Febrero. 2015
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20 Feb. 2015 

Take Two: Following Up on "Content Strategy" and the "New" SEO

Jayson DeMers

One of the best things about the Internet is the fact that amidst all the noise, meaningful discussions and insights regularly surface.

The New Era of SEO: Content Strategy

Jayson DeMers

Well-known industry players are starting to say that content strategy is the new SEO. Some argue that traditional link building strategies are dead. Links are still the most important factor in the ranking algorithm, but the "valuable" thing is simply unique, high-quality, valuable content.

Your Social Shelf Space Opportunity

Read More: SEO Strategy, Google Ads, Seo Tips, Google Seo, Google Search, Google Search Tips, Social Shelf Space, Google Search Results, Shelf Space, Google Seo Tips, Technology News

Julio Fernandez

Before you worry about your Pinterest strategy or how to leverage the 50 million users on Draw Something, the biggest mistake you could make is to break what is currently working on your social shelf space.

Search Engine Optimization: 5 Things You Need To Know

Search engine optimization may be better known by its acronym -- SEO. That's one way to simplify a complicated topic. The basic concept behind SEO is ...

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20 Feb. 2015 


Federal authorities shut down Silk Road, an underground marketplace responsible for distributing illegal drugs and other black market goods and services. (Department of Justice)

Federal authorities have shut down what they called the "most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet today," an underground operation responsible for distributing illegal drugs and other black market goods and services.

The site's alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht, was arrested and $3.6 million in anonymous digital currency known as Bitcoins was seized. The site, which did about $1.2 billion in sales, was taken over by federal authorities, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday in the Southern District of New York.

Ulbricht was alleged to operate a website responsible for distributing hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services, including fake IDs and computer hacking-related services. He was indicted on charges of  drug conspiracy, computer intrusion offensives conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.

Ulbricht, 29, used the aliases "Dread Pirate Roberts,"  "DPR," and "Silk Road" while operating the site, authorities said.

He appeared in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday and was scheduled to reappear Friday for a detention hearing.

The government seized approximately 26,000 Bitcoins in the largest ever seizure of the online currency designed to be as anonymous as cash.

The website, described as "a sprawling black-market bazaar," was used by several thousand drug dealers and unlawful vendors to distribute hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs including heroin, cocaine and LSD as well as other illicit goods and services in over 1000,000 buys from January 2011 to September 2013, the court papers alleged. The site also allegedly  laundered hundreds of millions of dollars from the illegal transactions.

According to court papers, the site had nearly 13,000 listings under categories including "Cannabis," "Dissociatives," "Ecstasy," "Intoxicants," "Opioids," "Precursors," "Prescription," "Stimulants" and "Psychedelics."

As of September 2013, there also were 159 listings in the "services" category, which included vendors offering to hack into Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts of the customer's choosing, allowing them to "Write, Upload, Delete, View All Person Info" among other information.

One listing offered tutorials on "22 different methods" for hacking ATM machines while. another offered criminal services,  including access to a "Blackmarket Contact List" described as a list of "connects" for "services" such as "Anonymous Bank Accounts," "Counterfeit bills," "Firearms and Ammunition," "Stolen Info [credit card, Paypal]" and "Hitmen (10+ countries.)"

Silk Road Hidden Website was designed to facilitate illegal commerce by providing anonymity to its users via "The Onion Router" or "Tor" network. The site required transactions to be paid in Bitcoins.

Since November 2011, undercover law enforcement agents made multiple purchases of controlled substances from Silk Road vendors and the payments for those substances were then involved in money laundering transactions on the Silk Road website, according to the civil forfeiture complaint made public on Wednesday.

The site generated sales revenue of over $9.5 million Bitcoins, which prosecutors estimate equal about $1.2 billion in sales and about $80 million in commissions. 

Undercover agents bought various drugs, including heroin and cocaine, as well as hacking services, including malicious software such as remote access tools allowing a hacker to remotely control and steal information from infected computers, according to court records.

