Google's New +1 Button

Google has launched a new feature for search results called the +1 Button. It works like a recommendation button where you can click +1 on a particular website or webpage to help others know that it’s been recommended. If you’ve used sites like, you know how this process works. Basically, after you’ve read some content on a website and decided you liked it, you click the +1 Button and it helps other web users by ranking your site/content like a score card. In turn, websites and web pages with higher “votes” can potentially gain higher rankings on Google search results pages (SERPs).

Adding the +1 Button to your site

After logging into my AdSense account, I was greeted with this lovely message:
Google +1 Button AdSense message
From there, I clicked on the link that took me to the code page where I had a choice of 4 different sizes for the icon as well as some other advanced settings. I didn’t spend too much time on this page as I wanted to get the button on my site ASAP! I simply chose the standard size and left everything else the same.
Google +1 Button
The code was easy to implement. In WordPress:

  1. Open your theme editor and begin editing header.php
  2. Find the </head> tag and place the code: <script type=”text/javascript” src=””></script> right above it.
  3. Save header.php
  4. Begin editing single.php (if you want the button to appear on each post)
  5. Find the area you want the button to show up. On my site, I placed it right before the content starts so it’s at the beginning of every post.
  6. Place this code: <g:plusone></g:plusone> before <?php the_content();
  7. Save single.php

Now that you have all the code in place, go to one of your blog posts and verify that it’s showing up.

What’s Next?

Well as with any traffic-related feature on your site, all that you really can do now is wait. If the users want to vote up your content, they now have the option to do so within Google directly. If you find that you’re not getting a lot of response from this feature, try moving the button around your site to see where it works best.

The purpose of this feature is to help web users find valuable content as ranked by other web users that have already seen what you have to offer. This helps Google in their never-ending quest to filter out junk sites and sites with little to no content while pushing more valuable sites up to the top of the SERPs. Let’s just hope that this feature doesn’t get abused like so many other Google features have been in the past!

How To Hack The Facebook Image Bar

Ok so you’re not really hacking anything, but I figured using that word would grab more attention! With that said, this trick is nothing more than an easy manipulation of a new feature in Facebook. First of all, you’ll need to upgrade your account to the new profile layout if you haven’t already done so. You can do this by going to: Login and you’ll see the option to switch.

The New Layout

Also on that page will be a complete description of what visual changes will be made to your profile, but the only one we’re interested in is the new “snapshot” feature. This is the very top section of your profile that tells people some basic information about yourself:

My Facebook Snapshot
My Facebook Snapshot

Above, you can see the highlighted area. You can see what I call the Facebook image bar. It’s a collection of the last 5 photos that someone tagged you in. It puts them in order from left to right, meaning that all newly tagged photos will show up on the left side and move their way down the line.

Hacking (Manipulating) The Image Bar

As you can also see by the screenshot, I have hacked my image bar to show whenever anyone clicks on my profile. Naturally, I wanted to draw their attention to my site and I was not surprised to find out that people see those images before anything else on my profile! From a marketing standpoint, this is great news.

The process is generally easy, but if you’re using some intricate design work or you’d like to integrate your default profile pic into the mix as well, it can get a bit complicated. For basic instructions, follow these steps:

  1. Create an image that is 487 x 68px. (487px is counting the white spaces between each photo)
  2. Cut out the five images from your main image. Each of the five need to be 91 x 68px in size.
  3. Upload these five tiny images to your profile. It might be easier to create a separate photo album for them.
  4. Tag yourself in the photos one at a time. If your image needs to line up in a specific order, like mine, you’ll want to tag the last photo first and the first photo last. This way, they’ll show up in the correct order.

That’s it! When you’re done, go back to your main profile page and you’ll see your handy work.

Advanced Manipulation

Obviously there’s some small space between the tagged images, so your photos won’t line up perfectly (like mine), but if you’re dead set on getting the images cut with the spaces in the proper places, you’ll want to cut out the white space on your original image and then take what’s left and turn them into 5 separate images. Make note that the white space is exactly 8px wide.

