RSS

Tag Archives: help

What is S.E.O. and What Am I Doing Wrong? – Instructional Video Blog

What is S.E.O / Search Engine Optimization

seoSearch engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine‘s “natural” or un-paid (“organic“) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

What Can I Do

now-whatWhile it is impossible to know the underlying algorithms that produce the search engine results in the major engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN, I often try to put myself in the spider’s shoes, theoretically speaking. If you can visualize your website the way a search engine might “see” it, then you can make adjustments and tweaks that will help your site rank well.

A conversation with Google

A conversation with Google’s automated crawling software (or “spider”), otherwise known as the Googlebot, might sound something like this.

You: Excuse me, Googlebot, why doesn’t mysite.com rank well in Google for the keyword “help me?”

Googlebot: (raises a harried eyebrow and looks annoyed) Where shall I begin? First of all, your code is a mess. You have more lines of code than actual text and so many nested tables it makes my head spin.

google-conversionYour home page has a keyword density of 24 percent, which is suspiciously high compared with the top-ranking sites in my database, all of which average about seven percent. Are you keyword stuffing? You know I don’t like doorway pages!

You only have 12 backlinks going to your home page that I recognize, and six of them are from within your domain. The top ten sites have an average of 300 backlinks in my database and literally thousands of backlinks in Yahoo and MSN (not that I care about those hacks).

I’ve slapped you with a duplicate content penalty because I noticed that http://www.anysite.com has the same exact home page copy as you. Don’t look so surprised – I don’t care whose fault it is! On average, your site is 60 percent slower to download than every other site in my database and all your dynamic URLs are giving me a headache. Honestly, do you really need so many variables?

You don’t have a site map so I can’t easily crawl through the pages of your site, and all of your navigation is represented in images without meaningful ALT tags, so I don’t know where I am when I click away from the home page. Your link partners are abysmal – they are not contextually relevant (which makes me suspicious) and you repeat the same exact words in the linking text, which makes me think you’re doing automated link swapping. I’ve been here three times in the past month and your content has not been refreshed once. I can’t be bothered with you and your stale, over-optimized content. I will be back to crawl you again sometime this century.

You: (sobbing)

sobbingSo you’ve been dismissed by the Googlebot. Get yourself a pint of Rocky Road and join the club.

My theoretical response from Googlebot is based on a combination of things that I look at as an SEO, and tools that are freely available online to help me analyze a site. Google’s assessment of your site is obviously proprietary, but there are certain things you can look for when your site is in trouble and/or if you want to get a better ranking on Google. These matters are fairly common knowledge in SEO circles. Let’s break down the response a little.

Your Code is a Mess

  • You have a lot of code compared with actual text (e.g., nested tables, JavaScript)
  • Your keyword density is high compared with your competitors
  • You’re keyword stuffing
  • Your home page looks like a doorway page
  • You have fewer backlinks than your competitors
  • You have poor link partners
  • You’re linking to a site that’s banned
  • Your backlink text is repetitive
  • You have no fresh content
  • You have duplicate content
  • Your site is slower to download compared to your competitors
  • You have dynamic URLs
  • You don’t have a site map
  • Your navigation is image-based
  • You have no ALT tags or meaningless ALT tags

The above list represents an amalgamation of variables that can affect your positioning in Google. It does not represent the full list of search engine faux pas that can be committed by unwary or unknowing webmasters (e.g., frames and Flash are not mentioned here). It’s a good start though. Simply diagnosing the problem is half the battle toward getting better rankings ,and all of the above information is freely available using tools that are either Web-based or part of your browser software.

Problems:

  • Your code is a mess
  • You have a lot of code compared with actual text (e.g., nested tables, JavaScript

Google doesn’t see your Web page the way you do. Google sees the code. Most browsers have a function that allows you to view the source code of the page at which you are looking. Internet Explorer and Firefox, for example, enable you to right click on the page and “view source.” Pick a spot on any Web page and give it a try (make sure the mouse pointer isn’t on an image).

