Understanding business development.

Understanding business development.

Business Development is a mysterious title for a little-discussed function or department in most larger companies. It's also a great way for an entrepreneur or small business to have fun, create value and make money.

A good business development allows businesses to profit by doing something that is tangential to their core mission. Sometimes the profit is so good, it becomes part of their core mission, other times it supports the brand and sometimes it just makes money. And often it's a little guy who can be flexible enough to make things happen.

Examples:

  • Starbucks licenses their name to a maker of ice cream and generates millions in royalties.
  • A rack jobber like Handleman does a deal with a mass marketer like K-Mart. K-Mart gives them room in the store to sell records and gets a cut, Handleman does all the work.
  • AOL buys AIM instant messaging software and integrates it into their service.
  • Years ago, I licensed the rights to Isaac Asimov's Robot novels from a business development person at his publisher and turned the books into a VCR murder mystery game which I licensed to a business development person at Kodak, a company that was experimenting with becoming a publisher. (Isaac made more from this project than he did from many of his books).
  • Best Buy offers extended warranties on appliances you buy. They don't provide the warranty, of course, a business development person did a deal with an insurance/service company to do it and they share the profit.
  • The Princeton Review built a huge test prep business, but only by licensing their brand to a series of books which did the lion's share of their marketing for them.

You don't see business development from the outside, particularly all the potential deals that fail along the way. Many companies, though, spend millions of dollars a year looking for deals and then discovering that they pay off many times over. Others, particularly smaller competitors, are so focused on their core business that it never occurs to them to consider partnerships, licensing, publishing, acquisition and other arrangements that might change everything. Harley Davidson probably makes more money on business development than they make on motorcycles.

The thing that makes business development fascinating is that the best deals have never been done before. There's no template, no cookie cutter grind it out approach to making it work. This is why most organizations are so astonishingly bad at it. They don't have the confidence to make decisions or believe they have the ability to make mistakes.

Think about the Apple-Nike partnership on making a device that integrates your iPod with your sneakers. This took years and cost millions of dollars to develop. Most companies would just flee, giving up long before a deal was done and a product was shipped.

Here are some tactical tips on how to do business development better:

  1. Process first, ideas second. If you're going to be bringing new partners and new ideas into your organization, you need a process to do it. Professionals don't, "know it when I see it." Instead, professionals think about the abilities of their company and strategies necessary to bring ideas in, refine them and launch them. Great business development people don't waste time in endless meetings with random vendors or hassle about tiny details up front. Instead, they have an agenda and a project manager's understanding of what it means to get things done. They don't keep the process a secret, either. They share it with anyone who wants to know. Someone needs to say, "here's how we do things around here," and then they have to tell the truth.
  2. Who decides? Because every great business development project is different, it's incredibly easy to get stuck on who can say yes (of course, everyone can say no). Professional business development people intentionally limit the number of people who are allowed to weigh in and are clear to themselves and their potential partners about exactly who can (and must) give the go ahead. Don't bother starting a business development deal unless you know in advance who must say yes.
  3. Courtship, negotiation and marriage. Every deal has three parts, and keeping them straight is essential. During the courtship phase, you win when you are respectful, diligent, enthusiastic, engaging, outgoing, and relentless in your search to make a connection. Do your homework, research people's backgrounds, learn about their kids, visit them–don't make them visit you. Look people in the eye, ask hard but engaging questions, you know the drill. Basically, treat people as you'd like to be treated, because the people you most want to work with have a choice, and they may just not pick you. Hint: if you skip the courtship part, the other two stages probably won't come up.
  4. Buyer and seller. If you've ever pitched a product or service to a business, you know how soul-deadening it can be. The buyer works hard to make it clear that she's doing you a favor, and you need every dog and every pony available at all times (and you better be the cheapest). But business development doesn't have this dichotomy. Both sides are buying, both sides are selling, right? So talented business development people never act like jaded buyers, arms folded, demanding this and that. Instead, from the start, they seek out partners.
  5. Enthusiasm is underrated. Business development people are exploring the unknown. That means that there's more than cash on the table, there's bravery and initiative and excitement. The best business development people I've ever worked with are able to capture the energy in the room and amplify it. They'll build on the ideas being presented, not make them smaller.
  6. Close the open door. I regularly hear from readers who are frustrated because a big company wasn't willing to hear a great idea they mailed in. Here's the thing: there isn't a shortage of ideas. There's a shortage of execution. That means that successful business development teams look for proven partners and organizations with momentum. A key part of that is the decision to say no early and quickly and respectfully to people who don't meet that threshold.
  7. Call the lawyers later. A business development deal that never happens is one that's sure to cause no problems. While the legal clarity you need is important, there's plenty of data that shows that ten page NDA agreements and onerous contracts early in the process don't protect you, they merely waste your time and energy.
  8. Cast a wider net. The Allen and Co. annual gathering is a dumb place to choose a merger partner. Limiting the number of potential partners to people you've met at a trade show is also silly. Business development (when it works) creates huge value for both sides, so better to be proactive in searching out and soliciting the organizations that can make a difference. Here's a simple way to widen your net: start a blog and go to conferences to speak. Describe your successful business development projects to date and let the world know you're looking for more of them. How many amazing partnerships could the Apple store launch? How many great books could Starbucks highlight? Not only don't they do this, they hide. Don't hide.
  9. Talk to the receptionist. This is huge, and so important. When a great partner shows up at your doorstep, do you know? Here's a test: call your organization (pretending to be from some respected organization), describe a business development opportunity and ask who can help. If you're not immediately transferred to your office, you've failed, right? Make it easy for the right people to know that you're the right guy.
  10. Hire better. How do you decide who to put in this job? I'd argue that glibness and charisma aren't as important as strategic thinking, project management, and humility.
  11. Structure deals with the expectation of success. The only real reason to do business development deals is because when they work they're so powerful. Andrew Tobias put his name on a piece of software that ended up earning him millions of dollars. It's easy to get hung up on all the bad things that could happen, but keep your focus on how the world looks when you get it right.
  12. End well. Most of the time, even good business development deals fall down before the end of the negotiation process. If a deal doesn't come together, say so. Acknowledge what went wrong, thank the other party and end well. If it does come together, track the integration and stay involved enough to learn from what works and what doesn't. I'm still waiting to hear from people who said they'd get back to me "tomorrow" fifteen years ago, but I'm losing hope… Ending well not only teaches you how to do better next time, but it keeps doors open for when you need to come back to someone who you should have done a deal with in the first place.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Simple Steps to Make Your Own Website

