Tuesday, July 7, 2009

SEO Companies: Spot the liars

Search Engine Optimization is not only about getting potential customers to your site but also about building a quality website full of great content. It involves using keywords appropriately and getting links "naturally" because people truly appreciate your site content. SEO companies can provide services like keyword analysis, keyword research, technical advice and also management of online business marketing campaigns. They can also help with content development, article writing & marketing and article submission to business directories. Although it's not Rocket Science, the process is laborious and usually requires a lot of thought and real work.

There are SEO firms that promise instant results and naturally when someone claims to do so, your interest is piqued because time is money right? Maybe in the short run you might make something out of it but stand to lose much much more in the near future. They could get your website ranked lower or even banned. When you're looking to hire an SEO firm, here are some things to take into account.

Be wary Of SEO Firms promising to get "Thousands Of Links" To Your Site.

It is not the quantity that makes the difference - it's the quality of the sites. When firms promise huge numbers of links, or say that you will become part of their "network of sites", it usually means a link farm is involved. A link farm is any group of websites that all hyperlink to each other in the group. Search engines detest this and it can lead to your site getting banned. Instead, the
best way to go is with reciprocal linking & one way linking with genuine and related websites.

Be Wary Of SEO Firms That Guarantee A High Ranking On Google.

No one can guarantee a high ranking on Google. Some SEO companies offer a guarantee to improve ranking which is fine. But the moment they promise to do that in an incredibly short period of time, about turn and march away. When these unrealistic results fail to materialize, the company will offer you other services instead or you suddenly see that they have started becoming unresponsive.

Be Cautious Of SEO Firms That reach you through "Spam" Emails.

These emails are unsolicited and usually begin with "We've noticed that you are not listed in some search engines..." You should be searching for a high-ranking SEO company; they will not be searching for you. Spam means scam. You don't buy your medications from spammers (or do you??) so why buy SEO services this way?

Always ensure you get a good outline of the process going to be followed.

Most reputable SEO firms are upfront with their clients and like to share their knowledge. They are confident that even if their clients understand their process, they won't leave them. If the SEO firm claims it's too complicated for you to understand, or if they say they have trade secrets and proprietary technology, it's a sign that they may not be implementing ethical SEO techniques.

Choose Your SEO Company And Services Carefully.

If you were to hire a full time nanny for your kids, you would call and do a reference-check right? Why not do so when hiring an SEO company? Ask them to send you actual references that you can speak with.

Remember that by implementing ethical SEO strategies, you will be moving your site up Step-by-Step. Not in a day, not in a week but actually months. If you are not careful at the initial buying stage, a lot of things can go wrong. So wrong, that you may end up spending big bucks just to do a rollback to the previous ranking status, let alone increase the current status.

Be careful, do a lot of analysis, ask probing and intelligent questions.

Last but not the least, its natural wanting to save money but in the process,
don't be too cheap. After all, quality always comes at a price.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Head to the clouds

Quite recently, one of my Belgian clients came down to Calcutta to supervise the "kick-off" of a new project named Swapmee. Its an interesting concept and the project is going to be initially in French and English and subsequently, several other European Languages. Michel my client, was in Calcutta for about a week and then we planned to make a short trip to the mountains of North Bengal. In the weekend, we did all the planning required and I did need a breather, away from all the work and pressure.

The trip lasted a bit longer than what we had planned, thanks to the incessant rain and landslides at Darjeeling. Nevertheless, the trip was a welcome change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Cal. The mountain air did both of us a world of good though we were unable to move around too much due to lack of transport and visibility. We were two different people from different countries and cultural background, but as we spoke and shared our interests and lives, we found an uncanny similarity that bonded a friendship between us. It was quite interesting to talk about normal things for a change and quite frankly I was happy not having to do too much with my Laptop for a whole week.

We finally managed to rent a car from Darjeeling to Siliguri where we parted ways. I took a bus to Cal and Michel took a train to Varanasi where he planned to stay a couple of days before going to Delhi. Though I am more of a "beach" person, I could not help but be mesmerised by the scenery at Sikkim and Darjeeling. I miss sitting at the hotel balconey and sipping red wine while taking in a view of the cloud covered peaks and enjoying the cold weather.

Au Revoir Darjeeling!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Crazy little thing called luck?

I have been watching closely the technology trends and the market demand for such as far as websites and small to medium web applications are concerned. To be more precise, Microsoft Technologies vs Opensource.

The answer clearly is Opensource Technologies. Its easy to code, its easy to deploy AND more importantly affordable. Traditionalists may argue that developing an application on lets say ASP.NET makes its much more robust, secure and scalable and all of this, thanks to the .Net framework. True! But has someone told them that you can accomplish all of this with oh lets say, CakePHP and Ruby On Rails? Yes old guys! Don't be so shocked!

The bottomline is, small to medium projects on .Net are fast dissappearing and Opensource projects going through the roof. Yes, the high-end application market is still ruled by MS Technologies but not for long. GONE ARE THE DAYS of the big bullys at Microsoft Technologies.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to avoid the downturn?

The Indian IT scenario has been looking very bleak for the past few months. New projects have virtually dried up for many companies with more and more projects getting canceled or delayed. The way to survive the heat of downturn is to join forces with other companies in the same domain. For example, if you have a School Management System, tie up with a company that provides lets say e-learning solutions. You have received inquires non-related to your product and have had to turn them down. So by partnering up, you don't need to lose a lead even if it is not related. Instead all you need to do is refer the lead to a company who does provide the solution and your company can ask for a commission for it. So this way you are making easy money without any hassle. The idea is to survive right?

Look for companies who can pass on any leads to you similarly. How do you do that? Try out B2B trade shows.

Another way to survive is to focus more on profitability from volume of business rather than profitability from individual projects. Lower the usual hourly rate and your profit margin so that you can provide an edge while competing with other companies.