl Sandburg

7. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

8. Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. – Judy Garland

9. Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable. – Wendy Wasserstein

Whatever words you choose to integrate into your custom graduation announcements and graduation invitations, your grad is sure to appreciate your efforts and to reap the acclaim they so richly deserve from the family and friends who supported them along the way.

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Starting your Web Hosting Business

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People start a Hosting business for various reasons. Some treat it as a second source of income. Some prefer it as a Run from home type of job. Some choose it for its reasonably low startup costs.

There are some reasons though, why you shouldn’t get into the Hosting business. Do not come into this business if you want a stress free life. Someone’s site going down is certainly not a piece of cake, especially when the customer is on the phone with you. This business is stressful, if you are a small business or if you have a million dollar hosting business. Web Hosts who have grown big are still stressed out, even if they have employees to take care of things.

Do not come into this business if you have strict time restrictions. This is a 24/7 business. Be prepared to sacrifice your social life if need be. Customers have problems at all times. Servers can go down anytime. Hackers are working on cracking your servers overtime. A Web Host doesn’t sleep easy.

Do not come into this business with visions of making big money in no time. A frighteningly large percentage of Web Hosts go bust or become dormant because they haven’t gotten their Return on Investment (ROI). Many are those who have underestimated the cost or overestimated the ROI. These Web Hosts quietly fold their businesses and suffer the losses. If money is your motivation, then prepare to be demotivated. Money doesn’t come easy in this business and requires a lot of work to get a decent amount.

What should you bring to the table

Ideally a new entrepreneur would bring in some Business experience to the table. If you have run some sort of Technical business such as computer sales, ISP, website design or E-business, it can give you a good start, because you would already know about how to run a Company in your area, accounts, taxes and legalities. If you have every owned a Website and have managed it, that would be pretty useful. If you have been working in a 9-5 job, you may want to brush up on Business basics, before you go further. This link can help you get started http://www.bankrate.com/

Technical knowledge would be a must. The hosting industry is filled with 14 year olds running their hosting companies quite successfully. What they have primarily is Technical knowledge. You should have preferably installed and studied about Linux and Windows. You should have some understanding of the various technical components of a Internet server and control panel software. If you have an idea of HTML and some scripting, it would be very useful.

It goes without saying that you should be a avid Internet surfer and be comfortable with running your business in front of your computer. A stable broadband connection is also needed for you to be online full time.

Choosing your Server

The real estate of the Web Hosting business lies in the servers you lease or own. Space on your server is what you sell. For example if your server has 50G of Disk space, discounting the Operating system and Control panel software, you can resell maybe 30G of it.

When you start your business, you need to get a Server so that you can host websites on it. Many newbies get confused here. Should they lease a server, should they go Colo, or should they start as a basic Reseller.

Your choices centre around Co location hosting (where you put your server in a data-center. The data-center provides bandwidth and physical space.), Dedicated server (lease a managed server from the Data-center) and Reseller hosting ( A reseller is a middle-man who sells web space on somebody else’s server. The most common form of reselling is something like this – Say the actual price of a hosting account is $10, the reseller gets it at $5, and can resell at whatever prices he wants. )

If you are starting on a budget, and have lesser than best Technical knowledge, you would be best taking on Reseller hosting. Its cheap, starting on an investment of under $100 for a reseller account. You would be managing the front end technical support of your clients, but will be spared the high end technical administration of your server. On the flip side though, you have no real control of your and your clients websites. Should the server go down, all you can do is tell your Web Host and patiently wait, all the while fielding calls from your clients.

Once you cross around 100 domains, you could graduate to Dedicated servers or Colo. In case you are getting into Web Hosting big time, it would be advisable to always buy a Web Hosting business. You get a ready clientele and can be spared initial hiccups. The going rate for a web hosting business is generally 1x to 2x times revenue. Make sure to check that the customers are happy, that they are all on monthly or quarterly plans, there is competent technical support in place and the servers are stable.

Remember your entire business plan is based on the Disk space and bandwidth that you are selling. No matter what server you are purchasing, remember a server can hold up to 300-500 accounts. This is the ideal figure. DO NOT base your business model on the premise that you can squeeze in 1000s of accounts into one server. Keep aside about 10% of your disk space and bandwidth for emergencies. The equation for disk space works like this

Saleable disk space = Total server space – 10% free space – Space for Operating system and software

Choosing Software

You need Control panel software, Billing software and Helpdesk software.

