October 20, 2018

5 top ways to earn money from a blog in Hindi हिंदी में ब्लॉगिंग से पैसा कमाने के 5 टॉप तरीके

हिंदी में ब्लॉगिंग से पैसा कैसे कमाएं? How to earn from blogging in Hindi?


यह प्रश्न बार-बार पूछा जाता है. हम इस प्रश्न का उत्तर दो हिस्सों में देना चाहेंगे. एक, क्या ब्लॉगिंग से पैसा कमाया जा सकता है, और हाँ तो कैसे. दूसरे, हिंदी में ब्लॉगिंग  क्या पैसा कमाने के मामले में अंग्रेज़ी में ब्लॉगिंग की तरह असरदार है?

ब्लॉगिंग से धनार्जन (earning from blogging) के बारे में इंग्लिश में हज़ारों पोस्टें आपको वेबसाइटौं पर मिल जाएंगी. मिल तो हिंदी में भी जाएंगी, साथ में YouTube में वीडियो भी. हमने देखा है कि चूंकि ब्लॉग से धन कमाने की चाहत रखने वाले ब्लॉगर बहुत जल्दी में होते हैं, ये वेबसाइटें और वीडियो उनके सामने चारे की तरह ऐसे नुस्खे परोसते हैं कि बेचारे ब्लॉगर उनके भरोसे अनाप-शनाप कदम उठाते हैं और या तो छोटे समय के लिए कुछ पैसे कमा कर बैठ जाते हैं या फिर बिलकुल पैसे नहीं कमा पाते.

यह स्पष्ट करना ज़रूरी है कि जब हम ब्लॉगिंग की बात करते हैं तो न केवल पारम्परिक ब्लॉग की बात होती है, बल्कि किसी भी तरह की पठन/ दृश्य सामग्री (content) को अपनी वेबसाइट पर डालना और उससे सम्बंधित काम ब्लॉगिंग के दायरे में आते हैं. लेकिन इस पोस्ट पर हम बात करेंगे पारम्परिक ब्लॉग की.

चलें?


क्या हिंदी में ब्लॉगिंग से पैसा कमाया जा सकता है? Can we earn money from blogging in Hindi?


बिलकुल. हज़ारों लोग ब्लॉगिंग से धन कमा रहे हैं. यह बात अलग है कि ज़्यादातर ब्लॉग ऐसे हैं जिन्हें पैसा कमाने के लिए नहीं बनाया गया है. यह भी एक कड़ुआ सत्य है कि अमेरिका में हाली एक सर्वे से पता लगा है कि पैसा कमाने के लिए बनाए गए हर 100 ब्लॉगों में से केवल 2 ही अच्छा धन कमा पाते हैं, बाक़ी 98 अपने पूरे जीवन काल में 100 डॉलर भी नहीं कमा पाते! और ये 2 ब्लॉगों के मालिक बहुत मेहनत करते हैं और अपने ब्लॉग को सुन्दर रूप में रखने, उसमें अच्छी सामग्री लगाने और उससे धनार्जन करने के प्रक्रिया में. 

हिंदी में ब्लॉगिंग  से भी पैसा अर्जित करना संभव है. कई ब्लॉगर इस विधा से पैसा कमा रहे हैं, और कुछेक मित्रों ने अपने ब्लॉगों पर यह बात साझा भी की है. लेकिन यह हिंदी में ब्लॉगिंग से रुपये बनाना इंग्लिश ब्लॉगों की तुलना में ज़्यादा कठिन है क्योंकि बड़े (ज़्यादा पैसा खर्च करने वाले) ब्रांड हिंदी में विज्ञापन देने से कतराते हैं.

चलिए, चलते हैं मुख्य बात पर: 

हिंदी ब्लॉग से धन कैसे कमाएं How to make money from a Hindi blog




यूँ तो आपको हिंदी ब्लॉगिंग से पैसे कमाने के बारे में सैकड़ों पोस्टें और YouTube पर वीडियो दिख जाएंगे, लेकिन यह जान लेना ज़रूरी है कि क्या वो कारगर हैं. वो कौन से तरीके हैं जिनसे 2018-19 में भी पैसे कमाए जा सकते हैं क्योंकि कुछेक ऐसे तरीके जो 2008 के आस-पास कारगर थे, अब काम के नहीं रहे. 

इससे पहले कि हम इन तरीकों की बात करें, दो छोटी बातें

एक, बहुत सारे ऐसे ब्लॉगर साथियों ने जो ब्लॉगिंग से खूब धन अर्जित कर चुके हैं, यह बात कही है कि वो केवल एक तरीका नहीं अपनाते. और कुछ ने यह भी कहा है कि उन्होंने सब तरीके अपना कर देखे और केवल एक या दो तरीके ही उनके काम आए. ब्लॉग किस विषय में है, किस तरह की जानकारी आप उसमें देते हैं, आप उसे प्रमोट करने के लिए क्या करते हैं, आप कितने पॉपुलर हैं - ऐसे कई कारक हैं जो ब्लॉग से धन अर्जन को प्रभावित करते हैं. 

दो, ब्लॉग को अपनी इंटरनेट पर अपनी अन्य गतिविधियों से अलग न करें बल्कि सबको एक-दूसरे के संवर्धन में भागीदार बनाएं. सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफार्म (जैसे कि फेसबुक, इंस्टाग्राम, पिनटेरेस्ट और ट्विटर) तथा यू-टयूब को ब्लॉग के साथ दो-तरफ़ा जोड़े रखें. 