I created a layered Adobe Photoshop® template that you can use to see where the cutouts will fall if you plan on using a full image to create all the tiny ones. Please note that this template was designed and sized from my own Facebook page. Yours may differ slightly in size and alignment. Use this template as a guide rather than a standard.

It’s super easy to use:

  1. Open the template in Adobe Photoshop®.
  2. Take the image you’d like to slice and dice and place it on a layer behind the cutout layer.
  3. Resize that image if necessary to fit into each of the 6 squares properly so it looks good.
  4. Cutout each image and save them separately.
  5. Upload all images to a new album (if preferred) on Facebook and make sure this album is visible to Everyone.
  6. Tag yourself in each of the smaller photos, but remember to tag the last photo in the lineup first!
  7. Take the 6th photo and make it your default picture and then you’re all set!

Here’s a sample of the template in use with a picture ready to be cutout: Facebook Image Bar Template Sample Facebook Image Bar Template Sample


As you may have already guessed, the number one issue with doing this modification is that anyone who tags you in photos will be able to destroy your work of art! However, it’s not hard to fix. Just hover your mouse over the image(s) that you want to remove and a little ‘X’ will appear in the corner–click on that and the image will be removed from the top bar, but it will retain your tag.

You can also have a little fun with this too! You can tag your friends in your images and your hacked image will appear on their pages as well! Be careful though…if you start putting up derogatory things on your friend’s pages, you may not have any friends left. Worse case scenario, you could be hearing from the Facebook team if people start logging complaints about you.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you run a website, you are more than welcome to repost some of my steps above as well as the template download, however, I must ask that you retain credit to me by posting a link back to this article and leaving my website information inside the template. Also, please don’t hotlink the template file from my server! Upload it to your server instead.

How to write perfect web page titles

Ok, so perfect might be too strong of a word, but the point is that most people mistake the title of a particular web page to be the same as the main title of their site. Unless ALL of your web pages have exactly the same content on them, this is not the case.

I like to think of it like this. Let’s say you’re a book publisher called Ledfrog Publishing. You want to publish three books with these subjects: ‘making money online’, ‘how to play the game of soccer’ and ‘how to make a website’. Now you want to title them, so naturally you come up with “The Ultimate Guide to Making Money Online”, “Playing The Game of Fútbol” and “Create a Website in 10 Minutes”. These are all great titles because people would know exactly what they’re getting into just by looking at the cover. What you wouldn’t do is name them all “Ledfrog Publishing”, right?

If that came so naturally to you, then why are you making simple mistakes when naming your webpages?! I’m not yelling at you, but I am here to help! For the record, the reason people make these mistakes is because they think of their website as being one giant book and therefore, as long as they name the site correctly, every “page” within should follow a natural order.

Well this is true if everybody who came to your site stopped off at your homepage and then navigated through it page by page from there. However, I can almost bet that most of your traffic comes from a search engine and visitors likely found it by clicking on a keyword they searched for. What this means is that they landed at your site on some random “page in your book” and unless they click on something else, they are completely unaware of your site!

So instead of your site being a giant book, think of it as being the publisher and all the books are the web pages within. This will help you think of creative (and valuable) titles for each page.

I found a great guide online for creating titles and I wanted to summarize the process here. Remember that search engine optimization is extremely important to your site and it will dictate how much traffic you get.

What is a title?

Go to Google, do a search on anything you want and when you look at the results, you’ll see the blue titles that provide the text that’s closely related to your search. Try a few searches and even switch the keywords around a bit. You’ll notice that the results drastically change based on a few changes. This is because one site or another has written a title that better matches your search query. A title rests within the HTML code and is often overlooked by a web designer.

How do I write an effective title?

Read your page before you post it online. Read it twice if you have to. Start extracting keywords that summarize that page and write them down. You can even write down the most commonly used keywords. Once you have a nice list, start creating 60 character titles that match those keywords. Don’t just list them. As a helpful tool, search for high-ranking sites that have similar content and see how they’re naming their pages. You don’t want to copy them, but get an idea of the format.

