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  1. Taking the News Out of Facebook’s News Feed Could Hurt Publishers

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Taking the News Out of Facebook's News Feed Could Hurt Publishers

    A new feature that Facebook recently has been testing in a handful of countries could hurt publishers everywhere if it should roll out globally.

    The feature removes users’ Liked pages from their main News Feed and aggregates them in a separate space called “Explore.”

    In the six countries where Facebook has been testing the idea, traffic to news outlets reportedly
    has dropped 60-80 percent.

    “Publishers should be terrified by this,” said John Carroll, a mass communications professor at Boston University.

    “One of the risks that publishers run when they rely on traffic from Facebook is that it can go away as quickly as it arrived,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

    Read More >>>

  2. SEO 2017: 5 Rock-Solid Strategies to Help You Rank

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    SEO 2017: 5 Rock-Solid Strategies to Help You Rank

    To succeed with SEO in 2017 you need trust. Trust is the core component of Google's relevancy-oriented search. Without trust, you're simply not relevant. Yet, building trust is a double-edged sword and somewhat of a catch-22. For newcomers, especially, gaining visibility without trust has become incredibly difficult.

    However, without visibility, how are people supposed to garner those all-important shares and links to your content? If someone can't discover your article, how are they supposed to engage with it and like it enough to send it to their friends or share it on social media? Clearly, in the beginning, the odds are stacked up against us. But there is a way forward. 

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  3. Link Building: 12 Ways to Get Other Sites to Link to Yours

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Link Building: 12 Ways to Get Other Sites to Link to Yours

    In their book Ultimate Guide to Link Building, link-building experts Eric Ward and Garrett French offer straightforward advice to help you earn a higher search engine ranking and increase the authority and popularity of your site. In this edited excerpt, the authors show you how to craft an email that will get more people to respond to your link requests. 

    Email inboxes are busy, and you need a way to make your email link request stand out from hundreds of others. Here are 12 elements your link requests should contain, followed by the logic behind them. Although these may seem obvious, the overwhelming majority of link requests don't contain them, so adopting these practices will set you apart from the competition for your target's attention.

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  4. Zero Is the New No. 1 (At Least for Google Ranking)

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Zero Is the New No. 1 (At Least for Google Ranking)

    If you’re optimizing your web content for search-engine results pages (SERPs), you might be under the impression that No. 1 is the best you can do.

    But you need to think bigger. Counter to everything you know about every other aspect of business and life, you want to be No. 0. That coveted slot will snag you a featured snippet to go along with your claim to fame at the top of the first page. And it’s the absolute best place to be if you’re trying to rank a web page.

    Related: Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your Website

    What No. 0 looks like.

    If you want to see a featured snippet, just head over to Google and search for the following vital information: “How to cure bacon.” That box at the top of the SERPs is No. 0.  

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  5. SEO + UX = Success

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    These days, SEO best practices include consideration for the user experience (UX). Columnist Sherry Bonelli explains how SEO and UX work together to help both search engines and users.

    SEO + UX = Success

    In the good old days, SEO was simple. You stuffed a page full of keywords, and you ranked number one. Oh, if only it were that simple today! Now, Google (and the other search engines) literally take hundreds of factors into account when determining which pages rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).

    This new reality means that elements of user experience (UX) have been rolled into SEO best practices. How easy is your site to navigate? Do you have quality content that makes visitors want to stay and engage? Is your site secure, fast and mobile-friendly?

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  6. Private blog networks: A great way to get your site penalized

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Columnist Kevin Rowe explains what private blog networks (PBNs) are, how to identify them, and why you should steer clear.

    Private blog networks: A great way to get your site penalized

    You may have heard about private blog networks (PBNs) before, but you may not be sure what they are or why they are used. A PBN is a network of websites used to build links (and therefore pass authority) to a single website for the purpose of manipulating search engine rankings. This scheme is similar to a link wheel or link pyramid, as it involves several different websites all linking to one another or to one central website.

    While these types of schemes were used commonly years ago, PBNs are now considered a pure black hat tactic and should be avoided at all costs, as they can lead to a loss in rankings, or even a manual penalty. PBNs usually provide little to no long-term value to the websites they are linking to.

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  7. The final recrawl analysis: A powerful and important last step after implementing large-scale SEO changes

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    You’ve crawled your client’s site, identified the SEO issues and fixed those issues in staging. Great job! But columnist Glenn Gabe shares why recrawling the site is critical once your SEO changes have been pushed live.

    The final recrawl analysis: A powerful and important last step after implementing large-scale SEO changes

    When helping companies deal with performance drops from major algorithm updates, website redesigns, CMS migrations and other disturbances in the SEO force, I find myself crawling a lot of URLs. And that typically includes a number of crawls during a client engagement. For larger-scale sites, it’s not uncommon for me to surface many problems when analyzing crawl data, from technical SEO issues to content quality problems to user engagement barriers.

    After surfacing those problems, it’s extremely important to form a remediation plan that tackles those issues, rectifies the problems and improves the quality of the website overall. If not, a site might not recover from an algorithm update hit, it could sit in the gray area of quality, technical problems could sit festering, and more.

