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Avoid getting your Website banned from Google

Google's challenge to provide good results for every search is not an easy one. They have instituted some measures to discourage site owners from gaming the system to improve their search rankings. Sometimes people with honest intentions make changes to their sites that accidentally get it completely removed from the search results.

The first big issue that can get a site banned isn't something anyone would do by mistake. It is called cloaking. Some people will set up their Website so that it appears differently to search engines than it does to regular users. The cloaked page is full of keywords that could artificially inflate the ranking of the page. You need a fine touch for that since loading your page up with keywords is another way to get banned or have your ranking drop. This is one method that one could do accidentally without realizing the possible negative impact.

"Bob's Shoes has the best shoes for shoe lovers and shoe wearers of all kinds including kids shoes, women's shoes, men's shoes, brown shoes, black shoes, dress shoes, casuals shoes ..." You get the idea. It is good to have terms in your copy that represent your business, but don't over do it.

Having the same or very similar content on multiple pages is also risky. You may want to establish your Website as the authority on a topic, but this method will also only hurt your ranking.

Links coming in to your site can help your ranking. Getting or buying links from other sites that are themselves using many bad techniques can lower your ranking.

In general, just write about your content in a way the represents what you do in an honest way, and you shouldn't have to worry about getting banned.

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Twitter for Business

Twitter.com has a special section dedicated to helping businesses get the most out of Twitter. If you have a bit of time, using Twitter can be a good way to interact in a positive way with existing and potential customers.

If you're not familiar with Twitter, start with their definition, and glossary. Once you've got the basics down, review this great list of best practices:

  1. Share. Share photos and behind the scenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them!
  2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand, and products.
  3. Ask. Ask questions of your followers to glean valuable insights and show that you are listening.
  4. Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time
  5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals.
  6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business.
  7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers.
  8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine, and of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you Tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?

These list is a very consise and useful set of instructions for effective Twitter use for businesses. Even if you can only manage half of these, you will be doing quite well. Be sure to also follow other similar businesses to your own, and check out some of the top brands to see how they perform.

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Facebook plugins for your website

There are a number of ways you can promote your Facebook business page on your Website, and promote your Website content on Facebook. Just by adding small bits of code to your Website, you can add a great deal of interactivity.

Here is a quick rundown of the many options pulled right from Facebook's Social Plugin page. Click any item to learn more about it.

Like Button - The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click.

Send Button - The Send Button allows your users to easily send your content to their friends.

Comments - The Comments plugin lets users comment on any piece of content on your site.

Activity Feed - The Activity Feed plugin shows users what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.

Recommendations - The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site they might like.

Like Box - The Like Box enables users to like your 

Facebook Page -  and view its stream directly from your website.

Login Button - The Login Button shows profile pictures of the user's friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a login button.

Registration - The registration plugin allows users to easily sign up for your website with their Facebook account.

Facepile - The Facepile plugin displays the Facebook profile pictures of users who have liked your page or have signed up for your site.

Live Stream - The Live Stream plugin lets your users share activity and comments in real-time as they interact during a live event.

Adding Facebook plugins to your Website is relatively easy if you have access to your Website code. If not, contact Princeton Online for help.

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