Remember that you will be ranked for the words you use in your titles. If you start adding words like: about us, contact me, home, etc. you’re going to be ranked for those words first and not for the content of your site. This is another reason not to name every page the same as your site’s title.

Why do some sites consistantly rank high?

As with all other SEO tips, no one trick works alone. You need a combination of great titles, original content, good keywords, backlinks and regular updates to keep your site ranking high. As a result, some sites hit the nail on the head for more than one SEO category and that usually explains why they’re always at the top.

There’s really not much to it once you change your thought process on what a title’s function is and how it relates to your page. The goal is to show the usefulness of the page to Google and your visitors. The last tip I can give you is take a look at your titles and ask yourself if you would click on your own site if you saw it pop up on Google.

Writing a press release

When you hear the term, you might get the impression that this form of media exposure is intended only for the “real” businesses out there and people like you should stick to the YellowPages. The reason for this thinking stems from the fact that people mistake press releases for sales pitches. In reality, a press release is a form of newspaper advertising used to generate buzz around your business and/or product.

A press release can be a sales pitch, but you don’t want it to sound or look like one. The idea is to give an editor something to write about. Newspapers couldn’t exist without news and they’re reporters don’t always get the stories because they happened to be caught in the middle of it. So, let’s bring the story to them!

This guide will focus on HOW to write a press release. Finding out where to send it varies greatly on who you’re sending it to. Generally speaking, you can send a press release alone as nothing more than a one-page writing or you can go all out and develop a full press kit. More on this later. Right now, let’s get into the creation of your first press release.

The easiest way to do this is to break apart a standard press release template and focus on each section. A standard template I recently found online looks like this:

Top Section/Headline

The very top is self-explanatory as you can see. Simply start with some professional letterhead for your company or website and begin thinking of your headline. This headline should be written just like you see in a newspaper and should grab your attention just like it too. Keep it short and concise. Again, remember that you don’t want to come off as promoting your business. Use the headline to offer the best part(s) of your story. Pretend that you know the editor is only going to read the headline. He/she needs to know right from the start what this release is going to be about. Formatting tip: the headline should be in all capitals.

For our example, we’ll be writing a press release for a webhosting company. As we go along, I’ll show you a good and bad example for each section.

A bad headline:


A good headline:


Body – Introduction

This section is known as the lead paragraph and its goal is to provide a more detailed description than the headline can offer. This paragraph should condense the entire story into an “introduction-style” format that enables the editor to gain a firm grasp on what’s about to be told. Use this section to speak the facts and stay far away from lies, exaggerations and sales pitches.

A bad lead:

A new webhost named, which offers the lowest priced webhosting plans anywhere and is regarded as a top webhost has just announced that they will be offering no bandwidth limits on their already extremely valuable webhosting plans.

A good lead:

The Internet is a changing forum. Today, websites are packed with more and more content-rich media such as music, videos, Flash and web applications. While the Internet has evolved, hosting providers have not. Anyone who operates a website knows how expensive it can be if their website goes over its bandwidth limit. To top it off, these sites can be shutdown for the remainder of the month until the counter is reset. A new hosting provider seeks to change this. has recently announced their plans for providing webmasters worldwide with no bandwidth limits every webhosting plan. According to John Smith, the CEO of, web hosts need to wake up and realize that limited accounts will no longer “fly” in this new wave of Internet technology.

Body – Bulk

The rest of the body is used to reiterate the text you wrote in the lead paragraph. This is where you dive into all the little details of your story. Use quotes from people that express a concern that your business is addressing and/or quote other articles that can also relate to your claims. Ideally, you want to provide credible backup to your claim. Of course you still want to remain concise, so don’t overdo the quotes or you may not sound legitimate. If you’re offering particular services, try not to make this section look like a flyer, but if you can integrate the information with related sentences, you can get away with it.

For example:

…and Joe, from says, “I can’t believe the amount of overages I pay every month!”. Serverocity has gotten fed up with webmasters that share the same sentiment. Because their plans have no “overages”, nobody feels gouged.

