Say hello to Miss Shab – New Blog+Site

Beautiful Blog+Site called “Miss Shab”. This site comes complete with everything you’d need for your website and blog! Colored with hues of creams, blues and grays, this site is reminiscent of a shabby cottage. Visit the shoppe to get it now!

Welcome your visitors with a java based slideshow (no flash) to show off your best work or a static image if you’d like. Includes an optional bio/text area to aid with search engine optimization.

The Gallery page has a large slideshow with thumbnail options on bottom, sides or top of the image. Choose square or rounded corners with hover colors for a more personalized look!

The Contact page includes a simple, but customizable, contact form, an image to the left or right and a large google map on the bottom, getting visitors to your place!

The Blog page boasts large images, an adorable date tab, comment area and shabby social media sharing. The bird cage post separator is the cutest!

Special thanks to Natasha Tessier Photography for the beautiful images!

Tip of the Day: Grow Your Business Through Learning

Want to know a secret on how to keep yourself sharp? Keep learning. Stay educated on what’s going on in your industry. Brush up on business basics such as accounting, economic principles, or marketing concepts. Seek opportunities to learn about new technology. Then find ways to utilize that knowledge to make your business better. Learning new things can help keep your business going with fresh ideas and new perspectives.

How the Latest Google Algorithm Penguin Update will Affect You

On April 24th 2012 Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google announced that there will be another algorithm change to the Google search engine.

This latest update has been named “Penguin” and the main objective of the change is to specifically target webspam.

To quote Matt’s words:

“The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.”

If your site’s search engine traffic went down significantly since that date then your site is most likely being penalized by Google for not following the quality guideline.
A lot of you may remember that the last time a high profile and significant algorithm change occurred was around February 2011 and that was given the moniker of “Panda”. Back then the Panda algorithm tweaks were aimed at penalizing sites with poor quality content – especially content associated with content farms like article directories.

Although the Penguin update is believed to chiefly be aimed at webspam, a lot of the general rules of thumb regarding what makes a quality website in the eyes of Google still apply.

The main thing which all website owners and creators should keep in mind is that Google is always tweaking their search algorithms because, as a global multi-billion dollar a year business, it’s in their interests to provide accurate and quality search results to their users.

Matt Cutt’s even says that Google wants to provide search results which will enhance the experience of the user.

How will the Penguin update affect your sites?

For starters if you have created and maintained a solid site with original and quality content which has been organically rising up the rankings, then you won’t have much to worry about.

By “organically” we mean that you have been steadily creating quality content which has been indexed by Google and over time it has naturally risen in the search rankings.

However, if you have tried to take shortcuts and employed what are known as “black hat” techniques to try and fool Google into ranking your site above the higher quality competitors, then you will probably see some significant drops in your rankings and traffic in the coming months.

Examples of “black hat” techniques which may have worked in the past but will, over time, cause more harm than good to your site are things like:

  • Unnatural and excessive back-linking
    You might have noticed by simply checking your spam folder in your WordPress administration panel to see how much garbage your Akismet plugin filters out of your comment area.
    All of these spam comments are from people (or automated robots) which leave comments with links going back to their site in the hope that they will be able to build a significant number of back-links. A lot of the time the comments are totally irrelevant and out of context to the topic at hand which makes them very unnatural.Another technique spammers employ is to try and leave comments with links going back to their sites in forums. There is also a variation of this method whereby the spammers create forum profiles and place links in their profile without ever leaving a comment.Whereas previously the technique of building huge numbers of back-links may have been effective in increasing search rankings, this type of tactic is now being targeted more readily by Google and it may be something they are addressing in the Penguin update too.
  • Poorly written articles which don’t make sense because of bad grammar
    In the effort to write as many articles as possible in the shortest amount of time, some people use what are known as article spinners. That is, they will often try to recycle existing articles which they’ve found on the net, by using a spinner to reword the article so that Google doesn’t detect any duplicate content.
    The end result of sites which are primarily built using such a technique is that they are grammatically illegible and quite useless as far as being informative goes.Google is constantly introducing intelligence into their search engines and crawlers to spot things like this and penalise sites with such qualities by demoting them in the search rankings.
  • Keyword stuffing
    “Keyword stuffing” refers to the unnaturally high frequency of keywords which are placed on a page. The reason why people do this is that they hope to get a better ranking for their chosen keywords by exhibiting a large number of those keywords on their pages.
    Quite often, when you read a page of a typical spammy website you will find that the content actually doesn’t make any sense because the post was written specifically to contain as many instances of a keyword as possible without any regard to the quality of the content itself.

