Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Seven Tips to ensure you hire the Right Consultant

Seven Tips to ensure you hire the Right Consultant

A successful SAP implementation is determined by a number of factors, and these days it often requires bringing in an outside expert to help achieve your goals. Selecting the right consultant is critical: It can mean the difference between success and failure, and those projects that realize business benefits and ROI – and those that fail miserably. The following seven tips will help ensure you hire the right consultant for your SAP project.

1. Seek the Right Skillsets - The first step in finding a consultant is to understand the specific skill set you are looking for. The SAP product suite is broad, and consultants tend to have very narrow areas of expertise. One of the common traps I see SAP customers fall into is that they always assume that large software integrators or their preferred vendors will have the SAP expertise that they need. While this is typically true in the core areas of SAP, it is not always true when it comes to the newer SAP modules, the latest product releases or for industry-specific modules, when you are typically better off to work with a niche consulting company, independent consultant or SAP directly.

Bottom Line: Ensure you know what you are looking for and don't always assume that your existing vendor has consultants with that skill set.

2. Where to Search - There are many successful, albeit unconventional, methods that I would recommend to help find the right consultant. One example includes tapping your personal network, your company’s network, existing consultants that you trust, ASUG, SAP Community Network, Linkedin, SAP Expert publications authors, industry experts, industry analysts and SAP Mentors. The SAP industry can be small when you are looking for consulting resources, and most of the true industry experts will be very happy to help you find the right consultant if you reach out to them.

Bottom Line: There are a lot of different ways you can find the right consultant, and you should use several of them to ensure a good candidate pool.

3. Review the Resume - An SAP resume should be used only to determine whether an individual is interview worthy. Although it is easy to fall into the trap of finding the perfect candidate “on paper,” you should never base a hiring decision on a resume alone. There are a few basic steps you should follow when reviewing the resume:
• Does the individual have the skill set and experience you are looking for?
• Is there any inaccuracy or inconsistencies within the resume?
• Does the resume match the individual’s LinkedIn or other online profiles?
• What information does searching on individual’s name turn up via search engines?
• Is the individual asking questions on SAP’s Community Network or answering questions and contributing?
• Do you know anyone who has worked with individual in the past and can provide some feedback?

Bottom Line: A basic review of the resume will help ensure that you are only interviewing candidates that are well qualified.

4. Check on the Consulting Experience - Consultants working on your SAP project must have previous implementation experience and the proper skill set you are looking for. Experienced SAP consultants should be able to translate between business language and “SAP speak” in such a way that everyone can easily understand. If they have difficultly doing this, you should be concerned and question their experience.

Bottom Line: It is important that consultants have the experience you are looking for, since the last thing you want is to pay for someone to learn on the job.

5. Set Up a Technical Interview - Doing a technical interview can often be a daunting task, since the reason you are hiring a consultant is because you don’t have internal SAP expertise in the specific area. Here are a few basic steps you should follow:
• Involve business and IT members on your interview team.
• Set up an internal pre-interview meeting, lay out the specifics of the engagement and offer a script for everyone to follow.
• Involve a technical IT resource or consultant that you trust to ask some specific SAP technical/functional questions.
• Only ask questions that you have an understanding of the right answer.
• Ask how they would solve an actual issue that will be part of the scope of work.
• Never use any of the SAP interview questions that are easily found on the internet.

Bottom Line: The goal of the technical interview is to get a comfort level that the consultant has the necessary SAP technical skills and business understanding to be a valuable team member.

6. Look for Good Communication Skills - Communication skills are a critical aspect of any engagement, though they are often overlooked. The consultant should be able to express himself clearly as well as understand what both the business and IT team are saying. You will want to find a consultant who avoids technical jargon, is easy to understand and has good listening skills.

Bottom Line: Good communication skills will be needed during requirement gathering, the implementation, in meetings, presentations, training, knowledge transfer and several other important tasks.

7. Always Check References - It is surprising to me how many consultants get hired without any reference checks. You should always check the references for any new consultant, even from a preferred vendor, as there are too many consultants in the industry who don’t have the necessarily skills to be successful.
If you don’t hear back from the references, then that should be a red flag: In my experience, customers are happy to give references for good consultants.

