The United States Social Security Agency (SAA) is no stranger to big problems, especially lately as the agency tries to keep up with less money going into the government's social security program than is going out. Now the SSA has a new issue to deal with, this time related to its National Computer Center, which officials say is on the verge of disaster.
The SSA data center has a host of problems that include tangled cables underneath the data center floor, an outdated HVAC system, clogged pipes and an antiquated uninterruptible power system. In fact, at a recent joint oversight committee hearing entitled 'Managing Costs and Mitigating Delays in the Building of the Social Security's New National Computer Center,' Kelly Croft, SSA deputy commissioner for systems, says that the data center is near collapse.
According to Croft, the 1970s infrastructure is at the root of most of the data center's problems and she says that even a day-long service outage would cause a major disruption to customers and cost approximately $25 million in lost agency productivity.
Although a new data center is scheduled to be up and running by August 2016 and will be able to handle and store about 500,000 electronic records that determine citizen benefits, officials fear that the existing data center, located in Baltimore, may not survive an additional five years.
In 2008, a study found that the aging facility has significant electrical and mechanical challenges, including several points of failure, which would result in a shutdown of the entire center.
To ensure that one of the government's most important data centers can remain operational until the current project is completed, improvements are currently being made.
Google's website browser, known as Google Chrome, now allows search engine users to block low-quality websites from its search results page.
This will likely be one of many new ways that Google will respond to user complaints of spam websites. It is also a likely response to new kid on the block, Blekko (http://www.blekko.com), which aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites, mostly through user participation.
The tool, called the Personal Blocklist extension, can be downloaded directly from the Google Chrome web store. Once downloaded, Chrome users can decide which web pages they want to block from the search results pages that they view. Those decisions are automatically sent to Google for review.
If a Google Chrome user finds that that the results obtained from a particular website found through a Google search are not up to par in terms of quality, or if the content has been copied from another site, the user can click on a link to block that website from appearing in future search engine results pages. When a user blocks a website, a signal is automatically sent to Google.
Google will study this feedback and if it finds that certain sites are being blocked repeatedly, they may decide to block the site from their search results entirely. Users also have the ability to check their list of blocked sites by clicking on the extension icon on the top right hand of the Chrome window. Users can also unblock a blocked site if he or she wishes to as well.
This new extension reflects a conscious effort on the part of Google to reduce spam in their search results. Specifically, it aims to shut down content farms, which are sites that host lots of content that is merely duplicated from other sites or has little or no value on its own.
This Google Chrome extension is still in its early testing stages and is currently available in various languages, including English.
Copyright 2011 dzine it, inc. Website Marketing All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
With more than 200 factors determining page rank, Google is urging small business website owners to create more relevant content and improve conversion rates for premium PageRank placement.
Google PageRank is still the gold standard for search engine optimization. Business website owners and search engine marketers know that it is one of the most viable ranking factors in measuring the effectiveness of their online marketing efforts.
Google now heavily ranks documents based on user behavior and content. In the past, each link on a webpage was given the same link juice or authority as the other. Now, Google weighs each of those links based on behavioral action and the likelihood of users clicking on that link.
In layman's terms, this means that the placement and the appearance of a link, as well as its relevance, is of primary importance to Google.
As a result of this shift, the old school way of link building is no longer as effective as it once was. Submitting your blog or multiple articles to several directories and submitting links to several social bookmarking websites, will not significantly impact your Google PageRank.
Now that Google is giving so much weight to user behavior and real-time traffic patterns, business owners should take a page from the Google playbook and adjust their link building strategies. It is imperative that websites now focus on live visitors, decreasing their dependency on Google by creating click-thru traffic through natural linking.
Business owners and their search engine marketers should focus less on the following:
- Social Bookmarking
- Article Submission
- Bulk Directory Submission
- Bulk Link Exchange
Instead, more emphasis should be placed on:
- Guest Blogging
- Link Baiting
- Press Releases
- Joint Ventures
- Building Social Communities
A business's goal should be to achieve quality links through bloggers and social activities relevant to your industry. If you own a business website, start paying more attention to relevant content, traffic sources and conversions.
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The key to making SEO, SEM and local online marketing work lies in content that is not only newsworthy, but makes people want to spread the word about your business. This type of content is what is commonly referred to as link bait.
This means that every time your company introduces a new product or services, it must be promoted on both your website and across social media sites. This is particularly important if your business carries new products from a popular manufacturer, because it allows you to ride the wave of their own publicity.
It has become increasingly apparent that social media impacts local Internet search engine rankings. Combine social media with good link baiting techniques and you have a recipe for success.
To effectively link bait, I encourage our clients to link to other relevant business’ newsworthy content or create their own content on their website or blogs. This content may include promotions, breaking industry news or upcoming industry events.
If done properly, you’ll get other websites to link back quickly and you’ll see an increase in traffic. The goal is to strategically publicize any newsworthy events or promotions and your link baits can come in the form of articles, photos, graphics, videos, and more.”
Once the link bait is created, the link should be promoted through social bookmarking on company websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, email and other social media venues.
Once you start getting the word out, by posting the link on every social media platform available to your business, industry-related websites will start picking up the link and drive more traffic your way. As your links begin to pop up on web pages and traffic begins to increase, your search engine ranking will increase as well.
By searching for great content to link to or creating your own great content, businesses can stay ahead of the game. In the end, he says that this means building and growing your local marketing campaign on a continual basis.
Copyright 2011 dzine it, inc. web marketing All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.