Just recently, there were several activities in my life that made me realize something: people have a lot of free time in their hands.

Free time that is spent on things that doesn’t concern them; well, in some cases, they would want to be concerned with, which by the way, I don’t quite get.

We spend our daily lives surrounded by those that we feel are close to us; we feel secured everyday because of this. But we ignore the fact that 95% of our breathing time is spent with total strangers; those that pass us by on the streets on our way to work; that hot chick you’ve been checking out; even your closest friends are still all strangers, when you think about it.

So what really drives a person to meddle in other’s affairs? Concern? Love? Boredom? Well, at this point, it beats the crazies out of me.

In today’s technology and age, social media has become the most powerful medium of expressing thoughts, opinions and ideas. This is kind of sad, since the most genuine emotions are expressed with face to face contact. In marketing, social media has become the weapon of choice for targeting your market, but in real life, it’s become the “nuke” and ruin of personal connections. Your wall post now gives a new meaning to “taking it to the streets.” A company’s reputation also rest upon the interaction of its employees within their social networks. A bad tweet or Facebook wall post can result into a very exhausting ORM campaign.

Now, is there really such a thing as “Ethical Personal Social Media Use?”

Sadly, there is none. Based on the human psyche, nothing replaces the thrill of rushing adrenaline when it comes to being wrapped around the excitement of other people’s lives (especially if it doesn’t affect yours). This would be the quasi-equivalent of you commenting about the actions of characters while watching a movie; It’s human nature, nothing more, nothing less.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the urge can’t be controlled. The main catalyst of this behavior is over-estimation of one’s capabilities. Nothing beats the feeling that you can help someone regardless of what you can possibly do or say. In marketing, over-estimation leads to immeasurable amounts of hurt on your resources and time; and the same could be said to personal marketing.

Things to do to prevent yourself from destructive Social Media use:

  • Do things that need to be done. Divert your attention to any skill that you lack. Whether it be for your work or hobbies. Meddling in other peoples lives only proves that you have nothing better to do, especially if you have enough time to open your social media account; the time could have been well-spent on research, making profitable connections, instead of making that 100 word wall post, telling how other people suck at their lives. Be more productive.
  • A personal social media update would most probably entail you telling your network of friends what you feel or have done, so keep your work-life balance in check. Most often, just because people have drinking sessions with office buddies, they’d think that they have an awesome work-life balance; but that isn’t the case (alcohol brings out the worst in people, and by worst I mean the opening of Pandora’s Box within them). It just shows that the division of of your work and life has now crumbled, and the two have now become one. You’ve now made your work your life. And you just can’t wait to announce the comings and goings at work. This could lead to demoralization and a tarnished reputation of the company that you’re working for in the eyes of others. So, what can you do? Simple… get a life… your own life.
  • If unavoidable, don’t give advice just solely based on your personal opinions. Learn to listen, not only to the one who’s talking to you, but also to the one behind the curtain (you’d be surprised at how much the curtain puller knows about what’s going on backstage with the actors). Be observant. And for the love of anything that’s holy… use logic before opening your mouth. Bad judgement is what it is; just plain bad judgement based on bad judging.

Now, I’d like at this moment to give credit to where credit is due; to thank those in my life that continually inspire me. I hope one day, you can look me in the eye so I can say, Thank you!

Have a great day everyone!

Bittersweet

November 14, 2011

Bittersweet scenarios are part of our lives. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, your age, your nationality, your race, your religion, your political allegiance and the status

Bitter Sweet Chocolates

"Melts in you pocket; your mom hits you with a Mallet"

of your life; you still come across it, whether you like it or not. The sun shines and sets on each and everyone of us. Fate plays no favorites.

This topic hit close to home for me today. Although this was something that I had prepared for, I was still grazed by it. So clearly, this is gonna be one heck of an “emo” post.

What exactly makes a bittersweet scenario? What would be its defining point? Here are some examples:

You’re watching a championship game, and your brother’s team is pitted against your favorite team, and your favorite team won. That’s Bittersweet…

Let’s say your life-long dream was to make your parents proud of you by attaining your educational goals. So, what did you do? You’ve pretty much slaved-away to finish your studies, only to find out that your parents have died in an accident, while on their way to your graduation. That’s Bittersweet…

Let’s say you’ve prepared a shindig for a special someone, while you’re aware that you have no right to be there to see him/her smile. That’s Bittersweet…

Let’s say the only way to be with someone is for another (or in some cases, all that are involved) to be hurt. That’s Bittersweet…

Your mom made tossed salad, and intentionally added “bitter melon” to it… Well, that’s just plain bitter…

So, how do you deal with these scenarios? You take them for what they’re worth. But you don’t have to go through these alone. A simple act of openness by letting others who can positively affect or change your life will go a long way towards how and when you’ll heal.

