Search Engines Are Important!

Search Engines Are Important!

Since its founding, Google has been testing and tweaking its search algorithm to make it much more user friendly for its users. Google wants its users to find the best content that is available on a topic on its first page search. This forces content marketers and webmasters to produce quality content and offer an excellent user experience, in exchange Google will rank their content higher in the search engine and send loads of free traffic to it. This is also why SEO is highly important when creating a new site. If you are looking for a great Search Engine Ranking Service I would check out my friend, Greg Wilson from ypick.me!

Why You Should Use SEO in Your Business

So why should you even use SEO? If you’re not using SEO for your business yet, you should think again. Here are four main reasons:

1.Cost Effective

Unlike other forms of advertising such as pay per click (PPC), social media marketing and others, SEO allows webmasters to get a decent return on investment. Although social media is important for your brand, your organic presence online is just as important – if not more – as it makes you look like an authority if you rank highly for a competitive keyword in your niche.

2.Search Engines Dominate Market Share

Many consumers are looking towards search engines to provide them with search results that contain reviews on products before they make a purchase. This will only increase and it won’t be long before everyone is doing it. If your business has good reviews on Google, it will likely lead to converting visitors into customers, thereby increasing your revenue. Without this free traffic, your competitors will take a majority of your visitors and turn them into their customers instead.

3.Your Competitors are doing SEO, so should you!

As discussed above, your competitors are doing SEO, so why shouldn’t you? SEO continually changes (as we will discuss below), but if you are not keeping up to date with it, your competitors are and therefore are probably converting visitors to customers on a much larger scale than you. This is a simple fact. Don’t let your business lose customers to your competitors.

4.Rise of Mobile Traffic

Mobile traffic has become increasingly important in the last few years as the internet on mobile phones has become commonplace. This opens a whole new avenue for business owners – particularly those who have a location based business (for example, a coffee shop) –  as they can utilize techniques to optimize their content for local searches.

Now that you know why you should use SEO in your business, we will now look at what the future holds in store for SEO. It is important to keep up to date on changes in SEO, and that is what we are going to talk about in the next section.

Future of SEO

So what is the future trend of SEO? Of course no one can say for certain, but by observing trends that have occurred in the past, experts are able to determine what Google intends to do, which gives webmasters the advantage of foresight when they’re SEO optimizing their blog posts. All webmasters who care about getting free traffic from Google, should stay up-to-date with the changes that go on in the industry. This will give them an edge over the competition.

With that said, here’s a list of some of expected changes to SEO that has a high chance of occurring during 2017 and how you can take advantage of each change:

1.Digital voice assistants

Digital voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google are becoming more and more advanced because users are increasingly using their voice to conduct a search. The reason why many people use voice search is because it is much easier, especially when you’re on the move. So what does this mean for you? It means that you should look at optimizing your keywords so that voice search is able to display your blog on the first page. For example, a user that is looking for a McDonalds in New York would type in “McDonalds in New York” where as a user conducting a voice search may phrase their search as a question like “Where is the nearest McDonalds in New York?”. You therefore have to modify your headings accordingly.

2.Direct Answers

Google is now providing direct answers to questions, for example when you type in “what is a bath?”, the first result shows the definition of a bath. Before it used to show results relating to your search, but now Google is clever enough to distinguish what is and what isn’t a question. Another example is when you type into Google how to cook a certain dish. Instead of giving you search results, it again recognizes you typed in a question and gives a direct answer. In this case it would be a recipe. So how can you turn this into an advantage for yourself? You will have to publish high quality content that answers common questions that people are google for in your niche.

3.Optimize For Mobile

As stated before, more and more search engine users are conducting a search using a mobile device. So in 2015, Google changed their algorithm once again. It was called “mobilegedon”. As the name suggests, they penalized sites that were not mobile friendly. As more users are connected to the internet via mobile devices, it has become more important for webmasters to make sure their site is responsive in 2017. Searches from mobile may even overtake searches conducted on traditional desktop laptops and PCs. For businesses, having a website that is mobile friendly is extremely important if they want to stay relevant in 2017 and beyond, as traffic from mobile devices is not slowing down any time soon. In other words, mobile matters!

Now that you know the importance of SEO and where it is heading, don’t let your site be penalized by Google. It is time to take action and implement SEO tactics so that you are one step ahead of the competition and your business stays relevant in the long term.

