Mary Sacco

Mary Sacco

The Android O public beta is out now, so what are you waiting for? Here's how to download Android O now and try out the new features today.

The Android O Developer Preview was made available on 21 March 2017, but not recommended for the general public. Now, though, you can download and install the public beta on any compatible Nexus or Pixel device. Also see: Android O latest news and rumours

Should I install Android O?

If you're curious, have a compatible device and are reasonably techy, then why not. You can get a good look at what's in store for Android later this year, and if you don't like it or find it too buggy you can simply revert to your previous OS.

Before you begin you should take the necessary steps to ensure all your data is backed up.

Will my phone or tablet run Android O?

The Android O Public Beta can run on only certain Google devices. Those devices are:

  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel XL
  • Google Pixel C
  • Google Nexus 6P
  • Google Nexus 5X
  • Nexus Player

How can I download and install Android O?

A public beta of Android O is now available to download to compatible devices. Also see:What is Android Go?

Downloading Android O is simple with Google's Android Beta Program. Any devices enrolled to the programme will receive OTA updates to the latest Android operating systems where available.

  • To enroll in the Android Beta Program, open the browser on your compatible Nexus or Pixel device and head to g.co/androidbeta. You will be asked to sign into your Google account.
  • Scroll down the page and you'll find a heading 'Eligible devices' with any compatible Nexus devices that are also signed into your account listed below.

Android N - enroll

  •   Find the device you wish to enroll to the beta programme and click the green 'Enroll device' button beside it.
  •  Tick the box to agree to the terms and conditions, then tap 'Join beta'.

Android N join beta

Android N enrolled

  •  The update notification arrived on our Nexus 6 instantly, although it can take up to 24 hours. If you don't receive your update notification after that time, check you're connected to the internet then head to Settings, About, System updates and check for updates.
  • You will not receive OTA updates if you previously manually flashed Android on to that device (as we had with our Nexus 6) - you'll get a notification that verification has failed. Instead you will need to manually install Android O on that device, and you can follow the same instructions we provide below for manually installing Android Marshmallow.
  •  Once you see the update notification, pull down the notification bar and choose Download.

Android N notification

In the next window you'll be told that this will install a preview version of Android O on to your device. Ensure you are connected to Wi-Fi, then tap Download. (Note that the screenshot is of the Android N Developer Preview and not the Android O Beta.)

Android N download

  • You can now install the Android Nougat 7.1.2 Beta. Tap Restart & install to begin the process.

Android N restart & install

  • You'll automatically receive notifications of any new Android Nougat update. Also see: How to update Android

How to uninstall Android O Public Beta

Removing or uninstalling an Android O Beta is as easy as is installing it. You simply head to the Android Beta Program page at g.co/androidbeta then tap the Unenroll device button next to your device. Do note, however, that doing so will wipe all data on your device - be sure to back up Android first.

How to download Android Marshmallow

Android Marshmallow is already available for recent Nexus devices and some high-end devices from key hardware makers such as HTC and LG. You can check whether an OTA update is available for your device or, if you have a Nexus phone or tablet, force the installation by flashing the necessary files using Minimal ADB. Check when will your phone get Android Marshmallow here.

Be warned that manually installing Android M is not for novice users, and it's quite possible to brick your device if you don't know what you're doing. It's important to back up any data installed on your phone or tablet before you begin since this will be lost in the process - see How to back up Android.

Below we explain how we installed Android M on our Nexus 6; follow our advice at your own risk - PC Advisor takes no responsibility for damaged devices. For those without Nexus devices wondering when they’ll be able to update to Google’s latest Android update, take a look at this: When will my phone get Android M?

Step 1. On a Windows PC install Minimal ADB and Fastboot. You can download it from this XDA-Developers thread. WonderHowTo has created a script to simplify the installation of ADB & Fastboot on a Mac, which can be downloaded from here. Once downloaded, extract the Zip and place the Android folder on your Mac desktop before opening a new Terminal window and entering the following:

Cd Desktop/Android
[Enter]
./ADB-Install-Mac.sh

The script will take a little while to run and you may have to enter your Mac account password, but once complete you’ll be able to run ADB and Fastboot commands from a terminal window. The rest of the process should be the same, but we can’t confirm as we performed the update from a Windows PC.

