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Stay Young, Drink Twitter Every Day October 27, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Internet, Twitter , 2comments

When I woke up today morning I had a strange thought, do I eat Twitter or do I drink Twitter. I asked myself where this came from. The answer is plain and simple, Twitter has become something which I must consume everyday, my day has to begin with it and my day must end with it. It has become an addiction, which I am proud of.  So, the question remains, do I drink Twitter or do I eat Twitter.  I think in my case, I drink twitter everyday,  reason is plain and simple drinking is done more often than eating.  You can’t begin your day with eating something but you can always start it with drinking something.  You can’t go to bed after eating something it will make u feel heavy, but a drink just before sleep is perfect.

Having given an answer to myself to this strange thought, I asked myself who else is drinking Twitter around? There are many, the 1st and foremost name that came to my mind was of Gul Panag.  It looks like Twitter has become her favorite drink, specially the way she is going about the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion week tells you that she can drink as much of Twitter as is offered to her or she can lay her hands on.  On an average she is doing about 60-70 tweets a day either from the desktop or handheld and her every Tweet whether it is generic to specific to  the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week or it is one-to-one tweet, you can see the adrenalin rush which she has in abundance reflecting in it.  Now, why am I observing it so closely, it is because a part of the action which she is doing involves one of the projects passionately incubated by me, Twitsanps.com.  Gul Panag has been using Twitsnaps since many months but the way she is driving the mileage out of the site is making me wonder on why we didn’t identify this dimension of TwitSnaps

Let me just allow random thoughts to flow and these thoughts are just throwing up zillion words, Social Media, Lifestyle, Fashion, Glamour, Connectivity, Networking, Integration, Bollywood, Miss India, Charisma, Fan Following and I can go on and on and on.  What Twitter has done is that it has brought forward a platform where you can create a potent mix of absolutely unrelated disconnected, disjointed entities floating around in the world.  No wonder the new name Twitterverse makes lot of sense to me.  There is a separate thought with which ITC would have gone and created Wills cigarettes, there would have been a surrogate advertising thought with which they would have created Wills Lifestyle as an apparel brand.  There would have been an altogether different thought with which Ministry of Textiles would have conceived India Fashion Week, now bring in a former Miss India who is now a Bollywood actress who has always had a dream of doing news coverage using Twitter to cover an event aided with a photosharing site which was conceived with a very different objective.

I am sure what Twitter is doing with me it is doing with Gul Panag and with many others.  It is just making us younger with every tweet we do.  The minute we Tweet, we allow unrestricted flow of thoughts to float around in the universe. We know if all these thoughts are connected together, it would truly reflect our persona which for people like me is the root cause of addiction. I have always felt that I have never been understood and I think many of us do that, but if you tweet and you tweet passionately and you tweet straight from your heart and your tweet carries the finest your gray cells have to offer, you know that you are home, you know that you can simply go and tell someone that if you want to understand me go and read my tweets.

Today when I was updating my Google profile in a section on write your brief biodata, I just wanted to write one word @simarp.  So do I go ahead and change my name, maybe I should. I love eating but I must drink and my drink is called Twitter.  Stay young, drink Twitter everyday.

On Twitter – Why Not Follow? October 25, 2009

Posted by simarprit in : Internet, Twitter , 2comments

I tweet and I have become choosy. Like most of us, I also started with following celebrities and thought leaders, good start to morning and good start to anytime of the day is what I believed in for several months. Now I have noticed that I can’t stand some Thought Leaders and Celebrities and I have decided to (un)follow them, here is a list of reasons which prompt me to (un)follow them:

  1. If anyone has following count  = Zero (OMG – I don’t want to follow Gods on Twitter)
  2. 24×7 auto tweets (You may be good, but I don’t want to just see you and read you)
  3. Predictable tweets and too many cliche and absurdities (Hi Tarling :) I am reading Tewspaper – one even went up to write Twabindranath Twagore)
  4. One way communicators (They don’t respond to you, they don’t respond to anyone except their pre-twitter era friends)
  5. Seldom tweeters (If they tweet once in several months, I fail to connect and create bonding)
  6. Sell, sell but never share (A good number of journalists just sell their program on Twitter, I am sorry – i refuse to watch your program, I refuse to read your tweets)
  7. Over exposure to - Social Causes (I am wearing a shirt which has been made from recycled cloth)
  8. Seeing London, Talking Tokyo (When tweets just don’t connect with the persona)
  9. Nothing beyond 140 (When they never link, never share, never propagate, never write- to me Twitter is life – it is a complete food experience and over a period I want to ensure that my each taste-bud is active)
  10. Latin and Greek (Celebrity yes, but I am sorry I can’t relate with anything you write – one  celebrity tweeted I just returned my assignment advance of X Million Dollars as I was busy tweeting and the agent was bugging me)

I would work further on this post and even name them at some point of time.