 

Hey, I’m back!

Hey, I’m back!

Changed the template and changed the publishing tool. Not sure if I will be posting a lot, but I was fed up with having an old site that was not updated anymore, with an old system and template I didn’t want to work on, and meanwhile I realised after working on 3Yen and making things like bo-ko on the side, that there were some posts that didn’t belong in either and were personal enough to find their place on my own personal blog. Tokyo-genki might become a blog not so related to Tokyo, since there is 3Yen now, and it won’t be full of links/bookmarks either, since it is what I use bo-ko for. Don’t get me wrong, 3Yen and bo-ko are here to stay, but there are all those insignificant things that *this* blog should be for. Perhaps. Well, we’ll see how it goes…

(If you read this post, please add a comment below with your name or something, just so I know if it is even worth it…)

Why I love Toyko

Why I love Toyko

Everytime I meet someone, in Japan or anywhere, they always ask me the same question: “Why do you live in Tokyo?”, and everytime I answer “Because I love it”. Usually, what should be the perfect answer because you can’t argue with personal feelings actually triggers another more specific question which I am supposed to answer too. So I create a custom made answer, based on who asked me and how much time I want to spend with this person. The simple answer talks about food, beautiful girls in skirt, tech/geek stuff, beautiful girls in boots, convenience and safety, beautiful girls everywhere… The more elaborate answer is usually more difficult and involves the good and bad of the wa, and the fact that life is difficult here but paradoxically easier too. And sometimes I have a little story to tell. Today, I have a new story:

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Starbucks and bought two very nice Pavina Double Wall Bodum glasses as a birthday present for my friend Nagao. When I opened the box the next day, I discovered it only had one glass in it. Even though I had the receipt and the staff would recognize me, there was no possible way to prove that I didn’t go home, removed one glass from the box, and came back to the shop to have a third one for free. I felt a bit silly that I didn’t check the glasses before I left (at least to make sure that they were not broken). And the perfect impossibility of getting the second glass just puzzled my mind a second, before I gave up and decided to go and buy one more anyway.

Today, I go to buy the second glass, and I think “this is Japan, I might as well try and see”. What do I risk? I didn’t expect anything, and I really didn’t hope I would get a free glass just because I tell them I am a nice guy. But I took the box and the receipt with me anyway. I show it to the staff guy and explain the situation. He goes to explain it to some manager of his, and the manager asks me to wait a minute. I get a free blend of the day while I wait, and eventually the manager comes and gives me a free glass.

The paranoid gaijin explanation goes along the lines of Japanese being so xenophobic and racist that they would prefer to give me a free glass and get rid of me rather than having a screaming white guy break everything in the shop and throw chairs and Christmas mugs at customers.

My view is simpler and more straight forward: service is important in Japan, and who would go on a scam just for getting one free glass once? Anywhere else in the world, I could have cried and/or shouted, the laws of mathematics would have applied and the burden of the proof would have been my responsibility. Not in Japan.

That, and the beautiful girls everywhere.

Can the Elderly Benefit from Facebook and Twitter?

Can the Elderly Benefit from Facebook and Twitter?

My first social networking site was Yuwie. I liked the idea of getting paid to talk to friends until my computer kept getting so many viruses from the site. The few pennies I earned each month didn’t seem worth the hassle. I then joined Facebook and have been enjoying my time social networking there.

My mom is 69 years old and I keep telling her, she should join a social net working site. She used to be into side ban, ham, and c.b. radio back in the 70’s. That was that era’s kind of social networking. My mom says the net is too “intrusive” and she will never be on it. ” It isn’t elder-friendly”. ” Older people can’t understand it.”

I was up to this challenge. I did some research and found out that in 2010, the world’s oldest Facebook and Twitter user, Ivy bean died. She was a mere 104. At the time of her death, Ivy had 56,000 followers on Twitter and had reached her maximum friend limit on Facebook. As a result of this social networking, Ivy ended up meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown and had an on-going friendship with singer, Peter Andre. Ms. Bean lived in England, in a nursing home, and talked about her life there. She was a star in the social net working scene.

The health benefits of social networking to the elderly are important. Social networking keeps the brain active which is said to slow down the progression of dementia. The friendships made help alleviate boredom and isolation which decreases the chances of depression. People who have depression get sick easier.