How to get Android M now: How to install Android M Developer Preview on Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player

Step 2. Download the appropriate Android M installer for your device, which you'll find on the Android Developer's site. The Android M files are only compatible with the Nexus 5Nexus 6Nexus 9Nexus 7 and Nexus Player only, so do not try to install it on a different device like the Nexus 10 or Nexus 4.

Note: If you previously flashed a device to an Android M Developer Preview image, that device will not automatically get the update to the final Android 6.0 build by an over the air (OTA) update.

Android Marshmallow factory image

Step 3. You'll need to extract the contents of the downloaded Android M file to a new folder on your desktop. We used the free 7-Zip utility to achieve this. From the folder on your desktop copy the extracted files into C:Program Files (x86)Minimal ADB and Fastboot. (Some users have needed to rename the .tgz file extension as .tar in order to complete this step.)

How to get Android M now: How to install Android M Developer Preview on Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player

Step 4. On your Nexus phone or tablet open Settings, About phone/tablet and tap on Build Number seven times. This will unlock a hidden Developer Options menu within Settings. Open Developer Options and enable USB debugging and OEM Unlock.

How to get Android M now: How to install Android M Developer Preview on Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player

Step 5. Plug your Nexus device into your Windows PC via USB and download the Google USB Driver. Extract the contents of the Zip file to a safe place, then click on Start, Devices and Printers, right-click on your phone or tablet and choose Properties. Open the Hardware tab, then choose the top entry under Device Functions and click on Properties. Update the driver, pointing Windows to the Google USB driver you've just downloaded. A prompt will appear on your device's screen to 'Allow USB debugging'; tick the box to 'Always allow from this computer', then press Ok.

How to get Android M now: How to install Android M Developer Preview on Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player

Step 6. Now you're ready to flash Android M on to your device. If you're sure it's been backed up properly (you will lose everything otherwise), launch Minimal ADB and Fastboot. Type adb reboot-bootloader and hit Enter. This will boot your device into Fastboot mode (which can also be achieved by switching it off and then simultaneously holding down the power, volume up and volume down buttons).

Step 7. Scan the information on the device screen for LOCK STATE. If this reports that the phone or tablet is unlocked move on to step 8; if it is locked, in ADB type fastboot oem unlock and hit Enter. Use the volume button on your phone or tablet to select Yes, then use the Power button to confirm your choice.

How to get Android M now: How to install Android M Developer Preview on Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player

Step 8. Technically, flashing Android M should now be a case of typing flash-all and hitting Enter. When you then reboot the phone you'll be greeted with Android M.Except this didn't work on our Nexus 6, and we received an error message that the update package was missing system.img before it aborted the process. If you get the same error messge, move on to step 9; if you don't, enjoy Android M.

Step 9. In order to make Minimal ADB and Fastboot see those files, we had to go back to the files we extracted from our Android M installer in step 3. Within those files is another Zip file, and it's in here that you'll find the missing system.img file. Extract this Zip file, then copy its contents into C:Program Files (x86)Minimal ADB and Fastboot.

Step 10. Rather than using the flash-all command you'll need to manually install each file. In Minimal ADB and Fastboot we entered the following commands to successfully get our Nexus 6 running Android M:

fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-shamu-moto-apq8084-71.11.img [this is for the Nexus 6 - the filename here will differ for the Nexus 5, 9 and Player]

[Enter]

fastboot flash radio radio-shamu-D4.01-9625-05.16+FSG-9625-02.94.img [again this is for the Nexus 6 - the filename here will differ for the Nexus 5, 9 and Player]

[Enter]

fastboot reboot-bootloader

[Enter]

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

[Enter]

fastboot flash boot boot.img

[Enter]

fastboot flash system system.img

[Enter]

fastboot flash cache cache.img

[Enter]

fastboot erase userdata

[Enter]

fastboot flash userdata userdata.img

[Enter]

fastboot reboot

[Enter]

The device should then restart running Android M.

