Social Capital in Online Social Networks

As part of my postgraduate research I did a lot of work on Social Network Theory and Social Capital — two academic theories from the social sciences field. This was before the rise of online social networking sites. I recently revisited some of the work I did, and I became interested in mapping the concept of Social Capital to online social networks as they exist today. In order to to that, here is first a definition and explanation (pulled from my dissertation):

Closely related to social network theory is the theory of ‘social capital’ which deals with the intrinsic value of network structures. In general terms, social capital “consists of resources embedded in social relations and social structure, which can be mobilized when an actor wished to increase the likelihood of success in a purposive action” (Lin, 2001b). Lin (2001a) points out two important components concerning this definition:

  • First, resources are embedded in social relations rather than in the individual. The properties of the network and an actor’s position in that network are more important than the actor himself.
  • Second, access and use of these resources are dependent on an actor being aware of their presence. If an actor is not aware of ties or relationships between him and other actors, he cannot use the resources available to him. Social capital then seems not to exist, and will only come into existence for that actor once he becomes aware of it. The ability to identify networks and key role-players in these networks will therefore make it possible to identify social capital where the relevant actors may be completely unaware of them. The goal of finding the key actors in a network can therefore be likened to gauging the social capital of a network and finding value in networks where it was not previously observed.

From the definition it is inferred that social capital depends first on an actor’s position in the network (are they in the right place to access the resources?), and second it depends on the nature of the resources in the network (are the resources worth accessing?).

It is very interesting to think about online social networking sites in this context. The social capital (the value of being in the network) depends not just on the individual people in that network, but very heavily on the way they are connected. Connecting to the “right” people end up defining you and building your social capital, because other people will “judge” the amount of capital you have based on your connections and your interactions with these connections. In this context it is essential to find those “key actors” in the network that are going to increase your social capital the most — the popular guy, your VP at work, etc.

Now, according to Adler and Kwon (2000), there are 3 benefits of social capital:

  • Social capital provides actors in the network with access to broader sources of information at lower costs.
  • Social capital provides actors in the network with extended power and influence.
  • Social capital facilitates solidarity between actors, as strong networks encourage compliance with rules and customs without the need for formal controls.

Again, it’s interesting to overlay these concepts on social networks online. Let’s look at each in turn:

  • Access to broader sources of information at lower costs. “Lower costs” in this context would mean less effort — you are able to get access to the information you want about your friends without having to reach out to them in a traditional sense with a phone call or hanging out. On Facebook, for example, the news comes to you through the “Mini-Feed” application. You know what the people in your network watch, eat, do, listen to, etc. And this social information is of course an extremely powerful marketing tool. Social networks enable this information to spread much more easily (i.e. at “lower cost”).
  • Extended power and influence. People with higher social capital not only get the benefit of more (although not necessarily better) information, but they also stand the chance to become “opinion leaders” that a lot of people rely on. And this is not necessarily the person with the most connections (I will talk about this in an upcoming post where I will discuss Ronald Burt’s theory of Structural Holes). This power and influence can really go a long way to build an online identity that becomes a sense of pride — consider the lonelygirl15 phenomenon, or influential blogs like TMZ and The Drudge Report.
  • Solidarity between actors (compliance with rules and customs without the need for formal controls). This is an interesting one to think about. Even though there is so much freedom to do and say what you want online, strong social networks seem to have their own rules in terms of what is allowable and what is not. I think here for example of the “Groups” feature in Facebook, where people who don’t necessarily know each other connect over shared interests. “Misbehaving” on Facebook or MySpace, in whatever way that is defined for a particular network, will get you kicked out of the circle — friends will drop you, groups will take you off their member lists, etc. This all serves to build the strength of the network and its members even more.

“So what?”, you ask? Well, I think that we don’t pay enough attention to theory. I just read this paragraph from my dissertation again:

Theory and practice cannot be separated. Virtually every practical decision a person makes and every practical opinion a person holds has some theory behind it. Theory makes the facts of social life comprehensible and places seemingly meaningless events in a general framework that enables us to determine cause and effect, to explain, and to interpret. Even half a century ago Revzan (1951) commented that “analysis leading to theory should not merely condone practice, but should seek rather to improve and direct such practice.” Much earlier, Einstein (1938) observed that “science is not just a collection of laws, a catalogue of unrelated facts. It is a creation of the human mind, with its freely invented ideas and concepts. Physical theories try to form a picture of reality and to establish a connection with the wide world of sense impressions. Thus the only justification for our mental structures is whether and in what way our theories form such a link.”

