Dec 29, 2012

Beware! Recent Increase in Email Scam > "Your Mailbox Full"

Our offices have recently received a number of fake e-mails that are variations on the subject of ''e-mail account mailbox capacity''. Most of these e-mails are in the form of a warning or alert to say that ''your e-mail account has exceeded its capacity".

EXAMPLE: Dear customer: 
 e-mail account has exceeded its limit Please verify your account to avoid losing 
it by "CLICKING HERE" (link in body of email). 

above is screenshot capture of the actual email

It's pretty safe to assume that if we are receiving these e-mails, millions of other people are getting them too. We believe these emails are no doubt what's called a "*phishing scam"

Charlotte, North Carolina based Cole WebMarketing, which hosts hundreds of websites, and thousands of e-mail accounts, has always advised our clients, that whenever they receive an e-mail that even remotely appears suspicious, to NEVER click on any link that is contained in the e-mail message. 

If, for example, you receive an e-mail that says it's from PayPal, eBay, your bank, your cell phone carrier, etc., and the e-mail warns you of a potentially serious problem and that you need to take immediate action... by clicking on the link provided an e-mail, don't do it! 

Instead, go to your browser address window, type in the URL for the website referenced in the e-mail, such as, and then log into your account and check to see if there is some type of authentic problem. To be certain that there is in fact nothing to be concerned about, you can always take a second precautionary step of contacting the company the via e-mail or telephone to inquire about the warning you received in the presumably fake e-mail. They will be able to confirm whether or not the e-mailed alert or warning is genuine.

The website is a great resource for checking to see if emails you get are real, fake or partially true or false.  The site has a SEARCH BOX on the home page.  Usually typing in, or copying & pasting, the subject line of the email you received, or part of the body of the email, will bring up details about the email - is it a scam? does it contain a link to a computer virus? is it true, or false or taken out of context, etc. is also effective to ascertain whether an email "alert or warning" that someone forwarded to you is a false rumor or something true, and something you should know and be concerned about.


*Phishing scams, according to Wikipedia, are:  
Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing emails may contain links to websites that are infected with malware. 

Phishing often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. 

It is believed that the first recorded use of the term "phishing" was made in 1995. The term is a variant of fishing,  alludes to "baits" used in hopes that the potential victim will "bite" by clicking a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment, in which case their financial information and passwords may then be stolen.

Oct 10, 2012

2012 SEO Update: Did Google's ''Panda'' or ''Penguin'' Updates Hurt or Help Your Website?

Let me first start off with saying I LOVE GOOGLE!   They offer an amazing variety of very useful and FREE tools that make our lives better.  I use Google EVERY DAY, and love many of their products, especially their Blogs and Calendars.

However, The Spring 2012 Google Updates changed the rules for traditional (and effective) SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics and strategies for ALL websitesm and a lot of people are asking themselves....."why do I always search using Google? (first)" 
On April 24, 2012 Google changed the way in which we know the SEO since launched a "spam update".  Called the "Penguin Update", it appears to be in some ways a modification of the previous "Panda Update".

THE GOOD NEWS: Many SEO experts feel that both updates to the Google algorithms were released to help eliminiate or at least reduce "Black Hat SEO Tactics" (cheating) and/or those site who follow unethical promotional tactics condemned by Quality Guidelines of  Google.   

THE BAD NEWS: These changes, in how Google analyzes and rates (ranks) websites, in a few minutes wiped out hours and hours of legitimate (White Hat SEO Tactics) search engine optimization work, invested over years, for many website managers.

Many people are complaining (loudly), especially over the past several months, that Google no longer supplies us with the "relevant results" that we've come to expect, and depend on, for years.

I, and billions of other internet users worldwide, have for years considered Google the BEST search engine on the web. It certainly has been, for the past several years, the most popular search engine in the world. However, perhaps the time has come now to look for alternatives?  If enough people turn away from Google and begin to rely on other major search engines, that may result in Google rethinking the Panda/Penquin updates.