Bottom Line: Reference checks should always be done to verify the consultant and there’s an added benefit: They can be a great way for you to network with new companies using SAP.

Finding the right consultant is not rocket science, but it does involve some extra work on your part. Make no mistake: Hiring the wrong consultant will ultimately cause a lot more work and trouble for your organization in the long run. If you follow the seven tips above you will greatly improve your odds on finding a good consultant. What do you think are the best ways to ensure that companies hire the right consultant?

JDE Functional Consultant

JDE Functional

Work Location: Bangalore, Mumbai & Hyderabad
Experience:3-10 Yrs

JD Edwards Functional
Role: Analyst
Job Responsibilities:
• The candidate will participate in business process analysis workshops in client facing roles, understand client's business processes and capture requirements and assist lead in analyzing requirements.
• The candidate will be responsible as a team member for configuring the software for client’s business processes. The candidate should be familiar with software configuration tools and should demonstrate the ability to effectively use them in software configuration.
• The candidate will be responsible for identifying gaps in the standard functionality and suggest alternative options to the client and help the team lead arriving at the best alternative. The candidate will be responsible for initiating change requests for any system/ configuration changes for projects related to remote system maintenance and support.
• The candidate will follow client/firm specific methodologies for process compliance and software quality assurance for software configuration, testing and support.

Skill’s required :
• Should have 3-4 years of total experience.
• Minimum 2-3 years on JDE SCM/Fin/Mfg&Dist
• Should be BE / Btech
• Should possess excellent communication & interpersonal skills

JD Edwards Functional
Role: Senior Analyst
Job Responsibilities:
• The candidate will participate in business process analysis workshops in client facing roles, understand client's business processes and capture requirements and assist lead in analyzing requirements.
• The candidate will be responsible as a team member for configuring the software for client’s business processes. The candidate should be familiar with software configuration tools and should demonstrate the ability to effectively use them in software configuration.
• The candidate will be responsible for identifying gaps in the standard functionality and suggest alternative options to the client and help the team lead arriving at the best alternative. The candidate will be responsible for initiating change requests for any system/ configuration changes for projects related to remote system maintenance and support.
• The candidate will follow client/firm specific methodologies for process compliance and software quality assurance for software configuration, testing and support.

Skill’s required :
• Should have 4-8 years of total experience.
• Minimum 3 – 4 years on JDE SCM/Fin/Mfg&Dist
• Should be BE / Btech
• Exposure to onsite-offshore model will be an added advantage.

Best Regards,
Mohd. Munnawar
Recruitment Consultant
Permanent Recruitment Solutions
Adecco India,
Contact: 040 - 3068 8958
Mobile:09052789244
E-Mail: munawar.md@adecco.co.in

www.adecco.co.in

Good decision comes from Experience But "Experience comes from bad decisions" – Dr.APJ.Abdul Kalam

Sunday, March 22, 2009

India Review Channel

www.indiareviewchannel.com.com
is a complete portal providing reliable and comprehensive reviews and product information on a large variety of products and services in Indian Market.

Make Pocket Money from www.indiareviewchannel.com.com

IndiaReviewChannel.com offers several programs where members can make some pocket money.

Here is the list of currently active payment programs:

Google AdSense revenue sharing program: This program is in association with Google and is approved by Google. Your earnings will be tracked directly by Google and the amount will be sent to you from Google. Remember that this is a slow revenue, but you will get it for long term.

Best Review Contest: You can post product reviews. for the products assigned for that fortnight by the webmaster. There are three prizes assigned. The best review gets a cash credit of Rs. 200, the second best gets a cash credit of Rs.100, and the third best gets Rs. 50.

Member of the Month: Starting from July 2008, we will select the most active member as the Member Of The Month. This comes with a cash reward of Rs 500.

Refer a friend and make money: We will pay you some referral money when you invite your friends and they join IndiaReviewChannel.com using your referral link. Here is the payment details:

Rs 1: When the referred member completes registration
Rs 10: When the referred member reach SILVER level
Rs 100: When the referred member reach GOLD level
Rs 500: When the referred member reach DIAMOND level
Rs 1000: When the referred member reach PLATINUM level

Note that the amount is not cumulative. For example, when your referred friend reach SILVER Level, you will get Rs 10, but at that time, the initial Rs 1 referral bonus will be cancelled.

