5 Steps To Leverage Those AdWords Bid Simulations For Maximum Return

Though the basic concepts have remained the same, a lot has changed since Hal Varian released his bidding tutorial back in 2009 (video autoplay), especially with enhanced campaigns and those new mobile and location bid modifiers. One such change is that keyword-level simulations are now available…

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By cranbak on April 18, 2014 | Webmaster | A comment?
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Prepare Your PPC Plans For The Search Engines’ Inevitable Pivots

Last week, Google announced some panic-inducing security enhancements, essentially removing search queries in referring URLs for PPC clicks. Plenty has already been written about this topic and, without getting into it too much, I think it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup. Larry Kim summed it…

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Schema For User Actions Now Available

Schema.org announced a new form of Schema they have introduced with support from Google, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo and Yandex named Actions. Schema Actions are a way to communicate via markup on your web page the actions they enable and how these actions can be invoked. Technically, Schema.org…

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Tech Time Warp of the Week: Watch Sergey Brin Face His Impostors on National … – Wired

Tech Time Warp of the Week: Watch Sergey Brin Face His Impostors on National
Who's your webmaster? And our favorite: Does a search engine need to be physically plugged into your computer to work? These are but a few of the hilarious questions a baby-faced Sergey Brin and two Brin impersonators had to answer on the short-lived

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Talk About It: A Simple Take on the Stigma of Mental Illness

“We must stop criminalizing mental illness. It’s a national tragedy and scandal that the L.A. County Jail is the biggest psychiatric facility in the United States.”

— Elyn Saks

 Saks knows of which she speaks.

She is Associate Dean and Orrin B. Evans professor of law, psychology, and psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the University of Southern California Gould Law School, an expert in mental health law and a Mac­Arthur Foundation Fellowship winner. Saks lives with schizophrenia and has written about her experience with the illness in her award-winning best-selling autobiography, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness. She is also a cancer survivor.

Saks said, in a New York Times interview in 2011, “there’s a tremendous need to implode the myths of mental illness, to put a face on it, to show people that a diagnosis does not have to lead to a painful and oblique life.”

But, there are those who argue, as difficult as that can be to comprehend in the current dialogue, that stigmatization has its place in accepting and treating mental illness.

Especially when one considers that it’s most accepted among clinicians and the mental health community that one in four of us have suffered from or continue to suffer from a form of mental illness — be it depression, or more serious, debilitating types of mental health challenges.

Image courtesy of (David Castillo Dominici) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of (David Castillo Dominici) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But, while most of us think it vile and unthinkable to stigmatize those with mental health issues, Towson University professor Richard E. Vatz wrote in the Baltimore Sun, that there are those who believe there are indeed cases for stigmatization. In making the argument, he cites one scholarly work as it refers to those in addiction treatment.

“Psychiatrist Sally Satel wrote less than a decade ago, in a piece titled ‘In Praise of Stigma’ in the work Addiction Treatment: Science and Policy for the Twenty-first Century” (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) that the issue is ‘whether addicts’ behavior can be influenced by its consequences (i.e., is voluntary). The answer is that it can.’ She believes that addictive behavior should be stigmatized, but not the seeking of help or the treatment process.”

Vatz concluded there will be cases where stigmatization is useful:

“The answer as to whether mental illness should be stigmatized is probably: “yes, in some cases; no in others.” Wherein mental problems are caused neurologically, brain disease should be viewed as all other diseases, but wherein problems are caused by individual choice, as in drug usage, people should be stigmatized to discourage their behavior.”

Of course, that’s a narrow take on the circumstances of stigmatization as it applies to mental illness.

In an October, 2004, paper presented in the journal American Psychologist, Patrick Corrigan of the University of Chicago found the very stigmatization of mental illness impedes those who are suffering from any form of mental disease impedes the treatment.

In essence, Corrigan concluded, quite plainly, that many who are mentally ill just avoid treatment or mental health services because of stigma: “namely to avoid the label of mental illness and the harm it brings… Stigma yields two kinds of harm that may impede treatment participation: It diminishes self-esteem and robs people of social opportunities.”

In fact, the previous presidential administration made strides in the area of addressing the problem as far back as 2003, Corrigan wrote.