The above are just some of the “black hat” techniques which spammers and wanna-be Internet millionaires employ in order to short circuit the work needed to succeed online.

However, with algorithm tweaks such as Panda and Penguin and future updates, these techniques will soon be as toxic as kryptonite was for superman in terms of the success of your website.

What to Do if Your Site Got Penalized?

If your site got penalized by the penguin update then you should try the following:

  1. Carefully read Google’s quality guidelines
  2. Make the necessary changes to your site
  3. Log into your Google Webmaster tools account and submit a request for reconsideration

What you cannot do on Facebook – Page Admins take note of these rules!

Did you hear about Velvet Burger? They are one of the most recent companies to have their Facebook page deleted for breaking the rules. They waved ‘bye bye’ to almost 10,000 fans in the process. You can read their message to their customers below.

You may have also heard Hell Pizza went the same way – losing their page and 20,000 fans along with it. Hell managed to get their page back through someone-who-knew-someone who worked at Facebook, but sadly – in most cases – if this happens to you, you’ll be starting from scratch.

In case you’re thinking being in a little country (Velvet Burger and Hell are in New Zealand) or that having far fewer fans will prevent this from happening to you, think again! Don’t get all up in arms with Facebook about this either, the only person to blame is … you.

velvet1 225x300 What you CANNOT do on Facebook. Page admins take note of these rules

When you created your Facebook page for your business you ticked a box saying you’ve read and agree to the terms and conditions. I know, I know, of course you didn’t actually read them (and I don’t blame you, there are pages and pages to read) but ignorance is definitely not bliss.

As Facebook says “We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason.” And they’re not kidding. Don’t think you’ll get a warning either! Poof! One day it could just be gone.

The bad news is claiming you didn’t know you were breaking the rules won’t cause Facebook to reverse your page deletion decision.

The good news? With a little learning you can prevent the next victim being your page.

There are Facebook rules that page admins break on a daily basis, so included in the list of what you CANNOT do that follows below are no doubt many you’ve been guilty of.

Even if you’ve been playing by the rules, you might read them and think “But everyone does that! Why can’t I?”. Well to paraphrase mothers around the world “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”. Kidding aside, it really isn’t worth flouting the rules.

So here’s my list of the most commonly broken Facebook rules you simply cannot do with your page. Pay attention so your page is not the next in line for the chopping block!

COVER PHOTO RULES

You know that lovely big new image at the top of your page? As tempting as I know it is, you cannot use it as an ad.

What does that mean? The list includes:

YOU CANNOT

  • Include your contact details – ie: no website address, no phone number, no email and so on. That’s what your about box and info page are for. Basically if it’s a way to get in touch with you, or if there’s a field for that information on your info page, then it cannot go in your cover photo.
  • Include pricing or purchase information – ie: ’40% off…’ or ‘Get yours now at our website…”
  • Reference any “user interface element” – ie:  you can’t ask for, mention or even use a graphic to point to Like, Share or any other Facebook feature. Facebook even makes special mention that you cannot encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.
  • Include calls to action – ie: ‘Get yours now’ or ‘Tell your friends’.
  • Use an image you do not own or have the rights to use, that is false, deceptive or misleading.

By the way, your cover image should be 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall and under 100 kbs in file size.

Want to read Facebook’s new cover photo rules for yourself? Here they are and here are some examples of cover photos from brands breaking the new rules.

PROMOTION RULES

Here’s where you’re going to feel guilty as these are broken all the time. It’s these rules that caused Velvet Burger to lose their page (and their 9,500 fans along with it).

