A Boolean search, in the context of a search engine, is a type of search where you can use special words or symbols to limit, widen, or define your search.

This is possible through Boolean operators such as ANDORNOT, and NEAR, as well as the symbols + (add) and - (subtract).

When you include an operator in a Boolean search, you're either introducing flexibility to get a wider range of results, or you're defining limitations to reduce the number of unrelated results.

Most popular search engines support Boolean operators, but the simple search tool you'll find on a website probably doesn't.

Boolean Meaning

George Boole, an English mathematician from the 19th century, developed an algebraic method that he first described in his 1847 book, The Mathematical Analysis of Logic and expounded upon in his An Investigation of the Laws of Thought (1854).

Boolean algebra is fundamental to modern computing, and all major programming languages include it. It also figures heavily in statistical methods and set theory.

Today's database searches are largely based on Boolean logic, which allows us to specify parameters in detail—for example, combining terms to include while excluding others. Given that the internet is akin to a vast collection of information databases, Boolean concepts apply here as well.

Boolean Search Operators

For the purposes of a Boolean web search, these are the terms and symbols you need to know:

Boolean Operator Symbol Explanation Example
AND + All words must be present in the results football AND nfl
OR Results can include any of the words paleo OR primal
NOT - Results include everything but the term that follows the operator  diet NOT vegan
NEAR The search terms must appear within a certain number of words of each other swedish NEAR minister

Note: Most search engines default to using the OR Boolean operator, meaning that you can type a bunch of words and it will search for any of them, but not necessarily all of them.

Tips: Not all search engines support these Boolean operators. For example, Google understands - but doesn't support NOT. Learn more about Boolean searches on Google for help.

Why Boolean Searches Are Helpful

When you perform a regular search, such as dog if you're looking for pictures of dogs, you'll get a massive number of results. A Boolean search would be beneficial here if you're looking for a specific dog breed or if you're not interested in seeing pictures for a specific type of dog.

Instead of just sifting through all the dog pictures, you could use the NOT operator to exclude pictures of poodles or boxers.

A Boolean search is particularly helpful after running an initial search. For instance, if you run a search that returns lots of results that pertain to the words you entered but don't actually reflect what you were looking for, you can start introducing Boolean operators to remove some of those results and explicitly add specific words.

To return to the dog example, consider this: you see lots of random dog pictures, so you add +park to see dogs in parks. But then you want to remove the results that have water, so you add -water. Immediately, you've cut down likely millions of results.

More Boolean Search Examples

Below are some more examples of Boolean operators. Remember that you can combine them and utilize other advanced search options such as quotes to define phrases.

AND

free AND games

Helps find free games by including both words.

"video chat app" iOS AND Windows

Searches for video chat apps that can run on both Windows and iOS devices.

OR

"open houses" saturday OR sunday

Locate open houses that are open either day.

"best web browser" macOS OR Mac

If you're not sure how the article might be worded, you can try a search like this to cover both words.

NOT

2019 movies -horror

Finds movies mentioning 2019, but excludes all pages that have the word horror.

"paleo recipes" -sugar

Locates web pages about paleo recipes but ensures that none of them include the word sugar.

Note: Boolean operators need to be in all uppercase letters for the search engine to understand them as an operator and not a regular word.

[Source: This article was published in lifewire.com By Tim Fisher - Uploaded by the Association Member: Jason bourne] 

Categorized in Research Methods

Are you conducting market research? Qualitative research is an important first step in the market research process. In this guide, we’ll share 7 qualitative research methods for understanding your user.

Qualitative research is important for gaining a broad understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations behind consumer decisions.

We’ll share the qualitative research methods in just a moment, but before we dive in, let’s briefly discuss the basics.

What is Qualitative Market Research?

Qualitative market research is any research conducted using observation or unstructured questioning.

While quantitative research answers the what, where, when and who of decision making, qualitative research also answers the why and how.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

The goal of qualitative research is to gain insights into the deeper motives behind consumer purchases.

The goal of the quantitative research, on the other hand, is to quantify and generalize the results so that the marketer can come to a final conclusion about the best course of action.

marketing-research-an-online-perpective-17-638

Why use qualitative research as opposed to quantitative research?

Well, first of all, qualitative research should not be used instead of quantitative research. The two are complementary to each other.

Qualitative research in and of itself is not conclusive. However, it is used to…

  • Explain quantitative research results
  • Conduct market research when traditional surveys are not available (e.g. with embarrassing or “touchy” questions)
  • Conduct market research when more structured research is not possible

Qualitative research is a good first step to take when conducting your market research. Are you ready to learn how?

Great! Let’s dive into the 7 qualitative research techniques…

1. Individual Interviews

An individual interview can be conducted over the phone, Skype, or in person. The idea is to ask your ideal user (or an existing customer) a series of questions and follow-ups to learn what motivates them to buy a product like yours.

