Thursday, June 16, 2005

Google's Secrets

(The following information was sent to my by our "Internet Marketing Specialist" Thanh Nguyen. Thanks Thanh!)

Google has filed a patent that makes their "website ranking criteria" public. The article has 3 pages worth of information that explains that criteria.

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-10-2005-71368.asp

There's a plethora of information out there on Search Engine Optimization and trying to get your site ranked. One of the biggest challenges I have to deal with is the Google Sandbox. It's this magical realm where Google puts new websites and domains. Essentially, the sandbox is set up to prevent spam sites from bombarding the search engine and whether we agree with it or not, it is there. Once Google has decided that you've matured (typically 2-3 months), they'll let you out into the real world to frolic in cyberspace (and actually get rankings).

"Don't Be Evil"

Google's philosophy essentially dictates how you build your website and how to obtain your rankings. Don't try and cheat the system or you'll eventually get burned. Here are some of the common optimization tips that won't get you black-listed:

  1. Choose some keywords wisely in your TITLE tag. This is very important as it's the first thing that Google reads. Use some keywords in your ANCHOR text.
  2. Use some keywords in your URL's within your site. Also, when other sites link to you (link exchanging)
  3. Use some keywords in your image ALT tags.
  4. Content should be using some keywords in a way that it doesn't impede the customer experience (6%-8% keyword density).
  5. Update your site often (if possible). Keep expanding your website with more content and pages.

Google's philosophy essentially prompts users to be honest and build their websites naturally. That means you might have to build your website slowly too. If you want to go the risky route and try and beat the system, you could get black-listed (If you think it's spam, it probably is). If you thought the Google Sandbox was bad, you don't want to see the Google Black Hole...

Some helpful links to get you started:

Self Promotion

Search Engine Watch

High Rankings

Search Engine Guide

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Republic of Alberta

I know this post is outside the realm of marketing or even fashion, but I thought it was important enough to blog about, considering the current political climate in Canada. So here goes...please forgive my strong views!

Should Alberta separate from the rest of Canada? Put simply, Albertans should separate because the Canadian federation is no longer a Democracy.

Alberta is taxed without representation, provides the money that the liberal dictatorship uses to bribe Eastern Canada, and in return, is labelled as biggots and racists by our fellow citizens.

In 2005 alone, it will cost every single Albertan approximately $5000.00 to be "Canadian." Since 1960, Albertans have paid over $200 billion in Federal transfer payments (welfare) to the rest of Canada, the primary beneficiary being Quebec. This does not include the aproximately $180 billion Pierre Trudeau "stole" from Alberta as a result of the National Energy Program.

The Liberal Government is poised to again rob Alberta by way of pilfering its mineral wealth generated by high commodity prices. Other Canadians say that our province is merely "lucky" to have such mineral wealth and claim the right to share in our prosperity, while at the same time, ignoring our input into the country as a whole (i.e., our opposition to the Canadian Wheat Board, the Kyoto Accord, gun control, and an Elected Senate).

By stealing Alberta's money during the prosperous times, the rest of the country prevents us from building a diversified economy and securing a future for ourselves once our non-renewable resources have been depleted. The common retort is that Alberta should not worry, but rather seek solace in the fact that the rest of Canada will support Alberta when we are in need.

Do you honestly believe that Ontarians and Quebekers are going to feed and house you when the oil runs out?

For more information on the subject of Alberta separation, visit these resources:

Free Alberta (www.freealberta.com)
Separation Alberta (www.separationalberta.com)
Republic of Alberta (www.republicofalberta.com)