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Date: 3/25/2018 5:22 PM UTC

Shopping on line is the wave of the future.  I don't think anyone in today's business world will dispute that.  More and more stores are closing and moving their operations exclusively on line.  Don't believe me.  Well, just look at what happened to Toy's R Us.  And there are more and more examples like this happening every week.  And you certainly can't blame people.  The deals are much better, the shopping experience is better, and you don't have to leave the comfort of your residence. 

However, despite the huge explosion in E Commerce there are still certain items/products bought on line where a personal relationship with the seller is is needed.  Products like websites for small designs (one of our specialties), certain consumables that are frequently reordered, and much more.  And because many of these products can only be purchased on line having someone to talk to and work with becomes that much more important.  I have several customers we've built website solutions for that said the number one reason they went with us was because we met and shook hands with them.  And as great as the internet is, there's still something to be said for a handshake and a smile.  It shows that you genuinely care and are looking out for their best interests.  Most consumers who frequently order from a particular business would love a personal shopping consultant to take care of them when they have a question or concern.  As great as Amazon is how often do you hear of complaints and how their customer service is awful.  And if that's not addressed it's only a matter of time before they're replaced as the big dog on the internet. 

Now don't get me wrong, I know there are many scenarios where's this is just not possible.  However, how many local businesses are missing out on the opportunity to take their business to another level because they're not engaging their customers with someone who's going to assure them that they will be taken care of?  Think about it.  As old fashioned as it sounds it's just good business. 

Ron Catron
President/Moneynet Marketing

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Date: 3/9/2017 4:14 PM UTC

When Broswers Say “Death to Flash”, We Respond! You’re Welcome!

Remember that fun Flash game you used to play back in 2002?  It was the perfect way to waste hours of your life and you weren’t alone.  Flash was ubiquitous for a number of years.  It was the only game in town when it came to being able to do anything interactive in the browser.  It had the market cornered on all things games, animated website intros, watching video and myriad other Internet activities.
Then, the market started to shift.  The trusty old friend that you went to whenever you had a few minutes of free time was to soon be overshadowed by HTML5 and Apps.  It was an all out war.  The antiquated, gaping security hole and ram hog that is Flash was starting to show it’s weakness.  All of the major tech companies that had been built on the back of Flash were now starting to give it the evil eye.   Right around 2007 things started to go mobile and the writing was on the wall for Flash.
Sorry Flash, you had a good run but it’s now time to fill that security hole and lighten the load that has been bogging down browsers for 15+ years.  “Death to Flash” and “Make it so” said the major browser developers.  It’s time for Flash to go up onto the mantle of tech we used to love, to sit right next to your favorite VCR and mixtape.
That’s right, soon all browsers will be blocking Flash by default.  Some will bury a setting that is hard to find to even enable it.  We’ve been monitoring this closely and were standing by, waiting for the final word.  We wanted to make sure we were out in front of the issue and weren’t stuck scrambling like other providers will be.
In anticipation of the browsers starting to block Flash by default, we have replaced the upload tool in eCommerce with a new version that does not rely on Flash.  This was rolled live last week.  In addition to the removal of Flash, it also comes with an improved user experience for assigning images to products.  You’re welcome!
By: Brett Ratner, COO at maWebCenter

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Date: 7/8/2015 11:23 AM UTC

What is “Good Content” Anyway? 繁體中文

Untitled“Web surfers have the attention span of drunken gnats.” – Forbes Magazine
People are bombarded by more and more information each day, and our lives are getting busier and busier. Identify the goals of your content to shape the direction you take.
  • What makes you unique?
  • What sets up apart from the competition?
  • Have you won any recent awards or been involved in assisting the community?
  • What are frustrations experienced by potential customers of your industry? How does your business solve these problems?
  • Products
  • Services
  • Online bill pay
  • Online Appointments
  • Reservations
  • What to bring to the appointment
  • Warranties
  • Brochures
  • FAQs
  • More Information
  • Social Media Engagement
  • “Follow Us” or “Connect with Us”, “Get Inspired” etc.
  • Repost your clients
  • Live Feeds
  • Email Marketing
  • Stay in touch!
  • Rich / Visual / Media Rich
  • Original
  • Well-written, and updated
  • Business Identity
  • Credibility
  • Easily Accessible Contact Information
  • Call to Action