You should go into the interview with some questions prepared ahead of time, but don’t feel like you need to stick to a script. If they say something interesting, ask follow up questions that dig deeper. Really try to put yourself in their shoes, and try to figure out what makes them tick.

Here are a few initial questions you could ask:

  • What frustrates you in regard to [your topic]?
  • If I had a magic wand and could give you anything you want, what do you most desire?
  • What do you lose sleep over at night?
  • Have you bought [your type of product] before?
  • If so, what motivated you to buy it?

2. Focus Groups

Focus groups are generally conducted in-person. These groups are meant to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your users to talk about their thoughts and feelings surrounding your product.

focus-group

The advantage of using in-person focus groups is that you get to see the consumer’s verbal and non-verbal reaction to your product or advertising. The other advantage is that the different members of the group can bounce off each other’s thoughts and ideas, which means you’ll get even greater insights.

You can use focus groups to:

  • Test product usage or tasting
  • Explore the general concept of your product
  • Evaluate your advertising copy and imagery
  • Explore new packaging ideas

3. Observations or “Shop-Alongs”

An in-person observation of shopping behavior (or a “shop-along”) allows you to actually watch the consumer react to your product in-store. This way, you get to see their actual shopping behavior, as opposed to just what they would claim in a written survey.

shopper-eyetracking

One way that this is useful is by highlighting challenges that arise from shelf display issues, clutter, or out of stock issues. You may also interact with consumers to get deeper insights during the shopping process, to get feedback on a package design, for example.

4. In-Home Videos

In-home videos allow you to observe how users interact with your product in real life, at home.

The advantage of this method is that you get to observe user behavior in a natural, comfortable environment. This way, they can feel free to simply be themselves, and you’ll get a more realistic view of how your product is being used.

5. Lifestyle Immersion and Real World Dialogue

Lifestyle immersion is when you attend an event, such as a party or a family gathering. This allows you to get an uninterrupted view of your user’s attitudes and behaviors. This is another great way to get candid insight in a comfortable, familiar setting.

During these activities, observe your users having a dialogue with their friends. Listening in to real-world conversations is a really powerful way to get a deeper understanding of their desires, frustrations, and motivations.

6. Journal or Diary

Have your user (or potential user) keep a journal or a diary to document their experience with your topic or your product.

This can be handwritten or digital. Either way, it will allow you to capture your user’s actual voice, which is extremely valuable for marketing copy.

7. Online Focus Groups

Online focus groups are similar to in-person focus groups, except that they are more cost-efficient and allow you to reach more people.

Use social media to your advantage by creating communities of people who are interested in your topic, and fostering a conversation. Then, simply observe the dialogue. You’ll gain a lot of interesting insights!

How to Analyze Qualitative Data

At this point you may be wondering, how do you actually analyze qualitative data after you’ve gathered it?

Since qualitative data is unstructured, it can be tricky to draw conclusions from it, let alone present your findings. While it is not meant to be conclusive in and of itself, here are a few tips for analyzing qualitative research data

1. Summarize the Key Points

For interviews and focus groups, have the moderator write up some key points that they heard. For example: “Common concerns among participants in regard to our pizza were cheese overuse, greasiness, and bland sauce.”

pizza-hut-marketing-research-project-15-638

2. Code Responses

“Code” the unstructured data into something that can be summarized with tables or charts. For example, some coded responses to the question “When do you wear a watch?” might be 1 – never, 2 – once in a while, 3 – every day, etc.

3. Create a Word Cloud

Create a “word cloud” out of the keywords being used by the consumer. Just take your notes and put them into a word cloud generator, such as WordClouds.com. Then you’ll be able to easily spot the most prominent words.

i-have-a-dream-speech

That’s it! We shared 7 qualitative research methods that you can use to better understand your user or target customer.

Now it’s your turn. Go ahead and begin your market research by trying one of the techniques above.

 Source: This article was published on optinmonster.com By Mary Fernandez

Categorized in Research Methods

Online Methods to Investigate the Who, Where, and When of a Person. Another great list by Internet search expert Henk Van Ess.

Searching the Deep Web, by Giannina Segnini. Beginning with advanced tips on sophisticated Google searches, this presentation at GIJC17 by the director of Columbia University Journalism School’s Data Journalism Program moves into using Google as a bridge to the Deep Web using a drug trafficking example. Discusses tracking the container, the ship, and customs. Plus, Facebook research and more.

Tools, Useful Links & Resources, by Raymond Joseph, a journalist and trainer with South Africa’s Southern Tip Media. Six packed pages of information on Twitter, social media, verification, domain and IP information, worldwide phonebooks, and more. In a related GICJ17 presentation, Joseph described “How to be Digital Detective.” 