 Simple Steps to Make Your Own Website

You'll learn how to…

1. Choose a website building platform
2. Choose a domain name (www.) and host
3. Setup, design and tweak your website

Choose Your Website Platform

Before you start worrying about color schemes and domain names, you’ve got to decide what platform you’re going to build your website with.What do I mean by “platform”? Well, back in 2004 when I got started with web development, most sites were built using HTML (code), CSS and even Flash. These took a lot of time to learn and were tricky to master.

That’s why most people still think creating a website from scratch is difficult or requires a lot of coding and design skills – but that’s no longer true! In 2016, content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have made creating a website accessible to everyone. To put simply, a content management system (or website building platform) is a user-friendly platform for building websites and managing your own online content, instead of using a bunch of loose HTML pages.

Three Most Popular Site Building Platforms in 2016

As you can see from the graph above, nearly half of the websites on the Internet are running on the WordPress website platform. Just look at these recent statistics made by W3 Techs and BuiltWith.

Why WordPress and not website builders?

Because at this point there are no better/easier ways to build a website… But more importantly:

It’s totally FREE, with many layouts/themes to choose from.

WordPress doesn’t cost a dime to download or install, and there’s a huge community who have designed beautiful themes and templates, making it easy to get going fast. You’ll never run out of uniqueness…

It’s VERY beginner-friendly.

If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you already know how add your own content. WordPress can be expanded with free plugins to handle just about any site you can imagine – from gorgeous business pages to social networking sites. With “plugins” you’ll be able to add contact forms, subscription forms, image galleries and so on for your website – pretty simple, huh?

Small or large site? Great for both.

From basic blogs to beautiful business sites and online stores, WordPress can handle just about any kind of website. WordPress is used by eBay, Mozilla, Reuters, CNN, Google Ventures and even NASA.

Your site will be ‘responsive’. Meaning it’ll work on mobiles & tablets, too.

The website you build will instantly be responsive, looking great on every mobile device, smartphone and tablet. No need to hire a web developer for that.

HUGE support and developer community available to help. 

With so many people using the platform (Webmasters, Bloggers, Theme developers and Plugin creators), it’s easy to find QUICK help when you need it. In addition, WordPress has lots of free resources both available on Youtube and their support forum.

        In fact, I built WebsiteSetup.org on WordPress, too. Below are samples of homepage and ‘blog’ page:

          WP homepage

         

Of course, there are other website building / CMS platforms, too.

But, I would still use WordPress.

Drupal is a very powerful platform that is popular with web developers and experienced coders, but it comes with a very steep learning curve that makes it a bad choice for beginners.

Joomla is similar to WordPress and works great for websites too, but you’ll need at least a little bit of technical coding to make it work the way you want.

If you want more details, I’ve put together a pretty comprehensive comparison between WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
If for some reason you don’t want to build your site with WordPress, check out my Drupal, Joomla and HTML5 guides as well. They are all FREE to use.

For beginners, I suggest sticking to WordPress.

It’s the easiest platform I’ve ever worked with, but it’s flexible enough to suit everyone from small business owners, and freelancers to creative artists and bloggers.

I would look no further than WordPress.

In Step 2, I’ll walk you through the process of choosing a domain name and finding a space to host your site.

In Step 3, I’ll show you how to install and customize your WordPress website. Don’t worry – I’ll walk you through the process, with lots of images as a reference.

Find a Domain Name and Host

To get a new website online, you’re going to need two things:

  • A domain name (a web address like yoursitename.com)
  • Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)

The WordPress platform itself is free, but a domain name and hosting will cost you around $3 – $5 a month. However it costs less than a coffee, so it won’t break the bank. Owning your own domain name looks far more professional than having your site on someone else’s domain (like yourbusiness.my-free-website.com), and it’s super affordable, too.

Plus, having your own hosting will also make sure your website loads quickly and won’t go down for hours at a time (pretty important for everyone who visits your pages.)

Where do I get a domain name and hosting?

I’ve mostly used www.Bluehost.com as a web hosting and domain registrar for myself and for my web development projects.

Their website hosting costs less than a movie ticket ($2.95/mo) and they throw in a FREE domain name (a nice perk to have). Of course you can try other web hosting providers and even try to host your site by yourself, but it’s a very complicated process and often wouldn’t be capable of serving your website visitors. So save yourself some money to get a proper web host.

When you get a domain name, you’ll also get a personal email account(s): you@YourSite.com – way more professional than a generic Gmail or Yahoo address. Already have a domain name and hosting? Go ahead and skip to step 3, where I’ll explain how you can set up your website.

What kind of domain name should I pick?

As an easy starting point:

  • If you’re making a website for your business, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
  • If you’re planning to set up a website for yourself, then YourName.com can be a great option.

For this site (WebsiteSetup), I chose WebsiteSetup.org

Domain names usually end with .com, .org or .net, but in recent months, a huge amount of domain extensions (the end part of the web address, like .com) have come out, ranging from .agency to .pizza.

My best advice?

Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .net or .org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name. While .com, .org and .net are commonly used and easily remembered, the domain extension craze hasn’t really gone mainstream yet – so people may not find you if you use a really different domain extension.

Any additional tips for choosing my domain name?

There are a few things that can help you choose your domain name:

#1 Is it brandable? For example, if you make a site about poetry then best-poetry-website.net is not a good choice: poetryacademy.com or poetryfall.com is much better.

