Optimize your website for search engines to find

I was recently flying in from Boston when I noticed my native West Pubnico from the air, clearly distinctive because of its 17 power-generating windmills, and I remarked how it reminded me of looking at Google Earth on my computer.

Then, it occurred to me how strange a thought this was: that reality was reminding me of a virtual image rather than the other way around. It was life imitating illustration, if you will.

That’s pretty much the way it is. Our sense of reality is becoming viewed more and more through the lens of the Internet, and this is something you need to take seriously if you’re depending on your website to carry your message.

Many people think that all you need to do is create a website and people will find it. That’s akin to printing stacks of marketing brochures and putting them in a warehouse, hoping someone will stumble upon them.

Others think that registering their website with search engines will do the trick. That would be like putting an ad in a few newspapers telling people where they can go to get your brochures.

Still others feel that if you put in enough keywords, then that will make your website popular. It will definitely help, but it’s far from the full story.

If not done correctly, it will hurt more than help. Why? Because search engines don’t like to be tricked. If the keywords don’t match the content and follow search engine rules, then the search engines may downgrade the site in their listings.

But help is available. There is a whole industry around making sure your website gets found by the right people via search engines, a process called search engine optimization. Here are some of the important facets of search engine optimization:

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Mapping a USB Drive to a Folder

When you plug in a USB pen drive Windows automatically assigns the next available drive letter. This can become a little confusing when you are dealing with multiple devices. The following are instructions on how to map a USB device to a folder:

  1. Create a subfolder under “My Documents” called USB;
  2. Under the USB folder create a folder for each USB device you will be mapping;
  3. Attached the USB device to your workstation;
  4. Run diskmgmt.msc (Press Windows+R and type diskmgmt.msc);
  5. Right click on the USB device;
  6. Select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”;
  7. Click “Add”;
  8. Browse to the folder you created in step 2;

For Organizational Collaboration, MOSS is Boss

Last month I wrote about all types of server software: Windows Server for sharing files, SQL Server for databases, Exchange Server for email, and Internet Information Server for hosting websites. But I didn’t talk about the fastest-selling server software ever because I was saving it for an article of its own. It is Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, otherwise known as MOSS.

A few months back, I wrote an article on how SharePoint was gaining popularity as a collaboration tool for organizations. That article talked about SharePoint in general, and didn’t differentiate between the free Windows SharePoint Services you get with Windows Server, and the much more expansive (and expensive) MOSS. (Past articles are in my blog; see the caption at the end of this article.)

This article will talk about features only found in MOSS. To help me prepare for this article, I tapped on Nicom’s Senior SharePoint Consultant’s shoulder, Brad George, and this is what he came up with.

“My Site”. This feature provides a single place to go to compile all tasks that are assigned to youdocuments, links, contact information, and other content that applies to you. Your very own corporate website.

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Save Money by Using Virtualization

In 2008, there was a lot of talk around communications devices, but in many corporations one of the hottest IT topics was a technology called “virtualization”. So I’ll start the new year by explaining what virtualization is and why you might be interested in it.

Simply put, virtualization is a way of making a single computer do the work of many. As organizations buy more and more powerful hardware, they often find themselves with too much equipment and with capacity than is not being used.

With virtualization technology, these organizations can partition pieces of a single computer and use it for multiple purposes, efficiently using its capacity.

Without virtualization, companies often use multiple pieces of hardware, called servers, each one running a particular piece of software, confusingly also called a server. So the software servers, such as Windows Server (used for sharing files and running applications), SQL Server (used for corporate databases), Exchange Server (used for email), Internet Information Server (used for hosting websites), etc., each run on their own computer.

If each computer is only partially utilized, there can be tremendous waste in the cost of equipment, electricity, floor space, air conditioning, etc.

With virtualization, any number of software servers can run on a single computer, optimizing the use of hardware. In fact, even desktop operating systems like Windows XP, Vista, or Linux can be run in a virtual environment, and so can individual program applications. How they are configured is controlled by utilities that you use to allocate available hardware to your needs. These utilities allow you to set up “virtual machines”, whereby you allocate pieces of the computer’s central processing unit, memory, hard drive, and other resources, to each virtual machine.

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