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Source: This article was published martechadvisor.com - Contributed by Member: Martin Grossner

Video has become an integral part of the overall content marketing mix – a significant chunk of people’s online activities involve consumption of videos.  51% of marketers swear by video to justify the ROI on content marketing activities - and YouTube gets more than 500 million hours of daily watch time. Facebook is not falling behind with 100 million hours of the same. And these numbers will only increase in the coming time.

On the other hand, ample amount of opportunities brings the problem of saturation. How do you stand out from the clutter and the competition in the eyes of your viewers and the search engines? In this article, we will go over 5 techniques (Or hacks, if you will!) that will attract more viewers for your videos.

(Note: For our convenience, we’ll mostly use YouTube for all the examples. The tactics mentioned in this article will be applicable for most video hosting platforms and streaming websites.)

1. Video Keyword Search

First, let’s go over the most fundamental aspect of any content creation activity - keyword research. Before you move to create videos, generate a list of keywords and keyword phrases that you would like to rank for.

To start with, the YouTube Suggest feature will show you what people are searching for in YouTube. For instance, if you type in Digital Marketing 2018 in the search box, YouTube will present the relevant searches with that keyword phrases, and you can generate more ideas with the suggestions.

Another way to get keyword ideas is to look for keywords used in videos with a higher video count. In the screenshot below, barring the video with 150k views, you can see that videos with the keyword phrase Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 have received a good amount of views.

2. Optimize Video Metadata

To help people find your content, optimize your video content before it goes live. Here is how you can do that:

Title: Include the focus keyword in the video title along with the problem it solves. It should be engaging and should incite people to click on the video.

In the screenshot below, the video has to Maximize Your Productivity as the focus keyword and tells how batching your tasks can help solve the problem it talks about. Note, that the language is simple yet impactful.

Description: Use the focus keyword as early as you can in the description to tell the YouTube algorithm what the video is about (Source). 200+ words descriptions help YouTube and Google both in understanding more about your video. You can ask viewers to subscribe to your channel or direct them to your website and so on. Avoid stuffing keywords in the description box to avoid getting penalized by YouTube.

Tip: If your video runs longer (usually 8+ minutes), add timestamps in your description to help your viewers navigate through the video. Here’s how Gary Vaynerchuk does it.

Upload video transcript: Now, this will certainly help you outsmart your competition. Whenever you are uploading a video, upload the video transcript along with it, because search engine bots crawl closed captions included in the video. YouTube does automatic captioning, but try not to use it because you are at the mercy of the speech recognition technology which sometimes is not accurate.

Video Thumbnail: Although thumbnails don’t influence the SEO factors directly, an eye-catching thumbnail will certainly attract more viewers leading to enhanced SEO.

Make sure your thumbnail attracts eyeballs and tells viewers what the video is about. Here’s an example:

3. Create Playlists to Increase Your Watch Time

Watch time measures the amount of time people spend in watching your videos. It’s an important metric, because YouTube rewards videos that keep viewers engaged on YouTube. To optimize your watch time, create playlists on specific topics that would keep the viewers hooked for a longer time. Also, while working on playlists, make sure the name of the playlist is keyword-rich to reap the SEO benefits.

4. User Engagement

If people are liking, leaving comments, sharing your videos or subscribing to your channel, YouTube uses it as a signal that your videos are engaging. Here are 2 simple tips to increase user engagement in your videos.

a. Ask viewers to like, comment and share your videos - and to subscribe to your channel. Ask specific questions so they can easily answer them in the comments section.

b. Ensure to leave reply to the comments on your videos – select a specific time to answer all the comments. Replying to comments makes your viewers feel good and engage more with your videos leading to even increased watch time.

5. Schema Markup

Schema.org is an initiative between Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex to create a structured data markup schema. Implementing Schema markup will help videos stand out in standard search results. If you are not sure whether you should go for it or not, here is Matt Cutts himself affirming the significance of it.

You need to provide the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. Google has detailed out everything here regarding schema markups for videos.

6. Submit a Video Sitemap

Video sitemaps provide search engine bots with the placement and the metadata of the videos on your website. While the bots can crawl the content themselves, submitting the video sitemap speeds up the process.  The video sitemap should contain metadata like title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL and the raw video file URL.

 If you have already started with video marketing and feel a little lost when it comes to getting more views, these hacks will set you in the right direction. How do you plan to implement these tactics? Let us know in the comments below!

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published techcrunch.com By Josh Constine - Contributed by Member:Jennifer Levin

Facebook  wants to help connect brands to creators so they can work out sponsored content and product placement deals, even if it won’t be taking a cut. Confirming our scoop from May, Facebook today launched its Brand Collabs Manager. It’s a search engine that brands can use to browse different web celebrities based on the demographics of their audience and portfolios of their past sponsored content.

Creators hoping to score sponsorship deals will be able to compile a portfolio connected to their Facebook Page that shows off how they can seamlessly work brands into their content. Brands will also be able to find them based on the top countries where they’re popular, and audience characteristics like interests, gender, education, relationship status, life events or home ownership.

Facebook also made a wide range of other creator monetization announcements today:

  • Facebook’s Creator app that launched on iOS in November rolled out globally on Android today (this link should be active soon once the app populates across Google Play). The Creator app lets content makers add intros and outros to Live broadcasts, cross-post content to Twitter and Instagram, see a unified inbox of their Facebook and Instagram comments plus Messenger chats, and more ways to connect with fans.

  • Ad Breaks, or mid-video commercials, are rolling out to more U.S. creators, starting with those that make longer and original content with loyal fans. Creators keep 55 percent of the ad revenue from the ads.
  • Patreon-Style Subscriptions are rolling out to more creators, letting them charge fans $4.99 per month for access to exclusive behind the scenes content plus a badge that highlights that they’re a patron. Facebook also offers microtransaction tipping of video creators through its new virtual currency called Stars.

  • Top Fan Badges that highlight a creator’s most engaged fans will now roll out more broadly after a strong initial reaction to tests in March.
  • Rights Manager, which lets content owners upload their videos so Facebook can fingerprint them and block others from uploading them, is now available for creators, not just publishers.

Facebook also made a big announcement today about the launch of interactive video features and its first set of gameshows built with them. Creators can add quizzes, polls, gamification and more to their videos so users can play along instead of passively viewing. Facebook’s Watch hub for original content is also expanding to a wider range of show formats and creators.

Why Facebook wants sponsored content

Facebook needs the hottest new content from creators if it wants to prevent users’ attention from slipping to YouTube,  Netflix, Twitch and elsewhere. But to keep creators loyal, it has to make sure they’re earning money off its platform. The problem is, injecting Ad Breaks that don’t scare off viewers can be difficult, especially on shorter videos.

But Vine proved that six seconds can be enough to convey a subtle marketing message. A startup called Niche rose to arrange deals between creators and brands who wanted a musician to make a song out of the windows and doors of their new Honda car, or a comedian to make a joke referencing Coca-Cola. Twitter eventually acquired Niche for a reported $50 million so it could earn money off Vine without having to insert traditional ads. [Disclosure: My cousin Darren Lachtman was a co-founder of Niche.]

Vine naturally attracted content makers in a way that Facebook has had some trouble with. YouTube’s sizable ad revenue shares, Patreon’s subscriptions and Twitch’s fan tipping are pulling creators away from Facebook.

So rather than immediately try to monetize this sponsored content, Facebook is launching the Brand Collabs Manager to prove to creators that it can get them paid indirectly. Facebook already offered a way for creators to tag their content with disclosure tags about brands they were working with. But now it’s going out of its way to facilitate the deals. Fan subscriptions and tipping come from the same motive: letting creators monetize through their audience rather than the platform itself.

Spinning up these initiatives to be more than third-rate knockoffs of Niche, YouTube, Patreon and Twitch will take some work. But hey, it’s cheaper for Facebook than paying these viral stars out of pocket.

