Rangani Ranasinghe

Rangani Ranasinghe

Want to increase the chances of your videos showing up in YouTube’s search results? Columnist Sherry Bonelli explains how to glean keyword insights from your competitors.

Video marketing is becoming a digital marketing necessity. (It’s not a “nice-to-have” marketing strategy anymore.) People love to watch videos, and videos can help you sell more products or services. In fact, a study done by Cisco last year predicted that by 2020, video will account for over 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic.

As video consumption increases, consequently so does video’s influence on consumer purchases. According to recent research by Brightcove:

  • Almost half (46 percent) of viewers say they’ve actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, and a third (32 percent) say they’ve considered making a purchase as a result of watching a video.
  • 81 percent of consumers say they currently interact with brands on social media, and 43 percent say they’ve done so through watching branded social videos.
  • When asked for their favorite type of branded content on social networks, video was the most popular answer, with 31 percent of respondents listing it as their number one choice.

YouTube is the second most popular social media platform, based on market share. And you’ll find that most YouTubers are die-hard YouTube viewers. They’re constantly watching videos, searching for videos about everything from how to jimmy your locked door to how to create a Facebook ad — and everything in between.

How to optimize for YouTube’s algorithm

YouTube is essentially a search engine for videos. Not surprisingly, it uses a sophisticated ranking algorithm to surface content to viewers.

If you want to gain a following and rank your videos higher in YouTube search, uploading fresh content is extremely important. Users love new videos! And that fresh, newly uploaded content (as well as the latest actions taken by the users) is taken into consideration by YouTube when ranking videos.

Watch time” is a very important ranking factor as well. YouTube wants to surface videos that viewers will find enjoyable, so high user engagement is a great signal for the algorithm in identifying such videos.

In addition to user signals, YouTube also relies on input from the video owner to feed their algorithm. That means YouTube is counting on you to tell it what your video is about.

What you do to optimize your video in the first 48 to 72 hours is critical to the success of your video and how it ranks. If you get it right, your video could shoot to the top when people search for your video topic. Get it wrong, and you’ll sink like a rock.

Metadata is important

According to YouTube, metadata includes information about a video such as the title, description, tags and annotations. Metadata can help your video stand out and get found by the algorithm, so content creators should make an effort to optimize metadata to maximize visibility.

Here are some tips for creating effective metadata that can help your videos get found.

Now, this first tip may sound counterintuitive, but you want to research what types of videos your competitors are doing before you create your video. That’s right — the best time to optimize your video for SEO and get more views is before you even record it.

Once you have a feel for what your competitors are doing — the type of videos they’re producing, how engaging they are, how many views they have, what metadata they’re using and so on — it’ll make it easier for you to create a video that “one-ups” them, both in terms of having better content and being better optimized for YouTube’s algorithm.

After you’ve created your video, it’s time to think about uploading and optimizing. Again, the best time to optimize your metadata is before you upload your video — have your keywords, tags, title, description and custom thumbnail ready to go before you press the upload button.

YouTube tags: Doing the keyword research

When doing keyword research on YouTube, you want to try to find keywords that will drive traffic to your video. The best place to look for keywords is on YouTube, but you should also use more traditional keyword research tools (like Google Search Console, SEMrush, SEOProfiler, Moz or others.)

YouTube allows you to include “tags” to help categorize your video by keyword, but it limits the number of tags you can include. You’ll want to look for multiword tags (i.e., long-tail keywords) that specifically relate to your video’s topic. You should also use single-word tags and broad-term tags that relate to your video’s broader topic. (Note: Do not use trademarks or copyrighted material in your metadata unless you have explicit permission from the owner to use it.)