Make money from Yahoo answers

Write a blog and get paid

Write a knol and get paid

Discontinued Programs

Post products and earn revenue: You can post any products or services related to India. Our editors will review it in few days and assign some points. Also, we will give you cash credits equivalent to the points you earned. For example, if you get 5 points for a product submission, we will pay you Rs 5 cash credits.

Silverlight Games www.silverlightclub.com

We are introducing some games and puzzles to help you tune your brain while you are tired of work and studies!

All the Games we have hosted here are developed using the Microsoft Silverlight technology. None of the games include any Spyware or Malware. They are safe to download to your browser and play. If you do not have the Silverlight pluggin installed on your browser, you will need to click on the Silverlight logo and install it.

Products & Reviews - Music

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Top Ten Job Search Engines on the Web

If you're in the market for a new job, you'll want to check out my list of the top job search engines out there. All of these job search engines offer unique features and can streamline your job search efforts.
1. Monster.com-Job Search Engine with Lots of Extras
I've been using Monster.com for several years now and have always found it to be one of the best job search engines out there. You can narrow your search by location, keywords, and employer; plus, Monster has plenty of job search extras: networking boards, job search alerts, and online resume posting.

2. Indeed.com- A Meta Search Job Engine
Indeed.com is a very solid job search engine. Unlike Monster, you cannot submit your resume from Indeed.com, but the job search engine more than makes up for that by being a meta search engine of many of the major job search engines and job search boards out there. I've found that Indeed uncovers a lot of jobs that you wouldn't normally find on most job search sites, and they do a good job of making their job search features as easy to use as possible.

3. FedWorld-Find a Federal Government Job
Think of FedWorld as your gateway into the huge world of US government jobs. You can do a detailed federal job search here, and FedWorld also offers the serious federal job searcher the opportunity to search FirstGov, search and view Supreme Court decisions, and view GS pay rate schedules.

4. CareerBuilder- One of the Largest Job Search Engines
CareerBuilder offers job searchers the ability to find a job, post a resume, create job alerts, get job advice and job resources, look up job fairs, and much more. This is a truly massive job search engine that offers a lot of good resources to the job searcher; I especially appreciate the list of job search communities.

5. Dice.com-Technology Job Search Engine
Dice.com is a job search engine dedicated to only finding technology jobs. Dice also offers those job searchers with a security clearance the ability to search on ClearanceJobs.com, "premier Internet job board focused exclusively on candidates with active or current security clearances."

6. America's Job Bank-A Mammoth Job Search Engine
America's Job Bank is one of the largest job search engines on the Web today. With almost two million jobs in its sizable database at the time of this writing and more than fifteen thousand new jobs being posted almost every day, America's Job Bank is a must-have job search engine. Search by job title, keyword, military, or job number.

7. Yahoo Hot Jobs-A Personalized Job Search Engine
Yahoo Hot Jobs is linked to your Yahoo ID (if you have one), so once you're signed into Yahoo, you're signed into Hot Jobs. You can search by location with Hot Jobs, my personal favorite, and you'll be able to see all the jobs in your general area in the column to the left. Any job search can be subscribed to via RSS; you can add it to "My Yahoo" or a personalized RSS reader (such as Bloglines).

8. SimplyHired - Simple Job Search Engine
SimplyHired has been one of my favorite job search engines now for a while; mostly because of their SimplyFired contest. SimplyHired also offers a very unique job search experience; the user "trains" the job search engine by rating jobs he or she is interested in. SimplyHired also gives you the ability to research salaries, add jobs to a job map, and view pretty detailed profiles of various companies. I highly recommend SimplyHired.

9. LinkedIn.com-A Social Networking Job Search Engine
LinkedIn.com combines the best of two worlds: the ability to scour the Internet for jobs with its job search engine, and the opportunity to network with like-minded friends and individuals to deepen your job search. From the site: "With LinkedIn, you find the people, jobs and services you need through the people you know and trust, while you strengthen and extend your existing network." Finding a job all too often is about who you know, and LinkedIn.com does a great job of addressing this.

10. Craigslist - Community Classifieds Job Search
Technically, craigslist.com is not a job search engine, but I would be extremely remiss if I did not include it in my list of Top Ten job search sites. Find your community and find jobs - and the jobs posted on Craigslist tend to be some of the most eclectic, truly interesting jobs around on the Web.