Some other popular (and effective) search engines that
you may want to consider using include:

We suggest you first look at the FACTS....check your website analytics (your web stats)and compare Summer 2011 to Summer 2012). It may show a significant change in traffic to your website (calls to your company) and a hard hit to your financial bottom line.

If your website has seen a decrease in listings, a drop in "your rankings"....and a decrease in your online generated revenue stream there is still hope for recovery.

To learn more about how Cole WebMarketing can help your website recover and overcome the "SEO damage" done by the Penguin/Panda Google updates earlier this year, please call us at 704-503-WEB1 (9321) for a FREE consultation.

NOTE: Cole WebMarketing, is a Charlotte, NC based website design, development, management/maintenance and internet marketing company that has been helping small and medium sized businesses nationwide create and/or improve and manage their online presence.

Aug 11, 2012

Protecting Your Brand Online / Corporate Identity with ''Secondary Domains''

Many organizations only register one domain - .org for their website. Cole WebMarketing (a Charlotte, NC based website design/development and internet consulting firm) suggests to all .org's that they also register the .com domain.  There are several good reasons to do this, and one of the main ones is that many (most?) people will type in .com by habit.  When that happens, confusion/frustration set in, and you can lose someone who really needs help from your organization and/or wants to DONATE to your organization!

If you want to ADD YourOrganizationName.COM to your program, it may be easiest/cheapest/best if you simply contact your current Registrar for  YourOrganizationName .org and have them register this "secondary" domain for you.  Have them "point it" to YourOrganizationName .org. Then make sure you let your current Website Hosting Company know you've secured the .com domain, and they will "park it" at your hosting program.  The domains, .org or .com work as an "alias" meaning typing .com or .org will send people to the same (single) website.

Protecting Your Brand/Corporate Identity Online: Securing the .com domain will not only help "protect your brand" online, it will also avoid losing prospective new customers who type in  YourOrganizationName .com and get this type of error message:  "Oops!  could not find"

I also suggest to all domain owners that include a "-" in their domain name, such as, also register the domain "dashless".  I've already done this on your behalf, and it's included in your annual Cole WebMarketing Website Hosting Program.

For maximum brand protection, and to help avoid "confusion in the marketplace" we recommend that you also register the .NET domain as well.  Doing so means you now have/own all three of the top-tier domains.

Domains can be Registered at "Registrars" or through resellers, such as Cole WebMarketing.  There are several major Registrars, and hundreds of smaller ones.  I'd suggest going with the "big daddy's" in the industry. There are some Registrars that include some punitive clauses and/or other restrictions, not in the best interest of the person or company registering the domain name.

Domain Registrations can be annual (one year term) or more.  Sometime discounts are offered when you register for 5 or 10 years.  However, I prefer NOT to be locked in long term (with anybody or anything…well except for my wife!) so I just go "year-to-year".  Prices vary and in 2012, domain prices increased worldwide.  Domain owners can expect to pay $15-25 per year, per domain.

WARNING: Be cautious about Registrars that offer super cheap 1st year pricing, such as $1.99 for the 1st year.  They know that most customers will stay with them when year two kicks it at a MUCH higher rate, often higher than the industry norm.

Cole WebMarketing can register domains "on behalf of" any of our clients.  It's important to note that YOU, our client (company owner or organization) "owns" the domain, we simply "manage" the domain (and annual Renewals") for the client.   Most of our clients prefer this route, since "one call does it all" - anything related to their website, email, domains, etc. is managed by one company (Cole WebMarketing).

WHAT IS WHOIS? It's also important that the WHOIS, the information about any domain is correctly and completely filled out.   There are 4 parts to the WHOIS - The Registrant (owner), The Administrator (manager), The Technical Contact (usually your website company or IT Dept. Director), and The Billing Contact.  It's never a good idea to have all 4 the same name/phone number/email.  Usually we list the client as the Registrant and us (Cole WebMarketing) and the other 3.  Whatever email is associated with the Registrant, "controls" the domain, so make sure this is YOU the customer or someone you really trust and has a proven long term positive & professional track record as a "Domain Manager", such as Cole WebMarketing.