IntelTechniques is prepared by Michael Bazzell, a former US government computer crime investigator and now an author and trainer. See the conveniently organized resources in left column under “Tools.” (A Jan. 2, 2018, blog post discusses newly added material.)

Investigate with Document Cloud, by Doug Haddix, Executive Director, Investigative Reporters and Editors. A guide to using 1.6 million public documents shared by journalists, analyzing and highlighting your own documents, collaborating with others, managing document workflows and sharing your work online.

Malachy Browne’s Toolkit. More than 80 links to open source investigative tools by one of the best open-source sleuths in the business. When this New York Times senior story producer flashed this slide at the end of his packed GIJC17 session, nearly everyone requested access.

Social Media Sleuthing, by Michael Salzwedel. “Not Hacking, Not Illegal,” begins this presentation from GIJC17 by a founding partner and trainer at Social Weaver.

Finding Former Employees, by James Mintz. “10 Tips on Investigative Reporting’s Most Powerful Move: Contacting Formers,” according to veteran private investigator Mintz, founder and president of The Mintz Group.

Investigative Research Links from Margot Williams. The former research editor at The Intercept offers an array of suggestions, from “Effective Google Searching” to a list of “Research Guru” sites.

Bellingcat’s Digital Forensics Tools, a wide variety of resources here: for maps, geo-based searches, images, social media, transport, data visualization, experts and more.

List of Tools for Social Media Research, a tipsheet from piqd.de’s Frederik Fischer at GIJC15.

SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox from the Society of Professional Journalists in the US, curated by Mike Reilley. Includes an extensive list of, well, tools.

How to find an academic research paper, by David Trilling, a staff writer for Journalist’s Resource, based at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

Using deep web search engines for academic and scholarly research, an article by Chris Stobing in VPN & Privacy, a publication of Comparitech.com, a UK company that aims to help consumers make more savvy decisions when they subscribe to tech services such as VPNs.

Step by step guide to safely accessing the darknet and deep web, an article by Paul Bischoff in VPN & Privacy, a publication of Comparitech.com, a UK company that aims to help consumers make more savvy decisions when they subscribe to tech services such as VPNs.

Research Beyond Google: 56 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources, a resource from Open Education Database, a US firm that provides a comprehensive online education directory for both free and for-credit learning options.

The Engine Room,  a US-based international NGO, created an Introduction to Web Resources, that includes a section on making copies of information to protect it from being lost or changed.

Awesome Public Datasets, a very large community-built compilation organized by topic.

Online Research Tools and Investigative Techniques by the BBC’s ace online sleuth Paul Myers has long been a starting point for online research by GIJN readers. His website, Research Clinic, is rich in research links and “study materials.”

Source: This article was published gijn.org

Categorized in Online Research

The most common sources of data collection in qualitative research are interviews, observations, and review of documents (Creswell, 2009b; Locke, Silverman, & Spirduso, 2010; Marshall & Rossman, 1999). The methodology is planned and pilot-tested before the study. Creswell (2003) places the data-collecting procedures into four categories: observations, interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials. He provides a concise table of the four methods, the options within each type, the advantages of each type, and the limitations of each.

We noted previously that the researcher typically has some type of framework (sub-purposes perhaps) that determines and guides the nature of the data collection. For example, one phase of the research might pertain to the manner in which expert and nonexpert sports performers perceive various aspects of a game. This phase could involve having the athlete describe his or her perceptions of what is taking place in a specific scenario. A second phase of the study might focus on the interactive thought processes and decisions of the two groups of athletes while they are playing. The data for this phase could be obtained from filming them in action and then interviewing them while they are watching their performances on videotape. Still another aspect of the study could be directed at the knowledge structure of the participants, which could be determined by a researcher-constructed instrument.

You should not expect qualitative data collection to be quick. It is time intensive. Collecting good data takes time (Locke, Silverman, & Spirduso, 2010), and quick interviews or short observations are unlikely to help you gain more understanding. If you are doing qualitative research, you must plan to be in the environment for enough time to collect good data and understand the nuance of what is occurring.

Interviews

The interview is undoubtedly the most common source of data in qualitative studies. The person-to-person format is most prevalent, but occasionally group interviews and focus groups are conducted. Interviews range from the highly structured style, in which questions are determined before the interview, to the open-ended, conversational format. In qualitative research, the highly structured format is used primarily to gather sociodemographic information. For the most part, however, interviews are more open-ended and less structured (Merriam, 2001). Frequently, the interviewer asks the same questions of all the participants, but the order of the questions, the exact wording, and the type of follow-up questions may vary considerably.

Being a good interviewer requires skill and experience. We emphasized earlier that the researcher must first establish rapport with the respondents. If the participants do not trust the researcher, they will not open up and describe their true feelings, thoughts, and intentions. Complete rapport is established over time as people get to know and trust one another. An important skill in interviewing is being able to ask questions in such a way that the respondent believes that he or she can talk freely.