Watch Free Movies

Free Movie Sites

• Hulu: Hulu is the first place I go online when I want to find quality, free, full length movies.
• Surf The Channel: Surf The Channel has literally hundreds of movies.
• IMDB: IMDB, also known as the Internet Movie Database, has added free full length movies and TV shows to its' already large and informative site.
• Joost: Nicely organized by category and each movie is in very high quality.
• Babelgum: Babelgum has plenty of great free full length movies.
• Google Video: Free full length movies at Google Video can be found simply by going to the Advanced Search and changing the drop-down "Duration" menu to "longer than twenty minutes".
• SearchForVideo: Nicely done video search engine with thousands of video clips available.
• In2TV: Tons of free TV shows, cartoons, and movies here.
• TV4u: Classic online television and movies - some really quality stuff here!
• PublicDomainTorrents: These are all movies that are in the public domain, free to download.
• PeekVid Movies: Lots of popular movies here, anything from Cinderella to Alpha Dog.
• Metacafe: An eclectic collection of videos here; anything from homemade to cartoons and more.
• Joost: From the same folks who made Skype; a video upload and sharing site.
• Free Public Domain Movies and Documentaries: Free movies and more, all available for free download.
• MySpace Videos: MySpace has one of the largest video collections on the Web.
• Flurl: Over two million available videos at the time of this writing.
• DailyMotion: Watch, publish, and share videos here.
• StumbleVideo: Just like StumbleUpon, StumbleVideo allows you to find and share good videos; and since all these videos are given quality ratings, you're almost guaranteed to filter out the junk.
• MotionBox: View and share personal videos; a really interesting site.
• vSocial: Upload your videos in any format, share them, and view other folks' videos.
• Blip.tv: One of the largest video and video sharing sites on the Web; extremely well-done.
• StupidVideos: Pretty much what it sounds like.
• Veoh: thousands of free videos available here.
• Gotuit: tons of high-quality videos here
• VideoSift: Vote and rate your favorite (or least favorite) videos here.
• iFilm: One of my favorite places on the Web for great videos, trailers, etc.
• Revver: Not only can you watch tons of videos here, you can also upload your own and possibly earn some money.
• In2TV: Tons of free TV shows, cartoons, and movies here.
• Cinema Now Free Videos and Movies: Usually this is a pay-per-view site, but they've started putting up freebies.
• TV4u: Classic online television and movies - some really quality stuff here!

Snap - A New Kind of Search Engine

What is Snap?
Snap is a new kind of search engine; it not only goes out and retrieves results for you, but the more people use it, the smarter it gets. From the Snap About Us page:

"Instead of just relying on computer algorithms to rank search results, Snap also uses click-stream information from a network of one million Internet users. By recording and processing which Web sites users spend time on, and which sites they quickly leave, Snap improves the likelihood that the search results you get will be the results you're really looking for."

How To Search With Snap
Searching with Snap is a (you knew this was coming) snap. Just navigate to the Snap home page and type in a search query.

The home page is a bit different looking than most search engines. Snap displays the most popular searches, with the search count, underneath the main search bar, as well as news results. As you type in your search, let's say xbox, you'll notice that those Popular Search results change instantly to relate to your search. For example, my popular searches now are xbox 360, xbox cheats, xbox games, etc. The news results change as well, reflecting news search results that are in some way related to my original query.

Snap Search Options
Snap has tabbed search options on the top of the search bar; these are Web, Classic, Shopping, News, and Jobs. I'll go through these one by one with my guinea pig search term of "xbox."

Snap Web, Snap Classic
Snap Web and Snap Classic are inter-related; basically, it's just two different ways of viewing the same data. Snap Web view grabs the main page related to your query - in my case it's the Xbox home page- and displays it as a preview on the right hand side of the search results, with text results on the left. You can toggle to the next result or view the site itself by using the navigation buttons on the top of this window.

Snap Classic was my preferred view. The search results are on the right hand side, with small preview thumbnails of each page. To the left were those Popular Searches again - reminiscent of clustering, always a feature I appreciate in search engines, since most of the time these searches are better than what I come up with.

