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What other blogs are saying about you and your products.

Blogs and monitoring of blogs and what is being said about you is a hot topic these days.  How do you monitor? Do you pay to monitor? What tools are available to you to monitor blogs and what is being said about you or your company is all the discussion in the CMO’s mind.

Social Mouths blog had some good ideas of free listening posts for your products and services, beyond the paid services for social media monitoring such as Radian 6 and CrimsonHexagon. 

Here is the short list URLs and Free blog listening tools:

IceRocket

Blog Pluse

Blog line search

Google blog search

Paid Services:

Radian 6

Crimsonhexagon.

Here is the blog I was reading on the subject.

Social Mouths blog 

Do You Know What Other Blogs Are Saying About You?

listeningDo you know if you are being mentioned on other blogs? Did you know there are ways of tracking this? And, why is this important anyways?

In this post, I’ll explain why paying attention to what other blogs say is important and how to be aware of these mentions.

So let’s get started…

Why You Should Care

SEO

When you get mentioned by another blog, the author usually links back to your blog/site and as you know, getting backlinks is one of the most important things you can do to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as they can improve your page ranking. The search engines want to know if your site is relevant.

Sentiment

The next thing you need to worry about is sentiment. Is the comment positive or negative? Of course you don’t want people saying something negative about you or your services. When you track these mentions at least you have the opportunity to participate, maybe try to do something to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. Damage control.

If it’s a positive mention, it is also a good opportunity to engage in the conversation.

Reciprocity

Be human. Be thankful and participate by leaving a comment or giving the post a tweet. Not to make you feel obligated but return the favor if you can, there is a good chance the other blog is somehow related to your topic.

Don’t ignore it, keep this blog in mind.

Let’s Look At An Example

Herbert from Penn State | Outreach Marketing did a very, very nice piece sharing a post from SocialMouths on his “Why Is Social Media Not Working For You” (Thanks Herbert).

Outreach Marketing

OK, so this is an extreme example and it’s not always like this, the mention can be a simple link to your blog or to a specific post. The point here is how to find this, right?

Tools

There are many tools you can use to track these mentions, feel free to share your favorite ones in the comment section of this post. Here a couple you can try:

Go to these sites and do a search based on your blog’s name or URL.

IceRocket

icerocket

BlogPulse (From Nielsen)

blogpulse

Other tools you can use are Bloglines Search or Google’s Blog Search.

Get Alerts

rss readerAll these services and most of them out there allow you to get the search results on RSS. You should subscribe and organize them on your RSS Reader. The point is to get alerts and be able to react as soon as possible, there is no point if you come back a month after the post was published.

Final Tought

The social web gives you the opportunity to engage in ways traditional media can’t but if you don’t pay attention, those opportunities are wasted.

One more thing, when you mention somebody or share a post from somebody else on your blog, make sure you do it properly so you give credit and the other end is aware of it.

Happy Listening!”

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Jing is free software that adds visuals to your online conversations

Jing by Techsmith, is a tool that has captured my attention. It is a simple to use tool for instant sharing. It can be used for screen shots, videos, call outs and to show people what you are seeing on your screen with a click of a button with a linking URL.  Much better than the process of screen shot, save to word ect.  It sits on your desk top as a yellow half-moon ready for when you want to screen shot with three choices of capture, history and more.

Their website says it is to add visuals to your online conversation. There is a free version and a paid version for adding video. With the free version you also get 2 mg on Screencast which is a nice benefit.

Here is a few ways they suggest using Jing

  • collaborateCollaborate on a design project
  • share snapshotShare a snapshot of a document
  • speechNarrate your vacation photos
  • bugCapture that pesky bug in action
  • family tech supportShow Dad how to use iTunes
  • homeworkComment verbally on students’ homework
  • tidbitsPost tidbits from your life on Twitter or Facebook

What I also like is that is integrated with their other programs, that are more complex.

