shameem

Web & UI Designer

5 things non-Muslims may not know about Ramadan — June 18, 2015

5 things non-Muslims may not know about Ramadan


Palestinian men pray in front the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan July 20, 2012. Israeli police said that Palestinian males over the age of 40 would be freely permitted to enter the compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)
Palestinian men pray in front the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan July 20, 2012. Israeli police said that Palestinian males over the age of 40 would be freely permitted to enter the compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

The month of fasting, devout prayer and evening feasts has begun. Ramadan  Muslims – there are 1.6 billion in the world – believe Ramadan is the holiest month in the year , when the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, was revealed to the prophet Muhammad.

Most non-Muslims have a general understanding of what Ramadan is – at least the daily fasting. But, there are many aspects of the month that aren’t commonly known.

1. Some people are exempt from fasting

Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, elderly people, travelers, people who are seriously sick or have mental illnesses do not fast. Women on their menstrual cycle can break the fast for those days.  Children that have not gone through puberty are also not required to fast during the month Ramadan.

Those who are exempt from fasting can fast at a later date if they are able to, or are required to feed a needy person for each day they do not fast.

2. Timing

Ramadan falls at different times every year since it’s determined by the sighting of a new moon or crescent moon. The sighting of the moon differs between countries so the start and end dates of Ramadan also differ from country to country.

In places where it is not possible to see the crescent moon, Muslims may begin fasting according to the closest place where the moon has been sighted or astronomer calculations. Today, a majority of Muslims rely on announcements made by Islamic authorities from the respective countries.

3. Length of fasting

Depending upon where in the world you live, fasting can last longer. Fasting is done from dawn to dusk so in the far northern hemisphere, where the hours of daylight are so short at this time of year, fasting will last longer. In Reykjavik, Iceland, the fast will be about 21 hours 57 minutes long in the beginning of the month, with a fast starting at 2:03am and finishing at midnight. Those in Sydney, Australia have the shortest fast – from sunrise at 5.29am to sunset at 16.53pm which is about 11 hours and 24 minutes. It’s shorter there since it’s the middle of winter.

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3. True meaning of Ramadan

Ramadan means ‘scorched earth’ – coming from the Arabic root word ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ which means extreme heat or dryness.

4. Charity

Charity is an important part of Ramadan. The practices of Ramadan are meant to purify oneself from any non-Islam thoughts or deeds by removing material desires and focus on devotion.  Muslims are obliged to give charity on a regular basis in the form of either Zakat, which is mandatory giving, or Sadaqa, which is voluntary. During Ramadan many Muslims will chose to give more.

5. It’s not just about not eating

Fasting, or sawm in Arabic, literally means “to refrain” – and not only is it abstaining from food, drink but also actions such as smoking cigarettes, sex during the day, talking about others behind their backs, or using foul language.

Google releases new Handwriting Input keyboard with support for 82 languages — April 16, 2015

Google releases new Handwriting Input keyboard with support for 82 languages


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        Google_PlayGoogle has released a new handwriting keyboard for Android devices today, fittingly called “Google Handwriting Input.”

 

Google Handwriting Input works with devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3) and up, and supports input in both print and cursive writing in a pretty staggering 82 languages — presumably simplifying things from the current system of having separate Google keyboards for handwriting-centric languages.Here’s a breakdown of the keyboard’s main features:

  • A useful complement to touchscreen typing or voice input
  • A fun way to enter emojis by drawing
  • Useful for languages that can be challenging to type on a standard keyboard
  • Works across your Android phones and tablets running Android 4.0.3 and up
  • If you claim your handwriting is terrible, try it out and see if it can convince you otherwise

Once you download the keyboard, you can switch to it just as you would any other keyboard and see it looks identical in styling to the current Google Keyboard. However, if you’re writing something out and decide you want to switch back to a keyed keyboard, you can do so in just one tap (the globe button left of the space bar). Google Handwriting Input also takes input both with a finger and a stylus, so even those of us with fat-finger syndrome have options.

Have You Refreshed Your Social Media Accounts Lately? — March 25, 2015

Have You Refreshed Your Social Media Accounts Lately?


Close-up of a color palette and a brush on white background

How long have you had your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook accounts? Probably more than a few years. In social media time, these social networks are entering middle age. LinkedIn is 12 years old (practically ancient), Facebook launched in 2004, and Twitter in 2006.

Have you refreshed the descriptions, content and images in your social media accounts lately?

It’s off putting when you go to someone’s account on Twitter, for example, and see a couple of tweets and then nothing. Or there is a big fat egg where the person’s image should be.

Update Your Profiles

The social networks are constantly adding new features. For example, you can now install a customized LinkedIn Profile Header in your Profile. LinkedIn rolled out that new design element just last year and many members still haven’t changed from the default blue background. Have you?

While writing this post, I decided to review my own social media accounts. I’ve belonged to LinkedIn since 2005 (!) and created a Company Page when they were launched a few years ago. For some dumb reason I haven’t been posting my blogs to my Company Page, only to my Profile. So that’s something I need to do going forward.

By the way, you can’t turn off updates in your LinkedIn Page when you’re editing as you can when you edit your Profile. I searched everywhere to find out how and learned that other Page administrators are flummoxed, too. Get with it, LinkedIn!

