Latest News (126)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 11:31

Google Updates Search Toolbar

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Article from Official Google Blog :Two months ago, we announced our plans to roll out a new design for the Google bar. Our goal was to create a beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

Based on your feedback, we realized there were some elements of the new bar that we could improve, and with that in mind, we’re introducing an updated version that we believe will provide a better experience.

The new design retains many of the feature changes we made in November that proved popular, including a unified search box and Google+ sharing and notifications across Google. The biggest change is that we’ve replaced the drop-down Google menu with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page.

Google Search Toolbar Changes 

We'll be rolling out this new version of the Google bar over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we invite you to read about the new design in our Help Center, and send us your feedback.

Big or small, veteran or startup, any business would probably agree that when it comes to maintaining a business website, a good Content Management System or CMS like Joomla is very important.

Joomla is basically a “framework” for building websites. It is an open source CMS (which means multiple users can log in and manipulate the system) that helps you organize and manage your content easily.

There are other CMS available on the internet. Some are free, some can be very expensive. Question is, why choose Joomla? And why use it now?

#1           Organized and convenient

A static web page becomes unruly once the content starts to add up. Updating and adding content are also often difficult to apply. Digging up content has become a headache since typical static sites doesn’t have a search function. Navigation is also a big problem for whenever you need to add another navigation button to include a new category to your website, you have to rebuild the whole navigation system to be able to add a new section. In such circumstances, Joomla makes more sense to use.

A Joomla website is recommended for a growing business’s infrastructure. Unlimited content can be added continuously with its user-friendly interface and formatting features. Finding specific pages is made easy as Joomla’s hierarchal structure keeps content organized and easy to search.

#2           Unlimited possibilities

No matter what business you are in, Joomla makes it simple to customize your website according to your requirements. For example, business owners can set up an online store using Joomla in a breeze as it only needs to install VirtueMart --- a plugin created for online merchants. From there, setting up a professional online shop with full order management capability is not a problem.

You can pretty much create any type of corporate site using Joomla. International companies like Yamaha, Vodafone, Times Square, Porsche, Olympus, Linux Foundation and Burger King use it. Different businesses build their websites on Joomla. This proves that the system is highly flexible and customizable.

For small businesses, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin nowadays are much needed. Joomla easily integrates with preferred social media platforms to able to expand customer reach.

#3           Online presence at no cost

Joomla is freely available to anyone who has internet access. With Joomla, gaining online presence is free yet effective! Take advantage of this convenience and increase productivity. But remember that although Joomla allows non-technical authors or publishers to quickly publish content on the website, navigating the interface can be quite difficult especially when articles start to pile up.

It is advisable to seek professional help to manage the different components and maximize its use. The average web user may find it hard managing complex and complicated Joomla features. For enhanced website functionality, you need to hire a professional to implement or monitor security, content backups, additional components, extensions and other necessary plug-ins.

The Northern Office – Innovative Marketing is an independent internet marketing consultancy firm in the Philippines with a wide clientele based worldwide. We specialize in web development and customer support for ecommerce businesses. Our dynamic web development team can help you build a profitable website using effective marketing strategies that will fit your budget. For more information, visit www.thenorthernoffice.com or call (045) 499.1082.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 20:55

Death of an internet marketer

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Thanks to Ian at Portent (http://www.conversationmarketing.com) for this great post:  

A very short play. The setting: A dinner party about 1 year ago. The cast: Them: An advertising exec from a traditional agency. 15+ years’ experience.

Me: You know. Curtain  

Them: “So, Ian, what do you do?”

Me: “I run an internet marketing agency.”

Them: “Oh. What’s that?”

Me: “We help companies get more leads, sales, whatever through marketing on the internet.”

Them: “What’s marketing on the internet? Buying banner ads? We tried that a few years back. We made a sweet percentage on it.”

Me: “We focus more on the stuff that drives conversions or builds audience in a measurable way: Search engines, social media, site optimization, that kind of thing.”

Them: “So, you build websites! Hey, my friend is starting a new business and needs some help with their site. They don’t have much money, but I’m sure they could send more business your way. Can I have them give you a call?”