Screencast.com Screencast.  It not only provides free storage and instant sharing of your Jing content…it’s also a super place to share your high-quality videos, images, presentations, and all manner of digital content.

 

Snagit Snag-It . This Swiss-army knife of screen capture picks up where Jing leaves off.  Powerful image editing, scrolling window capture, cursor capture, tagging, search, and rugged good looks.

Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio.  Jing’s big brother on the video side—and the ideal choice for creating longer, more polished screen videos. Camtasia Studio can edit your Jing videos, too.

Bing has issued best practices guidelines for SEO, SEM

Search Engine Optimization Journal is an SEO Blog that discusses Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Ranking and Positioning for the new and advanced reader and has a very interesting article on Bing and branding your website. I found this article very interesting, since SEO and SEM have become such a part of our lives in marketing. Bing  is recommending that you take an approach that utilizes a robust social marketing element into your daily routine.  They also talk about focus on link building as a key to the success of your website.  I also was interested in the term going “unnatural” in the search engines which manipulates the system in order to achieve higher rankings. Having Bing talk about link building and other best practices will make it clearer as to your next steps with you agency or team.   Good read.

Bing Gets Serious About Link Building

Writing by Nick Stamoulis on Friday, February 26, 2010

I think one of the best things I have ever heard a webmaster blog from a major search engine say is to build your website like a brand. Bing’s exact words state: “Develop your site as a business brand and be consistent about that branding in your content”

Too many people out there get all antsy to have their internet marketing look like a recipe. If it looks like a recipe it is a recipe for disaster. Bing’s official webmaster blog states that it is very important and vital to treat your website like a brand. How would a brand build its image? If you take that step you will build your business the right way rather than just go after rankings. Rankings are important but they are not the only and final goal you should be worried about for your internet marketing campaign. Building business is the most important aspect to your SEO campaign. Bing also recommends taking an approach that really utilizes a robust social marketing element into your daily routine. Link building is very vital to the success of a website but unfortunately it is important to do it in a way that allows your business to grow and not just your rankings. Bing also refers to going “unnatural” in the search engines which states that an unnatural approach is one that blatantly attempts to manipulate the system in order to achieve higher rankings.

Bing’s exact words go as follows:
” So what does it mean to go unnatural? It means you’re trying to fake out the search engines, to try to earn a higher ranking that the quality of your site’s content dictates as natural through manipulation of search engine ranking algorithms.”

Bing hasn’t been the first search engine to come out with this type of best practice’s guide. Google has been doing it for years now just not many people want to follow it. When the top two search engines in the world layout a best practices guide on how you should conduct your search engine optimization efforts it is time to listen.

Please take a look at the Bing Webmaster Post that talks about link building and SEM, it is a great read:

http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/webmaster/archive/2009/11/20/link-building-for-smart-webmasters-no-dummies-here-sem-101.aspx

Tools for creating business web forms- Wufoo, Iceburrg, Formsite and Google Docs

I am always on the lookout for great web tools.  Web forms is an area that unless you code, it can get expensive and is hard to do.  Sometimes the templates for wordpress or other platforms do not have the custom options you need to do web forms.  I always look for info on this subject, since then it gives me options of how to get the web form I want to do.   Building a web form used to require coding on the back-end of your site. Now there are some great free and low-cost options for resources on the web to make building and integrating forms into your website easier. 

 Mashable this morning had a good starter list for sites. 

 The four business web forms sites are: Wufoo , Icebrrg , Formsite , Google Docs. The cost ranges from free to a few dollars per month.  “By Matt Silverman 4 Terrific Tools for Creating Business Web Forms  

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

 Web forms can be a great asset on your business site. They let you collect pertinent data and contact information from your visitors without exposing your direct e-mail address to the world. They also set specific boundaries on the type of data you receive from customers so that the information fits nicely into a spreadsheet or database as needed.  Building a web form used to require a bit of coding and “wiring” on the back end of your site. These days, there are some great free and low-cost resources on the web that make building and integrating forms into your business website a breeze. 