The theories of social networking and social capital can enhance our understanding of what happens in online social networks, which can, in turn, become strong business ideas. Some questions these theories raise for me are, for example, How can we point out who the opinion leaders are in your online social network, something that is not always apparent? How can we use the rules and customs that online networks adhere to in creating a more meaningful experience for users?

I think there is a lot of value in looking beyond networks to the social capital that they produce. We need to understand how online social networks already manifest these concepts, and where there is still opportunities to use these theories to create better experiences for users.

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Social Networking – Can Your Company Afford Not to Engage?

Twitter. Facebook. YouTube. If I said these words to you years ago you would have looked at me like I was crazy! The aforementioned are websites used to fuel the social networking phenomenon. In case you are not aware of how social networking sites function, people use these sites to form associations with others that share the same personal or professional interests. Millions of people are using these sites to keep in touch with their families and friends.

Now companies are jumping on the bandwagon and incorporating social networking sites into their marketing campaigns. Although, social networking is relatively new, it is gaining status as a new way for companies to effectively market their products and services because of the following:  

  •   Interactive
  •   Cost effective
  •   Ability to market 24/7

Interactive
The main purpose of a marketing campaign is to promote your product or service to your target market. What better way to reach your target market than on their own turf? Years ago the typical marketing campaign would have consisted of direct mail, print advertising, and if you could afford it TV or radio ads. One thing all of the aforementioned mediums fail to do is to encourage participation.

Social networking sites enable you to instantaneously connect with your target market and receive feedback regarding your product and service. Regardless of what social networking site your company decides to join, all of them will enable you to foster a closer relationship with your customers-the degree in which this is accomplished rests solely upon your company. Consumers are already doing what they intended to do on these-connect with family and friends-you (companies) are the new kid on the block so it is up to you how you want others to perceive your brand.

An organization’s objectives for how to incorporate social networking into their marketing campaigns often differ.   For example, Beth Bridges, Membership Director of Clovis Chamber of Commerce states that, “Our objective in using social networking is to create a trusted community and to increase awareness of their events within the community. We also use social networking sites to have more personal interaction with members who we might not see at regular networking activities and reach more of the younger business owners in the community who are using social media much more extensively to promote themselves and their businesses.” 

It is a safe bet that the majority of companies that are new to social networking may be tempted to mention their product every five minutes on these sites-it is in your best interest not to do so. I realize that many organizations’s main objective for using social networking sites is to promote their product. I am not telling you to abandon your objective-just alter the method in how you choose to do so.
People use products and services for different reasons and you will never know any of them if you do not take the time to foster a relationship with your target market. Many have been conditioned into thinking that companies could care less about their customers so it is up to your company to prove them wrong. Those who successfully do will reap the benefit of loyal customers. These customers will then share your product or service with their family and friends. It is more effective if you let your target market promote your product for you.

Word of mouth continues to be an important factor in whether consumers and businesses purchase a product or service. Many people consult with family and friends before purchasing a product or service they have never used. People are always asking others for advice on products and services on Twitter. Not too long ago, I went on Twitter to get feedback on software I was considering purchasing and got a response within seconds. This person not only commented about the software I was considering purchasing but recommended alternative software that was cheaper and more robust. Everyone desires to feel confident about the purchases that they make and although they may conduct some research of a product or service (i.e. Consumer Reports) it does not carry as much weight as family or friends.

Cultivating a relationship will enable you to stay ahead of the competition-provided you are listening to your target market. Social networking sites allow you the ability to gauge if you are effectively promoting your product or service to your target market. Based upon conversations in the forums you have the ability to find out what needs are not being met and create a service to meet that need. Social networking enables you to discover opportunities.

