Industry Buzz

Auction ahead: Calling all ninjas, reviewers and fùtbol fans

GoDaddy Blog -

  You’ve most likely heard about the new domain name extensions that started launching about six months ago. The new extensions provide personalization that has never been seen before in the world of domain names. Late last month, new domain extensions launched targeting ninjas, reviewers and fùtbol fans. Starting today, GoDaddy is auctioning off 25 premium domain names ending in .ninja, .reviews and .futbol.   The names in this auction provide a great way to express yourself online and are completely personal and descriptive. Are you a technology ninja? There’s Tech.ninja. Are you an expert on mobile phone applications? App.reviews would be a great domain. If you’re an expert in electronics, a domain name like e.ninja would tell your story. Super.ninja will even be auctioned for you ninjas with special powers. The auction action also will include premium names like Toys.reviews, Watch.futbol and Ver.futbol with a starting bid of $500 and no reserve. Here’s the full list of domain names that will be featured in the GoDaddy auction through Wednesday, June 18: app.REVIEWS bar.REVIEWS chainsaw.REVIEWS cigar.REVIEWS cloud.REVIEWS design.REVIEWS guitar.REVIEWS hosting.REVIEWS massage.REVIEWS toys.REVIEWS cloud.NINJA cyber.NINJA e.NINJA job.NINJA live.NINJA python.NINJA ruby.NINJA super.NINJA tech.NINJA technology.NINJA 2014.FUTBOL 2018.FUTBOL gol.FUTBOL ver.FUTBOL watch.FUTBOL   The post Auction ahead: Calling all ninjas, reviewers and fùtbol fans appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

It’s the little things: customizing default avatars in WordPress

GoDaddy Blog -

It’s the little details that warm my soul. Seriously. It’s not hard to make something that’s initially lovely. I’m a simple guy. All you need is a little color and some basic design skills, and I’ll take a look. But if it’s all surface-level, if a closer look reveals a lazy artist, I’m going to give up. I’m not just talking Web design. Skateboards, chocolate milk, and Eastern Europe Take skateboarding for example. You can find something that looks like a pretty sweet deck at your local toy store: killer graphics, solid wood, shiny trucks. But once you hop on it and try to cruise, it’s no good. It sputters. The bearings — the little details — are shoddy. Or my car. It’s well-designed. It’s comfortable. It smells like strawberries. Honestly, it might even be a little boring. But here’s something lovely about it: there’s a mini-fridge hidden in the glove compartment. I can stash chocolate milk in there, turn on my air conditioning, and keep it cold for 300 miles. I buy it in Krakow, barrel through Czech Republic, and drink chilled chocolate goodness in Vienna. That, my friends, is a lovely little detail. How to create a custom default avatar in WordPress If you’re looking for a well-designed website, a good WordPress® theme will can help get you there. It’ll work. But, it’s the little details that show you care. On websites? Take the default avatars WordPress uses for people who comment on your site. I mean, it’s OK. It makes sense. A dark-grey shadow of a person over a light-grey shadow background. We get it. It’s a mysterious nondescript person. What if you wanted something that fits your style a little more? What if you care about the little details? Check out Northern Belle Diaries. Lisette figured out how to make her default avatars match the look and feel and mood of her website. Instead of Mystery Man, Identicon, or Monster ID, she has something that fits: a bouquet. Perfect for something called Northern Belle Diaries, no? And we’re in luck. Lisette took some time to show us how to do it. In her post, How to Create a Custom Gravatar for WordPress Comments, she walks you through all of the steps. Make your graphic, upload it to your hosting account, put it in the right folder, and edit your code. Don’t worry, it’s simple. Just follow along. Lisette’s a good guide. Anyone who warns us of misplaced semi-colons and uses pirate-speak in a warning can be trusted. Be very careful with this next step, as one extra semi-colon could break your site! Be ye warned! Save a copy of your functions file before attempting this.” Customizing an avatar: it’s small, I know. It’s only 48×48 pixels of your website. But, it doesn’t take much to show visitors you take this stuff seriously. Think like a craftsman. Tweak the small things. It’s worth it. The post It’s the little things: customizing default avatars in WordPress appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

