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June Newsletter
Issued June 7th, 2006

Welcome back.

I want to remind everyone (and inform my newest clients) that the newsletters are also online at
http://www.CCFDesign.com/asp/webdesign/newsletters/. Please give me feedback of what sort of information you would like to see in these newsletters.  I am full of ideas (in fact, the July Newsletter is already complete), but my goal in writing these newsletters is to inform my clients so that your web business will advance.

This month's Agenda:

1. Google Base
2. Links Pages
3. Inbound Links
4. Bolded Text
5. Goat Database
6. Specials

1. Google Base

Google Base was launched in November of 2005. Google base describes itself as "a place where you can add all types of information that we'll host and make searchable online".

You can list just about anything you want in Google Base (products, research papers, articles, press releases). You can then describe the item so that you can zone in on your targeted visitor.

If you want to increase your presence in Google, you can add your goats for sale here.

Anyone with a Google account can use this service. To get a Google account, go to https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount . Google base is another way to get an additional audience for your content. To find out more about Google Base, visit http://base.google.com/base/about.html .

To insert an item, go to http://base.google.com/base and click on Post an Item. For goats or dogs, you should create your own item type (enter in something like "Boer Goats For Sale") and click next.

After that, you can go to your sales page and copy and paste the information directly from the sales page. For the title, I would put something like "Boer Goats For Sale - [GOAT NAME] - South African Boer Goat Doe". Keep it keyword descriptive.

After that, you can enter in attributes (like name, sire, dam, price). Then you can put some additional keywords.. In your description, be sure to put your site URL. You can also make an attribute called Web URL (click the format link where it usually say text) and put the URL there also.

Put your contact information and location (location is very finicky if you keep getting told that you are not putting in an accurate address, then shrink it down to City, State, Zip).

You can add a picture (I had a hard time adding image URLs, but adding from my computer worked fine).

Then you can preview and publish. It is very easy to do and might pay off in some additional exposure and sales.

Of course, if your sales pages are on a database, I can make it even easier by creating a bulk upload file.

2. My philosophy on Links Pages

Some of you might have seen this, but I wanted to post it in a newsletter for all to see. Here is my philosophy on links:

It is very valuable to have inbound links, while having a lot of outbound links can be detrimental. Let me elaborate. Inbound links show that other sites think you are important. The search engines see this and surmise that you are important, so they put you higher on search engine results pages.

Every time you provide an outbound link, you should get something for it. The most obvious is a reciprocal link from them. If you don't get a reciprocal link, then you are telling search engines that there page is more important than yours (they have content on their page that you recommend). This boosts their ranking (and if you are not careful, it lowers yours). Trading links can boost both of your rankings (if done properly).

For example, I am currently trying to boost the rank of the Breeder's directory on SA- BoerGoats.com ( http://www.sa-boergoats.com/ASP/Breeders/Breeders.asp ). I have 20 web sites pointing to that site with the phrase (Breeder's directory). Each of those 20 sites get a link back to their main page. With 20 sites linking there (and more to come), it gives that page more value, which, in effect, gives your site more value as well (with a link back from a valuable page).

From a practical standpoint, though, I would hate to lose a customer who is surfing on my site, looking to buy a goat, and then they get off track when they see a link to another site (and then buy from that guy). So, I would be cautious about trading links with a competitor (unless the "value" of his page will boost the "value" of your page - the value is in terms of the search engines).

Some people link to where they bought their goats (which I think is a bad idea - because if I wanted to buy goats, why would I go to you when I could go to where you bought them {a similar concept to wholesale buying}).

Ultimately, it is your site, and if you want links, I can do them, but I wanted you to be aware that providing a link ought to be a business decision (and not to link to someone just because we are friends).

The bottom line is that you own web space, which is advertising space. Your main goal ought to be to advertise your goats, and if you want to "sell" advertising space to someone else, it should be a business decision and you should get something from it.

3. Inbound Links

A couple of months ago, I put out a list of places to get links to your site. Next month, I plan on adding a table in this newsletter showing the progress of how many links each of the sites have. If you get a chance, go back to the April newsletter and look at the section on "Where to get listed".

4.  Bolded Text

Some of you might notice that I have gone back and changed the font style on your site from a bold text to one that is not bold (at least the main parts of the text - some bolding is used for emphasis). I am doing that because I have installed the upcoming version of internet explorer (version 7.0) and in the new browser, the bolded text does not look very good. The default font has changed in the browser, so I am keeping your site updated accordingly.

Also, in the new browser, some text that was set to the left has become centered. I am working to correct that as well. The new browser will be launched with every Windows system later this year, so I have to make sure the sites all look good in that browser, because nearly 95% of all of your web visitors use internet explorer.

5.  Goat Database

I am considering building some sort of herd management software. Let me know what you think. Let me know what the requirements would be. Would you prefer to pay monthly (like - say - $5 a month or pay a one time licensing fee).

6.  Specials

My next special will be for $30 off the design, but it won't start until the midde of June (it will run for nearly the entire month of July). Also, a couple of sites look like they are trying to get a year's hosting and maintenance for free, so keep those recommendations coming.

That's all for now.

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