For example, you own a coffee shop near a college campus and have established an account on a social networking site. Students are complaining about not having a place to study during final exams and how they love your coffee because it not only tastes great, but helps them stay awake. How could you use this information? A savvy marketer would find out when final exams take place and expand their hours in order to meet the needs of their customers. It is a win-win situation for all involved. The students have a place to study while drinking your excellent coffee and you have the opportunity to increase your profits while further developing your customers’ loyalty to your coffee shop. This opportunity was brought to you by social networking. If your company had not taken the time to interact with your target market using social networking sites your company would have missed out on a golden opportunity to fulfill a need not being met by other coffee shops.

Armed with the knowledge of who you are trying to target, you will be able to determine which of the most popular social networking sites your target market will be found chatting with their family and friends. Although all social networking sites enable you to be interactive, the degree to which you are able to do so is based upon the application you choose. Some of the most popular sites companies are using to advertise their product are as follows:

Twitter: This is an online micro blog website that integrates with your computer, cell phone and other online social networking sites. Twitter simply asks you, “What are you doing?” You are able to share your thoughts (also known as “tweets”) provided they are under 140 character restriction. People can choose to “follow” you based upon your tweets.

-Facebook: This website allows users to create customized profiles sharing information, photos, videos etc. and has applications that are designed specifically to their site. Facebook users can see only the profiles of confirmed friends and the people in their networks. Friends can look at each others pages and comment on their “wall” (this is a spot where comments can be viewed by others.

-MySpace: This website allows you to stay in touch with friends and meet new people. You have the ability to add new friends based upon the information posted on your space.

-YouTube: A popular site that allows users to upload and store videos to be shared for private or public viewing.
-Brazen Careerist: An online site comprised of Generation-Y (ages18 to 30) that displays blogs written by the community that generates thought provoking discussions.

All of the aforementioned sites will enable you to interact with your target market. Some companies make the mistake of becoming apart of as many social networking sites as possible. As with all things in life-quality will always win out over quantity. Meaning, it is better to invest your time building your relationship with your target market on fewer social networking sites if it means that you are able to truly listen to what is being said and share your industry expertise with those on the site. Joining numerous social networking communities and contributing nothing to them will leave people with the impression that your only there to promote your name and could care less about getting to know them-an impression no business can afford to leave.

Cost effective
Companies are always looking to save money and often zero in on marketing expenses (which is the wrong move to make, but that’s another article!). Social networking can be implemented into your organization’s marketing campaign because it is free. There is absolutely no reason why companies should not be incorporating social networking into their campaigns. The only investment required from companies is their time. After all if you are not willing to learn more about your target market and how using your product or service benefits them-then why should they (your target market) buy your brand?

Social networking sites save time and are cost effective for both companies and their customers. Companies can use social networking sites to gain instantaneous feedback regarding product launches. You can gauge the success of your launch based upon the comments you see shared online. Some companies are even starting to handle their customer complaints on social networking sites. This is a great medium to handle your complaints. People want their issues resolved accurately and quickly-what better way to do so than on their terms? Your customers are more at ease because they are doing something they already enjoy networking with those who share similar interests, family, friends, etc. It is more expensive for companies to attract customers than to retain them, so it is imperative that companies maintain a delicate balance.

Twitter is one of the most popular social networking sites for businesses. Zappos, the world’s largest online shoe retailer, is an excellent example of how companies should use social networking sites. Zappos is constantly being recognized for providing quality customer service. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, along with his employees use Twitter to interact with customers, handle service issues and monitoring comments being made about their company. Comcast and Dell also have customer service people on Twitter who search for and address complaints online. Companies are always searching for fast, accurate, and cost effective methods used to monitor their brand and social networking sites enable you to accomplish these goals.

Ability to market 24/7
In today’s fast paced world there are many people who do not log online during “normal” business hours. In fact, many times people log on these sites during unconventional business hours to connect with family and friends (i.e. friends and family overseas). Social networking sites enable you to continuously market your product or service even when you are not online. The time you have spent in cultivating your relationship with your target market will be evident. Companies who have built great relationships with their customers can rest assure that their customers will continue to “spread the word” about your product or service when your not online.

