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  Net Worth

Posted 4/14/2011
By Angie Kilbourne, AAM

Shop Site of the Month

Marv & Mike's Transmission and Auto Repair - Rockville, Md.
marvandmikes.com

Marv & Mike's Transmission and Auto Repair - Rockville, Md.A clean and focused website is everyone's goal, but we see few sites in this industry that also strive to ensure all its visitors understand the content. Marv & Mike's takes the extra step to ensure Spanish-speaking customers feel just as at home as their English-speaking counterparts with a bilingual site. We love the ability to see all the content in two different languages, just by clicking one button.

Nominate your shop's site for a Net Worth profile. E-mail your Web site address to angiek@asashop.org.

Web Wise: Google Changes the Rules ... Again

Like many search engines, Google is constantly tweaking its formula, a.k.a. "the algorithms," to ensure users are getting meaningful and valid results to queries. Most of the time we don't even know about these tweaks, as they're so small to detect. But in February, Google announced it had made a major update to its algorithm that impacts nearly 12 percent of searches.

This change is designed to reduce the rank of sites deemed to provide low-quality content - "sites which are low-value [additions] for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful," says Google in its official blog. In contrast, this change will boost search results page rankings for those sites with "original content and information."

There's a lot of buzz around the industry about what this means for search engine optimization. Some experts say this could be the death knell for content farms. These farms create massive websites with tons of content - usually low-quality - and optimize the pages for top-dollar keywords, selling Google ads next to that content, on a large scale. Scraper sites will likely suffer too. These sites don't provide original content, but will automatically pull, or aggregate, tons of articles from around the Internet.

We've talked about the importance of website content before, and it is one of the most important aspects of your site that will affect your search engine results page (SERP) rank. But don't despair that your rank will be pushed down because of this change. It's likely this change will not affect your SERP rank.

First, Google made it clear sites properly utilizing real simple syndication (RSS) feeds will not be penalized. In addition, unless your site's purpose is to provide a publishing platform, it is likely you don't have to worry about the "quality" of your text. However, if you have a blog, be careful about how much content you republish from general sources that can be picked up by lots of other websites.

And remember, content is still just one piece of the puzzle. Continue developing quality links into your site and building your visitor numbers through other means, such as newsletters and regular client interaction (for information on marketing your shop, click here).

ASA Web Ways: ASA Shop Locator Brings Customers
to Your Door

ASA Shop LocatorIs your ASA Shop Locator listing up-to-date? The "Find Nearest ASA Shop" section of ASA's website, www.ASAshop.org, generates thousands of searches to ASA member shops each month, allowing consumers to find an ASA shop within a radius of up to 20 miles of a specific ZIP code or address. Maps and driving directions to every ASA-member shop have been incorporated in the locator. For only $60 a year, ASA members can also upgrade their listings to include hours of operation, specific services offered, accepted methods of payment and business affiliations. Upgrade by visiting the "Shop Locator Upgrade" link in the Members Only section of ASAshop.org.

Net Numbers

Young adults, ages 18 to 29, comprise 14 percent of Twitter users.

Source: Pew Research Center


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