Tag Archives: google

The Google +1 Button – Does it Help in SEO?

The Google +1 Button
 

Most bloggers use the Google +1 button these days, and most of us believe it will improve our Google rankings, but how true is this?

A recent article in WebPro News quotes a Google representative stating that Google +1s do not have a direct effect on rankings. However, it seems that Google is working toward recognizing authorship, with the implication that the value of those +1s could increase in the future. So, if you’re using them, keep it up.

My own experience has been that my Google Circles keep growing at about the same rate that my blog readership grows. Whether this means anything, or has any connection with the Google +1s, I can’t tell. What has your experience been?

Authorship

Google, apparently, intends to focus more on authorship in the future, by which they mean social signals that tell the reader “this person is reputable: you can believe what (s)he writes”. From my reading of the signals, this doesn’t change the SEO rules in any major way. It does mean, though, that there are some things we can do now to establish our reputation, such as including an author’s photograph and, perhaps, a short bio.

Many of the better, more established authors, such as Kim Castleberry, already do this. I admire the way she includes this information at the end of each post as though it were her signature. The secret is to do this without making a blatant sales pitch: I’m working on it for myself!

I shall be traveling for the next few weeks, and may not have much of an internet connection (if any), so plan to spend some of that time reviewing what I’m doing and improving on it. If you come away from this post with one thought, think “authorship”. Thank you Google, for that idea: it makes a lot of sense!

Please comment and let me know if you found this brief post helpful. I am open to suggestions you might have: learning from each other is powerful. Thanks.

Alan Jenkin

Author

Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.

Google+ Business Pages

I just found out that Google+ is now allowing the creation of business pages. Until now, Google+ did not allow you to use its services for anything except personal posts. Their policy change means that Google+ business pages can now rivel Facebook pages – in fact, since you have an ability to target your audience through Google+ circles, they will be even better than Facebook.

Matthew Meyer has written a useful article here explaining just how easy it is to create your first business page on Google+. (If you have not already started using Google+, I recommend that you read Matthew’s article, since he explains how to get started.)

Once you have a Google+ profile and are signed in, you click on the “Pages” icon in the left sidebar to create your business page. Google has made it fairly easy to figure this out, but here are a few pointers you might find helpful.

Which Business Category

Google+ gives you a choice of five categories:

  1. Local Business or Place 
  2. Product or Brand
  3. Company, Institution or Organization
  4. Arts, Entertainment or Sports
  5. Other

Google does a good job of helping you to decide: if you hover over a category you will see a few examples. Check them and see which one best fits you. “Other” is a catch-all in case you don’t see a good match in the four previous categories.

Add your info

In the article, Matthew states:

This is important. Make sure you fill everything out completely. Use your keywords without stuffing. Tell everything about your business, including relevant links. Do not just skip quickly over this section. The information here is what will be used to find you in search. Chances are many searchers will find your Google+ page before your main website so pack this section with relevant info.

First, you will need a profile photo and tagline. Once you have this, you can edit your profile, including as much information and as many relevant links as you can. Finally, you add what Google calls a “photostrip” – five photos that will apear beneath your page name and tagline.

Using your page

Now that you have completed your business page, you will need to add content and “Spread the Word” using the link in the right sidebar. The cool thing now is that you can follow your fans and add them to your circles. If you add them to a circle for each topic they are interested in, you will be able to interact with them in a meaningful way.

At this point I should give you a link to my own Google+ business page, but the truth is that I only just saw the article, so have not built one yet. Let me know if you have one, and let’s share any results or ideas that you have.

Coconut Oil Touted as Alzheimer’s Remedy

I have been a fan of coconut oil for many years now, but had no idea just how beneficial it could be until I saw this video.  Take a look, and let me know if you find it as interesting as I did.  And if you know of any Alzheimer’s sufferers, do them a favor and give this information to their caregiver.

Mary Newport, the MD in that video, has more information on coconut oil here:

COCONUT OIL DIETARY GUIDELINES AND SUGGESTIONS

By Mary T. Newport, MD – Updated September 2009
See www.coconutketones.com for more information

HOW CAN COCONUT OIL BE USED IN THE DIET?

Coconut oil can be substituted for any solid or liquid oil,
lard, butter or margarine in baking or cooking on the stove, and
can be mixed directly into foods already prepared. Some people
take it straight with a spoon, but for most people it may be hard to
swallow this way and more pleasant to take with food. When
cooking on the stove, coconut oil smokes if heated to greater than
350 degrees or medium heat. You can avoid this problem by
adding a little olive or peanut oil. Coconut oil can be used at any
temperature in the oven when mixed in foods.

WHAT IS THE NUTRIENT CONTENT OF COCONUT
OIL? DOES IT CONTAIN OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS?

Coconut oil has about 117-120 calories per tablespoons,
about the same as other oils. It contains 57-60% medium chain
triglycerides, which are absorbed directly without the need for
digestive enzymes. Part of it is metabolized by the liver to ketones
which can be used by most cells in the body for energy. This
portion of the coconut oil is not stored as fat. Coconut oil is about
86% saturated fat, most of which is the medium chain fats that are
metabolized differently than animal saturated fats. It contains no
cholesterol and no transfat as long as is non-hydrogenated. An
advantage of a saturated fat is that there is nowhere on the
molecule for free radicals or oxidants to attach. About 6% of the
oil is monounsaturated and 2% polyunsaturated. Coconut oil also
contains a small amount of phytosterols, which are one of the
components of the “statins” used for lowering cholesterol.
Coconut oil contains omega-6 fatty acids but no omega-3 fatty
acid, so this must be taken in addition to coconut oil. You can
obtain all of the essential fatty acids required by using just
coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids. If you were to use coconut
oil as your primary oil, the only other oil you would need is an
omega-3 fatty acid, which you can get by eating salmon twice a
week, or taking fish oil or flax oil capsules, 2-3 per day. Some
other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are ground flax meal,
chia (a fine grain), walnut oil and walnuts. Lauric acid is a
medium chain triglyceride that makes up almost half of the
coconut oil. Scientific studies show that lauric acid has
antimicrobial properties and may inhibit growth of certain
bacteria, fungus/yeast, viruses and protozoa. It is one of the
components of human breast milk that prevents infection in a
newborn.

WHAT KIND OF COCONUT OIL SHOULD I USE?

Look for coconut oils that are non-hydrogenated with no
transfat. Avoid coconut oils that are hydrogenated or superheated
because it changes the chemical structure of the fats. If you
like the odor of coconut, look for products called “virgin,”
“organic,” or “unrefined,” which are generally more expensive
than “refined,” or “all natural,” or “RBD” (refined, bleached and
deodorized) coconut oil, which do not have an odor. The oil itself
is tasteless. Any of these have essentially the same nutrient with
about 57-60% MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides.) The least
expensive that I have been able to find so far is the Louanna brand
at Walmart, priced locally at $5.44 per quart. Using coconut oil
capsules is not an efficient way to give the oil since the capsules
are relatively expensive and contain only 1 gram of oil per
capsule, whereas the oil is 14 grams per tablespoon. Capsules
might be useful for someone who will not take the oil.

WHY DOES THE COCONUT OIL LOOK “CLOUDY?”

Coconut oil is a clear or slightly yellow liquid above 76
degrees but becomes solid at 76 degrees and below. If your house
is kept right around 76 degrees you may even see partly liquid oil
with solid clouds of oil floating in it. If your home is generally
kept at 75 degrees or below, the oil will tend to be a white or
slightly yellow soft semi-solid.

WHAT OTHER COCONUT PRODUCTS CONTAIN
COCONUT OIL?

Coconut milk is a combination of the oil and the water from
the coconut and most of the calories are from the oil. Look for
brands with 10 to 13 grams of fat in 2 ounces. Look in the grocery
store’s Asian section. Some brands are less expensive but are
diluted with water. Coconut cream is mostly coconut milk and
sometimes has added sugar. Flaked or grated coconut can be
purchase unsweetened or sweetened and is a very good source of
coconut oil and fiber and has about 15 grams oil and 3 grams fiber
in ¼ cup. Frozen or canned coconut meat usually has a lot of
added sugar and not much oil per serving. A fresh coconut can be
cut up into pieces and eaten raw. A 2” x 2” piece has about 160
calories with 15 grams of oil and 4 grams of fiber. MCT Oil
(medium chain triglycerides) are part of the coconut oil and can
also be purchased in some health food stores or on-line. This may
be useful for people who are on the go and do not have much time
to cook. Also, MCT oil is used as energy and not stored as fat, so it
may be useful for someone who wants to lose weight, if substituted
for some of the other fats in the diet. Coconut water does not
usually contain coconut oil, but has other health benefits. The
electrolyte composition is similar to human plasma and is useful to
prevent or treat dehydration.

HOW SHOULD I STORE COCONUT PRODUCTS?

Coconut oil is extremely stable with a shelf life of at least two
years when stored at room temperature. It does not need to be
refrigerated and becomes extremely hard when cold. If you wish
to keep it in the refrigerator, you can measure out 1 or 2
tablespoons into each section of a plastic ice cube tray. The
coconut oil easily pops out of the plastic tray. Coconut milk is
mostly coconut oil and can be substituted for the oil in many ways.
Coconut milk must be refrigerated after opening and should be
used within a few days or tossed out. Grated or flaked coconut can
be stored at room temperature for a few weeks, but may last longer
if stored in a refrigerator. A freshly cut up coconut can be stored in
the refrigerator for a few days or freezer for a couple of weeks.

WHO SHOULD TRY THIS?

People who have a neurodegenerative disease that involves
decreased glucose uptake in neurons could benefit from taking
higher amounts of coconut and/or MCT oil to produce ketones
which may be used by brain cells as energy. These diseases
include Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s, ALS (Lou
Gehrig’s), multiple sclerosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy,
autism, Down’s syndrome, and Huntington’s chorea. Ketones can
also serve as an alternative fuel for other cells in the body that are
insulin resistant or cannot transport glucose, and could potentially
lessen the effects of diabetes I or II on the brain and other organs.
If you are at risk due to family history, you consider making this
dietary change as well. If your loved one is in assisted living, the
doctor may be willing to prescribe coconut oil to be given at each
meal, increasing gradually.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?

If you take too much oil too fast, you may experience
indigestion, cramping or diarrhea. To avoid these symptoms, take
with food and start with 1 teaspoon coconut oil or MCT oil per
meal, increasing slowly as tolerated over a week or longer. If
diarrhea develops drop back to the previous level. For most
people, the goal would be to increase gradually to 4-6 tablespoons
a day, depending on the size of the person, spread over 2-4 meals.
Mixing MCT oil and coconut oil could provide higher levels and
a steady level of ketones. One formula is to mix 16 ounces MCT
oil plus 12 ounces coconut oil in a quart jar and increase slowly as
tolerated, starting with 1 teaspoon. This mixture will stay liquid
at room temperature.

WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?

Children with Down’s syndrome and some children with
autism show decreased glucose uptake in parts of the brain. A
reasonable amount to give a child would be about ¼ teaspoon of
coconut oil for every 10 pounds that the child weighs, 2 or 3 times
a day. Also, some children like the taste of coconut milk – 1 ½ to
2 teaspoons per 10 pounds weight can be added to the diet 2 or 3
times a day. If you use coconut milk for a child be sure to
refrigerate it and toss after two days. Do not add honey to
coconut milk for children under 1 year old due to risk of infection.

DO I NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT GAINING
WEIGHT FROM THE EXTRA FAT IN THE DIET?

Yes!! The best way to avoid gaining weight is to substitute
coconut oil for most other fats and oils in the diet, and if that isn’t
enough, cut back on portion sizes of carbohydrates, such as
breads, rice, potatoes, cereals, and other grains. In general it is a
good idea to use whole milk products but, if weight gain is a
problem, you can also compensate for some of the new fat in the
diet by changing from full fat to lower fat dairy products, such as
milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurts, as well as low-fat or fatfree
salad dressings, to which you can add coconut oil. Also, use
a measuring spoon and remove the excess by leveling it with a
knife to avoid overestimating, which can make a big difference in
the number of calories consumed. Tiny glass measuring cups are
available at grocery stores with markings for teaspoons and
tablespoons. These are especially useful for combining salad
dressing with coconut oil.

DOES COCONUT OIL INCREASE CHOLESTEROL?

Hydrogenated coconut oil can increase cholesterol.
Therefore look for non-hydrogenated coconut oil with no transfat.
There is no cholesterol in coconut oil itself, and with nonhydrogenated
coconut oil, most people will see little difference or
will see an improvement in their HDL (“good”) and a decrease in
LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Some see an increase in total
cholesterol, usually as a result of an increase in HDL (“good”)
cholesterol.

SOME OTHER BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL AND
OTHER COCONUT PRODUCTS

Coconut oil is easily absorbed by the body and increases
absorption of certain vitamins and minerals and other important
nutrients. This would also hold true for coconut milk, coconut
meat, whether wet or dry, such as flaked or grated coconut. The
fiber in coconut meat may be especially beneficial to persons with
Crohn’s or other types of inflammatory bowel disease or
malabsorption syndromes and people who have diarrhea from MCT
or coconut oil.
All of your cell membranes and about 60-70% of the brain and
are made up of fats. Cholesterol is a very important component of
the support structure of the brain. Many cell functions take place
within the cell membrane. Since about the 1950’s many people in
this country have been using 100% vegetable oil, which is usually
hydrogenated polyunsaturated fat and contains transfat, which can
carry free radicals into your cell membranes. If you begin to
substitute coconut and other natural oils, such as olive oil and even
butter, along with omega-3 oils you may be able to undo some of
the damage. Most of the cells of the body turn over within 3 to 6
months and you may notice a nicer texture to your skin, and a
decrease in certain problems such as yeast and fungal infections.

FOOD IDEAS

· Use coconut oil instead of butter on toast, English muffins,
bagels, grits, corn on the cob, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice,
vegetables, noodles, pasta.
· Mix coconut oil into oatmeal or other hot cereal.
· Add coconut oil or milk to smoothies, yogurt or kefir.
· Mix coconut oil half and half with salad dressings.
· Mix coconut oil into your favorite soup, chili or sauce.
· Use a measured amount of coconut oil to stir fry or sauté (add
peanut oil over medium heat)
· Purchase or make coconut macaroons made from all natural
products.
· Eat a 2” x 2” square of raw coconut for a snack to provide 15
grams of oil.
· Add flaked or grated coconut to hot or cold cereal, yogurt, fruit
or vegetable salads.
· “The Coconut Lover’s Cookbook,” Bruce Fife – many more
great ideas

Coconut macaroons:

2 egg whites Dash of salt 1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup sugar or 1/4 cup sugar and 1 to 2 dashes of Stevia extract
1 cup shredded coconut
Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Gradually add sugar (and stevia), beating until stiff. Fold in
coconut. Coat cooking sheet with generous amount of butter.
Drop by the rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 325
degress for 20 minutes. Makes about 18 cookies. Each cookie at
this size would have about 4 grams of coconut oil.

Coconut Milk:

Mix in a container and shake well before use:
1 can of coconut milk ½ can of water Dash of salt
1-2 tablespoons of honey or other sweetener to taste
- Store in refrigerator and discard unused portion after 4 days.
MCT Oil/Coconut oil Mixture
Store at room temperature, in a quart size jar:
16 ounces MCT oil + 12 ounces coconut oil

“Fudge”

Melt and mix together 1 cup each of coconut oil and chocolate
chips and divide equally into a plastic ice cube tray and place in
freezer. In a 16 cube tray, each cube will equal 1 tablespoon
coconut oil. Add grated coconut and/or nuts for variety.

If you’re looking to buy some coconut oil after reading all this, my wife has a link to a review of the best source we have found on her Facebook Wall.  I asked her if we would earn any money from it, but she said “unfortunately, no!”  Anyway, the source is Tropical Traditions.

Google +1 Button – What it Means to You

Are You Getting the Benefit of the Google +1 Button?

Google has been working on the +1 button, and in the last month or so it has changed character.  It used to just add a count on your profile, where nobody saw it, but it’s now similar to the FacebookLike” button, which is what I suspect Google had in mind all along.  So what does this mean to you?

The big benefit I see in the +1 button is the ability to share content with specific groups of people, using Google Plus‘s “Circles”.  One of the frustrations I have found in Facebook is that this capability, although it exists, is not easy to implement.  I have over 4,000 “friends” on Facebook, and clearly not all of them are interested in the same topics.

Let’s suppose I’m working with Google Plus and have three circles: “Friends and Family”, “Colleagues” and “Internet Marketers“.  If my dog gets fleas I might choose to tell my friends and family, and perhaps my colleagues, but it’s doubtful if any internet marketing friends would find that very interesting unless they happen to be marketing flea powder.  (As it happens, I don’t have a dog, so please don’t inundate me with anti-flea information!)

On the other hand, if I have just found a new web hosting package that I like, most of my friends and family won’t be remotely interested, but my colleagues and internet marketers may be.  Do you see how neat this can be for segmenting your market and avoiding spamming family and friends?  I really wish this was as easy to do with Facebook.

What is the Benefit of the Google +1 Button?

You guessed it!  Google uses the +1 ratings to help rank websites.  Of course, it’s not all they use, but it can certainly help your site to get better SEO rankings and hence more traffic.

Here is a video from Google explaining how you can use this new capability:

Try it out now by “+1“ing this article!

PS: If you figure out how to join the preview group, let me know! Google has not released the new capability to the rest of the world yet :-(

 

QR Codes – How You Can Use Them

One of the cool things about QR codes is the curiosity factor.  It is not possible for the qr codeaverage human being to look at a QR code and have any idea what it represents: it just looks like a puzzle.  If you have a smartphone that can read it, it’s difficult to pass up the opportunity to scan it in and read the results.

In the previous article I explained what QR codes are, why they are important and how to get them at no cost. This article shows some of the ways you can benefit from using them.  I’m sure I have not thought of every possibility, but here are ten to be going on with: use your imagination to think of other ways you might use QR codes to promote your business.

1. Business Cards. Rather than clutter your business card with links, you can include your name, a photo and a QR code for your website, email, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ pages, etc.

2. Website Sales. QR codes can lead to specific URL’s, so you can create codes linking to certain products on your website.

3. Free Downloads. If you use e-books or downloadable software to promote your business, you can use QR codes to distribute them. When customers scan the code give them a free e-book or software download.

4. Flyers. Let’s suppose you own a restaurant. You can create a QR code linking to a URL with a discount on a meal and directions to the restaurant.  You can probably think of similar applications for other businesses.

5. Build Your Subscriber List. You can build your e-mail list by creating a QR code linking to your signup form.

6. E-courses. If you are an expert on something, you can create a QR code that generates an e-mail that tells your autoresponder to send regular course lessons to subscribers.

7. Discounts, Contests and Giveaways. These can be really effective when used in conjunction with QR codes. You can create promotions specific to the QR codes and place the codes in your advertisements or post them on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

8. Scratch and Win Promotions. People love scratching cards! Even if they don’t win, they’re excited by the possibility: you can create that excitement by getting them to scratch and scan a QR code card to see if they’ve won.

9. Customer Service Help. You can use QR codes to give customers information about your product or service. Create a QR code that leads to a FAQ page where customers can get answers to their questions via email or live chat.

10 New product promotion. You can give customers a preview of future products using QR codes.  If you scan the code at the beginning of this post, you will see that I have included over 200 characters of information, including an e-mail address.  Send me an e-mail if you managed to read it.

Let me know any other ideas that come to mind: this is all about sharing!  One of the questions I have is what is the best size for a QR code?  I used the medium size here, but there are many different sizes available.  Also, I used http://qrcode.kaywa.com but if you google “free qr code generators” you will find there are several.  Let me know which is most suitable for your needs, and why.

 

7 Tips on Improving Windows Performance

In a previous post I gave seven tips on improving Windows performance. Since then I received a request asking how to actually perform the tasks I recommended. So here is a step-by step procedure.

Details vary, of course, depending on which version of Windows you are running. Rather than attempt to describe every possible variant, I’ll stay with Windows 7. If you are not already running that version but your computer is capable of handling it, I recommend that you upgrade now – it is the best Windows system I have used (starting with Windows 3.1!)

#1 Defragment Your Hard Disk

Go to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools. You will find two programs: Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter. I suggest you use Disk Cleanup first, then Disk Defragmenter. Choose a time when you will not be using the computer for a while (say just before bedtime), because the Defragmenter can take several hours to run! The good news is that it will test first to see if defragmenting is necessary.

Plan to run this at least once a month (once a week is better): you can use the Windows Disk Defragmenter to defragment the C drive weekly at night-time (Configure Schedule). If, like me, you also use external hard drives for routine backups, don’t forget to defragment those as well – the scheduler allows you to defragment them all.

It would be nice if you schedule the Disk Cleanup operation, but as far as I can tell, Windows doesn’t allow this. However, there is a good free tool you can use to clean up all the garbage that accumulates on your hard drive. It’s call CCleaner, and you can get the free version here. I recommend that you set a reminder to run it before you run your routine defragment – I use Google calendar to set my reminder.  This program is also useful for some of the other recommendations.

#2 Disable the Search Index Service

Go to Control Panel -> Indexing Options -> Modify -> Show All Locations and remove the check marks. If there are locations in the lower panel, click on them and the check marks appear in the upper panel: clear them.

#3 Remove Start-up Programs

Most new software will attempt to start automatically, so you need to check this one regularly. Go to Control Panel -> System & Security: Find and Fix Problems -> System & Security: Check for Performance Issues -> Next -> Start System Configuration -> Startup. (Remove any programs you know you don’t need at startup.)

Here is another way: download a free application Soluto. This program will examine all your startup programs and advise you on how you can speed up your reboot. For me, it reduced boot time by over a minute (after I had already removed everything I knew about!)

#4 Cut Down on Background Applications

If you look in Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete) you will find a number of processes you don’t need. Here is a link to an article that may help you decide which to remove: http://vectrosecurity.com/content/view/31/26/. The article is based on Windows XP, so some of the background applications do not appear in Windows 7.

#5 Disable Your Wireless Internet and/or Bluetooth

These appear in the notification taskbar in the bottom right corner of the screen.

#6 Keep Your Computer Cool

With a laptop, ensure there is proper ventilation by placing it on a hard surface. With a desktop, make sure there is plenty of space around the air ducts. With both, remove dust regularly using a compressed air blower.

#7 Uninstall Unnecessary Programs (regularly)

Control Panel -> Programs -> Uninstall a Program. The Disk Cleanup System Tool referred to earlier also gives a link to this.

Follow these seven tips, and you should find your Windows performance improves significantly.