The Mender

Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter
Issue 19
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Advice and techniques for the marketing and promotion of your web site plus breaking Search Engine Optimization News and valuable resources for the serious on-line marketer.

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Welcome to "The Mender" Issue 19

SEARCH ENGINE NEWS

Meta-Search Engines *Link No Longer Valid
Rank in the results of major search engines, and you'll soar even higher in meta-search results.

VeriSign buys .tv Web domain for $45 million *Link No Longer Valid
Source: CNET

Yahoo Now Charging Annual Listing Fee
Yahoo is now requiring that new sites seeking to be listed in its commercial areas pay an annual listing fee of $299 or $600, if they are adult sites. Previously, the fee had been a one-time charge.

Web portal Excite UK will shut down this week *Link No Longer Valid
Source: Reuters



WHAT'S NEW AT METAMEND

NEW HOSTING PARTNER - DESIGN WISE
DesignWise, a subsidiary of KBDS, creates, maintains and promotes award-winning multimedia site designs for businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals who need to deliver their concepts or marketing to a web audience. They also are well known for collaborating with learning institutions, businesses and independents to develop multimedia courseware, emphasizing effective use of graphics, navigational aids and multi-sensory content. Welcome aboard DesignWise.

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NEW SERVICE ENHANCEMENT - HANDS ON CONSULTING
Metamend now offers hands on consulting services. We'll analyze your site for you and provide a detailed report of exactly what your site needs to be 100% optimized and help you reach those goals. We'll also be happy to make the improvements for you. Need some ALT tags inserted? Need those titles tweaked? Need to find out how to fine tune your site's visibility? Give us a call toll free: 1.866.381.6382

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NEW SERVICE ENHANCEMENT - SITE MAP BUILDER
Metamend is pleased to announce we have completed development on our newest SEO innovation, SiteMapper. The new tool serves double functionality. It spiders a website and develops a page containing a complete listing or "site map" of all the links contained within the website. It also reports on any broken links or 404 errors found. The mapped page is then optimized and submitted to the search engines on your behalf, complimenting the search engine "spidering" process of your site.

Having your entire site analyzed by the engines earns some very powerful search engine marketing benefits. Rollout of the new tool is scheduled for some time in February/02. More information to come on this exciting new innovation. Stay tuned!



ADMINISTRATOR'S CORNER - PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
by: Richard Zwicky

The year that just ended taught us all this lesson. I've noticed a lot of changes in people's attitudes overall with the new year. Lot's of loose ends are being tied up, people are looking up and over the horizon, and seeing light and starting to work on moving forward again, as opposed to working to cut and hunker down. That's not to say people are becoming frivolous, but rather they have cut all they can, now they are looking for ways to move forward and improve overall service levels, while improving their revenues. It's nice, it's positive, it's welcomed.

For my first contribution for the year, I would make some predictions. We'll see how they turn out by the December 2002 issue.


  1. There will continue to be growth through 2002. Companies will report progress, the stock market will continue to grow. Biotechs will surge, and home traders (people using the likes of e-trade), will re-enter the market in great numbers.

  2. Traditional PC vendors will be forced to innovate more than ever in the past. There will be less and less compelling reasons to upgrade existing tools at all, hardware or software wise, until voice recognition becomes truly feasible. Vendors who produce "new age" devices - cell phone / PDA's and the like will jockey for position in the coming market explosion.

  3. Security against viruses will be put to the test. We have tasted a foreshadowing of what's coming. We will see increasing calls for comprehensive Internet legislation. As the Internet continues to become more critical to the lives of millions around the world, there will be less and less tolerance for cyber crime.

    There will be impetus for greater enforcement of penalties for cyber-crimes caused by the damage done by viruses. This is especially true as people become more and more dependent on the net for essential data delivered not just to their desktops, but also to their palm pilots, cell phones, etc. Copyrights, fraud, (credit card and other) vandalism, and cyber-terrorism will be key factors in what may end up being a major review of existing legislation, and the creation of proper legislative and judicial processes for this worldwide industry. Something that was largely nonexistent 10 years ago. The Internet is the backbone of the modern economy. It should be protected as such.

  4. Someone will find a new solution to spam - and new forms of spam will emerge.

  5. Companies that have survived to date will continue to do so. Some will turn the corner and start generating real profits, some will be purchased or merge with others for their value in niche markets or technical superiority. The meltdown we have seen the last 18 months has for all intents passed.

  6. Wireless will continue to lead the future growth and direction of the Internet - Outside of North America. Limited wireless access will make its first viable foothold in North America, but will wait until 2003 before becoming prevalent. Wireless will lead the way in Europe and Asia - it's a cost effective way to deliver access. Better build more web sites with this in mind.

  7. Telecoms will get it right. Long the slowpokes of the hosting industry, Telecoms will lead the way by adopting cutting edge technologies for their end users. They will deliver a greater range of hosting solutions, responsive to clients needs.

  8. How data is presented will come to be recognize as one of the crucial disciplines in Web site design. A thing of beauty will have to be functional too. This means the sheer number of web sites, pages, access points and portals will force site builders and creators to place greater emphasis on getting their site classification, meta data, navigation and internal search tools right. With all the wireless users coming online, there will be less and less interest in surfing and a greater interest on getting there the first time. Get your web site optimized.