You can also see the handy YouTube video below for a visual guide.

How to uninstall Android Marshmallow

To uninstall Android M and revert to your previous operating system, simply download the appropriate system image from this page and repeat the instructions above. Note that you'll first need to clear out the files from Minimal ADB and Fastboot that you added earlier.

Source: This article was published on pcadvisor.co.uk By Marie Brewis

Google's top trending searches from the year

Google processes trillions of search requests each year, and on Wednesday the Mountain View, Calif.-based company revealed which terms dominated its search engine in 2016.

Many of the phrases, unsurprisingly, reflect national events, news topics and other phenomena that rose to prominence throughout the year. The top trending search term is “Powerball,” which is in reference to the $1.56 billion jackpot that three ticket holders won in early 2016. “Prince,” “Hurricane Matthew,” “Pokémon Go” and “Slither.io” claimed the rest of the top five, while “Trump” and “Hillary Clinton” rounded out the end of the list.

Last year, the number one trending search term was “Lamar Odom,” the former NBA and reality TV star who was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel last October. “Jurassic World” and “American Sniper” also placed high on Google’s rankings from 2015.

The term “trending” means that these words and phrases held the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period of time in 2016 as compared to 2015. See below to check out the full list of search queries that made it into Google’s top 10 trending list.

1. Powerball
2. Prince
3. Hurricane Matthew
4. Pokémon Go
5. Slither.io
6. Olympics
7. David Bowie
8. Trump
9. Election
10. Hillary Clinton

Author: Lisa Eadicicco
Source: http://time.com/4598647/most-popular-google-search-2016

Many will make New Year’s resolutions, but few will actually keep them.

According to the research published in the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25 percent of us will give up on our goals in just one week. By midyear, over half will have shrugged off what once seemed so important. And if past performance is an indicator, only 8 percent will see those pledges all the way through.

960x0 Mary Sacco - AOFIRS

So what does it take to be part of that 8-percent club? Motivation? Dedication? General stick-to-itiveness? Probably.

But if you’re lacking in any of those areas, a little help in the form of apps perfectly suited to your chosen resolutions certainly couldn’t hurt.

Here’s a list of six annual objectives and six oh-so-apt apps:

1. Get moving

Resolution : I’m going to focus on fitness.

App solution: C25K

C25K

If you feel like 2016 is finally the year to get fit, there are plenty of app options to help you. But few take you from completely out of the race to really running.

C25K, the smartphone version of the popular Couch to 5K workout plan, does just that with guided daily programs that alternate between short bursts of walking and running until you’re ready to go the distance. To keep the run fun, you can listen to your choice of music (from your drive or other apps) while the a digital trainer chimes in to tell your what’s next.

Free in the App Store | Google Play

2. Count your calories

Resolution: I’m going to lose weight.

App solution: MyFitnessPal

In addition to helping out with that general get-fit resolution, MyFitnessPal excels as a diet tracker and calorie counter that figures out just how many calories you require each day (given your current weight and your goal weight) to drop pounds at your chosen pace.

As you enter your meals consumed so far, MyFitnessPal updates your remaining calories available for the day so there’s never any guesswork.

Free in the App Store | Google Play

3. Make bank

Resolution: I’m going to save money.

App solution: Mint: Personal Finance and Money Manager

Intuit's INTU -0.40% Mint makes it possible to track income and expenses, sync up with your existing financial accounts, set up a budget and start saving now. It even breaks down your current spending habits by category, to make savings opportunities clear.

You can access your information from multiple mobile devices, as well as your desktop or laptop computers.

Free in the App Store | Google Play

4. Get it together

Resolution: I’m going to be more organized.

App solution: 24me

24me

Miss a bill deadline here or a meeting there? Forget all about a birthday or your kid’s softball game? Maybe it’s time for a pocket-sized personal assistant.

Getting organized gets easier with 24me, the to-do app that takes a peek at your calendars, contacts, notes and lists and manages it all with at-a-glance day plans and smart alerts.