ये रहे 5 प्रभावी तरीके हिंदी में ब्लॉग से धन कमाने के 5 effective ways to make money from blogging in Hindi


1. AdSense (एडसेंस)


यह एक ऐसा तरीका है जिसे ठीक से ब्लॉग पर अपनाया जाए तो धीरे-धीरे लेकिन बिना बहुत मेहनत के धनार्जन किया जा सकता है. इसके लिए आपको अपने ब्लॉग को गूगल की AdSense की वेबसाइट पर रजिस्टर कराना होता है, जो मुफ्त है. लेकिन गूगल हर आवेदन को स्वीकार नहीं करता. AdSense का खाता ऐप्रूव होने के लिए यह ज़रूरी है कि आपका ब्लॉग बिलकुल नया न हो और उसमें कम से कम 8-10 पोस्ट हों जिनमें काम की जानकारी हो. 

खाता खुल जाने के बाद, ब्लॉग में जाकर विज्ञापन को लगाना होता है, जो बेहद सरल है, बशर्ते कि आप का ब्लॉग या तो paid हो जिसमें आप कुछ भी करने के लिए स्वतंत्र हैं; अगर वह मुफ्त ब्लॉग है तो आप AdSense केवल Blogger ब्लॉग में लगा सकते हैं. Wordpress के फ्री ब्लॉग में  AdSense की app लगानी हो तो उसकी फीस है. 

अगर आपका ब्लॉग paid या फिर Blogger में है, तो एक ब्लॉग में अधिकतम 3 स्थानों पर आप AdSense की app लगा सकते हैं. Blogger में Layout और फिर या तो Post gadget या Add new gadget में जाकर ये काम कर सकते हैं. आप इन्हीं स्थानों पर जाकर कभी भी AdSense app का स्थान बदल सकते हैं या उनका साइज़ या रूप बदल सकते हैं. 

अगर आपने अब तक अपने ब्लॉग में AdSense विज्ञापन नहीं लगाया है तो हो सकता है आपको कठिन लगे लेकिन 2-4 बार कोशिश करने के बाद आपको यह बिल्कुल सरल लगेगा.

होता यह है कि आपकी वेबसाइट पर आने वाला व्यक्ति जब AdSense के विज्ञापनों पर क्लिक करता है तो एक छोटी सी धनराशि गूगल आपके AdSense खाते में डाल देता है. लेकिन ध्यान रहे, AdSense का विज्ञापन लगा देने मात्र से आप अपने ब्लॉग से पैसे नहीं कमाने लगते.

वेब रिपोर्टों से और हिंदी के ब्लॉगर मित्रों से बात करने पर पता लगता है कि कुछ लोग तो ऐडसेंस से महीने में 1000 या अधिक डॉलर (60-70 हज़ार रुपये) कमा लेते हैं लेकिन ज्यादातर ब्लॉगर कुछ नहीं कमा पाते. यह जरूरी है कि आपके ब्लॉग में बहुत सारे लोग आएं और विज्ञापनों पर क्लिक करें. अगर आप ब्लॉक पर अच्छी सामग्री डालते रहेंगे और सोशल मीडिया के ज़रिए तथा search engine optimization द्वारा अपने ब्लॉग पर बहुत सारे लोगों को ला पाएंगे तभी आपको ज्यादा क्लिक मिलेंगे.

हमने इस तरीके को टॉप में इसलिए रखा है क्योंकि अगर आपका ब्लॉग बढ़िया तरीके से बनाया गया है और आप उसमें काम की जानकारी देते रहते हैं, और इस तरह काफी लोग ब्लॉग पर आते हैं, तो अलग से मेहनत किए बिना आप इससे पैसे कमा सकते हैं और धीरे-धीरे इसमें बढ़ोतरी होने की गुंजाइश होती है. 

गूगल ने इस विषय पर बहुत लाभदायक बातें कही हैं, उन्हें अपनाएं और अपने ब्लॉग को धनार्जन का माध्यम बनाएं. 

2. Affiliate marketing (एफिलिएट मार्केटिंग)

 
यह एक ऐसा तरीका होता है जिसमें कुछ कंपनियां आपके ब्लॉग पर अपने विज्ञापन लगाती हैं और अगर कोई व्यक्ति आपके ब्लॉग के मार्फ़त उनकी वस्तुएं खरीदता है तो आपको वह कंपनी कमीशन देती है. कई सारी ऐसी कंपनियां है जो अन्य कंपनियों से विज्ञापन लेकर आपको कमीशन देती हैं.

रिपोर्टों के मुताबिक निम्न मार्केटिंग कंपनियां हिंदी के ब्लॉगों के लिए ज़्यादा फायदेमंद हैं: फ्लिपकार्ट Flipkart, ऐमज़ॉन Amazon, शादी.कॉम shaadi.com, स्नैपडील Snapdeal, जबोंग Jabong

कुछ तरह के ब्लॉगों, यथा खान-पान तथा फैशन के ब्लॉगों, पर affiliate विज्ञापन अच्छा कमीशन अर्जित कर लेते हैं. इनमें प्रति खरीद AdSense के एक क्लिक की तुलना में काफ़ी अच्छा कमीशन मिलता है.

3. ब्लॉग को धनार्जन के लिए धुरी की तरह काम में लाएं Make blog the hub of money making activities 


अपने ब्लॉग को पैसे बनाने के हब याने धुरी के रूप में स्थापित करें. 
कई सफल ब्लॉगर साथियों का सही कहना है कि केवल लिखते रहने या कोरी ब्लॉगिंग के बल पर बहुत पैसे नहीं कमाए जा सकते, इसलिए यह ज़रूरी है कि ब्लॉग को धुरी बनाकर और उसकी मज़बूतियों का फायदा उठाकर अन्य उपक्रम किए जाएं तब ही ठीक-ठाक पैसे कमाए जा सकते हैं. यह उन ब्लॉगर मित्रों के किये बहुत महत्वपूर्ण है जो ब्लॉगिंग को अपना बिज़नेस बनाना चाहते हैं. 