What happens in .vegas, doesn’t stay in .vegas

GoDaddy Blog -

What do you think of when someone mentions the word, “Vegas?” Magical venues filled with drinks and entertainment? Roulette tables and scandalous gentleman’s clubs? Or the Bellagio water show lit up against the night sky? Sin City is full of possibilities from dusk ‘til dawn — and when you’re visiting this place of man-made splendor lit up in neon against a desert sky, you don’t want to miss out on a thing. Even the most seasoned Vegas veterans want to know where to go at the drop of a hat. Enter the new and ever-exclusive .vegas domain extension — a sure bet as a way to grab your customers’ attention. If you’re connected to this magnetic city in any way, a .vegas domain will score you instant geo-recognition. When you’ve got business in Sin City, a .vegas domain will ensure that what happens on your .vegas website, won’t stay (unnoticed) on your .vegas website. You might be asking, “What can a .vegas domain extension do for me that other extensions can’t?” Just like this city, the possibilities are endless. A .vegas domain can help your business get found. It’s true that Google® currently doesn’t use a domain name to determine search results. For example, cabaretvegas.com is no more likely to show up in the searches than cabaret.vegas. However, it is important to realize that Google is constantly looking for ways to improve its results; so it is likely that if these new domain extensions like .vegas improve search engine rankings, they’ll use it. Imagine if that does happen – when customers start searching for “nightclub Vegas,” nightclub.vegas will be that much easier to find in a sea of other domain extensions. The real SEO (search engine optimization) benefit comes not from the supposed Google indexing, but from the relevancy associated with your business — which enables your customers to get what they want from their Web searches. With the descriptive .vegas domain extension capping off your business’s website address, it will be easier for people to identify not only what you do, but also where you do it. And it means your business will be quickly and easily identified with Las Vegas for people searching for products and services there. A custom domain is the best kind of domain. We’ve all heard it, location is everything – and it’s no different in the world of domains. Any domain name extension that ends in a place, like .vegas or .la, immediately tells your customers where you are located. When tourists travel to Sin City in hopes of getting rich quick, they aren’t going to search for casinos in their hometown — why, that would be just plain silly! Instead, they’re going to search for gambling opportunities in Vegas. A domain name like casinoxyz.vegas immediately tells your customers where you are located, which is exactly what they want. When you have the ability to completely customize your domain name, you make it easier for customers to identify your business (and its location). And when your customers know exactly what your site entails before even jumping into the content, it might increase the amount of traffic to your site. Remember that offering relevant content is like throwing down four kings. When your customers arrive at your .vegas site, just like visitors to Sin City itself, you want them to be awed. Now that they’re there, keep them engaged with relevant content — including strong headlines, compelling video and images, easy access to your social media profiles, and clear calls-to-action. Check out a few Best Practices for Website Content. Be scandalous and daring, like Vegas. Make the leap and go with a .vegas domain name that speaks for itself. Whether your site hypes Vegas tours or cheap show tickets, sells Sin City souvenirs or take-out sushi on the Strip, wow and dazzle your customers with a name that will leave no one guessing and everyone wanting more. The .vegas domain is coming soon … click here to stay up-to-date. The post What happens in .vegas, doesn’t stay in .vegas appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

WordPress for Android 2.9 Has Arrived

WordPress.com News -

The WordPress for Android 2.9 release is now available in the Google Play Store. This release includes some exciting new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. Blog Discovery Blog discovery is a new feature in the Reader that lets you: Find new blogs (based on recommendations). Preview a blog and read posts before following it. Manage your tags and blog subscriptions. Publish Icon Button We replaced the publish icon button with a contextual text button. Whether you’re saving a draft, publishing or scheduling a post, or updating one, this new button will display your action, depending on your current task. Faster Notifications and Stats Refresh We updated the Notifications feature to use Simperium technology, which will sync your notifications quickly and efficiently. We also know you love viewing your Stats, so we improved them to refresh faster than ever before. Interface Improvements Reintroduction of the refresh button in all refreshable views, along with the pull-to-refresh gesture. Pull-to-refresh tip bar has been replaced by a less aggressive, self-hiding message. Save dialog has been removed, and all posts are now auto-saved when you close the edit post view. Reblogging interface redesign in the Reader. Sharing image, video, text, or link via WordPress for Android now remembers the previous choice. General Changes Posts and pages auto-save feature has been improved. Fixed bugs related to statistics (only affecting Jetpack users) and image handling. Reader improvements to fill gaps in time between two syncs. As we announced earlier, we dropped Android 2.3 support. Current (2.9) and later versions need Android 4.0 or later. New translations: Hebrew and Basque. SNI (Server Name Indication) support. Minor bug fixes. What’s Next? You can keep up with the development progress at http://make.wordpress.org/mobile and can also follow the app on Twitter @WPAndroid. If you need support or want to send us suggestions, please visit our forums.Filed under: Mobile, New Features

