Category Archives: Websites

Five Rare tricks to win the Search Engine Optimization Race

I was busy past  few days  in boosting the traffic of my website news.biharprabha.com. Thanks to SEO, the number of visitors per day  increased by 500 %  in past 30 days.  Search Engine Optimization has become a very broad term now. Unlike past , where it was limited to the  on-page optimization  and off-page optimization, it has accumulated the feathers of Social Media.

I am sharing few of the strategies  that I used to achieve this feat. This is applicable to any content centered websites like  news, blogs or forums.

1.  Meta Keywords: Just Google for Search Engine Optimization and you  will get lots of results. Remember, the best firm will definitely appear on the top of Search Results for this query. Take the top 5 websites (other than Google) appearing in the search Results and analyse their code. You will find extra Meta Entries for most of them. Include them in all of your pages.

2.  Keyword   Make sure the keyword you are targeting appears in the <TITLE> of your page and inside <Hn> tags   inside the  <BODY>  of the page. Lower the value of <H> you provide, higher weight would the keyword gains w. r. t. that page. So ensure that the target keywords appears inside <H1> or <H2> tags.

Use the formula below for <H> density

Maximum  number of <Hn>= 2^(n-1)  where n=1,2,3,4,5,6

It means  never keep more than 1 <h1> tags or more than 2 <h2> tags. Doing so may invite suspicion on part of Search Engines and impact your reputation.

3: Frequency: The Crawl rate of Search Engines is directly proportional to the frequency at which new content is being added to your website. So instead of adding 5 pages/day  at a time  it is better  to add one page at the interval of every four hours.

4. Duplicate Content: This is the  most controversial  topic in the SEO domain. The impact of keeping Duplicate content varies from  site to site. If the same content appears on Times of India and on Hindustan Times website, both will appear in the search results without any harm done to any of them. But, if a small website copies the content from Times of India,, it will not get any benefit for sure. Google or any search Engine can easily identify  and devoid it of any benefit in the search Results. For  start-up websites or blogs, keep a balance between Duplicate and Original Content. If you are posting duplicate content, make sure that it is beneficial to the readers and proper credits have been given to the owner of the content.

As a thumb rule:

1. Copy in parts  and not in whole.
2. Copy but not cheat.

5. Social Media: Though  officially not stated by Google , but  it has been observed that any page  shared  multiple times  on Facebook and Twitter gains some advantage in terms of SEO. Make sure that all your contents are promoted to Twitter and Facebook whenever they are published.  Use RSS Graphiti app for automatically sharing your posts to Facebook. For Twitter, use Wp-to-Twitter plugin for immediate tweeting upon publication of new posts.

 

These tricks are based on my own experience of Search Engine Optimization. Always remember that

SEO doesnot mean fooling the Search Spiders.
It is like putting your best foot forward.
Never try to cheat the  Search Spiders.
Never Over-Optimize your page
Stay Alert; what works today may not work tomorrow

Thanks for reading. Will keep  posted about new developments in SEO Industry

Thinkvidya going the LinkedIn Way

It has been 6 months since I first wrote about Thinkvidya  and honestly I could not get time (I am lazy :-) ) to visit that site in the meantime. When I visited Thinkvidya  again today,  I was impressed by many statistics presented and the milestones they have accomplished  in such a short term.

About ThinkVidya

It is an online network of Parents, Teachers and Students.  Truthfully, it is a network for 20000 learning providers with over 8000 regular teachers and trainers. No doubt, it is India’s largest Educational Network.

Why Should I Join it?

For those who fail to be impressed by the statistics; Thinkvidya acts as the missing link between Quality Tutors and the students. If you need a top-level Physics  tutor  in Bangalore,  jump to Thinkvidya, make a simple search and you are done. On opposite, if you are in search of students for your tution class or in free time, there is no better alternative than Thinkvidya.Other educational Institutes can easily find bulk number of students easily. So, if you are planning to start you Teaching business, Thinkvidya has lot to offer.   Presently it has a network  in most of the Tier-I and Tier- II cities of India including  Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad,  Pune , Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Coimbatore,Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow,Nagpur and Vadodara.