When I refreshed my website at the end of last year, I formatted my new masthead for Twitter, my Facebook page and my LinkedIn business account. I like my personal photo and I think it still looks like me so that’s staying.

Updates you might consider:

  1. Include a photo of yourself.  It doesn’t need to be taken by a professional, as long as it’s professional looking. After you pick a photo, go to Gravatar where you can upload your image so that it follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you comment or post on a blog. If your Gravatar is looking a little dated, then replace it. Always use a photo of your face and not an impersonal image. Many people won’t connect with you if you use a weird image to represent you.
  2. Refresh your social media headers. Instead of using the backgrounds from Twitter’s limited selections, you can go to a site such as twittergallery.com that has dozens of free templates. It’s easy to upload a stock photo to use as the header for your other networks.
  3. Update your profiles. This is especially important on LinkedIn, one of the first stops for employers and business prospects. Make sure your Professional Headline and Summary include key words that your targets search. Update it when there are changes in your life, such as a taking new job.
  4. Add a variety of content. Develop a robust profile in all your networks by uploading images, videos, your resume (if that applies), and presentations.
  5. Post updates often. Set a goal: I will tweet, share an update on LinkedIn and post to Facebook and Google+ at least X times a week. The posts don’t need to be original – you can tweet a blog post you like, retweet other people’s tweets and include links to articles.
  6. Respond to comments and mentions. If someone leaves a comment in answer to a question you posted in a LinkedIn Group, be sure to respond. It’s only polite and will keep the discussion going and potentially attract new connections. Do the same when people connect with you on your other social network accounts.
  7. Make it easy to comment. If you have a blog, make it easy for people to comment and provide a back link to their websites. If you’re still using the old version of captcha, then ditch it for Google’s new reCAPTCHA. No more trying to figure out distorted letters and numbers. The new version simply requires visitors to click in a box that they are not robots.

Don’t let a stale profile on your social media networks diminish the presence you’ve worked so hard to create. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

Have you refreshed your social media accounts? What else could we do to make our profiles stand out?

45 Best Free SEO Tools for On-Page and Off-Page Optimization —

45 Best Free SEO Tools for On-Page and Off-Page Optimization


There are bundles of free and paid tools available online to optimize your site for search engine ranking, curate content for marketing and promotion, feature your businesses on social networks and let your stuffs go viral within minutes. Content marketing and Social media marketing are related to Internet business but Search engine optimization is beyond dispute; more strong, more reliable and create fundamentals for a powerful business online that exits lifetime. In order to divert our marketing style and make marketing 10x powerful and faster we need help of different tools that operate online for handling SEO(search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMM(social media marketing) and CM(content marketing).
SEO tools
With today’s guide I will meet you up with quite some important tools for Search engine optimization, Link building, Content marketing, Competitors analysis and so so. Let’s have a quick glance of your favorite tools

Competitors Analysis

The following tools can be extremely helpful to analyze your competitors ranking, keywords, backlinks, CTR, CPC and much more. Listed on the basis of popularity and usability.

SEMRush

SEMRUSH
This tool creates unique comparing between sites including search metrics, backlinks, keywords, suggested big, monthly search volume and more. You can get information about your competitors top keywords, traffic data, traffic location, and more secrets on how your competitors are ranking for specific search terms. Check out SEMRush premium tool for free.

Open Site Explorer

Open site Explorer

The Open Site Explore is an advanced SEO analysis tool by Moz to competitive analysis. With this tool you can compare your website with up to 5 sites. It lets you analyze Inbound links, top pages, linking domains, anchor text, domain authority, page authority, mozrank, moztrust, page mozrank, page moztrust, internal/external links and more more.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs

Check your competitors backlinks, referring domains, unique referring IPs, unique referring domains, location of backlinks and much more.

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO performs as like as Ahrefs in finding out competitors backlinks, referring domains and backlinks with dofollow/nofollow, Indexed URLs, educational and government referring domains etc. You can compare headline stats for up to 5 different domains with tool. If you go through free version then you have limited access to backlinks data and other spaces in addition with limited daily search volume (up to 2 searches per day from a unique IP).

Web SEO Analytics

Web SEO Analytics

A great tool to compare your competitors who rank the same keywords on search engines. This tool provides a comparison with up to 10 links including title optimization, page links, pagerank, domain score, alexa rank, domain authority, page authority,  domain traffic and much more.

Internet Marketing Ninjas

Internet Marketing Ninjas

This free tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas compare the On-Page SEO analysis with up to 5 full URLs. It compares the page size, title tag, meta description, meta keywords, headlines (H1, H2), keyword usage and density etc.

Site Comparison

Site Comparison

Site Comparison from SEO Mastering compares two pages using multiple SEO aspects. It compares content, keywords, links, bold and italic texts, meta tags, titles, headlines and keyword phrases as well.

WebMeUp

WebMeUp

Opening a free account at WebMeUp lets you take a look at the backlink profile of your site with competitors. Though it doesn’t have largest database of backlink profiles that Ahrefs or Majestic SEO do but it provides different competitors analysis data that worth you checking out.

