Never underestimate the importance of having the right domain name and making sure you are indexed well in Google. A new NOP survey, commissioned by AOL, has found that more than 10 per cent of weekly net users take five attempts just to find what they are looking for. The survey was based on 1,000 people and highlights what publishers can do to make it easier for online users. Making sure that your web pages have a title that is descriptive of what is on that page, coupled with meta tags – HTML coded statements describing some aspect of the pages – that are also reflective of the content, is one way to start. And not only to help search engineers to find your site – also for your own search facility. How many times have you been to a website, entered a search and couldn’t find anything – even though you know it is there? If publishers don’t have descriptive titles and meta-tags, problems like this will occur.
Popular UK IT website The Register (www.theregister.co.uk) has launched a US version of its online offering. The Register USA (www.theregus.com) will follow the irreverent style that its UK cousin has been known for. The new venture is being backed by Tom’s Guides, publisher of Tom’s Hardware Guide, a site devoted to IT hardware.
The Sun (www.thesun.co.uk) has launched a new fortnightly online supplement to its website, covering technology and other related "boys’ toys" interests. The new Turned On site offers guides to computer games, high-tech gizmos and other must-have gadgets. The new site is a spin-off from a section that first appeared as part of The Sun site and last month generated 250,000 impressions. "Turned On is all about having fun," said Jonathan Weinberg, who edits the section. "Technology is often seen as boring and complicated, but our simple and humorous approach to the subject makes it accessible for all."
After much waiting and indeed speculation, the Financial Times is set to introduce a series of paid-for services to access the content of FT.com. Expect to see the basic news headlines and share prices to be offered for free, but services such as the site’s news archive are likely to be charged for.
A number of paid-for services will be rolled out over the coming months. It will also be interesting to see what incentives, or indeed if any discounts, are offered to regular readers of the paper who then go online.