कुछ काम जो ब्लॉगिंग से बहुत मेल खाते हैं (और ब्लॉगिंग के साथ एक दूसरे को मदद कर सकते हैं), इस तरह हैं:

  • अपने विषय पर ई-बुक बनाना और उसे मुफ्त में भेंट करना या बेचना 
  • ब्लॉग को आगे रखकर पत्र-पत्रिकाओं से लेख लिखने के लिए निवेदन करना 
  • ब्लॉग की प्रतिष्ठा के प्रभाव से अपने विषय पर ट्रेनिंग/ कोर्स शुरू करना 
  • ब्लॉग का उपयोग अपने उत्पाद या सेवा की वृद्धि के लिए करना (नीचे चौथे बिंदु पर इस विषय में अधिक विस्तार से चर्चा की गई है.)

    4. ब्लॉग द्वारा अपने उत्पाद और सेवा का विपणन करें Sell own services and products 


    आप अगर किसी वस्तु का व्यापार करते हैं, किसी क्राफ्ट या आर्ट की वस्तु बनाते हैं (जैसे कि पेंटिंग, स्केच, घर में बनी सजाने की वस्तुएं) या आप पुस्तकें लिखते हैं तो ब्लॉग उन्हें प्रचारित करने का अच्छा माध्यम हो सकता है. 

    जैसा कि ऊपर कहा गया है, आप अपने कोर्स और ई-बुक इत्यादि शुरू करके उनका प्रचार ब्लॉग तथा सोशल मीडिया पर कर के धन कमा सकते हैं. 


    money from blogging


    5. पैसे लेकर उत्पादों व सेवाओं की समीक्षा करें तथा फ़र्मों से सीधे विज्ञापन लें Write paid reviews, seek direct advertisements


    यह भी ब्लॉग से पैसे कमाने का एक माध्यम है, लेकिन इससे अकेले ही बहुत पैसे नहीं कमाए जा सकते जब तक कि आप अपने ब्लॉग को एक ऊँचे स्तर पर स्थापित नहीं कर लेते. 

    करना यह होता है कि आप औरों के उत्पादों (यथा पुस्तकें, श्रृंगार सामग्री, होटल, रेस्टोरेंट, मोबाइल फ़ोन) या सेवाओं (यथा कोर्स, पर्यटन सेवाएं) के बारे में लिखते हैं और इसके बदले में आपको कंपनियां पैसे देती हैं. इसके लिए आवश्यक है कि आपका ब्लॉग एक विषय पर बहुत पसंदीदा ब्लॉग हो. तभी तो कोई कंपनी आपको अपने उत्पाद या सेवा के बारे में लिखने के किए पैसे देगी. यह स्तर हासिल कर लेने के बाद तो कम्पनियाँ आपको ब्लॉग पर लगाने के लिए  विज्ञापन भी दे सकती हैं!

    अगर आपके ब्लॉग में आपके इलाक़े के बारे में ज़्यादा सामग्री होती है और बहुत से स्थानीय लोग इस पर आते हैं तो लोकल सेवा देने वाली फर्में जैसे कि कोचिंग क्लास, ब्यूटी पार्लर, किराना स्टोर भी आपके ब्लॉग पर विज्ञापन दे सकते हैं.

    तो मित्रो, अगर आपको लम्बे समय तक ब्लॉग से कमाई करनी है तो ब्लॉग को अपनी बिज़नेस की तरह संवारिए और बचकाने तरीक़े के या अनुचित कदमों से पैसे कमाने की मत सोचिए. ब्लॉगिंग से पैसे कमाना मेहनत का काम है और इसे हलके से नहीं लेना चाहिए.

    अगर आपको यह लेख अच्छा लगा हो और आप इसे अपने ट्विटर मित्रों से शेयर करना चाहें तो इधर क्लिक करें:            

    October 18, 2018

    Social media and blogging updates: news on Google Plus, MeToo and BritMums

    Google Plus to close down for individuals, become enterprise product


    This is the biggest social media news of recent times, but not too unexpected. It appears that Google wanted to get rid of Google Plus. The tech giant's handling of social networks has been poor: It acquired Orkut and had to later abandon it; now comes Google Plus, which was tweaked a number of times but did not quite live up to consumer expectations.

    What spoils the taste further is that Google has linked the closure of the social network with a bug that they found in the Google Plus app that might have affected profile data of over 500,000 users.

    social media google plus


    In the post announcing 'sunsetting Consumer Google+', Google has said that they would provide a window to existing consumers to migrate their data and would now fine-tune the product for enterprise consumers among which it was popular:
    To give people a full opportunity to transition, we will implement this wind-down over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August. Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.

    At the same time, we have many enterprise customers who are finding great value in using Google+ within their companies. Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network. Enterprise customers can set common access rules, and use central controls, for their entire organization. We’ve decided to focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses. We will share more information in the coming days.

    Social media shows its prowess in exposing wrong-doing


    In another big social media news, the MeToo hashtag has claimed the first big head in India: junior foreign minister, MJ Akbar.

    #MeToo  on Twitter has caused a sort of social tsunami in India in the last one month. One after the other, nearly a hundred women have come out with cases of sexual harassment against bigwigs, and it is putting the top socialites to shame. They include actors, musicians, authors, politicians... and the trend has not yet died down. In fact, with Akbar's resignation, the moment has only strengthened.

    MJ Akbar is a venerated editor in Indian print media and before joining as Minister of State for External Affairs, had been a top guy in many national newspapers and magazines. His nemesis was one ex-colleague, Priya Ramani, who a fortnight back named him as one who would harass her when he was editor in a newspaper. Then came the deluge - by now 20 ladies have exposed mistreatment in his hands mostly dating around 20 years back. Akbar, who was on an official tour abroad, came back on 14th October and denied all allegations and then slapped a defamation lawsuit against Priya. The voices in the social media and political circles swelled and he had to submit his resignation on 17th October.