Not too pretty, is it? Code that is messy or profuse can hinder your search positioning. A good way to clean it up is via HTML Tidy, an open source program created by Dave Raggett and available via download from Sourceforge.net (http://sourceforge.net/projects/tidy). HTML Tidy cleans up the code produced by WYSIWYG editors or poor coders (like myself), and it’s completely free.

When viewing HTML code you’ll also want to evaluate the quantity of code versus actual text. Search engines like Google seem to put more weight on keywords the higher they are in the HTML document. If your text is buried under hundreds of lines of code, then you’ll be at a disadvantage compared to the top-ranking and well-optimized websites that compete for your keyword. There are many ways to get around this; first and foremost is to choose your programming language wisely. I’m not a programmer, so I can’t recommend the best programming language to use for SEO. I can only flag this as an issue, as it is something to consider when analyzing your Web page for SEO.

Here is a tool that simulates what a spider “sees” when it visits your site: http://www.stargeek.com/crawler_sim.php. If you’re not seeing a lot of text when you enter your Web page’s URL, then neither is the search engine spider. It’s time to add some.

Problems:

  • Your keyword density is high compared with your competitors
  • You’re keyword stuffing
  • Your home page looks like a doorway page

The above three problems are related. If your keyword density is too high, Google may interpret this as a spam tactic called “keyword stuffing.” Likewise, Google may interpret a page with very high keyword density as a doorway page. A doorway page sticks out to Google in that it is optimized for a number of terms that are only loosely connected, or not connected at all, to a site’s main theme.

The best way to find out whether your keyword density is too high compared to your competitors is through a keyword density analyzer tool. I use GoRank.com or SEOChat.com’s own keyword density tool to analyze the top ten ranking pages in Google for my desired keyword. I generally take an average of the keyword density of the top page and compare it to my own page. If my page is much higher than the top-ranked pages, I will revise the copy and tags (ALT, Title, Meta) and tone down the frequency of the keyword in question.

Problems:

  • You have fewer backlinks than your competitors
  • You have poor link partners
  • You’re linking to a site that I’ve banned
  • Your backlink text is repetitive and/or bad
  • You have no fresh content

Google is the best tool to use to diagnose the above problems. The Google “link:” operator allows you to check your backlinks and evaluate the sites that link to your page. You can tell whether Google has banned a site, if the URL is not in their index at all. Use the “site:” operator for this.

You probably know whether the content on your site is fresh or not, but if you want to know what Google thinks, then click on the “cache” link next to your listing to see the last time Google paid your site a visit. If it was over a week ago, Google got bored and wandered to greener content pastures. It’s time to add some new content. You can also use the “cache:” operator to get cache information. Here’s a complete list of Google’s operator commands (what they mean and how to use them). You can also download and utilize the Google Toolbar to check PageRank and view your backlinks.

Google may only show a handful of backlinks, when you have thousands. The reasons for this are not entirely certain, though it may have to do with how Google weighs each incoming link in terms of popularity and/or relevancy. With this in mind, I recommend using one of the free link popularity tools available online. A couple of my favorites include the link popularity tool on Mikes-Marketing-Tools.com, MarketLeap’s Link Popularity Checker and SEOChat.com’s own tool to evaluate link popularity. If you have a lot of backlinks it will quickly get tedious to try and read all the link text to check for duplicity in language. The best tool I’ve found to do this is SEO Elite, which isn’t free but will save your hours of time (and time is money, folks!)