For more information about Domain Registrations, or if you'd like Cole WebMarketing to design/develop or "totally overhaul" your existing website (and also manage your domains for you), please visit our website, and then call us at 704.456.WEB1 (9321).

Aug 7, 2012

Some Tips & Advice on Buying Computers & Software

LOOKING TO BUY HARDWARE & SOFTWARE for your business or organization? 

Here are some TIPS & ADVICE from Cole WebMarketing, a Charlotte, North Carolina based web design and development firm.  We don't usually provide "IT support", since we've been focused almost entirely on web design/development and internet marketing since 1999. However, since we do USE computers ALL the time, we're pretty familiar with a fair amount of hardware and software and consider ourselves qualified to at least offer some "do's & don'ts to our clients.

Business Hardware SolutionsIn a recent email to a client (a non-profit organization, with a very limited "general funds" budget, I replied with: the laptop you are looking at (IBM refurbished Black 14 inch T 60 ThinkPad for $250 sold at a national "big box retailer) seems like it would serve your purposes. It's my opinion, and one shared by many other IT people, that Windows XP was the best operating system that Windows ever had. There are few billion people that will say Apple products far outshine anything Microsoft has ever made (or will ever dream of), but for this particular Blog post, I'm not going anywhere close to that ''debate''.
Having just said that Windows XP is a good choice, you may run into issues with modern software being incompatible with an older operating system such as XP. What followed Windows XP was Windows Vista - and billions of people had millions of problems with that operating system! I was one of them!! 
After Vista came Windows 7, which is what I'm personally using now on my main system in our main office. Windows 7 is a very popular and common Windows operating system. I use Vista on another machine in my office, and we still keep an "old box" running XP in another office here.
Now keep in mind that Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7,  etc. are all hardware ''operating systems''. You'll need some software to really make any machine functional/useful as a ''business computer''. 

Business Software Solutions
The most important piece of software in my opinion to get 1st, would be Microsoft "Office". There are several different generations of office, such as 2003, 2007 and 2010. There are also several versions, such as HOME, BUSINESS, etc. I prefer the 2003 Business Gen/Version personally, but 2010 does have some cool features that 2003 lacks.

Also, be sure to get the software that matches your PC.  Computers these days come in 32 bit and 64 bit, single core, dual core, quad core, etc.  To find out "what you have", click on COMPUTER, then right click on the main drive (C), then click PROPERTIES. This screen will provide you with the "SPECS" for your PC.    

When you get MS Office, you get Word (to make all kinds of business documents), you get Excel to make all kinds of business spreadsheets, and you also get Outlook for processing e-mail. Basic nuts and bolts computers will come with a free version of Office Lite (or whatever they call it). With most all PC's, you'll get Office Lite, which includes Outlook Express - please note that OE is far less sophisticated than regular Outlook, and lacks many of the features that most business person want & need.
This particular client stated they wanted to use the new PC for their newsletters and quarterly Excel reports (and probably many other types of business documents).  Office "Publisher" can quickly and easily create newsletters, letterhead and a variety of other "desktop publishing" documents.
I told them I'm hoping that their new Blog will soon replace their old printed newsletters. You can also make Blog posts that are private, viewable only by those that haven't invited and have the actual URL, so you can share posts "internally" within your business or organization.

Please keep in mind that there are several good alternatives to MS Office.  I'm talking FREE Web Based solutions!  In 2006, Google offered an alternative to Windows Office that may serve your needs and those of many nonprofit organizations. They're in the process of upgrading (and renaming) ''Google Docs'' to ''Google Drive''. 

