How To Troubleshoot Google’s Local Ranking Failures?

 SEO pic 

After having put in a lot of time and effort towards building a flawless website, it can be daunting to encounter a fallout in Google’s local ranking. The trauma of suffering from a lower Google local ranking can lead into a reduction in the company’s reputation as a whole.

Fortunately, when there are problems, there are solutions as well. The same goes for reduced Google local rankings as well. Being familiar with the steps for troubleshooting this issue, you can easily combat the local ranking failure for your website. So, without letting you wonder anymore, let me walk you through a tutorial that will outline the steps that can turn beneficial when it comes to troubleshooting a website’s falling Google local ranking.

Step 1- Check for reports of mass issues or bugs
 
Searching Google for Local Rankings


As the first and foremost step in troubleshooting low or lost Google local ranking, you must gain an instant access to reports that contain a collaborated list of issues that might be present in the website. Look out for any unresolved bugs that might be interfering with the Google local ranking of your website.

Talking about mass issues, the thing that you need to discover is whether a single issue is causing your website’s Google local ranking fallout or whether there are a number of issues causing the problem. You can start discovering this by visiting the Google and Your Business Forum where you can search for the problem you’re experiencing with your website. If you detect multiple threads reporting your identical issue, right from the time you’ve been encountering the problem, then there are good chances that a specific bug or a recent Google update might have been the reason for the problem. Once you’re clear on the issue, you can re-access the forum for related solutions that have been provided by experts.

Step 2- Check out for any Google Quality Violations 


One of the most significant reasons behind a lower Google Local ranking is a possible violation of Google’s quality guidelines. So, if you’re a bit dicey about having violated any Google standard, then it’s better to go through the Google Places Quality Guidelines and check out whether your website follows each one mentioned here or has violated anyone of the rules mentioned here.

Check whether mistakes have been made in relation to the naming of your business, phone number, address and other related components. Remember, breaking even a single Google rule can cost you a lot on your Google rankings. Hence, be sure your website hasn’t violated any of these rules.

Step 3- Watch out for any duplicate Google+ Local Listings

Google Duplicate Listings
Excluding multi-partner practices like law firms, hospitals, restaurants etc. every business is allowed to have just a single Google+ Local Page per location. If your business website has more than one Google+ Local Page, it is likely to cause a lower/lost Google local ranking. While sometimes, duplicate Google+ local listings are created intentionally, there are times when they are built by spammers for undertaking hazardous manipulations. In either of the cases, duplicate local listings can cause a considerable harm to the website under focus.

Components that allow you to detect local listing duplicates include the name of business, address, phone number, product/service categories and product/service descriptions. Even if you find it challenging to detect any variance, it is better to check your website for duplicate listings, especially if your website is facing local ranking issues.

Step 4- Discover Website Quality Issues

Spelling Grammar Punctuation

Yet another critical reason behind a lower/lost Google local ranking is a bad performing website. As an entrepreneur, it’s your website’s on-page quality and methods you use for marketing it that play a vital role in the local search rankings. While troubleshooting local ranking issues for your website, it is recommended to look into aspects including the following:
  • Is your website optimized for the local search engines?
  • Do your website’s title tags contain related keywords?
  • Does your website feature clear and crawlable navigation?
  • Do Google Webmaster Tools indicate 100% crawling of your website?
  • Does your website look professional or is it full of spelling and grammar errors. 

Wrapping Up
So, these were the 4 basic steps, which if followed seriously can allow you to troubleshoot the lost/low Google local ranking for your website. I’m sure you’d have found these steps easy-to-follow. Don’t forget being friendly with Google means a greater customer base. Hence, make efforts to ensure that your website is in sync with all the standards that form the basis of a well-defined search engine friendly website.

Please don’t forget to share your views/opinions on the above post. 

Author Bio:
Edword Jones is a web developer by profession and a writer by hobby and works for OSSMedia Ltd a leading Custom Joomla Development company. He loves sharing information regarding Drupal, Joomla, Magento and Wordpress development tips & tricks. If you are looking for Joomla Developers for Hire then just get in touch with him.

The Most Audacious Hacks in Computer History

Audacious Hacks




When we think of warfare, most people will speak of the horror. Guns, tanks, bombs and explosions. Death and destruction everywhere. This is what war brings to people and to places.

However, there’s another form of warfare that is becoming increasingly prevalent and it can often be just as destructive as traditional war; cyber warfare.

Yes, computers are not only a powerful tool, but used by experts can be a powerful weapon too. The recent troubles with the Ukraine and Russia have highlighted cyber-attacks on Ukrainian computer networks. The sophisticated nature of the ‘Uroburos’ cyberweapon has led experts to believe it was designed to hack government and telecoms networks. Is it a coincidence that this weapon originated from Russia? Who can say, but it is not alone in being a way to disrupt people, businesses and countries as a malicious action.

Here are other examples of computer hacking which are noteworthy for their sheer audaciousness.

US Nearly Explodes Siberia. All of it.
The year is 1982. It is the height of the Cold War between the USA and Russia. The CIA and their Soviet equivalent, the KGB, were constantly trying to outdo each other. In one of the first examples of a Trojan Virus, the CIA added it to software the Russians stole and then used to monitor and regulate Russian gas pipelines. The software would lie in wait until the program finished running a specific number of commands (in this case, 10 million cycles).

