Thursday, July 20, 2017

SEO: How to get it right

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not as tough as it sounds. With the World Wide Web becoming denser by the day, it makes sense to have some knowledge about SEO in order to attract more and more visitors to your website.


The main motive of SEO is to enable you to reach out to people who are looking for you. It thus becomes important to match what people are trying to find with the content on your website.

Well researched keywords are the key to attracting visitors who are most likely to turn into customers.

LD SEO Sydney simplifies this process for you.


Finding the right keywords:

-        Look out for keywords that are relevant to the content posted on your website.

-        Keywords should have a high search volume. It means that more and more people should be searching for them.

-        There should be low competition for the keywords as smaller competition will ensure that your website is visible higher in the ranking order.

-        Also, one must remember that less popular keywords should make up 80% of your traffic. Incorporate a balance between most popular keywords and less popular ones.


Content Crafting

The next step in the SEO process, after the keywords have been selected, is the formation of content. Search engines have bots that crawl your website to find out the nature of the content. Optimizing the content for certain keywords will influence the bots and give your pages high rankings. It is also important to describe all the images, videos and audio clips so that the bots are able to read them.

The quality of the content should not be made to suffer just to incorporate the keywords. The persuasiveness of the content should remain intact and the keywords should not look forced.

Here are some other things to remember regarding the content:
-        Content should have a catchy title that makes a good first impression.
-        Keywords should be relevant.
-        Choose links that are related to the content on your website.
-        Content should be unique, error-free and engaging.
-        It also needs to be regularly updated.


 Code Optimization

The bots are programmed not just to read the content but also the code of the website. Therefore it is essential to optimise the eight different sections of the code as well. These codes include:

Title Tags
One should make sure that the keywords are placed in the title. Let us consider an example:
<Title> Affordable website design in Melbourne, Australia from Creative Web Designers<title>
The inclusion of the website name in the title in this example emphasises what the website is all about. People are most likely to search for “website design in Melbourne, Australia” or its variations. Each page should also have a unique title tag.

Meta Tags
The Meta tag informs gives the information about the nature of the website to the searchers. This is mentioned just below the website name and link when the website appears on the search pages.

The decision of the people to open the link depends on this tag greatly. The Meta tag should be short and crisp and should include the keywords for maximum impact. It would be great if each page has a unique Meta tag.

Headings
The headings on webpages are in the order H1, H2, H3 and so on and H1 is the main heading that occurs one on each page. Make sure that the heading are filled with keywords relevant to the content on the pages.

Sitemaps
Sitemaps can be referred to as the road maps for search engines that offer direction to the bots to all pages of your portal. You can create two types of sitemaps – HTML and XML. While the XML sitemaps are specifically coded for reading by search engines, the HTML sitemaps are very easy to read for the people too. The visitors can be given an overview of everywhere they go using these.

Domain Name
The name of your website or the domain name is the address where the users access your website from. If a majority of your traffic comes from search engines then it makes sense to name your website as per its nature. Like for examples domain name like buygold.com will automatically rank higher for people searching to buy gold.

URL structure, Alt Tags and Links
Avoid messy and long URLs so that it is easier for the bots to crawl to your website. Do not use extraneous characters (&, %, #, =,*) and avoid using underscores.

Alt tags need to be added to each image for its brief description. Match the name of the image to the atl tag.

Be careful of what links you use on your pages and which pages host your link. Beware of spammy sites and avoid reciprocal links.

Keeping these little things in mind will surely help to promote your website in the best possible way.

Together, technology and teachers can revamp schools

How the science of learning can get the best out of edtech


IN 1953 B.F. Skinner visited his daughter’s maths class. The Harvard psychologist found every pupil learning the same topic in the same way at the same speed. A few days later he built his first “teaching machine”, which let children tackle questions at their own pace. By the mid-1960s similar gizmos were being flogged by door-to-door salesmen. Within a few years, though, enthusiasm for them had fizzled out.

Since then education technology (edtech) has repeated the cycle of hype and flop, even as computers have reshaped almost every other part of life. One reason is the conservatism of teachers and their unions. But another is that the brain-stretching potential of edtech has remained unproven.