In the above example, I was able to make a specific claim about my business’ service, but you can see how well it fits into the previous quote.


‘boilerplate’ is an old term that defines a block of text that is continually used over and over. It referred to an unchangeable section of text that could be used on printing presses. Right after the body, you are now free to discuss more clearly what the business is with details such as when did you first open, who founded it and what the overall purpose is. This, again is not a sales pitch–it’s simply a short paragraph that talks about the business.

Bad boilerplate: – the world’s leader in webhosting services. We offer 5 hosting plans to choose from that will fit well in anyone’s budget! Stop by our website today or give us a call now. We can work with you on any number of specific addons or needs that you require.

Good boilerplate: was founded by John Smith in 1998 and is home to thousands of websites. Serverocity also offers free web design tips, how-to guides and industry news through its website and monthly newsletters.

After the # # #

The three hash symbols simply means “no more copy”. In other words, anything written after this line is not part of the release and should not be considered part of any reporting done with this document. After this line, you would want to put some personal information like:

To receive more information on this subject, please contact John Smith at: 555-555-5555 or to request an interview, please contact

That’s it! You’ve just created your first press release. So what should you do with it? Start sending it to your local newspapers or if you can offer a service nationwide, send it everywhere you can. It costs nothing more than postage to send these out, so as many as you can get to, the better. Of course there’s no guarantee that anything will get printed, but that’s ok. If you do get printed and your business benefits from it, then you just got more customers and didn’t have to pay much for them!

Promoting your new blog

You now have a blog up and running, you have your own domain name and you have your ideas for original content. Now what?

It’s time to get some readers and hopefully turn them into subscribers! Naturally, your blog will get picked up by the major search engines, but the question is how long will that take and once listed, how long will you last? To increase you chances of becoming popular, start with the content of course and begin using the tools you already have in front of you.

Social Networking

You might already be a member of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, so start promoting your website there. Of course you don’t want to hound your friends every five minutes to look at your site, but you do want to display your recent additions whenever you can. For Facebook, get the WordBook plugin installed on your blog and let it do the work for you!

WordBook will seemlessly connect to your Facebook account and post a note to your wall that links back to your blog’s entry. This way, when you write something on your blog, your friends will know right away what it is after reading a small excerpt and then they can click through if they like what they see. In time, you may start to notice backlinks appearing for your site. More on how to get links to your site.

You can add all your Twitter tweets right to blog using downloadable widgets to show your web visitors what you’re twittering about and in turn, you may end up with a few more followers.


Create a signup form on your site that allows users give you their email address in exchange for daily/weekly/monthly updates. Don’t slack on this one! If you promise a weekly newsletter, make sure you have one! Once your readers start to see that you’re not updating your site, they will lose interest fast.

SEO Firms

These companies will charge you a fee to optimize your site and they often promise certain results based on the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Although I will say “be careful”, I don’t mean to imply that these “results” are impossible to achieve. I’m just saying that some of these companies are less-than-reputable and even though you might see a huge spike in traffic at first, you could end up ruining your web image down the road.

Anyway, what they do is go over your site and offer information on how to create better pages, how to correctly use keywords, titles, descriptions, images, etc, etc, etc. In theory, the idea is to get your site looking great for your users and even better for search engines.

A word to the wise–all of the information that you will pay someone else to tell you and/or do the work for you is available for free on the Internet. I might actually be creating a section just for this topic!


You know all that free stuff you get at conventions and concerts?! Well to you and I, it’s all about the free t-shirt and a lot of stickers because we obsess over “free” things. But if you turn the tables, you’ll notice that the company giving it away couldn’t be happier that you’re wearing their t-shirt. After all, they don’t have to pay you to do it and you’ve now become a walking billboard!

You can do the same thing for your website. Make up some cool products you can give away with your logo on it and start handing them out. Or maybe you can run a contest on your site. How about giving stuff away to everyone who signs up for your newsletter? Of course, this costs money to you, so you want to make sure that the stuff you give away is actually something that someone is willing to wear or use.

