Posts tagged Here’s
Here's how to hit the sweet-spot where ORM and SEO meet
Never try to do anything black hat SEO related. Doing it can have a negative effect on your online reputation so try and avoid this at all costs. Black hat SEO is a couple of “under the table” SEO methods to gain quick rankings on the search engines.
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WordPress announced the release of version 4.1 of it’s software today, which is now available to either download or update directly from your WordPress dashboard. The new version of WordPress is code named “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington. In addition to a new default theme, it comes with several new features designed to keep you focused on what matters most — creating content. In this post I’ll go over some of the new features of WordPress 4.1 and how they can benefit you. WordPress 4.1 New Features New Default Theme With every new year comes a new […]
The post WordPress 4.1 is Now Available: Here’s What’s New by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Guest author Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Council.
Some people may think it’s ludicrous to try to break into an industry where you have no specific expertise. But lack of experience doesn’t necessarily mean failure, as long as you work smart and align with the right resources—and people.
Curious about how other founders think, I asked 12 entrepreneurs from the YEC to weigh in on the debate: How important is it that your co-founder or first few hires have a lot of experience in an industry where you don’t? Their best advice is below.
You need to hire someone in the space that you’re entering in the beginning. They should be able to tell you what’s going on in the industry, what events you should be going to and have a lot of contacts to be able to push your business to the next level. Pay attention to the leaders in the space on LinkedIn, see if they have recently left their job or reach out to them to see if they are interested in leaving their current job.
Learn From Scratch
Neither of us knew anything about the hair business when we got into it, and unlike many other industries, our company is probably better for it. We learned all we could by talking to those who ran successful multi-unit enterprises and even dove deep into what a franchisee would need to know and do to open a chain outlet.
But coming from different backgrounds (marketing and finance), we wanted to put our own spin on the business, and we did it mostly by questioning the assumptions many associate with hair salons. Why close Mondays? Why all the mystery pricing? Why does drama have to come with the territory?
Since we empower our employees to manage the quality part of the haircut experience, we use our time to put butts in chairs. We work much more on our business than we do in it.
Look For Domain Expertise
Domain expertise is a must for any co-founder or startup. Starting a company is easy, it is the middle and end parts that are hard.
As a startup, time is one of your most valuable assets. Every company faces unforeseen challenges and events—how you and your company respond to these events will make the difference between success or failure. If you don’t have mastery over your industry, you will find yourself spending undue time and energy (which you don’t have) getting up to speed trying to learn the industry.
If you want to learn about an industry, don’t waste your investors’ money and time trying to start a company in an industry you know nothing about, just go back to school. It will be cheaper and much less painful.
Experience Isn’t Always Necessary, But It’s A Plus
If you happen to have a co-founder who has experience in that industry, great—if you don’t, nothing to fret over. Make sure you make connections with people from that industry that you can gain guidance from, try to establish mentor-like relationships (without forcing it) and get as much advice as you can. You don’t want to waste years on the wrong path because you were misguided or spitballing for whatever worked.
Also, in hiring people outside of your niche, it’s best to find a connector between yourself and that new hire—someone who can vouch for that person. Find someone you know in that industry and ask, “Do you know anyone who’s looking for a new position? Anyone good?,” and try to go from there.
Look for Employees With Complementary Skills
Depending on the industry, there’s a minimum amount of subject matter competence one might need (tech, for example). But in general, I’d put my money on the entrepreneur who has the passion and smarts over the experience any day. That said, a smart entrepreneur in this situation should look to recruit others who bring a diverse array of skills to help the company sustain and succeed.
Having Industry Expertise Is Critical
I’m a co-founder or board member in nine different companies. I don’t invest in companies, I invest in co-founders. My background is online advertising. I was intrigued by the idea of a personal media brand and knew I needed to consistently build mine. I met Clint Evans, whose writing experience and background with media made him a great co-founder to help me reach my goals.
You must be a true connector to recruit outside your space. You can’t fake it here. Join local or even virtual groups of lateral thinkers. Mastermind groups are also a fantastic resource. You’re exposed to divergent thinking and ideas you’d never have thought of. Synergies occur and even if none of the group members have the expertise you seek, many times somebody in the group can refer you to the expert you need.
Intellectual Curiosity Is Key
At some point in your career, you were a novice in your respective industry. Over time, you came to learn all there is to know and you can certainly do that again. While it is advantageous to recruit a co-founder who has domain expertise, it isn’t necessary.
