Sunday, July 31, 2011
12:53 am | Sunday, July 31st, 2011
TACURONG CITY, Sultan Kudarat – A bane, as many put the mammoth sight of water hyacinth native to the Ligawasan Marsh, but a boon to a woman who is cashing in on its fiber.
Melinda Bonayos, 49, was clearly the most admired participant at the South Cotabato’s Industrial Expo 2011, a fair showcasing locally produced food, arts and crafts, as all eyes are into her pile of colorful bags and slippers.
“The response I got at the fair from people has been overwhelming. Everybody is amazed by the quality and strength of the materials, and beauty of the products,” she says, adding that she has got trade inquiries from other towns already.
Deemed as weeds that clog bodies of water the world over, and blamed in the massive flooding across the low-lying villages around the region, the water hyacinth emerged as a source for handicraft as diverse as bags and slippers for Bonayos, even opening up a venue to showcase her craft among other interest groups.
The government’s huge spending of public money to clear the courses of Rio Grande de Mindanao of the weed saddens Bonayos. “If only they could just give me those,” she sighs of the utter waste of raw materials. “If only closely watched with creativity, the water hyacinth can build a fortune.”
For five years now, the scope of the water hyacinth has proven huge for Bonayos. She has used its fiber, and soon will explore further its other use despite the intricate work involved. “The raw materials abound, but I need to persevere on the job.”
Bonayos, considered the pioneering weaver by colleagues, picked up the skill in the 1980s. She left for Sabah in Malaysia in 1989 to harness her knack in needlework in a private company. Bags, stuffed toys, wall decors, quilting and dressmaking – she made them all. A year after, she was hired by a client from Kota Kinabalu to train Malaysian and Cambodian nationals in weaving.
But her two growing children left in Tacurong with her husband proved so hard for Bonayos that she left Malaysia in 1994 and went back to the Philippines with about P30,000 savings, which she used as start- up funds in churning blankets and pillow cases she sent to her sister who sold them in a five-star hotel in the Middle East.
The business was short-lived as she became pregnant with her third baby. “I often got sick and my assistant could not do the job anymore, so I had to stop running it.”
She ventured in reselling charcoal but failed. Then the family grew corn in their farm.
Timing has it
In 2002, a Department of Trade and Industry pursued unemployed mothers to a livelihood training who knew sewing. Bonayos clinched a spot and nailed it.
“Out of 40 mothers, three had experience in sewing, but I was the only one who got through the end. I was the only one who graduated from the batch who worked seamlessly,” she recalled.
The training proved a feat for Bonayos and she took the job seriously.
In 2003, equipped and inspired by her new-found love in weaving raw materials, she bought sacks and sacks of corn husks for P3 a kilo and made a twine to create bags, slippers and mats. She registered Double Day Handicraft under her name, and it thrived for sometime. The negative feedback from her clients proved too daunting for her.
“The material is not good for handicraft due to its coarse feel,” she says.
In 2006, another DTI-led coaching pushed Bonayos to be extra creative. “They practically shook us … One trainer said that all raw materials around us can be made into handicraft,” Bonayos says.
Challenged, she scoured all the corners of Barangay Poblacion and found all kinds of grasses that are plentiful – sea grass, cogon grass, lemon grass. But their quality never passed her expectations.
Her search for the perfect raw material ended when she noticed a swamp of water hyacinth at the family’s backyard.
Intrigued at the sea of water hyacinth just at her swampy backyard, she dissected each part and focused on its stem. She dried the stems to sample its fiber following a rigorous treatment to achieve its desired form.
“The fiber turned out strong and could last,” she says. Luck has found Bonayos. And she began the hunt for the perfect stems across town.
On regular days, Bonayos can finish a medium-sized bag in two hours at the family home in Barangay Poblacion that serves as her production area and display center catering to walk-in clients. About 50 stalks make 25 meters of twine enough to fashion a purse, according to Bonayos, that costs P200 in the market.