Free in the App Store | Google Play

5. Work smarter, not harder

Resolution: I’m going to get ahead in my career.

App solution: Quip

Until Time-Turners and TARDISes are real, you can’t be in more than one place at once. But Quip, the team-player business suite, offers the next best thing.

No matter where you are, you can keep in close contact with your boss, employees or project mates. You can chat, dive into an active group document or just add a few essential points to a spreadsheet from anywhere.

Free in the App Store | Google Play

6. Be at home in your head

Resolution: I’m going to practice mindfulness and meditation.

App solution: Buddhify

Buddhify

Buddhify has over 80 guided meditations suited for just about any occasion you can think of, from waking up to sleeping to just surfing the Internet. Select the mindfulness exercise that best applies to you at any given moment, and nirvana — or a slightly less stressed moment — is just a few breathing or blinking techniques away.

But note, unlike all the freebies on this list, bliss comes at a price.

$4.99 in the App Store | $2.99 on Google Play

Author:  Ree Hines

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/reehines/2015/12/30/6-iphone-and-android-apps-to-help-you-keep-your-new-years-resolutions-in-2016/#5aa391259496

Marketing is constantly evolving. So if you want to create a marketing plan for the coming year, you need all the most updated tools and strategies. Members of our small business community shared some of their top tips in posts this week. Check out ten of the best ways to update your marketing strategy in the list below.

 

Use These 20 Essential Marketing Tools

 

If you want to take your marketing to the next level, you need the right tools. That means you likely need a lot of different marketing services that focus on different purposes. There are 20 different marketing tools that can be essential to your business listed in this zaneguide post by Zane J. Heil.

 

Factor the Effects of Decision Fatigue into Your Marketing

 

Decision fatigue is a theory that can potentially keep your customers from making purchases. But if you factor that theory into your marketing, as this Two Feet Marketing post by David Lowbridge suggests, you can give your business a better chance. You can also see what BizSugar members had to say about the post here.

 

Write Winning Content for Short Attention Span Readers

 

Today’s consumers aren’t likely to spend a lot of time reading your content if it doesn’t grab their attention right away. That means you need to know how to write for readers with short attention spans, as this post by Lisa Froelings on The Sociable details.

 

Get More Local Website Traffic

 

For local businesses, online marketing is still essential. Local search tips like the ones in this Search Engine Journal post by Mandy Wodnick can help you get more local website traffic and reach more customers who are looking for businesses in your area.

 

Achieve Marketing ROI With These Tips

 

If you want your marketing efforts to be successful, you need a real plan and the ability to actually measure results, as detailed in this post by Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media. You can also see discussion about the post by BizSugar members here.

 

Use A/B Testing to Build Buyer Personas

 

If you want to effectively market your business, you need to create accurate buyer personas to give you an idea about who you’re marketing to. And you can use A/B testing to achieve that thanks to the information in this Kissmetrics post by Aaron Agius.

 

Make Your Blog Visually Appealing

 

Blogs can be great marketing tools for businesses. But you need your blog to visually appeal to readers and potential customers if you want it to have any impact. These tips from Neil Patel offer some ways for you to make your blog more visually appealing.

 

Get Influencers to Read Your Blog Posts

 

In addition, influencers can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your blog posts. This post by Tony Paull of Tony Paull Consulting features some ways you can get influencers to read your blog posts. And members of the BizSugar community also comment on the post here.

 

Consider These Small Business Conferences for 2017

 

Conferences can be a great way to network and improve your business’s reach. And there are many different small business conferences throughout the year for you to consider. Here are some for 2017 shared by Nicholas Milewski on the Plousio blog.

 

Dial in Your Visual Ads

 

When it comes to visual advertising, there are many different online tools and platforms you can use to create your strategy. This Marketing Land post by Brad O’Brien includes some tips for using platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat to dial in your visual ads.

 

 

Source:  smallbiztrends.com

In a Blogpost yesterday, Google rebuffed antitrust charges by the European Union accusing the search giant of monopolistic practices with its Android operating system.