Categorized in Search Engine

 Source: This article was published blog.kissmetrics.com By Jonathan Cabin - Contributed by Member: Issac Avila

Have you ever been looking for something but didn’t know where to find it? If that something is online, then your search is over (or just about to begin). The following are 40 advanced and alternative search engines that you can use to find just about anything on the Internet. Use them to follow discussions about your industry, monitor your online reputation, and much more!

General Search

To start off our search adventure, let’s look at some general search engines beyond the top three.

DuckDuckGo

Concerned about online privacy? DuckDuckGo prides themselves as being the search engine that does not track or personalize your searches and results. They even offer handy visual guides on Google tracking and filter bubbling. And if you’re an iOS user, you can set DuckDuckGo to be the default search engine in Safari. It’s also an option for Safari on MacOS.

Search Encrypt

Looking for an alternative to DuckDuckGo? Give Search Encrypt a try. Like DuckDuckGo, they are a privacy-based search engine. It includes a general search function, as well as image and video search.

Ecosia

Want trees planted while you search? That’s what Ecosia does! Simply run your normal searches and Ecosia will use its surplus income to conservationist organizations that plant trees. And you don’t have to sacrifice low-quality results to do good – Ecosia uses Bing and their own search algorithms.

Dogpile

If you want results from the top three search engines, but don’t want to go to them individually, try Dogpile. It’s results are pulled from the top three search engines “without all the mess.”

Blekko

Want spam free search results? Blekko‘s mission is to provide a differentiated, editorial voice in search. They look for quality over quantity, source-based authority over link based, removes sites whose primary purpose is monetization over information and uses human curating through the use of user tags.

WolframAlpha

Looking for a search engine based on computation and metrics? Try WolframAlpha. It will give you website data, historical information by date, unit conversions, stock data, sports statistics, and more. You can see examples by topicto learn more.

Gigablast

Want an open source search engine? Check out Gigablast. While it doesn’t always get things right, it does provide a retro look, results return quickly, and a feature similar to the now-defunct Google Instant.

Social Network Specific Advanced Search

Need to find something specific on one of the top social networks? Here are some great advanced search pages.

Facebook Search

Want to see a particular search across different areas of Facebook? Use Facebook Advanced Search. When you type in your query, click on the “see more results” link at bottom of the suggestions. Then use the filters on the left to see results within people, pages, places, groups, and more.

LinkedIn People Search

If you want to find some new connections on LinkedIn, use the Advanced People Search. This will let you narrow down your results by the above plus relationship and language. Premium members will have access to additional search filters including groups, company size, years of experience, and more.

LinkedIn Job Search

LinkedIn offers job seekers an Advanced Job Search to find jobs using the above information plus experience level and industry. Premium members can narrow their search down further by the salary offered.

LinkedIn Answers Search

LinkedIn Answers is a great way to gain exposure and build authority in your industry. Use the Answers Advanced Search to find the perfect questions to answer.

Twitter Search

Twitter’s Advanced Search is a great way to find better results on Twitter. It is especially great for businesses looking for a local audience by allowing them to filter their results using the Near this place field.

Social Search

The following search engines will allow you to search one or more social networks in one place and gain additional data about the results.

Keyhole

Keyhole allows you to search for hashtags, keywords, @mentions, and URLs. Want to see how your latest blog post was shared across social networks? Just select URL on Keyhole and put in the URL and you’ll see who has shared it.

Social Mention

Social Mention allows you to search across multiple types of networks including blogs, microblogs, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, and more.

Buzzsumo

Use Buzzsumo if you have a topic in mind and want to see which articles on the web were most shared for that particular search. There is a paid version that can give you access to more tools for each topic.

Forums

Want to participate in forums in your industry? Use this search engine to find results specifically on forums.

Boardreader

BoardReader allows you to search forums and narrow results down by date (last day through last year) and language.

Blogs

Find industry related blogs and posts using the following search engines.

Regator

Regator allows you to search for blogs and posts on any topic, then narrow down your results by posts with audio or video, date range, topic, and domain.

Documents, eBooks, and Presentations

If you’re looking for documents, eBooks, presentations, or other similar file types, try the following searches.

Google Advanced Search

Google Advanced Search allows you to search for specific types of documents. Looking specifically for PDFs? Set that as your criteria. Want to search for Word docs or Powerpoint presentations? Then tell Google to find those file types.

Scribd

Scribd is the largest social reading and publishing network that allows you to discover original written content across the web. Sort results by category, language, length, file types, upload date, and cost (free or for sale).

SlideShare

SlideShare is the largest community for sharing presentations. If you missed a conference or webinar, there’s a good chance the slides from your favorite speakers are here.

Image Search

Looking for beautiful images? Try these image search engines – note that you must gain permission to use any images you find unless they are specifically marked as Creative Commons licensed.

Flickr

Flickr offers an advanced search screen that allows you to find photos, screenshots, illustrations, and videos on their network. You can also search within Creative Commons licensed content.

Pinterest

The ultimate image platform, Pinterest allows you to search for anything visual – clothing, cars, floors, airplanes, etc and pin it to your favorites. Just be sure you don’t steal copyright work. You will need to have an account before you can begin searching.

Bing

Bing offers an image search that starts out with the top trending images, then leads to images which can be filtered by size, layout, and other criteria. They also display tabs above the results with related search queries.

Google

Google Advanced Image Search allows you to get even more specific about the images you are looking for, including specifying whether they are faces, photos, clip arts, or line drawings. You can also search within images labeled for reuse commercially and with modifications.

TinEye

Have you seen an image around the web and want to know where it came from? That’s what TinEye is for. Just put your image in the search box and TinEye will find where that image has been seen from around the web.

Creative Commons Media

Need to find media created by others to use on your website? Try these Creative Commons searches.

Creative Commons

Looking for only images that you can repurpose, use for commercial purposes, or modify? Try the Creative Commons Search which will allow you to look through multiple sources including Flickr, Google Images, Wikimedia, and YouTube.

Wikimedia

Wikimedia Commons has over 12 million files in their database of freely usable images, sound bites, and videos. Use the search box or browse by categories for different types of media.

Video Search

Looking for a video to embed on your website or simply entertain you? Try these video search engines that look across multiple sources to find what you need.

Yahoo

Yahoo Video Search allows you to search through video content from their own network, YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Myspace, Hulu, and other online video providers for videos on any topic.

360Daily

360Daily allows you to go beyond YouTube to find videos on any topic from hundreds of sites including big names like YouTube and Hulu. If you’re looking for video, you’ll likely find it here.

AOL Video Search

AOL Video aggregates the days best clips from around the web, but you can also use it as a search engine.

Google Video

With Google Video Search you’ll be able to search for videos on any topic and filter your results by duration, the date when uploaded, video source, and much more.

Website Data & Statistics

Looking for information about your favorite brands and websites? Try out these search engines for data and statistics.

CrunchBase

CrunchBase offers insight into your favorite online brands and companies. Listings will tell you people who are associated with a company, contact information, related videos, screenshots, and more.

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb allows you to search for website or app profiles based specific domains or app names. Domains with a high volume of traffic will have data including total regional visitors per month, pageviews online vs. mobile, demographics, sites similar audiences like, and more.

BuiltWith

Curious to see what technology your favorite sites use and usage trends of that technology? BuiltWith allows you to search for domains and see the technology they use, including analytics, content management systems, coding, and widgets. You can also click on any of the products to see usage trends, industries using the technology, and more.

Advanced Google

Can’t get away from Google, but want to get more out of it than a simple Google.com search? Try these advanced Google search features.

Google Advanced Search

Looking for something specific? Try Google Advanced Search or use Advanced Operators in your search queries.