YouTube is effective at semantically understanding your tags. So here’s an example of some tags for a video about “how to ask a boy out on a date”:

Multiple-word tags

  • How to ask a boy out on a date
  • What to say when you ask a boy out on a date
  • How to ask a boy you like out on a date
  • Asking out a boy you like

Single-word tags:

  • How
  • What
  • Ask
  • Boy
  • You
  • Like
  • Date

Broad-term tags:

  • Dating
  • Dates
  • Flirting
  • Meet boys
  • Meeting boys
  • Talk to boys

One great way to get tag ideas is to look at the top-ranking YouTube videos that directly compete with your video. However, YouTube hides the video tags, which makes it more difficult to “spy” on your competitors and see their keyword/tag secret sauce.

Luckily, there are tools that allow you to get lots of insights into what your competitors are doing — including letting you see the tags competitors are using to get their videos to rank high.

Two of these video software tools are vidIQ and TubeBuddy. Both programs have a free version and several paid versions, depending on your company’s needs. There are pros and cons to each — so if you can afford it, I’d recommend you use them both.

How YouTube tools like vidIQ and TubeBuddy can help you get more eyeballs

Both vidIQ and TubeBuddy give you information on competitors’ YouTube videos. One of the cool things they show is the tags. So in our “how to ask a boy out” example, you can see the tags being used by the highest-ranking videos for your chosen search terms.

vidIQ results



With TubeBuddy, you can even zero in on the most used tags the channel used when setting up the SEO for their YouTube channel:

TubeBuddy Channel Tags



You can also find out a whole lot of other valuable information from these tools: the number of Facebook likes, their SEO score, how many words are in the description, average view time duration, number of views and so much more. You can consider these two handy tools to be your YouTube competitor spies!


TubeBuddy also has a Tag Explorer feature, which is almost like a traditional SEO keyword finder. Enter the keyword that you’d like to rank your video for, and you’ll get some suggested keywords.




As part of the Tag Explorer, TubeBuddy includes a “Summary” section that shows the search volume, competition and the overall competitiveness of a keyword on a scale from 0 to 100 (where 100 is the easiest to rank for).




If you have a newer YouTube channel, you’ll want to look for keywords that are easier to rank for. Already have a YouTube channel that’s rockin’ it? You can afford to try to get your video ranked for the more competitive keywords.

When planning your YouTube keywords strategy, you want to come up with 10 to 20 single keyword tags that you want to try to rank for. Remember, since YouTube limits the number of tags you can include, add your most important keyword phrases first and then use specific multi-word tags that are easier to rank for. If you have room, also include the single-word tags and broader-term tags.

You want to try to get as many views from as many different (relevant) search results as possible — which is an easier strategy than trying to rank #1 for a single keyword phrase.

By having a metadata strategy in place, you can increase the chances of your videos showing up in YouTube’s search results. And since video marketing will continue to grow and grow, mastering YouTube’s ranking algorithm starting today is a great way to kick your video marketing efforts into high gear.

Source: This article was published on searchengineland.com by Sherry Bonelli

Body language is extremely important when it comes to making good first impressions. It's always helpful to know what body cues show you in a positive light, especially during interviews or networking when you're meeting someone for the first time. It can make a difference and even make you more likeable. Keep these tips in mind when you're interacting with another person:

NASA discovers humans have created an artifical barrier around Earth, and it could protect us from space weather

NASA space probes have discovered an artificial barrier around Earth created through human activity—showing we are not only responsible for shaping the environment on land, but that we are now having an impact on space too.

The barrier, which comes and goes, is the result of very low frequency radio communications interacting with particles in space, which results in a sort of shield protecting Earth from high energy radiation in space.

This, scientists say, is potentially very good news, as we could use the barrier to protect Earth from extreme space weather resulting from events like coronal mass ejections—huge explosions on the sun, where plasmas and magnetic field are ejected from its corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere. These ejections can result in geomagnetic storms, which have the potential to knock out communication satellites and power grids.

NASA scientists detected the barrier with the Van Allen Probes, which are designed to study electrons and ions in our new-space environment. Normally, very low frequency (VLF) signals from radio telescopes are transmitted from the ground and are used to communicate with submarines, deep below the surface of the ocean. However, they also end up going into the atmosphere.