Link Analysis

Analyze your website backlinks, internal links, referring domains, unique referring IPs, backlinks with dofollow/nofollow and so on. Listed based on popularity and usability.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools

GWT external backlinks tracker provides you the Referring Sites report shows number of visits from other sites to your site. In order to access your site’s data simply navigate to Google Webmaster Tools -> Search Traffic -> Links to Your Site. You can also find Google Index reports, Crawl status and more.

Bing Webmaster Tools | Link Explorer

Bing Webmaster Tools

Similar to GWT but they have started few handy tools to analyze your inbound links, You can find all the useful tools under Diagnostics & Data section in your Bind webmaster tools account.

Open Site Explorer

Open site Explorer

Moz’s Open Site Explorer which is an intelligent tool providing your competitors Linking pages, Top pages, Linking domains, Anchor text distribution, Full list of link metrics etc.

Backlink Watch

Backlink Watch

This is a free tool which shows backlinks and anchor text using in backlinks of any website.

Buzzstream

Buzzstream

Buzzstream is a useful project management tool for cataloging link building opportunities & tracking progress with contacts.

OpenLinkProfiler

OpenLinkProfiler

This tool analyzes your total active backlinks, unique active backlinks, links to homepage, nofollow links, link influence score, industry, and much more.

Link Diagnosis

Link Diagnosis

This free tool provides useful interfaces that make you analyze backlinks of your site. It’s a free quick anchor text analyzer which is able to export data in excel functionality. Ability to drill down into links to specific pages.

Advanced Link Manager

Advanced Link Manager

This tool is created by the team who created link diagnose is a popular keyword rank and link analysis tool. It’s ability to track link-building progress over time. A quick tool with anchor text analysis availability.

Keyword Research

The following tools are quite popular and most useful to analyze keywords that fit your businesses websites and blogs. Listed on popularity and usability.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

A recommended tool for every internet marketer, webmaster and blogger to target long tail seo and establish content on search engines so early. With GKP you can get ad group ideas and specific keyword ideas including keyword competition, suggested bid, monthly search volume, and much more. To know more check this review of Google Keyword Planner

Google Auto Suggest

Google Auto Suggest

This tool is run by Keywordtooldominator which actually takes keyword suggestions from Google data and simplify every keyword representing different several keywords.

Hit Tail

Hit Tail

Liked by internet marketers, bloggers as to be the best SEO tool to analyze long tail keywords which are best suited for your niche. HitTail provides specific code which you need to add on your website and HitTail does rest of all the tasks regaring auto generation long tail keywords according to your content which can be easily super fast ranked on Google and other search engines. Read a review on HitTail

WordTracker

WordTracker

With WordTracker long tail keyword research tool you can easily find profitable long tail keywords along with important details regarding Searches, Keyword competition, IAAT (Keyword in anchor and text) and KEI (Keyword effectiveness index).

Übersuggest

Übersuggest

This free tool works fine when other tools are sleepy in finding out targeted long tail keywords. You can consider this tool as the best alternative of Google auto complete and this free tool adds different characters after your inputted keywords.

Broken Link Checker

Following free tools can help you to scan your whole website’s pages and find out the broken links, bad hosts, dead links, 301 redirects and much more to amend your websites internal linking data.

Related Article: 6 Free Online Broken Links Checker Tools for Websites

BrokenLinkCheck.com

BrokenLinkCheck

An award winning broken link checker tool which analyzes bad host or bad links of your site and checks your websites or blogs with simple scanning the web internal pages later shows the screen of that page where the dead link is located with highlighted tag lines.

W3 Validator and Link Checker

W3 Validator and Link Checker

W3 Link Checker is a free broken link chekcer tool for web pages or full website. This tool provides you different search parameters like Summary, URL redirects, broken links, HTML/CSS validity and more.

Dead Link Checker

Dead Link Checker

DeadLinkChecker is another useful 404 error page checker tool which allows you to full scan or check links on whole website.

Dr. LinkChecker

Dr. LinkChecker

A free online broken link checker tool providing you information of Redirected links, External links, Broken links, Blacklisted URLs etc.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is also a big part of SEO that’s why I have added following free tools to handle your content marketing work more easy and swift than any manual process. Get started with the most efficient free content marketing tools

Must Read: 40 Best Free Content Marketing Tools for Marketers and Producers

Buffer

Buffer

Buffer is a free tool used to schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google plus

PRWeb

PRWeb

With PRWeb you can send SEO optimized press releses about your most valuable conent to 30,000 journalists, 250,000 opt-in news subsribers and to the 3 million monthly visitors on PRWeb.com

Inbound.org

Inbound

Hubspot’s created free marketing platform comprising with the best content marketers and promoters on the planet. You can find the best news, tips, tricks, information, and much more about content marketing from industry experts.

Twitter

Twitter

This microblogging site is most popular to market your content with target audience who follow you on Twitter.

Stumbleupon

Stumbleupon

Share your content on SU and get visible by millions of stumblers online.

Pinterest

Pinterest

Use Pinterest to organize your resources, the content from others and your favorite websites for content marketing inspiration.

Pocket

GetPocket

Save videos, articles and other helpful resources away to check out later.

IFTTT

IFTTT

A freeware utility which works to create custom recipes that increase the productivity across all of your web applications.

