The eight scams peddled by SEO consultants

November 5, 2009 | By Lucio Ribeiro  

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the scream oddsock f 250w The eight scams peddled by SEO consultants

In the earlier years of internet marketing, the most common question I heard about search engine optimisation was, “SEO? What’s that?” Today I am more likely to hear, “SEO? We tried that and it didn’t’ work.”

The biggest challenge I now face with new SEO clients is cleaning up the mess left by their previous search engine optimisation company or individuals.

It’s not unusual to begin a project removing link farms, taking down doorway pages, stripping away clumsy optimisation tactics, cleaning stuffed keywords, rewriting titles and descriptions that barely make sense for search engines and re-writing content that doesn’t make sense to the users!

Most SEOers define SEO as the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” or unpaid (”organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.

I see it differently. SEO is about:

  1. improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web page (not a web site) from search engines via natural resources, and
  2. maximising your outcomes and ROI on investment from the process.

One more point: SEO is not free. It can certainly bring great percentage ROI, but it requires investment, time and planning.

Optimisation needs to be understood differently to maximisation. Every single page on your website is a potential point of conversion. Every single word and every single part of your whole web exercise should be crafted with this in mind. SEO should not drive traffic to your website generally but to the individual pages that are closely aligned to your prospects’ interests.

Remember, search engines crawl, index and present web pages, not websites. And while some people think of SEO as the Holy Grail, it is, in fact, just a means to a business end.

The main ‘end’ purpose of SEO is to generate commercial benefit to a business. It’s not to generate traffic, although that might be one of the ways of execute the strategy.

Traffic is the primary ‘How’. Conversions, sign-ups, donations are the ‘Why’.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of SEOers out there taking advantage of the unknowing site owner, selling snake oil and giving SEO a bad name.

Here are eight warning signs that an SEO “expert” is trying to rip you off.

Scam warning sign #1:  Asking you to invest all your budget in SEO.

While SEO can deliver a fantastic ROI, the reality is that Search Engines can change, your reality can change and SEO might not be the best option for your business in the future. So think twice before you invest a large chunk of your marketing budget in SEO. Think about alternatives to reach your clients. Consider pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, online coupons and starting a social media campaign.

Scam warning sign #2: “All search engine optimisation is about your home page.”

Every page of your site is a potential doorway. Users navigate via search, so map out keywords and selling propositions against URLs and try to offer the most relevant user experience in and out your website at all times.

Have every page of your website optimised for the particular subject you are describing. Having different meta tags for each page helps both users and search engines, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain.

Every single page offers a chance to convert customers. Why list your telephone number just on the contact page if you have buyers coming and landing on every single page?

Scam warning sign #3: “We will submit your site to 2,000 search engines!”

Google, Yahoo and Bing (let’s leave YouTube for the moment) are enough. Medium-smaller size search engines are usually powered by the big search engines, meaning if you are listed on the big three you will be automatically on the smaller ones.

In fact, the major search engines have been in this business for years, and they’ve gotten pretty good at finding sites themselves.

No need to submit, no need to pay someone to do so.

Scam warning sign #4: “Have your site optimised and promoted for only $29.95 a month!”

It’s simply unrealistic to expect good work from a professional SEO for such a small fee.

SEO is a long-term exercise base primarily on strategy. You need to build a base, go out, make good connections and relationships to your website, learn, improve, etc. This is simply not a free exercise. SEO is not a commodity as some companies might wish.

Does that mean that small companies with limited budget can’t do it?

No. It means that small companies with limited budgets need to understand the timeframes involved and question whether optimisation is the best answer for their needs.

Think about making incremental improvement to your web business using testimonials, new products, promotions, partnerships, constant updates in content, etc. That will help your rankings.

Or, if you’re insistent on optimisation, put extra effort into the start of the process, finding keywords with less competition but still with high value.

Scam warning sign #5. “We can’t tell you what we are doing — it’s a trade secret.”