 

1. Wufoo


 Wufoo is a great web-based form generator with a very intuitive interface. Forms are extremely customizable with simple drag-and-drop commands and many style options.  

 The forms you create “live” on Wufoo, but they are fully embeddable into your own website or blog by pasting a bit of code. But what makes Wufoo especially useful is that your account on the site serves as a hub for all the data that flows into your forms.   

 While you can download and configure your form to function with your own database, you may not want to when you see all the great looking reports and widgets you can generate just by logging into your Wufoo account. By hosting your data with them, everything is DIY, and easily accessible, with no need to hand your files over to a database expert to get your form up and running. In addition to viewing entries on the site, you can configure Wufoo to e-mail or text you when a user completes your form.   

 A free Wufoo account allows one user to generate three forms with three corresponding reports. Additional forms, users and reports come at a few price points, starting at $9.95 per month.  


  

2. Icebrrg


 Icebrrg has nearly identical features as Wufoo, and similar price points for paid accounts. You can host your own files or integrate the forms easily onto your business website and receive notifications when they are filled. A nice feature is that embedded forms are rendered in HTML, and will comply with the CSS styles of your website to match the look and feel automatically.   

 Icebrrg no longer has a free account, but at $9 per month, you get 10 forms, 500 entries, and 100MB of storage for customers to upload files. 


  

3. Formsite


 Formsite has a focus on a few more complex features that not every business may need in a form, but some will find extremely valuable, such as payment integration for credit cards, PayPal, and Google Checkout. They also offer multi-page and “skip/branch” surveys, which allow you to control the flow of questions based on certain rules and user responses. 

Formsite has all of the customization, embedding, hosting, and notification options as the sites mentioned above, and their free account lets you create five forms, with 50 items per form. 

4. Google Docs(Google Docs)


 If you’re already using Gmail(Gmail), Calendar, and other Google Apps for your business, you may want to take advantage of the forms function within Google Docs. 

 This form generator is pretty bare bones, but the dead-simple interface and integration with your existing Google(Google) account make it useful for internal employee surveys or even the daily lunch order. 

 Once you create your form document, it’s tied to a spreadsheet and data summary that also live in your Google Docs. The data feedback, in the form of a response counter and various charts and graphs, is extremely detailed and easy to read (similar to Google Analytics(Google Analytics)), and the timestamped spreadsheet is exportable for whatever your database has in store. 

 A Google form is embeddable in an external website, but its cumbersome formatting and limited customization means that it probably won’t agree aesthetically with your sites. For now, linking to these forms is a quick and dirty way to gather data on a simple, clean interface.” 

 

  

Creating a sitemap on Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.

XML Sitemap—or sitemap is a list of the pages on your website, each search engine needs it to their specifications and requirements.  When you create and submit a sitemap helps make sure that Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask know about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be  found by the  normal crawling process.  Having a site map for your website it a key to getting searched by the various search engine bots that I have written about in a previous blog about the 5 kinds of  Search Bots.  Your webmaster or agency should have all this information at their finger tips, if they do not,  you may not be getting the proper search engines you want going to your site.

Knowing what to ask, beyond… do we have a sitemap or do we have an XML feed needs this knowledge.  Ask if they have done all the formatting needed to have the XML sitemap work on all the search engines is key.  Having all the information at your finger tips to get the search engines to the search engines and what they need is priceless. 

Here is the data that I use from each one of the search engines as to what they require and how to:

____________________________________________________________________

Creating and submitting sitemaps to Google

The Google site says:

“About Sitemaps

Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover. In its simplest terms, a XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.”

In addition to regular Sitemaps, you can also create Sitemaps designed to give Google information about specialized web content, including video, mobile, News, Code Search, and geographical (KML) information.

