|by Jim Edwards
(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
As the Web grows more crowded and just plain "noisy" with
information bombarding us from every angle, most people
welcome any tool, trick or shortcut to help them wade
through the mountains of data to find what they want.
Since your web browser represents your main window to the
Internet, it makes sense for any tool which enables you to
find what you need and get around faster online should sit
right where you need it most... on your browser!
Introducing Web browser "toolbars," free little programs you
download from the Web that work with Internet Explorer and
Netscape to put you several steps closer to the information
you need right now.
~ Google Toolbar ~
The free toolbar from search giant Google offers the best
overall features of any toolbar we evaluated.
Not only does it allow you to search the web, but it also
enables you to search within a website to find specific
The Google toolbar's main features include "Page Rank,"
which gives an indication of a website's overall value based
on your search criteria and other factors.
It also offers a "backwards links" function which allows you
to see which sites link to the website currently loaded in
If you are looking to get traffic from other sites, you can
use the Google toolbar to find sites with high page rank AND
lots of sites pointing to them. You can then go to each of
those sites you find in the backwards links and ask them to
give you a link too!
This is an AWESOME way to find potential new affiliates who
already have their pages indexed in the search engines and
are in the habit of giving links to other sites.
Simply pull up your competitor's website in your browser,
click the "i" button next to the PageRank meter, then click
the "Backwards Link" link to get a list of all the sites
Google indexes that link back to that website.
Start contacting them!
You can download the Google toolbar on your web browser by
visiting http://toolbar.google.com and following the simple
~ Alexa Toolbar ~
Alexa's main claim to fame revolves around its traffic
ranking report on virtually any site on the Internet.
The lower the Traffic Ranking number, the more popular a
site rates in Alexa's eyes. Currently Yahoo, MSN and Google
occupy the top 1,2 and 3 spots on Alexa's charts. Auction
giant, eBay, occupies the #6 spot.
With so many websites on the Internet, an Alexa ranking of
less than 100,000 is considered good, and a ranking of less
than 10,000 is considered outstanding as far as a site's
relative popularity on the Web.
Alexa also offers a related links feature right on the
toolbar so you can quickly see links to similar sites other
people also visit when surfing the site you currently have
loaded in your browser.
For marketing, the real power of Alexa's toolbar comes into
play when you combine it with Google's toolbar.
When you find a site with a high page rank AND a low Alexa
rating, you know you've got a site you need to take a hard
look at trying to get a link from or start recruiting their
link partners as your affiliates.
Doing it this way will save you a ton of time when it comes
to finding potential affiliates and link partners because
those sites are highly qualified, both for the amount of
traffic they get and the type of targeted customers they
Alexa's toolbar also offers a free pop-up blocker to help
cut down on pop-up windows.
You can download the Alexa Toolbar free from www.alexa.com
~ AltaVista Toolbar ~
Former search giant AltaVista recently jumped on the toolbar
bandwagon with their offering at www.altavista.com
Though we didn't see additional features to help you with
your marketing, we did see a couple of things that were just
The AltaVista toolbar offers a language translation button
and an MP3 search.
Click the "Translate" button and instantly translate entire
web pages from one language to another.
The MP3 search function will help you find the tunes you
want from AltaVista's audio index.
Most of the toolbars offer additional gadgets to help you
with everything from weather forecasts to currency
Because they offer many of the same features and they take
up valuable screen space, using more than two toolbars at a
time can prove impractical. Since most toolbars come free
of charge, evaluate them all for their main features and
overall usability for your particular needs, and then stick
with the best one or two.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how
to use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted
visitors to your website or affiliate links...
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