Other than a few tid bits you uncover over years doing this kind of work, there really isn’t a whole lot of “secret” information. SEOers aren’t paid because they have some incredible secret wrapped up. They are paid because of the experience they have in dealing with the search engines, and the success they can bring to a site. They are being paid to offer the best solution in the context of your needs and reality.

If they can’t (or won’t) tell you what they’re doing, it’s probably because they don’t know and are trying to conceal this fact with smokes and mirrors.

Scam warning sign #6: “We know a guy at Google.”

I love this one, mostly because I know a guy at Google. I also know a guy at my local pub, but I still pay for beer. I know a guy at Telstra, and I still pay a monthly phone bill.

Trust me, Google is not going to risk the integrity of its search results just because someone knows someone. How naive!

Scam warning sign #7: Messing with keywords

Keywords are the soul of SEO.

Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it.

Knowing how to use your industry jargon, important keywords and most searched keywords is important.

But here’s the key: understanding the difference between popular keywords and keywords that are close to the end of a buying decision can make all the difference to your ROI.

Example: When performing SEO for a travel agency in Australia, we were researching keywords and trying to decide the leading word. It came down to decision between “Travel” and “Tour”.

Although there were four times more people looking for the keyword “travel”, we opted for “tour” because using pay-per-click for testing, searchers typing “Tour” were 70 percent more inclined to convert.

For every person searching for “seo” or “sem”, there are probably 10 people searching for more obscure queries like, “How do I promote my business on Google?” You can see how our page about link building ranks for hundreds of related keywords.

Try to pick a market position you feel you can dominate. The #20 result for “insurance” produces traffic worth $0. The #2 or #3 results for “pet insurance” yields far more.

Scam warning sign #8: “We guarantee page 1 rankings!”

Nobody can do this. Nobody. Check out what Google says.

In SEO, there are no guarantees on rankings, traffic or any other measure. Think of SEO like advertising (that’s really all it is, just online). The best marketing guys don’t guarantee anything, either. Neither do doctors or lawyers. You hire these professionals based on the questions you’ve asked them, their past successes, experience, etc. SEO is no different.

Good SEOers are good because they have spent years learning and testing, and know the measures most often needed to produce results. So if anyone guarantees anything, they are only guaranteeing that you will be wasting your hard-earned money.

Lucio Ribeiro is Partner/Founder at The Online Circle Interactive a full-service interactive agency that applies technical savvy, creativity and business accountability to internet marketing and effective cutting-edge solutions for the digital age. He was recently elected one of top 10 most trusted SEO/SEM professionals in the world by Marketing Today. Follow him on Twitter: @lucio_ribeiro.

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Google Celebrates Anniversaries For Sesame Street, Wallace & Gromit & Many Others | Main | MSN Home Page Gets a Major Face Lift

Back in August, Google began testing Sitelinks for AdWords, now it is official. The Google AdWords blog announced it last night, telling us this is a feature specifically designed to provide “users with more options, you can create richer, more relevant ads that improve the value of your brand terms and other targeted keywords.” The feature will show up to four additional links under the main ad for ads that “meet a certain high quality threshold.”

Of course, this is a lot like Google Sitelinks, the ones you see in the organic listings.

AdWords Ad Sitelinks

Again, not all advertisers get this option. To see if you have it, go to Campaign Settings tab — it would appear as “Show additional links to my site” under the “Ad extensions” section. For more details, see the FAQs on Ad Sitelinks.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

From the Team at WebWitches

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mark-readIf you found when you checked your email this morning that you had new messages already marked read, you’re not alone. A bug appears to affecting at least a subset of Gmail users and causing unread emails to be erroneously marked as read.

There are multiple threads on the GmailGmailGmail

support forums, as well as a good deal of Twitter chatter, but so far no response from GoogleGoogleGoogle

.

