Flowers

Flowers are an aesthetic gift that nature renders to us, a reminder of the beauty of our world and nature, maybe a relevant medium to meditate with. For me, they never fail to bring optimism and a positive fresh angle to any situation. Enjoy a few pics I was fortunate to take during the years.

SEO – Common Site Issues – seoclarity

SEO - COMMON SITE ISSUES

SEO – Common Site Issues – How to Increase Search Visibility With Micro Audits

SEO – Common Site Issues – How to Increase Search Visibility With Micro Audits – by seoclarity, Susan Connelly.

Personally, I am driven to content that is presented in a concise and structured way. Below you will find an updated SEO article that summarizes several current topics on SEO – “Common Site Issues”. Enjoy 🙂 seoclarity

SEO - COMMON SITE ISSUES
SEO – COMMON SITE ISSUES

In October 2017, our team uncovered some of the challenges that SEOs face in our “The State of Enterprise SEO” survey.  As a member of our Pro Services team, I continue to hear teams struggling with everything from resource allocation (the average SEO team consists of 2 to 5 people) to prioritization of resources to deliver the optimal impact.

For Enterprise SEOs, the challenge is even greater; teams are monitoring thousands of critical landing pages versus 100s.  I hear from teams that are becoming much smaller in size than ever before and staying abreast of key changes including Google algorithm updates and industry-wide updates sometimes becomes a real challenge.

In SEO, attention to detail is critical. An unnoticed Google update whether it include page allocation to organic listings or algorithm updates, can impact organic rankings, traffic, conversions/revenue and assisted conversions to other marketing channels. In order to reduce the overall impact, our team developed Micro Audits to assist teams in identifying core issues/concerns, responding to core issues before they happen and help minimize such risk.

Our clients’ success is our success.

This “Micro Audit” is a game-changer for our clients as they are getting a detailed explanation of issues and how to fix them.

This has been saving tremendous amounts of time and letting enterprise SEOs and digital marketers focus their time and effort on sections of the site that drive the most value for the business.

 

What are Micro Audits?

We call them Micro Audits as they allow us to identify and explain in detail any issues our clients’ sites have that are hot topic concerns among SEOs as well as provide solutions that they can easily communicate cross teams.  While a regularly scheduled full site technical audit focuses on the site a whole, Micro Audits are designed to notify teams of how to utilize our platform for further analysis, types of custom crawls we recommend clients set up and are taking advantage of for very detailed and specific core areas of their sites.

Micro Audits focus on both technical items as well as on-page optimizations — the key is that the topic offers clients increased performance as well as prevents site’s from key critical changes, challenges or updates.

Below is a list of some of our most recent Micro Audits delivered to clients.

Micro Audit Type #1: HTTPS

Our team created a Micro Audit around HTTPs in order to ensure that our clients are prepared for the July 2018 update in which Google announced that all sites that haven’t migrated to HTTPS will all be listed as “not secure.”

In September 2016, the search engine revealed HTTPS as a ranking signal. A couple of months later, it started marking pages that collect passwords or credit card details without the SSL encryption as non-secure.

But soon, Google will begin marking ALL non-HTTPS sites in a similar way.

And this change might have significant consequences for brands. After all, sites labeled “not secure” might experience decreased click-through rates. Not to mention that the label might also spark negative brand sentiment.

As a result, many organizations have moved their sites to HTTPS promptly. However, some still experience various issues connected with the migration.

This particular Micro Audit helps us to identify and help eliminate them before they affect our client’s click-through-rates and search visibility.

Our analysis discovered that while most clients have already made the migration prior to January, major brands as well as smaller sites overlooked many critical changes including:

  • Updating their robots.txt file to reference https as opposed to http
  • Problems with analytics tracking for https
  • Internal links not updated to https and thus not passing link equity and value
  • Loading of critical third-party assets
  • Absolute URLs that are referencing http as opposed to https throughout source code, and many more.

By providing a thorough analysis, tips on how to create custom crawls to identify core issues as well as solutions assists our clients in identifying issues before they happen.

Micro Audit Type #2: Structured Data

Structured data helps Google classify and understand a page’s content. It also provides a broader semantic meaning and context behind the content, helping pages rank better and boost their organic click-through rate.

But it can also impact voice search. In one experiment, Martin McGuire discovered that Google uses reviews and ratings schema to determine what information to display to a voice search.

But why Structured markup for voice search?   Martin makes a strong point in the article:

“[…] when it comes to voice search results from technologies such as Google Home, sometimes only a single and the most relevant answer will be provided. This means that competition for that top SERP position will become even greater.

Having the most highly rated reviews, an updated address and all content marked up correctly is what will determine this result.”

Now, most sites experience little or no problems with the structured data but so many miss out on the opportunity to boost their results with it.