Who Should Join?

Honestly, it is not merely regular, curricular teaching  that Thinkvidya has to boast about. A majority of tutors come from co-curricular and extra-curricular domains like, Dancing, Singing, Musical Instruments, Cooking, Martial Arts, Drawing, Swimming  and Yoga. You can view the full list here.   It is very difficult to find such tutors in Indian cities, unless you are willing to pay a lofty sum to brokers.

Business Model

The Business model is simple. It is FREE for all, whether it is a student, a tutor or an institute. They can browse profiles of each other, post  Requirements or contact directly. You can contact 3 students each month for FREE, which is sufficient for a starter.

Teachers or Trainers can optionally subscribe to a paid Alert System,which provides them a regular  and targeted list of students every month. The Paid Members are also featured on the portal giving them a high visibility.

Areas of Improvement

No matter how much we achieve, there is always a better milestone. Thinkvidya also needs to innovate its user experience regularly.  The Individual user profile  design looks obsolete , something like dating  10 years back. It lacks the usual feel of Web 2.0 Design  and must be updated at earliest.

 

Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Well, it is not always that only  Software  Development for Clients pays off. Businesses must look for catering  the existing problems with technical solutions.  This is what Linkedin did, the same was done by SlideShare and of course Thinkvidya is doing the same. In fact I have no hesitation to say, Thinkvidya is India’s answer to LinkedIn. Though  these two cater different segments of people, there are several similarities among them.

 

 

 

 

Google Plus updates faster than Google itself

Google Plus, with numerous flaws  and comparative lack of  better user interface, still manages to be a preferred choice when sharing of news is concerned. Recently, in the case of Norway bombings, the updates were available on Google Plus, much before , they were available on Google.

Below is the original story from Mashable, which reports it.

When a massive vehicle bomb went off Friday in Oslo, Norway, it was easier at first to find news about it on Google+ than Google itself. The search giant may have lost the relationship with Twitter that enabled its realtime search, but it has created a tool that can potentially compete with Twitter’s instant information fire hose.

Like Twitter, one advantage that Google+ has in breaking news situations is the ability to easily create a feed around any topic. On Twitter, this feed is called a list. On Google+, circles can be used the same way. Google+ user Siegfried Hirsch, for instance, has already suggested a list of Google+ users for following the Oslo bombing that includes reporters and residents of Oslo.

The latter group used Google+ to react to the bombing and post updates, similar to how many have used Twitter or Facebook in the past.

Google+ as a breaking news tool is far from perfect. Ironically, its biggest problem is search. Profiles include a “people search” but no topic search. The platform does have a content recommendation and discovery platform, Sparks, but its results for “Oslo bomb” look sparse compared to the results that a query for “Oslo site:plus.google.com” turns up on Google’s general search engine.

There’s also no way to easily pass on circles to other people. So while assembling a dedicated newsfeed is easy, sharing it requires that someone else visit each profile on the list and add it manually.

Despite its flaws, Google+ seems to be holding its own as a tool for breaking news, especially for a platform that is still invite only. We don’t know what tweaks to the platform are in the pipeline, but if they’re the right ones, there’s a chance that Google won’t miss its Twitter-enabled real-time search as much as we thought.

 

Source : Mashable.com

Revamping the educational model with ThinkVidya

Education economy had seen  a burst in its growth in the past decade.With the recent increase in the number of IITs and IIMs, this has attained a new height. What is even more surprising is the development of Sub-University economy comprising of Coaching Institutes,Preparatory Classes, Training Centers, Tutions,Computer Learning Centers etc. The way these institutes have grown up has by-passed all imagination and these have turned out to be more profitable compared to the parent Colleges and Universities. While certain regulations exist for these colleges and varsities, there are no such well-defined   standards and guidelines for these small , highly profitable Institutes.Searching for a good institute is tough nut to crack especially in big towns  and metro cities. This was the idea when 3pundits.com and teacherji.in decided to join hands and came up with http://www.thinkvidya.com/ .