"When One Door Closes, Another One Opens"

Now, you don’t have to think that it would be all “cacti and brambles” when these dilemmas happen to you. Because these bittersweet happenings could also lead to positive opportunities (Hence, the word “sweet”). Opportunities for self-improvement, for new bonds and friendships, and most especially, for finding your true happiness. Call it “Serendipity,” if you will.  But here’s the thing, opportunities come and go throughout our lifetime. It’s only attained with the simple act of grabbing on to those that matter to us. Sure these opportunities are also risks, but nothing is gained without first sacrificing something. Missed chances are much more regrettable than the pain that’s already been inflicted. You’ll only end up the rest of your life thinking about the “what ifs.” The hurt is there for a reason. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

Man RayAs a parting note for this “uplifting” blogpost, I’d like to quote something from one of the better known movies of all-time. “Life is like a box of chocolates…” Sure it does! It also has an expiration date. So take a deep breath, and grab on to the opportunity that you feel deep down, matters to you.

Have a positive and eventful day, everyone!

An online presence is definitely a must for any business owner. And with the rise of big businesses that utilize online marketing, one could only wonder on how small business owners can compete with these powerhouses.

For most small businesses the scenario when it comes to marketing often entails issues with site design and site architecture. They tend to choose designers, who could possibly be good when it comes to site aesthetics, but lacking in terms of SEO knowledge. The end result of this would be an image heavy site, cluttered content and the occasional flash. But I guess what would really irk us is the outdated SEO advice that most of them bring to the table; SEO advice that is so bad as to rendering a site to the point of being uncrawlable.

Now, can this dilemma be remedied? Yes it can! Small businesses, with their limited budget, most often don’t have the resources to hire a full-time SEO Consultant that would concentrate directly on a specific project. For this, they could go for the next best thing: a telephonic consultation. When you do this, it’s advisable to have a consultant that does weekly/bi-weekly/monthly calls to you and your team.  The telephonic consultation should start with an initial site audit. The following calls should tackle the issues from the previous calls. This is where the tweaking comes in, and it’s important that these be discussed thoroughly; SEO strategies, changes made, and latest SEO updates are done at this point. And lastly, the calls should include a discussion of future plans (Social Media, Content Creation, Press and Public Relations, Technical Issues that might be encountered).

If you try to analyze everything that’s been written so far, you’ll notice that the key ingredient here is never the resource, but resourcefulness. As corny as it may sound, “knowledge is power.” Just because you’re not in the SEO industry, doesn’t mean that you should ignore educating yourself about it. Make great use of your telephonic consultations by asking questions. Get yourself involved in the process, and study it. If you don’t have the time to be hands-on with your newly hired “phone pal,” then assign a capable employee to be your liaison.

Have a great day, everyone!

Local searches are when a site utilizes a specialized search engine that geographically constrains search results. It’s populated with useful information about a business such as its location, business type, business hours, and products and services offered.

So, why go local?

We’ve seen the incredible innovations and change brought about by the internet to our daily lives. Our lifestyle now consists of consulting with the grand oracle of information: The Internet. Whether it be looking for a brand new pair of shoes, or finding directions to a coffee shop near you, online is pretty much where people first run to. When you think about it, you’d want relevant results in a nutshell. The best way that it can be achieved is sending you back results that are convenient and practical.

To further simplify things, you can look at local search as modern-day Yellow Pages; you get an improved service from it, without lugging around a book the size and weight of a microwave oven. All listings are compiled into local search areas of Google (Google Places), Yahoo (Yahoo Local), Bing (Bing Business Portal) and other specialty search engines. If what you’re after is local clientele, then local search advertising is definitely something that you can’t ignore.

Advertising locally gives you somewhat of a prominent listing in the search results. But to achieve this, your ad should provide key information about your business. It’s imperative that you provide a well thought of description, and accurate contact information. To further sweeten the deal, you also have the option of pin-pointing the location of your business on Google Maps, or other mapping services. This ensures that customers can find your business location with ease, by just following the driving directions that you’ve provided for them.

Still not convinced to go local?

Well, what if I tell you that your competition is already doing it? For the current consumer/customer trend, online presence is pretty much a yardstick for them when it comes to who they trust; they also would much prefer looking at its website first before conducting business with them, but with a local listing, your business is assured of online exposure, even without its own website.

Man RayIn summation, local is a great way to tell your target market that you exist. And that I think that’s what everyone wants… unless you’re emo. =)

Have a great day, everyone!

Why do you do what you do? What drives and motivates you? These are simple questions that people find hard to answer.

For starters, the invisible force of internal drive activator is the most important thing in the world; emotion is the force of life. Everyone is capable of a great mind; we all know how to think. With our minds, we can rationalize things, and make it all come to fruition. I do find it quite so that people do work for their self-interest, but it’s quite apparent that the logic in it is complete and utter malarkey at times; you don’t work for self-interest all the time. Because when emotion is put into play, your motives change and the way it functions. It really is great to think intellectually about how life in our world is.

So, what’s driving you? We can sum it up in 2 reasons:

  1. Contributing more
  2. Not just understand other people, but also appreciate them more.

So, what makes the difference in the quality of people’s performance and lives?

  • How do you make the change.
  • What’s shaping an individual’s ability to contribute.

So, what shapes us?

