March 2017

SEO Violations – How to Protect Yourself

A lot of companies, particularly small businesses on a low budget, will build their own websites and social media presence. However, they don’t really know what they are doing in terms of being found, and the result of this is that they may do things wrong. Unfortunately, the search engines are quite unforgiving about mistakes, and will class them as violations and put appropriate penalties in place. In fact, many search engine optimization (SEO) companies are first contacted because of violations and penalties. So what are the things not to do when it comes to SEO?

Shallow or Thin Content

In February 2011, Google released Panda following complaints about search results not being relevant. What Panda does is find sites that have shallow or thin content, meaning it has no substance. If those sites are found, they get penalized for not delivering information that people are looking for. With every update Google releases, this is getting more tough.

Cloaking

Cloaking is best described as sophisticated hiding. Essentially, it means showing a search engine one thing, and a human something else. This is the worst offense, and one that Google once even banned itself for! Cloaking almost always leads to a full ban.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the oldest technique in the book and it continues to be used today, despite heavy penalties. Essentially, it means that you use a keyword too many times for the amount of text you have. The penalties vary, depending on just how often you used the keyword.

Hidden Text

Hidden texts are often used by those who also keyword stuff. It basically means that they try to get the best of both worlds: lots of keywords to attract attention, but cloaking them so that they don’t become visible to people. Again, this incurs very heavy penalties.

DMCA or Piracy Takedowns

Pirate was another Google update, and this focused specifically on sites that infringe copyright laws. This came after thousands of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown request. This is an uncommon occurrence, but it can happen and you need to avoid it.

Top Heavy or Ads Layout

Sometimes, websites have so many ads on them that it seems impossible to find the actual content. Google has addressed this with their Page Layout algorithm, effectively stopping people from attracting traffic to and from their website through ads, without actually giving anything back for it.

Paid Links

Buying links is a big no-no. Did you know that Google Japan was banned for 11 months by Google for buying links? JC Penney was only banned for three months, as did various other companies, who also had their reputations destroyed in the newspapers. Essentially, pay for links and you will be penalized, named, and shamed.

These are just some of the things that you could do, perhaps even accidentally, that can have disastrous consequences. It is best, therefore, to always work with a professional SEO company, so that you can avoid this from happening in the first place, and still make sure that your website gets found – the right way.

Is Music Business, Art, or Both?

Today, the role of record labels has changed complete, and the world of music business with it. As a result, more and more artists are interested in completing a music business degree, because they want to make sure that what they create, also puts food on the table. But doesn’t that mean selling out on an art? Is music still an art, or is it now solely a business? Or is it both?

Napster

When the internet first came around, Napster also developed and people could suddenly get any type of music, without having to pay for it. Of course, it wasn’t clear whether this was legal but, until it was confirmed that it wasn’t and Napster was forced to shut down, people enjoyed free music as much as they wanted. What became clear from this, was that the digital era would bring about a lot of change.

Before the internet, small bands needed record labels to discover them in order to become big. This has changed, however, with the advent of legal downloads. As a result, bands now circumvent labels, producing, promoting, and releasing their own work. But not all of them really have the skills to do this.

No More Labels?

For a lot of bands, the idea of being free from a label is a dream come true. They have full creative freedom, get to decide which songs to include on the album and in which order, and can essentially build their own brand. However, the quality of their music, and the quality of sound, is much less good as what can be produced by professional labels in professional recording studios.

It is certainly true, however, that thanks to social media, bands are able to promote their own sounds. The need to put up posters, for instance, is long gone. Again, however, while using social media is easy, it does take a lot of time and it has to be done properly. Building a fan base, something that a record label can do, is a huge exercise in its own.

The Times, They Are a-Changin’

As Bob Dylan famously said, “the times, they are a-changin’”. Today, the music business is one of both art and business. What is clear is that record labels are still absolutely necessary to really make it big in the world of music. But record labels no longer do all the leg work, because they want to see that bands they work with also have a degree of business acumen themselves. Hence, what they are looking for now is a band that has been able to establish an online presence, and to create a few tracks that sound, if not fully professional, at least good enough to be listened to.

So is music, and particularly music performance, and art or a business? It is basically a bit of both. Artists have to be artists in the first place, but they must now also be business people if they want to make it.