Problems:

  • You have duplicate content
  • Your site is slower to download compared to your competitors
  • You have dynamic URLs
  • You don’t have a site map
  • Your navigation is image-based
  • You have no ALT tags or meaningless ALT tags

The above is a miscellaneous list of problems that can be diagnosed as follows. Check CopyScape for duplicate content or perform a search for an exact line of text on the page you are evaluating. Alexa.com will tell you how fast your website downloads compared with others competing for your key term (assuming you are in the Alexa database). You probably know whether your site uses dynamic URLs, but if you’re not sure, click into an interior page and check for odd characters in the URL, such as question marks or equal signs. You can use any browser to see the URL string of a particular page in your site. Google has been indexing dynamic URLs, but if the string is particularly long and the variables particularly profuse, Google may not index the entire site as well as it would if the URLs are search engine friendly and/or do not contain as many variables.

A site map is self-explanatory. It’s a page that lists links to all the pages of your site. If you don’t have one, create one so that Google can find all of your relevant pages easily.

If you use images for all of your navigation and don’t assign meaningful ALT tags to them, a site map is especially critical. Googlebot can’t read images; it just sees code. If you scroll over a navigation image and no text appears, it means that you have not assigned an ALT tag to that image. You can also view the source code and review your images that way. Assigning meaningful ALT tags to images helps with usability as well as search engine friendliness (for people with slow connections or browsers that have images turned off, for example), though the best case scenario is to use text-based navigation in place of image-based navigation.

Conclusion

conclusionThe tools that are available to help you analyze your search engine friendliness are profuse and often free. This article just scrapes the surface of what’s out there. Read forums to see what the experts use and try out the tools yourself to find your favorites. Proper diagnosis of search engine friendliness is the building block for creating a comprehensive, competent search engine optimization strategy that will definitely give you an edge over the competition.

Keep in mind that while it is helpful to approach SEO from the search engine’s perspective, you are not writing for the search engines. You are writing for your visitors. So don’t overdo it.

Sources:
Denver Marketing Solutions.com
SEO Chat: User:  Jacqueline Dooley
Wikipedia.com
Compiled By:
Josh Martin

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 16, 2013 in technology, Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conviction – Creativity – Courage, Empowering Stories of Strong People.

More About Bre Prettis

bre_prettisI’m Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. We’re leading the next industrial revolution to empower creative explorers to make anything. MakerBot is setting the standard in desktop 3D printing. We’re changing the face of personal manufacturing and changing the way the world thinks about THINGS. I’m proud to have been a public school teacher. I started NYCResistor. I’ve made a lot of videos. I’ve been on the cover of WIRED and I play clawhammer banjo to relax.”
-Bre Pettis

Pettis was raised in Ithaca, New York. At the age of 13 he moved to the Seattle area, where he later graduated from Bellevue High School.Pettis is a 1995 graduate of The Evergreen State College,where he studied psychology, mythology and performing arts.

After college, Pettis worked as floor runner and camera assistant on feature films in Prague and as an assistant at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in London. He then attended Pacific Oaks College and graduated with a teaching certificate. He worked as an art teacher for the Seattle Public Schools from 1999 through 2006.

Pettis and Kio Stark have a daughter, Nika Stark Pettis, born July 8, 2011

You can follow Bre Prettis on his blog. Contact Leigh Bureau if you would like him to speak at your next company event.

More About David McGill

david_McGillDavid has helped people with limb loss for nearly 15 years.

As VP of Reimbursement & Compliance at Ossur (2006-present), he has obtained 2 of only 3 lower-extremity prosthetic codes granted by Medicare since 2006, improving all amputees’ access to devices that improve their mobility while generating millions of dollars of incremental revenue for Ossur.

David also teaches prosthetic facilities how to operate more effectively. His in-person presentations focus on the mechanics of drafting a successful insurance appeal and how to employ a systematic approach to the claims process. David also delivers monthly regional reimbursement webinars directly to Ossur customers. Thanks to these unique reimbursement support offerings, Ossur reaches an estimated 400-500 customers a year.

David authors two blogs and records a monthly podcast: Ossur R&R (reporting on and analyzing reimbursement and regulatory issues affecting the O&P industry), less is more (dealing with limb loss, insurance issues, and how prosthetics reshape identity), and Amp’d (addressing issues of interest to amputees).

