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11 Mar 2015 
I asked John the question at 23:46 and John Mueller was brisk to reply at 24:29 that he is "not certain what he [Gary Illyes] was alluding to on ongoing."

Be that as it may John went ahead to say that the extent that he knows, Google has not invigorated or rerun the Panda information since about October time. He wasn't certain on the authority last date yet he believes it has been "a while", at some point in October he considers.

John said:

We do sort of have Panda tied into our list items all the more specifically, so there is this sort of constant reflection there.

Be that as it may the extent that I know, we haven't upgraded the information that is reflected there for some time. So that is likely the date you're taking a gander at there and the constant is more the specialized part of how we coordinate that into it.

At that point somebody caught up to get some information about October 24th being the date and John said:

I don't have the foggiest idea about that without a doubt the careful date, I know it was in October.

I then asked John once again, "Just to affirm, they have not upgraded this information since sooner or later in October?" John reacted "the extent that I know."

I do concur, as do numerous SEOs, that Panda itself has not run since late October. So I am not certain about the moment and ongoing Panda changes however perhaps when Google brings new information and methodologies it, those will be pushed into the calculation sooner?


01 Mar 2015 

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The prestigious SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards were announced at a gala event last night and Get City Dealz, SEO-PR, and Business Wire won the 2013 Excellence in New Communications Award in the Visual Media Category of the Corporate Division. The three companies won for their test to see if an online video news release, a photo press release, or a release without multimedia would generate better results for three local merchants promoting their best daily deals in New Orleans.

Relatively few press releases include multimedia. The reason is obvious: The costs of creating, optimizing, and distributing a multimedia news release is relatively higher than a regular press release, but the benefits are unknown.

So, Get City Dealz, a technology company in New Orleans that specializes in assisting merchants in promoting their businesses on its deal platform, SEO-PR, the content marketing agency that pioneered press release SEO, and Business Wire, the global leader in press release distribution, conducted a test in February 2013 to find out if including a video or photo in a press release generated better results than a news release which didn't include multimedia.

Get City Dealz created three similar press releases. Each one featured a different local merchant that offered a daily deal or local bargain in New Orleans on the recently launched Get City Dealz platform. Each of the press releases was distributed via Business Wire at 6:30 a.m. on successive Saturday mornings in February.

The first release for Jazzy Nola went out on Feb. 2 and included a video. The second release for Orleans Grapevine went out on Feb. 9 and included a photo. The third release for Glam 504 went out on Feb. 23 and didn't include multimedia. The target audiences for all three press releases were more than 1 million tourists and 5,000 media members who were converging on New Orleans for two major events - "The Big Game" and Mardi Gras.

By April 1, the first press release with a video had 5,059 release views and 230 link clicks, according to Business Wire's NewsTrak Reports. The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, also had 69 views. The second release with a photo had 3,406 release views and 181 link clicks. The third release with no multimedia had 3,255 release views and 169 link clicks. So, the release with a video had 55.4% more release views and 36.1% more link clicks and the release with a photo had 4.6% more release views and 7.1% more link clicks than the release with no multimedia. Together, the three releases had 11,720 release views and 580 link clicks.

SEO-PR used the Google Analytics URL Builder to tag the links in the three releases. This enabled the team to see that visitors from press releases visited an average of 3.12 pages per visit and spent an average of 2 minutes and 16 seconds for the duration of a visit. It also enabled the team to see that 72% of the visits from the releases were new, compared the site average of 42%.

Pat Hall, CEO of Get City Dealz, said, "We saw an 85% increase in referral traffic in February over January. This came from news sites like Yahoo! Finance and Reuters as well as social media like Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. We saw a 407% increase in organic search traffic in February over January. Plus, the number of unique visitors to on weekends doubled in February over January."

Greg Jarboe, President of SEO-PR, added, "The online video news release for Jazzy Nola featured some unique wine tumblers made in a distinctly New Orleans style with a gold fleur de lis imprinted on the tumbler. The release helped sell out of the order of wine tumblers, which were great for tourists and visitors wandering the French Quarter during 'The Big Game' or on the Mardi Gras parade route."

Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President of Media Services Product Strategy at Business Wire, concluded, "The online video news release also mentioned that Jazzy Nola was promoting their Roger Goodell voodoo dolls. At the press conference before 'The Big Game', the media asked Goodell about the voodoo dolls and he joked that he'd read about them. They also sold out in a matter of days."

The SNCR Award is the second honor that Get City Dealz, SEO-PR, and Business Wire have received for their test. Last month, the three companies won the award for the Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign at the inaugural U.S. Search Awards.