She concedes, however, that her produce is limited because of the lack of capital and better equipment to enable her to mass-produce even if she feels comfortable to be self-reliant in this endeavor. Bonayos had previously joined trade fairs in Koronadal and Tacurong, and recently in Manila to gain mass support despite being cash scarce. Local governments, including the Sultan Kudarat government and government agencies, introduced her crafts in various trade fairs.
After successfully coming out with bags and slippers, Bonayos is now into the next level, by making cloth out of the fiber.
“I have just made one,” Bonayos says.
A Filipino designer based in Canada has called her of her recent discovery.
“If only the government would invest seriously in making a livelihood out of the many raw materials,” hopes Bonayos.
Spreading the fortune
In 2009, progressive farmers in Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, a town surrounded by a sea of water hyacinth, have found their fortune in the weed. Hadja Sarika Pendatun, wife of the late former mayor of Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, was enamored with the whole idea that she has personally begun motivating people to process water hyacinth in creating jobs.
Bonayos, leading the pack, has taken the task of mentoring women living near the marsh where the raw materials abound.
A key role is played by the Women’s Rural Improvement Club Consumers Cooperative, a Gen. Salipada Pendatun-based group that she has trained how to process – from drying to treatment – water hyacinth suitable for craft work. The cooperative, formerly a catering enterprise by a handful of local government employees, has now grown to P600,000-worth venture of handicraft such as bags, sandals, mats, home decors and even twines, solely made from water hyacinth.
The cooperative, founded in 1994 by Pendatun, which now boasts of 1,600 members mostly evacuees women artisans who did not take much time to adapt to water hyacinth, now has its display center in Barangay Badak. Like Bonayos, the cooperative has exhibited in many expositions across the country, recently in Manila last April.
The men, who are not into weaving, earn from harvesting and drying stalks of the water hyacinths.
The cooperative harvests about 10 tons of water hyacinths each year.
To make the menacing water hyacinth useful, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and Las Piñas City government had begun training Cotabato City residents in creating mats and handicraft, making this training sustainable in the long term.
The idea that struck Bonayos has started a new movement in the water hyacinth-rich areas in Maguindanao, and for her, it’s a better-late-than-never effort to save low-lying villages from destruction.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
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From AEONetInc website: www.aeonetinc.com
BACKGROUND OF SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very difficult, but it will soon get much, much worse.
Six years ago you could easily count the firms doing SEO work. The number of sites competing for each search term were fewer, and the state of the art spamming tricks centered on white-on-white text and multiple title tags. Getting a top ranking out of the 50,000 results returned was relatively easy to accomplish because those 50k results were most often poorly optimized. Getting into the top 10 meant being in the top 0.02% of the 50k results, which is certainly not trivial, but easily accomplished when facing naﶥ competition. With a little effort site owners could do it themselves.
Now the tip of the iceberg is larger. Time has caused two things to happen: the SEO competition is trickier than 6 years ago, and the population of web sites is larger. There are now around 250,000 results for most 2-word searches, and the new sites are often tuned by SEO practitioners. Instead of needing to be in the top 0.02%, you now need to be in the top 0.005% of a more competitive group of pages. Such rankings are still possible, but beyond the ability of most site owners. You still need to be in the top 0.008% of all sites to be top 10.
But now we see that it is truly the tip of an iceberg. What we have never before seen is a massive amount of hidden content that previously resided behind the barriers inherent to dynamic content web sites. It has been estimated that the web is actually 500 times larger than the number of pages spidered to date. For the search engines the good news is that the 90:10 rule applies, and that by adding only 50 times more pages, instead of the 500 times predicted to exist as hidden pages, they will account for 90% of the frequently used content on the web.
For SEO practitioners, it means that rapid growth in the number of indexed pages is imminent. As a result, getting a top 10 ranking will soon mean getting a site ranked in the top 0.0002% of the results. Obviously this is not work for lesser SEO practitioners, and certainly beyond the capabilities of most site owners. In fact, I suspect that most SEO firms will be unable to satisfy their clients ranking requests (close, but no top 10) and there will be significant client dissatisfaction with SEO results, employing 3 or more SEO practitioners without success.