David is the current VP of NAAOP (2009-present), an AOPA board member (2012-present), and a former board member/Chair of the Amputee Coalition (2003-11).

At the 2012 AOPA National Assembly he was part of a panel discussion about reimbursement of new prosthetic technologies, and he was a keynote speaker at the 2011 National Assembly, describing ethical and legal issues confronting the O&P profession.

David presented at Fast Company magazine’s 2012 Innovation By Design Awards, and has been interviewed by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and BBC Radio.

David also has a successful history of business leadership and innovation, co-founding a prosthetic facility (2001-06). He oversaw and drafted all insurance appeals, achieving a greater-than-90% win rate that generated more than $1M of incremental revenue.

More About  Majora Carter

Majora-Carter“I believe that you shouldn’t have to leave your neighborhood to live in a better one.”
– Majora Carter

Majora Carter (born October 27, 1966) is an urban revitalization strategist and public radio host, from the South Bronx area of New York City. Carter founded the non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation Sustainable South Bronx[2] before entering the private sector.

Carter attended the Head Start Program and primary schools in the South Bronx. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, she entered Wesleyan University in 1984 to study film and obtain a Bachelor of Arts. In 1997, she received a Master of Fine Arts from New York University (NYU). While at NYU, she returned to her family’s home in Hunts Point, and later worked for The Point Community Development Corporation.As associate director of the community development corporation, Carter advocated for the development of Hunts Point Riverside Park. Carter was “pulled by her dog into a weedy vacant lot strewn with trash at the dead end of Lafayette Avenue. As the pair plowed through the site they ended up, much to Carter’s surprise, on the banks of the Bronx River.

From there, Carter helped secure a $10,000 grant from a USDA Forest Service program to provide seed money for river access restoration projects. Working with other community groups and the Parks Department, over a five-year period she helped leverage that seed money into more than $3 million from the mayor’s budget to build the park.

In August 2001, after an unsuccessful campaign for City Council, Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), where she served as executive director until July 2008. During that time, SSBx advocated the development of the Hunt’s Point Riverside Park which had been an illegal garbage dump. SSBx has also been involved in other restoration projects on the Bronx River waterfront. In 2003, Sustainable South Bronx started the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program. This was one of the nation’s first urban green collar training and placement systems. Other SSBx projects have centered around fitness, food choices (including the creation of a community market), and air quality.

A December 2008 New York Times profile called Carter “The Green Power Broker” and “one of the city’s best-known advocates for environmental justice” but reported that some South Bronx activists (who would not go on record) stated that Carter has taken credit for accomplishments when others should share the credit as well as taking credit for uncompleted projects. Other Bronx activists (who did agree to be named) stated that her recognition was well deserved.

Carter was a torch-bearer for a portion of the San Francisco leg of the torch relay of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Many portions of the torch relay, including the San Francisco leg, were met with protests concerning the policies of the Chinese government toward Tibet. Although Carter had signed a contract pledging not to use an Olympic venue for political or religious causes, when she and John Caldera were passed the torch during their part of the relay, she pulled out a small Tibetan flag that she had concealed in her shirt sleeve.

Members of the Chinese torch security escort team pulled her out of the relay and San Francisco police officers pushed her into the crowd on the side of the street. Fellow torch-bearer, retired NYFD firefighter Richard Doran, who was honoring the firefighters who died in the September 11 attacks, called Carter’s actions “disgusting and appalling” and said that he thought “she dishonored herself and her family”. Another torch-bearer, retired NYPD police officer Jim Dolan, agreed with Doran.

More About Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart

leanne_Mai-Ly_HilgartLeanne Mai-ly Hilgart is “the Rebel of Fashion Week” (CNN Breaking News), “A Game Changer- embodying courage, conviction, and creativity” (Conde Nast & Mazda’s Mazda6 Campaign), “1 of 40 Redefining Green” (Grist.org) “the vegan scene queen, a badass businesswoman—informative & inspiring” (Bust Magazine) and Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Fashion Expert on theKindLife.com.