Google Scholar

If you are looking for articles, theses, books, abstracts, court opinions or other information provided by academic publishers, professional societies, and university, try Google Scholar Advanced Search. You can also use Advanced Operators to refine your search results even more.

Google Books

Google Advanced Book Search will help you find search queries in books. You can also find entire books published online that might be available to download via PDF (when in the public domain).

Google Search Features

Need to check stock quotes, the time in another city, sports scores, or other specific information? The Google Search Features page allows you to search for everyday essentials, local listings, health information, and much more.

Categorized in Search Engine

Now more than ever, marketing experts are improving their marketing strategy with fewer resources, and they are shifting marketing budgets from traditional to digital tactics like search engine optimization and social media. Companies, too often, omit their social media marketing strategy from their SEO strategy, which is a grave mistake. A study conducted by Ascend2 indicates that companies with the strongest SEO via social media strategies now produce the best results, and vice-versa. Companies that consider themselves “very successful” at search engine optimization are integrating social media into their strategy, whereas, companies that are “not successful” at search engine optimization are not integrating social media into their strategy.

See the graph below:

SEOSocialIntegration

In the above graph, companies with successful SEO are in blue while those companies with an inferior SEO strategy are in amber. You can see 38% of those doing very well with search engine optimization was also extensively integrating social media. A full 50% of those doing poorly at search engine optimization was not integrating social media at all in their strategy. This graph signifies that companies that are succeeding in search engine optimization today are including social in their strategy.

SEO is much more than just high ranking in Google. It is a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive approach to website optimization that ensures potential customers, who come to your website, will have an excellent experience, easily find what they are looking for, and have an easy time sharing your optimum-quality content. The combination of SEO and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be overwhelming for big as well as small business marketers. Until recently, search engine optimization and social media marketing were thought of as two very different things, but actually, these are two sides of the same coin. Consider the below mentioned social network growth statistics:

  • YouTube hosts nearly 14 billion videos. Source: comScore
  • Google sites handle about 100 billion searches each month. Source: SEL
  • Facebook is now over 1 billion users. Source: Mark Zuckerberg
  • Twitter has over 550 million accounts. Source: Statistics Brain
  • Google+ has over 500 million users. Source: Google
  • LinkedIn is at 225 million users. Source: LinkedIn
  • Pinterest grew 4,377% in 2012 and continues to expand to 25 million users. Source: TechCrunch
  • Following statistics shows how social media is quite helpful in effective search engine optimization:
  • 94% increase in CTR (Click-Thru-Rate) when searching and social media are used together. Source: eMarketer
  • 50% of consumers use a combination of search and social media to make purchase decisions. Source: Inc
  • Consumers who use social media (vs. people who don’t) are 50% more likely to use search. Source: srcibd
  • Websites with a Google+ business page yield a 15% rise in search rank. Source: Open Forum

With these statistics, we can say that social media can be a primary engine for promoting new content and can take your website from zero visibility to a strong performing position almost overnight. For enhancing SEO through social media platform two factors play a vital role, which are social signals and natural link building. I have explained these two factors in an elaborative manner:

What’s Your Social Signal?

Social Signals are signals to various search engines that your content or information is valuable. Every time someone likes, shares, tweets or +1′s content about your brand, especially a link, they are sending a social signal and the more social signals means you have better chances to rank high on search engine result pages. Many researchers have found that social shares are quite valuable when it comes to building your website authority. Here is the latest research from Searchmetrics, highlighting which social signals correlate to rankings on Google:

socialsignals2

Note that 7 out of the top 9 factors are social signals. Now, it’s clear that social signals can have a huge impact on your search rankings, especially social signals from Google+. If you do not have time to leverage all of the social networking sites, then make sure that Google+ is one of the few you do use because it will play the biggest part in increasing your rankings on search engines. Top social signals that Google is tracking on your website are mentioned below:

Google+

Google+ is a fledgling community when it is compared to social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter, but its social signals have the most impact on search ranking results. Some factors that you should look at are:

Amount of +1s- You need to start distinguishing +1 to your website in general and +1 to each piece of your content. You should increase +1s to your brand/your authorship profile. This also applies to +1s on Local+ pages.

Authority of +1s- If your profile or brand gets more +1, then you will get to rank higher and easier for the future content you produce.

Growth rate of +1s- You should strategize a plan that will increase your +1 steadily over an extended period of time.

Amount of Adds and Shares- How many people are following and sharing your content tells about how authoritative you are.

Authority of Adds and Shares- Who is following you is also important. A network with people with great profiles helps you to establish a voice.

Facebook

The king of social networking sites, Facebook has an active community of over 900 million. Millions of active users make it a perfect platform for generating social signals. Various research has shown that Facebook influences more search rankings as compared to Google+ or Twitter. Some factors that you should look at are:

Amount of Shares and Likes- You should remember that “shares” carry more weight than “likes”.

Amount of Comments- The collective amount of likes, shares, and comments correlate the closest with search ranking.

Twitter

Twitter is second only to Facebook and boasts 500 million users that are constantly “tweeting”, status updates and events in real time. Twitter users, known as “tweeps”, put more premium on a tweet’s authority rather than sheer amount; though the overall social signals generated by it lags just a little behind Facebook. On Twitter, you should look at some factors like:

  • Authority of followers, mentions, and retweets
  • Number of followers, mentions, and retweets
  • Speed and intensity of tweets and RT over time

Other social websites like Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, and FourSquare

The big three, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, play quite important role when it comes to social ranking factors, but you should not ignore the potential of other user-driven social websites like Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, and FourSquare. On these social networking sites you should look at following factors:

  • Amount of Pins and re-pins on Pinterest
  • Comments on Pinterest
  • Growth rate of Pins and Re-pins
  • Check-ins on Foursquare
  • Spread rate of check-ins at FourSquare
  • Upvotes on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon
  • Comments on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon

Link Development through Social Media

The traditional way of link building like en-masse link directories, spammy comments, forum-posts for the sake of links, and anchor text sculpting are over now. In the modern era, the powerful way to build link is an effective content marketing strategy. People love informative and quality content, and they love sharing content. Social media sites are one of the best platforms for content marketing, in this way these are quite important for natural link development.

How to build natural and quality links through Social Media Platforms

There are two tactics that will help you immensely in earning quality and natural links through Social Media Platforms are:

Link-building through interaction and community engagement

If you’re link-building but never building relationships or never interacting with people, you’re not really link building: you are spamming. If you interact with people who might care about your brand, you can gain a cutting edge over other competitors. Meaningful interactions with the audience in your niche prove your credibility and will lead to more authority links. 

You can also get links through interaction from a popular site or a popular brand, when they post to their Facebook page, make a Google+ post, launch a new blog post, or put up a new video on YouTube. In this case, I also recommend you to interact early and often. Early because a lot of times, being in the first five or ten comments, interactions, or engagements really helps you to be seen by the editors who are almost always watching. When you do such interaction, make sure you are adding value, by doing this you make yourself stand out in the comments. You can add value by doing a little bit of detailed research and by making the conversation more interesting. By posting great comments, you will create interest in target customers and they often click your profile that will latently earn you some links. In addition to this, you can also offer help to other people and you can help people without being asked. This is a great way to drive links back to your own site and you can do this, not just on blog posts, but on Google+ posts, Facebook pages, and YouTube comments.

Link building through quality content

In addition to gaining links from popular sites, you can also earn links by posting qualitative and linkable content on social media platforms. If you create content that people find valuable and informative, they are more likely to want to share it. What people find valuable can vary, but optimum quality blog posts and infographics that provide well-researched information, statistics, and new angles on a subject are all good starting points. A good and informative video that attracts viewers’ attention is eminently shareable, which is one reason nearly 87% of agency and brand marketers now creating a video for content marketing. When someone reads your quality and informative content on social media sites and finds it of value, it is more likely that they will want to link to it.