Snap Shopping
Snap's shopping feature is powered by Smarter.com. However, I was really, really surprised that nothing came up shopping-wise for my search query of xBox, not even xBox 360. The only results that came back were sponsored results (ads). A more generic search for socks returned better results. A highly coveted (and highly popular) item such as the xBox should've brought back a ton of targeted results - this is something that Snap, still in beta at the time of this writing, needs to work on.

Snap News
I like the look of Snap News - in fact, I liked the overall design and look of this entire site. Snap News brings back news that feature whatever your search query is, with a preview pane to the right. There are tabbed categories within the News search results that you can use to narrow down your results; these include Top Stories, World, US, Business, and more.

Snap Jobs
Snap's Job search is powered by SimplyHired, an excellent job search engine, and the results are presented in much the same way as Snap News. You can create job alerts within Snap, as well as search within job titles, by date posted, by company,by city, by distance, etc.
Why Should I Use Snap?

While I wasn't completely bowled over by Snap, I found it to be a good, solid search engine that delivered relatively good results. I really liked that Snap displayed the most popular searches for whatever term I typed in - this was a very handy feature. Right now, Snap is still in beta, and I'll be watching to see what kind of features and improvements they roll out next.

Blog Search Engines

Blog search engines have become more and more sophisticated, and nowadays you can do a blog search on a variety of topics and hit paydirt. Here is a list of some of the best blog search engines out there - take 'em for a blog search test drive and see what you think.
Blog Search Engines
• Search Blogs with Ask.com: There's a new blog search engine in town from Ask.com. The best thing about it? It's wonderfully intertwined with Ask's (in my opinion) best property, Bloglines.
• Opinmind: Opinmind is a unique kind of blog search engine. It not only searches blogs, but it searches those blogs for opinions expressed on whatever subject you might be looking for.
• Sphere: My overall impression of Sphere is that it's a blog search engine with some great features, relevant results, and an excellent overall user experience.
• Technorati: Technorati is a real-time search engine dedicated to the blogosphere. It only searches through blogs to find exactly what you're looking for. At the time of this writing, Technorati was tracking over 22 million sites and over a billion links, a mind-boggling amount.
• Google Blog Search: The sheer simplicity, ease of use, and fast delivery of the service, which is really a hallmark of all Google's offerings, is going to draw a lot of converts who don't want to wait around for clogged databases to finally get through churning results.
• TalkDigger: TalkDigger is a search engine that finds what links are talking about links. Make sense? Well, in a nutshell, TalkDigger lets you enter in a URL, and then goes out and finds what sites (from a variety of different search engines) are linking to it. It's a conversation search engine.
• LJSeek: LjSeek.com is a search engine dedicated to only sifting through the LiveJournal blogging community. If you're a dedicated LiveJournal user or just looking for information, you'll find that LjSeek comes in handy.
• Daypop: With Daypop's blog search engine, the user can "search 59000 news sites, weblogs and RSS feeds for current events and breaking news." Daypop also has a cool Blog Archives feature; see what was buzzworthy in the blogosphere in days past.
• Blogdex:A blog search engine and a "finger on the pulse" kind of deal; Blogdex is put together by MIT and is a service that "tracks the diffusion of information through the weblog community."
• Technorati: Technorati is a blog search engine that is a real-time recorder of what is going on in the blogosphere. At the time of this writing Technorati was tracking a whopping 20.8 million sites and 1.7 billion links.
• Bloogz.com: Search blogs with the Bloogz blog search engine; you can also take a look at which blogs are the most popular at the moment.
• Blogwise.com: "Blogwise is a site about developing a portal to blogs around the world, efficiently, quickly and nicely." More of a blog directory than a blog search engine, but they do have a site search available and an impressive amount of blogs in their directory (over 100,000 at the time of this writing).
• Ice Rocket Blog Search: Excellent blog search engine that includes the option to search by link. Ice Rocket also has a pretty good advanced search page.
• Google Blog Search: Google Blog Search is relatively new to the world of blog search engines and at the time of this writing is still in beta. Doesn't retrieve many results at this time and there are a lot of useability issues, but again, Google Blog Search is still just in beta. I'll update as they work some of these issues out.
• BlogPulse: BlogPulse is a dream of a blog search engine. Includes really cool BlogPulse user tools such as Trend Search and Conversation Tracker.
• Bloglines: Not only can you search the blogosphere with Bloglines blog search engine, you can also subscribe to site feeds and view all your feeds within Bloglines' feed reader. Here's my Bloglines subscriptions.
• Blogdigger: Blogdigger is a solid blog search engine that also gives you the option to search for local blogs, an option I immediately added to my bookmarks.
• Waypath: Waypath bills itself as a "blog discovery engine". This blog search engine features the ability to identify topic streams, which basically means that they pull out the meat of every subject post.
• Findory: Findory is a super-charged blog search engine. Findory not only finds blogs that you're interested in, but "brings you news articles from thousands of worldwide sources...and custom-builds a personalized newspaper for each reader." Very cool service; try building your own Findory page.
• PubSub:"PubSub is a matching service that instantly notifies you when new content is created that matches your subscription." PubSub searches blogs and is technically not a blog search engine, but since it does search blogs I included it here. Think of PubSub as breaking news alerts on steroids - it's an extremely powerful and convenient search service and once you start one, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.
• Feedster: "17,268,315 feeds indexed and fully searchable." Feedster is a blog search engine with a twist: it searches and indexes anything with a feed, which covers a wide gamut.