The aforementioned reasons demonstrate why social networking is an effective marketing technique. Some companies feel that social networking is even more effective than “traditional” marketing techniques (i.e. print advertising, direct mail, etc.).  Holly Homer, Founder and Editor of BurbMom.net which is a website for moms in the North Dallas/Fort Worth area rely solely on social networking sites. “We started out with an advertising budget of zero.  I wanted to see how far we could get by just doing free things. Our website has been online for 3 months and last month we had over 4800 hits-over 60% of those were local.  One hundred local moms have joined our online social network.  We have not spent a dime on advertising. I really don’t think we could have accomplished this much in this short of time through traditional advertising with money.”

Bridges said, “Social networking is absolutely more effective in reaching people who are using social media than the traditional tools-they are going to pay more attention to a message, email, or posting from you if you have established a relationship with them. By following you (or linking to you, joining your group, etc.) they are asking you to keep them informed, unlike a random postcard mailing or newspaper ad.”

Companies cannot afford to dismiss social networking just because it is a relatively new marketing technique. Companies that do not engage in social networking are missing out on opportunities to interact with their customers while simultaneously saving money. Social networking requires your organization’s time and energy to cultivate relationships with your target market that will go along way in fostering loyalty to your brand. In today’s economy, social networking is the one investment you can expect to see a return.

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How To Start Creating A Full Time Income Online

Unless you are using eBay or Amazon to make money online then you need good traffic to start creating a full time income online. Not only that but, you need to have a sustainable income that keeps coming in every week from your efforts. Eventually you will be able to automate your efforts but at the beginning you have to start creating a buzz around you.

So for example let’s say you are in eBay or Amazon, they ALREADY have amazing traffic coming to them every day, so all you need to do is decide upon which products to promote and place them on these sites.

You can certainly generate a good income from these sites and this is a great way to start your online career, but, If you have your own brand or want to create your own brand and you are building your expert area, you need to get quality targeted traffic to your own sites to create your income.

An example here would be, if you had a membership site and your area was golf, you could charge people 3 different price points per month to join you. So say your charge was $10, $20 and $70 perhaps and also these people are hungry for what YOU HAVE to offer, they first have to find you.

This is where great traffic comes in. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS.

Now, your buyers are already out there, BUT, unless you show them what you have they will never join your membership site. Then they may go elsewhere so make sure you get this right.

The idea is that you do all you can to get great traffic. Whether you do this or you outsource your efforts.

So, creating a full time income online means, attracting those people and getting them to buy from you. But also, you want them to get onto your own list. Now, list building is part two of income generation. This is because if Bob visits your golf site and has a look around he may not join you BUT if you have a free offer like a report or something on ‘how to swing like a pro’ for example, Bob may say ‘Huh ill take that freebie whilst I’m here’.

So you may see now that the reason I put this in the Traffic building area is that without traffic and visitors you had may as well not learn how to start creating a Full Time Income online.

Very simply, you can have a great website or blog or several, or you can have a wonderful set of products to promote but, if you don’t have the right traffic going to these sites then you have no business. And, with no business you have no income.

So to build a sustainable business online you need these two things:

1) QUALITY TARGETED TRAFFIC
2) LIST BUILDING TOOLS

Why list build?

If Bob never comes back you have lost him. But if he is on your list you can send him awesome e-mails and drop in the occasional offer or product. For example from ClickBank or another affiliate product. You will never ever make a monthly income online that is constant without these two parts.

What is ClickBank?

ClickBank is a site with over 100,000 products that you can promote for free. So you can pick and choose which ones are relevant to you and your brand and then promote them from your website and on your e-mail list.

So how do I get great traffic?

Many ways including paid and free. But the very best traffic comes from this site here and from social media. This is because you want to create trust, building your brand and people are trusting your advice. You can easily and freely drive the right people to your site to build your list. You can use Facebook fanpages and Facebook PPC advertising also which will help greatly your efforts.

Ways to get traffic:

Articles – Write articles that highly relevant to your website and offers
Videos – Use YouTube or Vimeo to create free videos targeted for your website
Affiliate offers – You promote a product from ClickBank for example and before they buy from you you grab their e-mail with a squeeze page)
PPC – Pay per click traffic is paid but fast and often very effective you can use search engines and Facebook or YouTube
Social Media – Use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest etc to drive free quality traffic.