Article-Effective-Content

In order to give your informative content the best chance of reaching a wide audience, you should identify the key influencers or target audience in your field. In this way, you will be able to target your efforts effectively. Facebook and Twitter are the two go-to social media platforms for most people but you should also seek out targets on other platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr. In addition to this, if you are marketing within specific regions, you might want to channel your efforts to the most popular websites in each market. For example, VK is the preferred social media website in Russia, while Orkut can help extend your reach within Brazil and India.

You can also use various tools and services that can help you find the best targets. For example, Followerwonk offers a Twitter analytics service and it can help you to compare and sort followers by looking at data such as social authority scores and the percentage of URLs. Furthermore, you can also gauge reactions to your own tweets by monitoring your activity alongside current follower numbers. Apart from this, Fresh Web Explorer is a handy tool, as it searches for mentions of your brand, company or other keyword and automatically matches this with ‘feed authority’. In this way, you can sort key influencers from those with less perceived authority that will allow you to target your efforts more effectively.

Now, it is clear that social media is an essential part of search engine optimization. Following diagram explains you a blueprint of how social media supports SEO: 

seo-social-media

Quality Content gets published- One of the best ways to increase quality traffic to your website is to publish shareable, useful and relevant content on social media sites.

Content gets Shares, Links, & Likes- As you start publishing your company’s blog posts or research work on a regular basis and spreading it across the social networking sites, your content will start generating shares, links, and “likes”.

Sites Gain Subscriptions while Social Profiles get Fans & Followers- As a result, your site’s blog will gain more subscribers and your social media channels will gain more followers, fans, and connections.

Thriving Community Supporting the Website & Social Networks Grows- A thriving community of people who are interested in your user-focused content develops and starts to thrive.

Reputation Reinforced through Social Media & SEO as Authoritative Brand for the Niche- Signals are sent to various search engines about your activity on social media platforms and your keyword-rich and informative content. Your website starts being viewed as reputable, relevant, and authoritative.

Sites Gain Authority in Search Engines- As a result, your website and its informative and quality content starts appearing higher and more frequently in the top rankings and listings of search engines for your keyword phrases and targeted keywords.

Sustainable Stream of Users Discover the Site organically- A consistently growing stream of users will begin discovering the website via the social media sites, search engines, and your email marketing efforts.

I have explained how aligning SEO and social media efforts can really enhance your SEO performance. In order to execute this task effectively, you might even like to hire experienced SEO experts. You should make sure that your social media and SEO teams are working together in order to create a unified digital marketing strategy.

Source: This article was published problogger.com By Guest Blogger

Categorized in How to

This is the age of influence and networking. The success of a brand or an individual highly depends on the amount of influence earned as well as the level of networks created in the meantime. Today, the best place to power up influence and build network is social media and just like web search engines, there are number of cool social media search engines that can help you or your brand to find real people, build networks, and share or gain useful information required to raise influence within your niche market.

Yes, you heard it right. There are many specific social media search engines out there designed to help you find real people and user profiles across major social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and many others.

The more people you can manage to add to your network from the same industry, your influence resultantly improves in the industry. And, there’s no better way to find people on the web other than looking for them via social media search engines.

Today, we bring you a cool list of top social media search engines that can help you find people within your industry nearby to grow your influence, reach, as well as network within the industry.

Best Social Media Search Engines to Find Real People across Top Social Networks

There is no doubt that Google is the most popular search engine on the web to find almost anything on the internet. However, even Google fails or is not up to the mark when finding people or profiles on popular social media channels.

Today, we will share some of the best social media search engines that would help you find real people as follows:

Social Mention

The first on our list is Social Mention. This web tool is systematically designed for people looking for social media contents that include blogs, microblogs, comments, bookmarks, videos, and more. With Social Mention, you can also set alerts and receive emails based on your searches for specific brands, celebrities, or company related updates. The tool is quite helpful for bloggers, who can install its real-time buzz widget on their blogs for maximum benefits.

WhosTalkin

WhosTalkin is another social media search engine that lets you explore conversations relevant to the topics that interest you. You can find updates about your favorite sport, favorite food, celebrity, or a company. With WhosTalkin, you can engage in conversations that are most relevant to the topics you like. This internet-based social media search engine tool is able to search through a number of social media networks and blogs for your favorite trending topics and conversations related your favorite celebrity, sports, food, places, videos, etc.

YoName

As the name of the search engine suggests, YoName lets you find people across different social media platforms by name. With YoName, you can search people on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Blogger blogs, and several others using the search form. Simply enter people’s name, email address, or phone number and then hit “Yo” to get the results. Besides social media search, YoName also supports web search, business search as well as public records search.

Anoox

Well, Anoox is not exactly a social media search engine but it allows you to get information via multiple social media websites as well as find answers to your queries from real people. At Anoox, you can share & discuss with real people for the best answer, truth, and in turn more traffic to your website or profile.

BoardReader

Unlike other social media search engines, BoardReader is a search tool for community forums and boards. With BoredReader, you can easily explore popular content spread across the internet including news, articles, videos, press releases, etc.

Bing Social

After Google, Bing is the 2nd most popular search engine on the web and its social arm known as Bing Social is designed to find the latest news and trending topics shared across popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks.

Addictomatic

Addictomatic is yet another social search tool to explore the latest news, trending topics, attractive blog posts, viral videos, and interesting pictures. This tool searches the best live sites on the internet to find the latest news, blog posts, videos, and images for you. With this tool, you can easily keep up with the latest updates on the hot trending topics, and keep up to date with the latest social media sensation on the web.

Twazzup

Twitter is a strong social media platform with lots of viral and trending news surfacing on this microblogging tool every single second as you are reading this article. Twazzup lets you search these trending news and topics across Twitter and lets you keep up with the social media buzz around the globe.

Snitch Name

Snitch Name is a white pages service for social networks. This amazing search tool is designed to search people’s profile over popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and other networks.

Blinkx

Videos are now an integral part of the social media world and Blinkx is a social media search engine dedicated to videos medium. One of the best social media search engines on the web, Blinkx is a search engine for videos with over million hours of regularly indexed online videos. This video search engine enables you to watch videos ranging from a wide variety of different categories including but not limited to news & politics, celebrity, technology, business, gaming, food, sports, and more assorted from all the major news portals and video sharing platforms.

Flickr Advanced Search

Flickr, as everyone knows, is one of the largest photo and video sharing platforms on the internet. While it lets you upload and view photos and videos on it, Flickr also lets you search for images or videos based on your topic using its advanced search tool embed with smart filters and variety of options designed to deliver accurate and effective results.

Source: This article was published geekdashboard.com By Rajeesh Nair

Categorized in Search Engine

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines security as measures taken to guard against espionage or sabotage, crime, attack, or escape. Those descriptive words also apply to the protections you must take when you're online to safeguard your security and privacy. We all realize by now that the Internet is full of hackers looking to steal anything of value, but worse yet, the government that has pledged to be ‘by the people, for the people’ often intrudes on our privacy in the name of national security.

This guide, however, is not for those engaged in covert activities that need would shielding from the prying eyes of the NSA. It is intended to be a basic guide for people who use the Internet on a daily basis for:

  • Work
  • Social Media Activity
  • E-commerce

Whether your online activity is largely confined to a desktop, or you're a mobile warrior on the go, implementing the proper security and privacy protocols can protect you from hackers and also prevent your ISP provider from knowing every single website you’ve ever accessed.

What follows is a basic guide that anyone can use to beef up online security and ensure as much privacy as possible, while being mindful that total anonymity on the Web is nearly impossible.

ONLINE SECURITY FOR DESKTOPS, LAPTOPS, AND MOBILE DEVICES

Install Software Updates

At the minimum, you need to make sure that you install the most recent software updates on all your desktop and mobile devices. We know that updates can be a pain, but they can ensure that your software is as secure as possible.