Control Panel software helps automate several Administration tasks. A large number of WebHosts use control panel software and customers expect to have a Client side control panel by default. Control panels available are Plesk, cPanel.net, Hsphere.com, Ensim.com and more. http://www.bobcares.com/ has a Cost and Features Comparison available to help you choose. Anyway, expect to spend $500-600 a year per server on your control panel. Of course, if you are a reseller, this cost is borne by your Hosting provider.

Some control panels, do not come with a good Billing software . If so you need to buy or lease Billing software. ModernBill and Ubersmith are some well known Billing softwares which can be integrated with popular control panels.

You may need Helpdesk software if your control panel doesn’t have them. Cerberus, Kayako, Ubersmith and Perldesk are some good Helpdesk software. Helpdesk software help you track and solve issues that your customers send.

Technical support and maintenance

Once you start your Web Hosting biz, you will get customers calling with complaints like “my email is not working”, “the website has gone down” or Requests for help like “How do I get my PHP script up and running”, “How do I use Frontpage and ftp to upload my website”. The kind of questions you can expect to get can range from the absurd to the most complex.

Make no mistake about this. If you don’t know Internet server troubleshooting and Linux/Windows in detail, DO NOT go about playing on the server. It can cause unacceptable Service downtime and worse.. Loss of Precious Customer data. Many Web host owners learn tech skills on their servers and customers(This is a scary thought). Such people actually play with the trust that their customers place on them.

If you are not a trained and Experienced Sysadmin, you can either hire local Sysadmins to help you, or you can outsource at a relatively cheaper cost to Outsourced Tech support companies like Bobcares.com. These companies have trained Engineers (Bachelors in Computer Science) who will take 10 mins to do something an untrained person may take over an hour.

24/7 Technical support with average response times of 1 hour or less is the expected Industry standard. In the dog eat dog world of Web Hosting, the only way you can differentiate yourself is through your customer support. If you choose to Outsource your support, take a good long look at the Testimonials and Plans of the provider. Cost shouldn’t be the only criteria when you choose to outsource. To save a few dollars, you may push your unsuspecting customers into Tech support nightmare. To check for Quality, look for company certifications like the ISO 9001:2000 standard which ensure that you get what you are told.

Credit card charges

If your clientele is global, expect to get paid via Credit cards online. Web Hosting providers generally use 3rdparty Payment Gateways like WorldPay.com, Authorize.net, Paypal.com and 2Checkout.com to accept credit cards. These Gateways provide an interface for your customers to securely enter the credit card information. In many cases, as a merchant, you won’t even see the credit card numbers, which makes it safer.

If you are a US business, your credit card fees should be around 2-3% of your transaction volumes plus a per sale value(like $0.50 cents a transaction). Some have monthly fees as well. International business will typically face a higher transaction value of around 5%-6%. However as your volumes go up, the rates come down.

Marketing your website

Once you put up your site, you need to effectively market it, if you need to be seen anywhere above the millions of hosts who are already out there.

Submit your site to dmoz.org, Yahoo and hundreds of Hosting directories like http://www.websitehostdirectory.com , hostreview.com, thewhir.com (there are many more).

If your site is the same every time Google comes to your site, It’s going to crawl it a lot less frequently – because it realizes you don’t update it as often – and there is no need to come a lot. So Make sure your site has a lot of relevant information, a lot of links and information has to be added and changed at least once a week. Adding a news section shows that your site is regularly updated.

Another way to promote your website is to use Pay Per click programs like Google ad words and Overture. Hosting is an expensive keyword and expect to pay $2 or more per click.

One interesting method that Web Hosts can inexpensively use is giving away Free Web Hosting to Popular websites in return of them displaying your link on their main page. This is a great way to generate Back links from popular pages, and is an easy way to push you up the Google ranks. Popular websites rarely pay for their Hosting charges, because Web Hosts line up to sponsor hosting for them.

If your client base is local, you could give away free hosting to locally popular institutions like Churches or schools.

Minding the Competition

There are thousands of Web Hosts out there and too many of them play the Cheapest host card. If this is your business plan, then stay away from Web Hosting. You’ll get your fingers burnt real quick. One Web Host famously said that he went from being the cheapest web host to the most expensive web host in One year without even changing his plan prices. Thats how bad things are.

The best way would be to identify Niche areas of hosting and be the masters of that niche. For example, Web Hosts provide Application hosting, like Oracle hosting.

Others provide Service hosting like Email or Data hosting.

Some others provide Hosting to certain Special needs customers. For example, Speciality hosting for Churches, Hosting for educational institutions.

The best thing about Niche Hosting is that you can establish your brand faster, and spend lesser on marketing. Many web hosts have different websites for various Niches areas. for example nicheareaoracle.com or nicheareaemail.com or whatever. Always find a way where you are special and different and be the best in that niche.

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