The most important thing is having enough intellectual curiosity to quickly understand most of the ins-and-outs of the industry, so you can at least navigate your way through and develop initial traction. Otherwise, you may be paralyzed and unable to get anything done. Moving forward, as you grow your business and begin recruiting talent, your best bet is to search online communities dedicated to this niche and submit postings to job boards catering to applicant pools filled with candidates that have the skills you are looking for.
Hire Someone Eager To Learn
It could certainly be an advantage, because knowledge is key when entering new products or markets, but I think it’s even more important to hire or partner with people who are open to learning. The knowledge you need is out there, but if you surround yourself with efficient people committed and willing to learn, you can do wonders. If they don’t have the knowledge, they’ll find a way to get it.
You Need Someone With Domain Expertise
It’s very important because success is often about diving deep into that industry—this can often be an advisor as well, but make sure there is someone. For hiring, have an outside consultant (hired or friend) who is an expert in the space help you with the interview process. We had a wonderful acquaintance who helped us interview developers to make sure they had the right experience, for example.
Experts Really Help For Raising Capital
If you’re starting a business outside of your domain expertise, you absolutely have to surround yourself with people who have experience in that area. Investors typically want to see domain expertise, so that’s important for raising capital.
Even more important, as you build a business, you need to have a story behind the company that every partner, employee, investor, media contact, etc. will want to know. Why this? Why you? It’s incredibly important that the story and answers to those questions are compelling. Otherwise, you’re starting at a disadvantage.
Be A Facilitator
If you don’t know much about the space, the only thing you can be is the facilitator: the person that knows how to build the right team. At a minimum, you have to have a vision for what the product has to be and know who you need to bring on board in order to make that happen. Otherwise, you’re just a poser.
It’s very important that you find some co-founders that know the space, but you have to at least understand the space and the product you’re trying to complete at a high level. It takes a lot of intuition. However, if you’d like to bring in people from outside your realm of expertise, you should invest a lot of time in understanding their world, going to their events, figuring out what makes them tick. You have to understand anybody’s position and beliefs before you can earn their respect.
Build A Team Smarter Than You
It is essential to hire employees that are extremely experienced in your business’ industry. My theory has always been that you should build a team that is smarter than you and can be independent of you. It is equally as important, as entrepreneurs, to recognize our own weaknesses and fill those lacking areas with staff who can compensate.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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On Friday, retail’s version of The Hunger Games will commence. That’s when the holiday hordes descend on stores and websites around the country, trying to claw the very best deals on gifts for their loved ones (and themselves).
You can not only survive the weekend, but you can thrive, knowing you got the best value for your shopping dollars. Here are a few ideas that can help along the way.
Start Out With A List Of Products You Want To Buy
If you’re not sure what to get your friend, co-worker or family member, it’s possible to browse for gifts this weekend. You might even get lucky and score some great values here and there. But don’t leave your whole list up in the air. The other shoppers scavenging for supplies at stores probably won’t. You don’t want a lack of focus to leave you exhausted, desperately hunting for whatever you can get.
Do A Little Research; It Goes A Long Way
Amazon has extra lightning deals going. Best Buy offers some sneak peeks and early sales. (It also offers a price match guarantee on certain items, if you happen to spot it somewhere else for less.) So do Staples, Target and others. Even Twitter has a holiday initiative to connect stores and users.
For particular products, check out CNET’s picks for the best Black Friday tech deals, or peruse USA Today’s Black Friday Stock Lists, which covers whole-store inventory for more than 35 major retailers.
Stay On Top Of Deal Alerts And Sales
With a little savvy, some swift action and a lot of chutzpah, you won’t want for gifts and other products. And even if you do miss out on a few items, don’t fret: The season has only just just gotten started. Let the Holiday Games begin.
Know of another great deal or holiday shopping resource? Tell us in the comments section below.
Photo by Mark Hillary
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Android developers, you too can have break-out success in Google Play—and Google itself wants to show you the way. The creator of the mobile software and its related app store has put together a game plan to help app makers make it big using its resources.
Perhaps anyone can write an app and push it into the store. But the company emphasizes that those are just the first steps. After all, it’s hard to stand out amid more than 1.3 million Google Play apps. According to the company’s blog, the tome is “a detailed playbook on the best practices and tools you can use to maximize the reach, retention, and revenue of your new app.”
See also: OK, Google—Search Inside My Apps!
The main idea is to help developers understand Google’s guidelines and to offer tips for making their apps stand out, analyzing their traffic and turning a profit:
- Publishing on Google Play—using the Google Play Developer Console to distribute your app to over 1 billion Android users worldwide.
- Quality—The fundamentals of building a great app and an insight into the Google Play guidelines and policies.
- Discoverability & reach—Maximizing your app’s discoverability and reaching the widest audience possible.