Posted by Ronald Catron | 6 Comments

Date: 6/30/2015 11:30 AM UTC

On April 21, Google unleashed its mobile-friendly update on the online world. However, most businesses and entrepreneurs were in the loop and had sufficient time to react and take appropriate measures.
More recently, there have been rumors flying about a new "phantom" algorithm update, which was presumably applied towards the end of April or the beginning of May. As it turns out, if you've been noticing changes to your -- or anyone else's -- search rankings as of late, you aren't out to lunch.
The reason some have been referring to it as the "Phantom Update" is because there was no advance warning with this algorithmic revision, and Google wouldn't readily admit to it either. It did confirm it eventually, but wouldn't provide a lot of specifics on the changes. Google may try to play it down, but the overall impact appears to be significant.
In essence, this new update is a quality update. How Google assesses quality is sometimes a thing of mystery, but we do know that it wants to provide users with the best information possible. By developing high-quality content and websites, you can continue to rank for your terms and drive traffic to your site. It may be worth reviewing Google's post about high-quality sites from when it applied the Panda update as well.
With context now in tow, let's take a closer look at what you need to know about this update.

Don't panic!

First, you must realize that Google will be updating its algorithm on a regular basis to serve more quality content to searchers. This isn't really the first time Google has done this -- remember Panda? -- and it's unlikely that it will be the last time.
In other words, if you've been consistently producing content with the best interests of your target users in mind, you're still on the right track. There's no need to make any drastic changes to your strategy. If you do happen to see a decline in your organic search traffic, however, there may be a need to address some of your on-page SEO.
We may not have a lot of new information on Google's quality signals, but we do know what was said in the past. Here are several important things to keep in mind:
  • Duplicate content and redundant articles are a no-no.
  • Avoid creating thin content.
  • Prioritize user experience. For example, too many ads on your site can create a negative visitor experience and have an undesired impact on your rankings.
  • Your content should be trustworthy. Visitors that land on your site should feel comfortable giving you their credit card information.
  • Are you exercising quality control with your content? Your articles should be free of spelling and factual errors.
  • Are you striving to give your target users an in-depth look into the subject matter? Does your content meet their needs?
This is just a quick overview of what Google expects from you as a content creator. From a user experience perspective, it makes a lot of sense. The idea is to answer questions posed by visitors, provide them with the best information possible, examine issues from different angles and share insights into topics you're passionate about.

It's all about content.

Content is really all we're talking about here. If you're still trying to catch your breath from the previous mobile-friendly update, that's all good and well, but if you're already caught up in that regard, then the issue to address now is content. There's no need to focus on anything else at this point in time.
If Google has gone on record to say that certain factors are important to search rankings, it's not likely to change its tune all of a sudden. The most recent update reflects ongoing efforts to rank sites based on the quality of the content offered.
There are some theories out there about this being a domain-level penalty. In other words, if Google finds low quality content on your site, it'll demote your entire website. However, this is merely speculation. If your website happens to have a significant amount of "low quality" content on it, then you may see a considerable decrease in organic traffic. This wouldn't necessarily indicate a domain-level demotion, because it could be just your lower quality content that's being affected. This would explain the overall decrease in search rankings and traffic.

Build trust.

Is there a reason why some sites can publish a new article, have it crawled and indexed within minutes and have it ranking in search too, while others struggle to do the same? Fundamentally, it's all about trust. If there's anything that's being looked at on a domain-level, it would bethat.
Are you consistently creating and serving quality content to your users? Are you striving to make their experience the best that it can possibly be? Are you building a solid reputation that appears trustworthy in the eyes of Google?
Again, think about what Google is looking for when it is crawling your content. The search giant wants to see original, trustworthy, error-free, visitor-centric, value-adding, comprehensive, substantial content. As a website owner, it's a long-term play, but you have to be willing to invest the time and not cut corners.
You can build towards becoming a recognized authority on a subject, but this is not done by guessing at what SEO plays are going to generate your next viral article. This is done by paying attention to the real human needs that exist in the online world. Future updates are going to take this human element into account more than anything else.