Armed with these two pieces of information, I approach the elder, Mrs. Laurain and show her what I found. I tell her I can set the accounts up for her, help her learn how to sign in, etc., whatever she needs; I can walk her through the process. At first she gets this frown on her face which quickly turns into a smile, “Do you think I can meet Bono?”

THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW

THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW

When I first saw The Larry Sanders Show, I didn’t find it funny. I just saw an episode here and there and I couldn’t realise the very clever humor inside that extremely original sitcom. How blind I was! Of course, now that everyone and their grandmother have ditched the canned laughters and are using single camera mockumentary style, The Larry Sanders show seems a little bit more “normal”. But still, there is genius in this show that made it age much much better than most other 1990’s shows. You could put it on TV now, and fans of Seinfeld, Arrested Development (should have been an HBO show, dammit!), Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Office for example would just love it! And it’s actually surprising that out of its 6 seasons, they only released the first one on DVD. I guess whoever has the rights just want people to download the episodes from peer-to-peer networks…?

Yet again, another HBO show that I love.

3 Essentials to Internet Marketing Program Analysis

3 Essentials to Internet Marketing Program Analysis

When checking out an Internet Marketing program analysis there are 3 key elements a program should contain before you consider joining. You need an internet marketing program that provides tools, guidance, expert advice and on-going support.

1. Training

Does the program offer training? If not don’t even consider it, when conducting Internet Marketing program analysis. There are so many concepts and nuances to Internet Marketing that training is critical. You need a program that provides current training material. This industry changes all the time and it is important to be knowledgeable about the latest concepts and techniques.

The training materials should also be valuable, they should be pertinent to content and concepts that will make you successful. What different mediums is the training offered in, is it not just offered in document form, are there webinars and recorded sessions as well. The more variety here will indicate how much effort the program puts into it’s training program. And last but not least are the training materials easily accessible and available.

2. User Forums

Another valuable feature you should be looking for when performing internet marketing program analysis is user forums. User forums are a great barometer for how successful an internet marketing program really is. This is actual discourse with users of the program, their actual experiences, concerns and questions.

You want a program that has an active forum, with a good deal of participation and contributions. It is very beneficial for program newbies and more experienced marketers to share their insights and help each other resolve questions or queries they might have. You also want to make sure the forum is a searchable database, there will be lots of valuable information on all areas of internet marketing which you can leverage to help ensure your success.

3. Access to Program Founders/Experts

When doing Internet Marketing program analysis, one key element with a legitimate successful internet marketing program is if the founders of that program are truly experts in their field and are committed to ensuring your success. Typically this will translate into their active involvement in the program. The founders will be providing constant updates and support, usually via email.

They will also make themselves available for personal coaching. Where they will be active in the user forums and will also allow direct communication with them, again usually via email or some personal messaging medium. This is a very valuable support structure essential to your success. This not only indicates that you were not sold a bill of goods but that the founders are in this for the long term and truly want to see you succeed.

My home page will provide you with a great recommendation for one program to use as your baseline for Internet Marketing program analysis.

Ebooks– the Way of the Future?

Ebooks– the Way of the Future?

In yet another attempt to launch the idea of Star Trek style reading on the world, Sony has released the Portable Reading System, an electronic book reader sporting a new screen technology and capable of holding 80 books. It is a small device about the size of an average paperback, about half an inch thick, weighing nine ounces, and having a six inch screen. The release of this ebook reader is the first in several years, after makers the new technology found that it wasn’t catching on as planned. Although the Sony PRS-500 sports a new screen technology designed to mimic paper, its prospects sound doubtful at best.

The Portable Reading System’s claim to fame is its E Ink® technology, a mechanical system working in a similar manner to the flipping schedule display boards at train stations. Rather than using a liquid crystal display screen, as cell phones, laptops, and previous ebooks do, the E Ink® system uses tiny beads, black on one side and white on the other, to display text. The beads are rotated by an electric charge, displaying text with a feel that is allegedly similar to paper. With this system, a page can be displayed indefinitely without using battery power. The only operation that drains the battery is turning pages, which the PRS-500 can do 7,500 times on a charge.