The result is a massive “VFL bubble” enshrouding Earth, NASA said. The bubble can be seen high above Earth’s surface in the space environment surrounding it.

Further analysis showed the bubble extends almost exactly to the inner edge of Van Allen radiation belts. These three belts are zones of energetic charged particles that come from solar wind—the particles are then captured and held by Earth’s magnetic field. When the VFL bubble interacts with the radiation belts, it creates the barrier observed.

“A number of experiments and observations have figured out that, under the right conditions, radio communications signals in the VLF frequency range can in fact affect the properties of the high-energy radiation environment around the Earth,” Phil Erickson, one of the scientists involved, said in a statement.

Researchers say that if there were no VLF bubble, the radiation belt boundary would be far closer to Earth than it is. Data from the 1960s indicates the inner limit of the Van Allen radiation belt used to be far closer to Earth, when the use of VLF was more limited.

As the VLF barrier appears to protect Earth, scientists say it could be used to remove excess radiation from the space surrounding Earth and NASA is now planning to carry out tests to see if this could work.

Source: This article was published on newsweek.com BY 

The Internet, we know all too well, is a cesspool of rumor and chicanery.

But in a research paper published by Google in February — and reported over the weekend by New Scientist — that could, at least hypothetically, change. A team of computer scientists at Google has proposed a way to rank search results not by how popular Web pages are, but by their factual accuracy.

To be really clear, this is 100 percent theoretical: It’s a research paper, not a product announcement or anything equally exciting. (Google publishes hundreds of research papers a year.) Still, the fact that a search engine could effectively evaluate  truth, and that Google is actively contemplating that technology, should boggle the brain. After all, truth is a slippery, malleable thing — and grappling with it has traditionally been an exclusively human domain.

Per this recent paper, however, it’s not too difficult for computers to determine whether a given statement is true or false. Basically, to evaluate a stated fact, you only need two things: the fact and a reference work to compare it to. Google already has the beginnings of that reference work, in the form of its Knowledge Graph — the thing that displays “August 15, 1990” when you search “Jennifer Lawrence birthday,” or “American” when you search “Obama nationality.”

google-knowledge Rangani Ranasinghe - AOFIRS
Answers from the Google Knowledge Graph, which pop up when you search “flu,” “Obama nationality” and “Jennifer Lawrence birthday,” respectively. (Google)

Google culls those details largely from services like Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook; a separate, internal research database, called Knowledge Vault, can also automatically extract facts from the text on Web pages. Whichever database we’re talking about, Google structures these ‘lil factoids as things called “knowledge triples”: subject, relationship, attribute. Like so:

(Jennifer Lawrence, birthday, August 15 1990)
(Barack Obama, nationality, American)
(Somalia, capital, Mogadishu)

… so to check if a fact found in the wild is accurate, all Google has to do is reference it against the knowledge triples in its giant internal database. And to check whether a Web page or a Web site is accurate, Google would just look at all the site’s knowledge triples and see how many don’t agree with its established body of facts.

The distant suggestion, these researchers write, is that Google’s version of the truth would iterate over time. At some point, perhaps even Google’s hotly debated and much-studied ranking algorithm — the creator and destroyer of a million Web sites! — could begin including accuracy among the factors it uses to choose the search results you see.

This chart basically shows the distribution of accurate and non-accurate websites.
This chart basically shows the distribution of accurate (toward the right) and non-accurate (toward the left) Web sites, for sites where the research team could extract seven or more facts. The good news: There are a lot more accurate sites! (Google)

That could be huge, frankly: In one trial with a random sampling of pages, researchers found that only 20 of 85 factually correct sites were ranked highly under Google’s current scheme. A switch could, theoretically, put better and more reliable information in the path of the millions of people who use Google every day. And in that regard, it could have implications not only for SEO — but for civil society and media literacy.

It’s worth noting, in fact, that the Barack-Obama-nationality example comes straight from the Google report, which would seem to imply that the technology’s creators envision it as a tool against stubborn misconceptions and conspiracy theories.