We live in a therapy culture: The mindset that we are a past, and the most of society thinks that biography is destiny; the past equals the future. But what we have to remind ourselves though, is that decision is the ultimate power, because you can know what to do and not apply it. Now, when you ask people, “why didn’t you achieve something?”, here are their common reasons:

  • Didn’t have the time.
  • Didn’t have the money.
  • Didn’t have the knowledge.
  • Didn’t have the technology.
  • And all of the “didn’t have” that you can think of.

And these may be present and true, and are a claim to you missing out on resources, but these are not the defining factor. The defining factor is never resources, it’s resourcefulness. Emotions will play a huge role in this. Emotions can block an individuals capacity to absorb intellect and capacity. If you get the right emotion, you can get yourself through anything; if you’re amply creative, playful and fun enough, one can get their ideas through to anybody. Even if you don’t have the money, but you’re creative and determined enough, you’ll find a way.

Decisions

Decisions shape destiny; better or worse. If you look at it, decisions have shaped our history, culture and often admirable individuals. So, what shapes an individual in making  decisions? There are 2 invisible forces:

1. State of mind. It’s never been your ability; it’s your state. Your model of the world is what shapes you long term. That’s what shaping people to make decisions. And it’s comprised of three parts:

  • What’s your target? What are you after? There are the 6 human needs that affect an individual’s goal:
  1. Certainty
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Significance
  4. Connection and Love
  5. Growth
  6. To contribute beyond ourselves
  • Once you know your target, you uncover it.
  • The fuel you’re going to use to reach your target.

2. Emotions. There are 6000 emotions in the English language, but the average emotion that people experience on a daily basis is less than 12. You’re dominant emotions have a great influence on your decisions. People have a tendency to find ways of attaining the emotion that they want.

Man RaySo, as a parting note, explore the vastness within you; the needs, the beliefs and the emotions that are controlling you, so there’s more of you to give and achieve. And so you can appreciate, and not just understand what’s driving other people; it’s the only way our world is gonna change for the better.

Have a great day, everyone!

Page Rank In Modern SEO

November 8, 2011

Google has been known for many innovations when it comes to search, but the most known of all is Page Rank.

Now, before we delve into the topic of its weight in our present SEO scenarios, let’s try and understand how it works. Now, for veteran SEOs, I know this is gonna be a boring start for you. But you’d be surprised at how many SEOs out there are addicted to Page Rank, and yet have no idea what it was meant to do.

Page Rank was developed by Google’s co-founder, Larry Page, and was named after him. It was created because of their quest to build a Search Engine that uses “link popularity” for the purpose of ranking search results.

So, what exactly is Page Rank? Okay! Let’s go through this very simple eigenvector formula…

Okay… So you didn’t check out this blog post for me to give you a matrix decomposition lecture. But simply put, Page Rank is the number and reputation of links that are pointing to your site.

Now, what will having Page Rank do for your site? Well, for one thing, the more Page Rank you have, the faster you’re likely to be found; the deeper Google will crawl (Google crawls roughly in decreasing order of page rank) a site; the more often Google will visit your pages, to see if they’ve been refreshed.

With all those technical stuff out of the way, we can now move forward. Now, Is Page Rank still a relevant factor in judging whether a site will rank well?

While Page Rank does help, Google’s Algorithm ranks sites based on 200+ factors. Ignoring the rest of those 200+’s  would be a big mistake.

Remember that there’s always the user’s side, who pay no heed to Page Rank that much, and would much rather prefer looking at fresh, unique and great content.

So in a sense, an SEO shouldn’t suffer from what some may term as “BO” or Back link Obsession.  Links aren’t the core of SEO; it’s the user experience.

Possible conversions should also be considered, and having a high Page Rank doesn’t assure you of that.

Now, can we reach a compromise? Well, yes! Instead of focusing your energy with aggressive link building, why not create content (with link baiting in mind) that would make others want to link to you naturally.

In all my days as an SEO Reseller, I’ve encountered quite a number of SEOs that have opinions about this; and it all adds up to removing the blinders brought about by Page Rank. SEO is about breaking away from the norms of the past, and innovating for the future. It’s much more logical to shy away from the things of the past that have worked, and focus your efforts in predicting future trends that would get you ahead.

As a parting note, there’s no shame in having a high Page Rank, but the SERP Rankings boil down to this: “If you want great rankings, build a great site that deserves great links.”

Have a great day, everyone!

Google has recently updated its Algorithm. The “Freshness Algorithm” update will ensure that the newest search results of recurring events will be at the top.

How will this affect websites and their traffic? One can only deduce that site owners will make it a point to stay on top of current events such as the Olympics, and the like. It seems fairly obvious that Google will filter the sites based on event dates  and that a search for a keyword such as “Olympics” would push the most current news about the upcoming or ongoing event above the search results, without the need for the user to specify a date.

This update is great considering that Google has just recently updated its Caffeine Index, which goes through web archives at a much faster rate than before; digging up relevant results.

Man RayGoogle seems to be dishing out a lot of Algorithm updates within this year, and one can only guess what would be their next step in improving their search results. One thing is for sure, marketers around the globe are now thinking of ways to capitalize on this, and we may see new trends when it comes to content in the following months.

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