Best of all-purpose search engines on the Web

1. Google
In the last few years, Google has attained the ranking of the #1 search engine on the Net, and consistently stayed there.

2. Yahoo
Yahoo is a search engine,subject directory, and web portal. Yahoo provides good search results powered by their own search engine database, along with many other Yahoo search options.

3. MSN
MSN Search is Microsoft's offering to the search world. Learn about MSN Search: its ease of use, cool search features, and simple advanced search accessibility.

4. AOL
Learn why so many people have chosen AOL Search to be their jumping off point when searching the Web. With its ease of use, simple accessibility, and nifty search features, AOL Search has carved itself a unique niche in the search world.

5. ASK
Ask.com is a very popular crawler-based search engine. Some of the reasons that it has stayed so popular with so many people are its ease of use, cool search features (including Smart Answers), and powerful search interface.

6. AlltheWeb
AlltheWeb is a search engine whose results are powered by Yahoo. AlltheWeb has some very advanced search features that make it a good search destination for those looking for pure search.

7. Altavista
AltaVista has been around in various forms since 1995, and continues to be a viable presence on the Web.

8. Lycos
Lycos has been around for over ten years now (started in September of 1995), and has some interesting search features to offer. Learn more about Lycos Search, Lycos Top 50, Lycos Entertainment, and more.

9. Gigablast
Gigablast is a search engine with some interesting features, good advanced search power, and an excellent user experience.

10. Cuil
Cuil is a slick, minimalist search engine with a magazine look and feel. Cuil claims to have indexed over 121 billion Web pages, so it is quite a large search engine, plus, the search interface returns quite a few related categories and search terms that can potentially launch your search net quite a bit wider.