Building Blocks of a Successful Start Up

HostGator Blog -

The post Building Blocks of a Successful Start Up appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.   There are many different areas that need work in order to ensure that a business start up becomes successful. The business plan must be solid, the product or service being offered must either be necessary or be presented in a manner that makes it desirable to others, and the management and leadership of the organization must be top notch. If any of these fail it may mean the downfall of the business. In spite of these possibilities, there are other aspects that are just as important, offering a firm foundation on which the business may blossom, ensuring that even if there are hiccups in other areas that the business will be able to pick itself up and carry on.   Good Business Habits In order for a business to succeed, those who are responsible for the business must work to ensure that they have implemented good business habits.  Some examples would be prompt responses, attention to detail, appropriate risk management strategies, and a clear directional path for the organization.  If ingrained early on, it will be possible for the business to continue even if an issue arises. A manager who has failed in their duties will be able to affect the company far less if all employees have already had a sense of detail and a firm grasp on the company’s direction instilled within them, as one example.   Productivity Productivity is an equally important task. If an organization works to ensure that all of their employees stay productive during the work day, the chances of that productivity trailing off, or of a lack of productivity affecting the business itself, drastically decrease. If all employees have a sense that while they are at work they are there to work, the chance of something detracting from that and causing issues for the business are far less, allowing the business to fly more smoothly through crisis situations.   Pulling it all Together It’s not always possible to devote one’s full time to a new business. New entrepreneurs often maintain their existing employment while getting a new business up and running. However, by working to instill best practices in yourselves and in your workers, that new business beomes far more likely to succeed!   Image Source: Cainellsworth.com. (2014). Productivity. Retrieved from http://www.cainellsworth.com/Portals/20919/images/productivity.jpg web hosting

7 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Social Media Shares

Social Media Examiner -

Are your blog posts irresistibly sharable? Do you want more people sharing your content across social channels? Blog posts are the hub of your social media presence. In this article you’ll discover how to use your blog to improve social media shares on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. #1: Integrate Blog and Social Media Comments Many [...]This post 7 Ways to Increase Your Blog’s Social Media Shares first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How ‘Pages to Watch’ from Facebook Can be a Source of Competitive Insight

Social Media Examiner -

Are you keeping up with the competition on Facebook? Are you interested in knowing what is and isn’t working for your competitors? All Facebook marketers are trying to see what content gets the best results. In this article you’ll see how Facebook Insights’ ‘Pages to Watch’ can help you deliver content that engages your audience. [...]This post How ‘Pages to Watch’ from Facebook Can be a Source of Competitive Insight first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