01 Mar 2015 

So much has happened in recent years with SEO. With Google's release of Panda in 2011 and Penguin in 2012, both of which changed Google's search results ranking algorithm, SEO evolved.

Many think SEO is dead. That's right, I said dead. Go ahead, type it into Google. You will find a vast array of articles talking about the death of SEO. We're here to tell you that SEO is not dead, it's just different, and here is why.

SEO Has Much More Depth

In the past, SEO was viewed as just links, keywords and page ranking. While those are still vital to SEO, it goes well beyond that. SEO is not just page ranking, its branding and content strategy. I know you've heard the phrase 'content is king,' but it really is, and Google is making sure of it with their latest algorithm change to Panda this past August. It's about weeding out the weak, thin sites that aren't relevant and bringing the sites that have good, strong content to center stage. If you can create strong, relevant content and mix it with strong keywords, chances are you will shine on Google.

Links Have Changed

The rule of thumb used to be the more backlinks, or inbound links, the better. But that spawned a group of marketers who would buy and sell links, which, of course, Google frowned upon. Now, Google is rewarding quality over quantity, meaning you have to create quality inbound links. Although there isn't necessarily a concrete definition of what quality links are, there are certain aspects that Google looks for, including that the links come from a relevant, trusted source, it sends traffic and it's not misleading. Stick to these simple rules and this should help with your page ranking.

More Metrics to Filter Through

SEO used to rely heavily on keywords, and the same went for measuring your SEO success. Keyword rank used to be all a company would need to get a clear picture of how their SEO strategy is working, but not anymore. Marketers have a long list of metrics they look at now, including click-through rates, inbound links, bounce rate, duration on page and more. But that's not a bad thing, because with these new metrics, marketers and businesses are getting a much clearer picture of what is working and what is not.

In a Nutshell

With Google constantly making changes to its algorithm, it's nearly impossible to keep up with everything. The are only 2 things that is certain when it comes to SEO: 1.) SEO will continue to remold over time and, 2.) Google is going to continuously look for ways to provide its users with the most useful, relevant search results. If you can accept this and keep that in mind, then you should do just fine with your SEO.


28 Feb. 2015 

By Nita Bhalla

Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:32pm EST

Women labourers work at the construction site of a road in Kolkata January 8, 2015. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Women labourers work at the construction site of a road in Kolkata January 8, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When newly-wed Kamlesh was told she would be accompanying her husband to work in the city, she was thrilled at the prospect of a better life than in the drought-prone village in central India where she grew up.

But arriving in New Delhi 12 years ago, crammed into the back of a truck with her husband and dozens of others, Kamlesh was shown a make-shift tent home on a pavement and realized that city life would not be what she had expected.

"We were put to work immediately. The contractors told us to clear all the dirt and soil around the construction site and carry the cement to the masons," said Kamlesh, 30, wearing a black, white and orange sari, squatting as she broke into a drain with a hammer on a Delhi roadside.

"I didn't realize how low the pay would be, how we would be living and that I wouldn't see my children much. The men always complain that we women are weak and don't work fast enough, but that's not true. We work just as hard."

Across towns and cities in India, it is not uncommon to see women like Kamlesh cleaning building sites, carrying bricks and or shoveling gravel - helping construct the infrastructure necessary for the country's economic and social development.

They help build roads, railway tracks, airports, and offices. They lay pipes for clean water supplies, cables for telecommunications, and dig the drains for sewage systems.

But although women make up at least 20 percent of India's 40 million construction workers, they are less recognized than male workers with lower pay and often prone to safety hazards and sexual harassment.

They are often unaware of their rights or scared to complain, say activists now trying to campaign for better treatment of women in the construction industry.


"There are two types of construction workers - those living in the cities, and those who are migrants. It is the migrants who have a harder time," said Martha Chen of the global network Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising.

"They have no community, except the other workers. Their living conditions are much worse. They have no water supplies and toilets, and nowhere to leave the children when they work."

The workers are recruited from villages by contractors who employ them for public and private projects. The contractors are responsible for accommodation, transport to and from the site, and decide their pay and working conditions.

Women laborers also say they are often paid less than men.

Female workers in Delhi said they earned 250 rupees ($4) a day compared to 450 rupees paid to men for the same work as it is generally accepted in the industry that women be paid less.

Most women come with their husbands, and often with their infant children who are seen playing amongst the piles of bricks and gravel as their parents labor under the blazing summer sun.

Two or three times a year, the workers go back to their villages to see children they left behind with grandparents and pay off debts mounted over the years.