Start here and you will be successful in a very short time by creating a full time income online. Forget this and I can promise you that you will struggle for many years. As I mentioned before, there are really two options. You can go down the eBay or Amazon route and leverage off of their brand which can help you get started, but you still need to build authority or you can build a business around you and your passions. Like a membership site, list building and blogging.

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Can You Be Your Own Internet Marketing Specialist?

The role of an internet marketing specialist is to drive traffic
to a website and to assist with the improvement of conversion
rates – converting website visitors to buyers. Some individuals
are good at driving traffic and others are good at creating web
copy that closes sales. In order to be a full-service internet
marketing specialist, you really have to have the skill to do
both because enormous amounts of traffic doesn’t matter a bit if
that traffic does not result in revenue.Even so, different people have different talents and one person’s
gifts may complement another’s. So, if you have strong skills in
one area and not the other, you may need to work with an internet
marketing specialist whose strengths compensate for your
weaknesses and vice versa. Sometimes an internet marketing team
achieves much more than any internet marketing specialist could
do alone.Specific tasks that an internet marketing specialist or team of
internet marketers engage in to accomplish the two main purposes
of internet marketing – driving traffic and closing sales –
include:1. Brainstorming2. Market research3. Identification of target markets and niche markets4. Competitor analysis5. Development of products and services6. Creation of a unique selling proposition7. Keyword research8. Identification, analysis and selection of marketingchannels9. Budgeting10. Strategic planning and setting of milestones11. Creation of marketing materials including sales copy12. Website development13. Administration of the internet marketing plan14. Analysis of the effectiveness of the marketing program15. Continual strengthening and improvement of the marketingplan and marketing programEffectively addressing all of these tasks that are necessary for
productive internet marketing really requires quite a vast skill
set. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses in various areas of
internet marketing. It is ideal if you have an internet marketing
team made up of individuals that are internet marketing
specialists in all of these areas; however, reality is not always
ideal. Because it is rare for any one individual to be strong in
each of these areas most people need professional assistance from
an internet marketing specialist with one or more of the internet
marketing tasks.If you work with an internet marketing specialist or a team of
internet marketers, it is vital that everyone on the team
communicates clearly and effectively. With clear communication
the results from specific internet marketing tasks can be
integrated to create a strong, effective internet marketing
program that produces significant results in regard to driving
traffic and generating revenues.In order to determine whether or not you are capable of being
your own internet marketing expert rather than contracting your
internet marketing tasks to an internet marketing specialist or
an internet marketing firm, do an honest analysis of your skills
as they relate to the fifteen internet marketing tasks mentioned
previously. In reviewing them, you are sure to find some that you
feel confident about and some that cause uncertainty. If you are
not comfortable with your own internet marketing knowledge and
skills, you may choose to hire an internet marketing specialist
to complete the tasks you are uneasy about, or you may choose to
pursue training or education to enhance your knowledge of
internet marketing and strengthen your own skills.With desire, drive, time and perseverance, just about anyone can
become an internet marketing specialist. To be an effective
internet marketing specialist you must be willing to learn from
others as well as learning from your own mistakes. As you gain
experience in internet marketing, you will naturally develop
expertise and as time marches on you will undoubtedly feel more
comfortable with tasks that seem complex at first and you will
definitely gain self-confidence as you experience the positive
effects of your internet marketing efforts.

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What is Internet Marketing? Define Internet Marketing