How to Start a Career In Business

The world of business is one of the latest ‘trendy’ career choices and there are millions of young people each year who sit and plot a career path in business. It is understandable to see why, business has changed radically over the last 30 years and the industry is no longer occupied by bearded old men in large overcoats. These days there are businesses being headed up by young, hungry and ambitious men and women who are constantly seeking to change the shape of business.

There are many things that you need to do in order to forge out a successful career in business and here is how you should get started.

Entrepreneur

With the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel making multi-million dollar fortunes from the tech industry, entrepreneurship is something that many youngsters want a slice of. There were more businesses registered last year than any other year on record and this year looks set to be the same as thousands of men and women across the World look to turn their bright idea into a money spinner. If you want to forge a career in business and you think that you have a great idea to do so then don’t hold back. Many of the World’s most successful entrepreneurs started early and took their idea to the top, and you can too. The best advice would be to talk your idea and run with it as far as you can.

Education

Studying for an MBA is the best way to forge out a successful career in business and if you do well then you could follow in the footsteps of someone like Mark Stiffler who completed his MBA in Philadelphia and is now the CEO of his very own management consultant company. An MBA will give you the best tools possible and prepare you thoroughly for the world of business and if you study hard at school then you could get accepted for an MBA at one of the top universities in the country. A qualification from one of the Ivy League universities will give you a fantastic foundation to launch a great career in business.

Extra Curricular

Even if you plan to go down the education route, you need to be fully dedicated to all things business and be doing things away from the classroom to better understand the industry and gain as much experience as you can to take with you into your career. You could volunteer in a local business, take on an internship or start your own small business in order to further your business knowledge. It would also be a good idea if you keep up with what is happening in the business world, the ammunition and information which you can get from reading daily business news is highly valuable and an help you a great deal in the future.

You must be persistent if you want a career in the world of business, it is tough world and you will need to be thick skinned and ready to fight tooth and nail for success.

Why You Should be Investing in Real Estate

I have always dabbled a little when it came to investing, nothing too heavy just a few stocks and shares and the occasional oil future to make me a little bit of money from my savings to pay for that next vacation. Every time that I spoke with anyone about investment, they would always tell me that I should be investing my money in bricks and mortar. The problem that I had was that I didn’t like the idea of investing so much money in one fell swoop, I could afford it but I just felt as though there was risk attached to such a large investment.

I started researching online a little and I saw a promotional video from Joseph Johnson Welfont Group’s CEO about how easy and profitable real estate investment could be. I got on the phone straight away and began searching for my first property. Before long I was signing a contract on a small apartment and 3 years on I have 2 more properties and I am firmly in the black for my investments. If you are anything like I was back then, here are a few reasons why you need to invest in real estate.

Great Profit Options

There are 3 real options when it comes to how you will profit from your real estate investment. The first of which is to look for the long term, buying a reasonable priced property and let the rent come in each month to give you some liquid cash whilst you wait for the value of the property to rise. The second option is to flip houses, this is a quick money making method which sees you searching for great bargains and then selling on quickly for a profit. The final option is somewhere between the two, buying to sell but being prepared to rent out for a little while until the value is just right.

Safety of Investment

Unlike with stocks and shares, real estate is something tangible that you can see and touch, consider it as a big pile of money which has a changing value. The housing market is far more stable than any other financial market and whilst it can fall, it generally rises again, if you have time on your hands then you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are unlikely to lose a great deal of money.

Supply and Demand

We have a growing population and as such there is far more demand for housing than there is supply. This means that if you are looking to rent out or sell your property, you should not have too much trouble in doing so. There is constant pressure on governments to build more housing but this demand is never met which means that if you are smart in terms of what kind property you buy, you can cash in on this demand and make yourself a great deal of profit.

School Flunks Who Hit The Big Time

Over 1 million American students each year drop out of school, these people are often faced with a difficult life, searching for ways to support themselves and their family and trying to nail down a solid job despite their lack of qualifications. Many of these people end up in the crime and the welfare system but this can not be said for all of them. In fact, across the World there are many incredibly successful people who in fact never made it through school and today we are going to shine a light on these examples of school drop outs who hit the big time.