Content Curation

The following tools are free to use for content curation across many popular platforms. These tools are quite free and provide lifetime support.

Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest is used to pin stuffs that are related to your business and target audience online. This is a free tool to curate your content. Pinterest for Business takes curated pinning to the next level, making it easy to collate your favorite pins, market your business quickly.

ContentGems

ContentGems

Get your content curated with ContentGems, and monitoring services that screens 200K+ RSS feeds for news sites, blogs, social media accounts and other services.

Feedly

Feedly

Curate your blog’s content with Feedly and let millions of people subscribe with a popular content syndication tool.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Submit the most favorite content to Flipboard and get them shared with millions of Flipboard users within seconds. Another good thins is Flipboard provides comparatively lower bounce rate.

Storify

Storify

Storify makes it easy for marketers to curate content from around the web, pulling from social media updates, news articles, blogs and other sources

Social Media  Marketing

The following tools can help you to handle your social media marketing work more creative, powerful and easy. These are very basic free tools for social media marketing.

Read: 30+ Must Have Social Media Marketing Tools for Every Marketer

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

The #1 website analytics and social media marketing tool is Google Analytics which is very intelligent tool in terms of social media, referral, organic and direct traffic.

Buffer

Buffer

Buffer provides dashboard account to analyze your social media marketing statistics for content you love to share.

Quill Engage

Quill Engage

A free tool that connects with your Google Analytics account and emails you a weekly summary of your data.

BulkBuffer

BulkBuffer

BulkBuffer is an extension for Buffer allows you to upload items to Buffer in bulk. It perfectly works if you’re looking to share content from a large source.

Followerwonk

Followerwonk

This is a Moz product which is a famous tool specially for managing twitter account. This tool shows you detailed breakdowns of your followers and activity.

Post Planner

Post Planner

A rising social media marketing tool which allows you to schedule updates in advance in addition with providing an entire lists of status ideas.

ViralWoot

ViralWoot

Created by Pinterest where ViralWoot provides you more indepth analytics as you can schedule posts, promote pins, and gain new followers all through VW.

How To Use Google Webmaster Tools To Improve Your SEO — March 22, 2015

How To Use Google Webmaster Tools To Improve Your SEO


How-To-Use-Google-Webmaster-Tools
(SEO Tip Of The Day)

No matter the size or the business purpose of your website, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential if you want to be found online.

There is a good probability you already know that. What most people don’t know or tend to ignore when it comes to #SEO is The Google Webmaster Tools.

With only some basic configurations you get a lot (and I mean plenty) of technical and SEO feedback about the state of your website.

1. Most Linked Content Report
2. Search Query Report
3. HTML Improvements
4. International Targeting
…..to name a few

In simple words, this wonderful  tool helps you to see your website as Google sees it and make adjustments accordingly.

Some articles to get you started:

Mobile Usability Feature in Webmaster Tools (or the new mobile reality) http://goo.gl/bgoCHE by Omi Sido

How To Use Google Webmaster Tools To Improve Your SEOhttp://goo.gl/kWoXph via +Adam Jones – the inspiration for this SEO Tip Of The Day

How To Identify A Mobile Rankings Demotion Using The New Search Impact Report in Google Webmaster Tools goo.gl/BKA88s by +Glenn Gabe  (via +William Rock)

Mammoth Guide to Webmaster Tools for SEO http://goo.gl/igzuxw by +Silicon Beach Training (via +Mark Traphagen “A Truly Complete Guide to Google Webmaster Tools”)

Google Webmaster Tools: Search Traffic http://goo.gl/4cZzuA by +Michiel Heijmans (via +Tihomir Petrov)

Manual de Google Webmaster Tools http://goo.gl/QKorp4 via +Sergio Redondo (we do care about the spanish community :-) )

Now like +David Amerland (SEO Help: 20 Semantic Search Steps that Will Help Your Business Grow – http://goo.gl/2GamDH) may say “Saturdays are for coffee,long reads, deep thoughts and the sugar-fuelled mental connections that only good donuts, croissants and cookies can supply.”

Have a lovely weekend guys.

7 Under-the-Hood Optimization Techniques That Will Rock Your SEO — February 17, 2015

7 Under-the-Hood Optimization Techniques That Will Rock Your SEO


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Whether you’re an SEO at the top of your game, or a site owner looking to do more with your SEO, this article is for you.

Most SEO advice is pretty straightforward (and worn out): Optimize your title tags! Content is king! Use a sitemap!

I get all that. And that’s fine advice. And you should do it. But sometimes we need a little bit more — those under-the-hood optimizations that can move the needle even further for SEO. I’m about to give you seven of my secret weapons for doing just that.

Just so you don’t get your hopes up too high, I’m not providing any home run hacks that are going to boost you to the top of the SERPs by tomorrow morning. SEO doesn’t work that way. These seven techniques are reputable, slow-but-steady, and hard work.

But they do work.

1. Make Your Site Secure

Google has tipped its hand regarding one of their newest ranking factors: Site security.

In the summer of 2014, Google declared that HTTPS is now a ranking signal. Although its immediate impact on the search landscape is marginal, we can expect this signal to grow stronger as time goes on.

