March 2011 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Masser Ranch for being the winner of this month's free hosting site. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Yelp

Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses. As of January 2011, more than 45 million people visited Yelp in the past 30 days and Yelpers have written over 15 million local reviews, 83% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher. In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find events, special offers, lists and to talk with other Yelpers. Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post offers, photos and message their customers.

Yelpers, on their smart phones, are on a mission. They are motivated customers looking for the closest cup of coffee, a new pair of jeans, affordable lodging, or a nearby towing service, and they want it now!

Did you know nearly 100 million smart phones are expected to be sold in the United States this year? With that many Blackberry, iPhone and Android devices walking around, it's no surprise that last month:

  • 35% of all searches on Yelp.com came from a Yelp mobile app

  • Every two seconds someone generates directions to a local business from a Yelp app

  • A photo was uploaded every 20 seconds from a Yelp mobile app

  • 3.3 million unique visitors used a Yelp mobile app last month

  • The Yelp iPhone app is in the top fifteen most downloaded apps of all time

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said it best when he stated, "People aren't 'searching' on a mobile device like they do on a desktop.... When people want to find a place to go out to dinner, they're going into Yelp."

Yelp for Business Owners allows you to post offers for your business on the Yelp Web site and within the Yelp mobile applications. Attract new customers and grow your business by creating an Offer on Yelp.

To get started with your Business Owner Account, go to biz.yelp.com.

Google's Panda Update

Google's Panda update caused a ranking drop for many Web sites. Google's algorithm update targets "low quality Web sites". It seems Google defines a low quality Web site as:

  • The site does not have enough content to be useful (shallow content).

  • The site has poorly written content.

  • Site content has been copied from other sites.

  • Site content is not useful.

With Google's latest update, it is not enough to have unique content on your site. It also doesn't seem to help if there are many unique words on your Web pages. The emphasis is that content has to be useful to your visitors. Even high quality pages may be affected
The low quality content on part of a site may impact the rankings of the entire website.

For this reason, if you believe you've been impacted by this latest change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the site pages.

There are a number of things you can do to make sure Google doesn't penalize your site:

  • Review the quality of pages on your site; are the pages useful to your visitors? If not, improve page content to make it more useful.

  • Since it is very likely Google is evaluating the overall user experience, check the usability and design of your Web pages. Your site pages should be easily navigated and have a professional design.

  • We've said it before and we'll reiterate it here - Don't try to cheat Google with shady search engine optimization methods. Focus on optimization methods that are beneficial to your visitors and Google.

    Search engine optimization is not about getting high rankings for every possible keyword. It is about getting high rankings for the correct keywords and about meeting the expectations of the Web site visitors.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.