After 10 million, it would change the program slightly. This occurred after several months, and then things got serious. The code instructed the software to run a pressure test at higher than normal levels. However, the CIA did not take into account that Russian engineering might not be equipped to handle it. The result was a pipeline explosion in Siberia that was so big it was 20% the strength of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The Best Spy in the Business Wasn’t a Person
Traditionally, secret agents and spies were men and women who put their lives on the line for their government. It didn’t take long for someone to figure out a computer could probably do the same job.
Enter Flame. 20 megabytes of code that was programmed to spy on several countries in the Middle East. Flame had the ability to do the following:
  • Copy files
  • Capture screenshots
  • Download instant messaging logs
  • Turn on computer microphones and cameras remotely
Basically, it acted like James Bond in many ways. In fact, it was also programmed to project a specific cryptographic sequence known as a ‘prefix collision attack’ in case of detection. This means that is basically disguised itself (like any good spy) by convincing antivirus software that it was supposed to be there.

Spy Malware Pic





The amazing thing is that if it did get detected, it would delete itself and all traces from a system. It managed to operate for five years until eventually discovered in Iran. They claimed that the US was responsible for the virus. The US has denied all knowledge so we may never know the truth.

This post was written by Jake Messer on behalf of HANDD, a company specialising in data loss prevention services, file encryption and managed file transfer.

7 Reasons Why Atlanta Needs Google Fiber

Atlanta Needs Google Fiber

A few weeks ago, Google, the world's largest search engine, said 24 cities, including nine Atlanta cities, were under consideration for Google Fiber, the super-fast internet service. Cities being considered include Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs and Smyrna.

Southern Web, an Atlanta-based web design and development firm, is excited about the possibility of Google Fiber coming to Atlanta. That's why we've put together this infographic, which explains all of the positives that Google Fiber could bring to Atlanta and our surrounding cities.

Increased home values, enhanced access for local schools and libraries, customer savings and some of the quickest consumer Internet connection speeds currently available in the country are just a few of the benefits we could see.

The infographic was a group venture between graphic artist Ron Griffel, content strategist Ryan Watkins and Southern Web’s Director of Internet Marketing Cullie Burris.

Ryan Watkins is a content strategist with Southern Web Group, LLC., an Atlanta-based web development, design and marketing firm. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys blogging, staying up-to-date with the latest social media trends and outdoor adventuring.

How To Make Videos Responsive with CSS

How To Make Videos Responsive with CSS

A responsive website means It will respond to your browser sizes or I can browser stretches. The basic idea of it is to give optimal viewing experience to visitors, nowadays you will rarely see a unresponsive website. If you remember a Jquery snippet I posted about detecting browser real time size It is also responsive. So basically in order to make websites responsive on load you need a meta tag that helps you to stretch/resize the elements of your website but It's not required for this tutorial.

So for this tutorial, only videos with iframe, embed or objects works. You can get the iframe code of any videos from popular websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, MetaCafe etc.

Let's make our style, here's the css we need(if you are a beginner make sure you put the codes within <style>) :

 .Responsive-Video {
    position: relative;
    padding-bottom: 56.25%;
    padding-top: 30px;
    height: 0;
    overflow:
    hidden;
}
   
.Responsive-Video iframe, .Responsive-Video object, .Responsive-Video embed {
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    width: 100%;
    height: 100%;
}


So after adding the css to your web page, add your video embed code within the div class given below(I know this is NOOB! )  :

<div class="Responsive-Video">

    </div>


Example :

<div class="Responsive-Video">
    <iframe width="760" height="720" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Mu4ARzSZOmg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    </div>


Screenshot : 

YouTube Responsive Video

If you're using Blogger or Wordpress you can just add the css code within the body and whenever you post a video in your post you can add the embed code within the div class.

Ways to Improve Search Engine Ranking

SEO, seo tips, search engine optimization, keywords, website, technology, internet,
If you are reading this article then it is safe to assume that you have a website and you are looking to improve its position on the search engine results pages. If this is the case then the first thing you need to do is perform an SEO audit. You will have to research into a current template/plan and follow it to check your SEO.

An SEO audit is a set of checks that you can do to see how well your website is optimized. It involves checking things such as keyword relevancy and broken internal links. Once you have completed your SEO audit, it is time to start fixing your website’s SEO. If you fix the SEO problems then you will rise higher and faster through the search engine results pages. Here are a few tips to help you fix the things you highlight in your audit.

Is your internal website navigation good, usable and bug free?

Your websites navigation needs to easy to use. Your navigation system must be intuitive and must be easy to see. For example, you should make sure that the search bar is at the top of the page, and that any small sitemaps are on the footer.

You must have at least three internal links coming from every page, and the anchor text to the internal links should be optimized. For example, you could have a link back to your homepage on every page, and you could call the link “home page”. But why not vary it a little on each page, such as having “back to our Home page” or “Go back to home page”.

The navigation should be bug free. In other words, you should be able to click a link and have it take you to the page it describes. The link should be clickable and should never lead to the web page freezing.

Are your pages too heavy?

Every web page that a person looks at must be loaded onto their computer. Thanks to broadband Internet, your web page should take less than three seconds to load. If it does not then there may be too much to load, and you are going to have to lower the weight of your page. You may have to make images smaller, lower the weight of elements, or spilt certain parts of one page so that it makes two. The longer it takes for your web page to load then the lower you will rank on the search engine results pages.

Some people create very good web pages that are very attractive and very salable, but the trouble is that some people (especially those with 3G) are going to have to wait longer for it to render (appear) and load. Some people simply do not have the patience for such things, and why should they? The Internet is so bogged down with crappy content that most pages people visit will be abandoned within seconds.

Does your website have relevant keywords within it?

This is a tricky subject, which is why it is a good idea to do a lot of keyword research. You need to find out what sort of keywords your target audience are using to search for your web pages. You should also check to see what keywords your competitors use, because they too are aiming to attract your target audience. You should research the correct keywords for each of your pages, since each page is most likely going to differ from all the others.

