Spamming Social Media

Recently I received an email from a company that was offering to help push and promote my site in the search engines, specifically Google. The email was very straight forward with the opening of “You should be on the FIRST page of Google”. Then it went into detail explaining how in order to do that you need backlinks to your site, and how their service can help.

While having backlinks (links from other web sites to your site or social media) are valid as a way to promote your site, it was the packages that they offered that left me scratching my head. Their “Bookmarking” package offered “400 social bookmarking backlinks from different websites”, and the “Blog Comments” package offered “We will deliver 5,000-15,000 blog comments with anchor text.” Every package they offered had obscene numbers next to it, that in a normal business world just isn’t possible without spamming these outlets in an effort to try to manipulate the search engines.

So with the red flag raised, I decided to do a little digging into this company. I came up with some very interesting information: The company is in Jaipur India. It is also one that has a notorious reputation as an ad farm, meaning that they own hundreds of web sites that do nothing but display ad pages, in most cases nothing but Google ads, in an attempt to make money. They have over 750 FaceBook pages registered, and have over 100 employees that do nothing all day but click Like buttons, add links into Wiki pages, and post useless comments on Blogs.

While companies like Google, FaceBook, and WordPress are working hard to combat this type type of practice, the fact remains that these companies are working full tilt to make as much money as possible doing these type of things before the plug gets pulled.

If you look at the steps taken so far, like the change over by FaceBook to the Timeline, which started with the business pages, it is a huge leap forward with not forcing people to click the “Like” button on a splash pages in order to see what is posted. Google with the cleaning process of removing these ad only sites from their index, and WordPress tightening the leash on known post spammers to stop the comments from getting posted. This is all being done in an effort to make the web and social media a better place for the end users.

So what does this mean to the business owners? In a nut shell, it comes down to making your content as rich and informative as possible for your potential clients, and keeping it updated and fresh. It means that when you tag keywords, or post to social media, it should be relevant to your content, and lastly, it means that your website should be compliant and search engine friendly. This is the most effective way to not only get on the first page of of the search engines for searches related to your business, but also to help you stay there.

If you need help in accomplishing this, please feel free to contact me. I have over 14 years of experience in designing and building web sites, and helping companies build and define their message. It is the dawn of the new era of the internet, is your business ready to embrace it and grow?

Spring Festivals

For those of you that live in our great state of Delaware, you know that spring time in our state is not just a time for planting, it is also a time for the dozens of festivals that are held across the state. April and May are filled with great events stretching all the way from Wilmington down to Dewey Beach. It is a time of celebration prior to summer stretching our its arms and embracing us with that beach going weather.

The festival committees have been hard at work planning the events, the vendors are all lined up to take their place behind their tables, the flyers and advertisements are being posted, and the people are starting to plan their days to make the most of the festivities. Like the flowers that bloom, and the buds that start to open on the trees, it is the new life that spring brings that breathes its energy into the towns.

A few of these great events that are coming up include:

There are also spring sidewalk sales, music festivals, NASCAR and Grand Prix races, bridal shows, nature-fests, wine tastings, cook-offs, and so much more.

For businesses, this is a time to get out there and meet the community. It is the chance to interact with people, and make contact with potential clients and customers in a way that advertising can never do. These festivals allow vendors to bring a personal touch and interaction into the products and services that they offer, on a higher level helps to grow that sense of community we all seek.

My company will have a table at the Bud and Bug Festival right here in our hometown of Milford, DE. We will be bringing out our 302 clothing and merchandise and showing our pride in our Small Wonder state of Delaware that we live in. We will also have our new 302 Graffiti shirts that are hot off the printing presses.

Delaware 302 Graffiti Shirt

We are looking forward to the opportunity to meet so many of our fellow Kent and Sussex residents, and share in the unique and wonderful experience of this annual tradition. We hope you will take the opportunity to visit events such as this one as well, and explore all that the local businesses have to offer.  If you get the chance, stop by and say “hi” in your travels.  Spring is upon us Delaware, are you ready to get out there and have some fun?

Summer Preparations

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Delaware, we have a very large summer resort area known as the Delaware Beaches. It is an area that starts up near Milford with access to Slaughter Beach, and stretches down through Lewes, into Rehoboth Beach, and then down into Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, and finally Fenwick Island. The largest concentration of vacationers flock into the Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, and Dewey Beach area, which also happens to be the mecca for businesses in the resort area.

In our great state of tax free shopping, you can find pretty much anything that you could want in that stretch between these towns. From well know stores in the Tanger Outlets that stretch down Coastal Highway; like Old Navy, Rockport, Nike, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, PacSun, etc…, to the specialty retail shops that line the main streets in the towns themselves, like Downtown Cowgirl, Quiet Storm, Lewes Gifts, Kids Ketch, and dozens of others. There literally is something for everyone.

Then there are the restaurants. Aside from the well known chains such as Apple Bees, FGI Friday’s, Friendly’s, and Outback Steakhouse, our beach towns have a wealth of places to eat that will tantalize your taste buds. Places like Big Fish, Summer House, The Buttery, Stingray, and Victoria’s just to name a few.

With Spring Break upon us now, and summer coming fast, these businesses are in full tilt to prepare for the hundreds of thousands of visitors that will soon be making their way into our area. The lights in many of these shops that have been dark in the off season are coming on, and the merchandise is rolling in by the truck loads to stock the shelves. The amusement places, water parks, and stores are hiring their summer staff, and the night clubs and pubs in the area are lining up the bands that will be playing all summer long. Even the town committees are in full swing with holiday and festival preparations.

For those people that have made our beaches their annual vacation and weekend rituals, and have been coming here for years, they know the lay of the land. Chances are that over the years they have visited almost all of the shops, and have eaten in almost every one of our restaurants. They have congregated with friends, gone out on the town, taken their kids to the amusements, and staked out their spot on the beach.

What happens though with the people coming into our area for the first time, or have only been here a few times? I did a number of searches on the internet, and the information to help these people plan their vacations to our resort towns are scattered across dozens of web sites, and the information is as varied as the business in our are. Even the “visitor guides” that the chambers for the towns put out do not encompass all of the businesses, primarily because they are based upon chamber membership and paid spots.

Knowing how important the summer is to our fellow Delaware businesses in our resort towns, and in an effort to bring all of this information together, so that our visitors don’t need to spend hours searching the internet, is the driving force behind a new site we are soon going to be launching – 302 Beaches. A comprehensive guide to the beaches of Delaware.

The call is on now to our fellow business owners to submit their information to the guide, and make it as robust and powerful as possible. It is time to give our visitors one place for information, and grow our summer business.

302 Beaches – Where your summer fun begins.