Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Social Networking Browsers

The popularity of Social Networking services continues to grow at a rapid pace. In order to stay connected, the masses are turning to purpose built apps on smart phones. What many people don't realise is that there are also specialist Social Networking web browsers created specifically to allow you to stay connected with your friends and easily share content whilst browsing the web.

These browsers operate as you would expect a typical web browser to work, with the added bonus of specially designed toolbars that keep you up to date with your friends' latest posts. Unlike standard web browser, these toolbars are not add-ons, but are native to the browser itself, providing unparalleled performance, stability, and functionality.

Social Networking browsers also allow its users the ability to post to various social networks from within the browser, no matter where you are on the web. This eliminates the need to browse, log in to social networking websites, and switching tabs.

Flock (http://flock.com) has been around for quite some time and is a popular choice.

More recently, there has been much anticipation and excitement surrounding the soon to be launched RockMelt (http://www.rockmelt.com) browser.

Both browsers integrate with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube - along with a host of other popular social networking websites.

To give you an idea of what social networking browsers are capable of, please watch the RockMelt preview video below:

These purpose built Social Networking browsers aren't the only way to stay connected and get your Social Networking fix. If you are happy with your current web browser and not comfortable jumping ship, you may be pleased to discover that with most web browsers you can install “add-ons” or “extensions” to achieve similar functionality.

Below is a list of popular browsers, along with links to available Social Networking add-ons/extensions on their official extensions websites:

Friday, October 1, 2010

IE market share reaches record low

According to recently published data from StatCounter, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is showing signs of losing the browser battle in Australia. IE’s Australian share of the browser market has fallen for the first time below the 50% mark, an unprecedented event.

In the space of a year, IE's market share in Australia plummeted from 54.31% to 49.78%. Advances made by Firefox in the last few years combined with heavy adoption of Google’s Chrome and Safari in more recent months has led to this decline. StatCounter’s data suggests that Chrome’s market share has more than doubled from 4.8% to 10.58% in the last year alone, with Safari’s growth slightly more mundane growing to 9.41% from 6.87% in the same time period.

In a bid to overturn this decline, Microsoft released the beta version of IE9 to the public last month. According to Microsoft, it is a totally revamped browser and addresses many of the common issues users faced when using previous versions of the browser. IE9 is touted as a reinvention of the browser and promises to improve its compliance with HTML 5 and other modern standards. Another IE9 highlight is its improved performance. It achieves this by utilising hardware acceleration to improve the rendering speed of graphics, videos, GUI, and JavaScript execution by accessing the GPU through Windows.

The battle of the browsers is heating up, which in our eyes is terrific news as it promotes innovative thinking and further product development. Firefox and Chrome are currently also testing their hardware acceleration solution. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this front and will keep you updated as more news becomes available.

In the meantime, please share your thoughts and experiences with IE9. Do you think Microsoft has hit a home run with a product that delivers what it promises and get back in the game, or is it all just a marketing exercise to slow down the death of IE? Which browser do you prefer and why?

Friday, September 10, 2010

AdWords campaign post Google Instant

Google Instant's launch has caused a lot of buzz around the industry. It is undoubtedly the largest update it has undergone since its initial launch. Although it hasn't been rolled out in Australia, it's a good idea to prepare ourselves with what is on the horizon.

Having played with Google Instant recently, we have made some observations:
  • Typing quickly results in an almost seizure inducing flashing of search results, with the page’s content flashing by so quickly that our eyes began to hurt after some time (headache will vary depending on your computer and connection speed).
  • Luckily Google gives people the ability to switch Google Instant off, in which case the interface reverts to the classic view.
  • Once the headache subsided, we remembered seeing ads also flashing past at an equally alarming rate, being only displayed for a few milliseconds between suggestion changes.
  • This made us wonder how it will affect people with AdWords campaign which are paying by the number of impressions their ad gets?
  • And equally, how will it impact the Click Through Rate (CTR) of those on pay-per-click?
Luckily Google has also given this issue some thought ahead of time and had the following statement to make:

New predicted query

Although Google Instant won't change the way ads are served, ads and search results will now be shown for a new "predicted query." For example, if someone types "flow" into Google, an algorithm predicts that the user is searching for "flowers" (the predicted query) and therefore displays search listings and ads for flowers. Those results will continue to show unless the next letters that the user types lead to a different predicted query.

How impressions are counted

When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:
  • The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
  • The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.
We recommend monitoring your ads' performance the same way you usually do. Google Instant might increase or decrease your overall impression levels. However, Google Instant can improve the quality of your clicks since it helps people search using terms that more directly connect them with the answers they need. Therefore, your overall campaign performance could improve.