When you update your site by adding or removing pages, tell Google about it by resubmitting your Sitemap. Google doesn’t recommend creating a new Sitemap for every change.”
______________________________________________________________________________

Bing Webmaster Tools

To submit an XML-based Sitemap to Bing:

Step 1: Copy and paste the entire URL below as a single URL into the address bar of your browser:

     http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?sitemap=www.YourWebAddress.com/sitemap.xml

Step 2: Change “www.YourWebAddress.com” to your domain name

Step 3: Press ENTER”

_________________________________________________________________________

How Yahoo! supports sitemaps

“How Yahoo! Supports Sitemaps

Yahoo! supports the Sitemaps format and protocol as documented on www.sitemaps.org .

You can provide us a feed in the following supported formats. We recognize files with a .gz extension as compressed files and decompress them before parsing.

  • RSS 0.9, RSS 1.0, or RSS 2.0, for example, CNN Top Stories
  • Sitemaps, as documented on  www.sitemaps.org
  • Atom 0.3, Atom 1.0, for example, Yahoo! Search Blog
  • A text file containing a list of URLs, each URL at the start of a new line. The filename of the URL list file must be urllist.txt. For a compressed file the name must be urllist.txt.gz.
  • Yahoo! supports feeds for mobile sites. Submitting mobile Sitemaps directs our mobile search crawlers to discover and crawl new content for our mobile index. When submitting a feed that points to content on the mobile web, please indicate whether the encoding of the content was done with xHTML or WML.

    In addition to submitting your Sitemaps to Yahoo! Search through Yahoo! Site Explorer, you can:

  • Send an HTTP request. To send an HTTP request, please send using our ping API.
  • Specify the Sitemap location in your site’s robots.txt file. This directive is independent of the user-agent line, so you can place it wherever you like in your file.
  • Yahoo! Search will retrieve your Sitemap and make the URLs available to our web crawler. Sitemaps discovered by these methods cannot be managed in Site Explorer and will not show in the list of feeds under a site.

    Note: Using Sitemap protocol supplements the other methods that we use to discover URLs. Submitting a Sitemap helps Yahoo! crawlers do a better job of crawling your site. It does not guarantee that your web pages will be included in the Yahoo! Search index.”

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Ask.com webmaster FAQ

    “Web Search

    The Ask.com search technology uses semantic and extraction capabilities to recognize the best answer from within a sea of relevant pages. Instead of 10 blue links, Ask delivers the best answer to user’s questions right at the top of the page. By using an established technique pioneered at Ask, our search technology uses click-through behavior to determine a site’s relevance and extract the answer. Unlike presenting text snippets of the destination site, this technology presents the actual answer to a user’s question without requiring an additional click through. Underpinning these advancements are Ask.com’s innovative DADS, DAFS, and AnswerFarm technologies, which break new ground in the areas of semantic search, web extraction and ranking. These technologies index questions and answers from numerous and diversified sources across the web. It then applied its semantic search technology advancements in clustering, rephrasing, and answer relevance to filter out insignificant and less meaningful answer formats. In order to extract and rank exciting answers, as opposed to merely ranking web pages, Ask.com continues to develop a unique algorithms and technologies that are based on new signals for evaluating relevancy specifically tuned to questions.

    The Ask Website Crawler FAQ

    Ask’s Website crawler is our Web-indexing robot (or crawler/spider). The crawler collects documents from the Web to build the ever-expanding index for our advanced search functionality at Ask and other Web sites that license the proprietary Ask search technology.

    Ask search technology is unique from any other search technology because it analyzes the Web as it actually exists — in subject-specific communities. This process begins by creating a comprehensive and high-quality index. Web crawling is an essential tool for this approach, and it ensures that we have the most up-to-date search results.