    Shows how it is so important to be above board in one's conduct, as skeletons might show up after ages. Even bigger point is the power of social media; most women have said they had to live with the feeling of suppression for ages because of the social status of the perpetrators and only now that social media has given them a tool, they have gained the courage to raise their voice.


    BritMoms releases 2018 awards for British mom bloggers 


    BritMums, a blogging collective of British bloggers, has announced Brilliance in Blogging Awards or BiBs for 2018. These awards are given to the best parenting lifestyle bloggers of the UK, judged mainly by readers' votes.

    Announcing the awards, BritMums has said:  In deciding the Winners, thousands of votes were cast across 11 categories for a host of excellent Influencers. In addition, the BritMums judging panel selected one person as a BritMums Choice Winner because of their work not only as an Influencer but as a positive force in the blogging and social media community


    social media- lifestyle blogging

    We find all the awards well-deserved. Bloggers may like to visit the awards page for checking the best in blogging scene and also to get inspiration from them: Awards for British parenting lifestyle blogging

    October 16, 2018

    10 types of static pages that give value and trust to blogs

    A blog is known by its posts, not pages, right? 

    Yes, but...

    While posts are the life-blood of a blog, standalone pages give the blog the required background support. And they need not be updated too often.

    What are the standalone pages on a blog and how to make best use of them?


    Posts and pages both are technically webpages and have a unique URL of their own. Pages are those webpages that are  not pushed down like posts when new matter is posted on the blog. Usually they do not have a time stamp and thus are eternal. In typical web design of blogs, such pages are not displayed in the main column where posts keep coming, but in special places where they are always visible. 

    Since the standalone pages have a unique personality, they quietly define your blog's standard and trustworthiness. The additional information the pages provide make the visitors stay on the blog longer. Some pages add to the blog's reputation by establishing the blogger as trust-worthy. Therefore, you should not take the creation and placement of standalone pages lightly.

    We use these pages usually for the following purposes:
    1. Giving information about the blogger and/ or the blog: Usually we call such a page as 'About us' page. It tells how the blog started, what all it contains, who all are behind the blog, what is its guiding principle and so on.
    2. Giving contact information: There could be a separate 'Contact us' page or the contact information could be part of the 'About us' page. Google says, blogs/ websites with a page on the owner's contact details are more trusted as compared to those whose owner remains hidden. The contact information includes URLs for specific purposes (e.g. customer service, product details, downloads), email ID, telephone number, physical address,)
    3. Giving background information about the topics covered in the blog: Since pages come and go, they do not stay on top of home page unless specially pinned. Pages, being static, serve well as the storehouse of background information that does not change too often.
    4. Giving the visitor additional information on your product or service: Let us illustrate this with the example of an author blogger. There can be information about the book on sidebar and on posts, but if you want to share a chapter or take the visitor to your creative journey or give interesting information on characters/ locations, a page can be the best way to do that. Same goes for other products or services.
    5. Asking visitors to take action: Such a page is called 'call to action' or 'landing' page. A page comes handy when you want to hook the visitor - a potential client - to buy your product or take any other action (e.g download an ebook, subscribe to updates, refer your blog to a friend). Bloggers/ website owners who sell products and services often have a long promotional article full of pitch for purchase, testimonials, etc on the landing page.
    6. Providing manually curated resources: Many bloggers manually make a list of the best posts on the blog. Some give a list of external resources. Some produce an FAQ list.
    7. Providing specific information. Standalone pages come handy when you organize a web even or a real-life event or carry out a project. Standalone pages give all details of the project in one place.  
    8. Giving website policies: You can put all policies such as privacy policy, cookie policy and comment policy on a separate page and link it to the homepage of your website/ blog. Similarly, disclaimers and disclosures about your content and conditions for using it can be included in that page.
    9. Guiding visitors in case of broken link: You should have a '404 error page' that is displayed when any webpage in your blog is not displayed due to misspelling or using wrong URL by the user or the webpage not being available due to some other error. This page should apologize for the inconvenience caused to the reader and guide him where to go from there.

     

    Where to display static pages?


    Standalone pages do not pose problem of display unlike other design elements such as widgets. Static pages are best displayed as links or buttons on the homepage and within posts when they need to be cross-referenced. The menu bar just under the title is the best place for some such pages. Sidebar is also good for displaying standalone pages. From web design point of view, the last bar on the blog or website is the best place for linking pages relating to disclaimer and web policies as they need not take up prime space. 

    page web design


    You should prominently display the 'About us', 'Contact us' and 'call to action' pages. There is no need to display the 'broken link' page. 

    Some bloggers like to make a static page as the homepage of the blog to give the blog the look of a website. That is a design choice but in our view it partly reduces the 'blogging' feel and serves no good purpose.

    Wordpress (both CMS and blogging platform) and Blogger allow easy creation of static pages and customization of their placement from the dashboard.

    October 12, 2018

    9 ways of mutual promotion that can invite penalties from Google, other search engines

    Mutual promotion includes those actions that are perfomed on different websites to promote each other. In terms of SEO, such actions are meant to improve search optization of all such websites.

    Mutual actions can take many shapes. Many websites may be involved. Actions can range from just an occasional cross-link to brazen cross-promotion. A community may have formed for cross-promotion of content.

    Well, all mutual actions are not bad. But search engines have burnt their fingers because unethical promotion of linked websites or blogs vitiate the search results. So, they are wary of any suspicious action beyond a very low threshhold and don't hesitate in penalizing websites. Innocent bloggers are mostly the ones that are badly impacted as they don't know what wrong they had done to invite the punishment.

