Back 12 January 2015

It has been a long year and le Blog is taking a break

Yahoo

Yahoo Search is a search engine owned by Yahoo Inc. It was started in January by two electrical engineering graduates, Jerry Yang and David Filo. The started a Website called, “Jerry and David’s guide to the World Wide Web,” which later became Yahoo.

According to Wikipedia;

The word “yahoo” is an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”.

The term “hierarchical” described how the Yahoo database was arranged in layers of subcategories. The term “oracle” was intended to mean “source of truth and wisdom”, and the term “officious”, rather than being related to the word’s normal meaning, described the many office workers who would use the Yahoo database while surfing from work.

Yet the founders reckon it has to with the fictitious tribe of Yahoos in Gulliver’s Travels

In the 90’s Yahoo grew into a Web Portal and Directory. At one time Google provided Search but more recently they have partners with BING (Microsoft).

Yahoo is the second largest Search Engine behind Google who currently handles 70 percent of all search. Yahoo comes in at about 5%

A One Page Internet Presence Solution

There are always two sides to an argument. Small Business Internet Presence is no different. In fact there is more than two schools of thought when it come to the Internet.

Some will tell you that their business is going along just fine without an Internet Presence, thank you very much.

 Some believe that Social Media is the key to promoting your Business online and that a Facebook Page or Twitter Stream is all you need.

Then you get those who tell you need a Website or you do not exist online.

 Three different schools of thought and which one is correct?

 The principles behind Business have not changed – a Business provides a service or products that the market needs. In that respect, nothing has changed. What has changed is that consumers are in a position to make informed decisions through research using the Internet.

They can do this by visiting the Websites of the businesses that supply what they need. By visiting several Websites they will make comparisons between suppliers and then they will visit consumer Websites to gauge consumer satisfaction.

But where does Social Media come in, these are the forums where you can see if there have been problems and you can see if they were ignored or if something was done to remedy the problem.

Back to the three schools of thought above. People will still visit shops in the real world, they will still make impulse purchases and  they will make a purchase after some research. But change is coming and it is coming fast.

Since Amazon and Kalahari.com as well as other online bookstores have opened, book shops in malls all around the world are closing their doors. You can buy anything using the Internet, from travel to shoes. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that more and more business will be conducted online.

It is obvious that even if you have an Internet Presence through a Facebook Page or Twitter Stream, you need a Website at the centre of it. But a Website is expensive, isn’t it?

 In reality it is not – you get a Presence on the Internet that can be seen Worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And to help you get started Solutions Web has a special offer on a Starter Website for only R999.00.

 Quickly go look before I come to my senses and change the price back to R1999.00.

Search

The Internet contains billions of documents in different languages so how can you possibly use it to find out what movie is showing in Pofadder ? Consider this, the Internet would be of no use to anyone, if you could not find what you are looking for.

This is where Search Engines come in. There are currently three main Search Engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, as well as several minor search engines. Some like Baidu are language specific and some like Google Maps are specialist search engines.

What is Search and how does it work?
In order for a Search Engine to be be effective it has to catalogue data stored on the Internet. It does this by sending a Bot browse Websites and categorise them.

The Bot is simply a program that visits a Website and uses the clues that we leave when creating a Website. These clues are:
The Meta Tags Description and Keywords
Headers and Sub – headers
Bold and italicized text

Search Engines also take into account, if the Website has been shared on Social Media.

The Major Search Engines have another very important tool to help you find what your are searching for, Local Search. Google, for example has Google Business Pages, where you can register your business for free.

So when I type in Plumber in Cape Town City Bowl in Yahoo and Google I get a Plumber in the City Bowl and not one in New York.

Screenshot Google Results

Screen shot Google Results

Screenshot Google Reults

Screen shot Yahoo Reults

The Internet

A Website represents the core of any Internet or Web Presence. But what is the Internet? You cannot see it, you cannot feel it, you cannot smell it.

You may interrupt me here and say you can see the Internet, every time you connect using a mobile device or a computer. But, you would be wrong. Because you need two things to use the Internet, a mobile device or computer and a telephone line or 3G.

Google Defines it as:

a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

But what does the Internet mean to you the businessman? It is a very powerful platform that allows you to reach a large audience. You can reach people all over the world at anytime.