Google's post is trying to assure people that they could see their campaign's performance improving, but is also acknowledging the fact that it could negatively impact others and warns to monitor your campaigns closely. It also seems to us that the impression count will become more inaccurate, especially with the new three second rule. Imagine the number of additional unintentional impressions Google counts because someone was interrupted by a phone call whilst in the middle of typing a search query, dropped connection, and many others. As so many people rely on Google's statistical search data, this is a major issue that Google hopefully will be able to address quickly.

There's a lot of maybes and speculation in their statement which is fair enough considering the novelty of this update, and to their credit Google has put a lot of thought into their product's release and mechanisms to reduce unwanted side-effects. Having said that, there's no wonder why many people in the search and internet marketing industry are anxious, worried and losing sleep over these current developments. There are many people making and publishing articles/blogs which are based on speculations, which can be very scary for those that don't  have a sound comprehension of SEO and PPC. Some say this marks the end of SEO, others suggest that SEO has become more important than ever. Only time will tell which speculations hold water. We'll keep on top of new developments as they emerge and will report more on this subject.

In the meantime, please share your views and experience with us using the comment box below.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Google Instant

Google is constantly working on improving its core product, the search engine. Many enhancements have been tested and most that make it past the testing phase and are actually implemented on its website go unnoticed by many. So it’s no surprise that Google’s recent enhancement, dubbed Google Instant, is receiving a lot of attention as it will have a significant impact on its users' experience.

Launched on Sep. 8 2010, Google Instant will dynamically display search results as you type and concurrently predict what you are likely to search for before you’ve finished typing. Google is predicting that this change will help people get to the right content faster. Based on usage information Google has been collecting, its prediction that Google Instant will save the typical user anywhere between 2-5 seconds per search is very plausible.

Google Instant can trigger a fundamental shift in the way people approach search. Since the inception of search engines, people are used to viewing search results as an outcome of a query. With dynamic results and predictive searching, people may need to change their perception. Seeing results as you type helps formulate a better search phrase by providing instant feedback which allows you to adapt on the fly until the results match what you are looking for.

Google has been quick to reassure people that this will not slow down their internet connection considerably, stating that the additional load it places on the connection is far less than streaming video and online gaming. Although technically more search results pages (SERPs) are served, Google has minimised the actual amount of data received and transmitted by only sending parts of the page that change.

Whilst many will welcome this innovative feature, not everyone will have access to it, at least not for now. Google Instant is being rolled out progressively in the following countries: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia with other countries to follow “over the next several months”. Users will also have the ability to opt out of this new interface, and use Google exactly in the same manner they have been used for years.
Check out Google’s official video introducing Google Instant below. For more information visit Google.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Social Media in Australia

Important global social media statistics

Social media sites are currently enjoying the largest online consumption growth. It is estimated that three quarters of the entire world's online population has visited social network sites or blog sites, with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube the most noticeable brands in this market. This represents a 24% growth compared to last year. The average visitor is now also spending 66% more time on these site; almost 6 hours per month which translates to 22% of their entire time spent online.

Australia's social media statistics

Australia's social media landscape is slightly different than the world trends might suggest. Here are some interesting facts about social media adoption in Australia that every business owner should know about:
  • 80% of the Australian population is online.
  • 9 million Australians use Facebook.
  • According to recently published statistics from Nielsen, Australia leads the world when it comes to social media site usage with the average Australian spending a staggering 7 hours and 19 minutes per month on social networking/blog sites.

What this means for you?

Social media has created an entirely new channel to engage your customers and promote your brand. There is much evidence that shows social media is here to stay and gaining popularity. Get in early and leverage this to your advantage before it's too late. Jump on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc and register an appropriate page/username before anyone else registers it. First in, best dressed!

If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Already have a Facebook page and twitter account and would like to know what your next steps are? We will be publishing some tips on this topic in the near future, so stay tuned. To receive updates on this matter and other related subjects, follow us on Twitter and become fans of our Facebook page by clicking the Like button at the top of Organise Internet's new Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SEO and how it can benefit you

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimisation is a system of methods, strategies and tools used to enhance a website's ranking in search engines' natural search results, which in turn increases the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines for targeted phrases. The process of SEO includes initial analysis, keyword research and analysis, competitor analysis, inbound link building, optimisation of on-page factors, such as using relevant keywords, choosing correct Meta data, and a whole range of other techniques. SEO strategies are constantly evolving as search engines update their algorithms.

