It’s Super Bowl week, and while the 49ers are projected as a mid-tier contender for next year’s Lombardi Trophy hunt, let’s start the year-long countdown with a mailbag via our Twitter and Instagram channels:We keeping Kyle ’till we make it to the Super Bowl? (@g_bas26)History under the York ownership says Kyle Shanahan has only two years left to get there. His contract runs through 2022 so that may buy him more time. Of the eight coaches since the Yorks assumed control 20 years ago, only Jim …
Rowan Philp and Julian RademeyerThe South African government has launched an aggressive campaign to change the world’s perception that the country is losing the war against crime.The campaign kicked off with Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula undertaking an unprecedented trip to Britain last week to reassure jittery foreign investors that South Africa is serious about tackling crime.The visit – the first by a South African police minister – was widely hailed as a success by British investment companies. Nqakula is considering similar trips to Italy and Austria.The charm offensive also included an address to expatriate South Africans, during which Nqakula uncharacteristically acknowledged that many had left because of personal experience of violent crime.“I empathise with them,” he said. “It is clear that they have not just run away, but want to make a contribution to South Africa … They are saying that they are still available as South Africans.”His comments were in contrast to his controversial assertion earlier this year that people who “whinged” about crime should leave the country.Addressing more than two dozen investment firms, which included powerhouses such as Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan, in London, Nqakula said South Africa had a plan to tackle crime.The 20% of violent crime that made headlines – mostly daylight robberies and attacks on the “upper classes” – was being targeted with new manpower and technology, he said.Admitting that “we can’t have [peace and stability] with the current levels of crime”, Nqakula told investors that:There had been a change in management at 101 underperforming police stations in violent-crime hot spots since August last year, while a further 239 under-performing station commissioners and 317 station commanders had been replaced;15 000 new police reservists would soon increase the reserve strength to 100 000 as the core of a community policing programme; andThe police budget would increase to more than R43-billion by 2010, with the police force having 193 000 employees.Nqakula was told by one investment firm that success in dealing with crime would see South Africa rewarded with “billions” of investment dollars. A consultant also predicted that “tens of thousands” of skilled expatriates would return to South Africa.The visit by Nqakula – who was said to have been subjected to a “grilling” by the investors – was welcomed by Lord Robin Renwick, vice-chairman for investment at JP Morgan, who said it represented an “important” coup for future investment.“Usually, you have foreign ministers and finance ministers coming across and appealing for confidence in government policies, so to have an interior minister, responsible for security, speaking directly to fund managers on the issue is very rare, very smart and very welcome,” said Renwick.“What was clearly evident was that the government understands that crime is of major concern to investors, and that they are tackling the problem as an absolute priority.”Renwick said much-publicised murders, such as that of the renowned historian David Rattray, had been damaging for South Africa’s image and investment prospects.“The minister’s plan made sense; he made a very good impression.”Other investment bankers told the Sunday Times that Nqakula had salvaged confidence after a year of headline-grabbing murders.President Thabo Mbeki also addressed crime in a Freedom Day speech last week, urging all South Africans to fight it and corruption.“There is a minority in our country who have made crime their business, who terrorise our communities, robbing our people … raping women and children … using unimaginable violence on law-abiding citizens of our country,” Mbeki said at Bhisho Stadium in the Eastern Cape.He called on all South Africans “to join community police forums, to create street and area committees so that together we can effectively fight crime”.Lord Anthony St John, who hosted the Merrill Lynch meeting, told the Sunday Times that Nqakula’s plan to target “headline crimes” represented a “key emphasis” in his message.Leslie Xingwa, advisor to Nqakula said the response of investors was considered to have been “generally positive”. The meeting with the expatriates was the “most positive” of all.Brian Hosking, chairman of the South African Business Club in London, who attended the briefing, agreed, saying Nqakula had presented a “convincing crime plan” and had “put to rest any thoughts that he was in any way anti-white or anti-expat”.“The background against which he came over here was, of course, those remarks [that crime whingers should leave] and the impression that crime was not being taken seriously enough,” said Hosking. “But a number of [expats] were listening to see if this was really his line, and it clearly wasn’t.“Look, the proof will be in the pudding, but he came across as a credible minister with a clear sense of what needs to be done.”This article was first published in the Sunday Times, 29 April 2007. Republished here with kind permission.