#2 Is it memorable? Short, punchy and clear domain names are much easier to remember. If your domain name is too fuzzy, too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it.

#3 Is it catchy? You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue, describes what you (or your business) does and sticks in the head. Coming up with a cool name can be a bit tough since there are approximately 150 million active domain names in the world right now – but don’t give up.

There’s one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT STEP:

Do some brainstorming to come up with a unique domain name that reflects your future website, business or blog.

Secure your domain name and web hosting.

For this I recommend Bluehost.com, but you can pick any other web host as long as it’s reliable and simple. UPDATE: I made a simple guide for Bluehost users (which hosting package to choose & how to install WordPress).

Let’s Set Up and Tweak Your Website

Once you’ve bought your domain name and set up your hosting, you’re well on your way! Now it’s time to get your website up and running. The first thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress to your domain.

Installing WordPress

There are two possible ways to install WordPress, one MUCH easier than the other.

One-Click-installation for Websites like WordPress (and Joomla & Drupal)

Almost every a reliable and well-established hosting company has integrated 1-click-installation for WordPress, which makes getting going a snap.

If you signed up with Bluehost or any other similar hosting company, you should find your “1-click-installation” in your account control panel.

Here are the steps you should follow (should be similar/same on all the major web hosting companies):xxxxxxx

Learn how to make WordPress website

  • 1. Log in to your hosting account.
  • 2. Go to your control panel.
  • 3. Look for the “WordPress” or “Website” icon.
  • 4. Choose the domain where you want to install your website.
  • 5. Click the “Install Now” button and you will get access to your new WordPress website.

If for some odd reason (some hosting companies don’t provide one-click-install for WordPress) you don’t have the option to install WordPress automatically, look this manual guide below:

Pssst – if they don’t have 1-click-installation, maybe you’re dealing with a bad host!

Choosing a Theme/Template for your site

Once you have successfully installed WordPress to your domain, you’ll see a very basic yet clean site:

But you don’t want to look like everyone else, do you? That’s why you need a theme – a design template that tells WordPress how your website should look. See a sample version below:

Here’s where it gets fun:

There are thousands of awesome, professionally designed themes you can choose from and customize for a site that’s all your own.

Here’s how to find a theme you like:

1. Log into your WordPress dashboard

If you’re not sure how, type in: http://yoursite.com/wp-admin (replace “yoursite” with your domain).

This is what the WordPress dashboard looks like:

wordpress_default_dashboard

Everything is easily labelled. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t sweat it – I’m going to show you where to go next.

2. Access FREE themes

Once you’re in the dashboard, you’ve got access to over 1500 free themes! Just look along the side bar for “Appearance”, then click “Themes”.

If you want something more professional or elegant than what you find here, you can head over to ThemeForest.net where there’s a HUGE library of themes to pick from at varying costs.

But before you do that, I really suggest you at least try spending some time browsing the free themes. Many of them are actually really professional and well made; so don’t write them off.

As you can see above, installing a new theme for your website is very easy.

You can search for specific keywords and/or use filters to find themes that suit your style. Finding the perfect theme can take a while, but it’s worth it. You should also look for themes that are “responsive”, as this means they will look good on any mobile device. Just punch it in as one of your keywords, and you’ll be all set!

3. Install your new theme

Once you have found a theme you like, installing it is as simple as clicking “Install” followed by “Activate”.

install_theme

IMPORTANT: Changing themes won’t delete your previous posts, pages and content. You can change themes as often as you want without having to worry about lose what you’ve created.

How do I add content and create new pages?

With your theme installed, you’re ready to start creating content. Let’s quickly run through some of the basics:

Adding and editing pages

Want a “Services” page, or an “About Me” page?

1. Look along the sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard for “Pages” -> “Add New”.

2. Once you’ve clicked, you’ll find a screen that looks a lot like what you’ve maybe seen in Microsoft Word. Add text, images and more to build the page you want, then save it when you’re done.

Adding pages to the menu

If you want your new page to be linked to in your navigation bar,

1. Save any changes you’ve made to the page by clicking “Update”

2. Click “Appearance” -> “Menus” in the sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard

3. Find the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then “Add to Menu”.

Adding and editing posts

If you have a blog on your website, “Posts” will be where you turn to next. You can use different categories to group similar posts.

                                                          

If you want to add a blog to your website, you can use different categories and posts. Let’s say you want to create a category named “Blog”. To do so, simply add it to your menu and start making posts.

Here’s what you need to do:

a. Create a new category by going to “Posts -> Categories”

OR

b. Create a blog post by going to “Posts -> Add New”. Once you’ve finished writing your blog post, you need to add the right category for it.

Once you’ve created your category, simply add it to the menu, and you’re in business!

Customization & Endless Tweaks…

In this section I’ll cover some of the basic things I’m asked about all the time that will help you to tweak your website.

Changing Your Title and Tagline

Page titles explain to searchers what your website is about, and they’re also a big part of how search engines determine your rankings, so you want to be sure they’ve got the keywords you want to target in them (but in a natural way, written for real people).

You should use a unique title on every page of your site.

Taglines are added at the end of titles across every page. My site’s tagline is “Step by Step Guide”

In order to change the title and tagline on your website, go to “Settings -> General” and fill in the form below:

Disabling Comments for Posts & Pages

Some websites (business/organisation sites mostly) don’t want their visitors to be able to comment on their pages.

Here’s how to shut comments off on WordPress pages:

1. While you are writing a new page, click “Screen Options” in the top right corner.
2. Click the “Discussion” box. The “Allow Comments” box will appear at the bottom.
3. Untick “Allow Comments”.

Want to disable comments on every new page by default?

1. Go to “Settings -> Discussion” and untick “Allow people to post comments on new articles”

site_discussion-settings

Setting Up a Static Front Page

Some people contact me saying they’re frustrated that their home page looks like a blog post. You can fix that by making your home page “static”.

A static page is a page that doesn’t change. Unlike a blog, where the first new article will show up at the top every time, a “static” page will show the same content every time someone comes to the site – like a home page you’ve designed.