The EU said that by requiring hardware manufacturers to pre-install Google apps under “restrictive licensing practices,” Google was closing the doors to rival search engines and browsers trying to enter the market.

Google, however, says Android is an open source platform that has helped to significantly lower costs for device manufacturers that use the operating system for free — albeit after agreeing to Google’s terms.

Google also points to the fact that Apple pre-installs Apple apps on the iPhone, as does Windows. And that Android doesn’t block device manufacturers from pre-installing competing services next to Google apps, nor does it block users from deleting Google apps.

But those who have complained to the EU about Google’s restrictive contracts see it differently. One of the industry organizations that lodged a complaint, Fairsearch — which represents competitors Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle — says Google locks phone manufacturers into a web of contracts that effectively force them to install Google apps.

Apps, after all, are how phones collect user data, and that’s how Google sells ads.

Google is in the throes of two other antitrust complaints with the EU. One involves accusations that the company favors its own search results in its online shopping service over its rivals. The other alleges the online search giant abuses its market power by offering its online advertising on third-party websites that use Google’s search engine.

If the European Union concludes Google is in violation of its antitrust rules, it could fine the company up to $7.5 billion, or 10 percent of its annual revenue.

The case has similarities to when the European Commission accused Microsoft of antitrust abuses. Because Internet Explorer was bundled with Windows in 2009, regulators claimed Internet Explorer unfairly held a disproportionate share of the browser market in Europe. In the end, Microsoft paid $3.4 billion in fines.

Source:  recode.net

An international team of neuroscientists has found that people can improve their ability to see fine visual detail by looking at a rapidly flickering display for about 10 seconds.

There are two major pathways that carry information from the eyes to the brain. One is fast and transmits coarse processing of the scene. The other is slower but sends detailed and fine-grained information. But suppressing one, researchers found they could improve the other.

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become-an-internet-research-specialist

Results provide a broader understanding of the eye

“We were surprised actually,” says Melvyn Goodale, visual neuroscientist at Western University and a co-author of the study.

“We, perhaps in a frivolous way, suggested that if you were trying to read the back of a medicine bottle—the fine print there about how many pills to take—maybe you would be wise to first of all look at a flickering display because it would help your detail vision improve.”

Neuroscientists Melvyn Goodale says the study will help understand other problems with the eye.© Western University

 

More seriously, Goodale says the research gives a broader understanding of how the visual system works could help understand eye deficits that people have such as glaucoma.

The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source : rcinet.ca

With the release of the Google Trips Android and iPhone app earlier this week, I decided to plan and visit London using the latest app from the search engine giant to see what opportunities there are for local businesses and their marketing teams alike.

Google Trips is a personalized tour guide in your pocket. In the past, you may have resolved this by paying for a tour guide or a tour book. Now you can save your pennies with Google’s free Trips app. You can even download your destination before you go to save on WiFi bills moving around the city.  You can download the app on Android and iOS.

In their press release, Google stated they wanted to solve the stress that many people face when planning their holidays. A GoodThink study found that 74% of travelers are most stressed when it comes to figuring out the details of their trip – transportation, working out what to do, an unfamiliar location, etc.

Here’s How I Got on With the New App

The first eye opener on the app is that Google has scraped by Gmail emails and reminded me of previous holiday trips I have been on. It also automatically creates trips based on any travel information in your Gmail account – flight confirmation, hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, etc. Google already knows I will be in Berlin, Germany next month!

Google Trips Amsterdam

Day Plan

Ahead of your trip, you can instantly plan each day of your holiday with just a few taps of your finger.

The app contains significant information, picked up from Google Knowledge Graph and manually edited by Google staff. Each city has different sections, for example, London has Literary London, Art Destinations, Historic London, Posh Shops, Local Favourites, Wartime London, Vintage Shopping, Gothic Churches and Quirky Museums. While Paris has Revolutionary Paris, Small Museums, Impressionist Art, Cutting-Edge Art, Parks & Gardens, Haute Shopping, Vintage Shopping, Food Shopping, Local Favorites, and Selfie Spots.