    On this page you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about how the Ask Website crawler works. For these and other Webmaster FAQs, visit our Searchable FAQ Database.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is a website crawler?
    2. Why does Ask use a website crawler?
    3. How does the Ask crawler work?
    4. How frequently will the Ask Crawler index pages from my site?
    5. Can I prevent Teoma/Ask search engine from showing a cached copy of my page?
    6. Does Ask observe the Robot Exclusion Standard?
    7. Can I prevent the Ask crawler from indexing all or part of my site/URL?
    8. Where do I put my robots.txt file?
    9. How can I tell if the Ask crawler has visited my site/URL?
    10. How can I prevent the Ask crawler from indexing my page or following links from a particular page?
    11. Why is the Ask crawler downloading the same page on my site multiple times?
    12. Why is the Ask crawler trying to download incorrect links from my server? Or from a server that doesn’t exist?
    13. How did the Ask Website crawler find my URL?
    14. What types of links does the Ask crawler follow?
    15. Can I control the rate at which the Ask crawler visits my site?
    16. Why has the Ask crawler not visited my URL?
    17. Does Ask crawler support HTTP compression?
    18. How do I register my site/URL with Ask so that it will be indexed?
    19. Why aren’t the pages the Ask crawler indexed showing up in the search results?
    20. Can I control the crawler request rate from Ask spider to my site?
    21. How do I authenticate the Ask Crawler?
    22. Does Ask.com support sitemaps?
    23. How can I add Ask.com search to my site?
    24. How can I get additional information?

     

    Q: What is a website crawler?
    A: A website crawler is a software program designed to follow hyperlinks throughout a Web site, retrieving and indexing pages to document the site for searching purposes. The crawlers are innocuous and cause no harm to an owner’s site or servers.

    Q: Why does Ask use website crawlers?
    A: Ask utilizes website crawlers to collect raw data and gather information that is used in building our ever-expanding search index. Crawling ensures that the information in our results is as up-to-date and relevant as it can possibly be. Our crawlers are well designed and professionally operated, providing an invaluable service that is in accordance with search industry standards.

    Q: How does the Ask crawler work?

    • The crawler goes to a Web address (URL) and downloads the HTML page.
    • The crawler follows hyperlinks from the page, which are URLs on the same site or on different sites.
    • The crawler adds new URLs to its list of URLs to be crawled. It continually repeats this function, discovering new URLs, following links, and downloading them.
    • The crawler excludes some URLs if it has downloaded a sufficient number from the Web site or if it appears that the URL might be a duplicate of another URL already downloaded.
    • The files of crawled URLs are then built into a search catalog. These URL’s are displayed as part of search results on the site powered by Ask’s search technology when a relevant match is made.

     

    Q: How frequently will the Ask Crawler download pages from my site?
    A: The crawler will download only one page at a time from your site (specifically, from your IP address). After it receives a page, it will pause a certain amount of time before downloading the next page. This delay time may range from 0.1 second to hours. The quicker your site responds to the crawler when it asks for pages, the shorter the delay.

    Q. Can I prevent Teoma/Ask search engine from showing a cached copy of my page?
    A: Yes. We obey the “noarchive” meta tag. If you place the following command in your HTML page, we will not provide an archived copy of the document to the user.

    < META NAME = “ROBOTS” CONTENT = “NOARCHIVE” >

    If you would like to specify this restriction just for Teoma/Ask, you may use “TEOMA” in place of “ROBOTS”.

    Q: Does Ask observe the Robot Exclusion Standard?
    A: Yes, we obey the 1994 Robots Exclusion Standard (RES), which is part of the Robot Exclusion Protocol. The Robots Exclusion Protocol is a method that allows Web site administrators to indicate to robots which parts of their site should not be visited by the robot. For more information on the RES, and the Robot Exclusion Protocol, please visit http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/exclusion.html.

    Q: Can I prevent the Ask crawler from indexing all or part of my site/URL?
    A: Yes. The Ask crawler will respect and obey commands that direct it not to index all or part of a given URL. To specify that the Ask crawler visit only pages whose paths begin with /public, include the following lines:

    # Allow only specific directories
    User-agent: Teoma
    Disallow: /
    Allow: /public

     

    Q: Where do I put my robots.txt file?
    A: Your file must be at the top level of your Web site, for example, if http://www.mysite.com is the name of your Web site, then the robots.txt file must be at http://www.mysite.com/robots.txt.