In fact, you will often notice that many update messages are related to some type of security glitch that could make it easier for someone to gain access to your information through the most common browsers such as Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

If you take your sweet time installing an update, it gives hackers that much more time to gain access to your system through the security flaw that the update was designed to fix.

Most of the major brands such as Apple and Samsung will send users messages on their desktops, laptops and mobile devices the moment they release a security update.

For example, Apple recently released new security updates for its iPhones, iPads and Macs for a computer chip flaw known as Spectre. This flaw affected billions of devices across all the major systems, including iOS.

Apple immediately sent a message to all its mobile users to install an update, which included security patches to block hackers from exploiting the flaw in the chip. The company also sent emails to desktop users to install Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.2, which included fixes to Safari for laptops and desktops.

The point is that you don’t need to worry that you won’t get these update prompts, because it’s in the best interests of the major brands to keep a massive hack from occurring. But if you want to ensure that you never miss an important update, there are several tools that can help you achieve this goal...

Update Tools for Mac Users

MacUpdate/MacUpdate Desktop – These two companion apps scan your desktop or mobile devices to locate software that needs updating. The desktop version has a menu bar that informs you when a software update is complete. The basic updating function is free to all users, but there are premium tiers that are ad-free, and include a credit system that rewards you for every new software you buy.

Software Update – This is a built-in app that you access through the Apple menu that opens the Mac App Store app and lets you click on the Updates tab. Software Update analyzes all the apps you’ve downloaded from the Mac App store to see if they’re updated. It does the same thing for your operating system software, which is a nice bonus.

Update Tools for PC Users

Patch My PC – If you choose the auto-update feature on this free tool, it automatically installs software patches on any application that has a security update. If you run the manual version, the program quickly scrolls through updated and non-updated applications and lets you check the ones you want to update and patch. One other useful aspect of this program is that you can run it using a flash drive.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ENCRYPTION

Encryption is a fancy word for a code that protects information from being accessed. There are various levels of encryption, and at the highest levels, encryption offers you the strongest protection when you are online. Encryption scrambles your online activity into what looks like a garbled, unidentifiable mess to anyone who doesn’t have the code to translate that mess back to its real content.

The reason this is important is that protecting your devices with only a password won’t do much to protect your data if a thief steals the device, accesses the drive and copies the data onto an external drive. If that device is encrypted, the data that the thief accesses and ports to another drive will still remain encrypted, and depend on the level of encryption, it will either take that thief a long time to break the code, or the thief will not be able to crack it.

Before we dive into some of the basics of encrypting desktops and mobile devices, remember that encryption has some drawbacks.

  • The main one is that if you lose the encryption key, it can be very difficult to access your data again. 
  • Second, encryption will affect the speed of your device because it saps the capacity of your processor.

This is a small price to pay, however, for all the benefits encryption offers in terms of security from intrusion and privacy from prying eyes that want to know exactly what you’re up to on the Internet.

Basic Encryption for Apple Devices

If you own an Apple mobile device such as an iPhone or iPad, these devices are sold with encryption as a standard feature, so all you need is a good passcode.

If you own a Mac desktop or laptop device, you can encrypt your device by using the FileVault disk encryption program that you access through the System Preferences menu under the ‘Security’ pull-down. Just follow the easy-to-understand directions to obtain your encryption key.

Basic Encryption for PCs and Android Devices

If you own a PC, you will need to manually encrypt your device. You can encrypt the newer PC models using BitLocker, a tool that’s built into Windows. BitLocker is only available if you buy the Professional or Enterprise versions of Windows 8 and 10, or the Ultimate version of Windows 7.

If you choose not to use BitLocker, Windows 8.1 Home and Pro versions include a device encryption feature that functions very much like BitLocker.

Newer Android phones including the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, have default encryption. But for phones that are not encryption enabled, the process is not difficult.

For phones and tablets that run on Android 5.0 or higher, you can access the Security menu under Settings and select ‘Encrypt phone’ or ‘Encrypt tablet.’ You will have to enter your lock screen password, which is the same password necessary to access your files after encryption.

For phones and tablets that run on Android 4.4 or lower, you must create a lock screen password prior to initiating the encryption process.

PROTECT YOUR TEXT MESSAGING

Even before Edward Snowden became a household name with his explosive revelations about the extent of NSA’s wiretapping of Americans, it was obvious that text messages were vulnerable to interception by outside parties.

What’s even more insidious is that the information generated from your text messages, which is known as metadata, is extremely valuable. Metadata includes information about whom you communicate with, where that communication takes place and at what time.

Hackers and government agencies can learn a great deal about you through metadata, which is why it’s so important for you to protect the privacy of your text messages.

Fortunately, there are applications you can install to encrypt your text messages after they are sent to another person, and many don’t collect metadata.

Tools to Encrypt Your Text Messages

The signal is a free app that provides end-to-end encryption for Android and iOS, which means that only the people who are communicating on the text message can read the messages.

Any other party would need the encryption key to decrypt the conversation, and that includes the company that owns the messaging service. One of the big advantages of using Signal is that it collects very little metadata.

Another popular encrypted messaging service is WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, which works mostly on mobile devices. Remember to turn off all backups on your WhatsApp account by accessing Chats, then Chat Backup and setting Auto Backup to Off. This turns off backups on the app and the cloud.

If you don’t disable the Auto Backup feature, government and law enforcement agencies can access the backup with a search warrant. Why is that so risky? Because end-to-end encryption only covers the transmission of your messages and doesn’t protect messages that are in storage. In other words, law enforcement or government agencies could read the text messages stored in a cloud backup.

One other thing to remember is that although WhatsApp is considered one of the more secure apps for encrypting text messages, it does collect metadata.

And if a government or law enforcement agency obtained a search warrant, it could force Facebook to turn over that metadata, which would reveal things you might want kept private such as IP addresses and location data.

PROTECT YOUR BROWSING HISTORY

Whenever you’re on the Internet, there are people trying to see what you’re doing, when you’re doing it and how often you’re doing it. Not all these prying eyes have ill intent, and in many cases, they are marketers who are trying to track your online movements so they can target you for ads and offers. But enterprising hackers are also monitoring your activities, looking for weaknesses they can target to obtain your personal information. And your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gathers a ton of information based on your browsing history.

In the face of all these threats to privacy, how do you protect yourself when you’re online?

You can use a virtual private network (VPN), which acts exactly the way a standard browser does, but lets you do it anonymously. When you use a VPN, you connect to the Internet using the VPN provider’s service. All transmissions that occur when you get online with your mobile phone, tablet, desktop or laptop are encrypted. This protects all your online activity from the government as well as from your ISP, lets you access sites that would normally be restricted by your geographical location, and shields you from intrusion when you are at a public hotspot.

If someone tries to track your activity, your IP address will appear as that of the VPN server, which makes it nearly impossible for anyone to know your exact location, or your actual IP address. However, VPNs don’t provide you with total anonymity, because the VPN provider knows your real IP address as well as the sites you’ve been accessing. Some VPN providers offer a ‘no-logs’ policy, which means that they don’t keep any logs of your online activities.

This can be hugely important if you are up to something that the government takes an interest in, such as leading a protest group, and you want to make sure none of your online activities can be tracked.

But VPN providers are vulnerable to government search warrants and demands for information and must measure the possibility of going to jail by keeping your activity private, versus giving up your information and staying in business.

That’s why if you choose to go with a VPN, it’s important to do the research on a provider’s history and reputation. For example, there are 14 countries in the world that have shared agreements about spying on their citizens and sharing the information they unearth with each other. It may not surprise you to learn that the U.S,  Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy are all part of that alliance.