YOU CANNOT

  • Run any sort of promotion, competition, sweepstakes etc on your Facebook page using Facebook’s features and functionality – ie: make sure you use an app or ‘custom page’ and not ‘like this update’ / ‘share this photo’ / ‘upload your photo to our page’ / ‘add a comment’ (and so on) to enter (a more complete list follows below).
  • Hold Facebook responsible: So you must include a disclaimer that releases Facebook of any responsibility – eg: You’ve got to mention something along the lines of “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook”. This is best put on the page/s of your app and in your terms and conditions on your website.
  • Following on from above, you must also disclose who the entrant is giving their information to. The usual wording is “Participants are providing information to [your company name and the name of any other companies who see entrants information] and not to Facebook.”
  • Use any Facebook features or functionality as part of the promotion or participation other than liking your page, checking in or connecting to your app.
  • Use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism – ie: the act of liking your page or checking in cannot automatically register or enter the person in your promotion. Basically a condition of entry can be to like your page but the fan must then complete their entry on your Facebook app or custom page.
  • Use the Like button as a way of voting (eg: most likes wins is not okay). Any other Facebook feature or functionality cannot be used for voting either (eg: The person who invites the most new fans wins …)
  • Notify winners through Facebook – ie: don’t use Facebook message, chat or posting on the winner’s page, your page or another company’s page to notify winners.

These rules apply when promoting your promotion as well! So when you advertise (eg: Facebook ads) or reference a promotion (eg: in a Wall post) you need to follow the rules

These types of promotions are therefore NOT OK (often called Wall Promotions) because you’re using Facebook features and functionality to run the promotion:

Share this [update / photo / video etc] to be in to win…

Upload a photo / video …

Every 25th new fan wins…

Add a comment …

Invite your friends to like our page …

Answer this question 

Photo with the most likes wins 

DATA COLLECTION

Whether promotional or not, whenever you collect content or information from a Facebook user, you have to make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it.

You’ll need to notify Facebook users and obtain their consent plus tell them (or link to your website privacy policy or terms and conditions page) how their information will be used by you.

YOUR PAGE NAME

Your page name and your Facebook username must reflect / match your company name.

So if your company sells milk called Moo Juice then your page name should be ‘Moo Juice’ or ‘Moo Juice Milk’ but not ‘Milk’ as you can’t call your page a generic term – eg: ‘Beer’ or ‘Pizza’.

Your page name cannot be entirely in capitals unless your organisation’s name is an acronym. So the Bank of New Zealand can call their page BNZ but just because your logo has your name all in capitals, if it’s not an acronym, your page name cannot be all caps.

You also cannot use character symbols, such as bullet points or excessive punctuation or trademark symbols, in your page name.

FACEBOOK ADS

Before you run Facebook Ads, have a careful read through the Facebook Advertising Guidelines here. There are so many that it deserves it’s own article so for now you’ll have to do your own homework 😉

I think I’ve set a new record for the number of uses of the word ‘cannot’ in one article!

Given how often these rules are broken and the fact the Facebook’s terms and conditions sprawl over multiple pages; I hope you’ve learned a lot. Please consider liking or sharing this article with your network to help other business owners, marketers and page admins avoid falling into the page deletion trap! Just pick one of the sharing options at the top of the page or below, thank you in advance 🙂

DISCLAIMER: Do not use this article to decide if what you’re doing is or is not okay! Other than the fact that I haven’t made a complete list of ALL the rules, Facebook updates the rules all the time! You’ll need to do your own research or check it past your Facebook Rep or agency to be sure. You can get started here: http://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Read more: http://www.marketinggum.com/what-you-cannot-do-on-facebook-page-admins-read-these-rules/#ixzz1tviKgjRS

CREDITS
(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA)

New Blog+Site for Nutri-Health Options

kimtown collaborated with Belle Fleur Design to create a new blog+site for Nutri Health Options in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This site includes a home page of blog excerpts, linked categories, several information pages, testimonials,  e-commerce for purchasing coaching and workshops and seo assistance to help with search engine placement. Find out more about Nutri Health Options by clicking here!