Security, with all its massive disruptions of late, is a big deal for users, and therefore for Google. We as SEOs need to understand this. Although we crave data — especially the data that gets snatched away from us (not provided) — we still need to respect the limits of privacy.

If you have the ability and/or resources, add encryption to your site. In addition to being a ranking signal, it is also a user signal. Sites with encryption are recognized in the SERPs with an “https://” preceding the URL, unlike non-secured sites.

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This little change in the SERPs alerts conscientious users to the presence or absence of a security layer on a given site, which may in turn affect click-throughs, bounce rates, and dwell time.

2. Add Above-the-Fold Images or Videos With Full Optimization

We all know images and videos can improve a site’s ability to engage users. What we may not realize, however, is that such images can improve a site’s ranking in Image or Universal Search.

The click-through rates for no-image pages are, on average, lower than pages that contain images. Although the first position results gain higher CTRs (20% vs. 10%) for no-image pages, the tables turn in the third through tenth SERP positions. For these results, users show a preference for pages that contain images.

Here is research from Jim Yu in his discussion from Search Engine Land. The chart indicates CTRs for image vs. no-image SERP entries.

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To make your images as SERP-supported as possible, you need to optimize them. Here are the most important features for optimization:

  • Make the size of the image appropriate to the necessary resolution. Get the file as small as possible to improve page load times.
  • Add alt text.
  • Title the image appropriately, using keywords if at all possible.
  • Use a good quality image. It’s for the users, remember.
  • Add supporting Schema for the image.

You can use videos, too, with similar results in the SERPs. The additional effort of adding above-the-fold images and video is that it improves SERP rankings while also adding value for the user. Value for the user means your site visitors will click through more frequently, bounce less, stay longer, and thereby improve your rankings.

3. Create an Image Sitemap

Every search engine professional understands the importance of an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap. I’m suggesting that you create an image sitemap.

So, what’s an image sitemap? And how many sites even have one?

Not many sites have an image sitemap. That’s why we’re under the hood right now. This optimization will boost your rankings particularly in Google’s Image Search.

To create an image sitemap, simply add extra information about images on the page to your existing xml sitemap.

Here is Google’s example of a sitemap with image information:

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You can add the following image tag definitions:

<image:image>
<image:loc>
<image:caption>
<image:geo_location>
<image:title>
<image:license>

If you want to gain additional image search traffic and ranking, this is a must-have optimization maneuver. Be sure to check out Google’s support article on the topic.

4. Regularly Review and Request Removals From Your Link Profile

Behind every site lurks a powerful and sometimes ominous force. It’s your link profile.

You have limited control over what sites link or don’t link to your site. You could become thevictim of a negative SEO attack, or you could be rewarded by links from a high-authority government (.gov) or education (.edu) site.

But you do have some control. You should exercise this control in three ways:

  • Monitor your link profile. Every now and then, scan through the list of sites that are linking to you. This data is available in Google Webmaster Tools. You can also purchase services that will scan your link profile for possible risk.
  • Request low authority or spam sites remove their links to yours. A polite removal request is the best solution to spam links. Simply email the webmaster, informing them of the links and ask that they be removed.
  • Submit a disavow file. Regardless of the SEO brouhaha over the issue, Google has provided a tool that allows you to disavow any links that you deem undesirable.

5. Create Keyword-Specific URLs

Aren’t ranking for a specific keyword? Check your URLs.

Exact match domains (EMD) are an SEO spam technique of yesteryear, but there is no question that Google still considers the URL to be a significant indication of a page’s relevance, and therefore a ranking factor.

Notice how each of these sites, top-ranked domains for a competitive keyword, have URL pages that use the exact query.

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If you are angling for a longtail keyword, I suggest creating a specific targeted page that uses the keyword string in the URL.

6. Use Your Target Keywords Across The Entire Site

One of the lesser-utilized SEO techniques is employing a target keyword throughout the site as a whole. Many SEOs believe (mistakenly) that they can rank for a given keyword by churning out a few blog articles surrounding the keyword. They target a keyword by developing content on one or two pages, but they neglect its presence on the rest of the site.

In reality, Google prefers to see an entire domain that supports the keyword and its semantic variations.

Here’s how you can check this:

  • Do a Google search for inurl:domain plus the selected keyword in quotation marks.
  • Look at how many results Google provides.
  • Compare this to as many domains or competitors as would be helpful.

Let me show you an example. In the screenshot above, I showed you how the website CreditKarma.com is outranking Experian.com for the keyword “what is a good credit score.”

I recently analyzed the SERPs for this keyword, and found that the top organic result has the highest sitewide saturation for the given keyword. I tested several other semantic variations and found it to be consistently true. The site with the highest sitewide occurrence of a given keyword ranked higher.

Look at the comparison. Here’s CreditKarma.com, the top organic result for “what is a good credit score.”

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Here is Experian.com, the second organic result for the same keyword.

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CreditKarma.com has 3,500% more occurrences of the keyword than Experian. Even though CreditKarma’s domain authority, page authority, and domain wide link quantity are lower, they still rank higher for that keyword.

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My informal survey doesn’t prove that top results will always be backed by the highest occurrence of a keyword throughout the site, but it does suggest it is an important factor in Google’s ranking system. Sites that contain semantic variations and/or keywords throughout have a higher chance of ranking in the SERPs for any given keyword in that semantic domain.