By the way, for those of you that don’t know, SWAG has been defined as Stuff We All Get.

Print Advertising

This one is more relavent for those of you who actually provide a service or product, but anyone can use ‘free press’, right? Don’t underestimate printed materials just because you think they’re antiquated! A lot of people still read them and the best part is that it’s printed material. Printed materials often get much better exposure than other forms of advertising.

Take for example a tv commercial. If your commercial plays once on tv, you were only able to show your ad to the amount of people that were watching that exact channel at that exact time. Let’s say that number was 10. Now take a print example: a newspaper or magazine. One copy can lay around a home or office for weeks and be read by everyone that happens by. Even if that one copy only reaches the same 10 people, imagine what hundreds of thousands of copies could do for you?!

Press releases in a newspaper are a way to not only announce your new business, but promote it at the same time. Contact your local newspaper to find out more about this. More on writing press releases.

How to create original content

You’ve heard it before and most likely you didn’t hear it from me first–have original content on your blog! Why is this so important? First of all, if you’re trying to create a blog that just copies postings and other material from other blogs and websites, you can stop right now. People are smart and search engines are smarter.

Posting original content is the only surefire way to get people to your site and to stay. The ultimate goal here is to create a returning user base. One reason for this is that these “fans” will begin to promote your site based on the fact that they like your site. Other sites will link to you because of your quality. Search engines will rank you better. The list goes on.

Now, obviously when I say original, I don’t necessarily mean something that nobody has ever talked about. You can discuss things that are all over the Internet, but the idea is to do it in your own, unique way. And do it often. Blog frequency is another topic we’ll be discussing later.

For now, the question is what do you write about? In order to be successful at this, you’re going to want to pick a topic that actually means something to you as this will create passion in your words and people respond better to content when it’s passionate. Don’t try and blog about a whole bunch of different things all at once (unless everything’s connected somehow). Just remember that whatever the topic is, there are plenty of people out there that are just as obsessed with it as you are, so don’t get discouraged–just because your friends don’t visit your blog it doesn’t mean nobody will.

It’s hard to write a how to guide on a topic that doesn’t have any set standards or rules, but here goes!

In a nutshell:

  1. Choose your topic – find a topic that really interests you as well as something that can be discussed. You wouldn’t want to have a blog about one particular movie because that movie will eventually go away and it won’t be relevant anymore. Do a blog about all movies, or one genre of movies.
  2. Do some research – start searching around the Internet and see what people are saying about your topic. Remember these sites for later because they will come in handy when we get into promoting your blog.
  3. Look for ways to improve – Once you start seeing your topic of choice popping up around the Internet, start looking for ways to improve the already available information. This will start to separate your blog from the rest.
  4. Fill in the holes – you might even start noticing that certain areas of interest are not being covered in other blogs. This is your chance to open a new door!
  5. Write from the heart. You do not want to pass up this step. Do not write just for search engine rankings or Google clicks. Don’t even write just for traffic. You can achieve all these things in time, but before you start promoting your blog, you’re going to need the content.

As for the writing itself, I found a really cool blog that has created a list of 12 essential blogwriting tips. I reviewed each one and they are phenomenal. I have tried to sum up everything on that site above, but to get the full effect, you’ll want to check it out.

Getting links to your blog

It’s no secret that the popularity of your blog is directly related to how many websites link to your content. Google and other search engines equate the amount of links to your website to the quality of it’s content. It’s interesting to note that your blog can have the most original and focused content in the world, but if nobody is linking to your site, you’re not going to rank very high in search results. And as you would imagine, the opposite is quite possible.

So how do you do it? How do you get people to link to your site especially if that person’s site is potentially a competitor of yours? The answer somewhat eludes most webmasters and every site’s situation is different. The truth is that some site owners overlook this important fact. With all this focus on search engine optimization, original content, creating e-books, posting updates to social media sites and advertising, it’s hard to pay attention to every detail.

Well you can start paying attention now because this information is probably the most important part of getting traffic to your site(s). Before I go into the details of how to get it, let’s look at the different types of traffic that’s floating around the Internet.