Every indication is that this appears to be a bug and not an exploit, as many people initially feared (so your Gmail account was likely not compromised, and no one is reading your emails). Speculation is that the bug is a result of a change in the way Gmail handles IMAP support. The issue is also reportedly affecting Gmail on AndroidAndroidAndroid

and iPhone phones.

This has been a rough couple of months for Gmail’s reliability, as it experienced a couple of major bouts of downtime in early and late September.

From the Team at WebWitches

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Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • MSN Gets Redesigned, Adds Twitter/Facebook
  • Twitter's Cost to Businesses: £1.4 Billion?
  • Yammer Powers 50,000 Enterprise Micro-Blogging Networks
  • Run Your Own Google Wave Server

MSN Gets Redesigned, Adds Twitter/Facebook

Microsoft unveiled a new version of MSN.com recently, making changes to the existing design and adding some new bits as well. What is new and exciting over at MSN? At first glance of the new preview, you'll see that the design of the site has been simplified dramatically. Also, the ties to Bing.com search are much more prevalent, with the Bing logo prominently placed at the top center of the page.

In an effort to be a more connected, social networking friendly web portal, MSN.com has integrated Twitter and Facebook status message updates on the right hand side of the new MSN home page. Additionally, by entering your location, MSN.com can pull in local news for your area.

While these changes might seem minute and unimportant, MSN.com attracts a lot of traffic (in upwards of 80-100 million US Visitors per month), so many web users will take note of the new changes. This is a good move for MSN.com, as the service needed a refresh in order to stay relevant in today's web portal marketplace.

Twitter's Cost to Businesses: £1.4 Billion?

According to an IT services group based in the UK, Twitter and other social networking costs British businesses £1.38 Billion in lost productivity each year. Of those workers interviewed, more than half reported that they use social networking sites for personal use during the working hours. On average, workers reported an average of 40 minutes per week spent perusing social networking sites.

It seems that businesses and enterprises are mixed as to how to approach social networking use at work. While some companies in the United States have banned social networking altogether, three quarters of the respondents in the Morse poll reported that they had not been approached with specific policies or guidelines with regards to Twitter.

Even though Twitter and other social networks might be seen as a time drain, such tools are no different than other office distractions such as office chit-chat, the employee lounge and the coffee machine. It's important for companies to evaluate their policies, but keep in mind that Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are just another distraction to add to an already well-populated list.

Yammer Powers 50,000 Enterprise Micro-Blogging Networks

Micro-blogging services have gone from niche product to mainstream in the last few years. Twitter gets the most press, but Yammer, the enterprise focused micro-blogging service is continuing to chug away and win over users and fans.

Yammer recently announced that 50,000 networks have taken off on their service, with about 25-50 people on each of the networks. When asked by ReadWriteWeb, Yammer officials declined to say how many of these networks are paying customers, keeping us in the dark about revenue and the long-term viability of the company.

While other companies focused on enterprise web 2.0 tools have added micro-blogging tools to their suites, Yammer has stayed true to concentrating on their core service, improving it over time.

We at CMSWire use Yammer to communicate amongst our staff here and find the tool to be quite useful.

Run Your Own Google Wave Server

Google Wave is a new technology that promises to enhance communication amongst team members on the Web. It's been described as a functional mix of instant messaging, image sharing and collaborative document sharing. Wave is also easy to mashup with other services because of its development model.

Another feature that makes Wave useful is the idea of federation. That is, you can run a Wave server on your worksite for use amongst your co-workers, and then allow for use with other Wave servers across the web. Much like the way email servers run now, federated Wave servers allow their users to swap messages and media back and forth.

If you have the technical ability to, Google has opened up the Wave Federation protocol and made it possible for you to run a Wave server at your organization. The Wave system is written in Java and can thereby be run on a Mac, Windows or Linux-based computer.