The Importance of Sitemaps and Submitting them to Google & Bing / Yahoo

PacificHost Blog -

There are several SEO tips and tricks which can help you optimize your site, but one of the most underestimated of these is sitemaps. Sitemaps are just like the name implies, a map of your site. On one page you show the structure of your site, its sections, the links between them, etc. Sitemaps make navigating your site easier and having an updated sitemap makes it easier for users and more effective for search engines to index your site. Sitemaps are an important means of communication with with search engines. While robots.txt tells the search engines which parts of your site to exclude from indexing, a sitemap tells the search engines where you want them to go. Sitemaps aren’t a new concept, they have always been a part of the best Web design practices. However, with the adoption of sitemaps by search engines, now they have become even more important. It is necessary to note that if you plan to use sitemaps for an SEO strategy, you can’t only go with the conventional format if you want it to be picked up by Google, which uses an XML format. Sitemap Formats There are two popular versions of a sitemap. An XML Sitemap is a structured format that is more targeted for the search engines because it tells them about the pages on the site, their relative importance to each other and how often they are updated. HTML Sitemaps are designed for the site’s user, to help them find content on the page, and they don’t  include each and every subpage. This helps visitors and search engine bots find pages on the site. XML Google introduced Google Sitemaps so web developers can publish lists of links from across their sites. The basic premise is that some sites have a large number of dynamic pages that are only available through the use of forms and user entries. The Sitemap files contain URLs to these pages so that web crawlers can find them. Bing, Google, Yahoo and Ask now jointly support the Sitemaps protocol. Since all four of the major search engines use the same protocol, having a Sitemap makes sure they receive the most updated page information. Sitemaps aren’t a guarantee that all your links will be crawled, and being crawled doesn’t guarantee indexing. However, a Sitemap is still the best insurance for getting a search engine to learn about your entire site. Google Webmaster Tools allows a website owner to upload a sitemap that Google will crawl, or he can accomplish the same thing with the robots.txt file. XML Sitemaps have replaced the older method of “submitting to search engines” by filling out a form on the search engine’s submission page. Now web developers submit a Sitemap directly, or wait for search engines to find it. XML is also much more precise that HTML coding. Errors are not tolerated, and so syntax must be exact. For new sites, or sites with a lot of new or recently updated pages, using a Sitemap can be crucial. Even though you can operate your site without a Sitemap, they are becoming the standard in both navigation and more importantly SEO. Having a well organized Sitemap is becoming one of the tools to get your site seen.

How I Spent $20 on Boosted Posts and Generated $2,400 in Sales

Post Planner -

Let me guess… You’re hearing from Facebook marketing experts that you should NOT use boosted posts on your fan page. It’s a waste of money, they claim. For example, Dennis Yu says this about boosted posts: I was at a conference where the keynote speaker droned on about how we should all be boosting posts. I’d call her a quack for this tip. And Jon Loomer says this: Please, do not use that button! Dennis & Jon are experts when it comes to Facebook advertising, no doubt — but are boosted posts really that bad? Nope! Here’s why: How I Spent $20 on Boosted Posts and Generated $2,400 in Sales I recently started a bounce-house business after joking about it for years. I use the business to experiment with Facebook ads — and my results so far have been fantastic! Marketing on Facebook is definitely keeping us busy. Since starting the business in October, I’ve spent roughly $50 a month on Facebook ads — to get Likes and, yes, boost posts. I boost at least one post a week. For example, recently I boosted a post to announce the arrival of the Wahoo water slide: Thanks to the “Boost Post” button, this was by far the most popular post on my page. By the Numbers These were the results of boosting the post: For $20, I reached nearly 4,600 people — with a page that had fewer than 1,000 Likes! Boosting the post brought in 71 Likes for the post — and 22 new page Likes. These page Likes alone were worth the cost of boosting. I boosted the post to “Fans and Friends of fans” because I wanted to be certain those who already Liked my page saw the post. This is something all page owners should budget for. Sometimes you need to make sure your fans see a special post — and boosting can help. >> Click to Tweet << The post reached about 5,232 people — and most people saw the post because I paid to boost it: These were great results for my page. Before I boosted this post, the average organic reach on the page was about 67 people. The average organic reach after boosting the post? A whopping 203! Boosting the post increased organic reach for the next few posts that followed. And this is one of the best reasons to boost a post. I also found that mostly women engaged with the post: We know that engagement spiked after we boosted this post — but did all that Facebook engagement result in any sales? Sales from a Boosted Post Yes! My inbox filled & my phone started ringing. I had 20 inquiries within 48 hours of boosting the post. Two weeks later, the slide had been reserved 8 times — at $300 a pop! Result: paying $20 to boost the post brought in about $2,400 in sales. Not too shabby. Some will say that I won’t know for sure whether all the rentals came from the boosted post. I disagree. All 8 reservations came from people seeing the Facebook post — there was no other advertising. And I could easily end up with 20 reservations over the next 4 months. Conclusion: When to Boost a Post Boosted posts work well for small & local business owners. >> Click to Tweet << On my business page I try to spend about $10 per week boosting posts. I spend about $30 per month on page Like ads, running an ad for just $1 a day. I agree with this statement from Brian Carter: If you can’t spend $30 per month ($1 per day on Facebook ads), you shouldn’t be in business. Today, you can target people with your boosted posts based on their interests, locations & other demographics. Here I provide a how-to guide for creating a boosted post: 7 Simple Ways Your Local Business Can Increase Sales with Facebook Do you use the “Boost Post” button on your page? Yes or no, I’d love to hear why. The post How I Spent $20 on Boosted Posts and Generated $2,400 in Sales appeared first on Post Planner.

