|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Information|
Some very early users of the Internet - not the worldwide web as we know it today - but the Internet from the early 1980s, will have heard of, and likely used, Usenet. This was the collective name applied to text-based electronic bulletin boards that were used to communicate in the days before the web and email existed, and that are still in use today. The Usenet posts were first collected and organized for worldwide web use in 1995, by a company called Deja News. In 2001, Google bought Deja News and applied their considerable search expertise to Usenet posts. The result is Google Groups.
There are well over 30,000 Google Groups today. These are hosted on servers all over the world, and Google Groups provides a browser-based interface to them, as well as creating searchable archives. From a very clean interface, users may search any of the various subsections of Google Groups. In the same way a clothing web site may be divided into sections for men's, women's, and children's wear, Usenet is divided into sections such as biz (business related), comp (computer related), humanities (art, literature related), and so on. From there, subsections may be divided into more specialized sub-topics where necessary.
Sadly, many Google Groups are now spammer hangouts more than anything else. Widely available web access and programs that can automatically post to thousands of newsgroups in just a short while have destroyed much of the original spirit and usefulness of the Usenet groups. And parents need to know that on some sections of Usenet there are some very inappropriate topics that have been started over the years, so they should exercise due caution in protecting their children from those sections.
For those who don't mind a bit of digging through the virtual trash can, there are still many, many useful and active Google Groups, full of friendly, helpful people, so be sure to check out this often-overlooked resource.
About The Author
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.sitetube.com. Visit his website for the latest on planning, building, promoting and maintaining websites.
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Google PageRank Explained
PageRank - an exclusive technology developed by Google which can have a major impact on the success of your website. This article will attempt to explain the concept of PageRank and how your ranking can be improved without spending any money at all.How is PageRank beneficial?Google refers to the technology as a way of evaluating the usefulness, importance, and quality of a website. The PR of a webpage can mean different things for different people.For a webmaster, a high PR is a sign of accomplishment. It shows that your website is moving in the right direction and has the potential to become successful. PageRank also directly effects your Google search engine listings. Acquiring a higher PR than your competition could mean more traffic for you, and less traffic for your competitors.Visitors to your website probably won't care about the page's rank (most surfers have no idea what PageRank is). However, visitors who understand PageRank may use your PR as a sign of how credible your content is. Would you rather use the information from a website with 0 PR or a website with 5 PR and hundreds of other websites linking to it?How is PageRank determined?PageRank is basically determined by backlinks. A backlink is when another page links to your page. For every page that links to you, that page is "voting" for you. The more votes you get, the better your PageRank will be. However, it gets more complicated than that because some votes weigh more heavily than others. The weight of the vote is determined by the PageRank of the page linking to you. This means that a couple links from pages with high PR could be more beneficial than hundreds of links from pages with low PR. But it gets even more complicated - each page can only transfer so much PageRank. The set amount of PR that the page can transfer must be split up between each "vote" that the page gives out. This means that a PR 7 page could actually give out as much weight per vote as a PR 3 page if it had too many outgoing links.How can I improve my PageRank?There are many different methods to obtain quality backlinks to your website. You will find that some methods work better than others depending on the subject and popularity of your site.DirectoriesSubmitting your website to directories is one of the best ways to increase your PageRank and even get some traffic at the same time. But submitting your site to just a few directories won't be good enough. You need to sit down and spend the necessary time to submit your site to a large amount of directories. This may seem like a painstakingly long process, but you'll be glad you did it when you notice results. I have taken the time to make a large list of free directories with high PageRank which you visit here. Although directories with low PR may seem like a waste of time, you should submit your site to them too because it still helps and they could eventually become a high PR site which charges money to submit to.Link ExchangesA very common practice to improve your PageRank is a link exchange. This is simply where two people link to the other person's website. It's best that you only link exchange with someone who has at least as much PR as you and the subject of the two websites are similar. If you receive a link from a website with a subject which has nothing to do with yours, you'll find that very little if any PR will actually be transferred to you.Forum SignaturesIf you are an active user on a forum or message board, it would be wise to put a link to your website in your signature. This could help improve your PageRank if the forum has a high PR, it could help improve your traffic from the forum members seeing your signature, and your site could get spidered more often because it is linking to a forum (forums generally have a lot of new content every day and search engines love new content).Buy AdvertisingAlthough it isn't the best of choices, many webmasters will buy text link ads on websites with high PR. Although this can be effective, it can be very expensive and only a temporary thing. If you purchase text links for just a couple months, after the months are over you won't have the backlinks which were giving you the "votes" you needed to keep your PageRank. So you have now spent a large amount of money on text links, but in the end you're right back where you started.ArticlesThis is a method which not many people know about. Basically, you write articles about the subjects you know a lot about. You then let other people use these articles as long as they provide a link back to your site. If you wrote a quality article, you'll find many websites will want to use it, thus giving you plenty of backlinks. This method can work well with anything which you develope and give away for free such as scripts, web design, etc.Stay On Google's Good SideThe most important thing to remember when trying to increase your PageRank is to not cheat and to always follow the rules. The people which run Google aren't fools and they have many ways of catching cheaters. Don't even think about using any of the "link farms" or trying to hide keywords on your pages. If caught, you may not get unbanned for many months.Make A Quality WebsiteIf you have a quality website which your visitors enjoy going to, then you will receive backlinks without having to do anything. 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