PubCon 2009 In Vegas Live Blogging Schedule | Main

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • November 2009 Google Webmaster Report
    Every month we give you a Google specific update on what webmasters are talking about at WebmasterWorld, complied with the past month of changes we reported, specifically at Google. To see last month’s report, see the October 2009 Google Webmaster report. This month, via the WebmasterWorld, people are chatting about the following topics: Crawling deeper, discovering more pages and more linksUniversal results adding to, not subtracting to, the number of results on a pageIncrease in
  • Google Finally Tries Page Previews
    A long, long, long time coming, Google is finally testing a page preview feature that shows snapshots of the pages on the search results before you click through. Yes, many search engines have had this feature for a while and yes, there are plugins that added this feature to Google – but Google never really had such a feature, until now. As I reported yesterday on Search Engine Land via Google Operating System blog, the
  • More Google Base Data Feeds FTP Upload Issues
    Ronald from the Google Merchant Center (Base) team reported in a Google Merchant Center Help thread that there is a known issue with FTP uploads. Specifically, if you are uploading new data feeds via FTP, the data won’t show up in the dashboard. If your feeds are less than 20MB, then upload manually, otherwise, you are out of luck. Ronald said: We’ve noticed that a few users have reported that data feeds uploaded via FTP
  • MSN Home Page Gets a Major Face Lift
    The buzz of the day is that Microsoft unveiled a new home page design for MSN. You can see the new design at preview.msn.com. Let’s compare the current and the preview: Current: Preview: So much more refreshing! As Greg Sterling noted, the MSN portal drives nearly 50% of Bing queries – that is significant. The MSN Blog takes us back through the years, starting from 1995 through today – looking at the various MSN designs.
  • Google AdWords Ad Sitelinks, Now Official
    Back in August, Google began testing Sitelinks for AdWords, now it is official. The Google AdWords blog announced it last night, telling us this is a feature specifically designed to provide “users with more options, you can create richer, more relevant ads that improve the value of your brand terms and other targeted keywords.” The feature will show up to four additional links under the main ad for ads that “meet a certain high quality
  • Google Celebrates Anniversaries For Sesame Street, Wallace & Gromit & Many Others
    So when I visited Google.com, I saw Big Bird’s legs. It is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street and Google made a Doodle for it. But then I noticed other Google properties not only sporting Sesame Street but also Doodles for other learning programs that are popular in those regions. We have Google logos for the 20th birthday of Wallace & Gromit, and these other regional characters: Abigal, Boombah Chamki, Ieniemienie, Abelardo Montoya and Kami.

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Like The Story? Vote For It On Yahoo Buzz! Or On Sphinn!

By Hannah Ricci    Last Update: Fri, 30/10/2009 – 12:28

The internet offers endless ways to make some extra cash. Hannah Ricci looks at some of her favourite money-making sites.

Message in a bottle

The internet has revolutionised how we manage our money. We can keep our bank accounts in check at the click of a mouse; save money by shopping around for everything from holidays to DVDs, and compare the best deals on a whole host of financial products – all during our lunch hour or while sitting at home in our PJs.

It makes you wonder how we ever managed before the worldwide web came along.

The internet is not only useful for saving money; it’s great for earning some extra cash too. Here’s my pick of some of the best ways to make money on the web.

If you can take a good photo…

Sign up to a stock photography website and you could get paid for your pictures.

Stock photography websites are used to source photos in the media by other websites, blogs, articles and advertisers. Lots of sites accept good amateur photographs in addition to professional shots, and pay on a per-download or a per-sale basis.

Popular, well-established sites include Fotolia, 123RF, iStockPhoto and Alamy.

Commission rates and copyright issues vary from site to site, so be sure to research each site thoroughly before signing up. Each site looks for a different type and style of photography so don’t get disheartened if your shots aren’t accepted by one – it’s worth trying them all.

How much money you make will depend on how often your photos are viewed and purchased, so it’s important to carefully consider the type of photos you take and the keywords you use that will lead buyers to your shots.