  9. In a change from the past, standardization will make a meaningful foothold in the search engine optimization industry. Standardization among the search engines that is. They will look at more and more 'markers' but will no longer exclude certain ones, or ignore properly presented data. They will still use varying scales to measure value, but will look more and more at standardized sources for information.

  10. Microsoft's battle with the Justice Department will not be as easily settled as once thought. Someone will realize that you don't punish a company for being a "monopoly" by forcing schools to adopt their technology - How does that help? Yes I know it's free, but it makes no sense. BTW, I like Microsoft, but this still makes no sense.

  11. Someone will believe the world is flat and that the Sun orbits around the Earth.
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MARKETING - LOOKING OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE
by: Robert McCourty

Remember that old Magician's trick of blowing smoke into a giant soap bubble? The smoke swirls around but is contained within the confines of the bubble. It's very pretty to look at and also a very restrictive environment.

Sometimes marketing your web site can seem a lot like that trick. It's easy to find yourself swirling around in your own little world, busily trying to get a thousand things done all the while becoming somewhat oblivious to the outside world.

A wise website marketing person will occasionally take the time to look at their own site from outside of the bubble, with the assistance of outside help.

Asking an "outsider" to have a look at your site can often produce a fresh and revealing perspective. After all, you can't be expected to think of everything. It's the old "Can't see the forest for the trees," scenario. You may have looked at your pages a thousand times and never noticed for example, that your mailing address was missing, but a new pair of eyes may spot it right away.

Even the best attempts by owners and webmasters (including very large corporations) to convey simple messages, often fall short of the goal. Sometimes the most important messages you try to convey may be getting lost. The good news is, this is fixable, but first you have to know where to look.

Go Ask Aunt Rhody.

Find several people who know absolutely nothing about your business and who have preferably -never- seen your site before. The less they know about you or your site the better. It's called a focus group. Advertisers do it all the time to test new products. So, how do you like our new prune and onion flavored ice cream? Hmmmm? Thought so, BUT... It's a darn good thing we asked before we spent millions on the marketing.

Ask them to report on some basic answers to basic questions, such as... What is my site about?... What am I selling? Remember... Forest and trees. Of course it's obvious to you what you are selling, but it may not be as obvious to others at first glance. Is the buying process simple or too complex? Would you feel comfortable purchasing from me? Too busy? Too confusing? Wrong colors? Do I have too much information? Too little? Why? Why not?

Fresh eyes can also be of great benefit by coming up with new ideas to help you market your site. "Well I would have liked to see a coupon on there." Ding! Your light bulb goes on.

Go seek some fresh perspective. There's a big world out there beyond your bubble and only those looking in from the outside will be able to help you spot what's missing.

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WEBMASTER'S CORNER - CONTENT CRAZY
by: Todd Hooge

Designing a good web site is one thing, creating meaningful content for the site is another.

When you are a web designer and your organization is growing, one thing I'm sure you have noticed is the massive amounts of content being sent your way to upload to the site. You have also probably noticed that uploading this content has begun to take over your primary job role - the 'design' of the site. Will you go crazy and eventually become overworked? Yes? Then it's time to draw the line...

Content should be the job of your marketing people and/or anyone else in charge of creating the content in the first place. The trick is to figure out a way to have them upload the content themselves. To master this move, you must decide whether or not you want to incorporate another third party piece of software, or have custom software designed for you that organically grows, along with the growth of your organization.

I personally prefer the organic approach, as this is usually the most cost effective in the long run. Third party software does not usually give the ability to customize at the grass roots level, which, in my opinion, is a 'need' when you are starting out.

So consider the possibility of having someone create some basic web-based software that will allow your site administrators to upload content themselves. This will allow you to concentrate on the actual design of the site, and build it in such a way that guarantees fresh content, which will ultimately bring first time visitors back again and again.

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TECH TIPS - SERVER PLATFORMS
by: Jonathan Schlackl

If you're thinking of running a web server, you may want to consider all the options for different platforms before you get going. You may be surprised which one is right for you.

If you aren't that experienced at running a web server you will likely look to Microsoft for Windows and IIS. While IIS is easier to install and get going, it may not be the best possible choice, because the Internet is based on a Unix style protocol and file structure. You may want to consider a Unix based web server.

There are many advantages to IIS over Unix based software such as Apache, but there are also many advantages to Apache over IIS. I'm not going to get into a battle over which is better, but I will strongly suggest you explore both options.

There are so many possibilities on the web now that it is difficult to keep up. What is new today is old tomorrow - As a result, your concern should be long-term objectives. You should try not to "close any doors" with respect to your serving capabilities. You might be smart to run one of each type of server. There are several programs which will run on one or the other, but not both. In the end it is more important to be open to multi-platforms rather than locked into just one.



METAMEND CLIENT OF THE MONTH

Just Small Dogs (site no longer available)
Karen Cole has created a great retail pet store specializing in items for smaller dogs, featuring a variety of products chosen for their size, durability, suitability, high quality and fun. Small dog owners unite! This site is for you!


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