 

Richard Branson

 

Aged just 15, a young Englishman named Richard Branson felt that school was no longer serving his purposes or successfully preparing him or life so he decided to quit. Branson went on to form many small and successful businesses until at aged 21 he invested in his very own record label. The music business was a successes and this catapulted Branson to becoming a business mogul who counted to buy businesses and create his Virgin brand. As it stands, Branson has a fortune of almost $5 billion and his Virgin label appears on between 200 and 300 companies, guess he made the right decision as a young 15 year old.

 

TB Joshua

 

World-famous pastor and prophet TB Joshua failed to even make it to his second year of high school and instead dedicated his time to god. The boy that his friends called ‘small pastor’ worked on a chicken farm for income and would regularly hold local Bible study groups. The young man of God received a heavenly intervention which told him that he should build a church and the Nigerian set about constructing the Synagogue Church of All Nations or SCOAN for short. Throughout the years the congregation has grown at an alarming rate and it currently has over 15,000 members and is responsible for the largest amount of Nigerian tourism. Thanks to the pastor’s many successful prophecies, he has also gained fame for his YouTube presence and his channel has received over 660 million views since its inception.

 

Quentin Tarantino

 

Far beyond his multi-million dollar movie empire and his status as one of the greatest movie directors that has ever lived, Quentin Tarantino was a high school drop out. The young Tarantino had his mind set on the film industry from a young age and when he was just 15 he dropped out of high school to work full time in a movie theater and attend acting classes. Tarantino’s gamble paid off and after completing his first film, Reservoir Dogs, which gained immediate success, the director went on to create some o the World’s most iconic and highest grossing films of all time including Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. His success has seen him win many awards and such is his directing style that you don’t have to watch a film for very long to work out if it is a Tarantino production, not bad for a school drop out.

What to Do If You Have An Accident At Work

Whether you work in an office block, on a building site or in a supermarket, there is always a risk that you could have an accident at work. In this modern age most business take extraordinary steps to ensure that the work place is as safe an environment as possible but that doesn’t mean that accidents are impossible to come by.

Most people never think that will never have an accident at work but for their own protection it is worth preparing for the possibility that it may happen. There is a reason that top lawyers like Jeffrey Glassman are in the business of personal injury law and that is because there are still too many workplace accidents at work each year. Should this unfortunate incident happen to you, here is what you need to do about it.

Fill Out an Accident Report

The first step to take is to fill out an accident report as soon as the incident has taken place or as soon as you are able to fill out a report. The large majority of businesses will have an accident book where you will log exactly what happened, when it happened and where it happened. If there were witnesses who saw the incident take place then ensure that they too fill out their information on the accident report. This report is vital as filling out straight away will mean that the information is fresh in your mind and you can add all the relevant pieces of information.

See a Doctor

Even if you cannot see or feel an injury straight away it is still important that you visit a doctor, problems like concussion and whiplash may not be felt for some days after the event and as such it is best to seek medical advice sooner rather than later.

Report and Injury

If you have sustained an injury then ensure that you report this to your place of work as soon as possible, the idea is to ensure that every piece of information about your accident is logged in as you need to call on it in the future. Take a note from the doctor or hospital to prove your injury and take a photocopy and leave it in the file with your accident report.

Visit Your Union

If you are in a union then it will be a good idea to go and see them and gain some advice about what you should do. Unions have experts in fields such as accidents at work and they can give you the full run down on what steps you need to take.

Lawyer Up

If you feel aggrieved and that the accident was not your fault then you need to go to a specialist personal injury lawyer who can fight your case. The idea of bringing a case against your employers is not only to receive some compensation for what happened but also to help to avoid the same situation taking place for somebody else.

 

Get the job: ways to ace a job interview

After submitting countless applications and not getting responses for weeks and weeks on end, finally, you get a positive response.

An employer offering a position in your field has contacted you, offering you the opportunity to try out for a space that could secure your life for the foreseeable future.

However, so many people freeze up at broad-brush questions which many interviewers ask that they end up putting themselves out of the running for jobs in which they would perform well.

As an employer who has granted interviews to countless employees over the years, Larry Pohill Cafe Valley knows what one should say and do in order to secure a job when they have every other qualification locked up.

Here’s what you should say when you are confronted with some of the most common job interview situations.

 

1) Make sure your interviewer is in a good mood

 

At the end of the day, the person that is asking you questions will be the one who will decide whether or not you will be getting a job at a company where you want to belong.

While you have relatively little control over this variable, you can influence it by scheduling your interview to be a time when the person questioning you is likely to be at their most relaxed.