Google Trips Paris Selfie Spots

Interestingly, there is no Selfie Spots section for London!

The app is clever in being able to estimate motorway delays and even discovering when restaurants are most busy. Knowledge Graph helps Google determine the most popular places and what tourists like to do when traveling.

You can plan all of your sightseeing in advanced with maps and directions, distances and walking times between landmarks, and download your day plan so you do not need to worry about WiFi bills once you arrive.

Select from either pre-defined Google day plan suggestions (based on other visitors’ historic data) or create your own day plan.

Google Trips London Day Plan

The + button in the screenshot above allows you to see other attractions nearby.

Opportunities for Businesses

For the top 200 cities in the world (according to Google), Google Trips gives you a variety of Day Plans, Reservations, Things to Do, Food & Drink and more, all at your fingertips. For those outside the top 200, there are still the Google Local Listings.

Google Trips London Food & DrinkWith a Food & Drink section, there is ample opportunity for restaurants, bars, cafes and such to appear when visitors are both planning their trip or while they’re close by.

This means that, with Google’s latest app, completing your Local Listing correctly and getting positive reviews couldn’t be more important for your business.

While I was in London, the results showing up on my searches for restaurants and cafes all came back with a rating of 4.0 or more and at least 40 reviews – this will come as a surprise to no one that the number of reviews and higher the rating contribute significantly to where you show up.

For the record, restaurants and cafes in villages outside of London were showing up with ratings as low as 3.5 – not as much competition.

Location is another significant factor of course. So make sure that you complete your Local Listings page correctly and with as much information as possible if you want to show up both in Google Maps and on Google Trips.

Google previously published its guide to improving your ranking in local results – Relevance, Distance, and Prominence.

They also state in their Local ranking guidelines that information from links, articles, and directories, as well as reviews and positive ratings are a factor in your position in the web results – one would presume this will be very similar for Google Trips also.

Google Trips is essentially a free version of TripIt. User reviews and Google’s historic data will make it a dream for tourists. This app has the potential to become hugely popular, meaning that ranking in Local Results could be more important than ever for small businesses and chains alike.

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Monday, 15 August 2016 14:12

Work from Home as an Internet Researcher

If you really know your way around the web, there are plenty of opportunities for you to work as an Internet researcher. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for online researchers is above average through at least 2018. All you need to get started is some research know-how and a high speed Internet connection. It also helps if you have a specialized skill or degree, because companies may be looking for your particular area of expertise.

Who's Hiring

There is a wide range of companies that outsource research projects. Law firms are always hiring, so if you have any sort of legal background, this presents a great opportunity. Political action committees and campaigns need researchers during election years (make sure they're offering pay and not volunteer work). Marketing firms, insurance companies and health care companies are also expected to be offering more Internet researcher jobs in the coming years. These are just a few ideas to get you started.

Work Description

The hours you'll work as an Internet researcher partly depend on your client. In some cases, you'll be given a task with a quick deadline--such as finding case law related auto accidents, or finding the average cost of a product or service in different cities. In others, you'll have a longer amount of time to do the research, but perhaps need to go more in depth on a topic. Some clients will expect you to work during business hours, and others will just want the work to be done on time. You'll also need to be able to compile the research according your clients' needs. This could range from a Word or PDF document to an Excel spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation.

How to Land Work

You can apply for work at an Internet research service. The advantage here is that the company that hires you does all the research and marketing to find clients. You could join the national Association of Internet Researchers as another way to find clientele and keep up with the latest advancements in the field. If you set up work as an individual, you'll want to build a web presence for yourself to market your skills, and then start making cold calls to law firms, marketing companies and other sources. You can also bid for projects on various job websites.

Research Tools

The following is a partial list of some of the tools that the top Internet researchers use:

  • Zotero and Wired-Marker (Firefox add-ons)
  • iCyte
  • Similar Web
  • Concierge (Safari plug-in)
  • EagleFiler and Selenium (Mac OS X)
  • SpringNote
  • Google Notebook

Pay Rates for Internet Researchers

The rates of pay for Internet researchers depend on their experience and areas of expertise. Jobs start at around $10 an hour or less if you don't have much of a track record. Once you have some positive testimonials and have proven yourself, you can bump your rates up to the $20 an hour range. If you have a legal or technical background, you can set rates as high as $50 to $75 an hour.

