Promote Your Website Using Newsgroups
by Nowshade Kabir

Currently, Google has indexed over 3.3 billion pages and that 
definitely does not cover the entire Internet. With so many 
competitors online, you need to use every conceivable method 
to promote your website. 

Newsgroups can be a very powerful tool in your web promotion 
endeavor, if you use them effectively. 
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 on various topics within a single newsgroup. These 
topics are called threads. As a user, you can start a thread, 
post messages to a thread and respond to other postings. 

Before the Internet era, the way you know it now, back in the
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 grown rapidly. Thanks to the web interface 
introduced by Deja News in 1995, use of Newsgroups has become 
simple and convenient and has provided impetus for its growth.

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 can 
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 (somebody 
controls the postings), most aren'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 
to Newsgroups, the most convenient way to read newsgroups today 
is to use "Google Search". Once you are on the search page of 
Google, click the Groups tab on the menu. This will take you to 
the 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 the import and 
export business, you might try, 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 results 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 suggest using moderated 
groups. Most Newsgroups which are not moderated easily fill up 
with spam and you really have to wade through them to find 
something interesting. 

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 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 
of information!
Benefits of Using Newsgroups

As an online business you can reap a variety of benefits from 
effective use of Newsgroups. 

Establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field. People 
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 and answer posted questions. People 
from the Newsgroup will soon begin to consider you an expert, 
and you'll be amazed at the number of new visitors checking out 
your site.

Conduct Market Surveys
Newsgroups can be a great source of marketing information. By 
asking questions in relevant Newsgroups you can find out what 
people think about your product, your website, etc.

Get New Clients
There are Newsgroups which are formed for the sole purpose of 
promotion and making various announcements. 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 announcements about your site 
launch, press releases, product information, etc. Participation 
in the discussions on your subject area (using your signature 
file which should include your website address) will help 
get new visitors and increase the number 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 
by posting messages with your signature file. Not only will 
you receive answers to your questions, but you will also 
promote your site.
Make Friends
Newsgroups can be a great place to find like-minded friends 
and partners.  

Posting Do's And Don'ts

You have to be very careful when you post to 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 Newsgroup 
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 
  such posts. 

- When posting a response, stick to the original topic.

- Quote only the portion of the message you are responding to, 
  not the whole message.

- Don't cross post. This means, do not post the same messages 
  in several relevant Newsgroups.

- Never post unrelated messages to Newsgroups. This is 
  considered sp@mming!

- When posting a message, be specific and concise in the 
  subject line.

- 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 a valuable contribution to the Newsgroups 
and by doing so, promote your online business at the same time. 
Ask questions that you perceive to be useful to you and others. 
Post responses to messages which are informative, thought-provoking 
and of high quality. You will soon build credibility among your 
fellow Newsgroup members and start receiving a flow of loyal 

Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present CEO 
of A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has wide 
experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and Web 
Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions to 
start and run online business. You can contact him at,,