What is Internet Marketing? In broad terms Internet Marketing refers to promotion of commerce or business through the Internet medium. It is the way in which products or services are promoted and sold over the Internet. Internet marketing, also called web marketing, online-marketing and even “i” or “e” -Marketing uses the Internet to deliver all types of media to a global and even local market. The relatively low cost to disseminate information to a global audience makes it very unique compared to marketing of the past.The interactive nature of the Internet has forced the evolution of its marketing strategies to include specialist skills to deal with the instant response and eliciting responses now present with this unique medium. A device must be included in your Internet marketing system to accommodate this instant response.The term is also inclusive of the post-sale relationship between a business and its customers because it encompasses digital customer data management and electronic customer relations. It is widely used in the business world today and referred to as ECRM – Electronic Customer Relationship Management. This makes the scope larger as it refers to the on-going relationship supported by the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media.Internet marketing ties together the technical and creative aspects of the Internet including design, branding, promotion and advertising, as well as sales. Here are three main objectives to help define Internet Marketing:(1) Deliver a company’s message or presence in a marketplace. Branding its culture, mission and value as well as educating or detailing its products or service via the computer screen.(2) Collect data research not limited by demographics, individual preferences or past requirements of both existing customers and (different groups, classes, stereotypes, etc.) as potential new customers.(3) The actual selling, collection of fees, tracking of distribution and follow up of goods, services, or advertising space over the Internet.The way in which one reaches out via the Internet to its prospective client is through different strategies. The more popular Marketing Strategies utilized by Internet Marketers are Social, Content and Paid marketing approaches. Each has their own attributes as well as limitations or short-comings.There are several Business Model terms associated with Internet Marketing.E-COMMERCE (electronic-commerce) refers to business over the Internet. Web sites such as Amazon.com and eBay are all e-commerce sites. The two major forms of e-commerce are Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). So, while the neighborhood baker doesn’t sell his cupcakes on the Internet, he utilizes the benefits of the Internet to search and find the supplier with the best price for flour.LEAD-BASED WEBSITES are organizations or groups of websites that create value by capturing prospective clients or sales leads from the Internet to be utilized by or sold to a third party.AFFILIATE MARKETING is a process in which a product or service is promoted by many people or entities that receive a percentage of the profits when the product is purchased. The Affiliate did not develop or produce it themselves. The owner or producer of the product has authority over whom and how their product is sold and customarily provides the “affiliate” with marketing materials; i.e. Website links, capture pages, and banner ads that have encoded tracking – the device used to ensure the affiliate gets credit for the sale.LOCAL INTERNET MARKETING is the process used by a company with a “local customer base” that traditionally sells by warm market referrals, signage, location visibility, and utilizing the Internet to find and cultivate relationships with potential customers to later interact with offline.BLACK HAT MARKETING is a form of Internet marketing or search engine optimization (SEO) commonly referring to the practice of using unethical techniques or employing deceptive, abusive, or less than truthful methods to make your search rankings go up to drive more traffic to your website.The birth and growth of Internet marketing has also made a mark on the “personal worlds” of many individuals. With Internet Marketing offering individuals infinite ways to promote and market themselves, products, services and opportunities, the world of home-based-business has exploded.Initially for the person that desires to capitalize on this medium for their own person commerce, Internet Marketing can be confusing or even overwhelming for most. Each method seems to have its own language to decipher and obstacle to overcome. A system or platform to manage all of these strategies can be very useful if it includes support training. It’s best to only choose 1 or 2 initial strategies to focus on at one time. The best strategy for one person may not be the best strategy for you. Most important is that you discover the strategy that you like most and are comfortable performing. If you enjoy the process you will be certain to be better at it. And the better you are at it, the more likely you’ll become consistent with its implementation. You will find that the strategy you choose is much less important than your ability to do it consistently in order to achieve results.I agree it can seem overwhelming at times, but actually the process can be quite simple if you focus on just one strategy at a time. There are unlimited training courses, Internet tools, websites and programs to help you be more effective and efficient in each category or strategy you choose. Having someone to help guide you through the process, pointing out which tools and programs offer the most help, not only will save your sanity, but also can save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the process.

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Increase Link Popularity With Clear Strategy and Focused Tactics – Here They Are!

