Columnists Brad Simon Internet Marketing Strategies Internet marketing using WIKIs

Internet Marketing Strategies Internet marketing using WIKIs

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Two of the most important techniques to market your jewelry store online are:

1.  Develop quality links from authority websites to your store’s website.

2.  Build authority webpages about your store that will get listed in Search Engine Results.

Wikis are websites that allow you to accomplish both of these objectives.  However, using wikis as a marketing tool is often overlooked by business owners as well as Internet marketing professionals.

A wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of interlinked web pages.  Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative websites.  The most popular (and largest) wiki is the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Many people believe the word wiki stands for “What I Know Is”.  Actually, it is half of the Hawaiian phrase “wiki wiki” meaning “fast” or “quick”.

WikiWikiWeb was the first wiki.  Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in 1994, and launched it on the Internet on March 25, 1995. It was named by Cunningham, who remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the “Wiki Wiki” shuttle bus that runs between the airport’s terminals. According to Cunningham, “I chose wiki-wiki as a substitute for ‘quick’ and thereby avoided naming this stuff ‘Quick-Web’.”

Some of the best wikis to get your business listed in and obtain links from are Wikipedia, Google Knol, My Wiki Biz, and About Us.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a user-edited online encyclopedia.  You’ve probably noticed Wikipedia.com showing up in Google for a huge number of search phrases. At over 3 million pages, Wikipedia is the largest website on the Internet.  It is a highly authoritative website and is given preferential status by Google and other search engines. What most people don’t realize about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit or add pages to it, including adding links to your own websites.

However, Wikipedia is monitored by a very dedicated group of editors, many of whom have adopted sections of Wikipedia as their own personal pet projects. If a portion of Wikipedia that they’re monitoring gets edited they’ll be informed of the change and will be quick to remove it if they don’t agree that the change contributes something worthwhile.

Wikipedia is all about consensus opinion and not expert knowledge.  So don’t get upset if your expert dissertation on gemstone treatment or other jewelry related topic is edited, changed, or deleted altogether.  Write and submit an informative article about a topic you know that is related to the jewelry industry, and add in some links to authority pages on your website supporting your information.  If it gets deleted, it is no big deal, just try again.  But if it remains on Wikipedia you can be certain there will be a webpage with your name on it coming up high in the search rankings with links pointing potential customers to your website.

Wikipedia Business Pages

One thing you’ll notice if you search for most big corporate brands in Google is that Wikipedia pages for those businesses show up in the top 10 results extremely often. Most people don’t know that you can also easily create a Wikipedia page for your own business.

However, these business entries do get deleted on occasion, so try to make your’s fairly informative and complete. Don’t make the page sales oriented.  Make it educational, tell about your business, its history, and stories about the owners.  If it offers real information and/or you’re a fairly well known business then it’s less likely that one of the other editors will delete the page you’ve created. Deletions still can happen, but if you can get it to stick it’s almost guaranteed to rank on page one in Google for your business’s name.

No Follow

Unfortunately, Wikipedia is a “No Follow” website limiting the effectiveness of outgoing links.  This means that your website will not receive any credit from the search engines from the links on Wikipedia.  Therefore these links will not help your website rank higher in search results nor increase its Page Rank.  However, the prestige factor of having your business listed in Wikipedia, and having these pages rank high in the search engines, makes it worth while.

Google Knol

Google Knol provides a platform on which “experts” can create a Knol (a unit of knowledge), on any topic.  Jewelers can create a Knol on any related topic or about their business and link to their store’s website.  Just like with Wikipedia, the content needs to be informative in nature and not an infomercial or sales pitch.  Links from these pages should also point to information pages on your website rather than a sales page.

The main difference between Knol and Wikipedia, is the collaborative way in which the data is presented. On Wikipedia, articles are community moderated and users can create or edit an article regardless of whether they started the article themselves. In contrast, Knol’s collaborative default setting is moderated collaboration. This means that, although anyone can suggest edits or new content to an existing article, collaborative changes can only be made upon approval of the original author(s) of the article. This approach has been widely championed for its elimination of the sabotage that is common to Wikipedia articles, while still promoting a somewhat collaborative environment for the exchange of new ideas and knowledge.

Each Knol starts out as a No Follow page.  However, Google will change it to Do Follow (giving your website credit for them) on a case-by-case basis.  If you write quality content, listen to editing suggestions from other users, and build external links to your Knol getting a Do Follow Knol is entirely possible.

My Wiki Biz

My Wiki Biz (www.MyWikiBiz.com) allows you to author your legacy on the Internet by establishing pages around yourself and your company. With the tagline “We Believe You’re Notable. Tell Your Story Here,” MyWikiBiz allows you to create a impressive, reader-friendly page that will get picked up by the search engines.  And the website is also entirely Do Follow, providing your website high quality links.

Like Wikipedia and Google Knol you can write and submit informational articles linking to your website.  These articles can be about any related topic or about your business in general.  Always keep in mind the subject of the page on your website that you are linking to when writing your article.  The closer the topics match the more valuable the link will be. For example, a submission on the History of Engagement Rings should be linked to a page on your website about engagement rings, not to the home page or some other page that is not related to engagement rings.

About Us

About Us is a wiki Internet domain directory that allows website owners to add their websites manually and modify details as necessary. AboutUs.org has proven to be very popular with over 15 million websites listed in the wiki.  Their goal is to build the world’s most comprehensive, collaborative guide to all the best places on the world wide web.

About Us’ entire focus is for businesses to insert their listings. Creating a page for your business on this website will also tend to rank very well for your business name.

About Us gives complete detail on how they decide whether your page is worthy of Do Follow and outlines the steps you need to take to change your existing No Follow links to Do Follow. They stress the importance of unique content and entries that have been claimed and expanded by their owners.

Knowledge Is Power

Long before there were computers or the Internet - before there were wikis or collaborative encyclopedias, in 1597 Sir Francis Bacon wrote the phrase “Knowledge is Power” in his book “Religious Meditations, Of Heresies.”  Today, knowledge about your products, services, and your businesses is a Powerful Advertising Media when strategically placed on various wikis across the Internet.

Brad and Debbie Simon have been involved in the retail jewelry industry since 1977 and have been marketing on-line since 1999.  Their company Internet 4 Jewelers provides local and mobile search marketing, e-mail marketing, and website development exclusively for retail jewelry stores.  For more information log on to www.Internet4Jewelers.com.

 
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