Known as the artist in the class, at 8 she ran her first campaign for animals by coordinating friends to create arts & crafts they sold door to door to raise money and awareness for homeless animals at the local shelter. At 12 she took the title of her Social Studies Fair Project (on Vivisection, the Fur Industry, and Factory Farming), “Being Cruel Isn’t Cool,” and sold it to a national tee shirt company. Later she waged a campaign against cat dissection at her high school, which soon helped push a bill into law in IL that required alternatives to be given to all students. A year out of school, Leanne soon gave up on her college degree career path—teaching—and spent the next few years among a couple of seemingly unrelated careers: developing grassroots marketing strategies at Sittercity.com and for other companies while modeling with Ford Models in Chicago and on contracts in Asia. During this time she realized that business was an amazing opportunity to create positive change through every aspect of the process. She just needed to figure out where she was needed most. It was on her contract in Hong Kong that she discovered that a winter dress coat which was at once warm, stunning, & vegan did not yet exist—and realized that cold weather clothes were the last excuse to wear animals so she could aim to eliminate our dependency as a society on wearing animals if she focused on developing something better than wool or down.

Without a background in fashion, but with a love for ballet class silhouettes, 50’s & 80’s vintage, jewel tones, origami, and a deep excitement to create art again, and most importantly- the animals in her heart, she started VAUTE.  Her reading list that summer included Rules for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki and How to be Lovely, the Audrey Hepburn Story—both of which inspired the birth & brand of her company, Vaute Couture, which she started that September, of 2008.

More About Michael Johnson

michael-johnson“My goal is to become the first paralyzed driver to participate in the IndyCar Series and race in the Indy 500.”.
– Micheal Johnson
On August 13, 2005, 12-year-old Michael Johnson took part in a dirt-track motorcycle competition at Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia, Ontario.

While making his move into the lead going into the last lap at the half-mile track, Michael ran out of tear offs and was wiping his helmet shield when he hit a rut, and veered off the track. His 250cc bike went between hay bales and crashed through a fence, sending him over the handlebars.
Michael broke his collarbone, right ribs, left ankle and left leg. He had also fractured the T5 and T6 vertebrae in his back that caused paralysis from the mid chest down.

Michael was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Sarnia, and then transferred to Children Hospital in Detroit.

Two days later, he underwent an 11-hour surgery, and he still has four rods and 15 screws in his back. In 2009, Michael had stem cell surgery and currently follows an aggressive physical therapy program in hopes to improve his condition. Nevertheless, he resolved to resume racing, setting a goal to become the first paralyzed driver to participate in the IndyCar Series.

More About The Soccket Ball by Uncharted Play

The-Socket-Ball_uncharted-playOver 1.3 billion people worldwide live without reliable access to electricity. As a result, households use kerosene lamps, diesel generators, and wood burning stoves, which are harmful to the environment and cause nearly 2 million deaths per year. Living with fumes from 1 kerosene lamp is the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes every day.

Each Portable Power Kit consists of 1 SOCCKET and 10 Portable Lamps. That way, children living in off-grid communities can play with a single SOCCKET ball as a team at school and still have their own personal light for reading and homework at home each night. The pendulum-like mechanism inside the SOCCKET captures the kinetic energy generated during normal play, and stores it in the ball for later use as an off-grid power source. 30 minutes of play can power a simple LED lamp for 3 hours.

Funding for Portable Power Kits comes from a portion of the proceeds of retail SOCCKET sales. Once we have financial support to provide enough Power Play Kits to meet the needs of a school or community center within our implementation partner’s network, we ship them and begin aggregating kits for the next school or community center.

