EduNotes Blog

Quick Search

OK, I’ve been telling enough people about this that it’s time to just publish it. The absolute best way to search on the Internet is with Google’s new search bar. Instead of having to leave the page you’re on to visit your favorite search engine, the google bar hangs out at the top of your screen. Just type your search words in the search field and away you go. You can configure it so that searches open in a new window, letting you keep the page you were on open.
One thing I like about Google is that they’re very upfront about what they’re doing and what you get. With the advanced features toolbar, you are giving Google the right to collect information about what sites you visit. They use this information not to target you with advertising but to improve their search engine. You can also get the google bar without the advanced features and without allowing Google to collect your sites visited information.
Installing the toolbar is a snap. Simply visit www.google.com, and click on the Google Toolbar link. Read the directions and click on the Get the Google Toolbar! button. You need to read a few more instructions and click on I agree and then choose whether you want the advanced tools or not. The file itself isn’t large and installs itself so you don’t have to know the answers to any complicated questions.

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Online Services and Searches

Check out your local library. Last week I discovered that my local library is buying online services for me. Is that cool or what? An individual subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online costs $70 a year. By visiting my county library’s website, entering the barcode on my library code and clicking on the Encyclopedia Britannica link, I can use this service at no cost – other than the property tax I already pay. The EB service is just one of many that I would have to pay myself if I went directly to that service’s site but is free when I go through the county library site. Offerings differ from county to county but all of the following Denver metro area links have some services that you can access as long as you have a card. Don’t have a card yet? Most counties let you apply for a card online. If you don’t see your county listed below, try doing a search at your favorite search engine for “countyname county library statename” to quickly locate your library.
Jefferson County: http://www.jefferson.lib.co.us/
Denver County: http://www.denver.lib.co.us/index.html
Adams County: http://www.adams.lib.co.us/
Douglas County: http://www.douglas.lib.co.us/
Arapahoe County: http://www.arapahoelibraries.org/
Boulder County: http://www.boulder.lib.co.us/

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Search Engine Positioning

We get from five to ten spam messages a day promising wonderful results for outrageous prices to get our web site ranked. The key is not to have your web site listed in the search engines but to have it ranked high for the key words that your potential customers are most likely to search for.
For example, since EduCyber is based in Wheat Ridge, we’d like to appear on the first page of results for a search with the key words “Wheat Ridge computer internet”. A search at altavista.com reveals that we appear in the number one position which tells us that our efforts are paying off. Of course it would be even better to appear on the first page of results in a search for “Denver computer internet” as the potential audience is much larger. Returning to altavista, we find that EduCyber drops to fourth but still gets a prominent rank on the very first page of results.
Attaining a high search engine ranking is not for every site. If the purpose of your site is to communicate with existing customers, like if most of your site is hidden behind passwords, then you probably won’t benefit much from a high ranking. But if part or most of your purpose in having a web site is to widen your customer base, then you need to work on this.
Need help? Give us a call at (303) 268-2245. For a limited time, we are offering a $100 special on improving your web rankings. Over two months we work with you to look at the content and design of your site, working to raise your ranking.

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