Sony’s website claims that the reader can hold about 80 titles in its 64 megabytes of internal memory, convenient to be sure, but prompting the question of where these titles will come from. Sony suggests that users buy books from the CONNECT eBookstore™, at a price not much lower than the price of physical books. Short of doing that, one could load free public domain books onto the reader, using, for example, the project Gutenberg online library, taking advantage of the reader’s compatibility with a number of formats. However, as has been the case in the past, readers would quickly come up against a lack of reading material.

It is not that the technology to digitalize text does not exist. Google has recently built a gigantic searchable library of books from numerous academic libraries, using machines that can turn books’ pages, take pictures of them, and convert the resulting images into text. However, copyright issues have not been resolved, and the bulk of this text is unavailable to the would-be ebook owner.

As has been the case with other ebook readers before it, the PRS-500 may be doomed not to catch on. Several years ago, another company, NuvoMedia’s Ebook Gemstar launched a line of somewhat more primitive ebooks, hoping to start a new trend of space-age reading. It did not. Perhaps because of the lack of reading material, and perhaps because people just prefer the feel of an old fashioned book in their hands, Sony’s Personal Reading System is likely not to catch on.

5 of the Top Tech Cars of 2010

5 of the Top Tech Cars of 2010

According to CNET, the 5 best tech cars are the 2010 Audi S4, 2009 Cadillac CTS-V, 2010 Nissan GT-R, 2010 Porshe Panamera 4S, and 2011 Volvo S60.


The Audi S4 is a gas sedan with all the standard safety options. It also comes with satellite radio, MP3 sound system, and memory card slot. It has a security system and a trip computer with it. Optional equipment are back-up cameras, video entertainment system, media hard disk MP3 player, and DVD navigation system.It has good performance and gas mileage all together. Its engine is a 3 liter direct injection supercharged V-6. The price of it is about $45,900 with different options.

The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V is a gas engine with all standard safety options. It has satellite radio and MP3 CD and hard-disk system and USB connection. It has heated/cooled seats, security system, multizone climate control, and a trip computer. Optional equipment available are DVD navigation system and video entertainment system. It has a 6.2 liter supercharged V8 very powerful engine and handles very well with magnetically controlled suspension. The price starts at $58,000 depending on options.

The 2010 Nissan GT-R is a gas engine with all standard safety options. It has heated/cooled seats, multizone climate control, keyless start, and security system. Also, it has a trip computer and voice activated navigation. The suspension on it gives it racecar handling which isn’t good for daily life use. It has poor gas mileage but the 2011 model promises to work on these problems. It has a 3.8 liter V6 with twin turbocharged engine with 485 hp. This car starts at about $84,000 and has all options with it.

The Porshe Panamera 4S has a very well tuned engine, dynamic suspension, and a smart clutch. Among most standard options it also has parking distance sensors and rear view camera. It handles very well and has excellent cornering and is surprisingly a practical car. It has a 4.8 liter V8 direct injection engine and 400 hp with 369lb feet of torque. This price starts at about $93,000 depending on options.

The 2011 Volvo S60 is a gas engine with all standard safety options. It has satellite radio, MP3 sound system, multizone climate control, trip computer and a security system. It has assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure and collision warning, and pedestrian warning. It is comfortable for sporty driving and for everyday driving as well. It has a V6 turbocharged engine with lots of horsepower. The price starts at about $37,000 depending on options.

Review of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph

Review of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph

While many people now have digital cameras, there are a few that still haven’t caught up. This digital camera is so easy to use that I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they are too old or too behind in today’s technological advances to use a digital camera. Yet despite being so easy to use, this camera still boasts many excellent features.

 

This camera is very cute and compact, but it is so much more than that. With 6 megapixels, you definitely have enough to work with later in cropping images and making decent sized prints (how often do you really need prints larger than 16 x 20 inches or so anyway?). The 3x optical zoom is enough for most uses (though unfortunately, you cannot add any attachments to give you more zoom). The scene modes are quite helpful too, especially for those not used to camera settings. This camera even has a movie feature so you can take a quick movie on the go without lugging around your bulky video camera (and yes, the movie feature even plays back the sound on the camera, how cool is that?). There are a lot of great features to this camera, but not so many that the features become overwhelming.