- Engagement & retention—Converting installations into active users and improving user retention.
- Monetization—Monetization strategies to generate ongoing, growing revenue streams.
- Measurement with Google Analytics—Understanding your users and improving your app experience, conversions, and marketing.
- Going global—Launching your app in local markets around the world.
In truth, the secret formula—available as a PDF file, a Google Play download or even a print edition—isn’t really that much of a secret. In fact, much of the information here can be culled from other places, like its Android developer portal. But at least it’s handy having the information organized in one place.
Google offers a limited run of the print version for free to people in the U.S. and U.K. Other countries, it says, are coming soon.
The move may look like a magnanimous gesture on Google’s part, but it’s also obviously part of its general Android evangelism, as it works to attract even more development in Google’s mobile ecosystem—a platform that’s still trying to shake its reputation as a lackluster moneymaker relative to Apple’s App Store.
As it turns out, Google Play is doing a pretty good job growing up into a genuine profit center. Citigroup analyst Mark May estimated that Google Play revenue could jump from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $5.2 billion in 2017.
Although that’s still well behind the $10-billion-dollar App Store, one thing is clear: There’s money to be made in Android apps, if you know how. And Google aims to teach you.
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock
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The agenda is live, and we’re now accepting submissions to speak at Search Marketing Expo – SMX West 2015, March 3-5, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure that your pitch is on…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published by our partners at Kill Screen.
The term “walking simulator” is often falsely applied to what I recognize, and appreciate, as “exploration games.” Proteus, Gone Home, and Dear Esther are most commonly targeted with the label; it’s smeared across digital stores and forums like a graffiti tag.
Yet these aren’t video games that place the act of walking as their central conceit. That belongs to the environment, whether a gloomy British seaside or a family home in ’90s, and the narrative that steadily unravels as you pick over it all.
These are games of poetic verse, of ruffling through the debris of modern living, not of the simulated practice of walking. You can’t even see your feet as you lift them across the soil.
For more stories about videogames and culture, follow @killscreen on Twitter.
Still, “walking simulator” seems to have caught on; there’s no stopping it now. So if we’re going to use that particularly dismissive descriptor, rather than shoot it out of an airlock and into outer space like the abomination it is, let’s do it correctly by applying it to games such as Daddy Long Legs. This is a video game in which the task is to actually simulate walking and its challenge is built around that single act. Here’s another one to try on for size: Keep Walking EP.
You’ve walked down a street before; you know how that goes, so answer this question: How many people do you see paying more attention to their smartphone than where they’re going? If your answer is along the lines of “dunno,” then that probably means you’re one of them.
Don’t worry, you’re hardly alone—did you know that there are designated “smartphone walking lanes” in Chongqing, China? That’s the level we’re at with this now.
Yes, the latest evolution in walking is one of a heads down, thumbs up policy. Those who can’t refrain from indulging this reckless abandon rely upon an imagined sixth sense to dodge the incoming pedestrian traffic of commuters and dog walkers.
Perhaps they also rely on the nearby sounds of footsteps and passing shadows to guide their steps through stampeding city streets. Avoiding lamp posts and street-side trashcans is a matter of luck, presumably.
Anyway, this modern and dangerous breed of the upright walk is what Keep Walking EP simulates. The pavement is divided into four lanes that you must switch between in order to avoid being taken out by the unstoppable walkers coming at you. Some levels challenge you to get to the end of the song without being knocked over too many times, others task you with collecting cigarettes from the streets, or beating arcade games that you pass by.
The cutest design of the game is the perspective the game gives you to perform this task. You’re given a side-view portrait of your effortlessly cool, cigarette puffing, punky young self. Behind this is a sidescrolling street scene of shops, all of which have wall-sized windows lining their fronts, the reflections in which are your only way of judging what’s in front of you. It’s as if an absurd extrapolation on the self-obsessed “life is a mirror” mantra of those that have to stop at every car door mirror and shop window to check themselves out.
Keep Walking EP isn’t as bitter as that may make it seem—that’s just me coming out, the guy you walked into when not looking where you were going last week. The game feels more like a chill stroll on your day off, earphones in, your favorite playlist blaring in your ears, and you’re so lost in all the momentum that you couldn’t care for the world around you.
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A Google representative has confirmed what has been the subject of much speculation over the weekend — a Penguin 3.0 update was rolled out on Friday. This marks the first update to the Penguin algorithm in over a year. On October 9th at Pubcon Las Vegas, Bruce Clay stated during one of his sessions on link building that sources led him to believe that a Penguin update would be coming within the next 10 days. Less than 10 days later a Penguin update was rolled out, so how’s that for a prediction! At this time, few details are available from […]
The post Google Confirms Penguin 3.0 Update, Here’s The Reaction So Far by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Silicon Valley Street Style is a weekly feature that looks at the intersection of fashion, technology and taste.