7. Optimize Your Brand’s Social Profiles

Google’s Knowledge Graph is a significant aspect of SEO that we can’t ignore. Google recently began displaying the social profiles for brands directly in the Knowledge Graph.

It’s not apparent how this will roll out for small to mid-sized businesses. Most of the results I’ve seen are for large corporate brands.

My sense is that Google will continue to refine KG settings to bring up a full array of information for most brands that have optimized social profiles. It’s worth giving some optimization effort to your social accounts.

8. Add Schema Everywhere

According to a study by Searchmetrics, Schema markup shows up in more than a third of all Google’s search results. With this huge SERP preference for Schema, you’d think that sites would be flocking to implement Schema snippets wherever they could.

Well, apparently not. A mere 0.3% of Internet domains are using Schema integration.

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This definitely falls into an under-the-hood optimization technique. Learning schema isn’t that difficult, and it will certainly look familiar if you have any coding background or awareness of structured data.

Google has even given you some help with their Structured Data Markup Helper.

Conclusion

No matter where you are at on your SEO journey, there is always more to do. You can spend months optimizing, optimizing, optimizing, and never actually reaching a pinnacle of perfection. However, these under-the-hood optimization techniques will bring you closer to perfection than most sites.

What are your favorite under-the-hood SEO techniques?

7 Critical Social Media Mistakes You’re Making — February 5, 2015

7 Critical Social Media Mistakes You’re Making


“Social media is a lot like boxing, according to author Gary Vaynerchuk, whose recent book, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, explains the strategy behind providing value multiple times before trying to “make your ask”. Below are some of the most common #socialmedia mistakes Vaynerchuk sees companies making, and tips to recognize and fix them.

1. Your’re speaking the wrong language: Social content is unique for each network. Your goal should be to seamlessly blend your message into each platform’s unique style. For example, post animated GIFs on Tumblr and short, witty statements on Twitter.”

#socialmedia   #socialmediamarketing   #infographic

social-media-critical-mistakes-infographic
Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade for People Running Windows 8 and Windows 7 — January 25, 2015

Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade for People Running Windows 8 and Windows 7


a668b78ddf7b7340ba1c2e08fa8f1b16ca2fc592Here’s some good news for Windows fans the world over. Microsoft will allow you to upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8 for free to Windows 10.

During today’s unveiling of Windows 10 for consumers, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, revealed that the company will allow users of its most recent operating system, Windows 8.1, to upgrade free to its upcoming operating system. The 600-million-odd users of Windows 7 and the 200 million Windows 8 fans will have a year to take advantage of the full upgrade.

For more great tech news, follow Yahoo Tech on Facebook right here!

The last time round, Microsoft charged $120 to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 — one of the possible reasons the vast majority of Windows users declined to make the move.

This marks a significant shift in how Microsoft views Windows, Myerson says. Windows is no longer a static operating system but a constantly evolving service.

“The question of, ‘What version of Windows are you running?’ will no longer be a thing,” Myerson says. “Windows is a service. Users will always be up to date.”

(TouchVisionTV)

In the Live Stream, Microsoft also announced that Cortana, its artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant and competitor for Apple’s Siri and Google Now, is coming to desktop PCs and Microsoft’s new Spartan browser. Cortana will be able to answer questions, manage your schedule, send emails on your behalf, and much more, says Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of the Operating Systems Group.

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“She’s like another member of the family, sitting around waiting to get things done,” says Belfiore.

7 Reasons you should set expiration dates on your — January 20, 2015

7 Reasons you should set expiration dates on your


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We are midway through January, which means most of us have wholly abandoned any goals for self-improvement that we drunkenly declared on New Year’s Eve. But if there’s just one thing you do differently this year, set expiration dates on your iMessages.

Perhaps you’re not familiar with this feature, which was added in Apple’s iOS 8 overhaul last year. If you’ve downloaded iOS 8, visit Settings and then Messages. You’ll arrive at a section titled Message History, which then gives you the option to keep your messages for 30 days, a year, or forever.

Now, are you ready for this? Select 30 days, save the settings, and never look back.

(In Android, you can go to your Messaging app, Settings, and go to the Delete Old Messages feature. Then you can set the limit manually for picture messages and regular texts.)

I know what you might be thinking: But what about the memories? Screw the memories! Here are the many reasons this is the smartest possible thing you can do with your iMessages.

1. You won’t be reminded of unfortunate Tinder choices.
Let’s face it: We’ve all made poor dating decisions from time to time. And these very likely resulted in an awkward digital conversation you would prefer to forget. This includes forced flirty banter, an excessive use of emoji to fill empty space, and an overall reminder that you may have lowered your standards for romantic company. In the past, I’ve just let these kind of texts get pushed down to the bottom of my message history, into oblivion. But it’s better if they just go away forever, especially so that there’s no reminder that you once feigned interest if they dial you up months later.

2. It’s easier to keep secrets.
Look, if you are carrying on an extensive affair or spying on the U.S. government, enabling this feature won’t be enough to protect your wild and crazy lifestyle. But automatically clearing your texting history every 30 days can help you avoid getting in trouble if your phone slips into the wrong hands. Maybe your jealous lover finds one semi-flirtatious text with an old flame and freaks out. Or a thief scans for password info you forwarded to your mom. With this system in place, you don’t have to worry about that. And it might also make you feel like a super stealthy ninja.