To set up a static front page:

1. Go to “Settings -> Reading”
2. Choose a static page that you have created. “Front Page” denotes your home page, “Posts page” is the front page of your blog (if your entire site isn’t a blog).

If you don’t choose a static page on your own, WordPress will take your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage.

Editing sidebar

Most WordPress themes have a sidebar on the right side (in some cases it’s on the left).

If you want to get rid of the sidebar or edit out items you do not need like “Categories”, “Meta” and “Archives”, which are usually pointless, here’s how:

1. Go to “Appearance -> Widgets” in the WordPress Dashboard.
2. From here, you can use drag and drop to add different “boxes” to your sidebar, or remove the items you don’t want.

There’s also a “HTML box” – a text box where you can use HTML code. For beginners, don’t worry about this bit – just drag and drop the elements you’d like in your sidebar.

Installing Plugins to Get More out of WordPress

What is a plugin?

“Plugins” are extensions that are built to expand WordPress’ capabilities, adding features and functions to your site that don’t come built-in. They’re shortcuts to getting your site to do what you want to, without having to build the feature from scratch. You can use plugins to do everything from adding photo galleries and submission forms to optimizing your website and creating an online store.

How do I install a new Plugin?

To start installing plugins, go to “Plugins -> Add New” and simply start searching. Keep in mind that there are over 25,000 different FREE plugins, so you’ve got a LOT to choose from! Installation is easy – once you find a plugin you like, just click “Install”.

To save you some time, I’ve put together a list of the most popular plugins that webmasters find useful:

  • #1 Contact form 7: It’s an awesome feature to have, as people (like you!) can fill in the form and send me an email without logging into their own email provider. If you want to do something similar, definitely get this plugin. P.S. Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting it up.
  • #2 Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you want to make your WordPress site even more SEO-friendly, this plugin is a must-have. It’s free, and it’s awesome. You’ll be able to edit your title tags, meta descriptions and more, all from within the page itself – no more fussing with WordPress settings.
  • #3 Google Analytics: Interested in tracking your visitors/traffic and their behaviour? Just install the plugin, connect it with your Google account and you’re ready to go.

Congratulations – you’re ready to launch!

If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you should now have a fully-functional WordPress website! That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Last but not least, keep improving your website.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Green Fire On The Blockchain

Green Fire On The Blockchain

Green Fire has decided to change the world as you know it. We are moving together onto the blockchain. We have chosen “Green Fire Gold” (GFG) as the blockchain application name. GFG will be the first to take landfill mining and reclamation on to the blockchain.

GFG is designed with next generation high load blockchain protocols, utilizing a blockchain design that improves functionality with each additional user, maximizing scalability and load performance.

GFG includes your own private universal wallet that allows for immediate trading and exchange between all currencies and investment markets.

The GFG blockchain is designed by the best in cryptocurrency development to create a coin and mainstream payment network usable by everyone in the world.

The GFG universal wallet/coin combo can be used to manage your entire life and assets. Inside are a Universal Dapp store (decentralized application store), micro-services, micro-payments, smart contracts, universal exchange, universal payment system, and custom template decentralized app building, just to name a few.

Understanding blockchain

The Blockchain has become the default backbone for most new financial and business development.

In essence, blockchain is a distributed database, or "timestamp server," as it was called by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in the paper that proposed bitcoin.

The blockchain consists of blocks of data — each block is a timestamped batch of valid individual transactions and the hash of the previous block, creating a link between the two. Because each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, it forms a chain. Each new transaction must be authenticated across the distributed network of computers that form the blockchain before it can form the next block in the chain.

GFG is developing a fully decentralized, leaderless DAO*, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and a fully distributed financial platform, OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

GFG is using the MyCryptoWorld development platform to construct the GFG DAO. This platform develops on an advanced Ethereum blockchain.

For the determination phase of implementation an interdisciplinary team of cryptocurrency, marketing and software veterans/enthusiasts around the globe have already started determining the intelligence that operates GFG.

As soon the business determination is finished the whole system will be completely community/user driven and owned. From this point on the further evolution will be in the hands of all owners, using e-Governance/voting and other cutting edge tools to create consensus and run decisions.

The GFG DAO is a digital decentralized autonomous organization and a form of investor-directed venture capital fund.

The GFG DAO has an objective to provide a new decentralized business model for organizing both international commerce and social marketing. It will be on the Ethereum blockchain, and will have no conventional management structure or board of directors.

The GFG DAO is stateless, and not tied to any particular nation state. As a result, many questions of how government regulators would deal with a stateless fund are yet to be dealt with.

The GFG DAO is being crowdfunded via a token sale. A similar crowdfunding campaign in May 2016. It set the record for the largest crowdfunding campaign in history

OWNED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT

The Landfill Pickers and the Women Informal Workers will own GFG. GFG will be governed by consensus.

Consensus in a distributed system is determined by entities checking each other's work and providing a stamp of approval as to transactions and activities allowed. This is accomplished through a distributed network, one might say, a “social neural network”.

Smart Contracts

GFG Blockchain also leverages a technology called "smart contracts," which are bits of executable code that only act when specific conditions within the blockchain are met. This allows a blockchain to automate activity like payment transfers when a task is completed, or even a partial payment when a milestone is achieved.

By providing a way to record transactions as automated trusted activity among digitally networked peers, audit and professional services firm Ernst & Young believes "blockchain technology has the potential to streamline and accelerate business processes, increase cybersecurity and reduce or eliminate the roles of trusted intermediaries (or centralized authorities) in industry after industry."

Blockchains have proven that they reduce cost and increase trust in financial transactions. It is becoming apparent that we can expect financial services firms to abandon existing transaction-processing technologies in favor of blockchain technologies.

We are developing the GFG DAO on the blockchain with a unique crypto token (coin) and its own brand of distributed manufacturing and ecommerce.

Green Fire is taking the Landfill Mining operations and the Children of the Landfill project and wrapping them in a blockchain application.