Top search engine placement is a vital key to a company's online success. Companies can save a fortune on their traditional print media advertising costs and find a way to easily beat the competition. The internet is taking over as the primary source of products, and services delivery channel. Australia’s online leading Pre-Shop® portal, Lasoo.com.au determined that 90% of Australians are conducting pre-purchase research online and are likely or very likely to make a purchase within the next 4 weeks.

Whether you are optimising an existing web page or starting from scratch, one key thing to remember is that optimisation is an ongoing process. Search engines are constantly changing and improving, algorithms are constantly being updated and new search keywords and phrases are created at lightning speed. To keep up with these frequent changes, search engine optimisation needs to be a top priority for any business seeking a strong web presence.

The many benefits of SEO

Here are some of the benefits you may reap from an ongoing SEO campaign:
  • Promotion that never sleepsImagine having your own marketing and promotions company working exclusively just for you! One that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days every year. That's the benefit of SEO!
  • Increased sales, sales leads, client loyalty, and repeat business - SEO can mean increased sales and leads of your product or service.
  • Increase brand visibility - SEO can give your brand a high international profile - and for a comparatively low outlay.
  • Targeted traffic - SEO can increase the number of visitors who are actively searching for your service or product.
  • Increased credibility and presence - Having a
    solid presence on the internet can build trust and credibility.
  • Lower Cost Per Click (CPC) - When running Google Adwords campaign, an SEO friendly target/landing page can reduce the actual Cost Per Click.
  • High ROI - Dollar for dollar, SEO brings you a higher return on your investment than any comparable form of marketing. SEO is among the most
    cost-effective ways of marketing.
  • Long term positioning - Once in place, a properly designed and optimised site should stay long term in the rankings compared to PPC where costs and outlay are ongoing and unpredictable.
  • Increased accessibility - Observing sensible optimisation procedures can make your site more accessible to all users.
  • Usability - Observing basic optimisation guidelines should mean that visitors have a more pleasant user experience.

Where do I sign?

Although SEO cannot benefit every business, the majority of businesses will benefit from implementing SEO on their website. Our ongoing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services will help your customers, members, supporters and sponsors find you quickly and easily. We won't promise you the world, though we will help you in becoming more popular online. It is in our experience that businesses with a stronger online presence have a higher chance of success.

For more information regarding the different SEO packages Organise Internet can
provide you, please visit our SEO packages comparison page. To see why Organise Internet is the #1
SEO company on the Central Coast
, please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your SEO needs. We can tailor any campaign to suit your requirements and expectations.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Google releases new indexing technology: Caffeine

Google has recently announced the public rollout of its new web indexing system, codenamed “Caffeine”.  The new indexing technology promises to provide “50 percent fresher results” compared to its previous system. The old search index consisted of several layers, some which were updated more frequently than others. Caffeine on the other hand will analyse the web in smaller portions and update Google’s search index continuously on a global scale, meaning user will be able to find fresher information than ever before.

This new indexing system is said to use a very impressive 100 million GB of storage in a single database and adds hundreds of thousands of GB of new information daily. The reason for Google's new development is to address users' higher expectations of search. Google explained, "searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish".

Caffeine is reported to be the reason for sleep deprivation (pun intended) amongst many SEO practitioners. It’s still not clear how much impact this will have for businesses that rely heavily on being ranked on the coveted first page of Google results. As the case is with many of Google's other tweaks to their mysterious ranking formula, some business and websites may see their traffic suffer as the changes could results in them falling down the search rankings. This possibility should be taken into consideration and will undoubtedly alter the way search engine optimisation experts conducts their business. Only time will tell how SEO friendly Caffeine is.

If you have any concerns regarding this new development, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Great Australian Firewall


The Federal Government has proposed a law to filter and restrict access to certain online content from all Australians. Internet filtering on a national scale is not new, but this could very well be the strictest filter ever to be implemented in a western nation. Many also have the opinion that this level of internet censorship rivals those of countries such as China, North Korea, and Iran.

The proposed filter will become mandatory and will be based on a blacklist that is to be maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The list will contain websites which are deemed to contain prohibited content, which is then encrypted and added to a filtering software that is implement at the Internet Service Providers (ISP) level.

In theory, sites containing content that is illegal to own in Australia such as child pornography, material relating to terrorism, detailed instructions promoting criminal activity, drug use and sites promoting racism will be blocked, among many others. An additional list will also be maintained to block websites whose content are deemed unsuitable for a younger audience. The idea is to help parents protect their children from being exposed to unsuitable content such as pornographic images and gambling websites. In contrast to the mandatory first list, consumers will have the ability to opt-out from the “child filter”.