“How do you correct people’s misconceptions?” Matt Stempeck, the guy behind LazyTruth, asked New Scientist recently. “People get very defensive. [But] if they’re searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state.”

Increasingly, information intermediates like Google have begun to take that suggestion seriously. Just three weeks ago, Google began displaying physician-vetted health information directly in search results, even commissioning diagrams from medical illustrators and consulting with the Mayo Clinic “for accuracy.” Meanwhile, Facebook recently launched a new initiative to append a warning to hoaxes and scams in News Feed, the better to keep them from spreading.

It’s unclear exactly what Google plans to do with this new technology, if anything at all. Still, even the possibility of a search engine that evaluates truth is a pretty incredible breakthrough. And it definitely gives new meaning to the phrase “let me Google that for you.”

Source : washingtonpost.com

Every start-up needs an idea. That’s a given. A few other table stakes for growing your business include drive, commitment, smarts and start-up funds.

At a minimum there are also basic technology needs such as a mobile device, a data plan, broadband Internet connectivity and an online presence of some kind. However, small business growth and success may require a few more technological upgrades.

That’s according to Trey Smith, president and CEO of OneStream Networks, a next-generation telecommunications company and consultancy that specializes in both domestic and international unified communications solutions for the enterprise using a cloud-based environment.

“It’s a great time to launch a business because of the incredible functionality and scale that Internet-based solutions and software provide to cost-conscious entrepreneurs at a fraction of the price from just a few years ago,” said Smith.

1. Laptop-based softphone software.

One option that Smith recommends for small-to-medium sized businesses that have more than one location, is software that’s loaded onto a laptop that works as a traditional phone, which is known as a softphone application.

He says this type of virtual solution replaces pricey, multi-line telephone units while providing the same functionality at low or no cost.

“This is a great way for growing organizations, which are already deploying laptops to employees, to also deploy the softphone application on those computers as well. This allows for fast scaling of the business with an elegant solution that combines both voice and data for employees.”

One popular softphone option is Zopier, which can be downloaded for free.

2. Automated call attendant.

While a mobile device or smart phone is a mandatory tool for success, Smith suggests using an automated call attendant to provide greater customer service if your start-up is growing but understaffed.

“When a mobile device is dialed it’s either answered or the call goes to voicemail. However, a busy business owner or entrepreneur may choose to answer calls with an auto attendant or interactive voice response software that automatically offers a variety of choices to the caller. This cost-effective option provides understaffed start-ups with efficient call flow handling as well as a perception of scale,” said Smith.

3. Toll-free dialing to your mobile phone.

He goes on to suggest that another relatively easy and inexpensive technology to implement is offering customers a toll-free number that connects directly to your mobile phone.

“New business owners rarely consider toll-free numbers that dial directly to their mobile device as an option. However, it’s a great way to create a positive first impression, while offering enhanced value and service to potential customers.”

4. Skype for Business.

For owners who prefer video conferencing, Smith says one of the best low-cost options is Skype for Business. It's basically the familiar Microsoft Skype app on steroids, on your desktop.

“Because Skype is a Microsoft product it's automatically integrated with the MS Office Suite as well as its Outlook email product. So when a meeting is set up via Skype for Business, recipients get a hyperlink that’s fully-enabled for voice, video and desktop sharing. It’s powerful, inexpensive and simple to use.”

Smith’s company works with organizations that range from start-ups to S&P 500 companies, and he acknowledges that while it’s good to know what tech solutions can scale a business it’s more important to know when to scale up.

“There’s no entrepreneurial handbook with a growth timetable. However, we’ve found that a reliable benchmark that suggests it’s time for a small business to think about ramping up its technology platform is if it has a minimum of five employees who have mobile devices, laptops or whom require Internet access. That’s a pretty good rule of thumb.”

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254063

Since last week, ransomware attacks on Elasticsearch have quadrupled. Just like the MongoDB ransomware assaults of several weeks ago, Elasticsearch incursions are accelerating at a rapid rate.