This will provide these “invisible workers” the very poorest of the poor the most unique democratic environment that is yet to prevail for them. They will be the next global cultural warriors to emerge from the shadows.

Mike Prettyman,
Chief Information Officer at Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
For more information come to the website

Children of the Landfill Project

Green Fire Engineered Reclamation

Join our active groups on Markethive

Children of the Landfill
Green Fire Engineered Reclamation
 

Markethive

For Whom Is SEO Suitable?

For Whom Is SEO Suitable?

Search engine optimization is often seen as a good way to avoid spending money on advertising by attaining high rankings in the organic search engine results. Not only is this not the true purpose of search engine optimization, it can, in fact, be a dangerous way to conduct business.

Search engine optimization should never be the sole means of marketing any business, because search engine algorithms are in constant flux, and any one of (on average) daily changes can impact a website's ranking negatively, to a point where the entire business can be put in jeopardy. So organic rankings should never be the sole source of traffic for any website that is being run as a business. With that said, search engine optimization can contribute greatly to almost any online marketing campaign.

As mentioned above, search engine optimization is not suitable for those who are looking to save money by getting away from other forms of online marketing. SEO is a long-term process, especially if it is to contribute in a tangible fashion to the bottom line of an online marketing effort. It is a mid- to a long-term solution which does require a significant investment of time and treasure in order to bear fruit. So if you have just started an online business (or one that has an online component) and are looking a way to jumpstart your website traffic, search engine optimization is not for you. Instead of going into cumbersome paragraphs with unnecessarily detailed examples of for whom SEO is suitable, we have created the below table to let people shopping for search engine optimization services know if they are staring into a money pit.

Is SEO Suitable for Me?

I just started a website and need quick traffic and don't have much money to invest.

No. Your effort should go into exercises which will produce short-term results for your business.

I just started a website but have an SEO budget for at least six months.

Maybe. As long as you are not looking to ranking for the most competitive keywords in your niche.

I am looking for an SEO company that can get me the same exact links that my competitor has.

No. Doing exactly what your competitor is doing will always keep you one step behind him. Even though your competition should be in your crosshairs in general, their success in rankings should not be the benchmark for yours.

I understand content is important but I like my website exactly the way it is.

No. If you are inflexible when it comes to changes to your website, the chances are that your site will not be able to improve rankings by much. If you keep doing what you have been doing in the past, you'll keep getting the same results.

I just started an auction website. I want to outrank my competitor (the leading auction site), for the word 'online auctions'.

No. Just like the corner grocery store that just opened is not going to be able to compete with the supermarket chain down the street by offering the same exact thing at higher prices, your new auction site will not be able to unseat the industry leader through the magic of SEO.

My friend just signed up for an SEO service and he is getting 500 directory submissions per month. I want that too!

No. Search engine optimization is not about volume. No matter what price your friend is paying for those directory submissions, he is overpaying. Cheap SEO is worse than no SEO.

I know I don't sell shoes, but the word 'shoes' has a very high volume of searches, so I would like to rank for that keyword.

No. Even if you did rank for shoes after spending a fortune on search engine optimization, you would still have abysmal conversions since the people who search for 'shoes' tend to be searching for…you know…shoes! (And not the blue widget you are selling that no one wants).

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Computer Programmer Education Requirements and Career Information

Computer Programmer Education Requirements
and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a computer programmer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Computer programmers often find employment based on their range and length of experience in the field. An associate's degree paired with work experience may be enough for a computer programmer to find work. Certification is voluntary but also adds to a computer programmers' credibility.

Essential Information

Computer programmers write, or code, the programs that tell computers what to do. This is accomplished by converting the software program, designed by software engineers, into a series of instructions a computer can follow. The job is multifaceted in that it entails creating, adapting, modifying, troubleshooting and maintaining programs. Although having a bachelor's or master's degree is most often required for computer programming jobs, those with related work experience may only need a certificate or associate's degree. Depending on where they work, programmers may also need to seek certification.

Required Education – Certificate or associate's degree with considerable work experience; bachelor's degree most often required; master's degree for some jobs

Certification –  Programming certification sometimes required

Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) –  -8% .

Median Salary –  (2015) $79,530 annually

Computer Programmer Education Requirements

Undergraduate certificates and associate's degrees suffice for some entry-level positions in computer programming, usually only if the applicant has a good amount of applicable work experience. Most employers, however, require programmers to hold at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as computerscience, mathematics or information systems. Some jobs even call for a master's degree. Graduate certificates in computer programming are often pursued by individuals to augment a bachelor's degree in business, accounting or finance. Typical courses in a computer programming program cover programming logic, system design and development, programming languages, database management and structured query language (SQL).

Career Information

Systems programmers develop systems that act as the computer's brains. Applications programmers develop systems that allow computers to do different jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), job opportunities for computer programmers were projected to decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. This is below average growth due to the outsourcing of jobs since many users are now able to write their own programs. In addition, some programming functions may become automated. Programmers now often assist software engineers in a number of their duties, such as the identification of user needs and program design. The demand for programmers is highest for individuals who have good technical skills and a solid grasp of the programming needs of specific employers' businesses.

Advancement

Because of the computer field's rapidly changing nature, programmers are advised to build on their expertise. With experience and additional courses, programmers may become lead programmers, supervisors or analysts. With more advanced degrees and specialized knowledge, programmers can advance to become full-fledged software engineers. Further training, particularly in business, affords engineers the opportunity to become project managers, information officers, systems managers or independent consultants.

Certification

Professional and academic organizations offer various certifications. Although these are usually voluntary, certification indicates a level of competence, which can work to an individual's advantage in seeking employment or advancement. Vendors and software firms commonly require individuals to complete a certification program in order to work with their product.