The proposed plans have stirred many discussions and met great opposition. Recently, the US government has expressed its concerns, stating that the scope of the material that could be censored is far too wide. Whilst its intention could be admirable by restricting access to offensive material including child pornography, bestiality, terrorism, and instructional information promoting criminal activity, it could for example be applied to news agencies reporting details of a crime. The leak of a blacklist some time ago proved that false positives are very likely to occur, no system is perfect.

Even Google and Yahoo, the two largest search engine companies have entered the debate, announcing their opposition to the plan. They too think that the filter could restrict access to legal content. Google is of the opinion that a mandatory ISP-level filtering system with a scope that goes well beyond what is only absolutely necessary can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information and matters of free speech.
Another issue raised is the cost to implement the plan and the effects it would have on consumers. It is estimated to cost tax payers $82 million dollars to implement. It is still unclear who will have to pay for the equipment, resources, and additional traffic data once implemented. It’s very possible that part of the cost could be passed on to the end consumer. If it were the case, consumers will be forced to pay more for slower access to the internet caused by the additional traffic overheads.

Possibly the most important issue is that many parents could be under the (false) impression that the internet is then entirely safe for their children to explore. Yes the filter will block many objectionable content, yet there are numerous techniques to circumvent the filter. A person does not need to be very tech-savvy to implement some of these techniques. Many can be found easily on the internet, and are undoubtedly already known to many children across Australia. The other problem explained by Yahoo is that the filter would not block peer to peer file sharing, cyber bullying, nor prevent online predators approaching children in chat rooms, or social networking sites.


There is no single solution to the problem we are facing in combating objectionable and illegal content on the internet, and ensuring our children’s online safety. We are of the opinion that nothing can substitute education and parental guidance.

A program such as the one proposed by the government has its merits, but we as a society also need to take into consideration what implications it would have. The internet is not just websites, it’s a network of computer systems that have the ability to communicate with a variety of protocols, not just HTTP. It’s very possible that it would give unknowing parents a false sense of security. If this were to happen on a large scale, the result of this program would actually take us two steps backward from where we currently are.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guide to choosing correct search phrases

Search phrases are the words that users enter into search engines when they are searching for information on the WWW. Your website's online performance depends highly on how well it is aligned with relevant search phrases that generate quality traffic onto your website. Research has shown that most users do not browse past the third search engine results page (SERP), with the majority not even venturing past the 1st page. Therefore it should be the aim of all businesses whose online presence is vital to appear on the first SERP for relevant search phrases. For many online businesses, choosing the right search phrases can make or break you. We'll explore some of the common mistakes that we have seen over the years.

Avoid single word phrases

Single word phrases are a bad idea because they can be very general and too competitive. Most of us have realised by now that single word searches will return a long list of results, most of which aren't going to be what you were looking for. Remember when you first discovered Google and searched for "car" and it returned over 37 million results? Then you added another word or two to refine your results by entering the phrase "car auctions" which returned 213,000 results. Finally you enter the phrase "car auctions Central Coast" and received 46,000 results which make the task of finding exactly what you're looking for much easier.

Most single word phrases are also almost impossible to rank well for due to the sheer volume of websites competing for that spot. From our previous example, to rank well for "car", you will be competing against over 37 million other sites, but target "car auctions Central Coast" and your competition drops to just 46,000.
The word "car" is very general. Ranking well for this word will give you bragging rights, but it could prove to be of no value when it's not ranking well for "car auctions Central Coast". Yes, ranking well for "car" will most likely generate traffic to your website, however it will most likely NOT be what your visitors are looking for. The bottom line is not how much traffic you get, it's how many potential clients/customers visit your site (qualified traffic). Receiving a single potential client surely would be more valuable to you than 1000 random surfers looking for car repairers rather than car auctions.

Avoid phrases that are too specific

With the example above, we can conclude that the more specific the search phrase, the fewer results are found, and the less the competition for the search phrase. It's easier to rank well with less competition, however there is a catch. The more specific the search is, the fewer people will actually search for it. I'm sure you'll agree that your #1 ranking for "car auctions on Mann St Gosford Central Coast" would be of very little value. To avoid choosing phrases that are too specific, one must analyse and evaluate the popularity of the search phrases.