Final thoughts.

If you're interested in finding out whether your site has been affected, make sure to take advantage of our Google Penalty Checker. Google rolls out hundreds of minor changes every single year. Some are major and can have a significant impact on your website's rankings -- sometimes without you even being aware of it.
If your low quality content has been affected, it's time for a new strategy. Quality signals aren't anything new, but you can rest assured that Google is only going to clamp down on inferior content with greater force in times to come.
*Article by Thomas Smale
Contributor/FE Internationals

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Date: 10/13/2014 3:31 PM UTC

Make a WebsiteWhy People Return to Websites
When you think of the word “sticky,” what comes to mind? A spilled soda, the surface of something you bought after you removed a sticker, or your hands after you peeled some fruit?
In the Internet industry, sticky refers to something that makes a person want to come back to a website. A sticky website stands out above the many thousands of other websites because it offers something unique and valuable.
Here are some ways to make your site sticky:
  • Make your site clear and navigable. Have a short paragraph near the top introducing yourself. Make your best pages available with prominent links. Use an image of yourself and have your phone number, email and other contact information in a place the visitor can easily find them.
  • Write an FAQ. It stands for Frequently Asked Questions and it is standard on all major websites. Don’t be intimidated, you can have an FAQ too. Think about what most people ask you most often. Write in clear terms and provide plenty of contact information where visitors can contact you for more information.
  • Set up blogs and social media accounts. Blogs and social media accounts breathe life into your site, provide fresh information, and engage your readers. Plus it’s a lot of fun. Answer questions, start new discussion topics, and state your opinion about recent news. People will notice, and the search engines will too.
  • Make sure your website reflects your personality. Are you a practical joker? Are you committed to your church? Maybe you are dedicated to making your community a better place. Giving your audience a window to your soul will make them want to do business with you.
  • Get into video. That new cell phone of yours has incredible video capabilities. A YouTube account is free and super easy to use. Call a friend who will be your videographer and make some two-minute videos introducing your business.

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Date: 9/10/2014 4:58 PM UTC

A picture is worth 1,000 words so using infographics can get you more real estate for your posts. We’ve compiled a few tips for you to get started with creating quality infographics:
Define your Target Audience
Many businesses have multiple audiences for their services and products.  To get the biggest response, define a single audience for each infographic you create.
Craft a Clear Message
Is your infographic saying too much?  Define your purpose and then craft a clear message that both offers professional insight / advice while also promoting your product.
High Quality Images & Smart Sizes
Want people to read and share your infographic?  Make it easy to read and share!
Logical Layouts
Break your message out into a logical, easy to read layout.
Brand It
Don’t forget to brand your infographics. You are giving free and valuable infomation to the end-user to build brand loyalty AND to create awareness around a product or service that you offer.
Share It
Don’t forget to share your infographic on your social media platforms, on your website and in your email campaigns. Make sure to include your website link when sharing as this will both drive traffic to your site and  increase your SEO value!
Posted by: Sarah Rose Stack

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Date: 8/21/2014 11:03 AM UTC

5 Tips for a Website Makeover

Skice 02It’s time.  Your website has been outdated long enough and it may be starting to cost you business.  We know it can be overwhelming, so let’s take a look at 5 key points to keep in mind when planning your website makeover.
1.  What’s Your Point?
  •   What is the primary focus of your site?
  • What is the secondary focus of your site?
2. Who’s Looking?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Demographics?
  • Where are they located?
3. Social, Social, Social
  • Social media is the largest referral network in history.
  • Is the content on your site shareable?
  • Are you driving your viewers to your social platforms?
4. Call to Action
  • What do you want viewers to do?
  • Sign up for a newsletter?
  • Share something?
  • Buy Something?
  • Request more information?
5. Plan from A- Z
  • Who will write the content?
  • Media – Images, Videos, Downloads etc.?
  • Who will Design?
  • Who will Develop?
  • Responsive Design?
  • What about Marketing the Site?  (SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email Campaigns)
By: Sarah Rose Stack