For web design firms, they will find that the rush to the web will come to a crawl. Many web designers will be hard pressed to find new business as prospective clients find search engine ranking beyond their financial reach. If so, I expect there to be renewed focus on alternate promotion activities such as PPC engines, ads, and yes, maybe even resurrected banners for the initial nine months or so for each SEO project. Now the numbers game starts. Suppose there are 200k results today to a 2-word query, and suppose there are only 50 times as many pages for each query.
I believe it is realistic to find ourselves with ten million pages in response to each inquiry within one to two years. Now suppose the average page starts in the middle (5,000,000), and that the average ranking can always be increased 90% with each consecutive "improvement". That means that after tweak 1 the ranking improves by 90% to 500k, tweak 2: ranking is now 50k, tweak 3: 5k, tweak 4: 500, tweak 5: 50, and tweak 6 may result in a top 10 ranking. Nobody can get 6 consecutive 90% gains facing increased competition from optimized sites without the right analysis tools and methodologies, and many tweaks may prove ineffective.
In fact, the effectiveness of consecutive tweaks diminishes, such that tweak one is 90%, two is maybe 75%, three is maybe 60% and so on. Remember, your competition is tweaking at the same time, and the search engines are constantly refining their algorithms to keep pace with this new content. And each consecutive tweak is more difficult than the previous due to the quality and quantity of the competition. This means that only the top SEO practitioners can ever attain a top 10 result for a meaningful keyword. The rest will just fade away.
Aside from the additional number of tweaks, each with a submission and spidering cycle of over three weeks (making this a much longer process than today, probably doubling the project schedule a year from now), the precision needed to rank a page well in one search engine will certainly disqualify that same page from a simultaneous top ranking in many search engines.
Pages that rank well today in many engines will find that their aggregated ranking will erode and sites will have to settle for ranking in only the three or four engines at a time. If a client wants other engines to rank their site, then they must tune additional pages, thus they will have to expand their content and Search Engine Optimization base to include many more pages within their site. Optimizing more pages is certainly the way to go, but it doubles or triples the work involved by the SEO practitioner. As a result, SEO practitioners have a much more difficult battle, they require much more sophisticated. integrated tools, and projects require more time.
They must optimize more pages, and thus they must inherently charge much more than today. If this is done top rankings are still very possible, but this becomes the realm of only the exceptionally competent (or very lucky) SEO practitioner. Expect a significant growth in the number of indexed pages and expect a fallout of those SEO practitioners that are no longer viable. You can also expect longer Search Engine Optimization schedules, expect fewer top rankings per optimized page (necessitating larger projects), and expect an increase in pricing of at least triple that paid today.
What this does to the entire web industry is to scare off those without the funds to participate in a competent SEO effort. What was once thought of as free now has a high cost-of-entry. And this will kill the web as a golden goose. It will cost much more to make money on the web, just like in a "real business".
The rewards are getting larger, but so is the cost. And as with the Emperors New Clothes, many SEO practitioners have been reluctant to discuss this transformation for fear of getting hurt (scaring off customers). I, for one, am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work for the just rewards. But not everybody is as capable.
Many in the SEO industry are standing there naked, and it isn't a pretty picture. But it is time to expose the difficulties associated with SEO.
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From AEONetInc website: www.aeonetinc.com
Friday, March 31, 2006
New Trends in Increasing Your Website Exposure
It is not the same old Internet any longer as far as advertising goes. There are new methods to promote your website that will advantage you by increasing your bank balance. What follows are five new methods of Internet advertising that people are using to drive clientele to their website. The basic idea that 'content is king' combined with correct keyword practice is the way to go. You will not be sorry using these methods of advertising.
The number one Internet advertising plan for drawing clientele to your website is the use of a blog. A blog is a perpetual online periodical on your individual views or information on related subject matters. People that read your blog are continually conscious of your thoughts and opinions, especially those about your company and products. The advantage of promoting your company through a blog is the fact that the search engines love blogs. Fresh new content and a few good keywords mixed in will push your site higher in the search engine rankings. People will see it and more clientele will flock to your place.
