Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

We’re BAAACK!!!

October 21, 2008

We’ve been busy the past 6 months growing and expanding our online marketplace at and although we continue to be busy (especially with the holiday season only a few weeks away), we are excited to share with you some of the things we’re doing on this blog. We’ll be posting in the next few days, so check back! Thanks.


Update: search or “pay to play”

October 10, 2007

We posted on December 17, 2006 (6 weeks after we launched our online marketplace) that to drive customers to our site and create brand and product awareness, we wanted to be included in the major search engines and to advertise both online and offline. However, because Google did not rank us (at that time) in the top 1000 results for several of our keywords, including espresso cups, cappuccino cups and fondue pots, we decided to participate in “sponsored search”. We were aware that sponsored search is expensive and our early experience indicated sponsored search resulted in primarily low quality visits. So we asked the question: “Should we be patient and wait until we move up in the Google search results, or do we continue to spend on the Google Adwords program knowing that it doesn’t bring quality visits, product sales or even long-term customer relationships?”

We’re pleased to provide an update. The two screenshots below show that as of today, Google organic search ranks our website in the top 15 results (middle of page 2) for espresso cups (2,350,000 results) and top 20 results (bottom half of page 2) for cappuccino cups (1,940,000 results). For fondue pots (1,580,000 results), we rank in the top 90 results (bottom of page 9).



To achieve this impressive keyword ranking on Google, we have continued to improve the search friendliness of our website as per the earlier post and we have been very patient. We worked and waited almost 12 months!

To improve the site, we have focused especially on page layout using Divs rather than tables (whenever possible – obviously for tabular data, tables make perfect sense) and ensuring that the site uses valid HTML and is CSS compliant. For example, it does matter where your content with keywords is on the page. If you use CSS and have column layouts, the search engines read left to right and top to bottom and give more weighting to content that appears on the top left vs. the bottom right. Also, the search engines cannot read images so you should use alt tags that contain keywords. HTML validation and CSS standards do impact on search rankings, i.e. it is important to understand that search bots that crawl your site are “blind” and do not visualize your site but instead “read” your HTML markup. Bad HTML or unecessary or messy code will negatively impact your ranking. Good HTML like using tags for titles will help Google boost the importance of the title (useful if the title contains your keywords). Using Div tags to lay out your pages rather than tables will help the search bot “read” your page faster because there is less “clutter”, which will also improve your ranking.

You can find advice and tools that should help you to structure your site at Also read Google’s FAQ for webmasters and Google’s Webmaster blog with great advice and news about coming features.

The key (pardon the pun) now is to maintain those search rankings. Our competitors can view our keyword rank and keyword usage using a variety of online tools. We are redesigning our navigation to use a pure CSS based navigation bar, instead of the current navigation bar based on HTML tables, javascript and jpg image files (although we do use alt tags). We’ll post about that later.

We have been featured in…

April 13, 2007
TraditionalHomeApr2007 TRADITIONAL HOME

Traditional Home featured our Terra Keramik tableware in its April 2007 issue (1/2 page). Pictured are our cappuccino cups [not the espresso cups as indicated], candleholder and teapot. We appreciate the wonderful article and beautiful photos! Thank you Traditional Home!

Traditional Home is the largest “upscale shelter magazine” based on paid circulation of 950,000 (compared to House & Garden, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, etc).

ctcottages_apr20071.jpg CONNECTICUT COTTAGES & GARDENS

Connecticut Cottages & Gardens (CCG) Magazine featured our Terra Keramik beverageware and dinnerware in its April 2007 issue (1/2 page). The April issue is dedicated to the “green” theme, i.e. eco-friendly buildings, interior design, and landscapes. Pictured are our espresso cups and dinner plates. Thank you CCG for the beautiful spread!

Connecticut Cottages & Gardens and Palm Beach Cottages & Gardens are sister publications (both featured our products) that cover the “gold coasts” of Connecticut and Florida.

FreshcupMagazineFeb2007 FRESHCUP

Freshcup Magazine featured our Terra Keramik beverageware in its February 2007 issue. Pictured are our espresso cups, cappuccino cups, coffee mugs and tea mugs. We appreciate the announcement of the opening of our online marketplace! Thank you Freshcup!

Freshcup is a speciality beverage magazine focusing primarily on the coffee and tea trades. About 15,000 retailers subscribe to Freshcup.

APARTMENTTHERAPY.COM (AT) featured our teapot on its blog on March 20. During the first hour of the posting, we received more than 500 visitors to our website! Thank you AT for blogging about our teapots!

AT is an online community which helps people make their apartments better places to live and connects them to the resources they need to redecorate their homes. AT ranks as one of the 500 largest blogs according to

COFFEED.COM featured our espresso cups and cappuccino cups in response to a question about cups for the upcoming US Barista Championships on May 4-7 in Long Beach, California. We really appreciate the posts from Matt Milletto and Mark Prince, as well as comments from others. Matt is consulting director of Bellissimo Coffee Group, director of the American Barista and Coffee School, and founder of Mark is the founder and editor of and a retired barista championships judge (see our earlier post about Mark and Thanks everyone! is an online community for espresso and coffee “professionals and fanatics”.
We have superimposed Matt Milletto’s post, which actually appears further down in the post, after the first post to show it on the same screen shot.

We met Luca Costanzo through the online community and sent him a couple of Terra Keramik cappuccino cups for “testing”. Luca is a barista at First Pour (espresso bar) at Veneziano Caffe (coffee roaster) in Melbourne, Australia (also the home of David Makin, the 2006 Australian Barista Champion). Luca blogged about our cappuccino cups at