Domain Names Going Global With IDNs

idnsThe way the internet is being used around the world is about to change with the announcement that non-Latin domain names have been approved and fast-tracked for early-mid 2010. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is the governing body behind domain names, internet protocol addresses, and many other aspects of the Net. ICANN has has discussed the topic of International Domain Names or IDNs for several years and has finally made plans to make this possible.

This means that you will see domain names in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and manty other languages that are non-Latin.

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Browser Compatibility – Does your site look the same?

browser labMany people are not aware that different web browsers may display your website differently if it is not properly coded in the back end. Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome are some of the top browsers in terms of market share (96.9% of the market in Sept. 09 according to w3schools.com). The issue is that there is no set of standards for how the browser displays all aspects of your web page’s HTML code. Some browsers make assumptions about HTML code that is not defined while others do not. This can create very big issues for poorly designed websites. Users may be taken back when things are out of place or the template gets distorted in a way outside of the designer’s initial intent.

The way to test is easy, pull up your website in each of the 4 major browsers and look for any differences in the page design. A well coded website should not display any differences. If you come across major elements of a page being out of place, it is directly related to a poorly coded website.

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Does Your Website Have A Favorites Icon?

FaviconA Favorites Icon, also known as a favicon, is an often overlooked branding tool that every website should have. It is displayed differently by each browser, but in most cases  is shown to the left of the URL or opened Tab. It also always appears in the Favorites Folder or Bookmarks, so people can easily find the site they are looking for.

A favicon can only be 16×16 pixels, which is very small. Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing your favicon:

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You Don’t Need SEO You Need Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing StrategyMany small businesses with a new or small web presence get stuck in the trap that investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will solve their web problems and drive traffic. As a search engine optimizer I can say that is not the case. Small businesses are better off investing in an Internet Marketing strategy that incorporates many aspects of web related marketing.

If you have a new website launched on a new domain and you are in a competitive industry, it is going to take a long time to gain competitive search rankings. Likewise if your website is small (5-15 pages) and is rarely updated with fresh content, you are going to have a hard time gaining results overnight.

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TVs Getting Involved in the Internet

netflixWhile recently shopping for a new HD LCD Television I was shocked to learn how far the technology has come. Most of the new high end televisions are now providing Ethernet connections to access the Internet. This has allowed TVs to add online widgets for live weather, local news, traffic updates, sports scores, and much more.

In one CNET review I watched about an LG TV, I learned about Netflix streaming which allows you to connect to your online Netflix account and essentially watch any movie within your que.

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Bing Helps find the Lowest Costs for Airfare

Bing Price PredictorThe new search engine by Microsoft, Bing.com, offers a great tool for travelers looking for low prices on flights. The tool combines two methods for users to find the best deal:

1)      Airfare deals – The tool searches all flights from the major carriers and provides them in order from the lowest cost. The intuitive search tool allows you to specify your travel times and specific needs. This is similar to other flight searching sites like Kayak, Orbitz, and Priceline.

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Are You Ready For The Wave?

Google Wave Release

Google today released the beta version of their ground breaking web technology Google Wave to a closed group of 100,000 testers. The final test group will help Google locate the remaining bugs in the product before its highly anticipated release later this year.

Wave has been a highly talked about product ever since its announcement last May at Google I/O 2009. The ground breaking technology combines elements of e-mail, wiki, chat, blogs, and more into one robust communication platform. The Australian brothers who head up the project are the same developers that gave us the highly used Google Maps functionality.

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The Facebook Model of Success

The internet is currently flooded with articles, blog posts, and tweets about social networking. You have to be living in a 3rd world country to have not heard of MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and on and on… The buzz of internet marketing has caught on faster than anyone would have predicted. The question we now ask is will this hype last or is it just a fad? Let’s take a look at the founding father of the social networking scene and analyze their success. We are talking of course about Facebook.

facebookHow it Started
Facebook was started with the intention of connecting college students from all areas to keep in touch with old friends. Members used to be exclusively college students based on whether their school allowed it. If we look back only a generation ago, people used to go off to college and not have contact with their old high school friends until coming back for thanksgiving, Christmas break, or summer vacation. Remember that it was a time when nobody had cell phones or email and communication was a lot different.

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sitemap.html Vs. Sitemap.xml

There are two types of sitemaps that you can create to help search engines crawl your website. The first is an HTML file labeled sitemap.html. This file provides the links to all the pages within your website in a simple list fashion and usually categorized. They HTML file helps search engines figure out how all the pages on your site are linked together so that it does not miss anything as it crawls your site. This is also helpful to users who may be looking for a page in a paticular category or section of your website. The sitemap.html file should be linked from the most important areas of your website (usually the home page).

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