Me: “Um, we don’t really build many sites.

We help folks improve existing sites, by making them more visible in search results, growing their audience and fixing issues that might prevent visitors from becoming customers.” Them: “…”

Me: “I help people show up higher on Google.” Them: “Ohhhhhhhh. They were talking about that on Dexter last week.” Me: (head explodes)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 14:05

3 On Page Optimization Techniques That Work

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On page optimization is a crucial aspect of SEO, yet usually overlooked. A well-optimized page can bring a significant increase in traffic. Search engines rank websites mainly dependent on two factors: search terms relevance and web authority. On page optimization helps you empower these two critical factors. Aaron Wall, founder of SEO Book states, on-page optimization is primarily concerned with:

  • Choosing the best keywords available to base your pages.
  • Convincing search engines that your page is related to your chosen keywords.

Traditional on page optimization techniques don’t work anymore (e.g. stuffing keywords anywhere possible) and it is time to consider new strategies that are applicable today or suffer the consequences.

1. Unique and accurate page titles Webmasters often ignore the value of page title. This is something you shouldn’t take for granted for it is the most important aspect of on-page SEO.  Every page must have unique and accurate page titles as Google lists identical titles as “duplicates”. Google will then index the duplicates as “supplemental results.”

2. “Description” meta tag Second to page titles, this SEO component also helps get traffic onto your site after you are appearing in the results. Google, for example, uses description Meta tag as a snipped for your page in the search results. Descriptions must summarize the content of the page accurately. Same as with writing titles, make sure that descriptions must speak of the content, but most of all make sure they sell the page to the viewer.

3. Search Friendly URLs For better crawling, search-friendly URLs are recommended. URLs must appear friendlier so that users who want to link to it won’t have  hard time memorizing the link. As much as possible, use words instead of numbers. URL's with session IDs and overly long URLs are not desirable.

The Northern Office helps you get ahead of the competition by utilizing up-to-date online marketing techniques that will help you get on Google’s first page in a timely fashion. TNO focuses on online marketing support which involves website hosting target particularly for corporate websites and e-commerce websites. For further details and inquiries, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Saturday, 24 September 2011 14:03

Yahoo with 6 more Country Alliances

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For Yahoo, the deal with Microsoft is the single most important part of the big picture business plan. With Microsoft now running the back-end of Yahoo’s search, not to mention the search advertisements, the alliance is a major opportunity for Yahoo to decrease the cost of operations. Meanwhile, because Yahoo is reimbursing Microsoft for transition costs and forking over 12 percent of the search ad revenue, the deal is also costly. One of the most clear things is that the search alliance will become less costly once it’s complete. At that point, Yahoo will be able to drop its back-end support in countries where Microsoft hasn’t yet taken the reigns, and transition costs will no longer be deducted from the total company income. So it’s good news for Yahoo that the transition to Microsoft has completed in another six regions. Those six regions are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, New Zealand, Peru, and Venezuela. Several more regions in both Europe and Asia are slated for a transition to Microsoft, while Yahoo Japan sticks out as an exception; they will be transitioning back-end and ad services to Google. Every area where Yahoo transitions these key search elements will have functionality and interface options customized to the unique needs of the region. In its second quarter earnings report, Yahoo discussed the importance of these transitions, noting a large chunk of their cost of operations that could be blamed directly on transition reimbursements and other fees that would soon dissipate. The company predicted that the remaining regions will be fully migrated by the end of 2011. source
According to a recent report by the StatCounter web analytics firm, Google Chrome is on track to pass Mozilla Firefox’s number of users by December of this year. Unless Mozilla Firefox, which is the world’s second-most used browser in the world, can put an end to Chrome’s rapid growth rate, the Firefox browser era may be coming to a close. The report indicates that since January of 2011, Chrome has captured an additional 8% of the global internet browser market share. This increase, which represents an astounding 50% growth rate, has increased Chrome’s total market share from 15.6% to 23.6%. The simultaneous growth in Chrome’s market share and decrease of both Internet Explorer’s and Mozilla Firefox’s market share indicates that Chrome’s growth is at the expense of its competition. During the same time period that Chrome was rapidly growing, both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer were shrinking. Since the beginning of this year, Mozilla Firefox has fallen to 26.8% of the global market share, a drop of four percentage points. Although Internet Explorer fell four percentage points during the same time period, is remains the most-used browser in the world with a market share of 41.7%. In an effort to compete with the rapidly growing Chrome browser, Firefox has accelerated its development process and now releases a new version every six weeks. However, it does not appear that the “rapid development” strategy is preventing Firefox users from defecting to Chrome. If Firefox wants to prevent fulfillment of StatCounter’s prediction that Chrome will become the world’s second most used internet browser by the end of the year, Firefox must take measures to prevent additional users from making the switch. source