Avoid highly competitive phrases

You might have found a phrase that is both popular and relevant to your website, but if competition is too high, your SEO investment's ROI could be extremely low. A good SEO expert will be able to determine whether it's in your best interest to aim for certain phrases after conducting a competitor analysis. Pouring money to target a search phrase that is not going to rank your website within the first 2 pages is equivalent to pouring money down the drain. Try to aim for a more specialised or niche phrases.

Concluding thoughts

The main task when choosing your search phrases is to find those that are relevant to the products or services you are offering on your website, and popular enough that the average users will be using it to search with. At the same time, you must keep in mind not to select phrases that are too competitive that your website won't be able to rank well with the budget you have.

These criteria outlined in this article are no big secret; there is an abundance of blogs and articles that point these out. The secret really lies in developing the skills to be able to determine where all of these criteria intersect. If you feel like you need some help in increasing your website's online presence, please feel free to contact us.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Organic SEO vs Google AdWords

AdWords, operated by the most well-known search engine Google, is a Pay per Click (PPC) based online advertising system. These paid listings appear in the “Sponsored Links” sections found beside and sometimes above the normal (organic) search results on Google’s search results pages.

Being featured on the organic search engine results on the other hand is free. The position of one’s website within the search engine results page are ranked solely according to relevance as seen through the eyes of each individual search engine.

Although both organic and PPC results are displayed on the same page, there are several differences between them, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Adwords (PPC)

In order to be featured in this reserved space, one needs to specify the maximum amount one is willing to pay for a visitor who clicks on the ad. The actual price per click is determined by Google’s automatic bidding system, which takes several factors into consideration such as the maximum cost per click, competition, keyword relevance, page relevance, etc. Bidding under the Google AdWords program start from $0.01 which promises a very cost effective method of acquiring customers. For competitive keywords, the bidding can soar to a very unattractive $15 per click! First page listings for some of the search phrases under the sponsored results can cost thousands of dollars a day.

The major benefit of PPC campaigns is that it can start showing up within hours as compared to organic search results which may take several months to appear. With PPC you are paying for your ads to be displayed when certain keywords are used in a search, hence allowing for much greater control over what advertisement you wish to display, who you wish to display your URL to and when.

Organic Search Engine Optimisation

Organic results are on the other hand dependent upon the search engines and their algorithms. Search Engines bots will crawl your website, evaluate it and add your content to their index and rank it compared to the rest of the results they have. When a user submits a search query to Google, it will then retrieve their records and list in according to what they think is the best match to entered search query/search phrase.

Organic results can be influenced to a certain degree, through a process known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Organic SEO is a compilation of independent methods designed to present your website pages in the best possible light to the search engines. A well optimised web page can rank far higher than a non-optimised page.

Organic search engine optimisation typically is the more cost effective option compared to a Pay per Click campaign. Studies have shown that people tend to trust organic results compared to sponsored links because these results are viewed as being unbiased, consequently receiving the lion share of attention and clicks. One such study conducted in 2005-06 concluded that 75% of the search engine visitors reported clicks on organic search engine rankings with only 25% using on the Pay per Click results.

One of the drawbacks of organic search engine rankings is the duration required to obtain top listing positions. Older more prominent websites typically require less time than new websites with a newly registered domain. Also the ever changing search engine ranking algorithms means the process needs to be ongoing to be successful.


The dream of any website owner is to have top Organic Search Engine Positions for their relevant keywords and phrases that are important to your business, which in turn would deliver a constant stream of qualified traffic to your website. Reaching that position for anything other than niche markets require special services to optimise your website such as SEO. For the vast majority of website owners, a top position on the search results page never materialise. If you find yourself in such a position, you may need the help of SEO specialists.

The main argument for PPC is the ability to target a very specific market quickly. PPC also allows you to run temporary short campaigns (such as a sale) that would be pointless to aim for organically. The downside to this is the potential running cost. Businesses operating in a niche market would be good candidates to succeed with this approach, but would still be more expensive in the long run compare to organic SEO.

Organic SEO on the other hand tend to cost less in the long run. As many research results suggest, most users perceive organic results as more accurate/relevant, unbiased and trustworthy, leading to an increase in click through rate and conversion. The major downside is the length of time required to achieve the desired results.
Identifying which option to choose requires analysis on a case by case basis. Not all business models can be catered for by Adwords, and organic SEO may not be suitable for others. In reality, the most successful websites tend to utilise a mixture of Search Engine Optimisation techniques, and Pay per Click to maximise the traffic to their websites, and increase their Return on Investment.

For more information on how Organise Internet can help optimise your website, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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