What may surprise you is that it’s best to avoid any VPNs that are based in one of these 14 countries, because of their data retention laws and gag orders which prevent VPN providers from telling their customers when a government agency has requested information on their online activities.

If you’re serious about VPNs and want to know which are trustworthy and which aren’t worth your time, we’ve done a pretty extensive review of VPN services that you can access here. Used correctly, VPNs can provide you with a high degree of privacy when you’re online, but in an era in which billions have joined social media platforms such as Facebook, and services such as Google, what are the privacy risks related to how these companies use your personal information?

HOW THE HEAVY HITTERS USE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

Facebook

There isn’t much privacy when you join Facebook, especially since the company’s privacy policy blatantly states that it monitors how you use the platform, the type of content you view or interact with, the number of times you’re on the site, how long you spend on the site, and all the other sites that you browse when you’re not on Facebook.

How does Facebook know that little nugget? By tracking the number of times you click ‘Like’ on any site that includes a Facebook button.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to make Facebook more private. You can access the ‘Download Your Information’ tool to know exactly what the site has on you, and you can check your activity log to track your actions since you joined Facebook, but that’s about it.

Deleting your account will remove your personal information, but any information about you that your followers have shared in a post will remain on the site.

Google

Google stores personal information such as your name, email contact, telephone number, how you use the service, how you use sites with Ad Words, your search inquiries, and location tracking. More importantly, your name, email address, and photo are publically available unless you opt out.

To protect some of your privacy, you can edit a number of preferences, turn off location tracking, change your public profile and read what information Google has collected on you through the company’s data board.

Apple

Apple’s privacy policy states that it collects information such as your name, contacts and music library content, and relays them to its own servers using encryption. Apple’s News app analyzes your reading preferences to match them to ads targeted toward what you like.

Targeted advertising is one of Apple’s biggest con jobs, and that’s said with respect for the company’s ability to print money like no other business on earth. Apple has created ad-blocking technology in its iOS software to prevent outside companies from reaching its customers.

But it makes no bones about using personal information and personal preferences culled from its customers to supply them with an endless stream of targeted and intrusive ads.

You can opt out of what Apple calls ‘interest-based ads’, but the company pretty much lets you figure this out on your own.

Amazon

Amazon collects a ton of person information, including name, address, phone number, email, credit card information, list of items bought, Wish List items, browsing history, names, addresses and phone numbers of every person who has ever received an Amazon product or service from you, reviews you’ve posted, and requests for product availability alerts.

It isn’t much you can do to keep Amazon from being intrusive unless you’re not planning on using the site for purchases. For example, Amazon uses ‘cookies,’ which are snippets of data that attach to your browser when you visit the site.

Cookies activate convenient features such as 1-Click purchasing and generate recommendations when you revisit Amazon, but they also allow Amazon to send you ads when you’re on another website, which can feel like an invasion of privacy and are also annoying.

The problem is if you opt to turn off cookies on your Amazon account, you won’t be able to add items to your shopping cart or do anything that requires a sign-in, which pretty much eliminates all your buying options.

That gives you a general overview of how some of the big brands use your data so you’re aware of the implications of providing your personal information. Let’s wrap things up with some frequently asked questions about security and privacy.

FAQ'S ABOUT SECURITY AND PRIVACY

1. Can people really hack me at a coffee shop?

Most coffee shops offer public WiFi that has varying levels of security. In many instances, these free networks are not very secure, and even a low-level hacker could gain access to the transmissions occurring at the coffee shop by setting up a fake hotspot. If you want to get online at a coffee shop, do so through a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, make sure you’re signing in under the name of the WiFi hotspot, and limit your activity to browsing instead of conducting financial transactions.

2. Is the NSA really watching me via my computer camera?

The NSA definitely has the technology to spy on you through your webcam. Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has plug-in that can hack cameras and take pictures, record video and turn on the mic on a webcam to act as a listening device. One easy way to thwart this hack is to place a sticker on your webcam lens that prevents a hacker from seeing anything in your home.

3. Can Facebook see my messenger chats and change my feed based on those conversations?

Facebook’s Messenger feature uses security that it says is similar to what banks use to protect their clients’ financial information. Two years ago, Facebook added end-to-end encryption to its messenger feature, but users must activate it because it’s not a default. However, Facebook does use your profile, public photos, and public posts to better customize things such as the content of the News feed it sends to you.

4. When can - or can’t - the government get personal data from companies?

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act passed in 1986, government agencies can obtain subpoenas and search warrants to force technology companies like Google or Apple to provide information about a user or a group of users. Companies can refuse based on the Fourth Amendment ban against unreasonable search and seizure, but they face an uphill battle if the request is for a legitimate reason. Recently, Amazon refused an order by the state of Massachusetts to turn over data about third-party sellers. But the company relented after it was served with court order to provide the data or face legal consequences.

THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE

Privacy and security are two sides of the same coin, and while there is no way to guarantee total privacy or complete security in the digital world, the first step is to understand the tools available to you, and the ways in which your personal data is being used by big companies that want your business.

While this isn’t a comprehensive guide to every aspect of online security and privacy, it provides you with some best practices and important concepts that can help you better understand this complex and ever-changing issue. 

 Written By Alex Grant

Categorized in Internet Privacy

We explain the Dark Web, how it differs from the Deep Web, and how to access the Dark Web using Tor.

The internet is a much, much bigger place than you probably realise. You know about Facebook, Google, BBC iPlayer and Amazon, but do you really know what's lurking beyond those user-friendly and respectable websites? 

This is but a tiny corner of the internet, and the Dark Web and the Deep Web loom in much shadier corners. Using Tor you can access them, but should you even want to visit the Dark Web or the Deep Web?

Let's take a tour to help you make up your mind.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.

Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. You may know Tor for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location so it appears you're in a different country to where you're really located, making it much like using a VPN service.

When a website is run through Tor it has much the same effect.

Indeed, it multiplies the effect. To visit a site on the Dark Web that is using Tor encryption, the web user needs to be using Tor. Just as the end user's IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.

There are several layers of magnitude more secrecy than the already secret act of using Tor to visit a website on the open internet - for both parties.

Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

You can also read our in-depth guide to using Tor if you want to know more about using the web anonymously and sending messages securely. 

Why would I want to use the Dark Web?

Not all Dark Web sites use Tor. Some use similar services such as I2P, for example, the Silk Road Reloaded. But the principle remains the same. The visitor has to use the same encryption tool as the site and - crucially - know where to find the site, in order to type in the URL and visit.

Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its offspring. The Silk Road was (and maybe still is) a website for the buying and selling of recreational drugs and a lot more scary things besides. But there are also legitimate uses for the Dark Web. (Also see: Is it legal to buy drugs online?)

People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about the US- and UK government snooping on web use, you may feel it is sensible to take your communication on to the Dark Web.

The Dark Web hit the headlines in August 2015 (and many times since) after it was reported that 10GB of data stolen from Ashley Madison, a site designed to enable bored spouses to cheat on their partners, was dumped on to the Dark Web.

Hackers stole the data and threatened to upload it to the web if the site did not close down, and they eventually acted on that threat. Now the spouses of Ashley Madison users have received blackmail letters demanding they pay $2500 in Bitcoin or have the infidelity exposed.

In March 2015 the UK government launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web, with a particular focus on cracking down on serious crime rings and child pornography. The National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK intelligence outfit GCHQ are together creating the Joint Operations Cell (JOC).

What is the Deep Web?

Although all of these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they don't refer to exactly the same thing. An element of nuance is required. The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find.

Thus the 'Deep Web' includes the 'Dark Web', but also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, and pages behind paywalls. There are huge numbers of such pages, and most exist for mundane reasons.

We have a 'staging' version of all of our websites that is blocked from being indexed by search engines, so we can check stories before we set them live. Thus for every page publicly available on this website (and there are literally millions), there is another on the Deep Web.