Today, however, Skinner’s heirs are forcing the sceptics to think again. Backed by billionaire techies such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, schools around the world are using new software to “personalise” learning. This could help hundreds of millions of children stuck in dismal classes—but only if edtech boosters can resist the temptation to revive harmful ideas about how children learn. To succeed, edtech must be at the service of teaching, not the other way around.

Pencils down

The conventional model of schooling emerged in Prussia in the 18th century. Alternatives have so far failed to teach as many children as efficiently. Classrooms, hierarchical year-groups, standardised curriculums and fixed timetables are still the norm for most of the world’s nearly 1.5bn schoolchildren.

Too many do not reach their potential. In poor countries only a quarter of secondary schoolchildren acquire at least a basic knowledge of maths, reading and science. Even in the mostly rich countries of the OECD about 30% of teenagers fail to reach proficiency in at least one of these subjects.

That share has remained almost unchanged over the past 15 years, during which billions have been spent on IT in schools. By 2012 there was one computer for every two pupils in several rich countries. Australia had more computers than pupils. Handled poorly, devices can distract. A Portuguese study from 2010 found that schools with slow broadband and a ban on sites such as YouTube had better results than high-tech ones.

What matters is how edtech is used. One way it can help is through bespoke instruction. Ever since Philip II of Macedon hired Aristotle to prepare his son Alexander for Greatness, rich parents have paid for tutors. Reformers from São Paulo to Stockholm think that edtech can put individual attention within reach of all pupils. American schools are embracing the model most readily. A third of pupils are in a school district that has pledged to introduce “personalised, digital learning”. The methods of groups like Summit Public Schools, whose software was written for nothing by Facebook engineers, are being copied by hundreds of schools.

In India, where about half of children leave primary school unable to read a simple text, the curriculum goes over many pupils’ heads. “Adaptive” software such as Mindspark can work out what a child knows and pose questions accordingly. A recent paper found that Indian children using Mindspark after school made some of the largest gains in maths and reading of any education study in poor countries.

The other way edtech can aid learning is by making schools more productive. In California schools are using software to overhaul the conventional model. Instead of textbooks, pupils have “playlists”, which they use to access online lessons and take tests. The software assesses children’s progress, lightening teachers’ marking load and giving them insight on their pupils. Saved teachers’ time is allocated to other tasks, such as fostering pupils’ social skills or one-on-one tuition. A study in 2015 suggested that children in early adopters of this model score better in tests than their peers at other schools.

Pay attention at the back

Such innovation is welcome. But making the best of edtech means getting several things right. First, “personalised learning” must follow the evidence on how children learn. It must not be an excuse to revive pseudoscientific ideas such as “learning styles”: the theory that each child has a particular way of taking in information. Such nonsense leads to schemes like Brain Gym, an “educational kinesiology” programme once backed by the British government, which claimed that some pupils should stretch, bend and emit an “energy yawn” while doing their sums.

A less consequential falsehood is that technology means children do not need to learn facts or learn from a teacher—instead they can just use Google. Some educationalists go further, arguing that facts get in the way of skills such as creativity and critical thinking. The opposite is true. A memory crammed with knowledge enables these talents. William Shakespeare was drilled in Latin phrases and grammatical rules and yet he penned a few decent plays. In 2015 a vast study of 1,200 education meta-analyses found that, of the 20 most effective ways of boosting learning, nearly all relied on the craft of a teacher.

The second imperative is to make sure that edtech narrows, rather than widens, inequalities in education. Here there are grounds for optimism. Some of the pioneering schools are private ones in Silicon Valley. But many more are run by charter-school groups teaching mostly poor pupils, such as Rocketship and Achievement First—or Summit, where 99% of graduating pupils go on to university and laggards make the most progress relative to their peers in normal classes. A similar pattern can be observed outside America. In studies of edtech in India by J-PAL, a research group, the biggest beneficiaries are children using software to receive remedial education.

Third, the potential for edtech will be realised only if teachers embrace it. They are right to ask for evidence that products work. But scepticism should not turn into Luddism. A good model is São Paulo, where teachers have welcomed Geekie, an adaptive-software company, into public schools.

In 1984 Skinner called opposition to technology the “shame” of education. Given what edtech promises today, closed-mindedness has no place in the classroom.

The Next Sexual Revolution Is Going to be All About Technology

Image result for The Next Sexual Revolution Is Going to be All About Technology

Sex is one of the most powerful, fundamental human drives. It’s caused wars, and built and destroyed kingdoms. It occupies a significant percentage of most people’s thoughts. As such, it’s worth a conversation about how exponential technologies will change our relationship with sex.