Kirk and Miller (1986) described their field research in Peru, where they tried to learn how much urban, lower-middle-class people knew about coca, the organic source of cocaine. Coca is legal and widely available in Peru. In their initial attempts to get the people to tell them about coca, they received the same culturally approved answers from all the respondents. Only after they changed their style to asking less sensitive questions (e.g., “How did you find out you didn’t like coca?”) did the Peruvians open up and elaborate on their knowledge of (and sometimes their personal use of) coca. Kirk and Miller made a good point about asking the right questions and the value of using various approaches. Indeed, this is a basic argument for the validity of qualitative research.

Skillful interviewing takes practice. Ways to develop this skill include videotaping your own performance in conducting an interview, observing experienced interviewers, role-playing, and critiquing peers. It is important that the interviewer appear nonjudgmental. This can be difficult in situations where the interviewee’s views are quite different from those of the interviewer. The interviewer must be alert to both verbal and nonverbal messages and be flexible in rephrasing and pursuing certain lines of questioning. The interviewer must use words that are clear and meaningful to the respondent and must be able to ask questions so that the participant understands what is being asked. Above all, the interviewer has to be a good listener.

The use of a digital recorder is undoubtedly the most common method of recording interview data because it has the obvious advantage of preserving the entire verbal part of the interview for later analysis. Although some respondents may be nervous to talk while being recorded, this uneasiness usually disappears in a short time. The main drawback with recording is the malfunctioning of equipment. This problem is vexing and frustrating when it happens during the interview, but it is devastating when it happens afterward when you are trying to replay and analyze the interview. Certainly, you should have fresh batteries and make sure that the recorder is working properly early in the interview. You should also stop and play back some of the interviews to see whether the person is speaking into the microphone loudly and clearly enough and whether you are getting the data. Some participants (especially children) love to hear themselves speak, so playing back the recording for them can also serve as motivation. Remember, however, that machines can malfunction at any time.

Video recording seems to be the best method because you preserve not only what the person said but also his or her nonverbal behavior. The drawback to using video is that it can be awkward and intrusive. Therefore, it is used infrequently. Taking notes during the interview is another common method. Occasionally note taking is used in addition to recording, primarily when the interviewer wishes to note certain points of emphasis or make additional notations. Taking notes without recording prevents the interviewer from being able to record all that is said. It keeps the interviewer busy, interfering with her or his thoughts and observations while the respondent is talking. In highly structured interviews and when using some types of formal instrument, the interviewer can more easily take notes by checking off items and writing short responses.

The least preferred technique is trying to remember and write down afterward what was said in the interview. The drawbacks are many, and this method is seldom used.

Focus Groups

Another type of qualitative research technique employs interviews on a specific topic with a small group of people, called a focus group. This technique can be efficient because the researcher can gather information about several people in one session. The group is usually homogeneous, such as a group of students, an athletic team, or a group of teachers.

In his 1996 book Focus Groups as Qualitative Research, Morgan discussed the applications of focus groups in social science qualitative research. Patton (2002) argued that focus group interviews might provide quality controls because participants tend to provide checks and balances on one another that can serve to curb false or extreme views. Focus group interviews are usually enjoyable for the participants, and they may be less fearful of being evaluated by the interviewer because of the group setting. The group members get to hear what others in the group have to say, which may stimulate the individuals to rethink their own views.

In the focus group interview, the researcher is not trying to persuade the group to reach consensus. It is an interview. Taking notes can be difficult, but an audio or video recorder may solve that problem. Certain group dynamics such as power struggles and reluctance to state views publicly are limitations of the focus group interview. The number of questions that can be asked in one session is limited. Obviously, the focus group should be used in combination with other data-gathering techniques.

Observation

Observation in qualitative research generally involves spending a prolonged amount of time in the setting. Field notes are taken throughout the observations and are focused on what is seen. Many researchers also record notes to assist in determining what the observed events might mean and to provide help for answering the research questions during subsequent data analysis (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Pitney & Parker, 2009). Although some researchers use cameras to record what is occurring at the research site, that method is uncommon and most researchers use field notes to record what has occurred in the setting.

One major drawback to observation methods is obtrusiveness. A stranger with a pad and pencil or a camera is trying to record people’s natural behavior. A keyword here is stranger. The task of a qualitative researcher is to make sure that the participants become accustomed to having the researcher (and, if appropriate, a recording device) around. For example, the researcher may want to visit the site for at least a couple of days before the initial data collection.