Do post your comments

Kerala Chief Minister’s Comments December 2, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : India, Internet , add a comment

Now we know the Father of insensitivity – Chief Minister of Kerala – Mr. V.S. Achuthanandan gets the prize for being the same. There is no point in repeating the comment here as it is not proper, it is important to deplore the comment and start a campaign asking for the resignation of the Kerala CM. Every Indian must openly come out and push all these insensitive politicians out. There is a need for a public coup – they have no right to be employees of the Government which is run on tax payers money.

Who is Joe the Plumber? October 18, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Internet , 1 comment so far

Is Joe the Plumber the Face of the Presidential Elections 2008?

 

It’s official now-Joe “six pack” is out of the US presidential politics, Joe “the plumber” is in! Who is this Superstar of the 2008 US Presidential election? Google Insights shows “Joe The Plumber” as a hot phrase on the internet, no wonder. In one of my long phone calls with Sanjay, Sanjay was curious to know more, his curiosity led to his team of Anupama, Shilpa and their team of excellent researchers writers putting this together. May be by Monday we would have a website on Joe the Plumber. LoL. Thank you team Compare Infobase.

 

 October 19, 2008:

 

I am informed that http://www.JoeThePlumber.In has gone live, our team is working on the theme Is “Joe the Plumber In”

 

Yes of cource he in.

 

I have removed the article to avoid content overload.

What is SEO? September 28, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Internet, Search Engines, SEO, websites , 3comments

SEO – Search Engine Optimization Basics

  1. What is SEO? – To make your website cut through the clutter and deliver business is SEO.
  2. What is this clutter all about? - Everyday hundreds of thousands of web-pages are born, each with an expectation to deliver results and be on the top. This is the clutter. Fifty five million pages on Google respond to the words  – What is SEO and over 136,000 pages are working precisely to be on the phrase “What is SEO?”. This page, once posted would add yet one more page to this clutter.
  3. How does a website deliver business? - If you know your business, half the job is done. Congratulations! Now for the other half, you need to cut through some jargon’s and face several challenges. SEO is one of the many challenges and definitely not the only challenge. SEO only helps you to get the eyeballs to move to your website, for your website to deliver business, you would have to attend to those eyeballs to convince the rest of the body to do business at your website. You would also need to get the RIGHT EYEBALLS and not yet any eyeballs. Landing Page is the page where your SEOed eyeballs land. SEO job ends and the landing page’s job begins. Many SEOs (the individuals who do the SEO) consider Landing Page as a different subject, however, no SEO strategy can succeed without a functional landing page. Landing Page is a marriage between the two half’s of online business – your business knowledge and your website’s effectiveness, it is the place where the SEO meets business and each order is an offspring of this marriage.
  4. So who should do the landing page? - The landing page should always be done by the business, it should have inputs from sales, marketing, production, dispatch, finance and every-other department which keeps your business running. The business should ask the SEO company or the inhouse SEO professionals - zillions of questions and incorporate SEO essentials to the landing page. An SEO firm doesn’t know your business, so take their inputs, look at the landing pages of your competitors and write down your essentials for the landing page. You may also study specific challenges on Landing Page Optimization.
  5. What do we mean when we say Organic Search Results? - Let us step back and understand the origin of this phrase. As per Wikipedia – “Organic farmingis a form of agriculture that relies on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests, excluding or strictly limiting the use of synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms”. Now let us check what Wikipedia has to say about Organic Search – “Organic search results refers to those listings in search engine results pages that appear by dint of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being adverts”. I would phrase it very differently: Organic Search Resultsare the snippet listings from those webpages which are most likely to focus on the searched term, the order of organic search results is reflected by the user friendly projection of the relevance of the webpage to the various automated programs (robots/spiders etc) which visit the page periodically, organic search results explicitly exclude cloaking (projecting what you are not to the robots/ spiders), paid link building and Black Hat (Illegitimate means of projecting your page) SEO techniques. So what do we call those results which show up in Organic Search results using Cloaking, Black Hat and Paid Linking – They are fakes.
  6. How important are Keywords to SEO? – To understand SEO Basics well, it is important to understand and underline the difference between Keywords and Key-phrases. Keywords are essentially the words on which you would like your site to come-up on SERPs (Search engine Result Pages), for instance if your business is all about selling birthday favors, your keywords would be, amongst others, birthday and favors. However your key-phrase would be “birthday favors.” Coming on Birthday favors as a phrase should be everything to you, as it is 100% business relevance. All the leads which this key-phrase would get you would be a potential sale.  So Keywords are important but in many cases the key rests with the key-phrases.  Literally.
  7. What is Keyword Stuffing, and does it hurt? -The act of populating disproportionately your content or meta tags with one particular or few keywords or key-phrases is referred to as Keyword Stuffing. Keyword stuffing is gross, it is bad for your site, bad for your business, bad for your client/ surfer, bad for the search engines and bad for the internet on the whole. It is a malpractice. As it hurts all concerned, it hurts you too, directly and indirectly. Directly it hurts as search engines are becoming smarter to identify keyword spammers, surfers report keyword stuffing more often, Indirectly as the surfer who lands on your website, discovers that you indulge in malpractices may decide not to do business on your website.
  8. Do you SEO a site, or you SEO individual pages? – You SEO individual pages, and if you SEO all pages on your website, your whole site is done. Having said that, you do SEO your website. You define the focus of your website and ensure that every page contributes and reflects that focus. Let us say, you have a hotel website which covers all the 50 states of the United States of America and over 600 cities, it would help you to use your anchor words and phrases on every page when you are optimizing them. If you come on say “Hotels in San Jose”, “Hotels in San Francisco”, “Hotels in Sacramento”, “Hotels in Los Angeles” there is a good opportunity to come on “Hotels in California”. Similarly if your site comes on “Hotels in Texas”, “Hotels in California”, “Hotels in New York”, “Hotels in Washington” and “Hotels in Florida”, it would be easier to make it perform on “Hotels in the US”, “Hotels in the USA”, “Hotels in the United States of America”, and on “Hotels” itself. So, work multi-stage – Stage I: Focus “Hotels in San Jose”- Stage II “Hotels in California” – Stage III “Hotels in the US” – Stage IV “Hotels” – Where Stage I is your web page focus and stage IV is your website focus.
  9. Is SEO genetically modular, or is SEO genetically absolute? – SEO is anything but an absolute exercise, it is totally modular in nature. You can work on Optimizing your site part by part.