FINALLY! A Quiz that Measures Your Social Media Marketer Skills

Post Planner -

Trying to boost organic engagement on Facebook? Considering a social media overhaul? Thinking about changing your content strategy or Facebook page design? These are all important considerations. But you might be ignoring the most important part of your social media marketing plan: Yourself! How have YOU performed? “OK, I guess” is not the right answer. Sometimes we get caught up in evaluating our page — the content, reach, visuals — when we should be evaluating ourselves. >> Click to Tweet << Remember: in motor racing, the same car can be driven by Jeff Gordon or some other dude. Both drivers will handle their cars differently — and the results will differ. The same principle applies to Facebook marketing. Every page manager is different. So how do you measure your social media marketing skills? Lucky for you, Circus Social built a 10-round Social Media Marketing Quiz to help you assess your social media prowess — and compare it against marketers around the world. In this post, I’ll summarize what’s in the quiz. Then at the end of this post, I’ll give you a link where you can go take the quiz! A Quiz that Measures Your Social Media Marketer Skills The quiz breaks down into 4 main parts: 1. Plain Ol’ Social Media Skills This part tests your social media skills: Engagement Empire Content Courtyard Facebook Factory Twitter Tower How well do you know the platforms? Do you understand the rules? Do you know what techniques work best? 2. Character Here’s where things start to get tricky. People react differently when threatened. Some retreat — some strike back. The same is true with marketing. How do you react under pressure? When you’re thrown into a crisis — what do you do? Do you stay calm or do you flame your critics? >> Click to Tweet << Do you hesitate to criticize your competitors in public? If you discovered a flaw in their product, would you write a press release or simply reach out to them telling them what you found? This quiz tests the marketer’s character to see how they respond in these scenarios. 3. The Data, Numbers, Metrics Digital marketing’s about data. Diving into data is what helps you rise above the rest. >> Click to Tweet << Your understanding of bounce rate & filtering quality traffic, and your grasp of concepts like CPA vs CPE help keep you in step with your peers. Strictly analytical marketers may not be the best, but a marketer with no analytical inclinations won’t survive. And the quiz’s Marketing Mansion & Analytics Auditorium test those skills. 4. How Well Rounded Are You? How aware are you of your surroundings? Do you know the latest SEO best practices? Do you know about the most recent Google update? When you’re wise to what’s happening throughout the social media space, it’s easier to roll with the changes. Following the influencers in your industry will help. Go Take the Quiz! Now you know what’s in the quiz. So without further ado, go take test your social media marketing skills here: >> SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING QUIZ The post FINALLY! A Quiz that Measures Your Social Media Marketer Skills appeared first on Post Planner.

More Facebook Page Layout Options: This Week in Social Media

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up-to-date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week? Marketers Get More Facebook Page Layout Options: Facebook Page admins now have “more control over the look and functionality” of their [...]This post More Facebook Page Layout Options: This Week in Social Media first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