The beauty of Google Drive is it is a ''cloud-based'' software system. By that I mean the documents don't live on any one single PC in someones home or office. Rather they live ''up in cyberspace'', somewhere safe considering its a Google product! 
What makes cloud-based computing really valuable, especially for a non-profit organization is that you can create a document, and make it "public" or "private" (send ''invite'' to others). They can have read-only access or they can have edit/admin access the document. This allows others within your organization to edit and tweak documents online, and avoids having to e-mail documents back and forth, and most importantly avoids the issue of ''which version is this file... is it the latest version??"    :-(
There are many other valuable features such as the Online Discussion, where you can post an idea or problem and others within your organization can collaborate online rather than trying to schedule a meeting of several people, which can be difficult or impossible at times.
Free cloud based computing with Google
We've used Google Docs successfully in the past for a few other clients, but it certainly is a case of teaching an old dog new tricks.  However, it's very "user friendly", so once you've used it a few times, it's pretty quick and easy to manage.  And best of's FREE!  We're excited about the "new & improved" version - Google Drive.
You can learn more about Google Drive here - - there is an excellent overview video, as well as a few pages that will highlight features and benefits and how to use Google Drive to best serve your needs. The free program includes up to 5 GB of storage space.
Google Drive Overview Video:
PS (I wrote to the client) - wouldn't it be nice to have a video overview, a short 60 or 90 seconds where a human being can passionately convey the value and importance of your organization to first time visitors to your site?

Cole WebMarketing can shoot and produce a professional looking videos to add your your website and to your upcoming "YouTube Channel".

Remember, you website is just the "hub" of your "internet presence".

TO LEARN MORE about Charlotte, NC based Cole WebMarketing, please visit and then call us (using our Google Voice phone number!) at 704=456-WEB1 (9321)

Jul 31, 2012

Changing Website Trends - Watching VS Reading

Years ago, having a website that looked a lot like a simple "Word Doc" was the norm, and people (WebSurfers) accepted that.   A lot of text, a few photos or graphics, several pages linked together, and that was sufficient to say you "have a website".  Times have changes...a LOT...over the past few years.  

It's been said "web years" are like "dog years" and I agree.   Having a 5-7 year old website (without making frequent and/or significant updates, is like having a 5-7 year old dog.  It's "middle-aged"...and getting old fast.  Often, a site is considered "out dated" if it's been mostly the same for over 3 years.

That's why many companies totally overhaul (redesign/redevelop) their websites every 3-5 years.  Some do every year or tow, but I'm trying to share with you "the norm" or "national average".

VIDEO & PHOTO GALLERY: There are many ways to "spruce up" your website if you don't have the time, energy or budget to completely overhaul a site, and adding VIDEO (Video Gallery or Galleries) is one of the best ways to update your website.  Adding Photo Galleries (of your company, products, services, staff, etc.) is close second.

KEYPOINTS:  here's a few facts to consider when evaluating the value of adding VIDEO to your website;

  • 1 hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second
  • 60 hours are uploaded very minute
  • YouTube gets 1,000,000,000,000 views annually
And it's not just people watching videos at their desk...YouTube Mobile gets over 600 MILLION views daily 

And people are not just WATCHING videos, they're SHARING them, and HERE is where the huge value for you a a business owner comes in.

  • ONE MILLION YouTube Videos are shared on Twitter every year

NOTE: Data Collected SPRING 2012

Quantity VS Quality - sure, getting 100,000 or a million people to watch your video sounds impressive, but most of us would much rather get 10 highly qualified prospects watching a business video about our company, products, services, etc., than 100,000 people watching it because it's "funny" or "really cool".

PHOTO/VIDEO PRODUCTION: Cole WebMarketing offers professional and affordable PHOTO and VIDEO services. This includes on-site and off-site shoots with "nearly-pro" equipment.  Our main camera rig costs about $2500. We can shoot Hi-Rez still photos, as well as HD video.

We also have a variety of different "backdrops", plus "lighting umbrella's" and pic/vid lights that we can use on or off-site, to help give your videos a very professional "look & feel".  Voice-over Narration can be done post-production by you, or we can do that for you. > SAMPLE LINK

Once we take the photos and video clips, back in our offices, we edit both the photos and videos to produce very professional Photo Galleries and Video Galleries for your websites.  The video clips are usually 3 minutes in length (the recommended max. for website videos) and can be embedded into your website.

