storeBlox CS already has deep support for integration with other systems, but we’ve made it even better by adding the ability to manage integration modules directly in webBlox. Depending on your needs, you can plug in integration modules for any of the following functions:
- Order Integration: post-processing of orders in real-time to the system of your choice.
- Pre-order Integration: real-time “punch-out” to external order systems during the order process for outside validation and processing actions, such as your own credit card validation systems
- Billing Validation: Plug in custom business logic for billing validation, such as order requirements for specific groups of credit card numbers.
Interesting news in the search landscape today: Microsoft’s search engine product, better known as Bing.com, has exceeded 30% of search market share for the first time ever. It’s interesting (and heartening, in our opinion, because real competition in the space is badly needed) to see another search engine gain at the expense of Google, because the trend for so many years has been exactly the opposite. Congratulations, Redmond.
There are, as always, a couple of caveats worth noting. First of all, that roughly 30% market share isn’t all Bing.com and their related apps and search products. Half of it is Yahoo!, who long ago gave up on improving their own search engine and “contracted out” the technology to Bing. Bing-branded market share is really only about 15%. Nevertheless, any growth against Google by competing services is impressive.
Second, it’s possible that, in addition to the Yahoo! deal, Bing’s growth can be attributed to their aggressive deal-making and sponsorships over the last year or so. In addition to its own position as the default search engine on Windows Phone 7 devices, Bing has inked deals with Android handset makers to deliver Bing-co-branded phones. Some Android enthusiasts call this aggressive bundling of sponsored apps and services by carriers on many Android phones “junkware,” but there’s no doubt that we’ll see more and more of this as a way for wireless carriers to subsidize hardware cost.
If you’re not already familiar with search engine optimization from reading about it here for the last few years, I’ll give you a very brief refresher. Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is the science (or, in some cases, the art) of improving the position of your websites pages in the ranking of search engine results. When you go and search for “promotional products” on Google, you’ll probably notice that some big, familiar names come up first, and your site doesn’t appear at all – not even in the first 15 or 20 pages of results.
Search engine optimization really consists of two simple practices: first, your search ranking is, to a great degree, determined by the links from other sites to yours. These so-called “back links” or “inbound” links are essential in building the type of trust that search engines like Google analyze to determine how to rank your website. These links take time, expertise, and often great effort to build and maintain.
The second part of search engine optimization is the management and fine-tuning of content on your own site. The keywords that you use to build your webpages, the variety and originality of the content on your site, and even the structure of the site itself – that is, the way your site is organized – all affect how Google analyzes and ranks your website. (more…)