Posted by Ronald Catron | 1 Comment

Date: 3/17/2014 2:15 AM UTC

SEO for Small Business

Most small businesses starting out on the web have much of their own web responsibilities, and they have heard of SEO, but they don’t know what it is, or how to implement it on their website.  SEO stands for search engine optimization and is an area of expertise in implementing certain techniques and practices to help your site rank as high as possible on search engine results pages (SERPs). Even professional website technicians have heard of SEO, and wish they knew enough about it to do it well, so how can the small business owner stand a chance?
If you keep in mind that SEO isn’t the only component of your website, then it is possible to take a few small, easy steps to start doing SEO on your own.  One of the most important things a small business owner can do is optimize the company website for search engines.  Your content should be the backbone of your website, and positive SEO results will come as a result of this solid structure.
You can spend a lot of time effort and money on SEO, and achieve very few if any results if you do not have the quality content to go with it. As a small business owner, saving costs is always part of the bottom line and few people realize that proper SEO can be learned with little effort.  Some companies even over-optimize their websites which can have little results for the added effort.  Sometimes taking care of the basics is all that is really required.
So where do you begin? Well, one of the first things you can do if you haven’t already done so is to verify your site ownership with Google.  Google’s Webmaster Tools offer a lot of useful features such as email forwarding, which offers you emails informing you of any problems found on your site.  The problems that Google may find could be site inaccessibility, malicious content, and possible broken links.  It’s useful to have this kind of information so that you can troubleshoot your own site.
The next area you can cover is in your content, which should be unique.  You will have to focus on the keywords, or words that will be used frequently in the page text.  A keyword can be a unique word or phrase that is generally used as the subject of the content.  For example, your special keyword(s) or phrase(s) should take up about fifteen percent of the text.  Don’t use the keywords so many times that it has a negative effect on your content meaning and readability. You don’t want to discourage your users, and you also don’t want search engines to tag you as spam.
Another area that you can cover while optimizing your site is to go over your design. A great design can be the key to your success.  SEO and quality content can help push your site up the search engines, but once they’ve found you, you only get one shot. First impressions always last, so make them count.  Remember to interact with your customers online, they are your audience, and your lifeline.  Without them your business will fail.  Answer their questions, interact with them through social media, whatever you do make them feel engaged and an active part of your site and you will be a success.