What it Offers

Thinkvidya has something to offer for every age group.While the parents can find information about schools, preschools, summer programs and home tuitions for children; youngsters can get information about colleges, sports coaching, professional courses, competitive exam coaching and lot more. The adult audience on the other side can find information on anything and everything they might want to learn. This includes but not limited to performing arts, visual arts, computers, languages, cooking, fitness and yoga, mind and spirituality topics, sports, corporate training and lot more. The site boasts of covering training and learning option in over 700 categories across 16 cities in India. This includes Ahmedabad , Bangalore ,  Chennai , Delhi,  Kolkata,  Mumbai,  Hyderabad,  Pune,  Chandigarh,Coimbatore , Goa, Indore,  Jaipur,  Lucknow, Nagpur and  Vadodara. Users can ask questions, post reviews, follow any school or trainer listing as well as contact the providers directly. It allows users to not only find best places for education & learning but also contact trainers, post a requirement, provide reviews and much more. The existing users and trainers of the Teacherji.in will be moved on to new website without a glitch and they will continue to enjoy their benefits.

Registration

It has  a simple lucid registration page asking for few details like Name, Email , City etc. However, it would  have been better if there was  a customized Signup page each  for Learner, Trainer, Tutor,School, Parent etc. If you have a Facebook Account You can skip the signup and Login directly.Click here to Signup now

How Much Does It Cost?

Till now the site   has a no Payment Link so its completely free to use. I dont know what is the business model associated with this project,but I could see few ads in the Search Results Page. I would rather recommend them going for banner and text ads instead of Sponsored listings or Pay-for-Use model.

UI Analysis

I am impressed that they have spent a considerable chunk of time in developing the look and feel  and gave it a standard Web 2.0 layout.However, it is not fully validated  against the W3c XHTML Strict standards.

Forum

Thinkvidya also offers  a  city specific discussion board. Members can ask questions or reply to existing  discussions. At present most of the discussions are confined to Bangalore only.Visit Thinkvidya forum

Articles

If you seek information about ancient Indian education and practices, I would suggest you to browse Articles Section.It has various  resources related to Yoga, Reiki, Folk dances etc.

 

Alerts

You can subscribe to alerts  for School Admission,Summer Program  and other activities in your city. A mail will be sent to you when something related occurs in your city

In overall, the site has lot to offer  and can be a good substitute to educational yellowpages in future.It lays the foundation of educational networking where both teachers and students can interact online and benefit themselves.So if you are planning to invest into educational sector or want to reap benefit from it ThinkViyda is definitely the best choice  for you.Join now and experience the fundas of educational networking

Delicious now owned by Youtube Founders

Back in March, there were rumors out thatYahoo will be selling Delicious to StumbleUpon. Today the uncertainty over the fate of Delicious bookmarking service is over. It has been bought by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen who were founders of YouTube.

Earlier Yahoo has planned to shut-down Delicious but with outrage by many internet groups, it decided that it will end up selling Delicious instead of closing it down. This shows how much, Yahoo was aware of the popularity of their own service.

Delicious bookmarks was exclusive and simple. It was not ever meant to be a Stumbleupon or a Digg like service. This does mean less volumes of sharing bookmarks will happen but quality ends up high.

The new owners of Delicious, will have to make delicious more social at the same time manage to make sure users still find it useful and there is no information overload which seems to happen with other bookmarking services.

At the moment, when users sign into their Delicious account, users are prompted to give permission to Delicious to move the bookmarks from Yahoo to the new owner.

I think YouTube, which is Google on real product which is social and yet successful. So YouTube founders might be able to meet these challenges quite well.

What are your views? Will you stay with Delicious or move to them to Google Bookmarks? Do drop in your comments.

 

 

Search RSS feeds with CtrlQ

Meet ctrlQ.org – a search tool to help you discover RSS feeds around your topics of interest. You may use ctrlQ to find feeds for blogs, news websites, podcasts, and more. 

A unique feature (see video demo) of this tool is that it you can preview feed content inline, from the the search results page itself, thus making it easier for you to decide whether a site / feed matches your interest or not.