You should use keyword tools to check to see if a keyword is used a lot, but you should also think about keywords that come to your mind. What would you type into a search engine? You also need to be aware of what you would write and what your target audience would write. For example, you may choose keywords such as “X for sale”, but remember that as a buyer, you may actually search for “Buy X” or “Where to buy X”. Try to put yourself in your target audiences shoes and use a little bit of common sense and gut instinct.

Where can you get your information from?

For a start, you should never take the word of things you read from articles and websites online (an odd thing to say within one of those very articles). The fact is that a lot of online content has not been created by true experts. A large portion of it has been created by people who are making up plausible lies. The rest of it is created by well meaning (but misinformed) fools.

There is some very good advice to be found online, but you must take it all under advisement (with a pinch of salt). Your best place to start is with Google itself. They have a lot of tutorials on their Google webmaster section, and even some forum answers from their staff which are very handy.

Books are an okay place to look, but you really (really) need to get a book from a company that is highly respected for being correct. There are some books out there that look like they know what they are talking about, but that are filled with misinformation. Try an updated version of the “For Dummies” books. Make sure you go for the updated versions, because the version they printed around three/four years ago is already out of date. For example, social media is hardly mentioned.

John Kravz is a representative of proessaywriting.com that provides excellent help on your writing assignments such an critical essay.

What Are The UK Broadband Fair Use Policies?

broadband providers, broadband internet, broadband connection, uk broadband, broadband, broadband internet, internet, business technology,

In an effort to regulate the use of broadband UK broadband providers have introduced fair use policies.These policies are the way that providers control cyber traffic. The problem is that certain people may be hit harder than others; and not always fairly.Certain providers in the market are considered fairer than others. By knowing all the information about fair use policies you will you be able to find the best provider for you. So here you go…

Who gets affected the most?
As the fair use policy was created to keep cyber traffic down, heavy internet users are the most commonly affected.The actual theory behind the policy is that certain people may be affected by the heavy usage of others. By implementing the fair usage policy low usage consumers will not be affected by the heavy usage consumers.The fact is that you are likely to be sharing your connection with around 40 to 49 other people.The usual maximum contention ratio for a broadband connection is around 50:1.This means that your connection could be affected by what 49 other people are doing.If one user is regularly affecting the internet of the other users then the service provider will do something.

There are certain criteria which you can use to determine whether you are going to be affected by the fair use policy.People who download large files through peer-to-peer networks and online gamers are often affected.Others who use their home broadband for business might find their connections throttled.

To avoid being affected by the fair usage policy you can try cutting down how much you use your internet.Of course this is not an option that most people want to adopt.Another option is to limit your high usage activities to times when other people will not be online.If you are downloading large files when no-one else is online you will not be as severely affected by the policy.

Fair use policy penalties
When you first sign up to a service provider large downloads will generally be allowed for the first couple of months.If this trend persists the provider may get in touch with you and ask that you limit your usage a bit.Of course if you continuously exceed limits then fair use action is likely to follow.

There are a number of ways that this can impact.The first penalty will be the throttling of your connection.When this action is taken your connection speed will be slowed dramatically, particularly during peak times.Another form of action will be the charging for excess usage and the restriction of access to certain peer-to-peer sharing websites.There have been terminations of contracts in some very extreme cases.

Disputing your fair use policy penalty
If you do feel you have been unfairly penalized on the fair use policy there are a few things you can do.The first step would be to contact your service provider and try to resolve this issue with them.If you are unable to do that you should get in touch with Ofcom.Ofcom is the regulator for the telecommunication industry and other industries.The regulator will look into any complaints you have about your provider and try to help bring a resolution to the issue.They won’t always look at individual cases so it might be worth talking to people in your area on the same network to get a little people-power going.

Which UK broadband provider is the fairest?
There are certain providers which are considered to be fairer than others.You should look at the fair use policy of the provider and the traffic management strategies being used.

Sky Fair Usage
Sky is one of the most well-known service providers out there.They are also considered to be very fair in their policies.If you have an unlimited package with this provider you will not be subject to traffic management or fair use policies.This stand has caused high demand for their broadband, which can affect the overall speed of the connection.

The only packages that have a traffic management policy with this provider is the out-of-area packages.For these users traffic management will be in place mostly during peak times on weekdays, where certain kinds of traffic are prioritized.This scheme will not affect Sky Lite and unlimited customers.

Virgin Media Fair Usage
Virgin Media is another one of the most influential UK broadband service providers.While Virgin services are very popular the problem is that the industry sees package fairness level as errr… unfair.Most of the cable broadband deals offered by this provider are considered to be unlimited. However even the highest package is subject to traffic management schemes for people who go over certain usage limits.The traffic management scheme applies mainly during the day time and there are certain limits, which need to be considered.Once the limit has been reached the speed of the broadband connection can be cut by up to 75%. The reductions in speed will last around 5 hours even if you only exceeded the limit minutes before peak times end.

BT Fair Usage
BT is the telecommunications giant in the world of UK broadband.BT is seen as very fair in the implementation of their fair use policy.In fact the unlimited broadband packages offered by this provider are now truly unlimited and are not subject to any policy.If you are not on the unlimited package, but have BT vision, you will be given additional bandwidth.Before the move to truly unlimited broadband BT traffic management schemes targeted certain people.These people were those who used peer-to-peer websites during peak hours of the day during the week and on weekends.