    Search engines try to go by the intent of the link: whether it is for giving a valuable cross-reference or to just promote the linked website. In reality, people may have the intent of genuinely providing value to the visitors but they might end up in taking actions that look suspicious. So, the idea is not to do anything on the website that raises search engines' suspicion. Mutual promotion comes high in the list of suspicious actions.

    Let's see:


    1. Too much cross-linking is bad SEO, no questions asked.

    This is obvious. When there are too many and too frequent links among two or more websites/ blogs, it means there is some hanky-panky between the involved sites. The sites could belong to the same person/ firm or to friends or community members, or there might be some other mutually beneficial arrangement among them. Whatever the reason, such cross-linking - beyond some point - distorts search results and the search engines punish by devaluing such websites in their indexing/ ranking systems.

    Some bloggers have the impression that they would benefit in terms of search if they open more than one blog and link them with each other. Sometimes they open many blogs and try to link their posts to one primary blog. These tricks used to work long back and they could work to a small extent even now, but the chances of getting a slap are very high even if the links are natural.


    2. Unnatural, unrelated linking among websites is undesirable, even if it is not too much.

    When you link your blog or website to another one that is not related to your website's topic, search engines take such links as unnatural. So, a link of a website on beef  given on a website on bed covers is not something natural and search engines deprecate such links. 

    A few links on unrelated sites can be ignored and would lead to loss of that link's juice, but search engines would get alerted if such links are excessive and for no reason.

    3. Too much internal linking with unrelated posts is a no-no.

    Internal linking is desirable as it helps the new post, old content and also the visitor by referencing all relevant content. It also helps search crawlers to understand the depth of information on a topic on the same website.


    desirable SEO
    Only ethical SEO works in the long term.
    There are many ways people link resources on the same website, e.g. by giving proper links, by categorising and displaying posts with the same label/ tag, by giving a list or thumbnails of related posts at the bottom of new posts, by having an index or archive of old posts, and so on.

    All the above-mentioned ways of internal linking are ethical. However, excess of good things too is bad, and we don't know when different search engines take internal linking as too much. So, it is better to be cautious and not indulge in too much internal linking.


    4. Irrelevant outbound linking loses worth.

    Not many people realize that even when you put a link of an authoritative source on our website, that can be a positive signal for search engines - because you are guiding the visitor to a good reference material. 

    Search engines are supposed to know when to take an external link as a positive signal and when not. Millions of websites have links to Google for one reason or the other - sometimes just because they have used a Google code on their website - and that would not give any points to the website. But if you have a blog on earthquakes and you have links to scientific resources on earthquakes on reputed international journals, that would matter. Moreover, it would give a better signal when such a link is part of the post than when it is part of a list.

    The opposite of this too is true. When you give links to shady websites - those indulging in unethical SEO and hacking, trolling and online abuse, aggressively pushing products, pornography, etc - there is a fair chance that search engines would suspect you of promoting anti-social and other bad acts. 


    5. Too specific links may look unnatural, particularly when too many.

    Cross-linking between websites becomes more suspect when specific anchor text is used for linking and is repeated many times. It is because there is a high probability that this has not happened naturally. 

    A related action would be linking to a specific page of a website too often.

    It is therefore a good practice to give different anchor texts when we have to link our other websites. When the other resource is really relevant to a discussion elsewhere, it is good to link the relevant expression to the related page, but resist the temptation to link them more than once within the same page/ post.


    6. Cross posting of content causes 'duplicate content', shows unwanted traffic intent.

    When the same content is posted at more than one places, search engines have difficulty in deciding which of the available versions is original and which duplicate. So, in one round of crawling, the search engine might index one version while in the second round, a different one. That reduces the value of both the versions.

    In addition, posting the same content again and again with no or small change is a bad practice because it is artificial way to promote the same content. It also irritates visitors when they happen to find that the blogger/ content creator has himself copy-pasted his article in more than one place.


    7. Link farms, link exchanges are too bad for SEO in the long run.

    Link farms are not natural groups/ communities that develop among people with the same interest. They are created with the sole intent of linking and liking other's websites so that they get 'link juice' from other members of the community. Sometimes members are forced to like a few given websites so that whether they get the link advantage or not, the chosen ones get hundreds of links. There are many shady ways that the promoters and moderators of such communities adopt to help themselves. 

    As a member of such a community, you may get some amount of traffic and likes, but that is worthless as the visitors are not the ones really interested in your content; in addition, you have the risk of your website's reputation going down.

    All types of communities that promote unnatural link-building, are bugbears for all search engines. 

    8. Badges give useless links. Use them only if they serve a purpose beyond linking.

    We often create badges that we give to others for being part of our community or for participating in some competition or achieving a milestone. 

    Badges are generally linked to the website that issues the badge. Therefore, the websites are not often on the same topic, and the link does not have a meaningful anchor text. For search engines, this type of links are either useless or undesirable.

    We at ITB keep issuing badges for the two directories that we compile every year. We discontinued issuing badges last year when we felt that in the eyes of search engines, we were indulging in an unnatural activity. But then, we received many emails and comments from bloggers whose blog figured in the directories asking us to continue issuing badge. So, we have again started issuing badges even if it hurts us. Hope, Google finds no bad intent in that!

    As a blogger who puts badges on the blog, it is not a big SEO issue, but too many badges, especially when not from good websites/ blogs, mar the reputation of the blog and they also clutter the blog.


    9. PBN and other one way links to a single website are highly undesirable SEO techniques.

    You might be getting occasional messages on your email offering you huge traffic to your blog by becoming member of a private blog network or PBN. 

    PBNs are created by buying obsolete blogs that used to have good standing. These are then used for sending links to a target website. Search engines are thus fooled into believing that the website is getting natural links from good blogs/ websites.