In an artificial setting, researchers can use one-way mirrors and observation rooms. In a natural setting, the limitations that stem from the presence of an observer can never be ignored. Locke (1989) observed that most naturalistic field studies are reports of what goes on when a visitor is present. The important question is, How important and limiting is this? Locke suggested ways of suppressing reactivity, such as the visitor’s being in the setting long enough so that he or she is no longer considered a novelty and being as unobtrusive as possible in everything from dress to choice of location in a room.

Other Data-Gathering Methods

Among the many sources of data in qualitative research are self-reports of knowledge and attitude. The researcher can also develop scenarios, in the form of descriptions of situations or actual pictures, that are acted out for participants to observe. The participant then gives her or his interpretation of what is going on in the scenario. The participant’s responses provide her or his perceptions, interpretations, and awareness of the total situation and of the interplay of the actors in the scenario.

Other recording devices include notebooks, narrative field logs, and diaries, in which researchers record their reactions, concerns, and speculations. Printed materials such as course syllabi, team rosters, evaluation reports, participant notes, and photographs of the setting and situations are examples of document data used in qualitative research.

Source: This article was published humankinetics.com By Stephen J. Silverman, EdD

Categorized in Research Methods

Building backlinks is a fundamental part of good SEO practices. Gaining high-ranking backlinks can help increase organic website traffic, allowing you to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

There are many different strategies that you can use to build backlinks. But, one of the most effective solutions is to look at your competition. Find out what methods they are using to gain backlinks.

Here are some simple tips that you can use to research your competitors and their methods for link building.

There are four steps to researching the link building strategies of your competition:

  • Make a list of your top competitors
  • Use tools to find their backlinks
  • Analyze their backlinks

Make a List of Your Top Competitors

First, you’ll need to make a list of your top competition. If you don’t know who your competition is, then you have some work to do. You’ll need to perform a search query for keywords related to your products or services. Visit the top sites that offer similar products or services.

You’ll want to learn more about these sites. In the next step, you’ll use tools to find their backlinks. But, you’ll first need to make sure the site is worth exploring. To do this, you’ll need to find out how much traffic they receive. You can use Alexa and other website domain tools to determine traffic volume.

Begin compiling a list of your top competitors. Focus on 4 to 6 of your top competitors.

Use Tools to Find Their Backlinks

The next step is to find the backlinks to the websites of your competition. There are numerous tools that will explore backlinks of other websites. This includes:

  • Majestic SEO
  • Ahrefs
  • Open Site Explorer

Choose one of these tools and enter the domain of one of your competitors into the web-based program. Look at their external backlinks and the total number of unique domains linking to the site.

Download a CSV file or make your own list of the backlinks with the greatest authority. Also, pay attention to the anchor text that they’re using to link to these sites. Focus on the anchor text that is relevant to your industry.

Analyse Their Backlinks

After you have a list of backlinks, it’s time to analyse them. Find out if your competitors have any linking domains in common. These are sites that link to more than one of your competitors. Make a separate list of all the linking domains that your competitors have in common.

Take your list of common domains and research them. Use a PageRank checker to find out the authority of the backlink. You can also find this information from the tools listed above.

You want to find the domains with the highest PageRank. Next, visit the linking URLs. Find out why these sites are linking to your competitors to determine if there is an opportunity for you to gain a backlink.

As you start visiting these sites and following the URLs to the linking domains, you’ll begin to learn more about your competition and how they build backlinks.

If they rely on guest blogging, you should start guest blogging. If they rely heavily on social media links, you should focus on your social media marketing campaign.

Andreas Boenisch
#businesseducation #backlinks

The goal of analyzing your competition is to gain a sense of which techniques they use to build backlinks. If you want to succeed, the easiest way to get ahead is to find what already works for someone else and adopt a similar approach.

Start building links more efficiently. Implement these suggestions into your SEO strategy. Along with these tips, receive even more beneficial online marketing ideas, by checking out my done-for-you system.

Author  : boenisch

Source : http://www.boenisch.com/how-to-research-your-competitions-link-building-methods/

Categorized in Research Methods

When you start a business and promote it on search engines and social media, you can start with initial tips and tricks for the beginners that you will find all over the internet. They will help you in establishing the initial name of your business on the web. Unfortunately, the beginners’ strategies stop working after a very short period of time. It gets really frustrating to carter the search engines with new information. In the past few years, search engines like Google have revamped their whole search ranking system a number of times which has made the situation ever harder. 

Fortunately, there are still some hidden white hat tricks that you can use to re-establish the search engine ranking of your business and promote it properly on the social media as well. The following tips will help you catching the right eyes in the haystack of non-converting visits to your website or page.