Computer programmers often work with software engineers in converting programs into codes that a computer can process. Experience is a primary asset in the computer programing field, so pursuing a graduate certificate or degree, or taking standalone courses, are good options that can lead to job mobility and career advancement.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

STATEMENT OF ETHICS

STATEMENT OF ETHICS

Preamble
The American Marketing Association commits itself to promoting the highest standard of professional ethical norms and values for its members (practitioners, academics and students). Norms are established standards of conduct that are expected and maintained by society and/or professional organizations. Values represent the collective conception of what communities find desirable, important and morally proper. Values also serve as the criteria for evaluating our own personal actions and the actions of others. As marketers, we recognize that we not only serve our organizations but also act as stewards of society in creating, facilitating and executing the transactions that are part of the greater economy. In this role, marketers are expected to embrace the highest professional ethical norms and the ethical values implied by our responsibility toward multiple stakeholders (e.g., customers, employees, investors, peers, channel members, regulators and the host community).

Ethical Norms

As Marketers, we must:

  1. Do no harm. This means consciously avoiding harmful actions or omissions by embodying high ethical standards and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations in the choices we make.

  2. Foster trust in the marketing system. This means striving for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the exchange process as well as avoiding deception in product design, pricing, communication, and delivery of distribution.

  3. Embrace ethical values. This means building relationships and enhancing consumer confidence in the integrity of marketing by affirming these core values: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship. 

Ethical Values

Honesty
To be forthright in dealings with customers and stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Strive to be truthful in all situations and at all times.

  • Offer products of value that do what we claim in our communications.

  • Stand behind our products if they fail to deliver their claimed benefits.

  • Honor our explicit and implicit commitments and promises.

Responsibility
To accept the consequences of our marketing decisions and strategies.  To this end, we will:

  • Strive to serve the needs of customers.

  • Avoid using coercion with all stakeholders.

  • Acknowledge the social obligations to stakeholders that come with increased marketing and economic power.

  • Recognize our special commitments to vulnerable market segments such as children, seniors, the economically impoverished, market illiterates and others who may be substantially disadvantaged.

  • Consider environmental stewardship in our decision-making.

Fairness
To balance justly the needs of the buyer with the interests of the seller.  To this end, we will:

  • Represent products in a clear way in selling, advertising and other forms of communication; this includes the avoidance of false, misleading and deceptive promotion.

  • Reject manipulations and sales tactics that harm customer trust.

    Refuse to engage in price fixing, predatory pricing, price gouging or “bait-and-switch” tactics.

  • Avoid knowing participation in conflicts of interest.

    Seek to protect the private information of customers, employees and partners.

Respect
to acknowledge the basic human dignity of all stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Value individual differences and avoid stereotyping customers or depicting demographic groups (e.g., gender, race, sexual orientation) in a negative or dehumanizing way.

  • Listen to the needs of customers and make all reasonable efforts to monitor and improve their satisfaction on an ongoing basis.

  • Make every effort to understand and respectfully treat buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and distributors from all cultures.

  • Acknowledge the contributions of others, such as consultants, employees and coworkers, to marketing endeavors.

  • Treat everyone, including our competitors, as we would wish to be treated.

Transparency
to create a spirit of openness in marketing operations. To this end, we will:

  • Strive to communicate clearly with all constituencies.

  • Accept constructive criticism from customers and other stakeholders.

  • Explain and take appropriate action regarding significant product or service risks, component substitutions or other foreseeable eventualities that could affect customers or their perception of the purchase decision.

  • Disclose list prices and terms of financing as well as available price deals and adjustments.

Citizenship
to fulfill the economic, legal, philanthropic and societal responsibilities that serve stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Strive to protect the ecological environment in the execution of marketing campaigns.

  • Give back to the community through volunteerism and charitable donations.

  • Contribute to the overall betterment of marketing and its reputation. 

  • Urge supply chain members to ensure that trade is fair for all participants, including producers in developing countries.

Implementation

We expect AMA members to be courageous and proactive in leading and/or aiding their organizations in the fulfillment of the explicit and implicit promises made to those stakeholders. We recognize that every industry sector and marketing sub-discipline (e.g., marketing research, e-commerce, Internet selling, direct marketing, and advertising) has its own specific ethical issues that require policies and commentary. An array of such codes can be accessed through links on the AMA Web site. Consistent with the principle of subsidiarity (solving issues at the level where the expertise resides), we encourage all such groups to develop and/or refine their industry and discipline-specific codes of ethics to supplement these guiding ethical norms and values.

SEXUAL OR PERSONAL HARASSMENT POLICY

Sexual harassment is any conduct, comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature that is unwanted or unwelcome by any individual, or that might reasonably be perceived by that individual as placing a condition of a sexual nature on any AMA-related activity.

Personal harassment is any conduct, verbal or physical, that is discriminatory in nature, based upon another person’s race, color, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, sex, age or sexual orientation.  Personal harassment includes but is not limited to discriminatory or other behavior, directed at an individual, that is unwanted or unwelcome and causes substantial distress in that individual and serves no legitimate AMA-related purpose.  

The AMA does not tolerate sexual or personal harassment.  Sexual or personal harassment in any form is strictly prohibited and may be grounds for suspension or termination as an officer, director or member of AMA.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

A Few Hobbies to Make Endless Holiday Gifts

A Few Hobbies to Make Endless Holiday Gifts

Learning these crafts can help you create beautiful holiday gifts for friends and family.

 

Help your loved ones feel cozy and cared for by creating a set of knitted items.

If you're still scratching your head as you put together your gift list for the holidays, don't overlook the opportunity to make gifts for your nearest and dearest. You don't have to be a professional artist, baker or gardener to produce heartfelt gifts that everyone will enjoy. Now is the perfect time of year to put your skills to good use and share your passion for crafting, baking or other hobbies by making some handmade gifts – and maybe even save some money in the process.

These hobbies can help you make an endless amount of holiday gifts for friends and loved ones.

Soap making
Homemade soaps will be a welcome gift for any spa lovers on your list – and a welcome relief for those overwhelmed with holiday cheer. If you're experienced with using the "cold process" to make homemade soap, you can experiment with different textures and holiday fragrances to create your own signature holiday collection. Package these in hand-painted gift boxes or wrap them in pretty ribbon and tissue paper so that their appearance matches the beauty of their fragrance.