Much More coming…

Reinvention of Marketing the Web 2.0 Way September 17, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Business, Education, Internet, Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Expo, websites , add a comment

Brian Solis on Web 2.0 and its role in PR and Marketing, my 2 cents are all over (Brian may or may not agree)

  1. Customers are moving online, PR and Marketing needs to move beyond 1.0 which it looks like it is stuck in’
  2. Are you an influencer, or do you know influencers, bloggers are influencers and they are at it
  3. Perception is important and social web has a role in how you are looked at
  4. Defining and measuring influence can help in decision making
  5. Are you everywhere… Traditional media, Events online and offline, New Influencers, Social Networks, Blogs and Comments, Forums, Content Creation & Curation
  6. Composite strategy can work for you, all encompassing approach to PR and Marketing would help
  7. Engagement is important in PR now, not just a look or a hit.
  8. You need to be hybrid PR professional in today’s world
  9. A PR professional needs to be all it takes he has to be octopus
  10. PR today all about Public
  11. A PR professional needs to be participative a good Press Release may not lead to anything
  12. Common Sense rules the day
  13. Rules of PR are influenced by rules of Blogging, which has no rules
  14. Relationship of trust with a lot of guys
  15. Be incremental in approach, keep sharing and communicating as you go on, let the story build up fast enough
  16. WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) is what every thing leads to.
  17. PR today has to be organization wide
  18. Are you everywhere, exclude none
  19. Do you know where-ever you are, you just have to be everywhere.  Look at all of the key networks and measure your performance on all active networks
  20. Become a resource for people
  21. Participation is the key and not initiation
  22. Web Analytics holds the key to how you are doing
  23. Creating special landing pages for your various activities can help
  24. Quantification and tying the activity to sales helps
  25. WEB 2.0 is not frozen, there is a lot more to come so keep learning
  26. You are the brand you project
  27. Some resources – Future-works,  SocialMediaClub, sncr.org, nowisgone 

Viral Marketing – Web 2.0 Expo September 17, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : 'Viral Marketing, Blogging, Internet, Marketing Strategies, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Expo, websites , 1 comment so far

