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The SEO landscape has changed dramatically in 2014 but I think it's for the best. Now it all makes more sense and the focus is on quality in every way. Much simpler and a more satisfying way to get ahead online.

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Just updating my website portfolio. Completed this a few years ago now but still relevant and fresh looking.

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How to prepare your business' new facebook page. Timeline is coming to pages and this great article by Mashable is a good insight into how you can use it to market your business further on Facebook.

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Brand new range of website marketing services from DebTheWeb. Lots of goodies to get more people to your website.

Google Local Search - Directory Listings & Reviews
Link Building Packages
Buy Website Traffic
Social Signals - give your social networking a boost

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Apparently it's social media week in many parts of the world, so I thought I would add my bit. This is a list that originally came from the Social Media Insider blog but I've put my own slant on it.

If you're still sitting on the fence about social media then take a look a these very good reasons why it's perhaps time to jump off and jump in. You may even find it fun!

1. Facebook is now reaching the billion users mark.

2. Facebook also is nearing the half a billion users who use mobiles.

3. Search and social are now linked as Google's latest personalised search features show. Plus Bing is also getting on the band wagon.

4. Pinterest is fast becoming a social power player and their users are not teens or twenty somethings.

5. Tumbling is the new blogging.

6. Blogging is still vital.

7. Most people don't think social media is a fad.

8. You can't help sometimes checking out your friends photos.

9. "Social media is a messy, magical gift. It's the unexpected that creates value for both the brand and customer. Done well, social media brings customers and the people of the brand closer together." ... Tony Bloomberg

10. Wikipedia has now taken over from Encyclopedia Britanica.

11. Social media gets people to turn on the TV for live events. You just have to see the Red Nose Day to see this.

12. It gets people into stores.

13. In shops, retailers and product manufacturers can incorporate social content digitally and physically to educate, empower and excite customers.

14. Friends' endorsements sell products.

15. People get crowds to fund their passion projects and charities while refining their product ideas.

16. "We are the nation ... of Google and Facebook." ... President Obama

17. There are rarely any weeks where there are no social media events.

18. Social media is now a skill employers look for.

19. Social media works best when it brings people together in real life.

20. It makes professional collaborations far easier and richer.

21. It has become an essential part of research and development.

22. Social media doesn't create democratic revolutions but it helps get people together to change the world.

23. "People publish. Instead of denigrating user generated content ... marketers need to understand that this is what we are about." ... Seth Godin

24. Foursquare Day is April 16 and was started by a fan.

25. Organisations like Kiva, RED and Charity Water keep finding ways to use social media to improve lives.

26. Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube.

27. We're exposed to more cute animals than we ever were before. That has elevated our moods enough to reduce healthcare expenditure.

28. Craiglist, breaking every design rule there is, remains a top 25 website.

29. Top sites ranking higher than Craigslist include strictly social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Wordpress, Answers, Blogspot, Blogger, LinkedIn and Tumblr along with social driven properties like YouTube and Huffington Post.

30. LinkedIn has proved that social media services can be successful even if they don't depend entirely on advertising.

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Just finished brand new website for Cairn Lodge Appin on the stunning west coast of Scotland. This is a truly beautiful place to stay and I've been lucky enough to visit there. Irene is a wonderful host and hope that this website shows off the setting well.

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No wonder I'm feeling stressed. When you have a coffee break today I urge you to read this article on the future of SEO. If you still feel that you don't need social media or to build you online presence, then think again! The changes online are already upon us and we as small business need to adapt.

Let me know what you think of this article and voice your concerns here.

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People no longer want yellow pages in the USA but is it the same here in the UK??

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A very interesting article on Google's plans for tracking user data. Not surprising though as Google has been re-vamping their advertising system for a while. Gathering personal information like this means they can target ads to users much more effectively. Much like Facebook ads do.

This is the important paragraph: "If you're signed in, we may combine information you've provided from one service with information from other services."

If you're signed into Google then they can track whatever you do and use that information later on for tailoring advertising. Facebook do exactly this whenever you're logged into FB.

The key to remember is that you can 'log-out' of Google and then the information tracked is limited. The problem is that most people don't know when they are logged in or not.

This is a huge invasion of privacy but unfortunately is the way everything seems to be going. It's now more important than ever to be aware of what you're doing online. Take the time to learn 'how' to do things your way and keep information away from big corporations.

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Don't know what SOPA and PIPA are? These are acts that are about to go through in the US to (very simply) allow anyone, particularly corporations, to sensor the internet. That means any website, anywhere in the world can get shut down at a moments notice. Why, for infringing copyright. Now you might think this is a good thing but the problem is that these laws are so vague that the term 'copyright infringement' can be almost anything.

To give you an idea of what this mean, if you copy any piece of text, an image, take a screenshot, use a logo, anything from another site, business, company or person, then they have the right to completely close down your website indefinitely.

Now the internet has grown to be a caring and sharing place and this sort of censorship just doesn't fit with how the web works. Sure stealing other people's stuff is bad and I know there are people out there who steal music, films, etc but the majority of the web is about sharing and people are ok with that. Sharing has created major industries of creativity. Take a look at YouTube for example. If these laws go through then kiss goodbye to YouTube and other sites like this.

These bills were created by the narrow minded corporation chiefs who are struggling to hold onto their corporate worlds which are crumbling town rapidly. If these bills go through, there will be no more freedom on the internet and we will turn back the clocks to a world that lives in fear and control. I urge you now to make yourself aware of this and if you haven't signed a petition yet, please do so. Just look up SOPA and PIPA on Google and you'll find what you need.

To everyone in the UK, Australia and anywhere in the world that's not the USA, if you think that because this is happening in the USA it won't affect you. Well, I'm sorry but it will affect everyone! Most of the internet is controlled by US companies and organisations. So it all has a knock on effect.

I know I'm ranting but whenever the so called 'intelligent ruling elite' do something as blatantly stupid as this, I just have to say my piece.
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