Make the menu items SEO friendly

Search Engine Optimization is the most important aspect of any online business. You cannot ignore the power that search engines have over the visitor stats. Most of the marketers and SEO experts think that it is okay for a website to have complex navigation. They actually ignore the fact that these navigation links are much more than some glorified links. If proper SEO tactics are applied to the anchor links and images in the navigation menu, a significant impact will be visible while converting a visit to an action

Google has some preferences about the number of words

Though Google has never published any reports based on which someone can tell that if longer or smaller articles are preferred. Still, the ranking mechanism works better for pages with more and significant words. The highest ranking pages have between 1200-2000 words in general. So if you have any doubts about the content on your website, prefer to go long. 

It is a misconception that people do not like to read. A lot of clients will try to find as much information as possible about the product you are promoting before actually buying it. Instead of letting them go to some other review site, it will be better to include maximum possible information about your product on the website itself.

Google understands you by your neighbors

We often try to get as many outbound and internal links. Make sure you choose to link the right websites related to your work. Linking any information to an authority site is always a good way of bringing credibility for your content. 

Offer a unique platform for researchers

Researchers around the world are often looking for different ways to find information related to their work. Also, once the research is completed, they try to find platforms to promote it as well. You can give an opportunity. You can either share the ongoing research so that they can find participants or publish a whole paper on their research. In return, ask them to give you the much-coveted .edu or high authority link back. 

Ask for link backs 

If you are selling a product or a service, there are a lot of people around who like to review them. If you are selling on e-commerce platforms, there is a very big chance that someone is promoting your product on their website. The search engines tools available for the website owners are very strong these days. You can find information about who is promoting or writing about your product of service and choose the best options for a link back. Request them for a link to your website and in most of the cases, they agree for the sake of better search engine ranking for their pages.

Give your customers some outrageous offer

How about 90% off or buy 1 get 3 offer? They look attractive and in most of the cases find space in the coupon or discount related websites. Make the deal as crazy as possible to attract more eyes and you will see the difference in the sales in no time. If you are running an informative blog, hold a giveaway contest. 

Describe your images properly

There are two ways to describe the images. One is for the viewers and second is for the search engines. The information about your product should be easy to understand and have good optimizable words. People do not search for heavy words and often are not well versed with the dictionary as well. Always go for the mass and keep the quality up.

In the case of the search engines, the crawlers often look for alternate texts for the images and anchor links. Make sure you write a small 5-10 word description with every image. It will increase the penetration of the tags for your website.

Do not concentrate on basic keywords

When it comes to search engines, most of the people use different keywords and phrases to search for a product. It is important to make sure the top basic keywords are included in the product page but at the same time, the non-conventional keyphrases related to the product are also important. Make sure to include at least 3-4 such keywords so that people can find the product easily.

Keep analytics handy

The Google analytics is one of the best ways to improve SEO. The Google’s search system loves to promote pages with the content that viewers love. The incoming signals of the visitors are a clear indication of how your content is working. You can emphasis on the niches that are more popular and improve the quality of the website accordingly.

Big words hurt

Have you ever heard of readability score? The highest ranking pages have the score of 70+ and even 75-78. It determines if the page is understandable to people with lower education or not. If the score is 70+ it is understandable to anyone who has passed grade 4. If the score is 50 or less that means the words and sentences are complicated enough even for a 9th-grade pass out. So keep this benchmark in mind and keep the content as simple and easy to understand as possible.

Author:  Lee Park yoo

Source:http://www.promotionworld.com/

Categorized in Research Methods

A startup aims to make doing research easier by mining publications for research products, protocols, and potential collaborators.

A good reagent can be hard to find. It typically takes wading through journal articles and published protocols to determine how best to set up an experiment. But a new search engine, Bioz, is hoping to streamline that process. The Palo Alto startup this week (June 20) announced $3 million in seed funding to improve their venture, which is currently in beta.

The site works by using natural language processing and machine learning to mine papers for a treasure-trove of information. A user can enter in a method (“PCR”) or a tool (“DNA polymerase”) and Bioz identifies reagents, ranking them according to how many times they’ve been used in experiments, the impact factor of the journal in which the referenced papers were published, and how recently a product was used.

Each result links to the vendor’s webpage. Bioz receives a lead referral fee, making the service free for users.

In addition, the search engine suggests relevant assays and collaborators, and shows the article context that describes how certain reagents were used.Founder Karin Lachmi of Stanford explained the value of this feature: “Ok, I know what experiment I’m trying to do and I know the product, but now I want to go further,” she told Bio-IT World. “Should I use it at room temperature? Should I use a 1:1,000 dilution or a 1:200 dilution?”

More than 11,000 people across 40 countries are now using the search engine. “The business model for Bioz is around things you can buy, but there’s a subtext that you should be paying attention to everything,” Esther Dyson, who has invested in the company, told Tech Crunch. “And Bioz can help you find all those external factors you may not be noticing.”

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/46614/title/Life-Sciences-Search-Engine/

Categorized in Search Engine

The aspect of realism involved in writing is often overlooked. The need for research in every genre, whether fiction or non-fiction, was what a small group of writers gathered to learn about in a workshop led by creative writing teacher Pamela Schoenewaldt and Jamie Osborn, librarian for the Knoxville Public Library.