Targeted Traffic

Targeted traffic is usually from advertising streams. As an example, if you purchase Google AdWords, you’re essentially buying keywords that are related to the content of your site and the ads will show up on other sites that are simliar to yours. If someone on that site likes your ad, they’ll click on it and come to your site. Other forms of targeted traffic are from email campaigns that send out advertisements to people who have signed up for email alerts for specific information. Today, search engines are making attempts to return search results that are targeted to each user, but this is still only one piece of the “ranking” pie.

Type-in traffic

As the name implies, this kind of traffic is from people that simply type your domain into their web browser directly to come to your site. This traffic is the most difficult to obtain from the start unless you own a fairly generic domain name. Think about your own Internet usage. Have you ever wanted to lookup a topic such as cell phones and just typed in Type in traffic for your site will come with time as people start remembering your site.

Search engine traffic

You’ll start to notice as you build your site and keep adding content to it that people will just start showing up. Search engines are always adding new content by sending out their spiders to locate information on the Internet to catalog it in their databases. Also, as you start posting content, you might end up writing about something that doesn’t have a lot of coverage on the Internet and this will dramatically increase traffic to your site.

Other traffic

There are many other places your site will start receiving traffic from. This traffic is not worth mentioning because it’s not only a small amount overall, but it’s also not the type of traffic you want. There are sites all over the Internet that make attempts to link to every site possible. Some even get more organized by sorting these links into categories. These sites are sometimes called link farms and are frowned upon by search engines. If you ever see offers on the Internet the purchase links on these sites with promises to add your site to “hundreds of targeted websites”, you want to avoid them. They can actually cause negative effects to your hard work.

Find those links

All this traffic is wrapped around the concept of getting links and now it’s time to learn the basics about how to get people to link to your site. If done right (and ethically), this process might be the most time consuming (or not). One way to do this is to let the fates decide: simply post your content and as people find it, let them link to it on their own. The second way is to go looking for the links.

The best way to do this is to just ask people to link to your site. Go around searching for sites that share similarities to your own and find out if the owner would be willing to link to your site. Usually this means he/she will want you to link back to them as well.

Link trading

This is a surefire way to get links to your site. But you need to know that webmasters will not link to your site if you don’t have original content or if your site looks like there’s not much substance to it. Also, they will not want you to link to them because bad sites can cause negative light to shine on good sites. Each webmaster might have varying rules for their link to be displayed. Link trading can be a time-consuming process, but it can prove very valuable to your site’s performance.

A good tip for your site is to create a links page close to your home page and accessible from it as well. My advice is to make a link like mine, This will ensure that all your web links will be clearly visible form your site and webmasters love this.

Sponsored links

Many websites are now offering link placement offers where you can pay a webmaster for a link on their site. The costs vary greatly based on the popularity of the site and where the link is located. Most websites will tell you the factual details of this placement and maybe even an estimated traffic count so you can value your dollar as much as possible. There’s no shame in buying links and in time, you won’t have to pay for them because eventually you’ll be the one charging!

Sponsored ads

The most obvious way to get traffic is to buy ads that offer your site’s link on countless other related websites across the Internet. This might be a more viable option to those of you that operate businesses online, but anyone can buy ads; if you’re willing to pay for them. Essentially you pay a small fee every time someone clicks on your ad.

Publish content

This one is more about publishing suplemental content. Your site will already have everything you’ve added to it, but every now and then you should consider creating something that people can download and pass on to their friends such as an e-book or maybe even a consolidation of a few of your posts. Be sure to place links to your site in these documents to ensure that no matter where it ends up online, people will always know where it came from. Also, give permission to other sites to use your content in lieu of posting a link to your site.

Email marketing

Be VERY careful with this one considering the amount of spam that is going around the Internet these days. I would suggest only emailing those that have signed up to your site and only email periodically. You don’t want to flood them with content that they can easily get by going to your site. Try and stay away from purchasing email lists.

This is just a basic covering of ways to get links to your site. As times change, I will undoubtedly be updating this section.