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  8. Harman Kardon’s Cortana-Powered Smart Speaker Underwhelms

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Harman Kardon's Cortana-Powered Smart Speaker Underwhelms

    Early reviews of the Harman Kardon Invoke with Cortana — the smart speaker that features Microsoft’s personal assistant — have been lukewarm at best.

    The speaker will be available for US$199.95 at Best Buy, Microsoft Stores and other retail outlets in the U.S. starting Sunday.

    Like Amazon’s Echo line and Google’s Home speakers, Invoke lets users play music, manage calendars, set reminders, check traffic, get news reports, and control other smart home devices.

    The Invoke lets users tap Skype to make calls to smartphones, landlines and other Skype-enabled devices.

    It also integrates with Microsoft Office apps.

    Too Expensive?

    The Invoke earned points from reviewers for its design, sound quality, and integration with Microsoft Office.

    Read More >>>

  9. PayPal Lets Messenger Users Send Money to Buddies

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    PayPal on Friday announced the immediate availability of its peer-to-peer payment service on Facebook Messenger, making it easy to exchange money between friends and family.

    PayPal Lets Messenger Users Send Money to Buddies

    PayPal also introduced its first-ever customer service bot, which gives Messenger customers payment and account support right in the app.

    An agreement struck last year with Facebook allowed 2.5 million PayPal customers in the U.S. to connect their accounts with Messenger and use PayPal to shop on Messenger, as well as to communicate with other PayPal users, noted COO Bill Ready.

    PayPal is the leader in P2P payments, he pointed out, with US$24 billion in volume during the third-quarter of 2017, up 47 percent year-over-year.

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  10. Apple, GE Join Forces on Industrial IoT Apps

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Apple, GE Join Forces on Industrial IoT Apps

    Apple and General Electric on Wednesday announced a new software development kit for Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS. The SDK, which will be available for download next week, enables developers to create applications for Predix, an Internet of Things platform made by GE.

    “Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

    “Working together, GE and Apple are giving industrial companies access to powerful apps that help them tap into the predictive data and analytics of Predix right on their iPhone or iPad,” said GE CEO John Flannery.

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  11. Capitalize on Back-to-School Shopping With These 3 Marketing Tips

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Capitalize on Back-to-School Shopping With These 3 Marketing Tips

    The back-to-school scramble is well underway. This very day, moms, dads and college students are scouring the internet for deals on the latest shoes, fashions, dorm furnishings, devices and more. In fact, back-to-school is so big that it contributes to 17 percent of annual retail sales. That’s a $75.8-billion retail opportunity for savvy retailers and small businesses.

    But, if you want to be found ahead of your competitors, you’ve got some marketing homework to do.

    Related: Intelligent Search Drives More Users to Your Business Than Your Website

    As a search evangelist for Microsoft, my job is to help businesses optimize their marketing campaigns. To help get you started, here are some online search and marketing tips that will help your products stand out in the back-to-school retail rush.

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  12. Taking ‘Focus on Users’ Advice Can Kill Your SEO Traffic

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Taking 'Focus on Users' Advice Can Kill Your SEO Traffic

    If you ask Google the best way to do SEO, it will tell you to focus on the user and everything else will follow. Today, SEO is all about creating great, unique content that delights customers.

    Marketers are excited by this news, because from now on they can say goodbye to all the complicated technical SEO stuff. A piece on Entrepreneur.com, "Why Modern SEO Requires Almost No Technical Experience," was widely shared. We now can trust our common sense mentality to "focus on users" in order to drive organic traffic through the roof.

    And while this is half the battle, unfortunately, the road to SEO nirvana is still a long one. Solely following the advice to "focus on users" may very well lead to SEO disasters, because some user experience (UX) changes can create serious technical SEO errors that destroy organic traffic.

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  13. Intelligent Search Drives More Customers to Your Business Than Your Website

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Intelligent Search Drives More Customers to Your Business Than Your Website

    For decades, business owners have understood that a company’s website is the most important digital property a business has, and that investing in it is the primary way you drive customers from the internet to to your doors. This is no longer true.

    While your website is still very important to your business, a shift in consumer behavior in the last few years has changed this calculation. Company websites are no longer the primary site of online engagement. Search results, including digital maps and listings, are where customers engage with businesses the most, and it’s not even close.

    According to an exclusive study of data retrieved from Yext Analytics of 20,107 business locations’ listings profiles across the search engines, local directories, maps and apps where their brands live, brick-and-mortar-only businesses actually receive 2.7 times as many views of listings on maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems and social networks than they do on their own websites. In some industries this disparity was even higher. In fact, in food service it ranged up to 10 times more impressions in listings than on websites for some.

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  14. Google will require AMP and canonical pages to match as of February 1, 2018

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Though AMP isn’t a ranking signal, non-compliant pages won’t appear in Top Stories or other AMP-specific slots in search results.

    Google will require AMP and canonical pages to match as of February 1, 2018

    Google has said that beginning in February 2018, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and canonical pages must match or have very “close parity.” AMP pages that do not match the content of canonical pages “will not be considered for Search features that require AMP, such as the Top Stories carousel with AMP.”