    The guy who creates such PBNs then offers links to other website owners and bloggers with the promise that the website or blog would get a jump in search ranking. Naturally, the website that gets links from the PBN gets an initial high ranking due to good links but the reputation plunges when the links are found out to be from a PBN. To avoid being caught, PBN operators keep buying more old blogs. 

    PBN or similar link-building methods are frauds meant to cheat search engines, and there is no other reason for their existence. Therefore, the penalty for being part of a PBN can be very heavy and one must resist the temptation of joining a PBN for the sake of quick traffic.

    October 9, 2018

    Design Wizard - an intuitive and fast online design creator with many freebies!

    In our earlier posts on useful software for bloggers and people in general, we have talked about image editors of all types - professional, online, free and paid.

    This time, let us introduce you to Design Wizard - an online designing tool. As the name suggests, this new workhorse works like a wizard, full of resources and tools. 

    We went through the free plan and found it as good as the top available online tools and even better in some respects. 

    design-software

    Its key features worth mentioning are:

    • ease of use: its features are intuitive and very easy to use
    • a large collection of free design presets for different purposes
    • a good collection of free photos, and option to upload one's own photos 
    • a large number of free fonts
    • layer based editing, so that you can edit different elements without disturbing other elements
    • option to create video and make a mix of images, text and videos

    In its premium plans, it offers many more features and frills including more resources, more storage space and more social sharing.

    Those who are active on social media or designing and are always short of time would find Design Wizard especially useful. 

    October 4, 2018

    Social media updates: Facebook's vulnerability, Elon Musk's Twitter indiscretions, Pew's findings and some more.

    Facebook says, it suffered major hacking attempt: It is the users who suffer, more than the platform.


    Last week, the social media giant announced that its security team had discovered a security issue that had affected 50 million accounts and that the investigations were in an early stage.  It claims to have plugged the security leak and has reset the access tokens of the affected accounts.

    Facebook informs that the vulnerability arose in one of its feature called 'view as' by which you could test your profile as to how it would look to a third person. Facebook has now switched off this feature.

    This is a more elaborate explanation given by Facebook on its blog:
    An external actor attacked our systems and exploited a vulnerability that exposed Facebook access tokens for people’s accounts in HTML when we rendered a particular component of the “View As” feature. The vulnerability was the result of the interaction of three distinct bugs:

    First: View As should be a view-only interface. However, for one type of composer (the box that lets you post content to Facebook) — specifically the version that enables people to wish their friends happy birthday — View As incorrectly provided the opportunity to post a video.

    Second: A new version of our video uploader (the interface that would be presented as a result of the first bug), introduced in July 2017, incorrectly generated an access token that had the permissions of the Facebook mobile app.

    Third: When the video uploader appeared as part of View As, it generated the access token not for you as the viewer, but for the user that you were looking up.

    It was the combination of these three bugs that became a vulnerability: when using the View As feature to view your profile as a friend, the code did not remove the composer that lets people wish you happy birthday; the video uploader would generate an access token when it shouldn’t have; and when the access token was generated, it was not for you but the person being looked up. That access token was then available in the HTML of the page, which the attackers were able to extract and exploit to log in as another user.

    The attackers were then able to pivot from that access token to other accounts, performing the same actions and obtaining further access tokens

     

    Now you know the price of Elon Musk tweet: $20 million and chairman's post!


    It can be debated whether the idea of Elon Musk to make Tesla a private company dethroned him from his exalted position or was it his tweet to this effect that was the culprit. 

    Elon Musk tweet
    The harm is done and is continuing: Elon Musk, the boss of electric car tech giant Tesla has been fined $20 million for that fateful tweet and has to lose the office of chairman of the firm (as on date, he remains the CEO); an inquiry is going on into the conduct of Musk (i.e. whether that tweet showed a criminal intent of manipulating company's shares); Tesla's shares have lost big after the tweet. 

    Musk had earlier this year invited controversy when he called the British diver as a pedophile - the one who had helped rescue of a Thai football team from a watery cave.
     

    Pew finds that internet use in the US has plateaued


    Pew Research Center has, in its latest report on use of internet in the US, found that overall, the use of internet and social media and device ownership has plateaued since 2016. Internet and social media use seem to have come to a level of saturation. Against 67% who said they had internet at home in 2016, only 65% now say so. It is not that everybody used internet or modern devices but the reasons for non-use continue to be the same: lack of spending power, old age, physical disability, no perceptible need for internet especially in rural areas. 
    The main areas where there is perceptible change are:
    • Mobile-only [i.e. people having internet only on smartphones and no broadband at home] population has risen from 12% in 2016 to 20% now.
    • Instagram's use has risen among adults from 28% to 35% in the last two years.
    • The use of Internet of Things or connected devices is rising and use of assistants on mobile phones and at homes is rising too.

     

    Hacking expert blogger has to hacks his blog, but why?


    Zheng Dutao, a Cinese engineer who had gone to Singapore to attend a conference on hacking, hacked his hotel's wifi and posted the procedure on his blog.

    The end was on the expected lines: he was fined $3600 by Singapore authorities and had to delete his blog. It is not known whether his employer, Tencent, would reward him for his talent or fire him for the indiscretion - that too in a foreign land.

    September 30, 2018

    Releasing the Best Hindi Blogs Directory 2018

    इस पोस्ट को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए नीचे जाएं. 

    The 2018 edition of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs is being released today. This is the 7th edition of the directory.

    Year by year, we have been finding that many established blogs either become very irregular or disappear without a trace. We reckon that this is mostly due to very personal nature of Hindi blogs. There is no monetary incentive to the blogger to carry on; when the blogger gets sick or finds that the exercise is becoming a burden due to family or personal reasons, he/ she ignores it.