Canning fruits and vegetables
If you made the most of this harvest season by canning some fresh fruits and vegetables, consider creating cheerful, bountiful, baskets. Many people on your gift list will appreciate the gift of food, especially if the food is from your own garden. From jams and jellies to canned veggies, these food items can make for a great holiday gift this season.

Origami
Who knew that folded paper could bring so much cheer? Grab some holiday-themed paper or other decorative origami sheets and create fun Christmas decorations or eye-catching gifts using your paper-folding skills. Challenge yourself with a new creation or make a series of origami figures or unique designs to give as a gift. You can make holiday tree decorations or gifts that simply sit on the mantel or desk year-round.

Baking
Tis the season for baking enthusiasts to step things up as holiday celebrations get underway and dessert is a priority item at the holiday table. Make the most of that hot oven this season by baking some extra batches of cookies, brownies, bars and even cakes. Homemade baked treats can be great gift items for friends, co-workers and family members. Put together a gift basket with hot cocoa, tea, coffee and chocolate to complement your sweet treats.

Beaded jewelry making
If you have a large collection of beads in your craft box and some basic jewelry-making skills, consider giving away some of your handmade beaded creations this holiday season. Bracelets, necklaces, chokers and headbands can make beautiful gifts for some of the people on your gift list. Present these items in a hand-painted gift box or a mesh gift bag with a handwritten message for a personal touch.

Flower arranging
If you're a florist at heart or just enjoy putting together flower displays and centerpieces, consider giving away some of your creations during the holiday season. Seasonal flowers that are sure to put anyone in the Christmas spirit include poinsettia, winter jasmine, amaryllis, paperwhite narcissus and the Christmas rose. You can make beautiful arrangements for a special event or create a centerpiece using artificial flowers for gift-giving.

Sewing
You probably use the sewing machine year-round and the holidays can be a great time to jump in to put your skills to the test with a challenging project. From sewing felt Christmas decorations to designing custom pillow cases, you could make some unique fabric gifts for friends and loved ones. Be sure to check out the inventory at your favorite arts and crafts store for holiday-themed add-ons, such as buttons, sequins, beads and other accents.

Knitting
Help your loved ones feel cozy and cared for by creating a set of knitted items, such as blankets or scarves. Your knitting projects can be as simple as a hat for a newborn to a scarf for a good friend. You could also create a set of knitted tree decorations, wreaths or holiday decor. Wrap up your gifts in tissue paper, gift boxes and ribbon with a handwritten card as a thoughtful and festive gift this season.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor


 

Markethive

Dear Clinton supporters: Recall wont matter

Dear Clinton supporters: Recall wont matter

News that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has requested a recount in Wisconsin, and will likely do the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, has raised faint hopes among Hillary Clinton supporters that somehow Donald Trump will not become the next president of the United States.

Now that Clinton's campaign has said it will participate in the recount efforts, those supporters' hopes have been lifted even higher.

To put the matter bluntly: They should give up that hope.

There is essentially zero chance that the recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will change Trump's lead, which number in the thousands, not hundreds, in all three states. Trump is winning Wisconsin by a little more than 27,000 votes; his lead in Michigan sits at around 11,000; and his lead in Pennsylvania is insurmountable at over 68,000.

This is not Florida 2000. On Election Night in 2000, George W. Bush held a 1,784 vote lead over Al Gore in Florida's election for president, representing just 0.031 percent of the 5.8 million votes cast in the state. After a recount — which the US Supreme Court halted by a 5-4 vote — Bush ultimately won Florida by 537 votes, securing the presidency. Yet even if the Court had allowed the recount to proceed, the margin would not have swung by much.

This is not Washington 2004, where a recount reversed the result, handing Democrat Christine Gregoire a 129-vote win over Republican Dino Rossi after he initially had a 261-vote lead on election night.

This is not Minnesota 2008, where a recount gave Democrat Al Franken a 225-vote win over Republican Norm Coleman, reversing Coleman's initial lead of 215 votes.

All of these recounts had one significant fact in common: the margin of victory was in the hundreds, not thousands. And the shifts in vote totals after the recounts were very small.

In the past 15 years, a statewide recount has reversed the winner from the election-night tally only three times — in the Washington 2004 governor's race (a 390-vote shift), the 2008 Minnesota US Senate race (a 440-vote shift), and a 2006 election in Vermont for Auditor of Accounts, which initially had a 137-vote margin on election night that changed to a 102-vote win for the other candidate after the recount (a 239-vote change).

FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform, found that from 2000-2012 there were only 22 statewide recounts across the country, and the average shift in those recounts was just 0.026%.

But, a Clinton supporter might say, what if the machines were hacked? What if the election was actually rigged? It is an ironic sentiment given that Trump was the one claiming widespread election rigging before the election and Clinton supporters blasted Trump for refusing to say whether he would honor the results.

Irony aside, there is simply no evidence of election hacking, as Clinton's top lawyer, Marc Elias, himself conceded. Of course, now that Stein has begun the process, it is perfectly reasonable for Clinton and her lawyers to stay involved. But her supporters should not take that fact as a sign that the election is still in question.

Prolonging the campaign by seeking a recount breeds unwarranted doubt about the legitimacy of our elections — without any real evidence to back it up. Our democratic system relies on everyone accepting the result. That legitimacy suffers when mere speculation calls the result into question with little evidence of rigging and Electoral College vote totals that decisively determine a winner.

Moreover, all of this talk of recounts and election rigging obscures the more important fact about our elections: We impose too many obstacles on voters for no good reason. We need to work harder to eliminate onerous voting laws and make voting easier, not focus on long-shot recounts that provide only false hope. For instance, this recount effort does nothing to address issues surrounding Wisconsin's controversial voter ID statute, which improperly prevented some people from voting.

While Stein's futile recount effort should give no solace to Clinton supporters, there is a silver lining to the current debate: It might finally prompt Congress and state legislatures to devote greater resources to election technology.