If you’re crafty…

Etsy has taken the craft world by storm. It’s like an online craft fair where you can sell anything handmade – think jewellery, art, ceramics, knitting, furniture – the list is pretty much endless. You can also sell vintage items, which need to be more than 20 years old, and have ‘vintage appeal’.

Etsy is the biggest player in this market, but it is based in the US. So the downside for UK crafters is that the site operates in dollars and you’ll need to factor in the extra cost of shipping to American buyers.

The UK alternatives are Folksy and Coriandr. Both are smaller than Etsy, as they’re pretty new and still in development stage. But this could work to your advantage because you’ll face less competition in your chosen craft. Misi (Make it Sell it) not only offers an online community for craft-lovers, but also an opportunity to make some money from your pastime.

Once registered, you can build a profile and ‘shop window’ with your products, and you get your own web address. Both are free to join, but charge 20p to list an item, plus commission of 5% on Folksy and 2.5% on Corinadr on any sale you make.

If you shop online…

Signing up to a cashback website is one of the easiest ways to make some extra cash if you already buy goods and services online.

Cashback websites like Quidco, GiveOrTake, RPoints, GreasyPalm and MrsCashback are essentially advertising sites that link through to hundreds of popular retailers. When you click through to a retailer’s website to purchase something, it pays the cashback site a lead fee for generating your business.

You’ll get a portion of this fee, so you’re effectively being paid to shop.

The amount of cashback you can earn depends on how much you spend, and it varies between each site and retailer. Read the small print before you sign up as each sites works a little differently.

Some, like Quidco, are free to join and pay you 100% cashback, while others, such as MrsCashback charge £29.95 to receive 100% of cashback, and require you to build up £30 before you can actually get your hands on the money.

If you can write…

If you’re a budding writer or perhaps just want to share your views on life or a particular topic, you can earn money through blogging. It won’t make you rich, but you could build up some extra pocket money from writing about your interests.

Writing a blog in itself doesn’t pay – you’ll need to introduce advertising in order to earn money. Google’s AdSense is one of the most popular programs. It allows you to run relevant ads alongside your blog, which will generate revenue on a per-click or per-impression basis, The more traffic your blog gets, the more money you’ll make – so when you start a blog you’ll have to work hard to publicise it to attract regular readers and followers.

You can also invite ‘sponsors’ to advertise on your blog. So for example, if you write a food blog, you could try approaching supermarkets or popular food brands.

If you’ve got junk…

eBay is nothing new but it really is a handy way to turn your clutter and junk into a money-spinner without the hassle of organising a carboot sale or going to an auction.

Even if you think no one will be interested in your ancient, bulky TV or that slow cooker you’ve never got around to using, try it out – you’d be surprised what people want. eBay estimates the average British house has about £450 worth of unwanted items that could be sold on the site.

If you’ve never used eBay before, it may take a little time to familiarise yourself with the site but it is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to open a seller account and create a separate listing for each item you want to sell, with a description and photo, and information such as postage costs, or whether it’s collection only.

You’ll pay a listing fee of between 15p and £1.30 depending on the starting or ‘reserve ‘ price of your item, and commission of 10% of the final selling price.

If it seems like hard work and you’d rather not pay to sell your stuff – you can advertise and sell for free on Gumtree.com.

More on:

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HOW TO: Use Twitter Lists

November 4, 2009

lists-birdUPDATE: you can get started with Twitter Lists by following the Mashable Team Twitter List at Twitter.com/mashable/mashable

The just-launched Twitter Lists feature is a new way to organize the people you’re following on Twitter, or find new people. In actuality, though, Twitter Lists are Twitter’s long awaited “groups” feature. They offer a way for you to bunch together other users on Twitter into groups so that you can get an overview of what they’re up to. That’s because Lists aren’t just static listings of users, but rather curated TwitterTwitterTwitter

streams of the latest tweets from a specified set of users.