The content management system into which I am typing this article is on the Deep Web. So that is another page for every page that is on the live site. Meanwhile our work intranet is hidden from search engines, and requires a password. It has been live for nearly 20 years, so there are plenty of pages there.

Use an online bank account? The password-protected bits are on the Deep Web. And when you consider how many pages just one Gmail account will create, you understand the sheer size of the Deep Web.

This scale is why newspapers and mainstream news outlets regularly trot out scare stories about '90 percent of the internet' consisting of the Dark Web. They are confusing the generally dodgy Dark Web with the much bigger and generally more benign Deep Web.

What is the Dark Internet?

Confusingly, 'Dark Internet' is also a term sometimes used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. In this case either for technical reasons, or because the properties contain niche information that few people will want, or in some cases because the data is private.

A basic rule of thumb is that while the phrases 'Dark Web' or 'Deep Web' are typically used by tabloid newspapers to refer to dangerous secret online worlds, the 'Dark Internet' is a boring place where scientists store raw data for research.

How to access the Dark Web

Technically, this is not a difficult process. You simply need to install and use Tor. Go to www.torproject.org and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser. That's it.

The Vidalia Control Panel will automatically handle the randomised network setup and, when Tor is ready, the browser will open; just close it again to disconnect from the network.

Depending on what you intend to do on the Dark Web, some users recommend placing tape over your laptop's webcam to prevent prying eyes watching you. A tinfoil hat is also an option. If you're reading this to find out about torrent files, check out our separate guide on how to use torrent sites in the UK.

The difficult thing is knowing where to look on the Dark Web. There, reader, we leave you to your own devices and wish you good luck and safe surfing. And a warning before you go any further. Once you get into the Dark Web, you *will* be able to access those sites to which the tabloids refer. This means that you could be a click away from sites selling drugs and guns, and - frankly - even worse things.

Aggregation sites such as Reddit offer lists of links, as do several Wikis, including http://thehiddenwiki.org/  - a list that offers access to some very bad places. Have a quick look by all means, but please don't take our linking to it as an endorsement. It really isn't.

Also, Dark Web sites do go down from time to time, due to their dark nature. But if you want good customer service, stay out of the dark!

And do heed our warning: this article is intended as a guide to what is the Dark Web - not an endorsement or encouragement for you to start behaving in illegal or immoral behavior.

Source: This article was published techadvisor.co.uk By Matt Egan

Categorized in Deep Web

Use Facebook Advanced Search to Find All Kinds of Things

A search for people who like cats on Facebook

Facebook advanced search is more a concept than a function. The world's largest social network had a standalone advanced search feature in the early days of its history but released a new service called Graph Search in early 2013 that essentially replaces the older advanced search features with a powerful new search engine.

To do an advanced search on Facebook, it's best to sign up for the graph search feature if you haven't already activated it and start learning how it works.

Our "Facebook Search Guide - Intro to Graph Search" provides an overview of how it works and the types of content you can look for and find with the so-called Graph Search. This article provides screenshots and explanations of more advanced query types and refinement options.

Reviewing the Basics

To start searching, remember you can just click on the Facebook logo or your name in the upper left corner and type any query. You can search for people, places and things matching all kinds of different traits or criteria, including geography, dates and clicks on the "like" button.

Two general filters you likely will use are "friends" and "like," since those refer to friend connections and use of the "like" button throughout Facebook.

Also remember, it's smart to pay attention to the phrasing suggestions Facebook presents in a drop-down list whenever you start typing a query. OK, that's it for basics, ready to move on?

Query Phrasing Examples

Let's start with a general query not restricted to friends. You might type, "people who live in Chicago, Illinois and are single and like cats."

When I did this, the query turned up more than 1,000 people who matched the search, so Facebook presented two suggested phrasings that sought clarification on whether I meant "cats" as an animal or "cats" as a business. Those suggestions are shown in the image above.

When I specified the "animal" type of cats, Facebook presented a list of matching users, with a vertical stack of profile photos of people who live in Chicago and have clicked the like button on cat photos.

Facebook also asked if I wanted to see people who had liked "Cats & Dogs," the movie. And if I clicked the "see more" button, it offered "West Chicago" as a refinement option.

Click the "NEXT" button below to see the list of additional filters that Facebook typically shows for people searches like this one.

Facebook people search filter

Advanced Search Filters for Chicago Cat Lovers

Running an advanced Facebook search like "people who live in Chicago, Illinois and are single and like cats" can produce so many results that you'll have to refine the query if you want to see any meaningful results.

The image above shows the typical people search filter box that is available on the results page for any query involving people. I've found that using this box is the best way to narrow a Facebook people search.

As you can see, the box allows you to refine Facebook people search results by gender, employer, hometown, employer and so forth.

Each of those filters has additional sub-categories you can choose. For example, under "friends," you can select one of these:

  • My close friends
  • My friends
  • Friends of my friends
  • Not my friends
  • Friends of Joe SixPack (substitute any friend of yours for Joe)

Okay, let's look at a totally different example, this one involving Paula Deen and restaurants. It will allow us to explore the "places" bucket of content and the "like" button.

Click "NEXT" for a new example.

Facebook restaurant search

OK, let's try an advanced Facebook search involving restaurants. Say you're a Paula Deen fan and you start typing a query that says something general: "restaurants liked by people who like Paula Deen..."

Facebook may ask you to be more precise, since there are so many restaurants liked by Paula Deen fans.

It may suggest you look at Savannah, Georgia restaurants, in Deen territory. It also will likely offer suggestions for types of restaurant queries that it can handle, as shown in the image above. It may rank them by popularity, such as Asian, American, Mexican and so forth.

If you typed a more general phrase, leaving out a connector such as "by," and simply said "restaurants like friends Paula Deen," it would offer more precise versions of that query, such as restaurants...

  • liked by my friends who like Paula Deen (public figure)
  • liked by friends OF Paula Deen (person)
  • Cafes liked by my friends who like Paula Deen

You get the idea.

Next, let's explore more general searches for based on geography, religion and political views. click "Next" below to see examples.

Facebook Graph search makes it easy to do a search by city, because one powerful search parameter for people on the social network involves geography.

You can find Facebook friends by city using either the city where they currently live or their hometown. Both are examples of structured data Facebook stores about users, making it easy to search.

You can also do a Facebook search by city for people you don't know, and based on the privacy settings of each individual, see a list of people living in particular cities who use Facebook that you are not friends with.

I started with a general search on "People who live in Los Angeles, California" and it helpfully told me: "Your results include people who've lived in Los Angeles, California at any time. you may want to limit your search to Current Los Angeles, California residents." As I phrased the question different ways, it also asked if I wanted people who live IN L.A. or people who live NEAR L.A.

The "see more" button prompted me to check for "my friends" who live in L.A. I clicked that option, and it spit out a list of my 14 friends who happen to currently live in or near Los Angeles, along with a list below that of friends of friends who live there.

Advanced Facebook People Search Filters

The filter box for refining "people search results" even further is accessible through a small rectangular tab or label on the right, usually overlaid on the visual search results. What the label says varies with the type of search; in this case it said "14 Friends" since that's how many matches I had. But it usually has three tiny stacked, horizontal bars. When you click on that little label, the filter box opens up with many more options for narrowing(or broadening) your search.

The people filter offers all kinds of basic and advanced refinements. They are classified under headings such as "Relationships & Family, Work and Education, Likes and Interest, Photos and Videos," and so forth.

Sort People by Political or Religious Views?

These filters are very granular, and some are potentially controversial. They allow you, for example, to sort people by their age range, religious views (Buddhist? Catholic? Christian? Hindu? Jewish? Muslim? Protestant), and political views (Conservative? Democrat? Green? Liberal? Libertarian? Republican?) You can even specify what languages they speak. Some filters get into highly personal areas and, therefore, have privacy implications that worry many people.

