At present there are over 3.3 billion pages indexed by Google,
and that definitely does not cover the entire Internet. With so
many competitors around, you sure have to use every conceivable
method available to promote your website.
Newsgroups can be very powerful tools in your web promotion
endeavor if you use them actively.
What is a Newsgroup?
A newsgroup is a message board on the Internet where users come
to discuss topics of mutual interest. Each newsgroup is
dedicated to a particular subject of interest and consists of
messages posted by participants. You can find several ongoing
discussions surrounding various topics within a single newsgroup.
These topics are call threads. As a user you can start a thread,
post messages to a thread and make responds to other postings.
Before the Internet era, the way you know it now, back in
eighties and early nineties people used to connect to electronic
bulletin boards (bbs) through modems and post text messages for
others to read and answer. Usenet Newsgroups was started as a
collection of these bulletin boards. Along with the Internet,
Newsgroups have also started to grow rapidly. Thanks to the
Interface introduced by Deja News in 1995 use of Newsgroups
became simple and convenient, which also gave enough impetus to
Today, Usenet discussion forums or Newsgroups indexed by Google
comprise over 800 million messages, which is around a terabyte
of information! It is calculated that over 10 million people
have regular access to Newsgroups!
Each newsgroup is formed with a certain purpose. This is
described in its charter at the time it is started. Normally
every Newsgroup has its own single subject. However there
could be many Newsgroups dedicated to one subject.
There are tens of thousands of newsgroups on every subject you
can possibly imagine. The subjects in Newsgroups are
hierarchically structured. Some of them are moderated, means
somebody controls the postings, most don’t.
How to use Newsgroups?
Since there are so many newsgroups, whatever your interest is
you will most likely find a newsgroup which will suit you.
Although, most email readers have built-in features to
subscribe Newsgroups the most convenient way to read newsgroups
today is to use “Google Search”. Once you are on the search
page of the Google, Click on the Groups from the menu. This
will take you to Groups search page with a directory of
Newsgroups under the headline ‘Post and read comments in Usenet
discussion forums’. The most common subdirectories for
businesses are located in alt, biz and misc. For example: If
you are in import and export business you might try alt.business.
imort-export, which has several groups within it.
Run a search using a keyword related to your online business
that you would like to promote from the groups search page of
Google. The result will appear chronologically, the most recent
one being at the top. Check out the most relevant Newsgroups
from the results. If your search produces a very big list of
results, try the advanced search option. Try reducing the time
frame of postings. By default Google searches within all
messages posted from 1981.
For really worthwhile information I’ll suggest to use moderated
groups. Most Newsgroups which are not moderated easily fill up
with spam and you really have to wade through them to find
Did you notice that Google has a new paid service under the
name “Google Answers”? For a fee Google nominated researchers
will get answers to your hard to find questions. The service
is located at http://answers.google.com. If you go through the
questions that are already asked, you will be amazed to see
that by searching newsgroups you will find answers to many of
them without paying a dime. Newsgroups are indeed a gold mine
Benefits of using Newsgroups
As an online business you can rip varieties of benefits from
effective use of Newsgroups.
Establish yourself as an expert of your chosen field
People will prefer doing business with you if they know that
you are an expert in your field. Post important and relevant
information in your chosen Newsgroup, answer to the questions
posted. Very soon, people from the Newsgroup will start
considering you as an expert and you will be amazed to see
quantity of new visitors checking out your site.
Conduct market survey
Newsgroups can be a great source of marketing information. By
asking questions in relevant Newsgroups you can find a way of
figuring out what people think about your product, your
Get new clients
There are Newsgroups, which are formed with the sole purpose of
various announcements and promotions. Prudent use of these
Newsgroups along with your relevant Newsgroups will definitely
increase your site traffic and get new clients.
Promote your site
In relevant groups you can post announcement about your site
launch, press releases, product information, etc. Participation
in the discussions in your subject matter with your signature
file, which should include your website address, will help
getting new visitors and increase the quantity of backward
links to your website.
Get answers to your questions
You can’t be an expert in every thing! Often, you will need
answers to various questions. Ask them in relevant Newsgroups
along with your signature file. Not only you will have answers
to your questions, along with this you will also promote your
Newsgroups can be a great place to find like-minded friends
Posting do’s and don’ts
You have to be very careful with what you post in a Newsgroup.
Before making your first post, go through the FAQ and posting
rules of the Newsgroup and read some of the postings. You want
to position yourself as an expert not an idiot! Some Newsgroups
users are pretty aggressive. If they feel that you are spamming
their precious Newsgroup you will be flamed in no time.
Here are some basic rules:
– Don’t post commercials, advertisements or press
releases; unless the newsgroup specifically mentions that it
endorses these things.
– While posting a respond, stick to the original topic.
– Quote only the portion of the message you are responding not
the whole message.
– Don’t cross post. This means, do not post same messages in
several relevant Newsgroups.
– Never post unrelated messages to Newsgroups. This is considered
– While posting a message be specific and concise in the subject
– Post your signature file with each and every message. This is
important for your web promotion!
– Check your spelling and grammar before posting a message.
The idea is to make valuable contribution to the Newsgroups and
by doing so at the same time promote your online business. Ask
questions that you perceive useful to you and others. Post
responds to messages, which are informative, thought-provoking
and of high quality. Soon you will build credibility among your
fellow Newsgroup members and start receiving a flow of loyal
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