The papers alleged that while Ulbricht managed a small staff of online administrators, he alone controlled the massive profits generated from the site. He is also accused of having "been willing to pursue violent means to maintain control of the website and the illegal proceeds it generates for him," according to the criminal complaint.

Specifically, in March 2013, Ulbricht, "in connection with operating the Silk Road website, solicited a Silk Road user to execute a murder of another Silk Road user, who was threatening to release the identities of thousands of users of the site."

In response to the Silk Road takedown, Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who urged federal authorities to go after the site in 2011, said:

"Sayonara to Silk Road. Over two years ago, I called on the DEA and DOJ to put the kibosh on this outrageous virtual illegal-drug bazaar, and I am pleased that today they hung a 'Closed for Good' sign on Silk Road's door. "I congratulate the DEA agents and the law enforcement personnel at the Department of Justice for their hard and successful work in shutting down this marketplace, which in only two and a half years generated a staggering $1.2 billion in sales of drugs, computer hacking material, and other illegal and dangerous goods.  The country is safer now that this open market for law-breaking has been shuttered."

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13 Feb. 2015 

What Will the Apple Watch Mean for Local Businesses?

Jayson DeMers

Smart watches and other wearable devices will also start to blur the lines between reality and the digital world, bridging the gap with in-person, real-time functionality.

5 Reasons Website Traffic Is the Lifeblood of Small Business

Ian Mills

Successful online marketing strategies are centred on one simple proposition - to acquire qualified traffic and then convert this into sales. Therefore, it's important that once traffic is acquired that it also converts.

Website Marketing Plan - Putting the Pieces Together

Bradley Glonka

There is always something new, better, and more interesting to do with your website, like geo-expansion and mini-sites. The options available to you represent the joy and the pain of having an online presence.

5 Areas of Focus Your 2015 SEO Strategy Must Include

Read More: Small Business, What-Is-Working-Small-Businesses, Small Business News and Trends, Small Business America, Small Businesses, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Seo, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing, Small Business News

Jonathan Long

A search engine optimization strategy that isn't constantly adjusting is destined for failure. While there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution when it comes to SEO, here are five areas of focus that can help improve your overall search visibility campaign.

Third Eye on SEO: 2015 Guides, Tutorials, Education, and Trends

Allie Gray Freeland

If you're a digital marketer or website owner in 2015, chances are your third eye is on search engine optimization (SEO) now more than ever. Why?

12 Ways Online Retailers Are Cutting Through Competition

Eric Fischgrund

In 2015, ecommerce sites will need to be at the forefront of marketing trends to remain relevant and encourage high conversion rates. The world of online marketing is changing swiftly, and we've got the secrets you need to cut through the competition.

3 Analytics Reports To Measure The Health Of Your Campaign

Jose Vasquez

Regularly checking these three Google Analytics reports can give you an accurate pulse on the overall health of your inbound marketing campaign.

5 Ways Mobile Search Has Changed the Game for Local Businesses

Read More: Mobile Phones, Seo, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing, Millennials, Generation Y, Magicdust, Local Business, Small Business, What-Is-Working-Small-Businesses, Small Business News and Trends, Small Business News

Ian Mills

Business owners who want to stay competitive need to shift their strategies to focus on local SEO, no matter what. Even if your business doesn't have an online store and you have only one physical location, it's important that the growing group of mobile users can easily find you.

Quick 5-Step SEO Tune Up Before the New Year

Jonathan Long

A website is often one of the most valuable assets a business owns. If you plan on improving its performance in 2015 then you will want to make sure that you start the year off with a solid base.

Digital Marketing Will Define Social Media in 2015

Read More: Seo, Search Engine Optimization, Marketing, Social Media, Social Marketing, Data, Privacy, Ethics, Facebook, Twitter, Business News

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

In 2014, we identified more questions than answers about the value of social media relationships. Let's hope this is the year that SEO thinking, reasonable data privacy expectations, and clear data and methods move us forward.

No More Scrolling, Facebook Search to the Rescue

Julio Fernandez

Up until this past week, the ability to search for Facebook information that one of your friends posted was impossible, and the only way to find it required knowing the person who wrote it and scrolling through all of their posts; a very time consuming task.