The workshop, titled "Smart Research Tactics for Writers," was sponsored by the Knoxville Writers' Guild and held at Central United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 4. The workshop was designed to give the participants a solid foundation to start finding valuable sources for the amount of research that goes into writing.

Schoenewaldt discussed the research that went into her latest book, "Under the Same Blue Sky," which deals with situation of German Americans in the WWI era, the kinds of information needed and where she went to get the information.

She stressed the importance of efficiency and fact checking.

“You must be accurate because writing fiction involves a willing suspension of disbelief, and as soon as you have something in there that’s inaccurate people will stop believing you," Schoenewaldt said. "You don’t want that."

Schoenewaldt also shared her hopes of the participants turning to the library for help.

“Many people believe that all you need is to bum around on google. That’s not even the fastest way to go and it’s not always the most reliable,” she said. “Many writers in this area don’t realize the wealth of info that’s available at their fingertips."

Osborn discussed the resources of the public library, such as the McClung Collection as well as the different examples of sources and ways to get them.

She also explained the differences between internet and onsite research.

“With any kind of writing, whether it’s historical or fiction, you need to make sure your information is correct,” Osborn said. “It really makes a difference, so I try to direct people to the right places to get the correct information.” added Osborn.

Towards the end, participants worked in small groups and talked about their story ideas. Osborn also provided much needed support such as telling the participants individually what they can research and where to find the information.

One of the participants, Kate Caldwell, enjoyed this aspect of the workshop and gained much insight to help with her writing.

“I really was stuck at the research point. The hardest part is narrowing the focus and understanding where to go for knowledge,” Caldwell said. “I don’t feel like I can progress with this idea until I have facts, so this is exactly what I really needed to hear in terms of process."

The Knoxville Writers' Guild’s next workshop, lead by member Bonny Millard, will be held Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.

Source:  http://www.tnjn.com/2016/06/05/writing-workshop-helps-aspiring-writers-tackle-research-methods/

Categorized in Research Methods

TRUNCATION AND WILD CARD SYMBOLS

Use to: widen your search and ensure that you don't miss relevant records

Most databases are not intelligent - they just search for exactly what you type in. Truncation and wild card symbols enable you to overcome this limitation. These symbols can be substituted for letters to retrieve variant spellings and word endings.

a wild card symbol replaces a single letter - useful to retrieve alternative spellings and simple plurals

eg wom?n will find woman or women
a truncation symbol retrieves any number of letters - useful to find different word endings based on the root of a word

eg africa* will find africa, african, africans, africaans
eg agricultur* will find agriculture, agricultural, agriculturalist
Important hint! Check the online help screens for details of the symbols recognised by the database you are searching - not all databases use the ? and * symbols.

SEARCH OPERATORS

Use to: combine your search words and include synonym

Also known as Boolean operators, search operators allow you to include multiple words and concepts in your searches. The shaded areas on the diagrams below indicate the records retrieved using each operator.

AND retrieves records containing both words. Boolean AND search operator
In this example the shaded area contains records with both women and africa in the text.
It narrows your search.

Some databases automatically connect keywords with and.

OR retrieves records containing either word. Boolean OR search operator
In this example the shaded area contains records with women, or gender, or both words in the text.
It broadens your search.
You can use this to include synonyms in your search.

NOT retrieves your first word but excludes the second. Boolean NOT search operator
In this example the shaded area indicates that only records containing just Africa will be retrieved (not those with both Africa and Asia)
Beware! By using this operator you might exclude relevant results because you will lose those records which include both words. 

CREATING SEARCH STATEMENTS

Use to: combine multiple search words

On most databases you can type in a search statement, which involves combining your search words using search operators. When creating a search statement you must use brackets to ensure correct processing of the search.

Words representing the same concept should be bracketed and linked with OR
eg (women or gender)
Groups of bracketed terms can then be linked with AND or NOT
This is an example search statement bringing together all the techniques described above:

(wom?n or gender) and agricultur* and africa*

Searches enclosed within brackets will be performed first and their results combined with the other searches.

This is how the search would look when entered into the CAB Abstracts database 

Example search in the CAB databasePHRASE AND PROXIMITY SEARCHING

Phrase searching

Use to: make your search more specific

Phrase searching is a useful technique which can increase the relevance of your results. Sometimes your search may comprise common words which, when combined in an AND search, retrieve too many irrelevant records. Databases use different techniques to specify phrase searching - check the online help.

 

Some web search engines and databases allow you to specify a phrase using inverted commas.
eg "agricultural development"
eg "foot and mouth"

Hint! Some databases automatically perform a phrase search if you do not use any search operators eg agriculture africa is not a phrase used in English so you may not find any items on the subject. Use AND in between your search words to avoid this.