Our Micro Audit helps identify not only the common issues with schema but also suggests ways to use structured markup to increase voice search visibility.

Micro Audit Type #3: Hreflang

The hreflang tag is added to sites in order to provide Google with the preferred version of your site to display to searchers by language or region.  In order to add an hreflang tag, your site must have multiple versions of the site, each targeting a different location or language and the hreflang tag is then used to indicate to Google that there are duplicate versions.

We found that most sites and brands are utilizing the hreflang tag but in most isntances are not using the tag correctly. In fact, we’ve noticed first hand that sites without the hreflang tag implemented had lower rankings and poorer search visibility.  Most recently we saw US sites beginning to appear more frequently in search results internationally as well as International sites appearing in search results for additional countries.

What’s more, the effect of errors in hreflang implementation goes beyond just displaying the wrong domain version in the search results. We’ve noticed Google listing pages displaying prices in a wrong currency (EUR vs. USD for US customers). As a result, those customers couldn’t purchase their desired items, at least not without changing the currency first.

This UX flaw, however, could easily lead to a greater bounce rate, poor quality signals, and lower rankings as well.

That’s why we’ve designed a Micro Audit that helps identify potential issues with the hreflang implementation.

Some of the issues we commonly identify when performing this Micro Audit include:

  • Multiple English language sites that contain the same content without a canonical pointing to the preferred EN versions,
  • Sites that are missing reciprocal links (if you reference hreflang on US site to Australia site then Australia site must have hreflang pointing to the US, etc.).
  • Mismatches between a canonical tag and the page’s URL that affect the hreflang tag directly,
  • Pages with noindex tag that prevents Google from seeing the hreflang tag.
  • Language encoding metadata is not matching the page it is on.
  • Missing or wrong x-default.

Micro Site Audit #4: Pagination

Pagination helps sites provide a much better user experience:

  • Ecommerce stores use it to make browsing lists of products easier.
  • News sites split articles into separate pages to simplify the reading process.
  • Forums divide discussions into pages to help manage long threads, and so on.

But to help ensure rankings, send visitors to the first page, index content on subsequent pages, and crawl links plus consolidate the link equity, pagination must be done correctly.  While pagination has been around for years, our team continues to uncover various methods in which teams apply canonical tags but also in how Google perceives and ranks paginated content.

Some of the most common errors this Micro Audit revealed for our clients include:

  • Having one URL listed as an on-page link and another page listed in hreflang tags or canonical tags.
  • Not creating a stopping point on the last and final page.
  • The page referenced in rel=prev/next is different than an actual page in navigation links.
  • Having canonical pointing to page 1 as opposed to the self-referential canonical (pointing to the page it’s on), among others.

Micro Audit Type #5. Mobile Page Speed

As of July, Google will finally use mobile page speed as a ranking factor. And it openly admitted that pages providing the slowest experience will see their rankings affected.

While many websites optimized mobile performance prior to January of this year, many websites still have not optimized their sites for mobile page speed.

Common issues include websites that fail to render under 2 miliseconds on mobile devices. Many haven’t reduced image size, optimized 3rd party scripts or implemented browser caching. While some companies have launched AMP pages, they still have issues preventing them from availing of the technology fully.

Which means that soon, the Google’s Speed Update might negatively affect their search visibility.

This Micro Audit helps to identify all issues affecting the mobile page speed, provide a detailed explanation for each, and suggest solutions or workarounds.

Conclusion

As a conclusion, let me tell you what I believe is the biggest benefit of conducting Micro Audits:

Saving a ton of time while speeding up greater results

Being an SEO professional for the past 16 years, I am always surprised by the amount of articles and LinkedIn posts by SEO practicioners who are not defining ROI or who claim that SEO results cannot be achieved in a couple months time.

Instead of trying to identify issues among thousands of pages, SEOs need to focus their attention on key areas that drive the biggest results first.  Our Micro Audits help teams communicate and deliver on key challenges and reap greater incremental monthly results.

“Be able for thine enemy rather in power than in use”

IMG_0273Dear friends, you may not know that Hamas is a powerful military organization that has spent more than 45 million dollars on building tunnels so to attack Israeli settlements. You might as well be unaware that on the last months they have put on fire large agricultural fields and killed wild animals on the other side of the fence, peaceful Kibutzim that belong mostly to the left side of the political spectrum and wish to help them. Yet the Hamas leadership refuses to negotiate either with Abbu Mazen (not a big metzie either) and nor with Israel. Personally I have put some water and an extra spare cell phone on my secured anti bombing room in my apartment. I am posting this BEFORE you get tomorrow´s anti-Israel news on the International Media.