Compiled By:
Josh Martin
Sources:
David R McGill,
Bre Pettis
Majora Carter
Wikipedia.com
VauteCouture.com
Michael Johnson
MichaelJohnsonRacing.com
UnChartedPlay.com
Videos Produced By: Mazda USA

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 22, 2013 in technology, Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 4 Tips To Get Automotive FInancing After A Bankruptcy – Video Blog


temp9If you need to buy a car during your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or after your bankruptcy is over, don’t despair. Most likely you will be able to get a car loan. Or, you might be able to pay cash for a very cheap car. Here are some strategies to consider if you need to buy a car during or after your bankruptcy:

1. Stop making car payments, enjoy your ‘free ride’ and then buy something cheap for cash with the money you saved..

As soon as you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you ordinarily get a “free ride” due to bankruptcy’s automatic stay. The automatic stay ordinarily protects your vehicle from repossession for about two and one-half months (that is, until 45 days after the first meeting of creditors in your bankruptcy case). In fact most car lenders will not repossess your car until after the bankruptcy discharge.

If you already received your bankruptcy discharge, you can still quit making payments and have a “free ride.” Most lenders won’t repossess a car until you behind about two months. Save up the money and use it to get yourself a cheap “runner” to drive until you can get into something better.

Some organizations offer very cheap cars for sale, and sometimes private parties so too. For example, both the Salvation Army and Goodwill sell cheap running cars that have been donated.

Tip: If your car is in danger of repossession, remove any valuables and personal effects from the car.

2. Buy a car with financing after bankruptcy.

In Los Angeles where I practice bankruptcy law, my clients are aggressively solicited by new car dealers, offering to finance or lease them a new car. They specifically target people emerging from bankruptcy as sales leads. The debtor can usually get into a new car, or even a late model used car still under warranty, even with bad credit, provided they have decent income. This may be a far better alternative than it would have been to make a bad reaffirmation deal in the bankruptcy. (Learn more about reaffirming a car loan in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.)

Why buy a new car when you really don’t need one? A new car loan can quickly improve your credit if you pay on time, where as the unreaffirmed car loan will not help your credit. It likely will represent a better investment than keeping the old car with upside down financing on it. It’s also likely that the new car will probably be more reliable transportation, and will come with a warranty.

3. Get help from a friend.

Turn in the old car if a friend, loved one, or family member will buy or lease something for you.

4. Rent or borrow a car while waiting for your discharge.

Some companies will rent cheap used cars on a monthly basis. The payment for these monthly rentals can be less than the payments on your existing car loan. After you receive a discharge you can probably purchase and finance a new car if you have steady income.

Source: Car Credit Master
By: Josh Martin
Please Support My Sponsors:
Check Your VIN Instantly - VinAudit.com

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DonorsChoose.org – Video Blog

How does it work?

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.

When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.

Is there a minimum donation?

You can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.

What happens if a project doesn’t reach its goal?

If a partially funded project expires, donors get their donations returned as account credits, which they can use to:

Choose a new project to support; Have us choose a new project for them, Send the teacher they supported a DonorsChoose.org gift card.

How do you ensure integrity?

We vet every classroom project request, purchase the materials and ship them directly to the school, provide photos of the project taking place, and supply a cost report showing how every dollar was spent.

What kinds of schools do you serve?

K-12 public and charter schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How did DonorsChoose.org start?

Charles Best, a new social studies teacher in the Bronx, often talked with his colleagues about materials and experiences they wanted their students to have, but which they had no funding to support. He created DonorsChoose.org in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need. Check out our fun timeline.

Are gifts tax-deductible?

As a 501(c)3 charity, donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of US law. Our federal tax ID # is 13-4129457.

How long does a project appear on your site?

Projects can remain on our site for up to 5 months, but teachers can set earlier deadlines if they choose.

What percent of projects are successfully funded?

70%. For more stats, see our impact page.

Does it cost money for teachers to post projects?

No, our website is completely free for teachers to use.

Can I donate the materials themselves rather than make a cash donation?

We’re not set up to handle in-kind donations, but these great organizations are.

What’s your mission?

DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.

Source: DonorsChoose.org

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Parenting, Video Blog

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,