The vast majority of vulnerable Elasticsearch servers are open on Amazon Web Services.John Matherly

There are an estimated 35,000 Elasticsearch clusters open to attack. Of these, Niall Merrigan, a solution architect who has been reporting on the attack numbers on Twitter, states that over 4,600 of them have been compromised.

If your Elasticsearch server is hacked, you'll find your data indices gone and replaced with a single index warning. The first example read:


In return for the .2 BitCoins (not quite $175), you might get your data back.

Elasticsearch is a popular, open-source distributed RESTful search engine. When used with the Lucene search-engine library, it's used by major websites such as Pandora, SoundCloud, and Wikipedia for search functionality. When used by amateurs without any security skills, it's simple to crack.

These wide-open to attack instances are typically being deployed without much on Amazon Web Services (AWS) clouds. Perhaps the people deploying them are under the illusion that AWS is protecting them. Wrong.

AWS does tell you how to protect your AWS Elasticsearch instances, but you still have to do the work. In short, RTFM.

The worst thing about this? Just like the MongoDB attacks, none of this would have happened if its programmers had protected its instances with basic, well-known security measures.

For starters, as Elasticsearch consultant Itamar Syn-Hershko explained in a blog on how to protect yourself against Elasticsearch attacks: "Whatever you do, never expose your cluster nodes to the web. This sounds obvious, but evidently this isn't done by all. Your cluster should never-ever be exposed to the public web."

In a word, "duh!"

Elasticsearch was never meant to be wide-open to internet users. Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, explained all this in 2013. This post is filled with such red-letter warnings as "Elasticsearch has no concept of a user." Essentially, anyone that can send arbitrary requests to your cluster is a "super user."

Does this sound like a system you should leave wide-open on the internet for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to play with? I don't think so!

So, what can you do? First, if you're using Elasticsearch for business, bite the bullet and get the commerical version of Elasticsearch. Then, add X-Pack Security to your setup and implement its security features.

By itself, Elasticsearch has no security. You must add it on.

If you're committed to doing it on your own, practice basic security. At a bare minimum this includes:

  • Don't run on internet-accessible servers.
  • If you make your Elasticsearch cluster internet accessible, restrict access to it via firewall, virtual private network (VPN), or a reverse proxy.
  • Perform backups of your data to a secure location and consider using Curator snapshots

In short, practice security 101, and don't be the fool who lets anyone invade their servers. After all, you could very well end up paying a lot more than just some petty-cash if a truly malicious hacker came by to raid your servers.

Author: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/elasticsearch-ransomware-attacks-now-number-in-the-thousands

Thursday, 12 January 2017 15:23

Min Browser Muffles the Web's Noise

Min is a Web browser with a minimal design that provides speedy operation with simple features.

When it comes to software design, "minimal" does not mean low functionality or undeveloped potential. If you like minimal distraction tools for your text editor and note-taking applications, that same comfort appeal is evident in the Min browser.

I mostly use Google Chrome, Chromium and Firefox on my desktops and laptop computers. I am well invested in their add-on functionality, so I can access all the specialty services that get me through my long sessions in researching and working online.

However, I sometimes prefer a fast, uncluttered alternative on-ramp to the Internet. With multiple projects in progress, I can amass a wide collection of open tabs or even separate windows of the powerhouse browsers in no time.

I have tried other browser options with little success. The alternatives usually have their own sets of distracting add-ons and features that tend to pull me into more off-task behavior.

The Min browser does not do that. It is a GitHub-sourced Web browser that is easy to use, and it keeps the typical interruptions from distracting me.

Min browser

The Min browser is minimal-design Web browser that provides speedy operation with simple features. Just don't expect to take its tour any time soon.

What It Does

The Min browser comes in versions for Debian Linux variants, Windows and Mac machines. It can not compete with the functionality available in the mainstream cross-platform Web browsers.

It does not have to compete, though. Its claim to fame very well might be supplementing rather than replacing them.