If your site is HOSTED with Cole WebMarketing, we can also carefully track the ROI - number of times your vids were watched, etc.

We can also LINK your website videos to your Biz Blog, Linked In account, and upload to your "YouTube Channel".  If you don't have a YT Channel for your company, we can create it for you.  If you have one already, we can help show you how to better manage and maintain it.

For more information about Cole WebMarketing Photo Services and Website Video Services, please visit and then call us at 704-456-9321 (704.456.WEB1).

Jun 30, 2012

Pinterest: the Newest Kid on the "Social Media Marketing" Block

Although Pinterest has been around for awhile now, but if you're a website owner or manager, it might well be considered the newest "tool" to add to your "social media marketing toolbox".

WikiPedia says: Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections and/or 'like' photos. Pinterest's mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting" via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors. It is one of the “fastest growing social services in the world.”

The two graphs below show the RISE in "shares" to Pinterest and the number of "clicks" per day to outside websites (AKA as "BackLinks" - see my prevous post about the power/value of BackLinks in regarding to website marketing).

*Mashable reported that Pinterest has become one of the tops "social referrer" for cooking, arts/crafts, and other female lifestyle sites. However, even though Pinterest is geared towards women at this time (2012), most websites like this become "uni-sex" over time, as more and more men start using them.


NOTE: this post will be continued later (to specifically address the VALUE of Pinterest to website owners regarding webmarketing), but I wanted to make sure I got at least a "heads up" out to the world before the end of JUNE 2012

* Mashable "leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation -- Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable’s 20 million unique visitors and 6 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged online news communities"

May 31, 2012

Protecting Your Corporate Brand Online - International Domain Names (spam/scam email)

It seems every week another client emails us with a similar concern after getting this  (type of) email: 

Dear CEO,
We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application on December 29th, 2011, One company which self-styled "Indian_____Inc." are applying to register "ABCcompany" (your company name) as internet brand and CN domain names as below : -- -- -- (yada yada yada......etc)

After our initial examination, we found that the internet brand applied for registration are as same as your company’s name and trademark. These days we are dealing with it, hope to get the affirmation from your company. If your company and this"Indian______________ Inc"as the same company,there is no need reply to us,We will accept their application and will register those for them immediately.
If your company has no relationships with that company nor do not authorized,please reply to us within 7 workdays,if we can't get any information from yours over 7 workdays,we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by "Indian_________Inc".
Thanks for your cooperation.


Based on our experience (since 1999), it's Spam/Scam. We ignore these types of emails, and Cole WebMarketing does get them from time to time. The email is basically the same for all the others we've seen, just the "are applying to register "ABCcompany" as internet brand" changes to match our client's domain name. Feel free to dig into this more, but all my other clients ignored this like we did.

An email of this type makes no sense! Anyone can register ANY domain name they want that's available, such as (for Germany). Of course, they would be risking major legal troubles and HUGE fines if it's obvious they tried to profit by diverting YOUR business to their website/company by using the same domain name. Pepsi wouldn't dare register for example...and they'd be crazy to set the domain to "auto-redirect" to!
"PRIMARY" DOMAINS - .com, .net & .orgI suggest to all my clients to go ahead and register both .com and .net if both are available. You should also get .org if you really want to protect your brand. It's a cheap way to avoid major headaches in the future. You'll have all 3 "Top Level Domains" and these 3 are the most valuable to have.  Most of the other domains are "country specific", like .de, .ru, etc. or .co (worldwide) and considered not much of a concern to most businesses that are "domestic only".

If a company is a Fortune 1000 or has a branch overseas, does a big chunk of business in a foreign country, or views international expansion as possibly part of their long term business strategy, then it would be advisable to have (mulitple) international domains.