You may use any of the Google advanced search operators – like site, allintitle or inurl – in your queries to further refine your search results. If you find an interesting feed, hit the corresponding Subscribe link to subscribe to that feed in your preferred news reader.

The site internally uses Google Feeds API while the presentation is made possible with YUI Library and the awesome jQuery. The feed button is powered by AddToAny.

 

Facebook Questions- A smart way to increase the popularity of page

How does Questions work?

Questions is designed so that anyone on Facebook can help you find the answer. For example, when you ask a question and your friends answer or follow, their friends can see and answer it, too.

Brands and businesses are looking for ways to leverage Facebook’s recently unveiled Questions tool in ways that differ from what they’re already doing on Q&A sites such as Quora, Yahoo Answers and LocalMind.

The feature, which Facebook rolled out to all users March 24, functions as a recommendation engine. It also presents a major opportunity for businesses to conduct market research and crowdsource in a far more elegant way than was previously possible, according to Ben Grossman, communication strategist for marketing agency Oxford Communications.

“We know from Nielsen that recommendations from friends and family and the opinions of online strangers are the top two most trusted forms of advertising,” Grossman told Mashable. “Facebook Questions offers the perfect opportunity for brands to tap into exactly that.”

NOTE:
Page owners can access Questions by logging into their page and then heading to the Questions page to enable the feature. For detailed instructions, click here.

Brands, businesses, groups and organizations can then use Questions in several ways. For example, Grossman said:

  • Ice cream parlors can find out what the flavor of the week should be.
  • A gym can find out what time is best for its new hip-hop yoga class.
  • Radio stations can determine the hottest concerts for the summer.
  • Manufacturers can do a pulse check on fans’ holiday shopping plans.

“The best part about this is that it’s in a trusting, social and real-time setting,” he said. “The opportunity to gain instant feedback from a brand’s biggest fans is amazing.”

Fittingly, we had some more questions about Questions. Below, Grossman weighs in on the feature to help brands better understand the tool.

Mashable: How is Facebook Questions different than the Q&A tools already online?

Grossman: Though Questions certainly falls into a similar category as Yahoo Answers and Quora, there are two very major differences:

  • Answers to questions are not free-form; users are limited to multiple-choice responses.
  • Questions (and their answers) are not catalogued by search engines at this time. Public Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers and Quora will still remain important for public-facing customer support and inquiries.

Mashable: How will Facebook Questions change the way users of Facebook Pages interact with their fans? Why is this important?

Grossman: Though third-party Facebook application development companies such as Involver and Wildfire have developed turn-key “poll” applications, many users were likely to get hung up on that pesky “Applications Permissions” box that demands access to users personal information.

Questions changes that. No permissions are required, and the Questions platform lets you answer and talk about questions with all your friends no matter if they’ve engaged with a third-party application before or not.

The other great thing about Questions is it comes with a setting that allows users to add more answers to the multiple-choice answers. This bit of flexibility will really and truly allow businesses to learn from their consumers — they just have to know the right questions to ask.

Questions also demands a higher level of fidelity to opinion statistics for brands. If brands bind themselves to the Questions platform to pose questions and they relate to the brand’s business, it’s going to be a lot clearer to all the fans what public opinion is. If the brand doesn’t follow through by acting on that opinion, Questions has a nice comment area that gives fans the perfect place to call a brand out on it.

Mashable: How have you or Oxford used Facebook Questions so far? How do you plan to use the feature in the future?

Grossman: Oxford Communications decided to test out the functionality and float this question out to our fans:

Within 15 hours, we had engaged 13% of our fanbase and had not only gained votes on answers we had given to the question; we also had fans suggesting (and voting for) new answers, including local couponing sites, LiveTVChat and more. For us, it was an opportunity to enjoy a high level of engagement with our followers, emerge as a thought leader and learn a little all at the same time.

The next frontier, after some additional testing, will be to activate Questions on behalf of our clients. Next month, we are planning on extending Legends Outlets Kansas City’s “Charity Check-In” program through use of Facebook Questions. On Legends Outlets Facbeook Page, Legends Outlets is currently encouraging its consumers to check-in with Facebook Places in order to trigger the brand to donate $1 to a pre-determined, local Kansas City charity.