Researchers say women complain of the toll the labor-intensive work takes on their bodies, the lack of child care and abuse by their contractors, or agents.

"On construction sites, there is a lot of harassment of women workers by the agents. They are making passes at them, lewd comments and may try to touch them or even physically molest them," said Priya Deshingkar of the Migrating out of Poverty Research Consortium, a program run from Britain's Sussex University.

    "Women are in a highly vulnerable situation because they are constantly harassed by the agents but they can't tell their men about it because they feel that they will be ex-communicated or punished by their husbands for behaving in a way that attracts this attention," she added.


Another challenge faced by women as well as men is the lack of financial compensation when they get sick, say activists.

"Women in the construction industry in India do the lift-and-carry work. They climb the scaffoldings with the bricks and soil on their heads. The hazards they face are often much higher than men," said Chen.

"Their body is their only asset. Safety and health is a big issue. If they are sick or injured and can't work, they lose money. There are no benefits as they work in many different places, for different employers and are paid on a daily basis."

Industry officials admit the discrimination in wages and recognition of skills of female workers, but say attitudes are beginning to change among the country's bigger companies.

"The bias toward not recognizing the skills of the women is rather strong," said Sunil Mahajan, additional director general of the Construction Industry Development Council, a government-industry body.

"But there is a certain amount of awakening among contractors. Companies themselves now recognize the need for social care. Basic minimum facilities such as crèches are increasingly being provided on sites and women are being afforded a lot more respect."

Organizations such as the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) - India's oldest and largest female trade union with over 1.3 million members - say most female laborers are unaware of their rights.

SEWA has formed a cooperative of female laborers in the western city of Ahmedabad, where they are given on-the-job training to develop skills ranging from cleaning, carrying and shoveling to masonry, carpentry and plumbing.

The cooperative also has an insurance scheme for workers, in which they are given half their daily wage for any sick days.

But cooperative organizers say it is not easy for them to get contracts due to the bias against women in construction.

"Clients don't think that women can do this job with the same quality and speed and we face many challenges in trying to convince them that women are capable of constructing a house or a road, or doing water-proofing or electrical or plumbing work," said Manali Shah, SEWA's head of urban work.

"They say that women can't do this work so it is very difficult to penetrate into this male-dominated work. But slowly we are making progress."

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla. Additional reporting by Megan Rowling in Barcelona; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith and Ros Russell)

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22 Feb. 2015 

Getting "spammed" is the price of using e-mail, it seems.

As mounds of unwanted messages pile up in in-boxes, hawking anything from debt reduction to weight reduction, some large e-mail marketing companies want to make sure four-letter words of frustration aren't directed at them or their clients.

The Responsible Electronic Communications Alliance -- a new group of 15 companies that includes DoubleClick, 24/7 Media, Bigfoot Interactive and ClickAction Inc. -- proposed privacy standards Monday that it hopes will cut down on Internet spam.

The group presented the standards at an industry trade show in Boston as sort of a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for Internet direct advertisers.

The proposal:

Bans advertisers from sending solicitations to consumers without consent.

Allows consumers to remove themselves from mailing lists.

Restricts e-mail to relevant content.

Requires members to state how the information customers provide will be used.

"We think this is going to have a major impact and eliminate a lot of the clutter in people's mailboxes," said lawyer Christopher Wolf, alliance president.

The plan is still in draft form, and a final proposal will not be approved before next year.

Getting Personal?

Companies using e-mail are increasingly trying to be more personalized with the information they send to potential customers, which means privacy becomes even more important, said industry analyst Michele Pelino, director of Internet marketing strategies at Yankee Group in Boston.

Pelino said the alliance's plan has merit because it establishes ways it can be enforced. Violations would be reported for investigation to an independent auditor, and companies could be subject to fines and forfeiture of the seal.

"That's where there seems to be some meat and teeth -- to monitor and really evaluate whether the members are participating effectively," Pelino said.

The proposal is based on guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission. Federal regulators have urged Internet companies to regulate themselves, and the group hopes to get the FTC's endorsement of the plan.

"The prospect of government regulation was one important impetus for RECA, because I think the industry would prefer responsible self-regulation," said lawyer Ross Klenoff, who represents the alliance and helped draft the proposal.

Some companies also have found it difficult to raise the bar on their own and decided to work together, Klenoff said.

"You run into a difficult situation where you try to raise the bar on privacy standards, and marketers threaten to walk and go with another company," he said.

The proposal won't stop unwanted e-mail, because there will be some companies that won't participate or abide by any other standards, Klenoff said.

"You can come up with a great solution, but if not all companies are part of the solution then you haven't completely won the battle," he said.

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