About once a year, I review all of my projects, initiatives, and tasks to determine what is still relevant. That description isn’t accurate enough to explain this process. The right way to say it is that I file a form of bankruptcy, admitting there is no possible way I am going to do everything I accumulated as projects, tasks, and interesting ideas over the last year.I archive Omnifocus, my task manager, and I start with a clean instance.Why BankruptcyIf you track all of your tasks as I do, you get a wonderful sense of control and certainty. No loose ends, nothing escapes. In time, however, as lists get longer and projects multiply, you reach a tipping point where you nose-dive into a sense of overwhelm. The list of projects and to-dos grows long enough that it becomes useless to you, even if you are as buttoned-up as I am when it comes to reviewing my tasks and planning your weeks.The reason for the bankruptcy is that it allows a complete and total do-over. It’s a clean start, enabling you to do the vital work of deciding what you want, and designing your life. It lets you delete all of the things you no longer wish to do or need to do. You also give yourself the time to look at the projects, initiatives, and tasks you are most excited by and reimagine them.Left UndoneThere is no way you can do everything you want to do. It’s likely that you can’t even do everything you need to do (I offer as evidence your email box that presently holds hundreds of unanswered emails and the tasks you would have liked to complete last week, but didn’t). You are always going to have things that you are not working on because something else is more important.Over time, the importance of some things degrade. Whatever the reason, if they have remained undone, maybe it’s okay that they stay that way. If you want to eliminate a sense of overwhelm, deciding to leave certain things undone releases a lot of the pressure you feel. Removing them from your view and starting over without considering the items you intend to go undone is liberation.Changing Your FiltersOver time, things change. What once made sense for you is no longer of any interest. The fact that you completed one project may eliminate the need to work on another project that you might have wanted or needed to do. You may have changed your priorities, or you may be compelled by external events to do something that wasn’t even on your radar.One way to think of this is to imagine filters. Over time, your filters either get clogged up with too many large particles, or they wear out and let everything through. At some point, you have to replace them. Your new filters can eliminate all the things that you no longer want to let through, protecting you from spending your time on things that don’t matter instead of investing it on what matters most.To-Don’t List FiltersNo doubt you have a to-do list. It might be as primitive as a legal pad you rewrite every day, or as sophisticated as a modern task manager (like Omnifocus). But I am doubtful you have a “to-don’t list,” a list that is equally—and some cases, more—important.I don’t answer all my emails every day. I scan my inbox three or four times a day for anything important enough and time-sensitive enough to require my attention. I process all emails twice a week on Wednesday and Saturdays.I also don’t take meetings that are not work-related during working hours as a way to ensure I have time for businesses and my clients. Because I don’t allow these things onto my calendar, I have a lot of early morning meetings (very early), and a few calls early on weekends (when everyone who may happen to be in my home is asleep).These filters are a set of workflow rules that prevent you from losing the time you need for your priorities and designing the life you want.Routine MaintenanceThere are other filters you can create to gain greater control. You can establish routines that eliminate many things that pop up in your life. A standing meeting with someone on your team can allow the person you need to speak with from having to call you or email you, saving those communications for an allotted time (I am big on this strategy, as it allows you to give you time for what’s significant).You can also aggregate your work, doing all the tasks in some category at one time (that’s what I do with administrative work). Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now If you don’t have a process for collecting all of your projects, initiatives, and tasks, you are always going to feel overwhelmed. You are also going to forget many things you need to do.If you don’t plan your weeks using some hierarchy of values that allow you to determine what you should give yourself over to, you will end up wasting time.If you don’t look at all of the things on your list of projects and task lists, ruthlessly eliminating those that no longer make sense, over time, those lists become meaningless. If you haven’t done something that should have been done a long time ago and it hasn’t made a difference, maybe it doesn’t matter.
