The Search Light Newsletter
The Search Light Newsletter
  Guiding your site to the top of the search engines... 13 Dec 2002 - Vol 2 Issue #12  

In this issue...

How To Get Your Web Site Content Syndicated

Google Launches Shopping Search

AltaVista Gets a Face Lift

Australia's Top 100 Company Sites Incompatible With Search Engines

Lycos Launches New Paid Listings

Google Defines "Ethical" SEO

Yahoo Offends Gay Community in UK

How To Get Your Web Site Content Syndicated

By Kalena Jordan of Web Rank Ltd
and Dan Thies of Canned Books

{Kalena} Following our successful experiment of setting up a news feed for my site, search engine marketer Dan Thies and I have joined forces to write this article to show other webmasters how they can do the same for their own sites.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let me set the scene...
Being the web-mistress of a resource site about search engine marketing, I'm always on the lookout for new ways to promote my site. Like many other web site owners, I don't have an enormous marketing budget and must rely on my own resources to spread the word about my content.

As you would expect, one effective method of promotion that I utilize is search engine optimization. This ensures the search engines regularly visit my site and update my pages in their indexes. Another is the circulation of a regular newsletter.
But the real secret to attracting more traffic is to add bucket loads of fresh content. Providing you promote this new content effectively, it can act like a magnet on your site, pulling in new visitors every single day and giving you the opportunity to turn those visitors into loyal followers or, (if you sell products and services), paying customers.
Fresh content improves the "stickiness" of your site too - giving visitors a reason to return to your site on a regular basis. And of course the search engines reward popular sites with more link popularity and a higher search ranking. Adding new site content is one thing, but just how do you spread the word about this new content and place it in front of potential visitors?

Well take my site for example. I had recently added a Web Log (known on the Internet as a "blog") about the search engine industry, which I updated daily with news and articles. I had seen similar sites having their content syndicated on industry news portals such as Moreover, ClickZ, ZDNet, etc and I wanted a piece of the action. Problem was I had no idea how to go about this.
A fellow moderator in the ihelpyou search engine forums, (Dan) told me I required an "RSS Feed" - a special file containing the content I wanted syndicated - so that the news sites could grab it from my site instantly. Dan offered to give me a hand to set up the file and so began our quest! I'll let Dan take over from here and explain exactly how we did it and how you can set up your own news feed. Here's Dan...
{Dan} Thanks Kalena. An RSS news feed provides information about your site's content that enables other sites to effectively link to it. There are actually a few different flavors of RSS - for purposes of this article, we'll work with RSS version 0.91, which is the most commonly used on the web today. We'll also focus on the very basic elements of a news feed, and leave the advanced stuff for another time.
The RSS file itself is a fairly simple text file. Although it uses an XML language format, the code will be pretty familiar to anyone who has worked with HTML to edit web pages. Click Here to take a look at a simplified version of the RSS file we created for Kalena's site:
An RSS feed consists of one or more "channels." A single channel will be sufficient for the majority of sites. Each channel, in turn, contains information about one or more news articles. A channel consists of the following required information:
[Title] the name of the channel (in the above example, Kalena's channel title is called "Search Engine News Blog")
[Link] the URL for the channel's main web page (the page on Kalena's site where the news items are displayed)
[Description] a description of the channel's purpose and content
The first two lines in our RSS feed example define this as an RSS feed. The < channel > tag comes next and contains the required information about this news channel (as listed above). Optional information follows these items and includes language, copyright info, contact email addresses, and an image (logo) that can be displayed with the channel's headlines. Our code example contains all these options, but you can leave these out of your own feed if you prefer.


   Greetings Readers!

Well I can't believe the silly season has rolled around once again. That familiar feeling of panic has settled in as we try desperately to get all our current projects finished up in time to allow a few days of turkey stuffing and cracker pulling.
All in all, it's been a heck of a year for Web Rank. By far our biggest project was a study of the search engine compatibility of web sites belonging to Australia's Top 100 Public Companies, which was finally launched this week. During our research, we were amazed to learn that 99 percent of Australia's top firms are incompatible with search engines (see story below).

Our newsletter subscriber base has tripled and we also achieved global syndication of our Search Engine News Blog. In fact, our feature article this month (which I co-wrote with fellow search engine marketer Dan Thies) reveals just how the newsfeed was set up and how you develop your own RSS feed for syndication of your site content.
Meanwhile, that's it from me for another year, but may I take this opportunity to thank all our loyal newsletter subscribers for your support and wish you and your families a joyous festive season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year...

  • Google Launches Shopping Search
  Just in time for Christmas, Google has launched a BETA version of their latest invention, Froogle, a shopping search engine.
Taking its name from a clever combination of "frugle" and "Google", Froogle acts like an online product catalog, responding to user searches for particular products by listing web sites that sell the item, a product description, approximate prices and a thumbnail picture of the item in question.

Full Story...

  • AltaVista Gets a Face Lift
  •   AltaVista has been given a new look and a new logo to reflect the search company's current internal transformation.

    Changes at the search veteran include fresher results, (with the grand claim that 50% of the results are now refreshed daily), the introduction of their assisted search tool AltaVista Prisma in more languages, improvements to AltaVista News and the addition of AltaVista Shortcuts and AltaVista Shortcut Answers to help search the "invisible web" (available on the U.S. site only).

    Full Story...

  • Australia's Top 100 Company Sites Incompatible With Search Engines
  •   A new report released this week has revealed that 99 percent of Australia's Top 100 Public Companies have web sites that sabotage their ability to be found by search engine users.

    Search Engine Compatibility and the Top 100 Australian Public Company Web Sites, published by New Zealand-based search engine optimization firm Web Rank, details how nearly every one of the web sites belonging to Australia's Top 100 Public Companies contain design elements that in some way negatively impact their search engine compatibility. As a result, many of Australia's leading companies are not easily found in the search results of the most popular U.S. and Australian search engines.

    Full Story...

  • Lycos Launches New Paid Listings
  •   It's not just Alta Vista scrambling to attract eyeballs lately. Lycos are getting busy expanding their current paid listings offerings and even moving into the PPC market with the introduction of their InSite Ad Buyer pay per click product. With bids starting at $0.05 and a minimum of $50 required to open an account, the offering sounds pretty similar to Overture.

    Full Story...

  • Google Defines "Ethical" SEO
  •   Last month Google made the unprecedented decision to publish their definition of "ethical" search engine optimization on their Webmaster Guidelines page.

    Professional SEO's around the world are jumping for joy to see the search engine giant finally clarifying their stance on the whole subject of search engine optimization and supporting ethical SEOs instead of writing them ALL off as sleazy as other search engines tend to do.

    Full Story...

  • Yahoo Offends Gay Community in UK
  •   Yahoo has been forced to withdraw a television commercial broadcasting in the U.K. after the Independent Television Commission (ITC) received numerous complaints from the homosexual community.

    Full Story and more search engine news...

     ::  email us
     ::  visit our site

    This email was sent by The Search Light Newsletter.
    Edit your interests or remove your email address with SafeUnsubscribe.
    View our privacy policy.

    Powered by
    Constant Contact