While most in the industry predict that the cloud will ultimately lead to the demise of corporate data centers, new data released by Cisco suggests that cloud computing will keep data centers running strong.

According to the Global Cloud Index, recently released by Cisco Systems, Inc., a company that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice, and communications technology and services, it soon won't matter if you're using applications from your own data center or from somewhere else, they will likely be delivered from the cloud.
In fact, Cisco notes that many companies are already moving to the cloud.

The 2011 Cisco Global Cloud Index is built on a series of predictions on the growth of global data centers and cloud-based IP traffic and it estimates that global data center traffic will grow four-fold from now until 2015, reaching 4.8 zettabytes annually. The cloud computing component will grow 12-fold and represent more than one-third of all data center traffic by 2015.

Cisco also predicts that in two years, the amount of workloads processed in cloud data centers will surpass those processed in traditional data centers.

Cisco's report signals the need for business leaders need to recognize the changing relationship that their organizations have with technology. IT departments will evolve into service brokers as the cloud opens new doors to winder markets.

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As a small business owner, you have heard the popular refrain, “A great looking website means nothing if no one visits it.”

So how do you get found online?

There are a number of ways to ensure that your website meets its ultimate goal and most have everything to do with search engine optimization (SEO).  SEO is the required foundation of a successful website marketing strategy. The thing is that it takes hard work and consistency if you want your website to appear on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The following tips should help you increase your small business website’s organic search engine rankings:

  1. 1. Garner inbound links: Building inbound links to your existing website is all about getting other quality websites to link back to you. These links help a business website to create authority or “link juice.” In Google’s eyes, the more inbound links you have, the more important your website is and the higher it will rank.
  2. 2. Practice good on-page SEO: On-page SEO refers to placing your most important keywords within the content of your website pages. This includes using keywords in your headlines, sub-headlines, textual content, image tags, webpage links and more.
  3. 3. Create an XML Sitemap: XML sitemaps help search engines sift through the content of your website pages more efficiently. Creating an XML sitemap is easy, yet it is a website component that is commonly overlooked by most website owners.
  4. 4. Use 301 redirects: When you redesign your website or specific pages and change page names, or if you change your website’s domain, you need to use 301 redirects. These will redirect the old pages to the new ones. 301 redirects are important for good SEO because they direct the search engines to the new page and maintain your previous SEO work.
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