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What’s FUD?

July 2nd, 2007

One of the blogs I read regularly is garrycon.com. Last week Garry posted a somewhat panicky post about how he thought that he’d been doing all the wrong things on his website.

He wrote about how he thought schemes like Text Link Ads were bad, links without rel=”nofollow” would make him lose PageRank and how duplicate content on his own site was making pages in his site go supplemental. As Andy Beard told Garry in the comments; he was effectively the victim of Google FUD.

FUD is an abbreviation for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. The idea is that you use people’s fears to sell a product by casting doubt on the competitor’s product. IBM used it very effectively during the 70’s to discredit Amdahl. Even though Amdahl’s products were better and more cost-efficient than IBM’s products people preferred IBM computers because of the FUD.

Google FUD is slightly different though. Google uses it to spread fear in the hearts of SEOs that try to bend the rules. The method is that they tell webmasters just enough to know what is the right way to do things but they leave room for speculation. Then when people address the holes or, try to, take advantage of the apparent holes in the algorithm they hint that those tactics might get people banned. Read the rest of this entry »

5 SEO blogs I can’t get enough of

June 27th, 2007

We were having some problems with the sidebar in the blog. It just stopped halfway through on some occasions, gave errors on other occasions and even worked fine sometimes as well.

We weren’t sure why this was occurring (we’re guessing that it’s probably a question of a too heavy load). Someone here on the island told me that maybe upgrading to the newest version would help and because I don’t like all the work involved in moving websites to different hosting plans I thought I’d give it a shot

So, we’ve got ourselves a brand new, spiffy blog. If you see any errors, could you please let us know so we can fix it or move to another server.

How to get those pages out of Google’s supplemental index

June 25th, 2007

Curacao has its own set of rules on “how to do business”. Just like in all other countries, you need to know what’s acceptable behaviour and what’s not. One particular rule here is a real pearl of local wisdom (and a pet peeve of ours): “a competitor is a competitor is a competitor”.

We feel that if you see your competitor only as a competitor you’re limiting the progress of the line of business you are in. The result is a group of backward companies that are mostly concerned with what the competition is doing, instead of working to improve their own product.

The adherence to this rule is changing though. Especially in the more internationally oriented businesses there seems to be a trend towards cooperation (with a healthy dose of competition) instead of raw, unabiding competition. A shining example is of course the hospitality business, which is internationally oriented by default, with the CHATA as its Curacaoan flagship.

An attempt is being made now by Tamira La Cruz to also strengthen the ties between the marketing & advertising professionals on the island. Read the rest of this entry »

Curacao tourism marketing meeting

June 21st, 2007

There are several companies and organisations on Curacao that represent Curacao abroad to bring in more tourism. The two most important ones in this respect are the Curacao Tourism Board (CTB) and the Curacao Hospitality And Tourism Association (CHATA).

Today these two organisations joined hands and presented the facts and figures for 2006 and moderated a discussion about the marketing plan 2008. Bo went to this meeting in the morning and I joined the afternoon session.

We are no off-line marketing guru so we can’t say very much about the what, where and when of promoting a Caribbean destination in the US, but we do know about the internet-side of this discussion. There are two things about the on-line marketing efforts which were discussed that piqued my interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Promoting websites on Curacao

June 19th, 2007

Yesterday we put the new website of Small Murray Scheper live. We are very happy to count this dynamic Curacaoan law firm as one of our clients and would like to wish them good luck with their new website.

The website is not entirely finished yet because we still need to add the English version, but the Dutch version is entirely finished. The design is slightly futuristic, but because of the warm, high quality photographs by Marika Ringnalda and the personal touches it has definitely not become a sterile website. For the official blurb, check out our clients page.

Curacao SEO Project – m-a.an

June 18th, 2007

Muller & Associates is a tax law firm on Curacao. They offer many services in the tax law arena like fiscal advice, help with audits and assistance if the tax collector has a beef with your company. An extra service they offer is a fiscal subscription where they take care of all your tax matters at a fixed monthly rate. We don’t know anything about taxes and such, but this sounds good.

The website looks very clean. The design is corporate, but not boring, and the color scheme is very appealing. It is available in three languages (Dutch, English and Spanish) and has a very flat structure. This makes it easily digestible without treating visitors like idiots. We like. Read the rest of this entry »

The ten commandments of a good and functional website design

June 15th, 2007

Bas Kok Creative Communicatie (one of our strategic partners) is looking for a graphic designer. Are you interested in working with some of the most interesting clients on the island and are based on Curacao? Give them a call!

You can find the official ad below and we added a translation for those of you that don’t speak Dutch (about 99.9% of the world’s population). Read the rest of this entry »

More hotel rooms on Curacao

June 14th, 2007

Tourism is booming on Curacao and the hotel chains know it. This morning the Curacao Tourist Board and CHATA (Curacao Hospitality And Tourism Association) presented the new Room Inventory Forecast to CHATA’s members.

This forecast shows the projects that are currently under construction or under development. It shows that from now until 2010 a total of almost 3,000 extra rooms will be available for tourists. You can see all the numbers at CTB’s corporate website. This is a good time to do business on Curacao!

This site may harm your computer

June 13th, 2007

One of the most awful things that can happen to a company that engages in SEO is when Google says that that company’s website is harmful. Nobody will visit your website from Google while that warning is up, that’s for sure. This is exactly what happened to us this week:
Google’s SERP
Update june 15: yesterday evening the warning was removed. Google likes us again :).

The new stuff we try out, we always try out on our own website before we go anywhere near our clients’ websites. In this case we tried something out on our site which opened up a vulnerability. Somebody found it, took advantage of it and placed some malicious JavaScript on our homepage.

We figured out what happened, when it happened (last friday 10 a.m.) and how to fix it. So, we fixed it, checked our clients’ websites (just to be sure) and were pretty smug about it. Regretfully; over the weekend Google indexed our homepage and found the malicious JavaScript before we did. This triggered the “OMG, this site is evil”-button in Google on monday evening and we got blacklisted. When you look for our website in Google now you will see that Google thinks that “this site may harm your computer”. Read the rest of this entry »

Why use SEO?

June 12th, 2007

There are still a lot of misconceptions about Search Engine Optimization. Some of the people we talk to (potential clients or other design agencies) think that it’s as simple as submitting your website to the search engines and you will be found for the keyword “hotels”. Others think that it’s a dark art practiced with herbs, pentagrams and strange incantations when the moon is full. Some of us do drink herb tea in the evenings occasionally, but they stick to talking instead of chanting.

It is only natural that people have these misconceptions. Ask me to tell you everything I know about cars and I will also be done in 5 minutes and 2 minutes of those will be gibberish. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot, it just means that I know more about SEO than I do about cars.

Search Engine Optimization is still a relatively young discipline (especially here on Curacao), it can be pretty complex and is certainly very dynamic. This is the perfect breeding ground for misconceptions. The more people learn about SEO and/or understand the reason why you should use it, the easier our work becomes. Read the rest of this entry »