New TLD Testimonial: The Big Media Company

1&1 Online Success Center -

As a fully-integrated creative consultancy, The Big Media Company saw a great opportunity with the launch of nearly 700 new top-level domains (TLDs). Registering BigMedia.Agency and MediaContent.Agency allows the business to express its creativity through the domain name. The Big Media Company specializes in branding, entertainment and production for its clients. They handle video production, but also help small businesses develop websites based on content management systems. “The simple way to explain what we do is that we like telling stories, either with amazing videos or rich, dynamic websites,” said Adam Dewey Bowen, Founder and Lead Media Designer. “The work that we do and the clients that we serve are wide ranging, meaning the contrast between the stories we tell can vary greatly, and it keeps it really interesting.” The Big Media Company works regularly with bigger brands such as Verizon or Wal-Mart, but it also produces and develops online content for small and medium-size businesses. To continue to grow the business and improve brand awareness, Bowen sought an opportunity to register a memorable and effective domain name for the website. The original domain name, thebigmc.com was not ideal. “Our previous domain name never communicated very well, and I think the MC at the end always threw people off, making it hard to get the proper name out there,” said Bowen. “The new domain will replace the old one on all of our online and print materials.” Bowen sees these new TLDs as a benefit for any business with a website that is looking to create a more effective Web address, and has even encouraged clients to secure new TLDs for their businesses. He was able to take advantage of 1&1 Internet’s pre-registration phase of the new TLD launches, and reserve his .agency domains prior to the official launch. “We love 1&1 because they made it so easy for us to pre-register the new names we wanted, and provided timely updates to let us know when we were able to secure the domain,” he said. “Having a short, concise domain name can really add value to your ability to communicate who you are and what you do,” said Bowen. “We like to think of online as a physical place, and having a nice address for your business can really increase viewership, and these new TLDs allow you to upgrade your online storefront.” While these new TLDs are very new to the market, Bowen believes that they will shortly become commonplace and widely adopted by small, medium, and large businesses. “With so many offerings out there and most of the older TLD names taken in the .com and .net space, I have to imagine that in a couple of years you won’t think any different about them than say .shop or .web. It’s a huge opportunity to stake your claim,” said Bowen.

Squeeze for speed: Make your website faster with image compression

GoDaddy Blog -

Photo: Dave Gough The average Web page has almost doubled in size since 2010, and a typical page now tops out at more than 1MB. A big part of this bloat has come from the increasing number and resolution of images in modern Web pages. We’re visual creatures, and our websites reflect that. Source: Web Performance Today In parallel with the increase in Web page size is the increased importance of website speed as a key contributor to both SEO and user experience. Faster sites perform better and rank higher in search results. Hang out to learn more As images increase in importance as part of Web design, optimizing those images through compression becomes a critical skill for Web designers and developers to learn. To this end, we’ll be hosting a Google® Hangout on Friday, June 13, entitled “Thinking Small About Image Compression.” You can RSVP for the Hangout here. This Hangout is part of our monthly series on optimizing site performance. This month, we’ll discuss how image optimization can speed up page loads for new and returning customers to a website. To help demonstrate the difference this can make, Kyle Mauch, CEO and founder of AthletesBrand.com, will join GoDaddy’s Dave Koopman and Marcel Verkerk for the hangout. We’d love to see you there! Click here to RSVP.   The post Squeeze for speed: Make your website faster with image compression appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

