Content for Coders

The one thing that any new Webmaster hears when searching for tips on how to improve their site is this: Content is King. And its true; good, high quality content is what gets other people interested in your site, and makes other webmasters link to you. However to me at least there is always far to much focus on what could be termed 'online' content rather than the other sort, which can often yield as many, if not more, high quality one-way inbound links.

By 'online' content I am referring to items such as webpages. Good, solid copy that is useful both to the visitor and also as search engine fodder. Of course you can never have enough of this, as it boosts both rankings in the search engines and word of mouth about your website (ie. Hyperlinks). But 'offline' content which can't be viewed over the Internet can also make a huge impact on your online presence. In this, I refer mainly to any freely downloadable software you may have on your site.

I am what I would term a beginner programmer. I enjoy programming, seeing it more as a hobby than anything else. Sure, it would be great to go into as a full time job, but at the moment I'm just not that good. I've done several projects that have caught my interest, and released the vast majority as freeware. When I thought about making a site I considered putting them online to see if anyone was interested. So that's what I did, and forgot about them for a few months. Then I found out about RoboSoft.

According to the blurb: "RoboSoft is intended to submit software products to software archives. RoboSoft is a semiautomatic submitter? RoboSoft will fill all submission forms, track your login and password information for each site, search sites for your product etc?RoboSoft is a tool for professional submitters and senior developers. The main goal is Quality. We are automating only those processes that won't reduce the submission quality." This sounded interesting to me and so I created a company profile and PAD files for two of my applications, submitted to a few sites, and then promptly forgot about them again for a few weeks.

When Google did their recent Page Rank update I was very surprised to notice that some of my pages had jumped from PR 0 to PR 3, or even 4. My freeware pages. This large jump didn't seem to have affected most of the rest of my website, so I was at a loss to explain the sudden jump, or at least I was until I remembered my RoboSoft submission. Intrigued I took a closer look at some of the websites I had submitted to. Several were ranked at PR 6, and some even as high as PR 8 or 9! Without realising it, I had managed to obtain around 100 one-way inbound links for each of my pages, with at least 50% coming from a PR 4 or higher site.

Despite Page Rank seemingly being less and less important in Google's algorithm this jump was still extremely useful to my small site. Along with the steady stream of visitors both to the specific page for the software and my homepage, my rankings also got a nice little boost. The moral of the story? 'Offline' content can have a big impact on your 'online' rankings. So if you're a coder, or are interested in programming in the least, for the sake of just a few hours coding and a few more submitting to various freeware directories you could get a real boost to your site.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free software. Daniel Robson's on-line presence includes http://www.shock-therapy.org, where he hands out his freeware to anyone who seems vaguely interested.

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