5 Things Your SEO Strategy Needs to Focus on Entering 2015

Read More: Small Business, What-Is-Working-Small-Businesses, Small Business Owners, Small Business Administration, American Small Business League, Small Businesses, Seo, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing, Small Business News

Jonathan Long

Yes, it is that time of the year again when everyone starts to predict what SEO will look like in the coming year. Google's algorithm is constantly changing. There are public updates as well as refreshes and tweaks that occur on a regular basis.

5 Ways SEO Is Going To Change In 2015

Read More: Startups, Startup, Entrepreneurship, Seo, What-Is-Working-Small-Businesses, Pigeon, Penguin, Panda, Search Engine Optimization, Wearables, Smart Watch, Google, Google Search, 10Ksmallbiz Scholar, Small Business News

Jose Vasquez

It's starting to look like 2015 is going to be an even bigger year, and savvy search marketers are already starting to plan their strategies. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, keep your eyes peeled for these five changes likely to come with the new year

How Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media Work Together

Matthew Collis

Content marketing, SEO, and social media should work together synergistically. Each should be its own instrument, working together to create a perfect harmony.

6 One-Time Tricks to Boost Your Small Business SEO Campaigns

Jose Vasquez

Put these six tricks to good use in your SEO campaign, and watch your rankings climb. Back up your efforts with a strong content marketing and offsite backlink building campaign, and you'll be a force to be reckoned with.

How to Prep Your Website for the 2014 Holiday Season

Gabriel Shaoolian

Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, the holidays are the most important times of year to make sure your website is performing as well as it can be so that you don't miss out on the estimated 72.4 billion dollars of sales that will be made this season.

6 Steps to Successfully Managing Your Online Reputation

Read More: Small Business, What-Is-Working-Small-Businesses, Small Business News and Trends, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing, Reputation Management, Online Reputation, Seo, Public Relations, Magicdust, Websites, Small Business News

Ian Mills

Almost every business is going to have problems with customers at some point. If you're proactive, you should be able to resolve most issues directly ...

How to Diagnose a Sudden Drop in Website Traffic

James Parsons

There are several possible explanations for a sudden drop in rankings, but more often than not, it is due to a Google penalty or due to poor SEO practices.

4 Reasons Why You Should Combine SEO and PR Strategies

Jonathan Long

SEO strategies have changed a lot over the past few years. With such a large focus now on attracting high quality brand mentions it requires getting other websites to talk about you. Creating this buzz requires a PR approach, and one could even argue that PR needs to be part of the "new" search engine optimization era.

How Googlebot Ticks: Optimizing Your Website Content

James Parsons

To many, Google is an absolute wonder. They have the infrastructure and the man-power necessary to build a highly advanced algorithm to regularly sc...

5 Small Business SEO Tips You Can Implement In-House Right Now

Jonathan Long

Every small business owner should implement search engine optimization into his or her online marketing strategy, but many shy away because they think they need a huge budget to get started. An effective and complete strategy will cost money, but that doesn't mean you have to sit idle until you can afford to hire an SEO agency.

The 5 Best Free WordPress Plugins to Promote Your Blog

Michael B. Fishbein

Blogging is a great marketing strategy with many additional benefits and the free Wordpress plugins below can make it easier to promote your blog.

10 Reasons Perry Belcher Dominates Digital Marketing

Tyler Collins

Internet marketing is an extremely vast, complex, ever changing subject, and seems like a constant moving target for many businesses and professional ...

If You Think Your Audience Is an Algorithm, You're Doing It Wrong

John P. David

If you are in a small, niche business, then you'd better be thinking about authentic, interesting, and worthwhile content, and forget about teaching to the algorithm test.

Your Guide to Google's Panda 4.1 Algorithm

Jayson DeMers

It's certain that Google will continue to update their algorithm with more sophisticated signals and ranking formulas; it's only a matter of when. But Panda 4.1 is continuing a several-year tradition of rewarding high-quality original content, and it's likely that this trend will only continue.

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