    Q: How can I tell if the Ask crawler has visited my site/URL?
    A: To determine whether the Ask crawler has visited your site, check your server logs. Specifically, you should be looking for the following user-agent string:

    User-Agent: Mozilla/2.0 (compatible; Ask Jeeves/Teoma)

     

    Q: How can I prevent the Ask crawler from indexing my page or following links from a particular page?
    A: If you place the following command in the section of your HTML page, the Ask crawler will not index the document and, thus, it will not be placed in our search results:

    < META NAME = “ROBOTS” CONTENT = “NOINDEX” >

    The following commands tell the Ask crawler to index the document, but not follow hyperlinks from it:

    < META NAME = “ROBOTS” CONTENT = “NOFOLLOW” >

    You may set all directives OFF by using the following:

    < META NAME = “ROBOTS” CONTENT = “NONE” >

    See http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/exclusion.html#meta for more information.

    Q: Why is the Ask crawler downloading the same page on my site multiple times?
    A: Generally, the Ask crawler should only download one copy of each file from your site during a given crawl. There are two exceptions:

    • A URL may contain commands that “redirect” the crawler to a different URL. This may be done with the HTML command:
      < META HTTP-EQUIV=”REFRESH” CONTENT=”0; URL=http://www.your page address here.html” >

      or with the HTTP status codes 301 or 302. In this case the crawler downloads the second page in place of the first one. If many URLs redirect to the same page, then this second page may be downloaded many times before the crawler realizes that all these pages are duplicates.

    • An HTML page may be a “frameset.” Such a page is formed from several component pages, called “frames.” If many frameset pages contain the same frame page as components, then the component page may be downloaded many times before the crawler realizes that all these components are the same.

     

    Q: Why is the Ask crawler trying to download incorrect links from my server? Or from a server that doesn’t exist?
    A: It is a property of the Web that many links will be broken or outdated at any given time. Whenever any Web page contains a broken or outdated link to your site, or to a site that never existed or no longer exists, Ask will visit that link trying to find the Web page it references. This may cause the crawler to ask for URLs which no longer exist or which never existed, or to try to make HTTP requests on IP addresses which no longer have a Web server or never had one. The crawler is not randomly generating addresses; it is following links. This is why you may also notice activity on a machine that is not a Web server.

    Q: How did the Ask Website crawler find my URL?
    A: The Ask crawler finds pages by following links (HREF tags in HTML) from other pages. When the crawler finds a page that contains frames (i.e., it is a frameset), the crawler downloads the component frames and includes their content as part of the original page. The Ask crawler will not index the component frames as URLs themselves unless they are linked via HREF from other pages.

    Q: What types of links does the Ask crawler follow?
    A: The Ask crawler will follow HREF links, SRC links and re-directs.

    Q. Can I control the rate at which the Ask crawler visits my site?
    A. Yes. We support the “Crawl-Delay” robots.txt directive. Using this directive you may specify the minimum delay between two successive requests from our spider to your site.

    Q: Why has the Ask crawler not visited my URL?
    A: If the Ask crawler has not visited your URL, it is because we did not discover any link to that URL from other pages (URLs) we visited.

    Q: Does Ask crawler support HTTP compression?
    A: Yes, it does. Both HTTP client and server should support this for the HTTP compression feature to work. When supported, it lets webservers send compressed documents (compressed using gzip or other formats) instead of the actual documents. This would result in significant bandwidth savings for both the server and the client. There is a little CPU overhead at both server and client for encoding/decoding, but it is worth it. Using a popular compression method such as gzip, one could easily reduce file size by about 75%.

    Q: How do I register my site/URL with Ask so that it will be indexed?
    A: We appreciate your interest in having your site listed on Ask.com and the Ask.com search engine. Your best bet is to follow the open-format Sitemaps protocol, which Ask.com supports. Once you have prepared a sitemap for your site, add the sitemap auto-discovery directive to robots.txt, or submit the sitemap file directly to us via the ping URL. (For more information on this process, see Does Ask.com support sitemaps?) Please note that sitemap submissions do not guarantee the indexing of URLs.