In your blog, be sure to add information of value such as products reviews, or general business advice. This draws consumer interest. Additionally, other bloggers may wish to connect with your blog, and you can draw in customers from their blogs. That will repeatedly feed your position and over time, client loyalty and trust will drive your website and feed new customers into your site. You can create blogs for free at blogger.com, or if you want to host your own blog, Wordpress is a viable option. Many web hosts have this script that can be installed from their control panel.
Though, with no RSS, or Really Simple Syndication feeds, your blog may be fated to be unsuccessful. RSS feeds work by aggregating your blog information and distributing it to the customer, who will need to have a web browser or special software that can read RSS feeds. Most any information can be sent through an RSS feed. The good thing about using a blog with a RSS Feed is that often your content gets to the media. A well-written blog with quality recommendations and advice lends you credibility in your business area. Be ready, you could have a journalist knocking at your door.
One more area in which you can add interest to your website is with the use of PHP coding. One of the drawbacks to by an RSS feed is that since it is a lively page ' the spiders will not catch it quick. For example, if it has to wait too long to directory it with the system whole, it will just move on. There are belongings you can do to work with the PHP language, and it will advantage you to learn how to do it. At least with the PHP, you can make your pages on the place look like HTML records.
Be sure and remember to use the text links too. Links to other great sites is a new publicity tendency you can use for more website contact. With SEO, Search Engine Optimization, companies use text link advertising to get their site into higher rankings. You can use auctions where you bid only on what you think you need, or through a brokerage, you can buy and sell text links. Just like with banners you can change trade links too.
Bookmark technology and methods to use them have come a long way. Most agree that getting an important person to bookmark your site will lead to prospect sales. People hardly ever ask for a customer to bookmark their place though. There are software programs that you can use to make book marking simple.
All you have to do is to provide a link and your customers can bookmark with no trouble. Some Java writing software will bookmark your site for your client. There is a small charge concerned for you. A simple 'Add This Site To Favorites' or 'Please BookMark Us' button is often enough to get the client to bookmark. Certain software will also add a special image when the client saves the site. You can do it yourself by creating a small 75X75 pixel image and upload it to your site with the name 'favicon.ico' This makes it easy to stand out from the other bookmarked sites. Pop-ups help you to get your client to bookmark too. New software will be remind your client to bookmark as they are leaving your site, and even to bookmark with their consent.
The Internet is a lively advertising experience. Consequently, the better you are at implementing its new advertising methods, the more profits you will make. So learn all you can about these five methods on new advertising trends and go grab some customers that will be with you for life.
About the Author: John Amburn is the owner of USA Business Net providing quality web hosting through both StonesThrowHosting.com.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
5 Secrets to Effective Pay-Per-Click Advertising
With so many companies swarming the World Wide Web with their products, how can you and your products and services stand out?
Your ready answer would most likely be effective marketing. But how? How can you catch the eye of a surfer skimming carelessly through web pages? How can you keep the attention of a typical website reader who spends no more than 30 seconds to read any given article online? How can you garner sales online?
One marketing technique is to be listed in search engines - but again, with thousands of companies offering the same products and services as you, how can your scream for attention be heard?
One technique is pay per click advertising, or PPC. You write out and place an advertisement in a search engine, list yourself under keywords of your choosing, and bid on the placement of your ads. This narrows your field to the people who are actively searching for your products and services.
If someone finds the ad and clicks it, that person goes to your website, and you pay the bid price. As a rule, the higher you bid, the higher your ad goes in the list of search results for a certain keyword, and the more people will go to your site.
PPC can be used to widen your reach, but it can be very expensive, especially if people click your ad only out of curiosity, or if you bid on more keywords than your budget can handle. However, PPC can get you customers and increase your profits. If done well, it can earn you money.
Here are five tips to get the most out of PPC.
Get Ten Specific Keywords.
If you are a company specializing in exercise equipment, don't select "exercise equipment" or "gym" as your keywords. Chances are, there will be hundreds of thousands of other bidders waiting to jump on those same keywords. Be specific. Try "treadmill" or "stationary bike." Select a maximum of ten words, just to test the waters and see how your potential customers respond. If the first ten keywords succeed in getting you a larger market, then research additional keywords which are not as specific. However, if your first try yields less than satisfactory results, then try another set of keywords if you can still afford it.