Since you're working from home as an Internet researcher, you have several options for setting up payment plans with clients. PayPal is an easy option, and you can invoice clients based on the hours you work. Once you've established a reputation and have developed long-term clients, you can ask for a retainer fee from clients and get paid up front.

Source: http://www.wahm.com/articles/working-from-home-as-an-internet-researcher.html

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to go negative. (And, no, I’m not referring to this year’s presidential race). I’m talking about negative keywords: those words and phrases that are essential to ensuring your pay-per-click (PPC) ads are displayed to the right audience. 

Going negative: How to eliminate junk PPC queries

Here’s what I mean: You run a small business selling hand-blown glassware; you’ve just launched a new line of wine glasses. You bid on “glasses” as a search term.

Your searcher then Googles a keyword phrase that includes “glasses.” Your ad pops up; the searcher clicks on the ad. Great news, right? Think again: If that searcher is looking for the nearest “glasses repair shop,” for eye glasses, not wine glasses, you’ve just paid money for someone to accidentally click on your ad who has no intention of ever being a customer.

While Google is pretty smart when responding to search queries and integrating user intent into the results, its system isn't perfect. PPC success is predicated on the “Golden Rule of Paid Search”: Give users what they are looking for. As the SEO team at Ranked One has succinctly pointed out, “Paid search is a pull and not a push marketing initiative. Thus, it is vital that we only present searchers with that which is most relevant to their query.”

Here’s another example from the Ranked One team. Say you want to target searchers looking for “pet-friendly hotels in Albuquerque.” Following standard PPC best practices, you create a PPC ad that includes the search phrase in question (“pet-friendly hotels in Albuquerque”) and a landing page that echoes this message.

But that’s not enough. You also need to eliminate so-called “junk queries.” In this example, you would then remove queries from searchers who have no intention of booking a pet-friendly hotel room -- someone searching for hotel jobs in Albuquerque, for example.

True, a few erroneous clicks won’t sink your PPC budget. But, over time, the lack of a strong negative keyword list means your ads will be shown to the wrong target audience.

How to use negative keywords

Campaign level v. ad group level. There are two ways you can address negative keywords: Add them at the campaign level or the ad-group level. When you add a negative keyword at the campaign level, this tells Google to never show your ad for this keyword. Use this approach for keywords that will never be associated with your product, like “hotel jobs” for your pet-friendly hotel or “eyeglass repair” for your wine glasses. 

When you add negative keywords at the ad group level, you tell Google not to show ads at this particular ad-group level. Ad-group level negative keywords can be used to gain greater control over your AdWords campaigns.

Traditional vs. protective use.

All of our examples thus far have featured the traditional use of negative keywords -- eliminating extraneous queries that are irrelevant to your product or service. Protective use is a bit different. In a nutshell, you’re restricting the use of a highly specific keyword phrase from general ads, even if this phrase is relevant.

Confused?

Kissmetrics offers a great example for PPC shoe ads. In its example, you sell red Puma suede sneakers and create a PPC ad with copy targeted at this particular type of shoe (Ad #1). You also have another, broader catch-all ad for general shoe sales (Ad #2).

In this example, you want to be sure that only people searching for “red Puma suede sneakers” see Ad #1. You don’t want any broad matches for “Puma” or “red sneakers” or “suede sneakers.” So, you add those phrases to your negative keyword list for Ad #1. This ad will then be displayed only to searchers with an exact match for “Red Puma suede sneakers,” effectively beating out all the broad match advertisers.

Building your negative list. When you’re selling a product or service, it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of what you’re offering. You may be surprised by how ambiguous some of your search terms can be! Not sure how to get started building your negative list? Check out this handy keyword list from Tech Wise that includes a broad range of the most common negative keywords for eliminating erroneous queries, ranging from employment to research.