Austria

My late mother was born in Vienna. She left the country when she was fifteen in the first kinder transporter thanks to her older sister who managed to saved her from the Nazis.
Her sister’s name is Gertrude and we always have known her as “Tante Trude”.
My dear tante is 99 years old and my sisters and I try to visit her at least once every two years. She lives today in Graz a city in southern Austria, 2.5 hours train from Vienna.
As a jew, I still have mixed feelings when visiting Osterreich, fact which does not deny the style and beauty of its cities, the wonderful landscape and the cleanness of its streets, its second to none culinary dishes and bakery.
Below some pics of my last trip one week ago.

 

 

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Simultaneous Translation

Two weeks ago I was invited to the annual Keren Kayemet (KKL) Conference in the Orient Hotel, Jerusalem. I barely slept the night before, but this was not due to expectation, nor to excitement, but to anxiety, sheer nervousness and worry.
My attendance at this prestigious event was not of a common participant, but of an Interpreter.
Although I studied to be a simultaneous translator, you are never ready for what might come; few of the [terrifying] examples are speakers that talk with a foreign accent very difficult to understand, lecturers that read their part from a paper they prepare ahead, which results in an unbelievable speed; speakers that are insecure about their message, lacking structure nor logic. Personally, I found the last case the most annoying, if you don’t build your case convincingly from the beginning in ANY language, it won’t be possible to convey your message, lack of logic or clarity is lethal! Ideally, the best option would be to receive in advance a kind of abstract with the names of the main topics of the coming Conferences, but this is not the case. Although these international conventions are usually very well organized, the role of the simultaneous translators is consistently forgotten. The organizer must deal with the catering, hotel, location, number of participants, the welfare of the lecturers and a lot of additional infrastructure and logistical constraints, but somehow, the needs of the simultaneous translation team are seldom meet. Eventually, we did well, no major incidents were registered, and we managed to convey the message from the organizers to the multi-lingual audience.

Two Wolves

wolves

There’s a terrible battle going inside your mind right now, according to an old Cherokee.
There are two wolves inside us all battling to see who will take over. One is negative— full of anger, envy, resentment, greed, sorrow, judgment, inferiority, criticism, and doubt. The other wolf is good — full of joy, appreciation, love, kindness, empathy, understanding, confidence, compassion, and clarity.
This fight is going inside of you. Even if you don’t notice it.
“Which wolf will win?” — You may ask, as this Cherokee’s grandson did.
“The one you feed the most.” — the wise grandfather simply replied.

40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

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It’s a piece of cake. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. Why add fuel to the fire? Idioms are those phrases that mean more than the sum of their words. As our Open Translation Project volunteers translate TED Talks into 105 languages, they’re often challenged to translate English idioms into their language. Which made us wonder: what are their favorite idioms in their own tongue?

From German translator Johanna Pichler:

The idiom: Tomaten auf den Augen haben.
Literal translation: “You have tomatoes on your eyes.”
What it means: “You are not seeing what everyone else can see. It refers to real objects, though — not abstract meanings.”

The idiom: Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.
Literal translation: “I only understand the train station.”
What it means: “I don’t understand a thing about what that person is saying.’”

The idiom: Die Katze im Sack kaufen.
Literal translation: “To buy a cat in a sack.”
What it means: That a buyer purchased something without inspecting it first.
Other languages this idiom exists in: We hear from translators that this is an idiom in Swedish, Polish, Latvian and Norwegian. In English, the phrase is “buying a pig in poke,” but English speakers do also  “let the cat out of the bag,” which means to reveal something that’s supposed to be secret.

From Swedish translator Matti Jääro:

The idiom: Det är ingen ko på isen
Literal translation: “There’s no cow on the ice.”
What it means: “There’s no need to worry. We also use ‘Det är ingen fara på taket,’ or ‘There’s no danger on the roof,’ to mean the same thing.”

The idiom: Att glida in på en räkmacka
Literal translation: “To slide in on a shrimp sandwich.”
What it means: “It refers to somebody who didn’t have to work to get where they are.”

The idiom: Det föll mellan stolarna
Literal translation: “It fell between chairs.”
What it means: “It’s an excuse you use when two people were supposed to do it, but nobody did. It has evolved into the slightly ironic phrase, ‘It fell between the chair,’ which you use when you want to say,‘Yeah, I know I was supposed to do it but I forgot.’”

From Thai translator Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut:

The idiom: เอาหูไปนา เอาตาไปไร่
Literal translation: “Take ears to the field, take eyes to the farm.”
What it means: “It means ‘don’t pay any attention.’ Almost like ‘don’t bring your eyes and ears with you.’ If that were possible.”

The idiom: ไก่เห็นตีนงู งูเห็นนมไก่
Literal translation: “The hen sees the snake’s feet and the snake sees the hen’s boobs.”
What it means: “It means two people know each other’s secrets.”