Write Your Ads but Write the Truth.
Most ad writers will broadcast their wares as being the be-all and cure all of all ills and pains. If they do this, web users will click on their ads and storm the site. This is well and good if the product or service will live up to the ad's promise - but what if it doesn't? A customer clicks, you pay, but the customer doesn't buy. You lose.
Write a succinct but accurate ad that doesn't sue vague language. Avoid using words such as "free," "low cost," "extremely effective," and "cheap." Tailor your ads to fit the keyword, and if you can, include your prices on the ads. This way, you will get a buyer who is ready and willing to purchase your product or service.
Budget Your Bid.
It's tempting to go all out and set your prices, especially if you think your product will sell. But what if it won't? Set a monthly budget of about $100 for your bids, and bid just right - bid too high and you will run out of money, bid too low and your ads won't show up.
Even if you believe in your product, keep within bid budget, and do not get into bidding wars, especially with another advertiser who has a much larger budget than you. Don't waste your time thinking about your bids. Instead, invest your time in designing what your ad is linked to, which brings us to:
Make Your Site a Professional One.
The standard rules of web design apply. Check your web content for spelling and grammatical errors. Update your web content regularly. Fix any broken links and images. Design your website so that it will be easy to navigate and load, so do not use Flash animation, as this will slow down your buyers' browsers. Link your ads to the exact place on your site where your product or service appears.
Know When to Stop.
PPC ad campaigns can lead more buyers to you, but take care to check profit against spending. If you have already spent double your advertising budget, but have had little or no sales, consider dropping your campaign. You can also measure your progress in clicks. A total of 300 clicks is average for any ad. If your ad has reached 300 clicks and you have made no sales yet, then terminate your PPC project.
Equally as important as knowing when to stop is knowing that all is not yet lost and you can still go on. Running a web-based business means investing time, money, and effort, so keep your PPC up and running as long as you are raking money in. PPC, after all, may first mean pay-per-click, but, if you're successful, can soon mean Profiting Perfectly in Cash.
About the Author: Daegan Smith is the leader of the fastest growing team of successful home business enterpernuers on the net. Find out how we're creating financial freedom all across the globe and how to get in on the action free at http://www.comlev.net.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
1. Vary the keywords in your link 'anchor' text
Unless you provide only one product or service the chances are you will want to rank for many key phrases. One way to help achieve this objective is to change the link text you want all new sites to use periodically. Vary the anchor text slightly each time and by doing so you can cover more of your targeted key phrases. This approach can help your site rank for many keywords rather than just one or two.
If you do only provide one product or service on your web site it is still important to vary anchor text. If you sell 'blue widgets' then you could also use link text like 'cheap blue widgets' or 'blue widget store'. This means your links take on a more natural feel and are much less likely to be penalised or filtered out by search engines for being 'fake links'.
2. Set up your link information differently - create a link in context
Typically people set up their link information in a very similar way, however you could offer your link information with the hyperlink inside the description instead of at the beginning.
Imagine this is a description about your web site on a partner's link page. Instead of a typical hyperlink followed by a description you could write a sentence describing your web site and then place "your descriptive hyperlink" inside it.
One reason for doing this is that it reads more naturally and search engines may value the link higher as it reads more like a narrative. Many webmasters will be happy to accept this style even if some do not. To cover yourself offer the link in context as a second option along with your regular link information, that way if some sites can't support the layout you still get your link.
3. Vary where your links point
Try to vary where link partners point to on your site. It's fine to have the majority of links pointing into your home page, however it can be beneficial to have some links pointing to other key pages on your web site as well. Taking this approach balances out your linking and can help raise the profile of more pages on your web site.
4. How to find potential link partners from your competitors
If a web site links to your competitors it may also link to yours, and in order to find these potential link partners you can use search engines. Not so long ago Google was useful for getting a lot of back link information about a site. Recently Google's back link data is a lot less forthcoming and it now tends to show only a tiny percentage of the sites that are linking combined with a lot of internal link data. Whether the few web sites Google shows us are the ones it finds important or whether they are in fact red herrings we cannot say for certain. I would assume the latter.