Next month, the brand will be doing the same, but we will also be employing Facebook Questions to ask the fans what charities they would like to see appear as part of the ongoing Charity Check-In program. We’re excited to help Legends Outlets partner with the charities that mean the most to its fans, while raising their friends’ awareness of ways they can give back to the community.

Mashable: What was your initial reaction to the new Facebook Questions tool?

Grossman: Any time Facebook adds a new standard application to all user and business profiles, I get excited. When Facebook adds major new functionality like Questions, it stands to shift the social dynamic of over 500 million people, creating richer, more diverse and increasingly dynamic conversations.

Beyond the impact it will have on users, the widespread release of Facebook Questions is also emblematic of the continuing trend we’ve seen from Facebook: As soon as a new trend in social media begins to rise up, Facebook acts quickly and decisively. For those long-time Facebook users out there, Questions will hearken back to the days when Polls were far more common on Facebook. But this round of Q&A-based functionality released by Facebook is likely more of a direct response to the increasing popularity of up-and-coming sites like Quora and LocalMind.

What I love about Questions is how true it is to Facebook’s zeal for transparency and trust.

NOTE:-This post has been adapted from http://mashable.com/2011/03/27/facebook-questions-for-brands/

8 ways to Test Your Website

Your website is the “storefront” of your business (even if you have a literal storefront, too). Your website needs to attract customers and keep them coming back for more. So pull up your website and ask yourself a few questions:

Where do your eyes go first?

You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience…make sure they’re seeing something important.

Can you tell what the website is about?

Again, you only have a few seconds to communicate your unique value, so be clear and compelling.

Is important information above the fold?

Make sure your opt-in forms and Unique Selling Proposition are available without scrolling down.

Are the benefits highlighted?

Your visitors want to quickly learn “what’s in it for them.” Spell out the benefits clearly on the homepage.

Is there a clear call to action?

If they like what they see, prospects need to know what to do next. It can be to buy now, start a free trial, or simply download a free report.

Are the colors and font distracting?

Jarring colors, quick animation, and gaudy fonts can really be distracting. And if your visitors are distracted, they’ll click away.

Do you feel personally connected?

Consumers want to buy from people, not machines. Connect with your prospects by being honest, straightforward, and using a conversational style.

Are there links to social media?

Many people want to do a little more research before buying. Linking to social media sites gives your potential customers another glimpse into your company (and perhaps a few testimonials from other customers).

Once you determine a few areas where you can improve, develop a plan to start implementing changes. You don’t have to do them all at once – just do a few at a time until you have a website that really converts.

To your success!

Easiest Way to Move WordPress.com Blog to WordPress.org

So what is the easiest way to shift, migrate or move WordPress.com blog  to WordPress.org self hosted blog? Pay $99 for Guided Transfer and professional WordPress experts will migrate your blog error free.

Today WordPress introduced this much wanted feature, which will benefit many bloggers wanting to overcome wordpress.com limitations, and get their own standalone blog, on their own domain name, own hosting and own wordpress.org content.

WordPress.com to WordPress.org

Try WordPress Guided Transfers – wherein for $99 one-time fee, they will move your content, theme, domain, and everything else to your choice of  their recommended WordPress hosting – BlueHost, Dreamhost, Mediatemple, Network Solutions and Godaddy Hosting.

In addition, they will also install and configure Jetpack and a few other plugins to provide features that you have been using on WordPress.com. They will configure and test permissions so you get one-click installs and upgrades (its not configured on all hosts). and then finally switch your domain over.

For 2 weeks, they will also provide full support for your new WordPress installation. All this for $99 is not a bad deal to get your blog free to grow.

The miscellaneous features of WordPress 3.1

Update: WordPress changed the name of the project to Reinhardt.

Matt Mullenweg has announced the release of the long-waited WordPress 3.1 on the official WordPress blog. In September, we wrote an article about What’s Coming in WordPress 3.1 (Features) to give you an sneak peak on the features that might be included. In this article, we will show you exactly what made in the release in terms of features with cool screenshots, and what features did not make it in.