The idiom: ชาติหน้าตอนบ่าย ๆ
Literal translation: “One afternoon in your next reincarnation.”
What it means: “It’s never gonna happen.”
Other languages this idiom exists in: A phrase that means a similar thing in English: “When pigs fly.” In French, the same idea is conveyed by the phrase, “when hens have teeth (quand les poules auront des dents).” In Russian, it’s the intriguing phrase, “When a lobster whistles on top of a mountain (Когда рак на горе свистнет).” And in Dutch, it’s “When the cows are dancing on the ice (Als de koeien op het ijs dansen).”

From Latvian translator Ilze Garda and Kristaps Kadiķis:

The idiom: Pūst pīlītes.
Literal translation: “To blow little ducks.”
What it means: “It means to talk nonsense or to lie.”
Other language connections: In Croatian, when someone is obviously lying to someone, you say that they are “throwing cream into their eyes (bacati kajmak u oči).”

The idiom: Ej bekot.
Literal translation: “‘Go pick mushrooms,’ or, more specifically, ‘Go pick boletes!’”
What it means: “Go away and/or leave me alone.”

From French translator Patrick Brault: 

The idiom: Avaler des couleuvres.
Literal translation: “To swallow grass snakes.”
What it means: “It means being so insulted that you’re not able to reply.” 

The idiom: Sauter du coq à l’âne.
Literal translation: “To jump from the cock to the donkey.”
What it means: “It means to keep changing topics without logic in a conversation.” 

The idiom: Se regarder en chiens de faïence.
Literal translation: “To look at each other like earthenware dogs.”
What it means: “Basically, to look at each other coldly, with distrust.” 

The idiom: Les carottes sont cuites!
Literal translation: “The carrots are cooked!”
What it means: “The situation can’t be changed.”
Other language connections: It’s bit like the phrase, “It’s no use crying over spilt milk,” in English.

From Russian translator Aliaksandr Autayeu:

The idiom: Галопом по Европам
Literal translation: “Galloping across Europe.”
What it means: “To do something hastily, haphazardly.”

The idiom: На воре и шапка горит
Literal translation: “The thief has a burning hat.”
What it means: “He has an uneasy conscience that betrays itself.”

The idiom: Хоть кол на голове теши
Literal translation: “You can sharpen with an ax on top of this head.”
What it means: “He’s a very stubborn person.”

The idiom: брать/взять себя в руки
Literal translation: “To take oneself in one’s hands.”
What it means: “It means ‘to pull yourself together.’”
Other languages this idiom exists in: Translators tell us that there is a German version of this idiom too: “Sich zusammenreißen,” which translates literally as “to tear oneself together.” And in Polish, the same idea is expressed by the phrase, “we take ourselves into our fist (wziąć się w garść).” 

From Portuguese translators Gustavo Rocha and Leonardo Silva: 

The idiom: Quem não se comunica se trumbica
Literal translation: “He who doesn’t communicate, gets his fingers burnt.”
What it means: “He who doesn’t communicate gets into trouble.”’

The idiom: Quem não tem cão caça com gato
Literal translation: “He who doesn’t have a dog hunts with a cat.”
What it means: “You make the most of what you’ve got.” Basically, you do what you need to do, with what the resources you have. 

The idiom: Empurrar com a barriga
Literal translation: “To push something with your belly.”
What it means: “To keep postponing an important chore.”

The idiom: Pagar o pato
Literal translation: “Pay the duck.”
What it means: “To take the blame for something you did not do.”

From Polish translator Kinga Skorupska:

The idiom: Słoń nastąpił ci na ucho?
Literal translation: “Did an elephant stomp on your ear?”
What it means: “You have no ear for music.”
Other languages this idiom exists in: Our translators tell us that in Croatian, there’s also a connection made between elephants and musical ability in the phrase, “You sing like an elephant farted in your ear (Pjevaš kao da ti je slon prdnuo u uho.).” But in the Latvian version, it’s a bear who stomps on your ear.

The idiom: Bułka z masłem.
Literal translation: “It’s a roll with butter.”
What it means: “It’s really easy.”

The idiom: Z choinki się urwałaś?
Literal translation: “Did you fall from a Christmas tree?”
What it means: “You are not well informed, and it shows.”

15 actionable SEO tips to improve your search rankings

15 actionable SEO tips to improve your search rankings

–  Leverage medium-sized keyword
–  Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
–  Optimizing title tags for higher CTR
–  Leverage medium-sized keyword
The rest of the recommendations are definitely “out of the box”, among them the suggestion to include emotional statements and adding brakets to meta-titles. Although I am not sure those implementations have been proven successful, they certainly reflect an interesting new angle about Google’s last algorithm, RankBrain.

SEO-March