3. You’ll avoid the painful burn of a bad breakup.
As Laurence and Jessica Jacobs demonstrated in their 11-minute short film “Life in Text,” running through your iMessage history can detail the entire emotional arc of a relationship. Pre-smartphone era, we didn’t have these digital love notes to pour over post-split. And, honestly, it was probably healthier to just sit down with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, cry about it, and move on.

But with access to your own personal conversational archive with your ex, you can parse over weeks, months, years of exchanges. Latching onto snippets of conversation and asking friends to read them is just destructive. People say things and then change their minds. Let those old texts die along with the relationship.

4. It’ll make your phone a lot faster.
Of all the apps you use on your smartphone, Messages is probably one of the most poppin’. And because you use it so much, you’ve probably amassed a pretty huge collection of histories with contacts you regularly text. Enabling a 30-day purge can free up space and make the app work faster. I mean, that’s just practical.

5 Ways To Use Google Analytics for Your UX Research —

5 Ways To Use Google Analytics for Your UX Research


As users visit your website while you sleep, do you ever get a slight gnawing feeling – like you’ve left a small child alone while you went for milk?

Let’s face it – you really have no idea how they’re behaving. Are they wandering lost? Are they stuck somewhere? Are they doing their chores?

That’s how I feel sometimes. Your users often get misdirected, lost or simply don’t know what they are doing at your site. What’s more, they may break something or get hurt themselves by making bad decisions (e.g. delete some important data of theirs).

I’m part of the Dragdis build team, a tool designed specifically to help creative professionals collect and organize their inspirations. If you’re designing for seasoned creative pros, you need to think especially carefully about interactions, and make every usage scenario perfect.

We like to say “Your path has to have flow

Ancient-Aliens-Guy

The truth is, no matter how well-researched your UX decisions may be, it’s impossible to predict all possible use cases. So, we need to obtain user behavior feedback as early as possible to make the appropriate design adjustments.

Furthermore, if you’re involved with a startup, your goal is to close that feedback loop for Lean UX as rapidly as you can.

So, in this article I will cover basics how to get feedback (statistical data) about your UX from the moment you roll out your design.

Why Google Analytics (GA)

Though Google Analytics is widely considered a tool for marketing purposes, it offers a powerful feature set that may well be a salvation for any UX researcher needing immediate insights without adding a new layer of tools.

Here’s why we ultimately selected GA as our main UX research tool:

  • While most UX tools gouge your budget, a basic GA account is free of charge. There’s no need to go Premium, as the free data is more than enough for what we need.
  • The flexibility GA provides is almost limitless. You can set it up to observe usage trends, actions, track errors… too many to list here. It’s really up to you to extract answers need.
  • Visualization of your data is one of best ways to understand it. GA allows to you slice and dice your data in multiple ways and then display it in a wide range of charts.
  • It’s simple to deploy. Paste in a small snippet of JavaScript and you are ready to go.

Of course, GA can’t do everything. Tasks that require off-site data such as eye tracking or observations during usability testing will need be conducted with other UX tools.

Basics on GA tracking structure

Before you begin with your user analysis with GA, you should be familiar with basic levels of GA tracking. In your GA, you can have multiple Accounts, Properties and Views:

  • The Top level is ‘Account’. You should use this to separate individual projects or websites you want to track, such as example.com or test.org
  • Properties’ offer you a way to separate concerns in a single project. Let’s say that example.com has some public pages for user acquisition and internal pages for already registered users. These should become separate properties since they have different purposes. In that way your user flow and metrics will be kept clear and distinct.
  • View’ is just another level of your data separation. It is useful if you want filter and additionally process incoming data from your website to see different contexts.

Hint: if your site has different sections for different user groups (e.g. registered users and the new visitors), you should always split them into different GA properties – otherwise you will see inaccurate conversion rates for your goals.

Things to track

When you are setting up your GA or configuring a report, first you should have a clear idea of what you want to discover. Here are the 5 simplest tracking features you’ll need for basic UX analysis.

1. Standard Pageview tracking for starters

By default GA provides you standard tracking code that observes how your user is navigating, along with some parallel data that tells some details about your users (i.e. the tech they use, how they arrived at your site). Basic tracking allows you to answer these simple questions:

  • Where did users enter and where do they leave your website?
  • What paths did they take through your site?
  • What technology did they use (mobile or desktop, screen resolution, OS, etc…) ?

Since standard tracking is more oriented towards marketing, generally you will likely only receive superficial insights from it, as it tracks only actual pages, and not the user interactions WE want to know about.

However, we can easily make it more powerful by pimping up your tracking code with virtual page hits to observe user behavior in more detail. ‘’Virtual page hits’ means you have to set GA up manually by calling a tracking function every time a user performs an action what you want to track.

For example, if you want to know if your users are opening a particular tab or loading another gallery item that does not reload your whole page, you can just add a single line of code in your JavaScript, that tells GA to track the particular interaction as a page hit.

ga('send', 'pageview', '/your-custom-pageview');

2. Behavior flow

The shiny new pearl you get when you have your pages set up is the Behavior flow (Under Behavior section). This is a GA report that tells you exactly how your users are navigating your website.