One big reason for this is its built-in ad blocking capability. Out of the box, the Min browser needs no configuration or hunting for compatible third-party apps to do end-runs around ads.

In Edit/Preferences, you have three options to click/unclick for content blocking. It's easy to modify blocking tactics to suit your preferences. The Block Trackers and Ads option uses EasyList and EasyPrivacy. If nothing else, keep this option checked.

You also can block scripts and block images. Doing both maximizes the website loading speeds and really ramps up your protection against rogue code attacks.

Have Search Your Way

If you spend considerable time doing online research, you will adore the way Min handles searching. It is a top-notch feature.

Search functionality is accessible right in the browser's URL bar. Min utilizes search engine DuckDuckGo and Wikipedia entries. You can enter search queries directly into the Web address field.

This approach saves time since you do not have to go to the search engine window first. A nice bonus is the ability to search your bookmarks.

In the Edit/Preferences menu, choose your choice for default search engine. The list includes DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Wikipedia and Yandex.

Try making DuckDuckGo your default search engine.

Min is built around that option but does not impose it on you.

Min browser search function

Min browser's search functionality is part of the URL bar. Min utilizes search engine DuckDuckGo and Wikipedia entries. You can enter search queries directly into the Web address window.

The search bar displays answers to your questions very rapidly. It uses information from DuckDuckGo including Wikipedia entries, a calculator and more.

It offers quick snippets, answers and Web suggestions. It sort of substitutes for not being in a Google-based environment.

Navigating Aids

Min lets you jump to any site quickly with fuzzy search. It throws suggestions at you almost immediately.

I like the way the tabs open next to the current tab. You do not have to set this preference. It is there by default with no other choice, but it makes sense.

Min browser Tasks

One of Min's really cool operations is the ability to organize tabs into Tasks that you can search anytime. (click image to enlarge)

Tabs you have not clicked on for a while dim. This lets you concentrate on your current task without distractions.

Min does not need an add-on tool to keep numerous tabs under control. The browser displays a list of tags and lets you split them into groups.

Stay Focused

Min has an optional Focus Mode hidden in the View menu. When enabled, it hides all tabs except the one you have opened. You must return to the menu to turn off Focus Mode before you can open new tabs.

The Tasks feature also helps you stay focused. You can create tasks from the File menu or with Control+Shift+N. If you want to open a new tab, you can select that option in the Files menu or use Control+T.

Call the new task whatever fits your style. I like being able to organize and display as a group all the tabs associated with a work project or a specific portion of my research. I can recall the entire list at any time to easily and quickly find where I was in my browsing adventure.

Another neat feature is found under the paragraph alignment icon in the tab area. Click it to enable Reading Mode. This mode saves the article for future reference and strips away everything on the page so you can focus on the task of reading.

Not Perfect

The Min browser is not a perfect alternative to high-powered, feature-bloated alternatives. It does have a few glaring weaknesses that developers have taken too long to rectify.

For instance, It lacks a solid developer website stocked with support forums and detailed user guides. That may be partly due to its home being GitHub rather than an independent developer website. Still, it's a weakness that is glaring to new users.

Without website support, users are forced to struggle with lists of readme files and hard-to-follow directories on GitHub. You can access them from the Min browser Help menu -- but that's not much help.

A case in point is the Welcome to Min splash screen that loads from the menu when you launch the browser. It displays two buttons. One says "Start Browsing." The other says "Take a Tour." Neither one works.

However, you can start browsing by clicking on the menu bar at the top of the Min window. There is no workaround for the missing tour, though.

Bottom Line

Min is not a full-featured Web browser with bells and whistles galore. It is not designed for add-ons and many other features you typically use in well-established Web browsers. However, Min serves an important niche purpose by offering speed and distraction-free browsing.

The more I use the Min browser, the more productive it is for me -- but be wary when you first start to use it.

Min is not complicated or confusing -- it is just quirky. You have to play around with it to discover how it works.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you'd like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I'll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Author: Jack M. Germain
Source: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/84212.html

Mystery search is a hysterical alternative to Google search, which pretty much looks and works the same way as Google and lands you up on a Google page, but not for something that you searched.