Plusnet Fair Usage
Plusnet is another provider which many people have been drawn to. They are advertising heavily in the UK at the momentThe fair use policy for this provider is considered to be fair.For unlimited packages there is no fair use policy or rate limiting in place with this provider.However, even with the lack of fair use policy there is a traffic management scheme in place.The scheme with this provider is actually very detailed and called traffic prioritisation.The prioritised traffic on unlimited packages will be VOIP and gaming traffic first, followed by browsing and email, then download and sharing activities.

Phil Turner likes nothing more than when he can help his family and friends save a little money. He always advises them to shop around on price comparison websites when they need a great deal. They even have the latest the latest UK broadband offers so the sites are really helpful for those looking to upgrade their current service.

What Is Satellite Broadband?

broadband providers, broadband internet, broadband connection, satellite broadband, compare broadband, uk broadband, broadband, internet, science and technology,

Satellite broadband is available to all in the UK, however, you have to decide if it is the right option for you.  You should do research to find out what satellite broadband really is.  Check the connection speeds that are on offer and if there are extra charges that apply to satellite that do not normally apply to traditional broadband deals.  There are also distinct advantages and disadvantages linked to broadband by satellite.

What is it?
This option is available for those in the UK who are unable to access other broadband internet connections.  This generally applies to those who live in the rural areas where ADSL and fibre optic services are not available.  The method of connection with this method is extremely involved.  The broadband for this method is picked up off a satellite dish.  The consumer will be provided with a satellite dish that connects to a satellite that is orbiting the earth, and this relayed satellite signal is relayed to the service provider’s hub which, in turn, is relayed back to the customer via the same path.

Is it worth obtaining?
The data transmission process involved with this method of broadband sets it up for problems and may not be a viable option for most people.  The speeds offered have increased dramatically over the past few years and you can now obtain speeds of 2Mbps up to 20Mbps.  The download speeds makes it comparable to ADSL broadband speed, however the upload speed is still much slower with an average speed of around 6Mbps.  This would definitely make it non-viable for commercial enterprises.

The data allowance limits for this type of broadband varies from around 10GB to unlimited.  The cost of the packages related to higher data allowance limits is a problem due to the cost.  You may have to pay around £16 for 2GB of data allowance.

The connection is very unstable and unreliable compared to other broadband options.  The main reason for this problem is that it feeds off satellite transmissions that can be affected by the weather and other external factors.  This will be a problem for consumers who wish to use the service for online gaming, online television transmission and video streaming.

Latency
The very nature of this broadband leaves it open to latency.  Latency can be termed as the delay or lag in transmission.  The signal is required to travel to a satellite and then travel to the internet service provider’s hub and it is this distance between all the points of transmission that causes the problem.  You will always experience a delay in the conversation if you are speaking to a person in another country via your satellite connection.  In this case you will find a delay between speaking and the person on the other end hearing what you have just said.  Although this may only be a one second delay it can become extremely frustrating because at some point you tend to speak over each other all the time.  This latency will cause you to stop using certain services that are available to you such as video conferencing, online gaming and VOIP services.

Weather Interference
When satellite broadband was first made available to consumers, the weather was a huge factor in the effectiveness of the service.  Nowadays, this is not as big a problem, but it still is a problem.  For this type of service to be effective, you need to have a line of sight between the transmission satellite dish and the satellite.  If there is anything blocking this path such as moisture, clouds or any man-made objects, the signal will be disrupted.  Normal rain showers no longer affect the connection because the transmission frequency has been increased over the last few years, but if there is a more severe storm, you will more than likely lose connection completely.

Additional Costs
You may be liable for additional costs if you choose this form of broadband.  The first cost you will have to face is the installation.  You will require a special satellite dish as well as a transmitter.  The cost for the installation of this equipment could be up to a few hundred pounds.  Additionally, there may be a set up fee payable for the account set up.  The set up fee is normally lower if your hardware cost is high, although this is not applicable to all providers as some of them may charge you high costs for both services.  Most of the service providers seem to work on a theory of ‘high monthly fee, low hardware and setup fee.’

Telephone Line
The one cost benefit to this method of internet connection is that you do not need a landline connection.  This will definitely be a cost saving for you.  The one problem that you may be facing however is that if your residence is in an area where there is no traditional broadband connection, you may not have mobile phone coverage either, so you will have to have a landline telephone.

Who are the Service Providers?
There are five service providers for this type of service in the UK.  These are:
  • Avonline
  • Broadband Wherever
  • Rural Broadband
  • Satellite Internet
  • Tooway
The packages that these providers offer vary in stability and price.  Prior to signing a contract with a service provider you should ensure that you know exactly what they are offering you.  Your best bet is to speak to your neighbours and friends about the service that the providers offer.  Find out the cost, the stability of the connection and the possible costs that you may be liable for.  Compare the services offered from all the providers who operate in your area before you make a decision.

Satellite broadband should be your last choice as the problematic method of connection and high costs are not worth it.  If you are able to get another form of broadband connection, you will do better to choose that.  Satellite is unable to offer the same stability and connection speeds of traditional broadband services.

The use of satellite broadband could make life much easier for Phil Turner.  uSwitch helped him to located deals that were great value for money and that would meet his requirements.

Do You Really Need Optical Fibre Broadband?

Do You Really Need Optical Fibre Broadband?
Fibre optic broadband is something that more and more people are considering getting. However, you have to consider whether or not you actually need to have fibre optic broadband. To determine this you need to know what fibre optic broadband is. You also need to know about the benefits and drawbacks that come with it.  Once you know this you will be able to determine whether or not this type of broadband connection is the right one for your needs.