Image courtesy of (stockimages) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of (stockimages) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Advocacy and government groups have strongly endorsed resolving the stigma of mental illness as a way to improve service use. The report of President Bush’s New Freedom Commission highlighted anti-stigma programs as a primary goal to improve the mental health system. A better understanding of the problem of stigma is needed to inform the development of these anti-stigma programs… Psychologists who are able to embrace this research agenda will help advocates to better tackle the stigma problem and will significantly advance treatment use in turn.”

(“How Stigma Interferes with Mental Health Care.” October 2004, The American Psychologist. The American Psychological Association.)

It’s easier said than done, it seems. While there have been extensive discussions, and scholarly dissertations on the effects of stigmatization and marginalization of those suffering from mental illness, no one seems to have a societal cure for the underlying answer to the problem.

At the 2013 TEDxMet conference (TED.com), writer Andrew Solomon presented a moving talk on his own personal battle with depression and underscores the simple truth about the stigma of mental illness — talking about it can bring about understanding and acceptance, leading to help and treatment.

“People still think that it’s shameful if they have a mental illness,” Solomon told the TEDxMet conference. “They think it shows personal weakness. They think it shows a failing. If it’s their children who have mental illness, they think it reflects their failure as parents.”

It’s not always easy to coax someone with highly personal – and let’s face it, often painful – experiences with mental issues to speak about them openly. But, those who’ve spoken cogently on the subject, as Solomon did at the 2013 TEDxMet conference, believe the dialogue has to begin somewhere for it to be effective.

Image courtesy of (David Castillo Dominici) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of (David Castillo Dominici) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“The most moving letter I ever received in a way was one that was only a sentence long, and it came from someone who didn’t sign his name. He just wrote me a postcard and said, ‘I was going to kill myself, but I read your book and changed my mind.’ And really, I thought, okay, if nobody else ever reads anything I’ve written, I’ve done some good in the world. It’s very important just to keep writing about these things, because I think there’s a trickle-down effect, and that the vocabulary that goes into serious books actually makes its way into the common experience — at least a little bit of it does — and makes it easier to talk about all of these things.”

In Canada, this month, six-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed skating Clara Hughes, is pedaling a bicycle across the broad expanse of the country to do just that – open the dialogue.

“Clara’s Big Ride” is rolling across Canada to promote her message of “working together to create a stigma-free Canada.”

Hughes herself battled depression before becoming an Olympic-caliber athlete and said she has been fortunate in her life to have support where others do not.

“I actually had the help, I had the support — I didn’t lose my job, I didn’t lose my spot in my sport on my national team,” she said in an address this week to a mental health fundraising dinner in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Everybody around me rallied to bring me back, to make me stronger (and) to have me win again for my country. I don’t think that’s the case for the woman that works at the hospital, or the teacher at the school or the mother who’s at home alone with postpartum depression,” said Hughes. “I know it’s not the case, because people tell me their stories.”

Personal stories. Dialogue. Discussion.

It may not be the stuff that moves governments to act, but it is the only universally accepted means by which to correct the demonization, the stigmatization of those with mental health challenges.

Seems simple, doesn’t it? Such a simple thing as talking about it, but as the experts point out, it all starts at home, in our own neighborhoods, in our own places of work and in our own families.

Hey, it’s a start.

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Talk About It: A Simple Take on the Stigma of Mental Illness


Chris Malette is a retired newspaper journalist with 35 years of experience as a reporter and city editor. Over his career, Malette covered municipal and federal politics, military, health and court beats. He has reported from Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti and covered relief efforts in Honduras in the wake of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. He now works for SPN News as an editorial columnist.

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The Four Keys To Establish Trust In Your Business Online (And Drive Profit Growth!)

As we’re all aware, people do business with people they trust. But trust can be a difficult thing to achieve online. Communication is generally through computer screens rather than face-to-face. This creates a depersonalized world for your potential customers that can lead to a general sense of distrust and skepticism.

So how do you break through these barriers and encourage prospects who come across you online to both trust and do business with you?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that establishing a relationship with your potential customer and building trust with them takes time. Many online novices believe their profits will come from people who visit their website for the first time and immediately make a purchase. They then end up disappointed to find their sales are often few and far between.

Instead, sales result from building a relationship with visitors, and building trust with them so they feel comfortable in making a purchase.

What strategies can we use to help build that trust and establish a relationship with our potential customers?

1. Show You’re Real

People want to see there’s a real person, or real people, behind the business. Don’t be afraid of using your photo on your website(s), and in relation to other content you have online. They just want to see you’re real, just like them.