We desperately need better voting equipment and stronger post-Election Day audits. Going into this election, experts warned about the woefully out-of-date equipment that most states use. Indeed, old machines — especially if they do not allow for a paper trail — raise the possibility, however small, of election hacking. Old machines can lead to long lines, lost votes, and other Election Day problems.

Updated voting technology can increase turnout by making voting easier. As just one example, Doña Ana County, New Mexico uses Voting Convenience Centers instead of precinct-based polling places, meaning that anyone in the county can vote at any of the 40 centers instead of having to go to their assigned home precinct. This makes it easier to vote near work or school and eliminates the possibility of having to vote via a provisional ballot — which could potentially not count — if a voter shows up at the wrong place.

This system shows that improved technology can both enhance the integrity of our election system — a standard Republican talking point — and also make voting more accessible to more people, thereby increasing the electorate — something Democrats usually strive to achieve.

The recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania will do nothing to assuage the fears of Clinton supporters who recoil at the thought of a Trump presidency. But at a minimum, they should force politicians on all sides to re-examine how we run our elections.

Like it or not, Donald Trump will become our next president. Hopefully, when he runs for re-election in four years, we will have a stronger election system that makes voting easier, more convenient and accessible, less susceptible to manipulation, and more easily verifiable. That's the closest to a "win" that Clinton and her supporters can expect.

Reprinted From CNN

Thomas Prendergast
 

 

Markethive

Some of the Top Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

Some of the Top Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

To some entrepreneurs, social media marketing is the “next big thing,” a temporary yet powerful fad that must be taken advantage of while it’s still in the spotlight. To others, it’s a buzzword with no practical advantages and a steep, complicated learning curve.

Because it appeared quickly, social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a different picture. According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing can improve your business:

Increased Brand Recognition. Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.

Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.

More Opportunities to Convert. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant.

Higher conversion rates. Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant are it's humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.

Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Search Engine Tools

Search Engine Tools

SEOs tend to use a lot of tools. Some of the most useful are provided by the search engines themselves. Search engines want webmasters to create sites and content in accessible ways, so they provide a variety of tools, analytics, and guidance. These free resources provide data points and unique opportunities for exchanging information with the engines.

Below we explain the common elements that each of the major search engines supporting and identify why they are useful.

Common Search Engine Protocols

Sitemaps

Think of a sitemap as a list of files that give hints to the search engines on how they can crawl your website. Sitemaps help search engines find and classify content on your site that they may not have found on their own. Sitemaps also come in a variety of formats and can highlight many different types of content, including video, images, news, and mobile.

You can read the full details of the protocols at Sitemaps.org. In addition, you can build your own sitemaps at XML-Sitemaps.com. Sitemaps come in three varieties:

XML

Extensible Markup Language (recommended format)

  • This is the most widely accepted format for sitemaps. It is extremely easy for search engines to parse and can be produced by a plethora of sitemap generators. Additionally, it allows for the most granular control of page parameters.
  • Relatively large file sizes. Since XML requires an open tag and a close tag around each element, file sizes can get very large.

RSS

Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary

  • Easy to maintain. RSS sitemaps can easily be coded to automatically update when new content is added.
  • Harder to manage. Although RSS is a dialect of XML, it is actually much harder to manage due to its updating properties.

Txt

Text File

  • Extremely easy. The text sitemap format is one URL per line up to 50,000 lines.
  • Does not provide the ability to add meta data to pages.

Robots.txt

The robots.txt file, a product of the Robots Exclusion Protocol, is a file stored in a website's root directory (e.g., www.google.com/robots.txt). The robots.txt file gives instructions to automated web crawlers visiting your site, including search crawlers.

By using robots.txt, webmasters can indicate to search engines which areas of a site they would like to disallow bots from crawling, as well as indicate the locations of sitemap files and crawl-delay parameters. You can read more details about this at the robots.txt Knowledge Center page.

The following commands are available:

Disallow – Prevents compliant robots from accessing specific pages or folders.

Sitemap –Indicates the location of a website’s sitemap or sitemaps.

Crawl-Delay –Indicates the speed (in milliseconds) at which a robot can crawl a server.

Warning: Not all web robots follow robots.txt. People with bad intentions (e.g., e-mail address scrapers) build bots that don't follow this protocol; and in extreme cases, they can use it to identify the location of private information. For this reason, it is recommended that the location of administration sections and other private sections of publicly accessible websites not be included in the robots.txt file. Instead, these pages can utilize the meta robots tag (discussed next) to keep the major search engines from indexing their high-risk content.

Disallow Robot

Meta Robots

The meta robots tag creates page-level instructions for search engine bots.
The meta robots tag should be included in the head section of the HTML document.

In the example above, “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW” tells robots not to include the given page in their indexes, and also not to follow any of the links on the page.

Rel="Nofollow"

Remember how links act as votes? The rel=nofollow attribute allows you to link to a resource while removing your "vote" for search engine purposes. Literally, "nofollow", tells search engines not to follow the link, although some engines still follow them to discover new pages. These links certainly pass less value (and in most cases no juice) than their followed counterparts, but are useful in various situations where you link to an untrusted source.

In the example above, the value of the link would not be passed to example.com as the rel=nofollow attribute has been added.

Rel="canonical"

Often, two or more copies of the exact same content appear on your website under different URLs. For example, the following URLs can all refer to a single homepage:

  • http://www.example.com/
  • http://www.example.com/default.asp
  • http://example.com/
  • http://example.com/default.asp
  • http://Example.com/Default.asp

To search engines, these appear as five separate pages. Because the content is identical on each page, this can cause the search engines to devalue the content and its potential rankings.

The canonical tag solves this problem by telling search robots which page is the singular, authoritative version that should count in web results.

In the example above, rel=canonical tells robots that this page is a copy of http://www.example.com, and should consider the latter URL as the canonical and authoritative one.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Markethive

Ecosystem for all Entrepreneurs