Who would have thought that a holiday that began as the commemoration of an ancient saint would become one of the biggest spending days of the year? According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend $130.97 on… Full Story,Aside from the temperamental weather, scarcity of holidays and pervasive universal cranky moods, one of the worst parts of winter is the feeling of being trapped indoors for months at a time. While bears are too busy hibernating to take… Full Story,I recently joked to friends that late last year most of the updates on my social networks involved mass food consumption (and accompanying pictures.) For the first week of the New Year, most of the updates involved or included exercise… Full Story,We are three days into the New Year and you may already be having a hard time following through with your resolutions. Financial resolutions are always popular choices but sticking to a budget and tackling your financial goals is an… Full Story,My inbox is full of questions about how to usher in the New Year while getting the most bang for your buck. As with most of my Q&A columns, the following are composites of several similar questions. At Home Celebration… Full Story,You’ve made your list and you’ve checked it twice. You’ve even added it to your Google calendar and synced with your extended family members. You are probably so efficient that every gift on your holiday list is not only accounted… Full Story,It’s December and you know what that means: The frenzy of the gift-giving season has begun again. I’m a fan of gifts of experience and “two-part” gifts. The gift of an experience can harbor memories that last a lifetime. For… Full Story,One of the more interesting facts to emerge from the Black Friday shopping weekend is that a majority of us splurged on ourselves instead of others. Since many of us still face daunting gift lists, I’ve enlisted the help of… Full Story,If you’re reading this, chances are good that as much as you love the turkey, trimmings and time with family, you’re already secretly plotting the best holiday shopping plan of attack. To save you time crowded against thousands of other… Full Story,If there is one wardrobe staple that gets a lot of play every winter, it’s your coat. It doesn’t matter how well cut your pants are or how striking your sweater is, and even if you live someplace only a… Full Story
The average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Story
Protecting indigenous land rights is crucial to addressing this violence. However, agribusiness interests opposed to greater recognition of indigenous land claims have gained political traction. Since 2016, the National Congress has proposed or enacted a range of measures designed to inhibit the demarcation process, while easing environmental and social protections around licensing for large economic projects. Demarcation has effectively ground to a halt. This is particularly disappointing because, historically, Brazil was a regional leader in terms of the indigenous land rights. Its Constitution was one of the earliest to recognize indigenous rights and remains one of the most progressive.The last few months have seen sustained legal and political attacks on indigenous rights:In January, a regulatory change (Ministry of Justice Ministerial Order 80/2017) altered the process for demarcating indigenous lands to introduce a new technical group to advise on the process. Some indigenous activists have expressed concern that this introduces outsiders without expertise in indigenous affairs and undermines the role of the indigenous agency, known as FUNAI, in the process.A Decree issued in March (Decree 9010/2017) cut 87 out of the total 770 primary managerial positions at FUNAI. The cuts particularly affected staff dealing with the demarcation of indigenous land and environmental licensing for infrastructure projects.FUNAI’s budget has been cut by more than 40 percent this year, necessitating office closures and further slowing demarcations.Antonio Costa, the head of FUNAI, was dismissed in May, apparently due to his resistance to funding cuts to the indigenous agency and refusal to hire people without experience in indigenous affairs. Costa’s replacement, the fourth FUNAI president in the course of one year, is an army general who already faces opposition among indigenous activists.Congress is also considering several concerning bills and has continued to move forward on restricting indigenous land rights during the political crisis:A proposed constitutional amendment (PEC 215/2000), would shift the demarcation process to Congress instead of an administrative process. Because Congress is currently controlled by a political bloc opposed to indigenous demarcations, this would likely halt the process.Two other proposed bills proposed (Draft Bills 1216/2015 and 1218/2015) would invalidate the current regulations governing demarcation, effectively stall any further demarcation, allow for broad revision to past demarcations, and allow for mining or other projects without consent where justified as in the public interest.A proposal to allow broad loosening of environmental licensing requirements poses additional risks to indigenous communities who are concerned about infrastructure, mining or other large-scale development activities on their lands.In May, a congressional panel recommended dismantling FUNAI and called for indictments against 67 persons (including FUNAI employees, anthropologists and 30 indigenous people) for supporting allegedly fraudulent indigenous land claims. The report also called for Brazil to reject certain international legal standards which protect the rights of indigenous persons.As it stands, FUNAI is unable to carry out crucial responsibilities and indigenous peoples are unable to proceed with demarcation applications. The proposed legislation would result in long-term insecurity for indigenous persons, result in the revision of demarcations that have already been completed and undermine the right of indigenous persons to free, prior and informed consent