According to a study commissioned by Glassdoor, asking to be brought in on a Tuesday at 10:30 am will ensure that your interviewer will be well-rested and the most receptive to your well thought-out answers.

Avoid scheduling first thing in the morning, as they will be occupied with start-of-day tasks, and at the end of the day, as their mind will have wandered to what needs to get done when they get home.

 

2) Get your colors right

Even if it doesn’t make much sense to you, dressing in shirts and ties that take on specific colors will portray you in ways that will subconsciously influence the decisions of those put in charge of hiring new employees.

According to CareerBuilder, orange is the worst color to pick, as it paints you as being unprofessional. On the other hand, black makes you out to be a leader, while those donning blue are considered to be excellent team players.

Those interviewing for analytical positions will want to wear gray, while creatives will do well picking an outfit where green, purple, or yellow is the dominant color.

 

3) Mind your body language

How you present your body matters just as much as the answers you give in an interview. Those wanting to be taken seriously will want to turn up their palms as it indicates sincerity, while those wanting to add an oomph of confidence to their points will want to push their fingertips together.

Avoid doing things like folding your arms, which indicates impatience, and hand gestures, which do nothing but distract from the point you are trying to make.

 

4) Find common ground with your interviewer and emphasize it

At the end of the day, people want to work with people that are similar to themselves. As vapid as that seems, this moral judgment doesn’t make this fact any less true.

Find some common ground between the person who is about to interview you, or with the company with which we are trying to get a position. This way, they’ll see themselves in you, making it easier to get an offer.

How professional photography can help your business

With more eyeballs moving to the internet in the past decade, the importance of having excellent imagery on one’s web portal has magnified considerably.

If there is anything that grabs the attention of consumers these days, it is sharp, expertly-crafted photographs.

Site owners that have these at the top of their posts and sales pages retain users, while those with lackluster pics lose them.

Still skeptical whether there is any use in your business for expert photos? John Kleinheinz found a new life after managing hedge funds by snapping PR photography for businesses throughout Texas.

Barely finding time for what used to be a hobby before 2012, he was able to hone his skills to the point where established companies were willing to pay him premium rates for images that would improve their perception in the marketplace.

Clearly, if there were low demand for this service, there is no way John would have made the headway he has in this business.

If you are still on the fence with regards to whether this is for you, this article will reinforce how professional photography can help your business.

 

1) They will make your enterprise look more competent

In almost every sector, the business that appears to have their ducks in a row will have the first and best chance of acquiring customers. In 2017, the first point of contact for prospective clients is your website – will it wow them?

First impressions matter more than ever, and a killer way to make this impact as memorable as possible is to fill your site with high-quality, professionally taken images.

This will cement the legitimate perception that you are an enterprise that knows exactly what they are doing, giving you an unbeatable advantage straight out of the gate.

 

2) They will help you stick out from your competition

Don’t misread us – your clients will have images on their website too, but the ones you choose to put up on yours will establish your identity.

This is the perfect opportunity to set yourselves apart from them, allowing you to demonstrate who you serve best, and why you are the right company for the job.

While copywriting can make a case for your business, it is images that will make an imprint in the mind of a customer that will give you an advantage over competitors who use tired old cliché stock photos when they make their pitch.

 

3) They will communicate benefits of your products better

Words can get a concept across in a masterful way when they are used properly, but when they are paired with an image, they can create a mental movie in the minds of customers that are so powerful, they can compel them to make a purchase on the spot.

Certainly, this is something that is essential on e-commerce B2C platforms, but when it comes to B2B sites, there are still some that use sub-par pictures to make their case.

By contracting a professional photographer to snap photos that capture the essence of what you have to offer the marketplace, you’ll be giving your sales efforts the tremendous shot of adrenaline you’ll need to boost your revenues to the next level.

 

 

What are the common threads behind successful startups?

These days, people are abandoning the idea of a 40-year career with a single company. Instead, they are opting to create their own future through the crafting of a product or the delivery of a service.

However, it isn’t obvious what one should do to succeed when one is just starting out, so many model those who are already successful, or they ask them what they think of their idea.

John Bradberry Charlotte NC has had a ton of experience over the years providing valuable advice to startup businesses, so if you were lucky enough to meet with him, you’d be in good shape.