A Quick Primer on Google’s Panda 4.0 Update

HostGator Blog -

The post A Quick Primer on Google’s Panda 4.0 Update appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing. In Chinese culture, the panda bear is considered be a symbol of peace. So why did Google name one of their best known – or maybe most notorious is more like it – major algorithm updates that has caused a lot of headaches in the SERP’s over the past few years after this wonderful animal? To be ironic? Who knows, but since there are a lot of people that are trying to figure out how to “beat” it (first step, stop always being reactive) and there is a ton of speculation out there on it, I want to take a few minutes to distill what’s being said with a few thoughts.   A Quick Recap Of Panda Google makes hundreds of tweaks to their search algorithm every year, but the updates that are especially impactful typically get internal code names like Vince, Caffeine, Hummingbird (this is a core rewrite to a major part of their natural language query engine, so calling it an update is an understatement), Penguin and Panda. The Panda updates are geared towards content quality on a website and are intended to boost higher quality sites while punishing other site’s that have primarily two things: Thin or spammy content Duplicate content The idea with the Panda updates is to try and send searchers to sites with high quality, helpful, unique and relevant content that’s going to satisfy the intention behind their query in the best way possible. One could definitely argue that’s the point of Google’s entire search algorithm, but this is all about the content side of the equation.   Ask.com gets Eaten By A Rabid Panda   Since there’s not currently a lot of hard data out there on what exactly is being targeted other than the general stuff I mentioned above, I wanted to provide a quick example of a site that got hit hard which will hopefully provide some insights. Disclaimer: I don’t mean this as a post to call out Ask.com for doing anything wrong, since I think this is an extreme example of a site being de-ranked vs. completely penalized. The former rewards competitors for producing better content while the latter is a direct slap to the face with a stern “No!” in response for doing something against Google Webmaster’s Guidelines which often results in dropping 100+ spots. Hopefully, they’ll bounce back soon. As you can see, Ask.com saw a MASSIVE drop which coincides with Panda 4.0 which was officially announced early evening on 5/20/14. Many SERP trackers like Mozcast and Algoroo saw big fluctuations earlier than that, though.   Considering there was another announced update which reported went into effect around May 17th or so which targets traditionally spammy queries/niches like payday loans, it’s hard to tell exactly which update we’re dealing with. It could very well be a combination of the two depending on the verticals each tracker is targeting. Nonetheless, you can see that there was a pretty large shakeup in SERP’s around then.   So Where Did They Lose Visibility, And What May Have Caused It? When I dug into what may have happened using one of my favorite tools, Searchmetrics, I immediately noticed that the vast majority of the drop happened with a handful of specific subdirectories. So what’s going on with them that could have caused the panda to get so angry?   Scraped Content From Other Authority Sites So let’s check out some pages in the /question/ subdirectory to see if we can find some things from a content standpoint that might be causing the cataclysm. Considering that I work in the web hosting industry, I decided to check out questions related to “Web Hosting & Domain Registration”, and a question about TLD’s (Top Level Domains) immediate stood out to me. Here’s what I found when I clicked over to the page:     I immediately noticed how little unique content is on the page, since the vast majority is just scrapped from other sources like eHow and Wikipedia. Even the direct answer to the question at the top of the page appears to be part of the Wikipedia description on the right with an additional sentence. No bueno. When I clicked through to the Wikipedia link on to top right, I’m taken to what is essentially an entire scraped post from this Wikipedia page.   What About User Experience? When it comes down to one of the main things that Google cares about, the user’s experience, I don’t think that Ask.com is 100% in the wrong. Sure, it would be much more valuable if they expanded on the topic by including unique additional reading that they produced vs. scraping it from other sites, but I also think that there’s value from the searcher’s perspective in having these related resources available on one page. In this example, the question is answered, and there’s additional reading that’s readily available without having to go back to Google if the searcher needs more information. That seems like a good user experience to me, but I think this is definitely one of those cases where both sides can be argued, especially since there are so many sites that do similar things which don’t add any value to the user. What do you think? Do sites which primarily just act as content syndicators provide value to their users? Should search engines like Google show the multiple sources to the searcher instead? Is Google overstepping it’s bounds by essentially forcing the internet to adhere to its vision/standards vs. just arranging and displaying the world’s knowledge as they originally intended?   Google’s Thirst For Quality Content Continues While this isn’t intended to be a definitive case study on Panda 4.0, I think provides some possible examples of why a huge site lost a lot of visibility in Google due to thin and/or duplicate content issues with some of their top subdirectories. If there’s enough interest, I’d be happy to take a deeper dive into additional large sites that may have been affected by Panda 4.0, so if you’d like to see that, please let me know in the comments! web hosting

Pin Picks: Keep up with your fitness goals

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

It’s time to hang up the jackets—the first day of summer is right around the corner. With warmer days approaching, fitness goals are trending on Pinterest and it seems a lot of you are looking to keep motivated and on-track to stay in shape this season. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we show you 5 ways to keep up with your fitness goals. Log it:If you’re looking to set a rhythm to your routine, Jade Martinez shares a tip on how to keep a journal for your exercises. Logging your workouts can help you stay consistent, accountable and on-schedule. Slow-day strategy:James Henley shows us that it’s possible to keep the blood pumping and calories burning with quick indoor workouts even if you decide to skip the gym. Up and alert:Feeling tired or lazy? Suchitra Malvankar shares tips on staying focused and active towards an active lifestyle. Sound the alarm:if waking up and getting out of your warm bed is the main culprit, Ashleigh Looper shows us alarm clocks guaranteed to get you out of the covers. This flying helicopter launches a propeller into the room, and won’t shut off until you get out of bed. Treat yo’self:According to Jennifer Fisher, the best way to keep getting to through a post workout is to keep treating yourself with little victories. Next time you hit the finish line, try a healthy treat like this light blueberry frozen yogurt. Tell us how you’re planning on staying on track with your fitness goals via the comments below. If you need more inspiration, keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to keep focused with your fitness routine. And of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks. —Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Chicken Coup