of development projects on their land. Brazil needs to find practical ways to prevent and solve land conflicts, but this cannot occur without addressing the underlying problem of tenure insecurity for indigenous persons. It is accordingly crucial that the current political crisis does not become a convenient cover for a further erosion of indigenous land rights. Brazil is in the midst of a massive corruption scandal, which has implicated the current president, four former presidents, at least 50 members of Congress and thousands of politicians in ongoing bribery investigations. The scandal, coming just a year after the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff, furthers a crisis in which hardly any political leadership remains untouched by corruption allegations.The resulting political environment has mixed implications for indigenous peoples. Positively, the investigation has highlighted corruption in government and in the agribusiness, extractive and infrastructure construction sectors where transparency is important for indigenous rights. But in the short term, attacks on indigenous rights appear to be accelerating. There is a real risk that amidst the political distractions, the National Congress will enact legislation which has serious long-term consequences for indigenous land rights.This is something indigenous communities can ill-afford. Rural land conflicts are increasingly violent and have already claimed 37 lives since January. In April, ranchers attacked an indigenous settlement with machetes, hospitalizing 13 people. This continues a deadly trend: between 2003 and 2015, nearly 900 indigenous people were murdered in Brazil.A key driver of this violence is land tenure insecurity for indigenous peoples, who face delays of years or decades in formalizing legal rights to their land, via a process known as demarcation. Stalled demarcations and evictions of indigenous persons can result in land conflict or violence. In the meantime, farmers may buy the land in good faith, not realizing it is indigenous land, creating subsequent conflicts.Indigenous woman at protest in April 2017. Flickr/Mídia NINJA
“Unlike the last presidential election, when climate change was basically nowhere, will we see it being pretty central?” Steer asked. “This time we believe that’s very likely indeed.”For more information, watch the recording of WRI’s Stories to Watch 2019 event. Yet this shared micromobility revolution has a downside: Some bikes and scooters are low quality, leading to breakdowns and waste, while others pile up on sidewalks, crowding out pedestrians. There are also safety concerns.So will shared scooters and bikes be a fad or a fixture in urban landscapes?Shared scooters in Moscow, Russia. Photo by MaxPixel Decisions made this year could help ensure it’s the latter. Ford, Uber, Lyft and General Motors are already entering the micromobility space. Will other companies join? Watch how cities regulate shared bikes and scooters, including when it comes to permits, pricing and safety. The forthcoming New Urban Mobility Alliance (NUMO) can help provide guidance. The big question is whether urban leaders and planners will focus more on designing streets to favor people and micromobility over cars.7. Is U.S. climate action at a turning point?The Trump administration has tried to roll back more than 70 environmental safeguards, and counting. But U.S. climate action isn’t dead. In fact, states, cities and businesses are pushing forward, expanding renewable energy targets and carbon pricing.The 2018 midterm elections ushered in a new batch of climate leaders, including 10 new governors with clean energy plans and more members of Congress who support climate action. The Green New Deal is injecting more enthusiasm into the climate debate than has been seen in recent years. Global emissions rose in 2017 and 2018, after a three-year plateau.Two key moments will show how these changes will affect international climate action: at the UN climate summit in September, will national leaders indicate they will step up with ambitious climate commitments? Will they increase funding for the Green Climate Fund, which invests in low-emission and climate-resilient development, during its replenishment period in October? And will businesses outpace governments on bold climate action?2. Will climate adaptation rise on the global agenda?The impacts of climate change have never been clearer or more threatening. The number of extreme climate-related disasters, like droughts and floods, has doubled since the 1990s. More than 150 million more people are exposed to heat-related health risks today than in 2000.The number of extreme climate-related disasters like droughts and floods has doubled since the 1990s. Photo by NPS Climate Change/Flickr There are very early signs of an industry beginning to address these challenges, with considerable growth in clothing reuse and rental companies like Rent the Runway and The RealReal. Manufacturers are experimenting with more sustainable fabrics like lab-grown leather and fruit-based fibers. Will these new business models be a lasting trend or a passing fad?Later this year, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition will launch a reporting platform where companies can share information on their sustainability. The coalition aims to eventually provide performance scores for brands, products and factories. Also this year, the Science-Based Targets initiative will release guidance for apparel and footwear, which can help companies set emissions-reduction targets in line with the latest climate science.4. Will commodity companies follow through on their commitments to curb deforestation?Despite commitments from nearly 500 multinational companies to reduce deforestation in supply chains by 2020, 2017 saw the second-highest amount of tree cover loss since 2001, after 2016. (2018 numbers won’t be available until later this year.) Commodities like timber, soy, palm oil and beef are largely responsible. “We are in a crisis situation, and it’s also a human