In other words, you can create a list that groups together people for whatever reason (the members of your family, for example), and then you can get a snapshot of the things those users are saying by viewing that list’s page, which includes a complete tweet stream for everyone on the list. Lists allow you to organize the people you’re following into groups, and they even allow you to include people you’re not following.

Why Would You Use Lists?

list-page

There are many reasons for creating lists, but here are a handful of ways that you could use the Twitter Lists feature. What other ways are you using Twitter Lists? Let us know in the comments.

Create a Group – Because Twitter Lists create grouped tweet streams of the people that are on them, you can use Lists to organize your tweeps into groups based on anything you want. For example, we’ve created a list of everyone at Mashable. By viewing or following this list, you easily see what all of Mashable’sMashableMashable

employees are tweeting about. You could do the same thing with your co-workers, family, or friends, or just group Twitter users based on location, subject, or anything else you can think of.

Recommend Cool Tweeps – One of the other intended purposes of Twitter Lists is to allow people to recommend other users to follow. You can create a public list of people you think other Twitter users should follow, then anyone else can visit that list and follow the people on it (or follow the list).

Follow People You Aren’t Following – When you follow a Twitter List, you’re not actually following every user on the list, but following the entire list — those users’ tweets aren’t added to your main stream. You can then visit that list and view its tweet stream. That’s why you can also use Lists to follow people without really following them. For example, if there are users whose tweets you’d like to follow, but whom you don’t necessarily want in your main Twitter stream (perhaps they tweet too often for your liking), you can add them to a list and then check up on their latest tweets every once in a while by viewing your list.

Creating a List

list-new

Creating a new Twitter List is a simple process. When logged into Twitter you’ll see a new “Lists” section right below the search box in the right side navigation, simply click on the “New list” link to begin creating a new list. After you click on that link, a window will pop up asking you two questions.

create-list

First, you’ll be asked to provide a name for your list (i.e., Family, Web Tech Tweeple, etc.). The name is also used for your list’s URL, which will be “twitter.com/username/list-name.” You’ll also be asked if you want your list to be public or private.

Public Lists – These lists can be seen by anyone, and anyone can follow them. Public lists are ideal for lists of recommended follows.

Private Lists – When Twitter says private, they mean private. Only the creator of private lists will be able to see or subscribe to them — not even those on the list can see private lists. That means, for example, you could create a list of your competitors and keep an eye on them without them being any the wiser.

Once you’ve clicked the “Create list” button, you’re ready to add users. After you create a new list, you’ll be prompted to search for people to add to your list, but there are really two ways to add users to lists. First, you can add users from their profile page, by clicking the lists button and checking off the lists you want to add them to from the drop down menu. You can add a single user to multiple lists.

add-to-list

The other way to add people, is from any “following” page (i.e., by clicking on either the “Followers” or “Following” links from any profile). You’ll also see the lists button next to users that appear on these pages, and can add anyone to your lists by clicking on it.

You can add yourself to your lists by visiting your profile page. Keep in mind that each list is currently limited to 500 people, and users may create a maximum of 20 lists. These limitations could change in the future.

Managing Lists

list-of-lists

Both the lists you’ve created and the lists you’re following will appear in the “Lists” section in the right-hand navigation of Twitter. Private lists will be denoted by a small “closed lock” icon. When you click on you a list, Twitter will load up the tweet stream of those on the list in the main body of the Twitter page — this is similar to how Twitter displays search results.

delete-list

You’ll also see a link to “View list page.” Clicking on that link will bring you to your list’s dedicated page. This is what other people will see when they visit the page if your list is public, with one major exception: in the top right corner you’ll see links to “Edit” or “Delete” your list. The delete link is self explanatory, while the edit link allows you to change the title of your list, or change its public/private status.

To remove users from your list, follow the same procedure you used to add them, but this time uncheck the box next to the list you want to remove that user from.