    There used to be very good blogs under Hindi newspapers' banners. Since last year, Hindi blogosphere has lost some very good blogs in Dainik Jagaran portal as the paper has stopped supporting blogging. Now only Navbharat Times supports blogging, and one is not sure when it will also stop doing that.That is surely not good for blogging in Hindi.

    Of late, like on YouTube, youth have started independent blogs with tutorials on technical subjects in Hindi. There is a big market for such products but the bloggers seem to be in a hurry to make money. Many of them have just got a certificate and find the blog/ YouTube one means to exploit their half-baked knowledge. Their blogs usually are of a poor standard in terms of content and empathy with the reader. While their YouTube channels sometimes click because equally curious and impatient learners click on the videos and subscribe to them, but that does not work on blogs. Needless to say, such blogs decay over time. Even if they roll on, they are of poor quality. This is in contrast with western and Indian English blogospheres, which have become quite mature.

    Having said that, let us share that a large number of Hindi blogs are of excellent quality: mostly in terms of content. Not many of them have good design or the bloggers have not bothered about design at all. Yet, the content and regularity of posting makes them worth being called 'the best Hindi blogs'. The Directory is a collection of such selected blogs.

    In the Hindi blogging sphere, many bloggers use the platform as an extension of their literary activities. Such blogs have not only been regular, they have been serving the purpose quite well. That is the reason, a disproportionately large number of blogs in the Directory are of this nature. 
    As always, the Directory is the fruit of our labor. We do not let any consideration other than quality influence our selection. We'd welcome suggestions how we can contribute towards enriching the Hindi blogosphere.


    हिंदी के उत्कृष्ट ब्लॉग्स की डायरेक्टरी का सातवां संस्करण पेश करते हुए बहुत ख़ुशी हो रही है. 

    साल दर साल हम देख रहे हैं कि कई ब्लॉग जो बहुत समय से चल रहे होते हैं वह भी अचानक चुप हो जाते हैं या फिर पूरी तरह ग़ायब हो जाते हैं. हिंदी के ब्लॉगों का स्वरुप शायद इसके लिए ज़िम्मेदार है. हमारा अभिप्राय है कि चूँकि ज़्यादातर ब्लॉग पर्सनल ब्लॉग हैं, उनका चलना या न चलना व्यक्ति विशेष के स्वास्थ्य, पारिवारिक हालत आदि पर निर्भर होता है. 

    समाचार-पत्र शुरू में ब्लॉगों को बहुत महत्व दे रहे थे, लेकिन अब ऐसा नहीं है. पिछले वर्ष से दैनिक जागरण ने ब्लॉगिंग से हाथ खींच लिया है और वो सब ब्लॉग जो काफी अच्छे होते थे, समाप्त हो चुके हैं. नवभारत टाइम्स के बैनर तले कुछ ब्लॉग अभी शेष बचे हैं, देखना है यह अख़बार इन्हें कब तक जीवित रखता है. 

    हिंदी के अच्छे ब्लॉग अधिकतर साहित्यिक हैं या फिर काफी हद तक अपने या परिवार के बारे में. इंग्लिश के ब्लॉग ज़्यादातर प्रोफेशनल हो चुके हैं, और उनमें विभिन्न विषयों पर स्तरीय सामग्री होती है. ब्लॉगर उनका उपयोग पैसे कमाने में भी बहुधा करते हैं. वहां ऐसे ब्लॉगों में प्रौढ़ता आ चुकी है जो हिंदी के ब्लॉग संसार में नहीं दिखती. कुछ युवा जल्दी पैसे कमाने के चक्कर में विशेषकर तकनीकी विषयों पर ब्लॉग बना लेते हैं जिनका स्तर बहुत ख़राब होता है, उनके यूट्यूब चैनलों की तरह.

    सब मिलाकर, ऐसा नहीं है कि हिंदी में अच्छे ब्लॉग नहीं लिखे जा रहे. चूंकि ऐसे ब्लॉग हैं, इसलिए ही तो हम प्रति वर्ष हिंदी के श्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डायरेक्टरी निकाल पा रहे हैं. लेकिन यह ठीक नहीं लगता की हिंदी के ब्लॉगों का दायरा सीमित हो कर रह गया है, और उनमें डिज़ाइन के प्रति या तो बेरुखी या फिर अनभिज्ञता नज़र आती है.

    डायरेक्टरी आपके सामने है. आप डायरेक्टरी पर इस लिंक से पहुँच सकते हैं: हिंदी के उत्कृष्ट ब्लॉगों की डायरेक्टरी

    हम हिंदी ब्लॉग संसार के संवर्धन में किस तरह योगदान दे सकते हैं, इस पर आपके सुझावों का स्वागत है.


    पिछले साल हमने डायरेक्टरी के लिए बैज जारी नही किया तो कई मित्रों से शिकायत मिली. इस वर्ष फिर से हमने डायरेक्टरी से लिंक करने के लिए नया बैज बनाया है, हालांकि यह बात सामने आई है कि बैज ज़ारी करना Google को पसंद नहीं है क्योंकि इसका उपयोग बहुधा अपनी वेबसाइट पर ट्रैफिक लाने के लिए होता है. ब्लॉगर मित्र जिनका ब्लॉग डायरेक्टरी में है और वो हिंदी की डायरेक्टरी का बैज अपने ब्लॉग पर लगाना चाहते हैं, नीचे दिए हुए कोड (अंग्रेज़ी में नीले रंग में) को ब्लॉग पोस्ट के HTML में या HTMLगैजेट/ विजेट पर पेस्ट कर दें. 
    इस बैज का कोड : 
    <a href="https://www.indiantopblogs.com/p/hindi-blog-directory.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gYqRzxLfmLc/W6M0ymqDbXI/AAAAAAAAEvI/NolWTghbqi0uPvdaCAPEkWjUk9ECsuVBACLcBGAs/s1600/itb-hindi-18.png" alt="best hindi blogs" style="border: 0;" /></a>

    September 27, 2018

    Best web hosts: the listing keeps changing. Is Amazon at the top?

