From Loren Nelson, NelsonEcom
Internet Solutions | Visual Design
Web Sites, Podcasts, Multimedia, & Usability Engineering

January 17, 2008 – Vol. XII, No. 02


NetBits is the weekly newsletter keeping your informed of various chatter and other tidbits of potential relevance.


In This Issue:

Item One: Don’t Get in Trouble wiith Search Engines
Item Two: UK cancer survival rate lowest in Europe
Item Three: Nutrition Tip – Boiled Peanuts
Item Four: Word of the Week
Item Five: 25 ways to Add Quality Content to Your Web Site
Do you know…

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1. Don’t Get in Trouble wiith Search Engines

Avoid the following things which can get you in trouble with search engines:

  • Don’t use hidden text or hidden links.
  • Don’t employ cloaking or lightning fast java redirects.
  • Don’t load up your pages with irrelevant words.
  • Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
2. UK cancer survival rate lowest in Europe

Cancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced.

England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care.

Survival rates are based on the number of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis and researchers found that, for women, England was the fifth worst in a league of 22 countries. Scotland came bottom. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lists.

3. Nutrition Tip – Boiled Peanuts

For lovers of boiled peanuts, there’s some good news from the health front. A new study by a group of Huntsville researchers found that boiled peanuts bring out up to four times more chemicals that help protect against disease than raw, dry or oil-roasted nuts. Peanuts and other plants use phytochemicals for things such as helping avoid disease and insect attacks. The study appears in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

4. Word of the Week

scarify • \SKAIR-uh-fye\ • verb

1 : to make scratches or small cuts in (as the skin)

2 : to lacerate the feelings of

*3 : to cut or soften the wall of (a hard seed) to hasten germination

Example Sentence:
The gardening handbook recommends scarifying the seeds before planting them.

Did you know?
You get two words for the price of one with "scarify." The first "scarify" appeared in English in the 14th century with the meaning "to make scratches or cuts in" and later developed a figurative application of "cutting" someone emotionally. This word is ultimately derived from a Greek word meaning "to scratch an outline." The second homograph turned up in print in 1785 and gained currency in the 20th century. This "scarify" was formed by combining "scare" with "-ify," possibly as a combination of "scare" and "terrify," and it predictably means "to scare or frighten." Neither "scarify" is terribly common these days, but they do turn up on occasion.

5. 25 ways to Add Quality Content to Your Web Site

1. A calendar of events. This is ideal for sites like real estate sites to show upcoming open houses; book stores to promote upcoming book signings or writers’ meetings; collectors’ sites to show meetings across the country, etc. Be sure to allow visitors to send in their own event to be posted to the calendar.

2. Maps. Consider real estate sites, hunting or fishing sites, camping sites, hotels, or any outdoor recreational sites for maps. Be sure to add content at the bottom of the map that describes the map and outlines its purpose as it relates to your site.

3. Before/after experiences. This is perfect for products or services you’re selling where customers can write in and discuss how this particular product or service helped them. These could turn out to be mini articles, or use them as testimonials.

4. Pictures from your customers. You could set up a special place where past customers could post their pictures and journal entries on your site. This is ideal for vacation sites, recreational sites, wedding sites, baby sites, photography studios, etc. How could you use this idea on a Halloween site? On a flower site?

5. Online coloring sheets. Use your imagination here. If you set up some coloring sheets about your vacation property, kids could color those sheets and post them online before their trip in their own special online area. After the trip, their parents could post pictures and a journal of their trip. This is their “Web site” about their trip, all hosted on your site as a perk for booking through your vacation site. What are they going to do with this information? They’re going to tell their friends, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Edna, etc. They’re going to link to it. You can use this perk as part of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) when differentiating yourself from your competition. You’ll be building one-way links from your past customers, plus visibility for future customers. Win/win situation. You’ll think of many ways of adding coloring sheets (or similar creative activities for kids) to your site, if your site is the type that would work for kids.

6. Blogs or forums certainly add fresh content to a site.

7. Articles or new pages of interest to your target audience. Write new content on a regular basis – once or twice a week should be your goal.

8. An expert Q&A on the main page of your site. Get an expert to answer questions, and post one question/answer a week (or a day – whatever you can handle) on the main page of your site. Have past Q&A’s in a searchable archive on your site.

9. Product reviews. If your industry has products or software to review, consider writing candid reviews of those products. Publish the reviews on your Web site as well as publish them in a few of the online publications. Readers are always interested in totally candid reviews, where the writer lists the positive as well as the negative aspects of a product. If you have a landscaping business, how could you use this idea? What products do you, as an expert, prefer to use, and why?

10. Short tips. If your product or service lends itself to short tips, write up a series and publish them on your Web site. Send them out in your newsletter. Get your readers to send in tips as they use the product. Offer a discount off additional products if they submit tips.

Stay turned next week for the rest…

6. Do You Know…
On this day:

  • Jim Thorpe’s Olympic Medals Posthumously Restored (1983)
    Jim Thorpe, an American Olympian, was considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports history. He won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon, but was stripped of his awards after reports surfaced that he had played minor league baseball before participating in the 1912 Olympic Games. At the time, strict rules barred professional athletes from Olympic competition.
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