We produce systems that integrate the good-looking, fast-working front-end with a powerful back-end that gives you total control over your product/service information.
From corporate ID design, like logo and stationary design to brochure and advert design, visualise a whole new world of opportunities to reach the prospective client out there.
understanding & growing your online business
Connecting you to the World of Online Business
Search Engine Optimization or also known as SEO, is probably one of the least-understood services on the web today. As a web designer, I often get told in meetings how the website must look & function and right at the end, the client would add: “Oh, and yes – I also want my website to feature on the front page of Google…” And then my response would be: “Sure, I’ll just press the ‘Be-on-the-first-page-of-Google-button and then it’s sorted…”
My sarcastic comment is usually greeted with a stare of either unbelief or disgust… But if it’s not that simple, how does SEO work?
First of all the world wide web (www) consists of millions of webpages. Google has web-bots that crawl the ‘www’ and constructs an index of all the webpages it deems important and informative. When you use Google (www.google.com) to search for a key word or phrase, it uses the index to create a results page for you, ranked from most relevant to least relevant. So in essence this is the web according to Google.
Secondly, Google divides these search results into two main categories:
- Organic search results and
- Paid advertisement results
Organic search results are based apon a secret algorithm that gets updated by Google when they need to better filter the results of your search.
Paid advertisement search results get shown with the organic search results, normally at the top and the right hand side of the results page.
So, the next big question is: How then can I rank on Google’s first page of search results? Maybe the better question to ask is: What can I do to rank on Google’s first page of rank results? Because everyone knows that you can hide a dead body on the second page of Google’s rank results and no-one would find it for no-one looks past the first page…
The short answer is: Hard Work & time. And I know this is not what most people want to hear and that is why so many are trying to cheat their way up the results-ladder. But be warned – for this very reason Google keeps updating their algorithms in order to penalize those using methods to trick Google in placing their web keywords & phrases at the top of the page. This so-called “black-hatting” can cause your website to nose-dive into the webpage-abyss never to recover or be heard off again.
Even if you choose to go the paid advertisement route, the content of your webpages still needs to be good, organised and useful.
The whole secret to a well-ranked page on Google is simply to optimize your content and to satisfy the web-searcher’s need with the best you can offer. This is also Google’s mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
As long as we offer useful information on the web, we will always rank well.
For an industry focused on the future of information, the internet is surprisingly prone to old fashioned maladies such as superstition, rumour and wild speculation. We’ve heard the latest doomsday prediction before—the World Wide Web is dying—but there’s never been much convincing evidence, until now.
Ben Elowitz, a web entrepreneur, took usage statistics for the web and compared them to Facebook’s usage numbers. The results are startling. While Facebook continues to grab an ever larger share of time spent online, the rest of the web is actually losing so called “attention share”.
In March 2011, for instance, American users spent 69% more time on Facebook than in March 2010. Over the same period they spent nearly 9% less time on the rest of the web. Of course the web still commands far more attention on aggregate than Facebook, but the trend is clear: structured, proprietary platforms are growing quickly while the traditional “open” web is shrinking.
Elowitz is echoing sentiments expressed by Wired, an industry magazine, in their August 2010 edition. The thrust of their article is that the World Wide Web is just one component of the wider internet. It also happens to be the only portion that has resisted total “colonisation” by corporations. They argue that newer alternatives—apps, paid video services, peer to peer sharing—are making the web increasingly irrelevant.
People are far more predisposed to paying for these new channels. Pay-walls on the web have had an extremely rocky history, while Apple alone has sold tens of billions of apps for its mobile devices.
The same goes for online video. Hulu, an advertising-supported internet TV service, is a huge success in America. Netflix, an online movie rental service, has grown so popular that broadband providers are trying to levy extra charges to compensate for the amount of transmission capacity it uses.
“But surely Facebook counts as the web?” you might argue. Even that is increasingly not true. Granted, web browsers are still the main way people interact with Facebook, but their mobile apps are already phenomenally popular. With the spread of smart phones and tablet computers, Facebook’s most common access point will eventually be via proprietary applications.
And even if Facebook’s web interface remains popular, it is still a far cry from the openness of the traditional web. You need an account to use the service, and it records your every move and action in order to present you with more palatable advertising. You can publish your opinions on Facebook or promote your business, but only with their permission. They own and control the platform in a way that no one has ever owned the web.
Why are we so quick to discard the Utopian openness of the web in favour of gilded prisons like Facebook? There are many motivators, but the most simple is comfort. The web, for all its wonders, is a Wild West affair. Unless you know what to look out for, you can get lost, scammed or infected with viruses. For all our high ideals, humans favour predictability over possibility.
There is, of course, a rebel movement fighting against this wave of comfortable servitude. Fomented by Google and its allies, with the Android mobile platform at the vanguard, these advocates of openness are determined not to let the web die. The fact that Google’s whole business model is predicated on the open web may have something to do with their ardour, but let’s not spoil a good yarn.
Before pronouncing the web dead, it’s worth remembering that the internet has already been through a period of being closed. America Online (AOL), one of the original internet giants, once predicated its entire business on the same members-only approach currently employed by Facebook. The open model of the web ripped AOL’s business model to pieces, and there’s no guarantee a “new web” won’t do the same to Facebook and company in time.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumours of the web’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The recent shift in attention is real, but it tells only one half of the story. We tend to think of the internet as a single entity but increasingly it has many separate facets. The so-called “social web” of Facebook and its competitors isn’t a replacement for the web; it’s an entirely new category of media.
And just as radio was not replaced by TV, or cinema by DVD players, the web will live on. Humans have proved remarkably unwilling to give up a mass medium once they have adopted it. I don’t believe the web will be any exception.