Associate your portrait photo with your e-mail address at ‘gravatar.com’ (www.gravatar.com) — many sites including WordPress blogs can then show your photo when you leave comments or add other content.

If you use Gmail, get set up with Google+ and upload your picture so your photo is associated with your e-mails.

If you have employees, have an area on your site where you introduce them or show them in action. It all helps reduce the barriers between you and your prospects.

2. Show Other Customers Trust You

Social proof is a huge trust builder.

When you get positive comments from customers and others who interract with your business, get their permission to use them as testimonials on your website and in other sales materials. Potential customers love to find out about the experience other customers have had with you. Add credibility by providing their name, location, and if possible their photograph along with their comments.

Other ways include building your presence on social media and effectively interacting with people there, responding to comments on your blog, and so on.

You can also encourage referrals by either providing some incentive for people to refer others to your business, or simply asking satisfied customers if they could refer others to you who they think might be suitable. Referrals have huge power because they can immediately build trust in your business that would otherwise take far longer to establish.

3. Keep Communicating

Once a potential customer comes into contact with your business, keep communicating with them in order to both build a relationship with them, and keep your business front of mind for them.

Build an e-mail list of visitors to your site who are not ready to purchase yet, and then follow up with them through e-mail. Send emails with information they will find useful, illustrate how they would benefit from doing business with you, and build a sense of community with them. Keep encouraging them back to your website so they build a sense of familiarity and trust over time — however good your business, for many customers this can take some time to establish.

Use social media to further interact and communicate with prospects.

However you communicate, over time they will get to know you and your business, and you will be establishing trust with them in your business.

4. Establish Your Authority

Show potential customers that you have knowledge and expertise in your niche by providing information they will find valuable. You can do this via your e-mail communications, through social media, through your blog posts, guest posting opportunities, through content you syndicate to other websites, and so on. Over time this also serves to attract your target market to your business — they will be looking for just the sort of information you are creating.

This is a great way establish your authority and quickly build trust with potential customers. For example, someone clicking through to your site from content you have written is far more likely to opt in to your email list than someone who is clicking through from paid advertising.

That’s because reading content you have written is a great trust builder, and you immediately establish trust and credibility with them.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

The Four Keys To Establish Trust In Your Business Online (And Drive Profit Growth!)


Aricle by Steve Shaw. Own a blog? Need more people reading your content? More visibility? Did you know guest posting is one of the most effective online marketing strategies you can use … but it can be hard work (more writing for one!). The good news is there’s now a Free WordPress plugin that gives you all the benefits of guest posting but without the usual hassle and hard work. Find out more at


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Should You Have Copy on Your Demo/Download Pages?

I recently saw a post on the Which Test Won blog that caught my attention. The e-mail announcing the test results had a subject line that read:

How Much Content Does Your Page Need to Convert

The content of the e-mail said this:

Finding the perfect balance of content is hard; sometimes too much content is overwhelming and too little content leaves the prospect confused.

This week we have a radical clean vs. clutter test, where one variation stripped out all of the content except the form. Can you guess which version won?

To read the remainder of Karon’s article, please click here.

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Should You Have Copy on Your Demo/Download Pages?


You’ll find Karon Thackston staying true to her marketing DNA as owner of Marketing Words Copywriting Agency, publisher of the Step-by-Step Copywriting Course and conductor of on-site corporate copywriting training.

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How Different Tablet Users Spend Their Time

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Quick Tips on Gleaning Information about Your Competitors

In a totally made-up poll, 100 out of 100 business people confessed that they’d gladly step into James Bond’s shoes were they but given the chance. That may be comfortably outside the realm of possibility, but a milder sort of espionage may well be within your grasp, if you know a few simple steps to get yourself started.

You may not be crossing international borders or saving the world, but you’ll still be able to gain a few insights about your competitors, their strategy, and their potential weaknesses. There are a lot of ways to do this, but we’ll cover some of the most likely starting points below.

1. Start with a Search

The obvious place to start is with a simple web search for the brand you’re interested in. Right away you’ll probably get a sense of what other brands are in direct competition with them, and by extension, with you. Right away you can make certain inferences about what sort of keywords may have contributed to their rankings.