Rather, the search engine will give you results for something that the last person before you using the service typed in and hit enter.

The service works in a funny way as it will never give you results for what you’ll search. So, expect the unexpected, and also be warned that this site shouldn’t be used in your office or near children.

While this website isn’t meant to be used as a proper search engine, especially if you’re trying to search something and be productive with your time.


Twin Design / Shutterstock

On the contrary, this can be used to pass your time and have a few laughs looking at what people before you have been searching and pass judgements too, and while this is very less likely, you might even learn something you weren’t aware of, maybe.

We used the Mystery search and Ps. We were feeling lucky.

We were served up with some quite hilarious results while searching for Guiding Tech on the Mystery search as it led us to a theory based on Sherlock Holmes and another was a query for a certain restaurant in Bengaluru.

Google itself has kind of funny searches in its automated search suggestions like ‘how to raise your IQ by eating gifted children’, ‘what’s a boyfriend and where can I download one’, but the not so popular Mystery search is sure to give you a few laughs.

Author : Prayank

Source : http://www.guidingtech.com/63637/google-mystery-search/

Google recently held themed Webmaster Office Hours, one of them dealt solely with Google Search Console and John Mueller included a tip I hadn’t heard before helps keep your Search Console verification more secure.

Google recommends that when you verify a site in Google Search Console, that you verify with two different methods. That way, if one is removed, such as we sometimes see when a site is hacked, then there is still a backup method that keeps a verification for your account intact.

Google also recommends that the two methods be unrelated to each other, again for security reasons. The two examples they give are verification through both the verification file and through DNS.

Make sure you are using two or more unrelated verification methods so that if one of them fails, the other one will definitely still be there.

So common possibility would be to use DNS and file verification, so that if DNS fails, then obviously your website won’t be available. But the file based verification, if your server kind of loses that files, if you drop out, if the server is returning errors for some reason, then the other one will be able to back you up.

There are actually five ways to verify your Google Search Console account – HTML file upload, domain name provier, HTML tag, Google Analytics tracking code and Google Tag Manager.

So it might be a good idea to add a second verification method to your Google Search Console account, before you might have a situation where you wish you had it done.

Source: http://www.thesempost.com/google-recommends-using-two-verification-methods-search-console

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:47

Internet becomes a business kaleidoscope

THE Internet has become such an integral part of life that it’s hard to imagine how we all got by without it not so many years ago.

It has changed the operations of industry, the way we conduct our daily lives, our social and family relationships and the delivery of public services. In a sense, it has redefined who we are.

Now that the digital revolution has become so entrenched, where does it go from here?

Special segment

For one thing, the Internet has broken down into special interest segments with new players entering all the time. That trend is certain to continue. Concurrently, the giants of the Internet are flexing their muscles in more directions to safeguard their market domination.

While the growth of China’s web users has been moderating, the numbers of smartphone users have been rising steadily. That creates new opportunities for a wide range of relatively small but viral mobile Internet services, such as live-streaming and audio streaming.

The state-backed China Internet Network Information Center said Internet penetration rate was 51.7 percent at the end of last June, up 1.4 percentage points from the start of last year. Mobile Internet users accounted for 92.5 percent of the online population, up 2.4 percentage points in the six months.

Brand producers and online retailers are using Internet tools like live-streaming to reach young adults or target audiences like gamers, travelers or fashion lovers.

Credit Suisse estimates that China’s live streaming market size in 2016 exceeded 25 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion), nearly double a year earlier. Annual growth this year is expected to moderate to about 5 percent, for a market valued at 33 billion yuan.

Ma Yuan, head of BOCOM International’s Internet research center, wrote in a research note that the demographic dividend that once propelled China’s Internet industry is already fading, while new growth potential will come from more segmented areas.

“Investors should pay more attention to cross-segment innovations, such as payment systems, online education and financial services, “ she noted.