WordPress Post Formats

WordPress Post Formats Screenshot

WordPress has added an option for you to have multiple Post Formats in WordPress 3.1. What the heck is Post Formats? Post Formats are meta information that can be used by themes to customize presentation of a post. Ok, now in plain english post format are a method of styling a specific post. By using this feature, you can specify the display “format” of a specific post. This feature expands the micro-blogging aspect of WordPress because now you can have videos, links, images, audios, quotes, statuses, etc. all in one place, and the best part is that they will be styled accordingly. For developers, it is not really different from Custom Taxonomies except this is more organized and it is built-in for standardization. Now, users can expect more themes like Wumblr – Microblogging Theme for WordPress.

WordPress Admin Bar

WordPress Admin Bar Screenshot

If you have used a WordPress.com blog, then you are already familiar with this. In WordPress 3.1, an administration bar will be added to connect the back end to the front end of your blog. This feature will be most useful for people on multisite installs, but it will be useful for single-site users also because it provides 1-click access to dashboard, new post form, etc. According to Matt Mullenweg, this is the “first step toward a front-end editor”.

Internal Linking in WordPress

WordPress Internal Linking Screenshot

Internal linking is great for WordPress SEO. Previously, if a blogger wanted to add links to their previous articles, they had to open a new tab in their browser, find the url, and then add it. Well, in WordPress 3.1, the core team has provided an internal linking system that allows you to search through your database for the right post and link to it. To use this feature, you must use the Visual Post Editor, and try to make a hyperlink. There is a new option added that you can see in the screenshot above.

Ajaxified Pagination and Columns

WordPress Ajax Pagination

Previously, sorting through WordPress posts pagination was a pain. Now, you can simply enter the number of the page you want to go to. Also, columns are now sortable. As you can see there is an arrow right by the title.

Admin Blue Theme Refresh

WordPress Admin Skin

The Blue Theme for the Admin Panel saw a refresh in UI. Here is the core ticket for that.

Advanced Taxonomy Queries

This is not for beginners, but we figure that developers will be happy about this. This feature will create an easier way to run advanced queries. For example, right now there is no way to ask for posts that are in the “cars” category but lack the “BMW” tag. This causes users to create complex category systems to simulate multiple taxonomies. This will make sorting of posts and other post types very easy for developers who are looking to push WordPress beyond it’s limits. Read more at Multiple Taxonomy Queries.

Cleaner Write Panels

Because WordPress is used by audience of all types (beginners, intermediates, advanced, etc.), the UI team has decided to make the write panels a lot cleaner by removing a lot of confusing fields by default such as the WordPress Custom Fields area, and others. But you can get those fields by customizing your WordPress dashboard via the Screen tab.

New Super Admin Network Dashboard

This allows the network admins to get a new super admin dashboard that is separate of user-admin dashboard. It has it’s own menus, pages etc. This removes the clutter from the regular admin dashboard for individual sites. More about Network Admin Screen.

Custom Post Type Archives

In WordPress 3.0, Custom Post Types were introduced. But there was no way to have an archive page that list an specific custom post type unless the developer creates a custom page for each custom post type. In WordPress 3.1, a new page will be generated automatically. (SWEET!)

There were over two thousand commits for WordPress 3.1. The core team worked hard, and the release was even delayed 2 months because it was planned for before Christmas holidays. But again, we would rather have a complete version, rather than dropping tons of features. One good feature was pushed onto WordPress 3.2 which we hope gets included in the next version.

Enhanced QuickPress Template Tag

There were plans to make the QuickPress, custom post types ready and have a front-end code for it. This has been moved for version 3.2. Core Developer, Andrew Nacin said:

“Ultimately, a group of contributors needs to run with something like this to truly make it properly flexible. This didn’t see much traction beyond the fine work by jorbin”

We hope that this feature makes it in WordPress 3.2.

We want to thank the WordPress core developers and everyone else who contributed in making this release possible by contributing codes or beta testing. It is an amazing release.

Upgrade your WordPress now :)