    Create your Web site and set up your Web server to optimize how search engines look at your site’s content, and how they index and trigger based upon different types of search keywords. You’ll find a variety of resources online that provide tips and helpful information on how to best do this.

    Q: Why aren’t the pages the Ask crawler indexed showing up in the search results at Ask.com?
    A: If you don’t see your pages indexed in our search results, don’t be alarmed. Because we are so thorough about the quality of our index, it takes some time for us to analyze the results of a crawl and then process the results for inclusion into the database. Ask does not necessarily include every site it has crawled in its index.

    Q: Can I control the crawler request rate from Ask spider to my site?
    A: Yes. We support the “Crawl-Delay” robots.txt directive. Using this directive you may specify the minimum delay between two successive requests from our spider to your site.

    Q. How do I authenticate the Ask Crawler?
    A: A. User-Agent is no guarantee of authenticity as it is trivial for a malicious user to mimic the properties of the Ask Crawler. In order to properly authenticate the Ask Crawler, a round trip DNS lookup is required. This involves first taking the IP address of the Ask Crawler and performing a reverse DNS lookup ensuring that the IP address belongs to the ask.com domain. Then perform a forward DNS lookup with the host name ensuring that the resulting IP address matches the original.

    Q: Does Ask.com support sitemaps?
    A: Yes, Ask.com supports the open-format Sitemaps protocol. Once you have prepared the sitemap, add the sitemap auto-discovery directive to robots.txt as follows:

    SITEMAP: http://www.the URL of your sitemap here.xml

    The sitemap location should be the full sitemap URL. Alternatively, you can also submit your sitemap through the ping URL:

    http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http%3A//www.the URL of your sitemap here.xml

    Please note that sitemap submissions do not guarantee the indexing of URLs. To learn more about the protocol, please visit the Sitemaps web site at http://www.sitemaps.org.

    Q: How can I add Ask.com search to my site?
    A: We’ve made this easy, you can generate the necessary code here.

    Q: How can I get additional information?
    A: Please visit our full Searchable FAQ Database.”

    Do free promotion offers work? Follow the line to Dennys

    Here is a photo that I took of the Denny’s Free breakfast crowd from the road as I was leaving today.

    By the looks of things at my local Denny’s the Free Breakfast  promotion announced during the Superbowl was a sell out.  I drove into the parking lot to go to another business and could not find a place to park in three parking lots!  The crowds were pouring out of their cars, like they were going to the state fair.  The line was out the door and around the building.

     So give them credit for gaining trial.  Customer Engagement at it’s finest.  Customers using texts, blogs and emails all about the promotion is a social media strategists dream.   What about retention, I am not so sure.  Quality service, is in the hands of the wait staff and cooks.  Will people stand in line for free food? Yes… they will.  Will they come back and pay?… Denny’s will need to report of that.  ROI… priceless…

    Free serif typefaces revealed on the Prisma Graphic blog.

    Looking at where dollars go in your budget may leave you feeling you need more control. Your designers are always looking for new type faces and I bet if you check the budget you are paying for them.  So PrismaGraphic.com  who is a top line printer does a great blog on industry tips.  Check out their blog at Prisma Graphic blog. I subscribe and this one caught my eye:

    Huge Collection of Free Serif Fonts for Graphic Design

    February 4, 2010 <!–prismagraphic–>Edit

    We understand that the graphic designers that we work with are always looking for new fonts.  In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. We have put together a list of some of the best serif fonts on the web.

    20 Classy Free Serif Fonts by D-List

    30 Extremely Elegant Serif Fonts by Webdesign Ledger

    20+ Beautiful Free Serif Fonts by Think Design Blog

    10 Free Serif Fonts by MyInkBlog