An increasing number of companies are expected to adopt new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality to enhance interaction for online users.

Internet giants are continuously trying to make inroads into rival turf. Alibaba’s online retail site Tmall is moving into the online grocery sector, while its payment affiliate Alipay is seeking to add more interactive elements to take it beyond just being a digital wallet.

In late December, Alipay unveiled an augmented reality feature in its smartphone application, allowing use of physical objects as landmarks to send or receive digital “red packets.”

WeChat’s payment service, on the other hand, is quickly catching up with Alipay in terms of daily volumes. According to Bocom International’s research, Alipay’s overall mobile payment size was 3.3 times that of WeChat’s in 2015. The gap narrowed to twofold in 2016 and is expected to be 1.9 times this year.

Video blogging

Wu Xiaobo, a writer and producer in the business and economics realm, predicted video blogging would re-emerge as a hot-button item this year and live-streaming services would become a mainstream function adopted by almost every online player.

“The younger generation of online users spends much more time watching videos than previous generations,” he said. “Not only entertainment shows, but also educational and information-based video bloggers will emerge.”

Wu told the recent Tencent Tengyun Think Tank forum that Internet infrastructure, including payment systems and audio and video streaming, is now fully developed and users are more willing to pay for such digital content than they were in the past.

His own online video channel on iQiyi.com has a collective viewership of more than 100 million since mid-2014, and his for-fee audio programs spanning nearly 300 episodes have been played more than four million times on the Shanghai-based online audio streaming application Ximalaya FM.

Sandy Chen, a senior director at Kantar TNS China, said more independent social networking services targeting specific online user groups will emerge.

“Internet services are moving very fast, and a lot of investment is still willing to go into sub-divisions of e-commerce or social networking areas as long as these services have a unique selling point,” she told Shanghai Daily.

Real money

Indeed, there’s some real money to be made from Internet services nowadays.

Online subscriptions for paid audio-programs reached 50 million yuan during a campaign last month by Ximalaya FM.

And there’s no sign of a let-up in consumer enthusiasm toward online shopping. During Alibaba’s annual 24-hour shopping spree on “Singles Day” in November, sales soared 32 percent from a year earlier to a jaw-dropping 120.7 billion yuan.

China is expected to unveil a new e-commerce law early this year. It’s currently under review by the National People’s Congress. Industry insiders predict that individual online sellers may be subject to tax regulations and business licensing requirement may be instituted.

China’s online retail sales in the first eleven months of 2016 surged 26 percent from a year earlier to nearly 3.75 trillion yuan, outpacing the 10.4 percent growth in total retail sales.

The booming sector also comes with a host of problems and loopholes that make supervision and regulation relatively difficult. For example, some online vendors have faked transaction records or strong-armed consumers to write good reviews about their products.

According to the 13th Five Year Plan for national informatization released by the State Council last week, China aims to expand e-commerce transactions to more than 38 trillion yuan, up from 21.8 trillion in 2015 and online retail sales is expected to maintain an average 20.8 percent annual growth through 2020.

Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center, has called for a preferential tax rate for individual online sellers in order to protect smaller players.

“But business license registration for online vendors could help e-commerce platforms and government agencies better regulate the industry and make transaction data more transparent,” he said.

The retail industry as a whole has its fingers crossed that sales will continue to climb amid a backdrop of moderate GDP growth.

In the first 11 months of 2016, retail sales of consumer goods rose 10.4 percent from a year ago to 30 trillion yuan, with online sales comprising 12.5 percent.

Chu Dong, deputy secretary-general of the China Chain Store and Franchise Association, said both online and offline retailers should place more emphasis on better serving consumers in terms of product innovation and distribution. Brand retailers and manufacturers should link up more closely.

Industry watchers are also expecting online and offline retailers to build more integrated inventory management systems as purchasing lines through both channels begin to blur.

Author: Ding Yining
Source: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/business/benchmark/Internet-becomes-abusiness-kaleidoscope/shdaily.shtml

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