Duplicate Content Filter: What it is and how it works

Duplicate Content has become a huge topic of discussion lately, thanks to the new filters that search engines have implemented. This article will help you understand why you might be caught in the filter, and ways to avoid it. We'll also show you how you can determine if your pages have duplicate content, and what to do to fix it.
Search engine spam is any deceitful attempts to deliberately trick the search engine into returning inappropriate, redundant, or poor-quality search results. Many times this behavior is seen in pages that are exact replicas of other pages which are created to receive better results in the search engine. Many people assume that creating multiple or similar copies of the same page will either increase their chances of getting listed in search engines or help them get multiple listings, due to the presence of more keywords.
In order to make a search more relevant to a user, search engines use a filter that removes the duplicate content pages from the search results, and the spam along with it. Unfortunately, good, hardworking webmasters have fallen prey to the filters imposed by the search engines that remove duplicate content. It is those webmasters who unknowingly spam the search engines, when there are some things they can do to avoid being filtered out. In order for you to truly understand the concepts you can implement to avoid the duplicate content filter, you need to know how this filter works.
First, we must understand that the term "duplicate content penalty" is actually a misnomer. When we refer to penalties in search engine rankings, we are actually talking about points that are deducted from a page in order to come to an overall relevancy score. But in reality, duplicate content pages are not penalized. Rather they are simply filtered, the way you would use a sieve to remove unwanted particles. Sometimes, "good particles" are accidentally filtered out.
Knowing the difference between the filter and the penalty, you can now understand how a search engine determines what duplicate content is. There are basically four types of duplicate content that are filtered out:
1. Websites with Identical Pages - These pages are considered duplicate, as well as websites that are identical to another website on the Internet are also considered to be spam. Affiliate sites with the same look and feel which contain identical content, for example, are especially vulnerable to a duplicate content filter. Another example would be a website with doorway pages. Many times, these doorways are skewed versions of landing pages. However, these landing pages are identical to other landing pages. Generally, doorway pages are intended to be used to spam the search engines in order to manipulate search engine results.
2. Scraped Content - Scraped content is taking content from a web site and repackaging it to make it look different, but in essence it is nothing more than a duplicate page. With the popularity of blogs on the internet and the syndication of those blogs, scraping is becoming more of a problem for search engines.
3. E-Commerce Product Descriptions - Many eCommerce sites out there use the manufacturer's descriptions for the products, which hundreds or thousands of other eCommerce stores in the same competitive markets are using too. This duplicate content, while harder to spot, is still considered spam.
4. Distribution of Articles - If you publish an article, and it gets copied and put all over the Internet, this is good, right? Not necessarily for all the sites that feature the same article. This type of duplicate content can be tricky, because even though Yahoo and MSN determine the source of the original article and deems it most relevant in search results, other search engines like Google may not, according to some experts.
So, how does a search engine's duplicate content filter work? Essentially, when a search engine robot crawls a website, it reads the pages, and stores the information in its database. Then, it compares its findings to other information it has in its database. Depending upon a few factors, such as the overall relevancy score of a website, it then determines which are duplicate content, and then filters out the pages or the websites that qualify as spam. Unfortunately, if your pages are not spam, but have enough similar content, they may still be regarded as spam.
There are several things you can do to avoid the duplicate content filter. First, you must be able to check your pages for duplicate content. Using our Similar Page Checker, you will be able to determine similarity between two pages and make them as unique as possible. By entering the URLs of two pages, this tool will compare those pages, and point out how they are similar so that you can make them unique.
Since you need to know which sites might have copied your site or pages, you will need some help. We recommend using a tool that searches for copies of your page on the Internet: www.copyscape.com. Here, you can put in your web page URL to find replicas of your page on the Internet. This can help you create unique content, or even address the issue of someone "borrowing" your content without your permission.
Let's look at the issue regarding some search engines possibly not considering the source of the original content from distributed articles. Remember, some search engines, like Google, use link popularity to determine the most relevant results. Continue to build your link popularity, while using tools like www.copyscape.com to find how many other sites have the same article, and if allowed by the author, you may be able to alter the article as to make the content unique.
If you use distributed articles for your content, consider how relevant the article is to your overall web page and then to the site as a whole. Sometimes, simply adding your own commentary to the articles can be enough to avoid the duplicate content filter; the Similar Page Checker could help you make your content unique. Further, the more relevant articles you can add to compliment the first article, the better. Search engines look at the entire web page and its relationship to the whole site, so as long as you aren't exactly copying someone's pages, you should be fine.
If you have an eCommerce site, you should write original descriptions for your products. This can be hard to do if you have many products, but it really is necessary if you wish to avoid the duplicate content filter. Here's another example why using the Similar Page Checker is a great idea. It can tell you how you can change your descriptions so as to have unique and original content for your site. This also works well for scraped content also. Many scraped content sites offer news. With the Similar Page Checker, you can easily determine where the news content is similar, and then change it to make it unique.
Do not rely on an affiliate site which is identical to other sites or create identical doorway pages. These types of behaviors are not only filtered out immediately as spam, but there is generally no comparison of the page to the site as a whole if another site or page is found as duplicate, and get your entire site in trouble.
The duplicate content filter is sometimes hard on sites that don't intend to spam the search engines. But it is ultimately up to you to help the search engines determine that your site is as unique as possible. By using the tools in this article to eliminate as much duplicate content as you can, you'll help keep your site original and fresh.

