May 2010 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Burg's Corner 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.

Google Places (Formerly Local Business Center)

New to Google Places is the ability to post messages to your Place Page. This is great if you have an event coming up or just any special thing you want to tell people about. It can be up to 160 characters and it will show for 30 days unless you delete it sooner. You can post URLs that will become clickable links, but you can't use HTML code (I tried!).

If you claimed your company's local listing a long time ago and haven't checked it out in a while, you should definitely log on and revisit your page. And if you've never claimed your Place Page, there's no better time than the present!

Here's how to find your Place Page in Google: Head over to Google Maps and search for your company by name. When you find it, click the "more info" link. That should take you straight to your Place Page. If you haven't claimed your Place Page yet, click the link that says "Business Owner" and then click the "Edit my business information" button on the next page. Now you can fill in all the information on the form.

You might be concerned at this point that someone else could go in and change your information or edit it incorrectly…but don't worry. Once you've filled out the form, nothing will go live until you verify that you are the true owner of the Place Page. They do this by sending you a postcard via snail mail that has a verification code on it that you have to go back later to enter.

Be sure to do a thorough job filling out the description field for your website. This is where you want to add your main keyword phrases where they make sense to do so. Don't try to add keywords to your company name, however. The spammers and scammers have already killed that little trick and it will only get you in trouble with Google rather than helping.

You can and should add the maximum 5 categories to your listing because what you choose there can help your site show up when people are searching using similar words. Note that you don't have to stick with the categories Google recommends, but make up your own. I suggest doing some Google Maps searches using the types of phrases you'd want to show up for, and seeing what some of the sites that are currently showing up are doing.

I also highly recommend you add photos and videos to your Place Page if you have them.

Help Your Site Receive More Hits

If you don't have your own site as the default opening page whenever you load your browser, you're not helping promote your site and increase its search engine ranking.

One of the most heavily weighted elements of the search engine ranking algorithm is popularity (how many hits the site gets). By making your own site the default page that opens when you load your browser you'll accomplish to important things. First, you will see if your site is loading properly and that it is available for visitors to view. Second, it will add some more "hits" to your site making it seem more popular than if you hadn't visited the site each day. This will in turn assist in getting your site raised slightly in the search engine rankings...which will make your site more popular, which will increase your sites rankings.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help out 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.