Over time, the Internet has grown to contain Billions of pages of Information and since mobile phones have become smarter, more people are able to access the Internet.

The Internet is primarily a Communications Platform, you can use it to do face to face call using and Internet Application like SKYPE, you can send correspondence using eMail, you can transfer documents as attachments or you can upload them to an online storage facility such as Dropbox that allows you to share your documents and photos.

You can watch movies online or download them to watch later. You can buy a pair of shoes online, or book movie tickets – the Internet has grown to take over many of what we would previously have to get in our cars and drive to the mall to do.

From the above, you can conclude, the Internet is a very versatile platform that serves both you and your business.

The DIY Website – Conclusions

Every Business needs a Presence on the Internet in the form of a Domain Name. It may  not need more than just a Business with just contact details, but by registering a Domain, it has an eMail address customised to the business.

Internet Real Estate in the form of Domain Names is fast diminishing. DOT COM (Commercial) or difficult to find, as they are more universal that DOT COZA (Country South Africa) although if you are a sole trader and trade under your name, you could well find another sole trader with the same name.

Small Business Websites are not difficult to create, they need time and some technical knowledge. But creating a Website is only the beginning;

  • A Domain need to be registered.
  • Hosting needs to organised,
  • Websites need to be mobile ready,
  • Websites need to be Search Engine Ready,
  • Websites need to be monitored.

 You may use a service that gives you a free website and use a sub-domain name, but this really should be because you do not have the funds.

Doing it yourself or using a professional is your choice, I just recommend that you register a Domain and pay for the best hosting you can get – it is more professional that way.

Time to Spring Clean your Web Site before Winter sets in.

Your Web Site may not have cost much to create, it may not cost much to operate, but it has something in common with it’s more expensive cousins – it is a valuable marketing and sales tool.

The Internet is constantly evolving and improving, and the technology that drive your Web Site also change. So you need to make sure your Web Site continues to function properly by keeping the back-end up to date.

It may not seem that important, until you remember that new Web Sites are launched daily, if not hourly. Amongst these, will be new competitors for your business. You have the advantage of being there first – keep it.

Find out more about Spring Cleaning your Web Site HERE

WordPress – Two Options

WordPress is by far the most popular Content Management System available. It is very powerful and yet simple to use. It also comes in two different flavours;

  • WordPress.

If you decide to host your own WordPress site, you find it will work out much cheaper than WordPress Dot Com once you take the optional extras.

To host WordPress yourself you need your own Domain Name and Hosting Account.

The Domain Name is quite straight forward you can register it through your Host or yourself through ZA Central Registry  or through NameCheap.

Choosing a Host requires a bit of checking. Not all servers are set up for WordPress or similar and you need to check;

Databases:- Content Management Systems are Database driven. WordPress, the most common, needs mySQL to operate.

phpMyAdmin:- mySQL needs it to operate and you require at least version 3.5.5

As long as you can confirm the above, you are ready sign up and conquer the Internet.

Maybe this is where I should tell you to do a search online and see what people are saying about the Host you have chosen, before committing yourself.

 

WordPress – Two Options

WordPress is by far the most popular Content Management System available. It is very powerful and yet simple to use. It also comes in two different flavours;

WordPress DOM COM – Free Hosted Version.

This is one of the best kept secrets on the Internet. Ok so it is very popular and hosts many free Blogs and did I mention, it is free. Most people will assume that the free version is just for Blogs. You will find many great Blogs when going through the community pages.

But and here is the most important difference between WordPress and Blogger or Tumblr, you do not have to publish a journal or Blog, you can simply publish a Website. Before, you say “So, what?” and point out there are other sites where you can do that – here is the kicker – those sites do not run on WordPress.

Think it through carefully, you want your business to grow and if your business grows, your Website will have to do so, as well. You are going to end up employing someone full time, or outsource, the Website.

Your move from Hosted WordPress to WordPress hosted on your own server will be seamless and easier. Plus you know know and understand how to use WordPress (the differences are minimal.)

WordPress do have paid optional extras that include premium themes, custom domain names and extra space, allowing you to continue using them (if that is what you want) when it is time to upgrade your Website.