Random thoughts and Gyan on Essentials of Viral Marketing

  1. Jonah Peretti has begun with the mess which is Web 2.0 everyone talks to everyone, something like a confernce without a moderator.
  2. Are you part of the network whch networks, are you in a position to initiate a viral. Network structure make a difference to whether your viral spreads or not…. Your network would determine whether you can start a forest fire.
  3. Influential people become the key factor to success..
  4. If it is a tree without a stem, so my question how would it gain height.
  5. People don’t know what they like, thy like to look around and like what others are doing, how can you cash this sentiment.
  6. Contagious Media – Make something which people would love to share.
  7. Accidental virals do good, so make accidents happen.
  8. Half the time in office is spent on blogging, IM, Skype etc..
  9. Bored at Work Network (BWN) can create an expert out of anyone, can you leverage it..
  10. Seed your viral with big number start big, you would reach somewhere even if you fail. LoL Jonah is calling it Big Seed Marketing
  11. Seed to extra ratio can help….
  12. Multi Seed Marketing, plant many tree, some may bear fruit…. live measurement can be a way to lookafter the seed which is reacting and becoming a tree. Multi-Seed is an option when you are sure that you are not sure what will work. So you can always remove the bad seeds and grow the ones which work.
  13. Mullet Strategy, Business upfront, party in the back….Add, edit, test, tweak, optimize, be alive — be live and remember to remove it if it is not working
  14. Histrionic works, try it alongside
  15. Cartoons work, look at using them effectively….
  16. Have focused growth strategy, obsession with quality can be additional baggage, Make what people would love.

White Hat Vs Black Hat SEO August 24, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, websites , 9comments

Which hat do you wear, Black, White, Grey, Red or None?

The question should rather be:

Which kind of head do you carry over your shoulder – Black, White, Grey or Red?

It looks like everyone has been changing/ exchanging hats. If it is the color of head we talk about, it would be more exciting and entertaining :)

Continuing with my series on SES 2008, San Jose, this post incorporates the Gyan acquired during the session – Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO

Let us define:

Black Hat: You do whatever it takes to be on top of SERPs. Good. Bad. Ugly. Whatever. Period.

White Hat: You do whatever search engine (read Google) guidelines for webmasters tell you to, you don’t try to outsmart search engines.

Grey Hat: You are the border guy, you know the stretch, and you think you know what you would getaway with, you live white, but you know black and you use it on the side.

Red Hat: You know what it takes to hurt your competitor and you know how to getaway with it.

No Hat: If you don’t wear any and you are still an SEO, maybe you an incompetent SEO. Don’t worry, you are not alone 95% of the SEOs within the industry are plain incompetent.

The session was to debate Black Hat vs. White Hat, but the debate didn’t happen. it looked like the whole panel was wearing Grey Hat and tended to remain on the border and just didn’t want to be drawn to the controversy. Important observation were made:

  1. Established sites have much more restrictions, they can’t risk exclusion from SERPs.
  2. Just made for adsense is crap. Content needs to be good. Nobody wants trash, and for sure not the search engines.
  3. Searcher needs good results and most of the top results very close to each other, if Search Engines intermix the top 5 results, it wouldn’t;t matter to the surfer.
  4. Buying excessive links can hurt, it is Red Hat.
  5. Good SEO to me is Knowledge about Search engines and the subject.
  6. Meta Keyword stuffing hurts.
  7. Everything in the title hurts too.
  8. Hidden content is black.
  9. Short and focused titles are good.
  10. Paid unrealted blogging can hurts.
  11. Vague and self promoting descriptions with repeat words hurts
  12. Paid link buying from link farms hurts badly.
  13. Search engines hate doorway or gatway pages, they hate being misled
  14. Serach engines hate carse optimization: They are bound to hate something like this – www.example.com/HOTEL/hotel/googleCityNameHotel.html - Which may go with the title <title>CityName Hotels | Hotels in CityName |Budget CityName Hotels| Luxury CityName Hotel| Cheap CityName Hotel| Discount CityName Hotels</title> This is a live example of carse black hat, “We will do anything even put Google’s name in our URLs, hundreds of them but we need to get on the top, we don’t care what happens to our site if Google doesn’t like it.” I picked up this example as it was succeeding in ranking high up. I have kept the URL intact except removing the site name and substituting it with example.com and substituting the actual city name with CityName.
  15. Great generic domain name helps

More to come…

SEO Best Practices – Content Issues August 24, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Content, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, Spamming, Uncategorized, websites , add a comment

Content Duplication Issues and SEO Best Practices

Continuing on my series on SES 2008 San Jose, this White paper is again a hybrid of what was shared and what I have learnt over a decade on search engines.

If I give you 10 pages to read, you would scan through, start reading and if what you are reading is “new to you”  may be you would read all ten of them at one go.

Bingo.