For the rest of us (targeting local/regional/national USA markets only), .com (and .net & .org) is all that most of us need.


Cole WebMarketing, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, serves clients nationwide and offers Domain Name Registration Services along with our Website Hosting Services.  If you would like us to register additional domains on your behalf (you or your company own the names, we simply manage them for you), please call us at 704-456-9321 or visit to learn more.

DISCLAIMER: Having said all this - I'm not an international corporate attorney or other type of lawyer, I'm an internet marketing consultant, so this blog post is not intended to provide any type of legal business advice.

Apr 30, 2012

Cole WebMarketing Upgrades Premium Website Hosting Package!

Charlotte, NC based Cole WebMarketing is excited to announce that, while keeping the prices the same, we are now providing DOUBLE the total storage space AND monthly bandwidth traffic allowance for our ''Premium Website Hosting Package'' clients. 
With this upgrade, many of our exisiting customers (and future customers!) will have a LOT more room to develop and expand their online presence! 

BETTER SERVICE - SAME COST: There is NO plan to increase our annual website hosting rates. We pride ourselves on our ability to keep our rates steady for all services provided, to all our customers. Since 1999, we've only had one website hosting rate increase, and that was for less than 5%.


Storage Space: 50GB
Monthly Traffic: 500GB

Storage Space: 100GB
Monthly Traffic: 1000GB (1 Terabyte)


MORE CONTENT: this gives us the ability for you to include and share more content with visitors to your website. This especially applies to PHOTOS and interactive content, such as VIDEO and/or audio clips, which are becoming an increasingly popular feature in modern websites.

BETTER BACK UPS: This upgrade also allows for improved/increased "backup" on our servers of your website content, as well as your emails that may be stored on our servers. We backup all client accounts at least once a year, more often for those clients whose websites are updated by Cole WebMarketing on a ''regular basis'' (a few times per year or more).

If you are an existing Cole WebMarketing customer, and have any questions or would like to discuss revising and/or adding additional content to your website, please call ColeWebMarketing at 704-456-9321.

We THANK all our current clients for your business in the past & present, and look forward to continuing to serve as your "Internet Marketing Department", long into the future!

If you are considering having your current old website "totally overhaulded" or need a new website designed & developed (and also hosted?), please visit and then call 704-456-WEB1 today for a FREE consultation and quote!

Feb 18, 2012

SEO Tactic #693 = BackLinks (AKA Inbound Links)

1st things 1st: What are backlinks and Why should you care?

The "Wiki" for the term backlinks is excellent - accurate and concise:  it says:

"Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today, their significance lies in search engine optimization (SEO). The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (for example, this is used by Google to determine the PageRank of a webpage). Outside of SEO, the backlinks of a webpage may be of significant personal, cultural or semantic interest: they indicate who is paying attention to that page.

So you now know WHAT backlinks are and WHY they are important regarding SEO but HOW do you "build (up) backlinks"? 

It's important to understand the any good SEO strategy should be focused on TWO GOALS.  The 1st is "increasing your RANK at the major search engines and the 2nd is increasing the NUMBER of LISTINGS (backlinks) on the Internet.  Usually a site with a high number of listings also has high ranking (defined by many SEO consultants to be 1st page or at least the TOP 30 on Google, Yahoo! and Bing (MSN).

HOW: One of the best ways is anytime you're writing online about your company, ALWAYS include your website and make sure it's an active hyperlink.  For example, if I was writing about the recent launch of a new website, such as - I would want to make sure it's a clickable link anytime I post it online. 

WHERE: There are millions of sites to post backlinks to your website.  Go after the "low hanging fruit" first, sites that are most popular and crawled often by the search engine spider robots.  Facebook is a perfect example!  Anytime you mention your company, make sure you include a backlink to your website.  YouTube is another example.

Search engine robots are focused on relevancy, so any websites, such as trade associations or blogs tied to your industry or products & services, are a great place to start add your backlinks. Regarding "industry related blogs", anytime you find one related to your business, products or services, before leaving, make sure to leave a comment/compliment (that also includes a link back to your site).