2. Get Social

During your web search, you’ll also see a number of social media networks featured rather prominently. You’ll be able to tell with minimal effort which ones are valued most highly by the brand you’re interested in. Do they have a Facebook presence? Are they sending Snaps on Snapchat? Not every brand has a presence on every social network. Discovering which ones your competitors have embraced might prove to be fairly instructive.

3. Collect Social Data

You may be surprised at the wealth of information that your competitors’ social presences can reveal to you if you know where to go. One of the most useful pieces of data you can dive into is the number of followers on each of their social pages. How many friends do they have on Facebook? How many followers on Twitter and Google+? Knowing this might actually help to sell you on the efficacy of certain social sites that you might previously have written off. For example: who knew that Google+ was so popular?

Beyond the number of fans, friends, and followers on each social network, you’ll be able to take a look at how active your competitor has been on each site, and draw some conclusions about which types of outreach efforts are having the best impact. For example: how many Tweets are your competitors sending weekly? How many posts on Facebook? More importantly: do their efforts seem to be paying off?

4. Analyze

After you’ve collected your data, you should be on the lookout for any surprises. For the most part, a strong Facebook presence will surprise nobody. What about their activities on relatively newer social sites like Instagram or Google+?

What about the posts themselves? Where do they typically send their followers with their links? Do they consistently link to their main website or their social pages? Are they consistent? Does there seem to be any correlation between the consistency (or lack thereof) of their linking practices on a particular social site versus the brand’s success on that site?

You should also make note of how many individual pages and accounts are used by your competitors. Do they have a single global Facebook page, for example, with pages for different countries or localities? Do they post with more than one account?

While the jury is still out, in some respects, on the practice of associating multiple accounts with a single brand, there might be something to be said for the idea. Different accounts might perform different customer service functions, for example. In any event, you’ll be able to judge for yourself whether your competitors’ use, or lack of, multiple social accounts is working in their favor or not.

5. Appraising Customer Engagement

To a certain extent, the marketing world has arrived at a number of more-or-less universally-accepted truths. Digging into your competitors’ social data may provide a way for you to see these truths in practice, rather than keeping them in the realm of theory.

For example: how well do your competitors’ different types of posts perform, engagement-wise? There’s a very good chance you’ll notice that posts that include photographs have a tendency to outperform posts that do not. What types of photographs are being used, though? Are they straight-up product images? Have they hijacked popular memes to get in touch with a younger crowd? You have the raw data at your disposal to figure out precisely what’s working and what’s not.

One last note on customer engagement: try to determine whether or not the most successful social media campaigns (engagement-wise) also have the largest audiences. The most valuable metric here will probably turn out to be engagement as a percentage of the total audience for a given social site. If you find that your competitors are having a significant amount of success with even modest audiences, it’s time to sit up and pay attention to exactly how they’re doing it.

Parting Thoughts

We’ve touched on a few ideas here that you may already be familiar with, particularly when it comes to which types of content prove most popular, and which social channels are worth investing in. The thing about gleaning information from your competitors is that you can see these ideas play out “in the wild,” if you will; you can watch it happen in real-time.

Seeing this information at work in the world, in a practical way, rather than a theoretical one, might prove invaluable when you’re creating your own social strategies.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Quick Tips on Gleaning Information about Your Competitors


Adrienne Erin writes twice weekly for SiteProNews about online marketing strategies that help businesses like Find a Pet Wash succeed. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work or get in touch.

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By cranbak on April 17, 2014 | Webmaster | A comment?
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MoboRobo Prevents Information Loss – Software Tranfers Phone Data to Users’ PCs

Losing vital information when switching devices is easily avoidable thanks to a new software.

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The first cross platform software, MoboRobo supports the transfer of contacts of both Android and iOS systems to a PC. The software eliminates the frustration of losing calendars, contacts, photos and other information contained in a phone when a user makes the switch to a different platform or is in the midst of upgrading their phone.

On top of that, the new software spares users’ data by enabling apps to be transferred to a device via a PC network. While a user is managing his or her phone he or she can go to MoboRobo’s built-in resource center and look for wallpaper, games and other apps.

Accessing media files is also part of the software — various tabs are created to allow for management of everything from music to photos to videos. The software gives users a quicker route to such files with a drag and drop option so management is smooth and timely.

Users who find it frustrating to navigate their phone’s system when trying to send SMS messages will be pleased to find MoboRobo also allows them to utilize their PC for chatting and messaging. The system works whether a person is talking to one person or a group.

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MoboRobo Prevents Information Loss


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.

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