My favorite feature of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph, was by far the 3 inch LCD screen. This screen makes it very easy to see what you’re doing. The screen takes up nearly the entire back of the camera (which unfortunately leaves no room for a viewfinder, for those of you who still want that feature). The font sizes on the menus are very reasonable though because of the large screen size (a huge plus for the older generation). And if the screen just isn’t big enough for you to see a small detail of the photo you just took, you can just use the camera’s zoom to zoom in on the picture you just took and see the details (and make sure the photo is clear before you walk away from your subject and lose the opportunity to try another photo later). Also, let’s say you take a variety of vertical photos and horizontal photos. This camera knows when a photo was taken vertically and automatically shows the photo in its proper orientation. A lot of cameras do that nowadays though, so this camera goes even farther

You want to make full use of that screen for vertical photos too? No problem! Just turn the camera vertically and the photo flips so that you can see it full size. I just love that! Canon ensured that this 3 inch screen would be as useful as possible for you.

The thing I’ve always loved about Canon cameras, are all the scene modes. Scene modes take out the guess work for shooting in various settings. Instead of actually having to know something about photography and switching the camera to manual mode, you can just use a scene mode. Taking a portrait? Use portrait mode! Want to take a photo at night? There’s a scene mode for that too! Taking photos of kids and pets? Use the “kids and pets” mode. While this camera doesn’t boast as many scene modes as the Canon video cameras do, it certainly has enough for the average user. In addition to the scene modes, you can just put the camera in automatic or manual mode as well. Manual allows you to change things such as the exposure, white balance (sunny, cloudy, fluorescent, tungsten, etc.), colors (your traditional sepia and black and white, and also things like adjusting for lighter or darker skin tones), and metering as well. While the manual features don’t compare to an SLR, there are probably many more manual features on this camera than on your old film point-and-shoot.

All the features in the world won’t help you though if the camera isn’t easy to use. This camera is definitely very easy to use. You just turn on the camera, decide if you want to take pictures, shoot a movie clip, or look at photos you’ve already taken. You can easily go through the list of scene modes or just shoot in automatic. The movie clip feature is also boasts several features. You can shoot movies at TV quality (640×480, which if you don’t have an LCD TV yet, appears very nice) or smaller as well for just posting short movies online. You can still change the white balance and the colors for videos as well. Looking at photos and movies you’ve taken is easy. Just flip through the images to what you want to see. You can even delete photos right on the camera (now there’s something you certainly never could do with your old film camera!). There’s really no need to even read the manual on this camera it’s so simple to use. The features tend to be pretty self explanatory as you’re going through the menus.

Of course, every camera has its limits. There were a few things I didn’t like about this camera or that I thought others probably wouldn’t like. This camera doesn’t have a viewfinder, which for me is not a problem as I always hated using a viewfinder. However, some people really like their viewfinder and have to have one instead of just having a screen. If that’s the case for you, there are still many digital cameras out there that have viewfinders as well. My biggest problem with it was that I’m so used to shooting with Nikon cameras, that I found the macro on this camera inferior. For most people, the macro on this camera is probably going to be just fine. If you’re buying this camera solely to take photos of flowers, insects, and small objects, I’d recommend something else. Another thing I found fault with, is that you’re not given any opportunity to add attachments. Even on point-and-shoot cameras sometimes I like to be able to add attachments such as filters. I suppose the color features in this camera are supposed to make up for the lack of any ability to add filters. However, if you’d really like to add attachments to your camera, I’d recommend going with something else. There are several cameras out there that do have threads to add attachments. Overall however, I found that this camera was a very good camera for the average user.

If you’re still afraid of digital cameras and don’t yet have one, consider this one. This camera is unbelievably easy to learn and use. Even if you’ve been using a digital camera for awhile now and you’re just looking to upgrade, this is a nice camera and should serve you well. This camera fits easily into your purse or pocket so that you can take it along for all of your vacations, family gatherings, and other events. There are enough features on this camera for it to be really useful, but not so many features that you’ll be overwhelmed. I would highly recommend looking into this camera if you’re considering buying a digital point-and-shoot.

Augmented reality on the iPhone

Augmented reality on the iPhone

This very useful AND sexy map application is one of the first augmented reality app on the iPhone, created by acrossair. Too good to be true? I’m waiting to see it available on the iTunes store before I believe they actually made it. Anyone know of another augmented reality app on the iPhone?