If you can’t, this article will at least a little light on what you can do to end up in the Winner’s Circle some day.

 

1) They embrace diversity

It can be hard to believe, but in 2017, some quarters of society still argue that certain genders are better suited to certain jobs and businesses than others.

However, the statistics don’t support this theory, as it has been shown that startups that make room at the table for women return 63% more on investments made by VC firms then startups staffed by a disproportionate amount of men.

 

2) They harness the enthusiasm of youth

Starting up a business is an endeavor that takes a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and speed. It also requires fresh thinking, which is a quality supplied in copious amounts by younger generations.

These assertions are backed up by the facts, as venture capital firms report they get 30% more out of their investments when the average age of a firm is beneath the age of 25. It turns out the kids were alright, after all!

 

3) They recruit talent from the best companies

In order to drive growth and outflank their competition, startups need to be constantly on the outlook for talent that will skyrocket growth in their space.

When a firm manages to coax a thought leader, tech wizard, or a productivity mensch from a big time company like Google or Microsoft, they tend to produce fantastic results for them, as they generally only hire the best of the best.

When this happens, the ROI of these startups jump by 160%, compared to companies which are grinding along without elite talent.

 

4) They are headed up by serial entrepreneurs

When you have headed up a company before, you learn lessons whether succeed or fail. As a result, startups headed by founders who have prior experience as an entrepreneur generate a 50% better return on investment compared to firms headed up by a rookie CEO.

 

5) Their future success is not location dependent

Many founders assume that if they want to be successful, they need to move to Silicon Valley, New York, or wherever they can have access to talent and networking opportunities.

This has been proven false for the most part, as studies have shown that firms from Nebraska or Texas do just as well as those located in well-known startup hubs.

 

 

Simple rules for building homes safely

Despite predictions of permanent doom a decade earlier, the home-building industry has roared back to life after spending several years in purgatory during the Great Recession.

The recent boom in prices has stimulated new construction projects, and we are getting close to getting back to the building frenzy that defined much of the mid 2000’s.

Unfortunately, this means there has been an upswing in the number of contractors with a lax attitude towards health and safety.

Caring only about making a lot of money as quickly as possible, they cut corners when it comes to protecting their workers, putting them at risk of being sued, should something go wrong.

David J Turlington has a great deal of experience in construction law, and he has represented many contractors who have ended up running into problems with injuries in the workplace.

While he has been able to get many of his clients off the hook, these situations could had been avoided if these contractors had simply followed a number of common sense rules to keep their workplaces safe.

Below, we’ll discuss regulations that work to protect employees from ending up in dangerous situations.
1) Wear PPE

 

Next to providing WHMIS training and a general safety overview of a job site, mandating and enforcing the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) is one of the best ways to protect workers from injury.

Hard hats protect from falling wrenches. Harnesses protect roofers from breaking their back in a dramatic fall. Visors protect the eyes of workers using air chippers on concrete, and grinders on metal surfaces. Steel-toed shoes protect one’s toes from being crushed by a dropped metal beam.

While you can’t just give them a bunch of safety gear and call it a day, supplying/mandating the use of PPE will go a long way to drastically cutting the number of injuries that occur on site.

 

2) Report all injuries/incidents

 

Afraid of losing their job, many workers will attempt to hide an injury until they can’t ignore it any longer.

Don’t create a culture of fear on your work sites – implore workers to report accidents so that they can get the help they need.

It will also protect you legally and quickly highlight safety deficiencies, the latter of which will help protect other workers from suffering the same fate as their laid-up colleague.

 

3) Properly train workers in the use of tools

 

Have a new trainee or apprentice in your midst? Don’t tell them to ‘figure it out’ when it comes to using new tools.

By taking the time to show them how an unfamiliar device should be used, you’ll reduce the chance of a dangerous incident, and you will reduce waste (if they forget to measure twice, cut once with a skill saw, you’ll waste tons of baseboard and other construction materials).

 

4) Seek shelter when severe weather hits

 

When you get in a flow, it can be hard to stop working. However, when thunder rumbles overhead and sky starts to get dark, it’s time to get inside.

When weather gets extremely cold, you may want to move your workforce to jobs inside a structure instead of forging ahead with roofing or installing siding.

It’s better to have a slower day than to have to deal with a frostbitten or electrocuted team member.

 

 

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