Only in Silicon Valley can a simple design set against cotton blend say so much.
Youth, ease, confidence, arrogance, membership, laundry day … the startup shirt is a free piece of wearable, washable advertising that can reflect upon the wearer any or all of these qualities. It’s like a sandwich board you can wear to the gym.
Adaptable to all manner of tech culture, the startup shirt is the one true defining fashion statement of the San Francisco-based tech industry. It doesn’t matter if your game is hot yoga or “Call of Duty,” this versatile apparel fits any body type, while creating a strikingly similar impression on all.
There’s no empirical evidence supporting a branded t-shirt’s ability to inspire an angel investor to open his wallet. But perhaps there’s a more important question to consider.
Are startup shirts fashionable?
“Startup shirts are the opposite of fashion,” Corey Sklar, creator of the Dudes In Startup Shirts Tumblr, tells ReadWrite. “There is absolutely nothing individual about the items or the wearers. They are the epitome of ‘norminess’ in the worst sense.”
Sklar says he was inspired to curate a collection of startup shirts because as a San Franciscan, he’s constantly surrounded by the trend. Why then, in a town where techies struggle to stand out, do so many people in the industry make this sartorial choice?
“Two reasons,” Sklar says. “One, because they are too clueless to buy their own clothes even though they are making more money than 99% of the people on Earth. Two, to promote their sh***y app.”
The Dudes In Startup Shirts Tumblr showcases the best of men (and some women) wearing startup shirts, decked out with hoodies, sunglasses, and my personal favorite—underneath a blazer. Your business in the front, Dad’s business in the back.
Like the Dudes In Startup Shirts gallery, Silicon Valley startup culture is a strange mix of low-end and high-end. The low-maintenance, grassroots quality that birthed the tech scene is, more often than not these days, a facade of authenticity for the wealthy and well-connected.
In HBO’s Silicon Valley, the ubiquity of the startup shirt is showcased via a rainbow of jersey logos worn by attendees at TechCrunch Disrupt. Characters wearing startup shirts are painted in a deeply aloof, goofy way—almost as if their claims of “making the world a better place” and “local, mobile, social” are as empty and devalued as the startup shirts themselves.
Yet, one need not be entrenched in Silicon Valley’s startup culture to judge what is worn there, let alone judge it harshly. Rusty Foster, author of the popular tech newsletter Today In Tabs and Kuro5shin founder, takes issues with advertorial tees.
“What I find embarrassing about them is the neediness of farming out your resume to the words printed on your torso,” Foster tells ReadWrite. From his vantage point in Maine, Foster sees those words that hold certain value splayed across your chest as a vain attempt to convey that value to the world.
“’I want you to see what famous company I work for and/or admire!’” Foster mocks, going so far as to call such fashion choices “a kind of assault.”
“I wish we could issue remedial white t-shirts and require some basic education before people are trusted with the responsibility of putting words on their clothing,” he says.
Style blogger and Googler Elise Armitage of WTFab has a more friendly, neutral outlook to startup shirts, although she admits that the ones that she owns are only worn in private.
“My Google shirts are pretty much reserved for when I’m at the gym, sleeping, or working from home,” says Armitage, “When I see someone wearing a startup shirt I just assume that they probably live in the city and eat oysters at Dolores Park on Sundays.”
Street style photographer Ryan Chua agrees that startup shirts should be left to certain occasions, but he also argues that unity and loyalty to one’s brand is an admirable trait for any wearer.
“Startup shirts are fashionable if worn at the proper events, such as a conference or industry mixer,” says Chua, “My rule of thumb is to always dress accordingly to the occasion.”
At a tech conference or similar event, Chau says that there’s nothing more fashionable than a team wearing startup shirts signifying unity and company spirit. “But if that person wears a startup shirt way too much, people will start thinking, maybe that is his or her only shirt.”
Photos courtesy of Dudes In Startup Shirts and HBO’s Silicon Valley
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Growing up, I wasn’t the type of kid who knew how to fix things. I wasn’t into cars or building tree houses and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my Discman kept skipping (yes, it was because I was moving). But there was one thing I was amazingly good at: making Nutella sandwiches. Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that I do my best when I play to my strengths. Google AdWords is fortunately one of them. The other is making the occasional grocery store run in a highly effective manner. Let’s just say I still […]
The post You’re Doing AdWords Wrong (Here’s How to Make It Right) by @JohnathanDane appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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