Success on the Internet can be like a major military campaign. Without a clear strategy and rapid-responsive tactics, your adversaries will mow you down in the search engine rankings. So set out to increase link popularity.If a good offense truly is the best defense, then start your foray with a look at your link popularity rating. Don’t be surprised when you find widely varying results from different search engines. That’s because every search engine has its own computational process, known as an algorithm, that calculates its rankings.In most cases, however, your link popularity rating is made up of two measures: a mathematical evaluation of the importance of the sites linking to you, and the number of sites that link to yours.Link importance ranks what kind of external websites link to yours. Link popularity counts up how many sites link to yours. These factors go into the algorithm that creates a link popularity score that’s weighted, rather than a raw count. This weighted ranking came about after search engine designers realized that spammers were skewing the ratings by setting up phony websites to link up with. These days reputable search engines rarely count links that come from free web sites.Link importance comes in for criticism from time to time, based on the fact that even though it’s computed mathematically, at some point a human makes a subjective judgment as to which sites are “important.” You may have 2, 500 devoted fans who think your film criticism site rocks their world, but unless one of their links is from Entertainment Weekly, you’re not going to increase link popularity.So if your strategy is to increase link popularity to a certain level, then your tactics have to be to get noticed by other sites with online clout AND to get more links in total. Some ways to do this include:* Earn listings by submitting your site to search engine directories such as the Open Directory Project (dmoz. Org) and Yahoo. Com. Volunteer human editors run these directories, and they look at each site and evaluate it individually. It’s a great part of the democratic process that is the Internet. However, like democracy, getting listed on a directory like this can be a slow process. If you want a quick boost, find some niche directories that match up with your content focus. Use your keywords to locate them, and then use keywords again to qualify your site for the niche.* Produce killer content. If you give the online denizens content that makes their eyeballs stick, they’ll gladly link to you and sing your praises.* Boldly go to sites you’ve never seen before and trade links. Include a choice description of your site content to get more clicks and invite your new friend to do likewise.* Boost someone else’s site. Be specific about what gets you jazzed about the site – great content, easy lists, flashy graphics, etc. More than likely they’ll want to use your kudos to promote their web sites, so don’t be shy about asking for reciprocal links.

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Building Link Popularity & Obtaining Inbound Links

By building link popularity, you launch a campaign to get one way inbound links from other websites. Building link popularity makes other websites post links to your site. They do so if you convince them with great content that’s worth introducing at their sites.The result will be higher page rank, traffic and revenue to your website and online business. Incoming links play a fundamental role in the popularity of your website among search engines – link popularity.Inbound Links and Website CredibilityYou should have heard all Internet marketers saying “content is king”! How does this relate to our topic? Well, the answer is very simple: By building link popularity. In other words, it occurs when you have a content that is comprehensive, informative, useful, interesting and unique. Help other other websites find you and post links to your site.This means that other websites regard the information, product or service you sell as valuable. Then, you receive inbound links from them. Every single quality one way link from a website to you is a credit you receive for your content. So, start building link popularity before it gets late.The most successful method of inbound links come from:* Pages with relevant theme and topic,* Pages with higher Google page rank,* Content pages, not link pages,* Well-known directories like DMOZ and Yahoo,* Online encyclopedias,* University websites, and* Creditable websites from your niche or category.Inbound Links in the Eyes of Search EnginesSearch engines give you lots of credit for inbound links. Building link popularity helps your website be found more often and more easily. Some of them help your webpage get higher ranking too.Google relies a lot on your inbound links and gives you higher ranking for the quality links your web pages receive. For Google, link popularity, quality inbound links your site gets from other websites, is more important than on-site optimization like meta data, tags, headings, etc.Although the number of links you get plays a substantial role here, the quality of inbound links does more good to your website in building link popularity.Another advantage of building link popularity is to have more indexations in various search engines. In other words, when there are more pages outside your site linking to you, your website becomes more visible for search engines and consequently for your visitors.What’s a Quality Inbound Link?There are several essential factors that should exist in the link-sending pages so that search engines consider your inbound links quality ones. Here are some:1. The page that sends a link to you should have content relevant to your page receiving it.2. It will be even a lot better if the link-sending page has got the same keywords as your link-receiving page.3. It’s preferred to get links from a page the title of which contains the same keyword as your link-receiving page.4. It’s recommended to receive text links from pages the rank of which are equal to your link-receiving page or even higher. Generally, it’s better, at least, to have links from +2PR web pages within a website with good future.5. The link-sending page shouldn’t have taken illegitimate measures to obtain high page rank from search engines.6. It’s better to get inbound links from pages in which there aren’t more than 30 outbound links. Pages with +100 outgoing links are considered “link farms” by search engines. They don’t get any credits from search engines. On the contrary, they get banned for what they’re doing.7. If the link-sending page uses a banner to post a link to your website, it should have your keyword within the alt tag of the banner.Note: Building link popularity isn’t an easy work to do. It also takes a remarkable amount of your time, but when you see the results, you’ll agree with other SEO experts that it’s been worth struggling for inbound links. It pays off the hassle.