Finding & Following Lists

listorious

When you follow a list, it will show up in the “Lists” section in the right-hand navigation of Twitter. Following lists is a great way to keep tabs on tweets from a large group of people without needing to add those people’s tweets to your main stream. Here are some of the ways you can find lists to follow.

People You Follow – When you visit the profile page of anyone on Twitter, you’ll be able to see any of the public lists they have created, or any of the lists they follow. (NOTE: you may have to click “View all” to see every list if the person has created or is following a large number of lists.) You can also see any of the lists that person appears on. Checking out the lists that your friends have created, follow, or appear on, is a great way to locate lists you might be interested in.

Listorious – Listorious is a third-party site that maintains a categorized directory of Twitter lists. You can search or browse through lists by category, and find the most popular lists.

TweetMeme Lists – Readers of Mashable will be familiar with TweetMemeTweetmemeTweetmeme

, which exposes the most tweeted links on Twitter and powers the “retweet” buttons on all of our articles. Just like it does for links, TweetMeme also finds the most tweeted about Twitter Lists.

Once you find a list you want to follow, click the “Follow this list” button to follow the list. You can unfollow a list from the same page by clicking on the “Unfollow” link.

Lists You’re On & Blocking Lists

listed

Twitter shows you how many public lists you appear on. Clicking on the “Listed” link on your profile, which appears next to your follower and following numbers, will bring you to a page that shows you every list on which you appear. Your lists page has two tabs: one that shows the lists that are following you, and one that shows the lists you’re following/have made.

your-lists

If you find yourself on any lists you don’t particularly want to be on (like a list titled, “Jerks,” for example), you can remove yourself from that list by blocking its creator. Just be aware that blocking a person on Twitter means that person can also no longer follow you. Blocking is not permanent, however, and can be undone.

You can block someone directly from the list page, by clicking on the “Block [username]” link, which is located on the right navigation menu in the “Actions” section.

How are you using lists? Let us know in the comments.

More Twitter resources from Mashable:

6 Incredible Twitter Powered Art Projects
HOW TO: Do Good on Twitter
10 Most Extraordinary Twitter Updates
6 Gorgeous Twitter Visualizations
10 Ways to Find People on Twitter

From the Team at WebWitches

Tags: online google on line ranking online seo online rank website traffic increase line seo seo courses seo training courses DIY SEO Basic SEO Forum SEO

www.webwitches.com.au

old radioHere’s something fun and amusing. We just happened upon Tweetrad.io, a site that treats tweets from your Twitter searches like tunes on an old school radio channel, so tweets are read aloud by an automated Twitter DJ as they roll in.

The site is self-explanatory, as you can search for tweets, or select from the pre-programmed channels or trending topics, and listen to the tweets instead of having to waste the effort of actually reading them. It may sound a little a dry in theory, but in practice, it’s absolutely hilarious.

Curious about how this funky new TwitterTwitterTwitter

service works? The developer posted a description of it on Hacker NewsHacker NewsHacker News

earlier today, saying:

“We use a distributed network of converter bots to handle the work queue. Jobs are placed on the queue via api calls from the javascript client that interacts with twitter’s search api directly in order to avoid rate limiting of a centralized search server. Our app server is a lightweight Sinatra service that handles job queueing. We stream the audio directly from our nginx web server as they become available via the conversion process.

We are trying to decide if this app has a real use case or if it’s just a fun thing. One of the ideas we are thinking about is an iphone app for keeping up with your tweet stream on the go. We would love to hear your feedback.”

We think it’s both fun and potentially practical, though we don’t have an amazing use case or business model to serve up just yet. We do know, however, that if they release an iPhone app, they’ll have to compete with existing apps like Twuner.

Just in case you’re not ready to take our word on how awesome it is, we made a short screencast of Tweetrad.io in action. Check it out below.

Image from Ian Hayhurst on FlickrFlickrFlickr

From the Team at WebWitches

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