Webmasters should keep up on Official Google Blog & Webmaster Blog

If you’re serious about web design they you should be reading these blogs.
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/
Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
Insight into new Google products, technology and Google culture.

Joomla 1.5 Stable, and VirtueMart 1.1 Stable both Released Recently

Over the last couple of months Joomla released a stable version of thier 1.5 CMS platform, and VirtueMart released a Version 1.1.0 Stable platform to support the newer Joomla CMS. This combination is truly a blessing.  However these releases are fairly new, and I am still finding small bugs, and seemingly obvious configuration setting that aren’t there. While this combination is great, don’t expect to get your site running overnight. 

Would You Use Content Management System CMS To Build A Client Website

Would you use a Content Management System (CMS) for a high traffic or client website?  Why or why not?  I have been designing websites for myself for a couple of years now, and have not thought twice about modifying a free Content Management System or pre-written e-Commerce solution to help build my business and personal websites.  But now, I have been hired to design websites for several small companies.  Let me ask you what you think.   If I design a client website starting with a Content Management System like MamboJoomla, or e-Commerce solution like osCommerce, would you consider this cheating?  Should  I really reinvent the wheel  if I am able to start with a great system that has already been written, then modify or add to it to suite my clients needs?  Am I being deceitful to my client?  I personally don’t think so!  If you charge them for your time, and your time is building them a site that suites their needs, and you deliver, then you are doing exactly what they have asked.  Chances are you have also saved them a bundle of money.  What do you think?

Just take a moment and look at many of the websites you frequent.  I bet many of them are built on these pre-existing systems.  I know many of my favorite sites are!  Many thanks to the contributors of these systems.

Are your affiliate partners not paying you too?

A few years ago I started making money on the web with affiliate sales.  I found a company who was and still is identified as one of the most reputable companies in their business.  I was previously using http://www.linkshare.com to track and set up my sales and my store.  About 2 years ago, this company asked me if I would like to work with them directly, and identified all of the benefits of doing so.  I quickly agreed.  Immediately I recognized how valuable this relationship was, and where this business could possibly take me.  

Well after working with them for a year or so I started receiving my payments months behind, then eventually not at all.  Now it is a year and a half later and the company is filing for Bankruptcy protection under chapter 11.  They also filed for a “sale motion” to sell all or most of their assets.  My agreement with this company expired nearly 1 year ago, but my account with them is still set up, and they still send me reports showing the business I have sent them and where they owe me commission.  I know I can increase my sales with this company, however I don’t know when and if I will ever get paid.  I would be happy to start fresh,  but don’t understand how this bankruptcy works, and when I can hold them responsible for what they owe me.  Should I wait to focus my time until the “sale” is final?  If they are protected under chapter 11, does that mean they don’t owe me for anything before the file date, but owe me for everything afterwards?  I really enjoy this business and feel I have become an expert.  I would really like to increase my sales, but I don’t want to waste my time either.  I have not found any of their competitors offering a competitive affiliate program, so changing companies is not likely.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.  Keep in mind, I have little money to invest in attorney fees.  Thanks.

Changing your title tags to often

I’ve searched some on the web, and cannot find much information about the affects of changing your title tags too often, and when is too much.  Over the past couple of months one of my primary sites ranked very well on Google, and then my web hosting company had some issues where my account was suspended for two days.  During this apparent suspension the title tags for some of the websites I manage changed to Site has been suspended“.  Google did index this new temporary site suspended title, then of course after two days my titles changed back.   Please note I had just changed my title tags a few weeks before, but before that it had probably been over a year.  When my title tags were again indexed correctly on Google, my site had slipped from the first page for some of the most importantly targeted keywords to “no where to be found” on google.  I know there are many factors to receiving good Google PR, but this coincidence has me in fear…Any thoughts, advice??  If I’ve been marked down for these unintentional frequent changes, how long do you think it will take to get the red flag removed..if ever?

The Importance of Staying on Top of Your Blog for Google

It is interesting to watch some websites I work on(in my spare time), go up and down when being returned in Google’s search results.   Google does say their results are updated frequently, regardless of what the page rank tool might say.  I must agree I have found them to update the most frequently of today’s top 3 search engines, Google, MSN, and Yahoo.  Since many of us can’t afford a huge paid marketing campaign, in my opinion a Blog is best way for us to get quality links and visitors and increased page rank to our web sites. 

Since my full-time position is a REALTOR, I don’t find as much time as I would like to Blog, but when I do, I can definitely see the Google effect usually within a week or two.  Since I am not a writer by nature, probably not a lot of us trying to make something from nothing on the web are, we’d better get practicing if we want to share a place at the top with our competitors.

The same story about “content”

I guess it’s common sense, offer valuable content on your website and you’ll get visitors.  I think most of us have tried it, piece some code together, maybe use free development tools and throw a few web pages up.  Then, expect good results.  It’s not impossible, I’ve done it before, but if you intend to remain up high, you’ve got to work.  Make sure you know your product, and offer something your visitors will return for.  Start by cleaning up that code, make sure you’re “search engine friendly”,  and create some good content.  Just like any business, not only do you need first time visitors, but want people to return to do business with you.  The more frequently you get someone to come to you website, whether to buy something or just for information, the more often you will likely do business with that visitor, or someone that visitor referred.  So, how can you get people returning to your site?