The image above, for example, shows the religious views options in the search filter box. It's similar to the political views box.

The political views filter, along with the ability to search on who "liked" Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, allowed me to easily sort my friends into those favoring the Democratic or Republican party, at least around the time of the 2012 election. That was a new thing for me--I'd never seen anything like that before--a bunch of profile pictures of my friends sorted by political views.

Extend Your Search in Other Ways

In my L.A. people search, the "extend this search" area at the bottom of the filter box suggested that I might want to expand my search to see "photos of these people," or "these people's friends," or "places where they've worked."

A remarkable variety of search options, indeed. Click "Next" to see more search examples, this time involving apps and who uses them.

Finding Facebook Photos Lots of Friends Like or Commented On

Facebook photo search filters

One of my favorite Facebook searches is quite simple: "Photos I have liked."

Despite all the time I've spent on Facebook, I've actually clicked the "Like" button on just under 100 pictures. They obviously moved me, so it was fun going back and looking at them all again.

The "refine this search" button allowed me to also change my query easily to see all the photos that my friends have liked (provided their privacy settings allowed that.) That, of course, turned up the volume on the results, producing more than 1,000 photos.

Facebook's search results counter seems to stop at 1,000; when your results exceed that amount, it won't tell you how many more there are, just that there are more than 1,000. At least, that's what happened in all my trials.

You can do a lot of more specific photo searches similar to the example shown above, in which I searched for photos my friends took at zoos and aquariums. The background imagery shows photos that matched my query, and the filter box popped up on the right after I clicked the little horizontal bars previously mentioned.

I had fun playing around with this one using the filter box (shown on the right), especially using the "commented on" and "liked" filters to see which of my friends had commented and what they said.

(More examples of photo searches are available in our Introduction to Facebook Searching. Also, see our basic Facebook Photos Guide for general info on using pictures on the social network.)

Click "Next" below to see ways you can search for Facebook apps used by your friends.

Facebook Apps Your Friends Use

Facebook apps friends

Another interesting Facebook search you can run is "Apps my friends use."

Facebook's advanced search will spit out a list of apps with their icons in order of popularity with your friends, or which ones are most used by your pals.

Beneath the name of each app, it will list the names of a few friends who use it, along with the total number of your friends who use it.

Beneath the names of your pal, it will show a couple of other links allowing you to run additional, related searches. They are outlined in red in the image above.

Clicking "People" will produce a list of a bunch more people who use that app, not necessarily limited to your friends. This one is kind of creepy, but if you have not restricted the privacy settings for your use of this particular app, you could show up in the search results to anyone running a search like this.

Clicking "similar" is less creepy and more useful; it will show a list of other apps similar to that one.

Also fun is using Graph Search to find Facebook apps friends use. Facebook app search is a powerful capability of the new search engine. Here are a few specific queries Facebook may suggest relating to apps if you type apps and friends into the search bar, besides the most obvious one, "apps my friends use":

  • Apps my friends use that I use
  • Apps used by my friends who joined X (where X is a group you belong to)
  • Sports apps my friends use
  • Books apps my friends use
  • Apps my friends who live nearby use
  • Movies apps my friends use

As always, the suggested searches likely will vary based on your personal connections, likes, and interests on Facebook.

That's it for this tutorial. Now go explore the blue search bar. Have fun, and try not to get too creeped out.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Leslie Walker

Categorized in Search Engine

If you need to do a little bit of sleuthing about someone, the Web can be a fantastic resource. Track down an address or a phone number, find a long-lost school friend, or simply verify information with this list of the best six people search engines on the Web. All of these search engines are hyper-focused on finding only people-related information.

These resources are free to use, at least for initial searches. Some sites will charge for detailed searches. Should you pay to find someone online? It really depends on the kind of information you're seeking.

1-Pipl

Pipl

Pipl is a people search engine that scours the Invisible Web for information; basically, what that means is that you're going to get more than just the usual search engine results for whatever name you might be searching for.

Pipl searches across social networking services, search engines, databases, etc. to find tidbits you might not usually find on a rudimentary search using a more generalized search engine.

One interesting thing sets Pipl apart: It offers special services for nonprofits at a steep discount in order to create more ways for these organizations to help their clients. 

2-Wink

Wink searches across what you would find using a regular search engine as well as across social communities, online profiles, etc. You can also use Wink to manage your online presence by creating a profile with it.

You can claim and add various places where you might be active online, and manage them all in one convenient place. If you're looking for small tidbits of information across many different sources, Wink is a good choice to continue to put the clues together about whatever you might be looking for. 

3-Facebook

Facebook

As one of the world's largest social networks with hundreds of millions of people accessing it daily, it makes sense to use Facebook as an incredibly useful tool to find people online. You can use the social media platform to search for people you went to high school and college with, as well as work colleagues, friends from elementary school, and non-profit organizations.

Facebook is also great for finding people in specific geographic locations living in your local area that you might not know about, as well as any kind of association, club, or group. 

While many people keep their Facebook profiles private and only give information to those visible in their immediate circles of friends and family, others do not. When a profile is public, it allows anyone who finds it immediate access to a person's posts, photos, check-in statuses and other personal details.

4-PeekYou

PeekYou adds an interesting twist to the world of free people search engines; it allows you to search for usernames across a variety of social networking communities.

For instance, if you want to learn more about the person who uses the handle "I-Love-Kittens"; PeekYou will show you anything else that username might be doing on the Web. There is an astonishing amount of information you can dig up on someone using only their username

5-LinkedIn

linkedin.jpg

Use LinkedIn to search for professional networks that other people are involved in. When you add your business profile to the network, you can pick up quite a few details about people. 

By signing up for your own profile, you can view other LinkedIn users' profiles. This lets you can see where someone works, who they work with, their former positions, current or former supervisors, any kind of recommendations they might have received, and much more.

Depending on privacy settings, you might not be able to see everything that someone on LinkedIn has provided in their profile. In addition, if you are a registered user on LinkedIn, the fact that you looked at someone's profile typically will be made known to them. 

6-Zabasearch

Zabasearch is a free people search engine that scours freely accessible public information and records. Everything found at Zabasearch is culled from public domain information, such as databases, court records, and phone directories. It's a smart place to start a search because of all the public information it retrieves and shows in one place.

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

Categorized in Search Engine

Search multiple social networks at the same time on this free website

What is it? A free search engine to help journalists find posts about certain topics on social networks.

How is it of use to journalists? Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful channel for sourcing stories, but with the number of platforms now around it's becoming more difficult to stay on top of the chatter.

It may be that you're looking for reactions on social about certain news events, or you might be trying to find eyewitnesses, photos or videos from the scene of a story.

With Social Searcher, you can search for keywords on multiple platforms at the same time.

The social networking search engine supports a wide variety of platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and YouTube.



You can save individual searches you may need to perform more often, and use advanced filters to help you find what you're looking for quicker.


search results social searcher
Screenshot of search results.

Social Searcher enables you to search based on 'post types', for example, and find results that include links, photos, videos or any combination of media.

Each search also comes with its own analytics dashboard, where you can see the most popular related hashtags, the overall sentiment of the posts (i.e. if the language denotes a positive view of the topic), or other keywords that are often featured alongside the terms used in your search.

Social Searcher is free to use for up to 100 searches a day, after which you can choose from a number of pricing options available.

These include additional features such as the ability to save individual posts, access web mentions of keywords, and use the 'monitoring' service.

'Monitoring' enables you to save the mentions history, access advanced analytics and export data as a CSV file.

Social Searcher started out in 2012 as an Android app allowing users to search through Facebook without logging in and has since expanded to become a comprehensive tool for finding posts on social media.

 Source: This article was published journalism.co.uk By Catalina Albeanu

Categorized in Search Engine

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