Currently Yahoo is a better portal to check for backlinks. To generate a list of linking web sites on Yahoo simply go to http://www.yahoo.com and type the following into the Yahoo search bar. linkdomain:www.mycompetitorwebsite.com
This will deliver up to date link information as read by Yahoo. The only downside with the information is that one site may appear many times if it is giving multiple links.
5. Alternate your description text
This is often overlooked, but there is no real advantage to be had if the description text supporting your inbound links is always identical. To avoid the possibility of a description ever being seen as 'duplicate content' alternate it when you can. If you combine it with varied anchor text [as in tip 1] you're heading in the right direction.
6. Link to good related content from your web site
It seems like an obvious thing to say, but with so many people caught up in link exchanging you sometimes wonder if we're losing site of the basics. If you have something useful to say on your site and can back it up with a useful link to another web site then do so. Not every link has to be reciprocated. This resourceful linking will allow your visitors to read around the subject. Linking to informative related content is useful for visitors and search engines quite like it too.
7. Seek out directory links
Links from good web directories can be some of the best links you can get for your web site. Aaron Wall has a -directory of directories- at http://www.directoryarchives.com where you will find a great selection of search engine friendly directories. Some of the directories are free to get listed in whilst others may charge a fee.
About the Author: Gareth Davies is a web design consultant based in
Website link popularity is used to indicate how many other web pages link to your web page. It is calculated by counting the number of web pages that contain your link, also known as inbound links.
Proper website linking strategies can help you gain inbound links which in turn can greatly improve your search engine ranking.
For this reason, it's wise to maintain link popularity strategies as part of your overall search engine optimization efforts.
There are several linking techniques and strategies used to obtain inbound links. Here are a few popular strategies that just may bring you the results you need:
1. Reciprocal linking
This strategy involves exchanging links with other sites. You put their link on your site, they put your link on theirs. Probably the most common linking strategy, but there are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind:
- Link only to sites that have a page rank.
It's my preference to link to sites that have a page rank of 4 or better, however lower ranking is certainly acceptable.
I don't, however, recommend linking to sites that have no page rank at all. Sites that are penalized by the search engines for spamming or other various reasons will not achieve page rank, therefore; if you link to them you are liable to be penalized as well. This is not to say that all PR0 sites are being penalized,
this is not the case at all, but since you have no way of knowing for sure, it's safer, in my opinion, to wait until the site gains some sort of page rank before you link to it.
- Look for sites with high page rank but few links.
The higher the page rank and the fewer the links, the better. Stay away from link farms, these are typically sites with low or no page rank and many, many links.
- Link only to like sites.
Link to sites that are related to your site's topic. If your website is about pet care, link only to sites that are about pet care.
- Include your best keywords in the title and description that you give to your reciprocal link exchange sites. This creates association between your keywords and your site.
- Place your very best link exchange sites on your home page.
Don't overload your homepage with links, however it's acceptable to include a few high page rank links.
- Try to make sure the links coming into as well as going out from your page are related to the content on your page. Also try to keep the text of the link itself related to your page's topic.
2. Write articles and submit them to sites that accept articles.
Submit your articles with your resource box containing your name and website address. Article sites often have high page rank. Also, if someone decides to use your article on their site or in their newsletter you've just received a new inbound link.
3. Write product testimonials for products you found worthwhile and make sure the testimonial contains your website address. You will not only gain an inbound link, you can draw traffic from those that read your testimonial.
4. Include your own website's navigation as a linking strategy.
Every page of your site should include links to the rest of your site. It's a good idea to include a site map as well. Keep all your site navigation links consistent on each page.
5. Create useful and unique content on your website that will compel others to link to you. This will not only help improve your link popularity but it will also satisfy the search engines and very possibly increase your keyword search ranking.
6. Join Forums. Ask questions and contribute your knowledge. This will allow you to place your site URL in your signature line, which in turn creates an inbound link for you.
About the author: Elizabeth McGee has spent 20 years in the service and support industry. She has moved her expertise to the world wide web helping businesses find trusted tools, enhance customer service, build confidence and increase sales.