What is Fibre Optic Broadband?
The first point that you need to know is what fibre optic broadband is. The most common type of broadband in the UK is ADSL. This runs on the copper cables of the telephone network. Fibre optic broadband is different because it runs on separate cabling, which is the fibre optic cable network. This is often linked to the TV cables that enter the house; think Virgin Media. This is the reason why optical fibre broadband is also known as cable broadband in the US and sometimes in the UK. There are two ways that you can get fibre optic broadband, and they are FTTH and FTTC. FTTH means that the fibre optic cable that the broadband connection runs on will be travelling into your home.

The FTTC connection means that the fibre optics runs to the cabinet in the street and then the broadband connection will be brought into the house using the copper cables of the phone network. It is important that you find out which of these connections you are going to be getting. When you do this you will be able to determine the costs of the broadband and the full benefits that you are able to get.

The Benefits of Fibre Optic Broadband
There are a number of benefits that you are able to get from fibre optic broadband that you need to know about. The first benefit is that you will be getting faster speeds with the broadband connection. Fibre optic broadband does not degrade over long distances like ADSL.This means that you are able to get the speeds you need regardless of the distance your home is from the phone exchange.

Another benefit of fibre optic broadband is that you are going to be getting a more stable Internet connection that is more suited for heavy use broadband. The ADSL copper wires were not made with broadband in mind. This means that the connection is not as stable as it should be. Fibre optics was created with the idea of fast and stable data transmission in mind. This means that the overall broadband connection that you have will be more stable than any other. The last benefit that you should consider with fibre optic broadband is the fact that you will not need to have a phone line if you have FTTH. This can save you money as you will not have to pay for a phone line.

The Drawbacks of Fibre Optic Broadband
While there are a number of benefits that come with fibre optic broadband there are also a number of drawbacks that you need to know about. The first drawback is the cost of the package.  Fibre optic broadband will generally cost more per month than ADSL broadband.  Of course, when you take into account the phone line rental then the fibre optic package may work out to be the same. However, this is only accurate when you are getting fibre optic broadband that does not require a phone line. Another drawback to fibre optics is that the network infrastructure is not as far reaching as it should be. Around half of the country will not be able to get fibre optic broadband. There is a roll out plan that will have most of the country covered, but this will take time. This means that you may not be able to get fibre optic broadband in your area.

Should You Get Fibre Optic Broadband?
Fibre optic broadband is not something that all consumers actually need. You need to carefully consider whether or not this is the right option when you look at the broadband that you are able to get.  When you consider the connections and packages you have to look at a few things. You need to consider whether or not you need the speeds of fibre optic and you need to consider why you are looking at this connection to start with.

The primary attraction of fibre optic broadband is the speed that you are going to be getting. However, fast speeds cost money and you need to determine whether or not you actually need this. To determine your speed needs you have to look at the number of broadband users who are going to be connecting to the broadband. You also have to consider what they are going to be doing with the connection. The more people using the connection, the more the speeds are going to be distributed. This means that if you have a lot of people connected you need to have high speeds so that everyone is able to connect properly. Of course, the speeds that you need will depend on what the people do online. If you are doing graphic design on your Mac, broadband may need to be fast to deal with the software and upload requirements of the activity.

Why you are looking at fibre optic broadband should also be considered.  If you are looking at this broadband because you are unhappy with the speeds that you are getting then you first need to determine if you are getting the speeds that you should be. It could be that you can improve your existing connection. You also need to see if fibre optic speeds are what you really need.

If you are looking at fibre optic broadband because you are dissatisfied with the service you are getting then you should consider some of the other packages. The service that you get may not be linked to the package you have and more to the provider that you are using. Upgrading to fibre optic may not change the service that you are getting. Fibre optic broadband may not be the best option for you. There are a number of factors that you have to consider when you look at this connection and whether or not you should be getting it. If you decide that this connection is right for you then you should use a comparison website like uSwitch to find the best deals.

Phil Turner has multiple computer devices in his home so he needed to find a heavy use broadband package. He visited sites such as uSwitch.com for more information and found a great deal.

Can You Really Get Something For Nothing? Free Gifts With Broadband

Can You Really Get Something For Nothing? Free Gifts With Broadband

Free gifts are always tempting, especially when you're already thinking about buying something and you're getting something else for nothing. Broadband internet providers often offer broadband with free gifts, and in this article we're looking at whether or not you're really getting something for nothing. Wondering whether those free gift contracts are worth it? Read on to find out.

Where You Get the Goodies
There are plenty of online offers for free gifts, and you can check out any broadband comparison web site, such as uswitch.com, to check out what's on offer. You'll obviously need to sign a broadband contract to get your gift, so you'll need to be in a position both to get a new contract (i.e. you're not currently under contract elsewhere) and to legally sign a contract, so you'll need to be a UK resident and over the age of eighteen.

Routers and Tech Stuff
By far the most common free gift offer that you're going to find is for a free router. You'll probably want a router, since this will mean that you can access your internet connection wirelessly rather than needing to be tied down to a cable all the time. Most providers will give you a router for nothing, though you will need to be a bit careful about this one.

Whilst this isn't a scam at all, you will need to make sure that you're really getting a free gift. Not all providers are actually giving you a router, most are simply lending it to you, and you'll be required to return it in good condition at the end of your contract or if you cancel service. Ensure that the router is yours before attempting to make any changes or modifications to it.

If you're bundling your services, which means that you're combining say a land line phone or a cable television service in with your broadband service the same rules will apply. Particularly for cable television services you will probably be offered some form of set top box or DVR, which may or may not actually belong to you. Are you getting something for free? Yes, as long as you own it, but most likely you're just saving on rental costs and will need to return equipment when your contract expires.
 
Free Service
The next most common free “gift” is some kind of discount on services. You might get a few months free of charge, or a couple of months at half price. As long as these offers are coming directly from the broadband provider themselves, you're absolutely getting something for nothing, and you should snap these offers up. They're relatively common and constantly changing though, so make sure to check those comparison sites for the most up to date deals.