problem,” Steer said. “More than 200 environmental defenders lost their lives last year.” Yet there’s a lack of leadership, metrics and finance to help people adapt to the results of a changing climate. “Adaptation has been the poor sister of mitigation,” Steer said.That could change this year. The World Bank announced that half of its climate investments will now go toward adaptation. A new Global Commission on Adaptation, led by Kristalina Georgieva, Ban Ki-moon and Bill Gates, was launched in October 2018 and aims to raise the profile of adaptation and accelerate action around the world. The Commission, convened by 17 countries, will release a flagship research report in September along with several action tracks to address specific adaptation challenges.3. Will “fast fashion” slow down?Consumers are buying 60 percent more clothes today than they did in 2000, and one garbage truck of discarded clothing is burned or sent to a landfill every second of every day. The social and environmental impacts of “fast fashion” are impossible to ignore. For example: One cotton t-shirt requires 2,700 liters (more than 700 gallons) of water to produce, an amount that would provide drinking water for the average person for two-and-a-half years. This year will be key for evaluating whether China is serious about making the mammoth undertaking more environmentally sustainable. A major 2019 forum is a good moment for crafting sustainability guidelines for the initiative’s projects. Other signs of progress will be whether China ramps up renewable energy investments abroad, as it has already done domestically, and whether countries’ climate plans begin informing Belt and Road investments. 6. Micromobility: A fad, or the future?Shared bikes and scooters are taking off in cities around the world. Case in point: Bird, an electric scooter rental company, is the fastest startup ever to reach “unicorn status,” a $1 billion valuation. Watch for new carbon pricing initiatives, additional states joining the 29 that already have clean energy plans, and approaches by states and businesses to tackle emissions from transportation, the country’s largest-emitting sector. Will Congress support carbon pricing, release a new infrastructure deal, or provide more funding for clean technologies? And what stance will 2020 presidential hopefuls take on climate? One hundred years ago, 1919 was a really big year: Countries signed the Treaty of Versailles to end World War I, Mahatma Gandhi began his nonviolent resistance against British rule, the Grand Canyon became a national park. And on a lighter note, pop-up toasters entered kitchens for the first time!A century later, 2019 shows signs of being another big year—and a precarious one, as WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer explained at the Institute’s annual Stories to Watch presentation on January 9 in Washington.The following seven stories are the ones to watch this year when it comes to the future of environment and international development:1. Will geopolitics stymie international climate action?Political shakeups in several major countries make the future of international climate action uncertain. Brazil’s government swung far right in 2018 with the election of President Jair Bolsonaro, while Mexico moved left with new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Looking ahead to 2019, voters in India and Indonesia will cast ballots while China faces the challenge of an economic slowdown. 5. Will the Belt and Road Initiative support green growth?China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a major global development endeavor, involving the construction of roads, ports and other infrastructure in more than 100 countries. Yet while Chinese leaders advocate “eco-environment protection” in all aspects of the Belt and Road, research shows that most of the initiative’s energy investments currently favor fossil fuels over renewable energy. Will companies that set 2020 targets persevere? And will more governments engage and support these efforts?Watch for an anti-deforestation roadmap from the European Commission; whether Indonesia continues to slow its deforestation; and whether President Bolsonaro opens the Amazon to commodity development. Look for public-private collaboration [AF1] at the Tropical Forest Alliance Assembly in May and whether growing attention to biodiversity adds pressure.
Technical SEO We all learned a lot after this year’s Google Panda updates. Some site owners felt vindicated by finally seeing their efforts at legitimate SEO paying off. Others were punished severely in the SERPs for grey and black hat tactics. While some of the vanquished were marketing professionals deeply entrenched in the ins and outs of SEO, unfortunately, many of them were people who turned their site over to an agency for management, or people who just plain didn’t know any better.So what’s the glass half full perspective on all of this? Well, Google Panda is kind of forcing site owners and managers to be, well, good marketers. With the help of SEOMoz’s algorithm timeline and Kuno Creative’s fantastic cartoons, let’s look back at the year’s Google Panda updates and see how we can leverage them to be better marketers.January-February 2011: Google Punishes JC Penney and Overstock.com for Shady Link PracticesIn the beginning of the year, JC Penney and Overstock saw dramatic falls from page one of the SERPs when Google punished them for getting links to product pages from irrelevant sites. The quality of an inbound link in Google’s algorithm became based on relevancy and site authority.How marketers can leverage it: If it’s easier for you to find time in the day than dollars in your budget, you’ll get tons of leverage out of this algorithm update. Instead of buying coveted inbound links, you can get them by maintaining a quality site, upping the frequency with which you generate interesting content, and creating a solid distribution network. Marketers willing to put the time into doing this consistently will see more qualified visitors and enjoy a