    Content parity has been a requirement for some time, but Google is now stepping up enforcement. However, the company is simultaneously emphasizing that AMP is not a ranking signal, and there will be no penalty — other than the above loss of potential visibility — for pages that fail to comply.

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  15. Choosing an enterprise SEO platform

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Which SEO software tool is right for your organization?

    Choosing an enterprise SEO platform

    With hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and even millions of pages, sites, social conversations, images and keywords to manage and optimize, enterprise SEO has become increasingly complicated and time-consuming. Using an enterprise SEO platform can increase efficiency and productivity while reducing the time and errors involved in managing organic search campaigns.

    More specifically, managing SEO through an enterprise toolset can provide the following benefits:

    • many tools, one interface — enterprise SEO platforms perform many tasks in one system.
    • more efficient management of global operations with built-in diagnostics that can identify sitewide issues across languages, countries or regions.
    • the ability to stay up-to-date with the search engine algorithm changes and their impact on ranking factors.
    • automated reporting to provide data in near real time.

    If you are considering licensing an SEO software tool, MarTech Today’s “Enterprise SEO Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” will help you decide whether or not you need to. This 42-page report examines the market for SEO platforms and the considerations involved in implementing this software into your business and includes profiles of 13 leading SEO tools vendors, capabilities comparison and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

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  16. Google tries to bring more transparency to news content with help from The Trust Project

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Google will display indicators to help distinguish between quality journalism and false information in search and elsewhere.

    Google tries to bring more transparency to news content with help from The Trust Project

    Machines got us into this mess, but humans may help get us out of it. In the wake of the 2016 election and the ongoing manipulation of news by foreign governments and domestic trolls, Google, Facebook and Twitter have endured intensifying criticism and had to face the limitations of their algorithms as arbiters of truth.

    These issues have been well-documented but most recently arose again in the wake of the Las Vegas and Texas church mass shootings. Google, YouTube and others were duped by parties seeking to spread false information about the identity of the shooters in each case.

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  17. Evolution of the 4th Utility: Fixed Broadband

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Evolution of the 4th Utility: Fixed Broadband

    In-home broadband has become “the fourth utility” in United States households, many of which have multiple connected devices and viewing screens. More than 85 percent of U.S. homes have broadband service, according to Parks Associates, 93 percent of those have DSL, fiber or cable high-speed, fixed-line Internet services.

    The demand for high-speed fixed broadband is a key contributor to ongoing revenue and profitability for operators, particularly due to declines in pay-TV and landline voice subscribers.

    The competitive market has changed vastly over the past two years, as have the services available. AT&T acquired DirecTV and launched an online pay-TV service (DirecTV Now) that it bundles with broadband, satellite TV and mobile.

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  18. Salesforce’s IoT Strategy

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Salesforce's IoT Strategy

    Salesforce is a large and well-disciplined development company. It’s pretty good at marketing too. It continues to innovate in all product areas, from core platform to applications, and the one criticism I’d make is that it’s information overload at times. Reminds me of Oracle.

    Lately Salesforce has made a big deal of adding its AI product, Einstein, to every application area to provide insights and stack rank options. Given that this is Einstein’s first year, it’s not surprising that the foundational layer looks similar across all of Salesforce’s disciplines.

    In cloud after cloud, we see some version of next best… . I expect that we might see examples of this at Dreamforce.

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  19. Salesforce Reshuffles SaaS, PaaS in Internet of Things and AI

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Salesforce Reshuffles SaaS, PaaS in Internet of Things and AI

    It can be a full-time job trying to keep up with Salesforce’s newest cloud offerings and messaging. However, it is always worth the effort, because the company’s pronouncements are often early bellwethers of the future direction of the software industry.

    This has become particularly true with respect to the company’s evolving efforts to penetrate and gain a prominent position in the artificial intelligence and Internet of Things markets. Salesforce’s most recent moves, in anticipation of its annual Dreamforce conference, also could be a key indicator of the rapidly changing competitive landscape.

    Battle for PaaS Supremacy

    Salesforce has been in the vanguard of promoting Software as a Service and, more broadly, the value of the cloud. As it has gained success with its widening array of SaaS/cloud offerings, it also has borrowed a strategy from the traditional software industry playbook: adding a development layer to its SaaS applications, thus enabling its customers and partners to build their own software solutions to meet their particular business needs.

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  20. 6 Ways to Understand SEO Impacts Sooner

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    6 Ways to Understand SEO Impacts Sooner

    SEO is a great marketing tool for an entrepreneur. It is scalable when you don’t have a big budget — you don’t have to pay for every click as you have to in paid marketing programs. It also has a great brand impact. Users often ascribe leadership status to companies that are top ranked. SEO therefore is a great program that enables entrepreneurs to compete with large companies on equal footing. Imagine being able to do that with television advertising!

    Given that it is such an attractive marketing channel, one would assume that all the business owners would jump on it. That is not the case. In fact SEO remains one of the most under-invested marketing channel among small businesses.

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