Offers of Computers and Other Devices
Right now, we're only talking about offers made directly by broadband providers, we'll come to third party offers in a moment. These deals are less common than they used to be, some providers still offer electronics such as iPods, iPads and even laptop computers to people who sign up for service. These computer deals especially are most common with mobile broadband plans, though some ADSL and cable providers also occasionally offer them.

Are you getting something for nothing? The answer is probably not, though you might be. You'll want to check out the monthly cost of the plan that you're looking at and compare it to the same plan with the same provider but without the free gift. You'll probably find that you're paying a little extra each month, especially if you're getting a computer.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't take the offer, and if you need a new laptop this might be the way to do it. Just make sure that you're getting a device that you really want, rather than paying extra for something that you don't need. Unlike third party offers, deals like this through major broadband providers generally offer good quality products, so you shouldn't need to worry about that issue.

Third Party Offers
Now we come to an area that's a little more problematic. Some broadband providers allow other companies, usually web sites, sell contracts for them. These third parties will get a commission from each contract that they get signed. Some third parties will offer lower monthly payments than the broadband providers themselves as an incentive for you to sign with them rather than with the provider, and sacrifice a little of their commission. Others will offer free gifts.

You should be extremely careful about accepting these free gifts. They are generally offered as something generic, such as a “seven inch tablet.” You'll be given no brand name or model number, so you won't be able to research the product. When your gift arrives you'll probably find that it's a low quality or outdated model, which is why it's being given away for free.

The basic rule for accepting free gift offers from third parties is that if you don't know exactly what you're getting, down to the model number, then you should turn down the deal, since there's no guarantee that you're going to get a useful device. Even if you do know exactly what you're getting you should take the time to look online for customer reviews to make sure that other people have had a good experience with this particular offer before committing to signing a contract.

Can you get something for nothing? On today's market where there's so much competition and providers are vying for new customers, yes you can, but obviously some deals are just going to be better than others. It is possible to get a great free gift, but you'll have to know who it's coming from and know that it's something that you're actually going to use. Free service offers in particular are always a good idea, but you might get lucky and get a great new iPod or that wireless router that you really want.

Phil Turner advised his friend to check out any deals he found for broadband with free gifts. Even being careful though he found a few great deals on uSwitch.com.

Is Social Media Killing Christmas Cards?

Is Social Media Killing Christmas Cards?

What would Sir Henry Cole think if he could see us sending our social greetings to one another via social media? Sir Henry is the chap who sent the first Christmas card in 1843 and kicked off the tradition, selling his creations for one shilling a piece (that's 5p or 8 cents to you and me!). When the cost of sending these fabulous creations became affordable for the masses in 1870, the tradition spread and it is only in the last few years of this century that we are starting to see a decline in Christmas card sending. Why? Because of the internet - and more specifically, social media. How easy has it become to wish a happy Christmas to everyone we know - all at the same time? Even sending personalised messages has become much more simple with the advent of social media. Just a few taps of the keyboard, a click of the mouse and your greetings are with their recipient, awaiting an instant response.

Perhaps this simply means that we are lazier than we were 5 years ago, or maybe there is simply an expectation that this is how things are done these days. Either way, there is no disputing the evidence. In the study depicted in this infographic, LoveMyVouchers have found that their newsletter subscribers are definitely sending less Christmas cards, and friends are the most likely group of people to receive social media messages as opposed to traditional cards. 

This infographic shows the results of a survey conducted by www.LoveMyVouchers.co.uk in which participants were asked about their Christmas card sending habits.

The 5 Kinds Of Online Forms You Might Want To Look Into

The 5 Kinds Of Online Forms You Might Want To Look Into

If you want your online business to succeed, then you will need to learn a bit more about website development overall. The best way to do this, though, would be to turn to apps to help you out. This way, you can save as much time as possible while building up your website at the same time. One of the key elements that you should focus on when it comes to this would be online forms.
 
Every day, online forms get filled up all over the World Wide Web. As a matter of fact, these forms play vital roles in a lot of online interactions, including checkout processes, community sharing, feedback collection, business leads gathering and research. Here are the 5 kinds of online forms you might want to look into.

The Contact Form
A contact form is the most basic online form available out there. It usually contains three fields or less: name, email address and message. Naturally, this can be changed as needed, though. Generally speaking, a contact form can make a website look professional while providing two particular benefits. First of all, you can keep yourself safe from spammers; and second of all, visitors will have an easier time getting in touch with you when they have to.

The Event Registration Form
If you plan on organizing a conference, but aren’t sure how many people will actually attend or which capacity hall you should book, the easiest way to get your answers would be to simply ask your readers directly. One easy way to do this would be through an online event registration form. This type of online form will basically collect the contact information of the attendants, but you can also make your form more flexible by adding the ‘Attending’, ‘Not Sure’ and ‘Not Attending” options for a clearer picture overall if you want.

The Lead Generation Form
People who own and maintain blogs know how important it is to have a mailing list. After all, while tweets and Facebook updates are easy to miss nowadays, emails will almost always get noticed at some point. In fact, this is why a lot of big online businesses work so hard to grow their mailing lists nowadays. Naturally, in order to do the same thing, you will need an online form maker to gather people’s emails first. This can be done through an online lead generation form, which you can use on your website’s landing page to get more contacts for sales. If you want, you can even offer incentives in exchange for their contact details, such as free downloads or trials. This way, you won’t just nurture your mailing list, but you can potentially make yourself stand out in people’s minds, as well.

The Order Form
If you want to sell products or services online, you will need to come up with a framework that your customers can use to make their orders. This is where an online order form would come in. This type of online form will basically let you sell your products and services online sans the ‘shopping cart’ in case you don’t have a lot of merchandise to sell to begin with. The best part is that you can easily integrate this kind of form with your choice of online payment gateways as needed.

The Survey Form
It is common knowledge that businesses need market research in order to succeed. Otherwise, they could end up losing a lot of energy, time and money. Well, thanks to the survey form, you can now survey potential customers before actually wasting any time or money on product manufacturing – easy peasy!

David Miller is an educational researcher who has vast experience in the field of teaching, LMS Systems and online training. He is associated with prestigious universities and many leading educational research organizations. He’s also an ed-tech veteran, currently pursuing research in new eLearning developments, and is a contributing author with ProProfs.

The Evolution of Music and Video Content Consumption

The Evolution of Music and Video Content Consumption

Question: How many ways are there to consume music today?
Answer: More than you can guess. The way we consume content, including music, has undergone a few changes in the past decade or so. As recently as the years between 2000 and 2005, we connected to the Internet at a speed of about 56 kbps. Today, Internet connection speeds average about 2.6 mbps. What seemed like the greatest thing since sliced bread in 2000 would seem so frustratingly slow that today’s users would be utterly appalled by the length of time it took to load a single web page. Thanks to the speed at which we can connect to the world at large, we’re consuming a great deal of content in new ways.

Desktop PCs, while still used in business and office settings, as well as many homes, are often a last resort to mobile users. We prefer to connect on the go, without being chained to a desk, using devices such as smartphones and tablets. We’re consuming the majority of our content today digitally. Whether it’s music, video, news or even books—we turn to the World Wide Web first. Take a look at the infographic below for more details on how content consumption has evolved over the past 10 to 15 years.

TorchBrowser is a free and unique software that offers you powerful browsing together with built-in media downloading and sharing features.

Four Of The Best Productivity Tools

Four Of The Best Productivity Tools

Most of us carry our smartphones with us every day, so it makes sense to use them for more than just making calls. Here's a quick look at six of the best productivity aids for busy office workers.

EverNote
EverNote is a free to use productivity suite which includes mobile apps, a browser plugin and a web app. Use EverNote to store notes about almost everything in the cloud, and access those notes from any device with an Internet connection.

HootSuite
Manage multiple social media accounts in one handy interface with HootSuite. Share access to your accounts with the premium package, which starts at £7.19 per month.

Remember The Milk
Remember The milk is a free mobile app that makes managing to do lists easy. Upgrade to the Pro version for $25/year to enjoy the ability to get push notifications about urgent tasks, sync your apps anywhere, and use widgets and badges to be reminded about upcoming To Do items.

Basecamp
Basecamp is the ultimate project management tool for large and small companies. You can try Basecamp for free for up to 60 days, and full accounts start at just $20/month. For that fee, you can run up to ten projects at a time, and take advantage of 3GB of cloud storage for those projects.

A Name Badges International Infographic

From Freedom to Walled Gardens - The Evolution of The Internet

From Freedom to Walled Gardens - The Evolution of The Internet

The Internet has given people from all over the world unprecedented ability to communicate with each other. Anyone can create content and share their thoughts and opinions with the world. The Internet is not controlled by any one central body, and this is something that many governments are uncomfortable with. Ideas posted online may be stored on a server thousands of miles from the place where the content creator lives, and can be copied, shared and archived by an unlimited number of users.

As this infographic shows, some governments, including those in mainland China, North Korea and the UAE have taken measures to restrict the kind of content that users can access online. Those countries restrict content that is political or religious in nature. Other countries, including several in Europe, have started to filter content too, blocking websites that contain illegal content such as child pornography or copyright file sharing sites.

The original creators of the Internet wanted information to be free, and love the widespread sharing of ideas, no matter whether they agree with those ideas or not. Freedom of communication is under threat, and the threat may be closer to home than you think.

Infographic provided by CWCS

Your Action Plan for PPC Ad Text Optimization

Your Action Plan for PPC Ad Text Optimization

When you are composing an ad text, it's important to get organized. First, you need to clearly understand what is behind your message. If that's something that appeals to a large audience and doesn't require much consideration to be bought, ordered or signed up to, then your ad should be catchy and creative. Apply alliteration, humour and your poetic talent to create something legendary.

If you sell something specific and unique, pay more attention to how your value proposition is formed. Find out your customers pains and gains and skillfully leverage them when formulating your message. A clear motivation behind the ad text will provide additional targeting and more responsive visitors.

Obviously, in both cases running your campaigns should be followed by proper testing. Don't forget that in case you are looking for conversions, CTR is not the best parameter to track. Check the number of absolute conversions brought by this or that ad message and make the required adjustments.

Tory Woods is an enthusiastic blogger behind REACH Network. She enjoys exploring the PPC world and sharing the findings with her readers.

Beefing Up Network Security

Beefing Up Network Security

Companies can build firewalls that keep unauthorized persons from breaking into their computer’s network system. A knowledgeable, highly skilled IT employee or computer engineer can create the firewalls, as well as password protection and biometric technology. Other good methods companies can employ include software methods and virus protection.

These companies can invest in effective physical protection methods, such as signing laptops and data storage hardware out to designated employees or logging the location of every company-owned device, including tablets, smartphones, flash drives and laptops. In addition to logging locations, the savvy company security manager will know exactly who is using the devices, where they are being used and why.

Once a device is outdated, it should not be forgotten about, because the data stored on it is just as valuable today as it was the day it was logged into the device. Every outdated laptop, smartphone, flash drive and tablet should be returned to the security manager, where it will be noted as returned, then it should be securely locked away.