wider social reach because of their affiliation with other relevant sites.February, 2011: Panda Cracks Down on Content FarmsGoogle didn’t rest long, emerging with the first official Panda update in February that targeted sites with content that was spammy, low quality, and littered with ads. This update affected a whopping 12% of searches.How marketers can leverage it: Old school marketers should have fun with this update. Marketing is about writing for people again, not at them. Instead of creating spammy, keyword dense content, you get to do market research, talk to users on social networks, and craft personas. Marketers and site owners can leverage this update by finding out what their audience wants to read, and addressing those issues in a helpful way. Power to the people!March, 2011: Google Launches +1 and Incorporates Social Sharing Into the AlgorithmMore changes continued to roll out, and in March, Google’s algorithm started to consider social sharing more heavily than it did in the past. This obviously coincided with their development of the +1 button, Google’s attempt to get back into the social world.How marketers can leverage it: Marketers that have a great social media presence or are trying to make the case for one can use this algorithm update to justify social media for marketing. Marketers who are new to the social media game can also start on an even playing field with Google+ Business Pages, because they’re brand spanking new! If you don’t know where to start, the best way to make social media work for you is to start by distributing your content there. Then add social sharing buttons on your blog, in your emails, and on your site’s homepage to start building a follower base of people with whom you can engage and turn into new prospects and evangelists.August, 2011: Google Displays Expanded Site LinksUsed primarily for branded search, Google launched expanded site links to help users pinpoint what they’re looking for on a site despite a vague search phrase. If a user enters HubSpot, for example, they then see the homepage followed by six links to pages on HubSpot.com that predict what the user might want to see.How marketers can leverage it: You can leverage this update by nailing down your value proposition, and finding a way to convey it in just 30-35 characters of space. By making the benefits of each page crystal clear, you’ll help searchers figure out what they were looking for when they typed in your name. Once they click on one of those links, be sure to turn those visitors into leads with a compelling offer. By optimizing the expanded site links and the pages they lead to, you’ll get more visibility for and conversions on those important pages that you want people to visit.October, 2011: Google Begins Encrypting Search QueriesFor users logged in while performing a Google search, search referral data is no longer passed to the destination site that the user clicks. In other words, site owners can’t tell what keywords someone searched to get to their website if the searcher was logged in to Google.How marketers can leverage it (can they?): Not all of the Google’s algorithm updates have helped marketers. As a result of this algorithm update, HubSpot has seen 13% of our overall search engine traffic come through without keyword information; that number averages to 11.36% across the HubSpot customer base, though some sites have been hit worse. Aside from advising marketers to be aware of why their organic search data has changed, we’re still trying to figure out how to adjust to the SSL encryption. When we figure it out, you can be sure we’ll let you know.November, 2011: Google’s Algorithm Now Rewards Freshness of Content, Impacting 35% of Search QueriesMost recently, Google’s algorithm has been updated to reward fresh and timely content, impacting a whopping 35% of searches.How marketers can leverage it: When a change occurs, people want to know a.) what it is, and b.) how it will affect them. Now, marketers are rewarded in the SERPs for staying on top of news and being the first to pontificate. Leverage the power of first response by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Not only will your site and brand reap the benefits, but your network will also.One of the best parts of the Panda updates is that Google has essentially crowdsourced some important components of its algorithm; the best results require data based on the opinions of the masses. By recognizing the limitations of an algorithm to deduce something as subjective as quality, they’ve tapped into the human component of web surfing to do their jobs better, forcing marketers and site owners to remain accountable to visitors.Did Google Panda affect your site? Did it change the way you approach SEO?Image Credit: Kuno Creative Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 18, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Topics: 25 Star Players Coming to #INBOUND13 from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareHave you gotten your INBOUND tickets yet? There’s still time to join thousands of marketers and the industry’s best minds for a few days of learning and fun in Boston! Grab your tickets here. By now you may have heard of this conference we’re having called INBOUND. Ya know, the one with over 140 sessions led by talented speakers, and a bunch of other hidden gems we spilled the beans on last Friday.We told you about our keynoters Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington, Nate Silver, and Scott Harrison. But we also wanted to let you know about the 100+ other speakers we have that we’re really excited about!With only a week left until INBOUND kicks off, we thought it was appropriate to introduce you to some of our star players. Here are just 25 of the 100+ amazing people in our speaker line-up this year.And if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, may I invite you to mosey on over to the INBOUND site? I hope to see you there next week! Conferences Originally published Aug 12, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack