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Bill Gates talks Gates 2014 Annual Letter, Microsoft, and Vaclav Smil

bill_gates_interview

This morning the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation released their 2014 Annual Letter, an attempt to debunk commonly held beliefs in development economics. Quartz sat down with Mr. Gates to discuss everything from work and philanthropy to the goings on of his day to day life.

Click here to read the entire interview, which includes some great points such as how Mr. Gates juggles his work at the Gates Foundation with his work at Microsoft, highlights from the annual letter and Mr. Gates habit of veracious reading (spoiler his reading list includes Wiley author Dr. Vaclav Smil’s latest book).

 

Link: Forbes on digital marketing, SEO, and social media

The latest article titled, SEO, Social Media, & Digital Marketing: Don’t Be A Dinosaur, from Forbes’ tackles the issue of early adopters vs. late majorities. Right off the bat it seems this article is not relevant for most of us (who are just trying to promote ourselves) because it closes with some SEO contractor suggestions from contributor Larry Myler

But the reason I share this post is because of the introduction section.  At the top of the page, Myler presents a history of business technology. He highlights the fast hardware innovations since the 1980s (from fax machines in every office to websites for every person). Then readers are asked to find themselves on the bell-curve that ranges from “innovators” to “dinosaurs.” In doing so, readers can gauge their level of comfort and type of digital marketing they should embark on.

As we’ve mentioned previously, your self-promotion and digital marketing should depend on your skill level, interest level, and available free time. This bell-curve and accompanying post provide a great picture of that concept.

Not into SEO? Learn about SMO (“social media optimization”)

SEO is dead. Long live social media optimization is one of the latest posts from The Guardian’s Social Media Marketing section.

With all of the changes to Google’s algorithms, it is hard to keep track of search engine optimization best practices. Also, there is some debate on the overall benefit of SEO. Tim Anderson referenced a post by Dan Graziano, Android editor for BRG.com, that reported only 13% of Google search results are “organically displayed.” A report from Forester suggested a move towards “localized results” and searching on social media for information.

“At its best, [SEO] means no more than following best practice in creating clear, accessible web sites with intelligible content, meaningful titles, descriptive “alt” attributes for image, no broken links, and the rest of what makes for a high-quality web destination.” 

At times, strictly abiding to SEO principles can make a post less engaging to the reader.  If you are focusing on plugging in keywords instead of creating engaging content, the material will suffer.

As suggested in this article by Anderson, we should be focusing on “social media optimization.”

So what is “social media optimization”?

In a lot of cases, activities may be similar to what you are already doing on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  • Use hashtags on every Tweet
  • Engage in a conversation instead of broadcasting a message
  • Listen to what others are saying and react
  • Post across social networks

Focus on the content first and then follow the guidelines.  Keep best-practices in the back of your head not only for blog posts and articles but also for social media posts and comments. Align content across platforms and sites to keep your message and voice consistent.

Keywords and Lady Gaga’s sunglasses, SEO Part 2

This is the second post in our SEO series.  Written by Anne-Marie Green, marketing manager at Wiley, this post is about the importance of keywords and how to use them effectively.

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In my last post, “The good news and bad news with SEO,” I mentioned keywords a lot.  In fact, I was saying “keywords” so much that it was getting downright boring.  I really wanted to stress their importance however. In this post I want to give you more hands-on advice on how to choose keywords for your article title, your abstract, and the keywords section of your article.

With this being said, search engine optimization (SEO) is a moving target.  Google, which receives about 80 percent of online search that takes place, regularly changes its algorithms, leaving us sprinting to catch up.  So, I want to clue you in on a couple more things beyond keywords as they relate to article SEO.

Do you ever browse eBay or etsy?  If so, surely you’ve come across something like this:

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I’m not saying you’re browsing for Lady Gaga-style sunglasses (and no judgment if you are), but you’ve probably seen these strings of somewhat unrelated keywords stuffed into product descriptions.  Sometimes they’re downright funny.  Well, Google has made updates recently to try to see beyond these strings of keyword bait.  Nowadays, Google is looking for natural connections between keywords and the page (or article’s) content.

So how best to choose keywords? 

  1. Think about what someone might search on to find your article.  The phrase or first 3 or 4 words that first pop into your head may be what you should lead your article title with.
  2. Use a tool to help. You can easily use Google’s Keyword Planner or RankChecker  (you’ll have to sign up for a free registration for these) to find out which terms related to your article’s subject matter are popular keywords or search terms.
  3. Make sure the keywords you choose accurately reflect the content of your article.  This is a no-brainer, but you don’t want to plug in keywords that have really strayed from your article’s content.  Remember those “natural connections” to your content that I mentioned Google is looking for when crawling webpages.
  4. Use the keywords field to your advantage.  Make sure you use this field to your advantage when submitting your paper.  You not only need your keywords from the article title and abstract, but also synonyms.  Is there another name or acronym for a concept, study, compound, etc, that you’re featuring in your research?  Include it here!
  5. Repeat keywords in your abstract in ways that make sense.  It’s important to repeat your keywords in your article abstract of course, but, once again, make sure they are still used in a way that achieves your primary objective, which should be to briefly communicate the content of your article.

I hope this is useful and if you’re interested in the sunglasses, check in with ebay.

The good news and bad news with SEO

We will be doing a series of posts on SEO.  This installment is a general overview of the “good news and bad news” regarding Search Engine Optimization. 

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For those who aren’t sure what SEO is, let’s take a minute to read to look at this great explanation by Jin Zhang and Alexandra Dimitroff (authors of “The Impact of Metadata Implementation on Webpage Visibility in Search Engine Results (Part II)” Information Processing & Management):

“Search Engine Optimization (SEO) … is the process of identifying factors in a webpage which would impact search engine accessibility to it and fine-tuning the many elements of a website so it can achieve the highest possible visibility when a search engine responds to a relevant query. Search engine optimization aims at achieving good search engine accessibility for webpages, high visibility in search engine results, and improvement of the chances the webpages are retrieved.”

When thinking about using this tool, there are some upsides and downsides you need to consider.

First, here’s the bad news about using search engine optimization for your paper:  It’s going to be a bit more work. 

As if it’s not enough that you hustled for funding, figured out who your co-authors would be, conducted the research, wrote the paper, decided where to submit it, hoped that it would be accepted, made necessary revisions, and waited anxiously for it go up online.

Plus, you may be asking yourself: “Isn’t that the journal’s (or publisher’s) job?” Well yes and no.  Journals and publishers need to make sure they do everything they can to optimize online platforms so that search engines can easily crawl and index content.  58% of all traffic to Wiley’s online platform, Wiley Online Library, comes from search engines (predominantly Google and Google Scholar).   However, they do not have ultimate control over the discoverability of content at the article level. You do.

Here’s the good news:  It’s worth the effort.

Why would you bother to go to all the toil of authoring an article if your research is going to be buried on page 275 of Google or Google Scholar’s search results?  Scholarly information is increasingly more accessible online, but not inherently more discoverable.  Employing SEO can leverage a paper so that it has better odds of being at the top of search results, and, consequently, better odds of being read and even cited.

Moreover, if you are publishing open access, you may as well get the best value for your (or your funder’s) money by ensuring that your research is easily accessible via search engines.

So what do you need to do?  We’ve created an SEO for Authors tips sheet to give authors an at-a-glance guide to optimizing their papers.  Here are some highlights:

  • Carefully select relevant keywords
  • Lead with keywords in article title
  • Repeat keywords 3-4 times throughout abstract
  • Use headings throughout article
  • Include at least 5 keywords and synonyms in keyword field
  • Link to published article on social media, blogs and academic websites

The success of this tool boils down to selecting appropriate keywords (i.e. search terms) and using them frequently and appropriately. The more times a search term is used in the document, the more relevant the document is considered (according to Beel, Jran, Bela Gipp, and Erik Wilde “Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO): Optimizing Scholarly Literature for Google Scholar & Co.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing )

Once you grasp the concepts, the whole process really isn’t that daunting and won’t require that much additional work. It is really about being mindful as you are writing the paper of how users would search and find the published version online.

Happy Optimizing!

Illustrate your data

Use an infograph tool to create more than 30 chart types. Anything from bubble charts and treemaps to simple pie charts.

 
Do you have to present reams of data using Microsoft tools and want to create something that stands out? Or perhaps you want to create an info graph of your own work experience – to append to your CV?

 
http://infogr.am/ is an online tool that allows you to create graphs and present data in a much more attractive way. There’s a suit of free templates to use and you can publish your creations online.

 
Here’s an example created for Internet Penetration Trends: http://infogr.am/Internet-penetration-2012—Global-trends/

 
Hints and tips:

 
If you are copy and pasting data from excel, copy and paste it in to ‘notepad’ first. This will strip out any special characters and ensure that you don’t have any upload issues with the data.

 
Sometimes the graphs don’t configure correctly –this is normally because they prefer % over #s.

 
Like most online tools – infogr.am works better in browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla or Safari. Internet Explorer causes temperamental behaviour and lots of frustration!

Recent Updates for Google SEO

Earlier this month, Google announced a few changes and innovations to their SEO algorithms and webmaster relations.

In the video below, Matt Cutts lays out these changes. He talks about the prevalence of advertorial spam and how Google is taking steps decrease the success of these types of posts.

He also mentions that Google plans to solidify relationships with the “expert” webmasters. This will make sure their sites are ranked higher than “black hat” webmasters and protect against site hacking.

Here is a post by Liquid Silver Marketing, a UK-based firm specializing in SEO and “inbound” marketing, that explains changes and has other interesting resources for marketers.