Rackspace Weekly Digest: June 6

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

This week, we share our definition of managed cloud, hear from our customer mShopper, get ready for IRCE and much more. What Is Managed Cloud? At some point, most busy, successful people — and busy, successful businesses — find it wise to focus on what they do best and let specialists do the rest. That’s a big part of the appeal of what we at Rackspace call managed cloud. mShopper: Lightning Fast At A Fraction Of The Cost On Rackspace Cloud mShopper, a Rackspace customer, greatly improved page load times and saved money on the Rackspace Cloud. Celebrate 10 Years Of IRCE With Rackspace Digital IRCE is one of the largest ecommerce events in the world, and 2014 looks like it will prove to be bigger than ever. IRCE is celebrating 10 years of bringing digital retailers together, and Rackspace will be representing in style. Connecting Your Data: Hadoop Summit 2014 Big data is here! And at Hadoop Summit this week, here are three things we were excited to talk to the community about. Also, check out how to connect your data with MongoDB and Hadoop. Scale Up And Down Based On Load With Rackspace Auto Scale Here, we address one of the common questions we get from customers: How do I use Rackspace Auto Scale to enable a number of servers to increase and shrink based on load? The Risks And Hidden Dangers Of Outdated Technology Are you still clinging to your trusty old server that’s gracefully aging towards obsolescence? Perhaps you are still running important applications on older servers with old operating systems because they’re “good enough” and still “work fine.” In many respects, your old server is like a trusty old car. You know where the kinks are and it gets you where you need to go. But lurking below the surface of that trusty old car, and your old server, can be hidden risks that can result in very big problems, even dangers, usually when least expected.

The Powerful Impact of Random Acts of Kindness

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Doing random acts of kindness is not a new idea. There are TED talks on this idea, foundations set up to promote it and bumper stickers that urge people to randomly do good.  However, I recently experienced the power and the beauty of doing random acts of kindness in a new way as a part of my job at LinkedIn. I think we are on to something and I would love for you and your team to join! Where It Started Last year, I participated in a team outing where groups of four were given $100 and sent out into the local community to do random acts of kindness.  We could do anything with the money as long as it brightened someone’s day. The experience of going out with teammates, doing acts of kindness and then coming back together with the whole team to share what we did was one of the best days I’ve had in my three years at LinkedIn. For me, the most impactful part was listening to all the stories from the day.  One of my favorite stories was from a group that went into a wedding dress shop where they met a girl who was making a payment on her layaway for her quinceanera dress. They bonded with the girl and her family and put their whole $100 towards her dress. After they left the shop, the group got to talking and decided to pool their own money, go back into the store and pay off the rest of the dress for the girl – and even threw in a pair of shoes! When they were recounting this story, I was in tears. It was such a moving experience that I made it my personal mission to make sure that all employees at LinkedIn would have the opportunity to participate in a similar event. Random Acts of Kindness at LinkedIn Last December, I began organizing Random Acts of Kindness activities in LinkedIn offices around the world on InDays, a day each month that LinkedIn gives back to employees to invest in themselves, their community, or the world. The Powerful Impact of Random Acts of Kindness from Rachelle Diamond By the end of this year, our goal is to have every LinkedIn office around the globe participating in Random Acts of Kindness. Please Join Us! The feedback we’ve received from employees who’ve participated has been off the charts! We’ve all shared a stronger sense of pride working for the company after participating. Random Acts of Kindness has also been an incredible team bonding experience. I can’t stress how inspiring it is to be in the room listening to colleagues tell such amazing stories of delight, compassion, and kindness. At LinkedIn, one of our core values is “Relationships Matter,” and this experience has definitely brought that value to life for our employees. Help us spread the power of Random Acts of Kindness by organizing these events in your company. It takes just a few steps to organize the event: Get people to sign up or leverage an existing team outing Put them in groups of four Give them some money (and it doesn’t have to be much!) and let them go Be sure to have them come back and share (this can be the most inspiring part!) Leverage social media to share stories more broadly with the hashtag #inkindness. I look forward to hearing all the inspiring stories you’ll share from your Random Acts of Kindness experiences.

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