Now, if I give you 10 pages to read and when you scan through you find that “you’ve read it before” or “only one page is unique”, you may not even read my one unique page and trash all, worse, you would remember me as guy who tricked you by giving 10 pages to read when he had just information for one page. You would make a note  “not so nice man to know.”

To me this is content duplication and so it is to search engines, so here we go.

  1. Search engines job is to satisfy the searcher, they want to grow and be seen as credible.
  2. Search engines have no favorites.
  3. They trust you unless you betray them, they work with a basic premise that what you are feeding them is your own and unique.
  4. So when you feed search engines anything they “Scan”, if you are “New”  they may read whole of it.
  5. If you are not “New” they’ll trash you and “remember” you as “not a good site to know”.

So what are your choices, simple choice is to always provide “New content”, but this choice is expensive and restrictive to many, so what do these many do:

  1. Put same content on many pages on the same site as it is.
  2. Put same content on many pages of the same site with minor modifications, disguising it as new content.
  3. Put same content on many different sites under the same ownership.
  4. Put same content on many different sites with minor modifications but the sites are under the same ownership.
  5. Put same content on many different sites under many different ownerships, in many different servers, in many different data centers with or without minor modifications.

They all presume that they would be able to manipulate their way around, some do succeed, but issue is how hard are you working to do something which is wrong anyway. Search engines are becoming smarter by every passing day, they are scanning better, they are storing better and they are recalling better. The best case scenario is don’t duplicate your content and don’t manipulate content of others and put the same on your site, remember sooner or later you would be caught and become “Not a Good Site to Know”, and search engines would drop you out, as we all do.

This leaves us with the issue of what if someone does this to me. Yes, this is the issue!

So if you are original source of the content, your worry is – How does search engine know that I am the original? Search engines are working very hard to reach the original, in case they don;t make them aware.

Do what you will do with your assets: Protect them, be vigilant and act if someone breaches your copyrights. A related issue is when you syndicate your original content, I will cover this subsequently.

Some common inadvertent content duplication mistakes and issues:

  1. When spiders read your content four times:  http://example.com,  http://www.example.com, http://www.example.com/index.html or http://example.com/index.html. Most of the spiders know how to circumvent it, but it will help to put 301 re-directions in place and route everything to www.example.com
  2. When you change platform
  3. When you change URL structures, remove the old one and  deploy 301 redirects
  4. When you create test folders, remove your test folders
  5. When you shift to a sub domain, clear the content permanently from your servers
  6. Disclaimers and privacy policies running across sites and copyright statements running across site. put non-crawlable JS functions or connect them centrally.
  7. Check your landing pages, if you have multiple landing pages make them unique
  8. Check your meta titles, and meta descriptions, they need to be unique
  9. Be careful on mirrored sites
  10. Content in multiple languages with common attributes or language strings is a no no
  11. Use exclude protocol in robots.txt where-ever you need to share the same content, within the same site or at different domains
  12. Check out and remove any hidden link.
  13. Use password protection where you need to carry duplicate content
  14. Permanent deletion of duplicate content is better than redirection

The above can form some of the best practices SEO’s can follow.

more to come…

SEO Best Practices Meta Description Tag August 22, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, websites , 6comments

Continuing with my executive summaries on SES 2008, San Jose – Here is my take on Meta Description Tags:

Lot of King Size SEOs scream on top of their voices “Who cares for Meta Description Tags”, I whisper “The searcher cares and I care. Period.”

Why does the surfer care:

  1. Knows the animal called SEO, and is scared of it.
  2. Is not a novice, she knows that first couple of results are best optimized but may not be the best results.
  3. She needs a 20 second elevator pitch.
  4. She falls in her self esteem if she hits a trash.
  5. She likes manicured hands, Your title is your head and your description is your hands.

I can go on and on…

But Why do  I care?

  1. Makes me look serious and business like, at all time
  2. Gets me the right traffic
  3. Good Description sticks
  4. She enters my site knowing precisely what she needs and I have it, no surprise, she hates them
  5. “Copyright 2001-2008″, we all have seen all kinds of information filling up in search engines when meta Description Tag is not there or not used properly. it saves me from showing my dirty linen or any unwanted information.
  6. A good Meta Description Tag Page gives me higher number of Clicks at number 5 than a no Meta Description tag page gets me at Number 2.

The correct syntax for the Meta Description Tag in HTML is;

<meta name= description content= “Your 20 second Elevator picth works here.”>

<META NAME= “Description” CONTENT=”Your 20 second Elevator Pitch works here.”>

More SEO tips shall follow, these Tips are my own assessment of what works for me, they maynot be totaly in line with what has been preached at SES 2008, San Jose.