Posted by Ronald Catron | 2 Comments

Date: 1/7/2014 2:58 AM UTC

Let’s face it, you simply cannot ignore the fact that social media is here to stay – it’s as an important aspect of your marketing mix, as anything else you have been doing up to this point. Unfortunately, for many businesses it’s still not included as an integral business activity – in short, it’s often an afterthought, something to be done, when time allows.
Photo originally published by news.ie.msn.com
Your social media goals for 2014
If you don’t want your competitors to leave you standing then 2014 is the year you need to get serious about using social media in your business. If up until this point you’ve simply stuck your toe in the water but no more, it can seem a pretty daunting task, so here are my 7 tips to help you get under way.
  1. Know why? – Why are you in business? When you first started what was your passion, what made you decide to set up the business you have – what difference did you want to make to those who use your services? –  Starting here is a great way of re-assessing every aspect of your sales & marketing strategy, this will be important when it comes to communicating, via social media, who you are and what you do.
  2. What outcomes do you deliver? – Many businesses make the mistake of only listing on their websites what they do and how they do it. Clients are much less interested in these factors, rather they want to know if you can solve their problems or help them achieve their business objectives. Does your LinkedIn profile communicate this well?
  3. Who is your audience?  - Is it time to reassess who your clients are? Are there some who are more profitable for your business, who are easier to deal with and should you be searching for more of these type of clients? Social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter provide free tools to enable you to locate and engage with thousands of potential new clients – you just need to learn how to make best use of these tools.
  4. What is your story? – Marketing has changed – the focus now is on building relationships, not driving transactions. Potential clients want to know more about you, your beliefs, attitudes, values, how you’ve helped others similar to them to achieve success – they want to like you and above all trust you. Your job is to share content via social media that has heart, real stories about real people – your clients, your employees maybe? – social media content needs to engage at a human level, it’s not simply about sharing corporate sales messages, no one believes these any more. Establish a connection first and clients will buy, you will rarely have to sell to them.
  5. It’s not just about posting – There is a misconception that if you post sufficient information via LinkedIn status updates, in groups, on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook that eventually you’ll attract plenty of new business and yes, you will attract some. However, if you’re not prepared to engage in dialogue with those who view your profile or respond to your posts – if you’re not prepared to engage in discussion forums and Twitter conversations then you’re not being ‘social‘. Engagement is the key to building relationships.
  6. Create content that engages – Content is definitely king – when it comes to social media and websites Google takes specific notice of those sites that share great content and that are linked to other sites that share great content. Your job is to create or curate great content (sounds simple doesn’t it?). What is great content? It’s content that your clients want to read, not what you think they should read. Consider sharing industry trends and updates that are relevant to your clients, be an indispensable resource to them. Share positive stories where you have had an influence in helping other similar businesses – be cautious of being too overtly salesy though.
  7. Don’t forget the sales element - In the end though, there is no point making all these connections and attracting many followers and likes -sharing wonderfully useful content with them, if they are not going to visit your website or enquire about your services further – you must put your sales hat on. For example, use Google Analytics to assess which of your website pages visitors land on most frequently and make sure that your social media content includes a link, every time, to these pages. When they land on your page, do you have a capture mechanism, clearly identified, where the visitor can sign up to your newsletter or special offer, so you capture their data? You must consider and include an end-game as far as your social media plans are concerned.
I believe that there is much confusion shared on various sites about linking social media activity with sales and marketing – they are linked, in fact they must be linked, otherwise we are all just being busy fools.
Social media is no silver bullet, it may bring instant results and certainly I have seen many examples where it has. However, patience is key here – be prepared to put time in and be consistent – measure and assess your progress – what do people respond well to, what isn’t working and needs to be changed? Social media is a process, it works for those who apply it with consideration and it’s not going away any time soon – you’re competitors are using it and winning, so are you prepared to get in the game and learn how to make it work for you in 2014?
Wishing you a great 2014 and if you would like to learn how my business helps company’s like yours to attract more new clients to your business click here now. Want more tips like this? Sign up to our weeklynews-brief here.

*Article by Steve Phillips (Managing Director/Linkd2Success)

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Date: 12/20/2013 3:02 AM UTC

Sibylline Sisterhood Soothsayer - the one who actually saw the Tardis
A Soothsayer from the Sibylline Sisterhood was the first of her Sisterhood to see the TARDIS

The value of any piece of information is only as good as its truthfulness. Data that’s out of date, inaccurate or just plain false is next to useless. Worse than that it can lead to seriously flawed decisions based upon it.
The Roman Emperors knew that which is why they kept Soothsayers from the Sibylline Sisterhood around (rejoice Dr Who fans for the reference) who guided them in their choices.

We don’t have Soothsayers around anymore but we have Google and its semantic search engine. Semantic search is a Big Data solution to the problem of ever increasing amounts of information accumulating on the web. As such its success is defined, precisely, by its ability to deal with the four Big Data vectors:
  • Volume
  • Velocity
  • Variety
  • Veracity
The sheer amount of information being pumped out (Volume), its spread across the web (Velocity) and its ability to be repurposed (Variety) are signals in their own right. Each piece of information, each data point, each node, experiences these vectors in a unique combination that also makes the digital identity of that piece of information unique. What they all have in common however is the “yes” or “no” answer that’s provided by the fourth Big Data vector: Veracity.

Veracity is a measure of the truthfulness or provenance of the information you find on the web and the ability of the computationally driven, answer engine of semantic search to gain our trust, rests completely upon it.

How Veracity Works

A new patent awarded to Google shows that the mechanics through which this process is carried out rely upon the connections of semantic relationships which themselves have a very specific meaning and intent. Google ascribes a trustworthiness value to each connection and a total value to the semantic network of connections. If more than one semantic network is involved in the calculation of the answer Google ascribes a trustworthiness value to each of them.

The moment a conflict is detected between two pieces of data Google uses a trustworthy algorithm to determine which is the correct one, updates the obsolete or inaccurate document on the fly and presents the results to the end user both with the correct version and the annotated inaccurate version.