As part of the Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance, Yahoo! has been transitioning the backend for their organic search to the Microsoft search platform. Search results for Yahoo! are already aligned with Microsoft for the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico, while expansion to the rest of the world is expected before too much longer. Apparently API access will shut down on September 15, 2011, so it's unlikely to be much longer before Site Explorer officially disappears. According to Yahoo! Site Explorer will shut down once the transition of organic results in all markets to the Microsoft Search platform is completed, which is expected later this year. source

Google Chrome has recently implemented several changes that aim to improve the overall browsing experience of each user. Here's a quick rundown of what they've updated.
  • Implemented support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS which allows web developers to apply 3D effects to website content.
  • Chrome now warns users when downloading malicious files. This is on top of their safe browsing features that protect against malware and phishing websites. Google assures Chrome users that Chrome will be doing all these without tracking what sites you visit or what files you are downloading.
  • Users can now delete Flash Local Shared Objects (LSO) directly on Google Chrome which increases your control over your online privacy.
  • Chrome features preliminary support for screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver which are highly useful for the blind or visually impaired.
  • Chrome has removed the Google Gears plug-in, to maximize the use of HTML5.
via the Google Chrome Blog

URL shorteners have become more and more prominent in recent years because of shortening services such as "goo.gl" and "bitly."

The increased prominence of these shorteners is associated with the rise of social web, and most specially micro-blogging services like Twitter. This wasn't a huge issue for search engine optimizers, though, since Twitter and other social sdata was almost entirely disregarded by search sites - until recently.

As social search has become more important, so has understanding how SEO works for shared links. In a new Google Webmaster Help video, Google’s Matt Cutts explains exactly how the shortened URLs are treated. Cutts states that almost all shorteners are going to use a “301 permanent redirect” to move the page to the appropriate destination, and that Google will treat any links to that 301 redirect as being a link – for the sake of pagerank – to the destination.

That destination page will also receive the “social promotion” bump for any friends/followers of the original tweeter. Additionally, any other SEO data (such as anchor text, position on the page, and so forth) will be passed on. Cutts is quick to remind us, though, that a lot of additional rules apply in the world of social search. For one, most core pages on sites like Twitter have nofollow tags on any outgoing links. That doesn’t mean that the links are irrelevant, though. Beyond Google’s own social promotion, Cutts states that the links may be found in other pages – such as data feeds – where they will pass on link juice. [via Google Webmaster Help Channel]

Wednesday, 30 March 2011 15:08

Inbound Marketing: The next big thing!

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Hubspot has been in the news these past few weeks due to the $32 million investment of Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures and Salesforce.com into the HubSpot company. Hubspot has been in the forefront of the inbound marketing trend. Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy where in a website/company gathers information about themselves, their product/services, and any other social news and information, optimizes them for search engines and finally share them via social networks (eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social bookmarking), blogs, forums, etc to generate interest and leads which will also generate website traffic. Why is Inbound Marketing the latest trend in online marketing? The mere fact that Google (the company) itself has invested millions of dollars into a company that specializes with inbound marketing is reason enough to take notice. There is no doubt that inbound marketing produces good quality website traffic and leads. This only shows the growth of the market in giving importance to good unique content and creating value for users. In all of these latest development, early adopters of online marketing and inbound marketing like The Northern Office - Innovative Marketing Support, can rest on the fact that the market is becoming more mature and seeing the value in online marketing, SEO and social media strategies.