DATING IN THE INTERNET AGE

Dating in past generations was local and linear. You had access to a small number of potential mates based on where you lived, where you went to school and your social status. In the 1960s, over 50% of marriages globally, and 95% of marriages in India, were arranged. Today that number has dropped to less than 15% (globally). In 1960, the median age at first marriage for the bride was 20 and the groom was 23 years old. Today, the median age is closer to 29 for women and 30 for men. A cultural shift is happening, and it’s changing the game. Dating has gone digital. As such, it has gone from local and linear to global and exponential. Today, 40 million Americans use online dating services (that’s about 40% of the single population in the U.S.), driving the creation of a $2.4 billion online dating industry.


These services transcend geography and social strata. People are matched from around the world. Between 1995 and 2005, there was exponential growth among heterosexual couples meeting online. (See the green line in the chart below.)

For same-sex couples, the online dating trend has been even more dramatic, with more than 60% of same-sex couples meeting online in 2008 and 2009 (see the green line in the chart above).

The implications of this are staggering. Besides moving the marriage age back, there are a number of sociological effects such as decision fatigue, gamification of dating, and the commoditization of people that will start to have population-level effects as mating behaviors change. And this is just the beginning.

DATING & EXPONENTIAL TECH

In the very near future, we will see machine learning / artificial intelligence-based matchmakers that will find the perfect match for you based upon everything from your genomics to your psychographics. Once you’re on a date, your augmented reality glasses will give you real-time dating info, calling up any info you want to know, as you need to know it. Perhaps you want to understand how she/he is feeling about you, and your AR camera is watching her pupillary dilation and capillary flushing. Like all technology, these applications are double-edged swords. My hope is that this tech actually increases the number of successful, meaningful relationships in the world and, in turn, has a net positive impact. But while dating is one side of the coin, sex is another — and the implications of exponential technology on sex can be shocking.

SEX & EXPONENTIAL TECH

Today, sex has been digitized; as such, it has been dematerialized, demonetized and democratized. Sex, in the form of pornography, is free, available to anyone with an internet connection and pervasive across many platforms. In 2015, just one pornography website reported that their users watched over 4.3 billion hours of porn (87 billion videos) that year. The proliferation of internet connectivity, online video players and streaming, mobile phones, and advertisement delivery networks have propelled pornography into a $97 billion industry. This is causing a number of negative social phenomena. More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13. In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18. “Pornography is influencing everything from how teens language and frame sexuality to how and why they pierce certain body parts to what they expect to give and receive in intimate relationships,” says Jill Manning, Ph.D, Witherspoon Institute.

In Japan, a growing population of men report that they *prefer* having “virtual girlfriends” over real ones (i.e. they believe they are “dating” virtual avatars that they largely control). 45% of Japanese single women, and 25 % of Japanese single men aged 16 to 24 claim they aren’t even interested in sexual contact. Given these trends, unless something happens to boost Japan’s birth rate, its population will shrink by a third between now and 2060. In other words, there is serious concern of significant UNDERpopulation. But again, this is only the beginning — as virtual reality (VR) becomes more widespread, one major application will inevitably be VR porn. It will be much more intense, vivid, and addictive — and as AI comes online, I believe there will be a proliferation in AI-powered avatar and robotic relationships, similar to those characters depicted in the movies Her and Ex Machina.

IMPLICATIONS

VR porn promises to offer a virtual world filled with more sex, better sex, endless sex, and new varieties of sex. The dark secret, however, is that the further a user goes into that fantasy world, the more likely their reality is to become just the opposite. Many psychologists believe that VR porn may numb us to sexual desire and pleasure in the real world, leading to less and less satisfying sex. For many, VR (as well as other exponential technologies such as robotics, sensors and A.I.) will act as a complete replacement for intimacy and human relationships, as it is more easily accessible, cheaper, on-demand, and, well, controllable. As the father of two five-year-old boys, this is really concerning to me. That said, are there upsides too? Perhaps a bit of intimacy (if even technological) for those who are infirmed, aged, crippled and thereby alone. We shall see. One thing is for sure: as with every technology in history, from the printing press to VHS and the internet, pornography will be on the front line funding the advance of technology.

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