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SEO Advice for 2018 You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Build a Sitemap

In order for a search engine to display a website in the SERPs, it has to index every page on it. Still, those who are just starting do not know the ways to help search engines index their web pages. There is a probable solution to this. They can build a sitemap that lists all pages on their website, simplifying the indexing process for search engines. This step should always be remembered.

Do Mobile-optimization

At present, nearly all people use their mobile gadgets to keep in touch. Additionally, this is the best way to browse on the web as well. Google is also aware of that. For this reason, the world’s search engine giant goes for mobile-friendly websites. If you don’t want Google to ignore your website, you should do a mobile optimization for it. Your site should not be filled with ads as well, so it can be easily navigated by mobile users.

Focus on Local SEO

It is good to begin with these figures. People should be aware that 43% of Google, 25% of Yahoo and 25% of Bing searches are location-oriented. In addition, 50% of all searches have local intent.

The best strategy for businesses to draw a lot of consumers and meet their needs, particularly if their site supplies products/services within their locality, is through Local SEO.

A number of tips to consider are:

Always use local keywords;
Include the name in Google My Business;
Write relevant content on the blog;
Identify all contacts related to the business;
Come up with a local domain name.
Make a Huge Investment in Social Media Presence

Social media marketing is among the most effective, free ways to boost a website. Social media presence is not only about creating an account on different platforms. Rather, it is about the frequency of posting fresh content, and the level of engagement received.

When creating or contributing content on a regular basis, it would help to share them with others through social media. Other articles within the industry can also be shared. Businesses can cover a lot of content, so they have all the reasons to participate in social media.

Moreover, search engines make use of algorithms in determining if the content is worth to be ranked. That is why those who use social media platforms go for articles that they consider valuable. When they discover that a particular content is easy to read and helpful as well, they will share it on social media sites.

Blogging

From an SEO point of view, blogging is critical for any website. It is a very powerful tool that can address the needs of a business. Therefore, these businesses should learn how to set up a blog on their site.

However, in blogging, there are some rules that need to be followed. As a start, since no one likes to read outdated content, it is important to write fresh, high quality content on a regular basis.

Next, the articles should not be limited to formal text-only content. It would be best to combine them with images, video materials and infographics. This way, the blog would look more striking and impressive.

It would be good to share high quality content on social media sites. This is effective in drawing more traffic to a website.

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Home Remodeling Ideas to Make More Room in Your Home

Is your home the apple of your eye? But, do you feel unhappy with the inadequate living space in your home? If its limited size is becoming the reason of your dissatisfaction, do not worry. You do not need to start searching for a bigger property in order to accommodate growing members of the family.

The Solution is here

Do not think of selling your home and buying a bigger one. You can make optimum use of unused areas in your home and increase your living space. Here are a couple of home remodeling ideas that will provide you with more room and additional comfort in your home.

· A Beautiful Attic

Does your home have an unused attic space? Why not transform it into a functional and stylish living area? You can add a whole new level to your home. If you need an additional bedroom, you can use the area to create a new bedroom with facilities of a bathroom. Alternatively, you can opt for a home theatre center, a library study, a home office, etc.

· A Useful Garage

Do you rarely use the garage? Is it a place for storing junk? Renovating the garage is a good way of adding space to your home. You can make it your new man-cave or create an additional bedroom for the guests. It can become an office space for your spouse as well. Alternatively, you can think about a home addition project and create a new level above the garage and use it to solve space issues in your home.

· A Beneficial Basement

Is your basement only used for storing old furniture and broken appliances? A home remodeling contractor can work wonders for an idle basement space. Consider several different uses for the basement such as an in-law suite for your family, a rental apartment for earning extra money, a play-area for the kids, etc.

A good home is one with adequate space for everyone and everything.

Whenever you think of adding space to your home, consider the future. It is because it is not a temporary renovation project such as painting the walls or changing the kitchen cabinets. If there will be new additions to the family in the near future, consider the requirement of additional space before making a decision.

You must discuss your home remodeling ideas with your family. Once you reach a consensus, hire an expert home remodeling contractor of your area. He will help you in making practical decisions and convert an unused area into a useful living space.

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