Next, dive into your queries. Ranked One recommends crawling through search query reports by pulling the SQR right in the Google interface. What phrases pop up again and again that are irrelevant to your product or service? What queries don’t match the user intent you’re targeting? Start your research there.

 Bottom line. Bidding on the best keywords is only half the battle. Negative keywords are just as important for an effective PPC strategy. When used correctly, negative keywords can help you save the budget for the best quality searches.

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276961 

Building effective links has become a struggle in the last few years, as Google continues to crack down on manipulative link practices, including web directories. Does this mean web directories are never a good idea?

No, but there are a lot of precautions that need to be taken.

For example, never list on any low-quality directories or websites. Instead, choose fewer directory listings with better quality. Look for niche directories that are more likely to be valuable to users. And, make sure any directory you submit to has some sort of parameters for sites they will and won’t accept.

Good directories have editorial teams that review submissions and edit listings, titles and descriptions. Directories that accept any and all links will not be valuable.

Directories are Also Good for Local SEO

Directories have changed – they are no longer good for getting thousands of links to your site so you can game Google. Today, directories are valuable when used carefully and most often for local SEO. Sites like Yelp will almost always rank higher than branded sites for, say, ‘pizza Jacksonville’. Getting listed on directories can be highly valuable for local search in particular.

“I have seen many SEO examples of how these top-quality directories help improve direct traffic and also search engine ranking results. The Directories listed in this article are an outstanding value and provide long term SEO benefits.” -Tom Forrest

There is so much confusion around whether directories are still a good idea and which ones website owners should utilize.

The truth is, high-quality links will never go out of style — whether those links are from directories or not.

Links from high-quality, niche directories are still considered ‘good’ links by Google and will help a site generate more organic traffic.

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Building effective links has become a struggle in the last few years, as Google continues to crack down on manipulative link practices, including web directories. Does this mean web directories are never a good idea?

No, but there are a lot of precautions that need to be taken.

For example, never list on any low-quality directories or websites. Instead, choose fewer directory listings with better quality. Look for niche directories that are more likely to be valuable to users. And, make sure any directory you submit to has some sort of parameters for sites they will and won’t accept.

Good directories have editorial teams that review submissions and edit listings, titles and descriptions. Directories that accept any and all links will not be valuable.

Directories are Also Good for Local SEO

Directories have changed – they are no longer good for getting thousands of links to your site so you can game Google. Today, directories are valuable when used carefully and most often for local SEO. Sites like Yelp will almost always rank higher than branded sites for, say, ‘pizza Jacksonville’. Getting listed on directories can be highly valuable for local search in particular.

“I have seen many SEO examples of how these top-quality directories help improve direct traffic and also search engine ranking results. The Directories listed in this article are an outstanding value and provide long term SEO benefits.” -Tom Forrest
There is so much confusion around whether directories are still a good idea and which ones website owners should utilize.

The truth is, high-quality links will never go out of style — whether those links are from directories or not.

Links from high-quality, niche directories are still considered ‘good’ links by Google and will help a site generate more organic traffic.

High-Quality Directories

The directories listed below are valuable when used correctly, particularly when it comes to local SEO.

Yelp
Clasione
All Business Now
Yellow Pages.com
Better Business Bureau
Vlib
411.COM
Seek On
Pick N Buy
Best of The Web
Joe Ant
DMOZ
Map Quest
City Data.com
Health Fitness Nutrition
MedlinePlus
Starting Point
Hotfrog.com
Search Pure

Final Note: Do Not Automate Directory Submissions

Do not automate directory submissions. Why? Because web searchers are looking fo unique content, not the same exact listings on tons of different directories. This will yield the best results with the search engines, and prevent penalties.

More importantly, writing unique descriptions creates a better quality directory that visitors will actually find useful. Google does not want to see hundreds or thousands of free low-quality directory listings with the same word-for-word descriptions. That isn’t useful. And that approach is exactly what Google penalizes.

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com/directory-submission-sites-google-likes-162689-2/162689/?ver=162689X2

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