This particular report is useful to:

  • Analyze how users behave at a particular point of your flow
  • See what happens immediately before/after users take a particular step or visit a particular page
  • Investigate the precise sequence that users perform different interactions
  • Isolate whether users are taking any unnecessary steps, or returning to previous states for any reason
  • Determine which steps in your scenario fail most often (when the users doesn’t behave as you intended)

Once you get to this new report, select view type “Automatically grouped pages” and you will see all your user flow in visualization like the one below. If you click on a particular page (or step), you will be able to highlight the traffic through that page – or even set it as starting reference for all visualization (menu option Explore traffic through here)

bahavior-flow

3. Funnels are awesome

Funnels and Goals are features designed to observe your most sensitive data – the “if’s” and “how’s” your website fulfills its purpose.

Goals in GA usually represent your website objectives (sales conversions is a common objective) and Funnels are a predefined set of steps your users take to that goal.

Goals are set up in the Admin section of GA for each view individually. In other words, you can have different goals in different context for same website. For instance, a newsletter subscription page has a different goal to your checkout.

For the beginning you should set goals for every objective of your website, like “Order completed” or “User registered”. This will tell GA how to calculate conversions and will deliver fine performance reports.

Funnels, on the other hand, are the real treasure here. You can define up to 20 steps for each goal and later analyze the performance of each of these steps. This is some fine-grained control!

Each step represents a page hit or virtual page hit, it’s only limited by your imagination. But generally the best practice is to create a funnel step at any point that a users is able to abandon your scenario.

You should use Goals and Funnels to:

  • Track how your well website is completing its objectives
  • Locate the points in your scenario where it fails
  • Monitor overall performance of your scenario

One you set up your goals, you will be able to use reports in Conversions section. Goal flow report will offer you the same sort of insights as Behavior flow, though from the perspective of goal completion. Here you will be able analyze how users are jumping between funnel steps and see where they leave your funnel or jump back into it.

This makes it much easier spot the flaws in your scenario logic and easily identify the breakpoints where your users get lost.

goal-flow

Another powerful report is Funnel visualization where you will see all your funnel performance in single view – it will show how much each step is effective (how many users pass it successfully towards a goal) and where users go if they leave your funnel at a particular step.

funnel

Funnel visualization differs from Goal flow in a way that Funnel visualization report “fills in” steps if users are skipping them and represents a Funnel as straight forward scenario. Goal flow reports show how users actually navigate between steps.

Hint: if your funnel step shows 0% (none users pass) or 100% (all users pass) conversion – probably there is something wrong with your funnel setup. There should be at least some passes and some turns at every step – and the steps with lowest conversions clearly indicates where you should improve your UX.

4. What features your users are grinding

Details and micro-interactions matter a lot if you want to create a smooth user experience, though you cannot track them as a pageviews since it would interfere and scramble with data within behavior flow reports. Here GA Event tracking lends a hand.

Events in GA represents a standalone action that your users are taking, so it is perfect to track such interactions as Context menu opening or List view change. All events are custom and each event have 4 properties, that you define yourself:

  • Category is just a value for grouping events just for convenience (e.g. Index page events; Onboarding events)
  • Action is a short name that represents event itself – here you should be specific
  • Label (optional) user to track additional text data
  • Value (optional) user to track additional numeric data that can be used as a metric in custom reports

Hint: Naming your event Action in past tense verb, helps you to create more intuitive and readable reports. E.g. “Settings icon clicked”, “Notification dismissed”

To track an event, you need to add different line of code, similar to pageview tracking. E.g.:

ga('send', 'event', 'Category', 'Menu click', 'Menu item title', 100);

All Event reports can be accessed under Behavior -> Events section. Most useful report here is Top Events where you can see what action your users performs most usually.

Hint: if you want to see all events listed in a single plain, just select Event Action as your secondary dimension and if you select view table by Performance to visually represent intensity of every action.

events

5. Timing matters

Time is often overlooked in UX, but at some time there will be a time when you will need to track time. By measuring timing you can determine if users are hitting a sticking point in your path, or find themselves unable to complete a given task.

This method will help you answer the following questions:

  • How quickly did users reach their goal in your website?
  • How much time did a given operation or action takes?
  • What points of your website keep users waiting?
  • Which micro-interactions are confusing or demand more time than others?

To provide you with answers to these questions GA has implemented a feature called User timings. It is another custom hit type designed to measure time – how long things take in your website.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, GA itself does not provide a timing function, so the trick is that you will need to measure time by any means you have (e.g. simple timestamp comparison in javascript) . After that just provide timing data in your custom hit tracking code, where you have to specify 4 parameters:

  • Category is just a value for grouping your timing events (same as simple Events)
  • A short name that represents event itself
  • Time in milliseconds
  • Label (optional) user to track additional text data
1
ga(‘send’, ‘timing’, ‘Category’, ‘Watched video for’, 1000, ‘Some custom text’);

You will be able to analyze all your tracked timings in User Timings report under Behavior -> Site Speed section. Same as in Event report you will be able to see all your timing events in single view if you select Timing Variable as your secondary dimension.

timings

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