Jumping Over the Google Sandbox

It's never easy for newcomers to enter a market and there are barriers of different kinds. For newcomers to the world of search engines, the barrier is called a sandbox – your site stays there until it gets mature enough to be allowed to the Top Positions club. Although there is no direct confirmation of the existence of a sandbox, Google employees have implied it and SEO experts have seen in practice that new sites, no matter how well optimized, don't rank high on Google, while on MSN and Yahoo they catch quickly. For Google, the jailing in the sandbox for new sites with new domains is on average 6 months, although it can vary from less than a month to over 8 months.
Sandbox and Aging Delay
While it might be considered unfair to stop new sites by artificial means like keeping them at the bottom of search results, there is a fair amount of reasoning why search engines, and above all Google, have resorted to such measures. With blackhat practices like bulk buying of links, creation of duplicate content or simply keyword stuffing to get to the coveted top, it is no surprise that Google chose to penalize new sites, which overnight get tons of backlinks, or which are used as a source of backlinks to support an older site (possibly owned by the same company). Needless to say, when such fake sites are indexed and admitted to top positions, this deteriorates search results, so Google had to take measures for ensuring that such practices will not be tolerated. The sandbox effect works like a probation period for new sites and by making the practice of farming fake sites a long-term, rather than a short-term payoff for site owners, it is supposed to decrease its use.
Sandbox and aging delay are similar in meaning and many SEO experts use them interchangeably. Aging delay is more self-explanatory – sites are “delayed” till they come of age. Well, unlike in legislation, with search engines this age is not defined and it differs. There are cases when several sites were launched in the same day, were indexed within a week from each other but the aging delay for each of them expired in different months. As you see, the sandbox is something beyond your control and you cannot avoid it but still there are steps you can undertake to minimize the damage for new sites with new domains.
Minimizing Sandbox Damages
While Google sandbox is not something you can control, there are certain steps you can take in order to make the sandbox effect less destructive for your new site. As with many aspects of SEO, there are ethical and unethical tips and tricks and unethical tricks can get you additional penalties or a complete ban from Google, so think twice before resorting to them. The unethical approaches will not be discussed in this article because they don comply with our policy.
Before we delve into more detail about particular techniques to minimize sandbox damage, it is necessary to clarify the general rule: you cannot fight the sandbox. The only thing you can do is to adapt to it and patiently wait for time to pass. Any attempts to fool Google – starting from writing melodramatic letters to Google, to using “sandbox tools” to bypass the filter – can only make your situation worse. There are many initiatives you can take, while in the sandbox, for as example:
• Actively gather content and good links – as time passes by, relevant and fresh content and good links will take you to the top. When getting links, have in mind that they need to be from trusted sources – like DMOZ, CNN, Fortune 500 sites, or other reputable places. Also, links from .edu, .gov, and .mil domains might help because these domains are usually exempt from the sandbox filter. Don't get 500 links a month – this will kill your site! Instead, build links slowly and steadily.
• Plan ahead– contrary to the general practice of launching a site when it is absolutely complete, launch a couple of pages, when you have them. This will start the clock and time will be running parallel to your site development efforts.
• Buy old or expired domains – the sandbox effect is more serious for new sites on new domains, so if you buy old or expired domains and launch your new site there, you'll experience less problems.
• Host on a well- established host – another solution is to host your new site on a subdomain of a well-established host (however, free hosts are generally not a good idea in terms of SEO ranking). The sandbox effect is not so severe for new subdomains (unless the domain itself is blacklisted). You can also host the main site on a subdomain and on a separate domain host just some contents, linked with the main site. You can also use redirects from the subdomained site to the new one, although the effect of this practice is also questionable because it can also be viewed as an attempt to fool Google.
• Concentrate on less popular keywords – the fact that your site is sandboxed does not mean that it is not indexed by Google at all. On the contrary, you could be able to top the search results from the very beginning! Looking like a contradiction with the rest of the article? Not at all! You could top the results for less popular keywords – sure, it is better than nothing. And while you wait to get to the top for the most lucrative keywords, you can discover that even less popular keywords are enough to keep the ball rolling, so you may want to make some optimization for them.
• Rely more on non-Google ways to increase traffic – it is often reminded that Google is not the only search engine or marketing tool out there. So if you plan your SEO efforts to include other search engines, which either have no sandbox at all or the period of stay there is relatively short, this will also minimize the damages of the sandbox effect.