The description of Google’s patent on Veracity detection says:
With existing search mechanisms, a user search for the product will include web page documents that contain the original release date of the product, without providing any indication in these returned documents that the release date has changed. Thus, the user may be presented with erroneous information. In contrast, the annotation mechanism in the illustrative embodiments identifies obsolete data within a web page document, annotates the document with up-to-date information to override the obsolete data in the document, and returns the annotated document in the search results to the user. Thus, when a user clicks on the annotated document, the obsolete data is annotated in the document with up-to-date data also obtained from the repository. When a document comprises data whose veracity is in question due to the existence of conflicting data in other documents within the repository, a “trustworthiness” algorithm is used to dictate which data source contains the correct or most reliable data. Any data that is deemed to be incorrect or unreliable on the displayed web page is annotated automatically. In an alternative embodiment, rather than determining which data is correct via a trustworthiness algorithm, a link may be provided in the annotation which provides a summary of all the conflicting data, along with sources of the conflicting data. In this case, users may determine for themselves which data source is most reliable.

In plain English Google will determine whether a piece of data is true and will:
A. Display an answer (based upon it)
B. Display the correct web page and the incorrect, annotated one
C. Display the conflict regarding a web page’s truthfulness and then provide a link to all the sources that the search engine has determined create the conflict so that the end user can decide.

Which will appear is most probably determined by the complexity of the search query and the degree of conflict experienced.

‘Simple’ Questions Have Complicated Answers

To illustrate just how important this is consider the ‘simple’ question of “Can a Hippopotamus Swim?” or “Can a Kiwi bird fly?”. As the image below shows, Google’s semantic search right now (December 2013) simply doesn’t know.

A simple Google search that Google cannot answer yet

The reason that this is not an easy question for search to answer lies in the knowledge necessary to actually determine this from the page. In the traditional Boolean search a webpage that states: “The hippopotamus, a creature indigenous to parts of Africa, is the only mammal that cannot swim. It is also the only mammal that does not have hair.” has the same opportunity to come up in search as one that says: “There are a number of animals in the Edinburgh zoo, including penguins, zebras, and hippopotamuses. Visitors can feed the penguins, but they cannot swim in the penguin pool.”

There is simply insufficient information for search to distinguish the correct page. The keyword occurrence and frequency is the same. Thanks to this new approach however, Google applies a relevancy algorithm that creates a semantic network out of the content of the page that looks a little like this:

Semantic Network created to analyse the value of edges and deliver a trust verdict

The image shows the breakdown of the semantic relationships with words being nodes (i.e. data points) and connections being edges. It becomes evident that from this break down through the relevancy algorithm the answer begins to emerge, especially if the same break down now occurs on the web page that Boolean search would have marked as identical:

Semantic Network created by Google to analyse edge connections in response to a search query

So, What Have We Learnt About Semantic Search?

A few things: first that Google uses a layering of algorithms to arrive at its answer. In this example alone it would have to create a semantic network out of each web page and then use: A Relevancy Algorithm – to determine the relevancy and meaning of connections (nodes) within the semantic network
  • A Trustworthiness Algorithm – to compare data between two documents with similar but conflicting information.
  • A Deductive Reasoning Algorithm – if an outright answer is warranted in search.
  • An Annotation Engine – that would enable Google search to annotate and correct wrong information on the fly and display the changes.

How Is This Applied?

Well, think of a major event that is heavily publicised by your company that gets reblogged about and mentioned everywhere across the web. Then just a few days before the event, for whatever reason, the date has to change. While changing the information on your company website is easy, changing it across the web is next to impossible. There is no way you can realistically identify and then chase to change, all the websites where the original date of the event appears.

Google can now actually do that right at the search page, updating the out of date event with the correct date and showing what’s changed.

There are wider implications: As information across the web scales (and we pump out more and more data each day) Google can begin to examine the semantic networks in its storage and determine the correctness of the information presented on the search page. This makes it a natural filter of false or incorrect information which will begin to transform Google from a search engine to a Truth Engine.

As semantic search scales across the web Google search will start to become the go-to place for verifying information just like now it has become the world’s favourite means of spell-checking.

In the age of semantic search the Sibylline Sisterhood would be out of a job. The Soothsayers in need of retraining.
What You Missed

Posted by Ronald Catron | Post a Comment

Moneynet Marketing
Richmond, VA
(804) 405-5221