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Victims of Sandy Hook

Stop the Slaughter of Innocents. Congress is bought and paid for by gun lunatics and gun promotion groups. If you want to live in a safe America, help buy Congress back for America. Send a donation to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 909 Third Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10022

A Brief Description and Basics of SEO

There are a lot of things in the computer world that people tend to find mysterious and they see as touching upon black magic. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of those things that ranks way up there on the mystery and black magic scale. Today, the term has expanded to Search Engine Marketing which includes paid advertising and other online marketing activities but for our purposes we'll stick with SEO.

SEO is the practice of promoting a web site by increasing its position in search results on the major search engines. Those search engines comprise of Google mainly but also include Yahoo!, Bing, and a few others. The idea is to make the site appear higher in the list of search results than similar sites. This is referred to as "organic" SEO meaning that the rank came as a result of plain old search results rather than having to pay for placement on the search engine.

There's a lot of value in getting it right as far as SEO goes. First of all it's free and second of all, web searches are becoming the primary means of finding information. Primary among the search engines is Google and according to some market research, Google commanded an incredible 81.22 percent of the global market share in June 2009. Google's success is punctuated by the fact that the word "Google" has found its way into the dictionary.

The primary goal of the search engines is to bring relevant search results to their users. When a user types in a search phrase, a search engine is successful when it delivers the information the user is searching for. If a search engine is unable to deliver relevant information it simply won't be long on the digital scene.

Performing this feat is the result of a mix of highly sophisticated programming, incredibly powerful servers, and perhaps some eye of newt and toe of frog thrown in for good measure.

Seriously, however, the full mechanics of how search engines rank web pages are kept highly confidential. It simply has to be that way or the bad guys of the world would use the knowledge to artificially inflate their own rankings.

There are some fundamental truths in SEO and it is fair to say that search engines today consider the following when ranking a given web page:

The content of the page - what it's about, what words are used prominently.
What words are used in the title of the page?
What words are used in the URL of the page?
What words are highlighted on the page?
What internal links (links from other pages on the same site) point to it?
How many external links point to it and more importantly, whether those pages are relevant to the page's subject matter?
The text used to form the internal and external links.
Even the age of the domain name plays a role in its ranking!

There is a lot more involved of course and that list could have gone on for a while. Factors such as keywords, the use of images and Flash animations, and the design of the site itself also play a role in a page's ranking.

Good SEO checklists can be found on the web but probably the most important thing to think about doesn't involve search engines at all. That's the quality of the content.

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Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies

Social media continues to evolve at breakneck speed, and the savvy marketer needs to keep up. This bestselling guide to social media marketing covers the newest vehicles, including Groupon and Rue La La, location-based services like Foursquare, and new social networking sites like Google+ and Pinterest.

Checklists, case studies, and examples will help you decide the best places to spend your marketing dollars, and you'll learn about valuable social media tools and analytics methods that can help you assess the success of your efforts. It is the perfect guidebook for the social media strategist, website manager, marketer, publicist, or anyone in charge of implementing and managing an organization's social media strategy.

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