To find directories and blogs that are related to your industry (and also businesses similar to yours that you never heard of), conduct a "sniper rifle search", rather than a "shotgun search".  Do this by searching using quotation marks and the + sign: example - "metal polishing" + blog + industrial + commercial.  The quotation marks tell the search engine you need all the words together within the quotations marks and the + sign tells it you also must also have whatever is after the + sign(s).  An online industrial directory found, where any industrial related company can list their company (for free) is

The more inbound links you have coming INTO to your site, the better, since "link popularity" is an important factor in most search engine algorithms.  Many website owners mistakening think adding a Resources (LINK) Page on their own website helps improve their link popularity "score". However, these outbound links, although often useful to human visitors to a website, are beneficial in regard to SEO to the sites linked to, not linked from.

WARNING: Be wary of emails or other solicitations you get from "strangers" that offer to build up your backlinks.  Many of these scammers are compensated on the total number of backlinks they set up, so "Link Farms" are tempting.  We've all seen link farms.  Sometimes when "googling stuff", we click on a listing only to arrive at a site that is pretty void of relevant content or has very generic content, but the page scrolls like, well, like a scroll - screen after screen of a huge long list of listings/links to all kinds of unrelated websites.

Many online "directories" pretend to be useful websites but in reality are simply link farms.  Google and most other major search engines will either ignore link farms or worse, will "blacklist" the link farm site, and sometimes those listed within it.  Once a site is blacklisted (removed and banned) by a search engine, it's a major hassle, and sometimes impossible to get restored in it's index.

WHAT SITES ALREADY LINK BACK TO MY SITE? is a question that should be asked when beginning a backlink building campaign.   An easy way to get an idea of what other sites are linking back into your site is by doing a search engine query like this - (or whatever your domain is).  You'll be presented with a list of sites that link to your site.

HOW DO I FIND SITES TO BACKLINK FROM? I suggest conducting a bit of legal "corporate espionage" by doing similar searches using the domains of your major competitors.  Find out where their backlinks are coming from. Then, work on getting your site listed where they are listed. This is how I first learned about  I discovered a local competitor of Cole WebMarketing was listed (and linked) at Merchant Circle and immediately clicked on the "List My Company" icon!

LEARN MORE: To learn more about SEO and Building Backlinks, visit Cole WebMarketing today and then call Cole WebMarketing in Charlotte, NC at 704-456-9321.

Jan 20, 2012

Use Facebook For Biz? Deadline FEB 15, 2012 to Save Old Tracking Data

Having a Facebook page is a GOOD thing.  Knowing how people are using your Facebook page is a GREAT thing.  Knowing how to USE all the valuable information contained in your Facebook Activity Tracking Analysis Reports is an AWESOME thing.

It's also something that many business owners don't really understand.  That's where Cole WebMarketing, a Charlotte, NC based Social Media Consulting Firm, can help!

If you currently have a Facebook Page for your business, you need to know:
  • On December 15, 2011, Facebook stopped collecting "activity tracking" data in the OLD format.  
  • After this cut off date, your data will be collected in the NEW format, called Pages Insights.  
  • All old format data from your page will be deleted on February 15, 2012, so be sure to archive (export & save as Excel or CSV file) anything that you want to keep. 
ABOUT Facebook's ''Activity Tracking Data Program'' for Facebook Page Owners:
Facebook says "Insights provides Facebook Platform developers and Facebook Page owners with metrics around their content. By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, Page owners and Platform developers are better equipped to improve their business and create better experiences on Facebook".

Don't Just Know, DO! Knowing something useful is nice; doing something useful/beneficial with that information is what it's all about!

To learn more about Social Media Marketing for your business, especially how to understand and utilize the gold mine of marketing data provided for FREE in Facebook's Insights, please contact Cole WebMarketing today - visit, and then call 704-456-WEB1 (9321) to discuss the many ways that we can help you grow your business using the internet.