FreakyFriday: Weird of the Day – Black Friday Gets Freaky

By: iCopywriter blogger Alex Dalenberg

Is there a freakier Friday than Black Friday? This blogger is tucking into the leftover sweet potatoes and apple pie and skipping out on the Super Bowl of shopping. So far, it’s looking more and more like I made a good decision.

ABC News has a good rundown of the chaos thus far. Some of the lowlights:

  • 71-year-old man arrested in a Walmart parking lot in Covington, Wash., for vehicular assault. He ran over two people with his SUV.
  • In San Antonio, a shopper pulled a gun on a man who cut in line outside a Sears.
  • Five men assaulted and robbed a 14-year-old boy outside of a Bed Bath and Beyond early this morning in Baltimore.
  • And, in Massachusetts, a man scored a big-screen TV, but left his two-year-old son at a Kmart.

Also, the Los Angeles Times reports that there was a small earthquake in New Jersey, but thankfully no injuries.

Of course, the funny part is that Black Friday may not even offer best deals of the year outside of a few limited doorbusters that the big-box stores use as loss leaders. Fox Business reports that, at least in 2011, Black Friday was actually one of the worst days of the year for a snagging good deal. And Decide.com, a Seattle-based price tracking website that also attempts to predict whether an item will go up or down in price, says that the best deals of the holiday season are actually yet to come.

As consumers are armed with more and more information, it’s worth asking how long traditions like Black Friday can hold up. Sure, there’s a certain sport to Black Friday that has its own unique appeal, but for today I’m perfectly content typing away here at home over some cold turkey.

But as an alternative, I’d like to suggest events like Small Business Saturday as well as other local shopping events being promoted by smaller retailers and businesses. It’s a good way to keep a few dollars in the community and find some great new stores outside the usual mega-retailers.

And, of course, a belated Happy Thanksgiving from the team here at iCopywriter. Whether you’re a Black Friday warrior or spent the day sleeping in, have a happy and safe holiday season!

Did you hit the stores today? We’d love to hear from you…

Photo Credit: Robert Banh

Black Hat Vs. White Hat

Guest Post by: Long-time iCopywriter Blogger, Jessica Towne

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), can be a powerful tool when it comes to getting attention on the web. This is because Google, Yahoo and other search tools use your keywords to determine where in the list of search results your particular site will land.

Using the right keywords for your site is the most imperative when it comes to online business marketing. This is because the more relevant phrases you plug in, the better the chance that search engines, and thus, consumers will find you.

Knowing which magic words to use – and how often, in combination with rich, pertinent content – is the key to creating effective copy. This is a balance I’m always striving to achieve for iCopywriter clients.

Understanding “Black Hat” and “White Hat” SEO practices is also helpful. If you’ve never heard of these terms, here’s a little primer to get you in the know.

Black Hat SEO

  • Black Hat SEO is basically trying to fool search engines into ranking your site high on results page by using practices that searching sites frown upon.
  • Typically this involves irrelevant content that doesn’t really help information seekers. It can be found in the form of one or two keywords being used excessively, or posting lots of links meant to redirect users.
  • It can also take the form of repetitive tags, or “hidden” text (characters the same color as the background, which make them fade from view).

Why should you care? It’s possible to be banned from certain search bars as a result of using Black Hat practices.

White Hat SEO

  • White Hat tactics direct attention to your site in an ethical, organic way. They involve taking the time to research and write content applicable to one theme and using related keywords to naturally direct readers/consumers to that content.
  • You can use synonyms to make multiple tags, headlines and titles that are associated with your topic, and include links to other useful information on the same idea.
  • This is an ongoing process, because it involves coming up with fresh news/stories all the time and properly using HTML code to link all of your work together.

Why should you care? With practice, time and a willingness to learn, White Hat SEO tactics can really work. Keeping this information in the back of your mind when you set out to create a winning webpage is key to making something that search engines – and customers – will trust and flock to.

For more information, check out this helpful (and user-friendly) site:

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/wiki/White_hat,_black_hat,_and_gray_hat_SEO

Have you checked out iCopywriter lately?

Photo Credit: V&A Steamworks