Created by the marketing team at GreyHeller.

Instagram Launches Direct Messaging Service

 Instagram Launches Direct Messaging Service #InstagramDirect
Instagram launches a new feature called Instagram Direct, with that you can send pictures/videos to your friends individually.

Today, we’re excited to bring you Instagram Direct, a new way to send photo and video messages to friends.
How To Use It?

First Take a picture/video > apply filter if you want > once you're up to share screen you will see something like a tab page called "Direct" at the top.

When you select "Direct" it'll take you to Direct-user interface where you can add people you would like to share your picture/video. You must be following the person you want to share the picture/video with.

When you're done with it, tap on the green button at the top.

Watch Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom Announcing Instagram Direct



Read Instagram's offcial blog post about Instagram Direct

Asia On Track to Be Biggest Cloud Consumer

Asia On Track to Be Biggest Cloud Consumer

According to recent studies on cloud data usage conducted by Cisco, North Americans are currently the biggest consumers of cloud data, transmitting around 261 Exabytes of data per year. The Asia Pacific region is the next biggest consumer, transmitting 216 Exabytes of data in 2011. An Exabyte is one billion gigabytes. If that sounds like a lot of data, that’s because it is – but it’s a tiny amount compared to how much analysts believe will be used by 2016.

Cloud usage is growing more rapidly in Asia than it is in North America, so by 2016 the Asia Pacific region will be the biggest consumer of cloud data, handling 1.5 Zettabytes of data per year. That’s one and a half billion terabytes worth of data. North America will be handling 1.1 Zettabytes, with Western Europe not far behind, and also hitting the one Zettabyte barrier.

Cloud computing is a huge industry, and as this infographic shows it’s only going to get bigger as more and more industries start heading online. Software as a Service is already a ubiquitous idea, with email, messaging and even accounting products heading “always online”. Don’t miss out on the cloud revolution.

Produced by CWCS

Evolution of Invention in the Last 50 Years

Evolution of Invention in the Last 50 Years

In 1963, John F. Kennedy (JFK) was the president, the Beatles released their 1st single in US "Please Please Me", and Mickey Mantle signed a contract with the New York Yankees for $100,000. Society and technology has evolved quite a bit over the last 50 years, and advancements in invention have been a large driver of change. In the last 50 years between 1963 and 2012, the number of patent applications and patent grants issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office has increased by roughly 500%.
To celebrate the innovation that has taken place over the last 50 years the patent and new product marketing experts at Innovate Product Design have come up with a very interesting infographic that explores the evolution of invention.

The infographic notes several trends over the last five decades, most notably the dramatic increase in the number of patent applications and grants. However, a spotlight is also cast on some of the most influential innovations of the last 50 years, including the commerical jetliner, the remote control (TV), cellular phones, GPS technology, and perhaps the most life-changing evolution of them all, the internet. Also, the infographic offers a useful overview of the disntinctions between the three different types of patents including, Utility Patents, Design Patents, and Plant Patents.

Enjoy this infographic, and please feel free to submit your comments or questions, including any inventions of the last five decades that you think should have been included on this list!
© 2013 Innovate Product Design

Best Apps To Make Christmas Easier

Best Apps To Make Christmas Easier

Christmas is approaching and as many of you rush around, preparing the food and buying/wrapping the presents things can get pretty hectic. Fortunately there a number of great apps to help take some of the stress away. There are many apps to be taken advantage of which can really ensure this time of the year becomes less stressful. For those wishing to ease into the festive season, consider some of these useful apps:

The Christmas List
You'll be able to control your Christmas shopping with this app, keeping track of everything you've purchased as well as everything you still need to buy. The app keeps track of prices, provides you with ideas and adds contacts from your own contact book. It's an ideal app for those that require clarity and precision at this time of year as well as those looking to keep to a budget. Christmas shopping no longer needs to be the overwhelming mission it can be anymore.

Gift Wrapping Instant Expert
Many people will actively love buying and receiving presents but this time of year always tests one's patience with sellotape. Wrapping gifts can be a chore but this creative app is designed to reduce that stress with hints, tips and great techniques. For those who feel like they're ready to take the next step, you can learn how to create bows, produce personalised gift tags and even set up gift baskets for a specified recipient, adding some spice to the usually mundane procedure.

Christmas Cookies - Heavenly Recipes
Christmas is a time of indulgence and the time of year when people forget the diet and embrace the season. Christmas cookies are always a classic, easy to bake and enjoyed by everyone. This app makes it even easier with its sophisticated interface and easy-to-understand recipes, perfect for all budding chefs. For the required ingredients, the app even includes a shopping list feature allowing you to add the ingredients, making it easier once you hit the supermarket as opposed to writing everything down.

Cards
Providing you have a good fibre optic broadband connection, Cards is a great app that changes the way you send off your Christmas cards this year. You can choose from a large array of cards, themes, backgrounds and messages, and then log in with your ID to send them out, eliminating the need for envelopes and stamps and post-office queues entirely. It's something different and special and those that are printed are done so with high-quality paper, ensuring a unique twist on a Christmas tradition.

Christmas Countdown
Finally, the Christmas Countdown app is a minimal app that records the days left until the big day. Not only does it count down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to Christmas, it also allows the user to play a selection of their favourite Christmas songs and carols, fully immersing them into the festive season. For those looking for an extra whimsical touch, the app features a range of different, festive backgrounds whilst some may wish to use photos from their own personal library.

Related Article : Top Technology Gifts For Her

Lindsey is a stay at home mum and blogger. She understands how stresful the holiday period can be and is always keen to find ways to make it a little easier!