    Among web hosting service providers, the race to the top continue, both in numbers and quality service. In different surveys and studies, different web hosts shine and others are dumped. There seems to be bias too in selection of top scorers, based on commercial considerations, and technical reasons.

    But over time, one or two web hosts have been found to pip others due to their excellent uptime and service levels. 

    A majority of reviewers seem to find Amazon as the best for enterprise and on cloud, while GoDaddy seems to be ruling the retail world. 

    Hostreview has been giving monthly and yearly rankings to web hosts. Monthly ranks keep changing. For 2017, which is still the latest rank, it has found peak10 as the overall topper, followed by DATAPIPE, HostGator, DigitalOcean, Multacom, SoftLayer, Linode, GoDaddy, UnitedLayer and LiquidWeb.

    The criteria? "This includes the plans, prices, uptime, guarantee and customer support, as well as the web hosting reviews over the year and the online presence of the companies."

    This website awards different types of web hosts in different categories. You can see the category top ten here: Web Host Awards.


    While Amazon Web Services getting the top award in cloud computing is obvious, most top awardees are not the most popular ones. 

    In their latest web host rankings, all biggest global names are yet again not the toppers overall. But Amazon is among the best; DreamHost is one of the most affordable web host; Alibaba Cloud among the best cloud web hosting service.

    September 24, 2018

    Is Facebook going the way Orkut went? What would then rule the social media?

    Facebook cannot be compared with Orkut, the social media biggie when Facebook came to the scene and annihilated it.

    Yet, things seem to be happening the same way, as if history repeating itself. Facebook is already slowing down and is embroiled in controversies relating to data privacy, the platform's impact on young minds, its misuse in elections and so on.

    I am not being a doomsayer; I have been seeing the decline of the present wave of social media coming at the beginning of the next decade. It is almost predestined. A balloon cannot remain inflated for too long.

    The social media observers would perhaps not mind the decline and death of Facebook and its sister, Instagram. But, their annihilators are yet not in place. The worrying issue is not their demise but the prospect that the new entities may be worse than these. They may be much more immersive and instant; they may be more manipulative, more addictive. The fast growth of connectivity and higher bandwidth, much faster growth of video, use of artificial intelligence in our lives - all these are waiting to result into a new social media entity that would rule the world 3-4 years from now.

    Let's see.


    September 21, 2018

    Wordpress and Blogger: both have good news for bloggers!

    Let me share that both, Wordpress and Blogger, have come with some interesting features on their blogging platforms.

    Wordpress has been working on Gutenberg project, one of whose main aims is to make posting of rich text easier on the blog editor. The other one is to migrate the web-design of blogs/ websites to be created using Wordpress to a more customizable 'block' based design of websites. This has already been on offer as a plugin, but the formal release is expected with Wordpress 5.0.

    Wordpress promises that users will be very satisfied with these new features. It also says, 'it is just the beginning'!

    You can download Gutenberg and learn about its features here: Gutenberg by Wordpress



    Coming to Blogger. This platform had announced in May about some cleaning more than new features. That included discarding OpenID and third-party widgets. 

    But recently, Blogger has issued a new app, Blog Compass, for blogging. On both Android and iOS, this app is presently available only in India and is reported to have some bugs such as not being able to find existing blogs. 

    Blogger says, it is migrating all the existing blogs to a new cloud-based storage system called Spanner that is very robust and has 99.999% uptime. 

    September 19, 2018

    happeningheads

    Happening Heads
    http://www.happeningheads.com

    lifestyle blog by Priyanka, Prathamesh
     
    "We blog across various categories because we just can't stop ourselves from sharing the happening experiences we have while exploring the beauty of world through traveling, drooling in the lusciousness​ of delectable food, keeping a close eye on latest fashion trends, revealing a part of our luxurious lifestyle, sharing our expertise on technology, bringing you all the action from leading events of the country, interacting through personal articles and more."
    - Priyanka RP, Prathamesh Avachare

    September 11, 2018

    3 top blogs by expatriates in India

    When you live in a country other than where you spent your young age, you observe everything with a curious mind. It leads to great human discoveries. When you share them with others, in person, those many people know about that country from a new perspective. When you run a blog or website where you share your insights, that becomes an invaluable resource.

    I share below three beautiful and resourceful blogs by expatriates in India. Indians as well as outsiders would find their worldview interesting.

    1

    The White Hindu is Ambaa's blog, in existence since 2012. In the last six years, she has written in her blog on Indian culture and society, and Hindu religion and philosophy. The blog is part of Patheos portal, which is devoted to religion and spirituality. 



    Ambaa describes herself and the blog thus: An American woman of European ancestry who practices Hinduism. She has been involved in Indian philosophy since 1982 and Indian culture since 2004. She loves to learn about people’s spirituality and how they find meaning in their lives.

    2

    Antonina, Ukrainian by birth, has been maintaining a nice blog, India Palette, for the last four years.

    Her take about how her initial years in India were, in one sentence: I’m amazed, horrified, puzzled, fascinated, irritated, pleased, flattered, intrigued, furious and happy. If it makes any sense at all. 🙂
    Now things are much calmer, she says. 


    About the blog, she says, it deals only with travel and not inter-cultural talk.

    3

    Madh Mama is a 7-year old well-maintained blog by Alexandra, a Canadian by birth. 


    I fell in love and married my soulmate... and then I inherited a big fat South Indian family. Here is my unfiltered view of what it's really like... to be a finarngi bahu*, is how she sums up her blog and her living in India. 
    *= foreigner daughter in law