Web 2.0 – What It Is, and What it Can Do?

Selling your products online today is almost imperative. If you’re not in a position to make sales or to offer information on the internet, you’re not leveraging all of the sales opportunities that exist, yet it is amazing how many small to mid-sized businesses, even in 2010, do not have an online presence and aren’t using Web 2.0 to their advantage.

What exactly is Web 2.0? Isn’t the internet just the internet? Realistically, yes it is. Web 2.0 is probably a perfect example of the phrase, “a horse by any other name”.

Late in 1999 a writer of information in electronics, Darcy DiNucci wrote an item called Fragmented Future. It was from this article that the term Web 2.0 was coined. The article suggested that a new World Wide Web was coming into play where less static information and more interaction in every form would come to pass.

The reality was that the WWW was originally intended as a platform for interaction and only those who were unable to participate didn’t see that. The new WWW began with bulletin boards, IRC discussion and other forms of user interact.

To that end the term Web 2.0 has bee termed complete jargon by many and has been labeled a ludicrous term by others. Tim Berners Lee has called the term jargon because the internet today is precisely as he had envisioned it. One of the WWW inventors, Berners-Lee says that his vision of the web was “a collaborative medium, a place where we all meet and read and write”. He called it the ‘Read/Write Web’.

The term Web 2.0 has come to mean precisely what Berners-Lee and others had in mind when the World Wide web was being shaped. It has undergone an evolution to interactive media, to easier communication and information dissemination, but has not radically changed from what it was intended to be. Still, the term Web 2.0 is today meant to refer to the second coming of the internet, a new, exciting, more easily used and better method of interaction between people and computers.

Whatever you call it, the interaction between users, the means to provide new information and to permit your clients and customers to discuss it is absolutely imperative when it comes to marketing your products or your services.

The “new” internet is here. Customers and clients want to be able to reach you through your website. They want to ask questions and offer input about their own experiences with your company and your services.

Word of mouth on the internet travels amazingly well in community sites. Entirely families and groups of friends come together online, as well as strangers becoming fast friends and referring and recommending products and services.

Using that kind of interaction to your advantage is a necessity. Web 2.0, whether misnomer or correct terminology, is a better way to sell your products

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Building Links with Twitter

Twitter and other social networking sites are “all the rage” right now, and for good reason… they work! Building links with Twitter is a fast, free way to grow your online business and create backlinks and traffic for your website.  Here are a number of “best practices” for using Twitter.  These tips apply to both link building as well as good Twitter strategy in general.

  • Growing your number of followers and building links with Twitter go hand in hand. Regular updates is important to building your Twitter followers.  If someone visits your Twitter profile and it’s been weeks or months since you have updated,  it is likely they will not be interested in following you.
  • Make your tweets useful and interesting!  Offer inspiration and useful information that people will want to retweet and you’ll gain new followers every day.
  • Share your blog posts and articles with your Twitter followers.  There are applications and plug-ins that will automatically tweet the title of a new blog post or article.  Just be sure to keep your posts and articles worth reading or your followers will soon stop clicking through!
  • Set up Tweetlater to retweet your best blog posts two to three weeks after they’ve been posted. If the quality’s good enough, you can generate a whole new influx of visitors and links with a few carefully tweeted updates about previous posts.
  • Offer helpful tips and lists that people want and need. Encourage followers to retweet by adding “Pls RT” at the end of your post. Many people will if the information is good.
  • Use a service like Twittley to automatically send a tweet whenever you bookmark a page you like, or when someone votes for a page you submitted. It’s a relatively new service, so you can get a good jump on the competition and more quickly build your online reputation there.
  • Let your Twitter followers know you have articles available for free reprint on your site. Allow them to link directly to the article (which saves space on their server), or borrow them in full—with a link to your site, of course.
  • Offer a guest blog post to your Twitter followers. Guest blogging is a quick and easy way to generate links to your site and it’s easy to reach several hundred, or thousand, prospective bloggers at once when you tweet your offer.
  • Pay attention to what others tweet and see which items you link to. That’s a good indication of what appeals to similar folks. Look for helpful blog posts and articles, humorous pictures and videos, and freebies and discounts. Then offer the same kind of things.
  • Give backlinks to others. Twitter is a give-and-take community. Don’t just expect links from your followers. Give links to them. Retweet their posts. Encourage them. Laugh at their jokes with an LOL! or :). Be real and others will be real with you.

Key to any Twitter strategy is to build sound relationships your followers.  Get to know people and let them get to know you. Recommend good people on Follow Friday and tell people why someone is good to follow. Your Twitter friends will soon learn that you care about them, not just numbers, and they’ll be glad to link to your blog posts and articles you write.

Any link building strategy requires effort, but the added traffic and importance of your website makes the effort worthwhile so give it a tweet and see how building links with Twitter works for you.

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Link Building 101

If you want to increase your search engine page ranking and overall search engine optimization, then you want to maximize the number of backlinks to your site.  A backlink is essentially a link to your site from another website or internet location.  If you are a blogger and you include links to relevant sites and resources, then you are giving that source a backlink.  Backlinks are important because they are part of the alogarithm that Google uses to rank your website.  Building backlinks should be part of your overall blogging and website marketing and search engine optimization strategy.

Not all backlinks are created equally. Search engines value quality backlinks and therefore it is important to be aware of the most effective types of backlinks and which ones are frowned upon by the various search engines.  Link farms, link swaps and purchasing links are all areas that you want to avoid. However, if you decide to employ them, be very cautious. They may very well not be worth the time or money it takes to build them. In fact, they could significantly damage your site if Google were to decide they frown on your links.

The single best way to increase your backlinks is to offer great content.  When you offer your readers well written, relevant and interesting content, they will want to link to your site and in doing so expose you to more and more readers.  Focus your efforts on offering your readers a site they value and read regularly. It will prove to be the most effective strategy for building links to your site.

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