Proximity searching
Use to: make a search more specific and exclude irrelevant records

Some databases use 'proximity operators'. These enable you to specify how near one word must be to another and, in some cases, in what order. This makes a search more specific and excludes irrelevant records. For instance, if you were searching for references about women in Africa, you might retrieve irrelevant records for items about women published in Africa. Performing a proximity search will only retrieve the two words in the same sentence, and so exclude those irrelevant records.

Databases which have this facility vary considerably in their methods
eg: Web of Science - women same africa - retrieves records where the two words appear in the same sentence.

Hint! Check the online help for details of proximity operators recognised by the database you are searching.

ADVANCED SEARCH FEATURES

Many databases offer other more advanced features which you can use to refine your searches further. These techniques include:

Search sets

Your results are displayed as "sets", which can be combined with other searches or new words.

Field-specific searching

Most database records are made up of different fields (eg author, title etc.). Field-specific searching allows you to select a particular field in which to search, rather than performing a keyword search across all fields. Some databases allow you to type words into specific search boxes, whereas in others you will need to type in the field name or its code.

Hint! Check help screens for field names or codes, and other hints on searching specific fields.

Searching using indexes

It is possible to search some databases using indexes, which are usually alphabetical lists of authors or subjects. They allow you to refine your search using the correct form of names or terms as defined on that particular database.

Hint! Not all databases allow searching using indexes. Check the online help on a particular database for more information.

 Example of the limits available in the CAB Abstracts database

 Many databases allow you to limit your search in various ways. Limits are usually available on advanced search screens, or you can apply them after doing your keyword search. An example of the search limits from the CAB Abstracts database is shown on the left.

 

Check the help pages on the database you are using for detailed instructions on applying these limits.Examples of the types of limits you can apply include:

by date

by language

by publication type (eg journal articles, chapters in books, review articles that provide detailed summaries of research, book reviews) 

Source:  https://www.reading.ac.uk/library/finding-info/guides/databases/lib-searching-databases-search-techniques.aspx

Categorized in Search Techniques

Jordan Koene is a SEJ Summit veteran, having spoke at a few of our search marketing conferences last year. This year, we’re happy to have him at SEJ Summit Chicago, speaking on how to improve search visibility.

Jordan’s insights below are always enlightening and cover everything from moving past a plateau to how e-commerce SEO is different from other channels.

Your SEJ Summit presentation is titled Surviving the Search Plateau: 3 Tactics to Bring Your Website’s SEO Visibility to New Heights. How do you determine if you are in an SEO plateau? What signs would you look for?

You’ve plateaued if you reach a period where, despite your efforts, you’ve been unable to affect positive change on your site – usually quarterly for most businesses. It usually presents itself either in slow downs in site traffic or declines in conversion rates. Traffic is the more obvious metric, since most SEO teams are measured by it, but there are times you may see an increase in clicks that don’t reflect in your total conversions. That bears investigating.

One of the examples you give for breaking free from the plateau is by igniting your content. Does that mean blending content marketing into your SEO strategy?

That can be a piece of it, though that can take a lot of time and money. From a search perspective, the low-hanging fruit is to simply refresh the content you already have with new material, or by making minor changes. Like layering a cake, you can build on top of your old content with structured data or info to create something interesting and new. Minor changes can bring big rewards.

I did a little bit of stalking and saw you are interested in wearable technology. What is your favorite wearable piece of tech—either already on the market or coming soon?

Personally, I’m really interested in the Internet of Things – items within the home like Nest or Ring that are beginning to talk to each other and to you. Similar to how 3-4 years ago, when wearables for fitness like Fitbit started to provide us with data around our health and well-being to aid self improvement, we’re now starting to see that same thought process transition into devices for the home, helping make utilitarian improvements to the way we live., These kinds of futuristic gadgets can solve a lot of problems for our world like reducing consumption of fossil fuels and other things that have a direct impact on our environment.

You have a background in e-commerce, having worked for eBay in the past. How does SEO differ for big e-commerce brands versus, say, a service based brand.

E-commerce has this mentality of short-term gains: everything is about making short-term progress in a competitive ecosystem, especially here in the US. For that reason, a good deal of the decision making is relatively short-sighted, and you might not see them invest in long-term plays like you would for a news or media outlet. Service-based companies are more focused on having an online to offline presence since they essentially evolved from the big directory business.

A lot of service companies are moving into a transactional service model to marry in e-commerce behaviors, like Yelp, which now offers a bidding service for consumers looking to nail down a service for a particular price. In that way, they’re becoming more similar as more companies adopt that model.

Bonus Question: What was the last book you read?

I’m currently starting Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. I’ve been interested in selling in an era where e-commerce didn’t exist, and was looking for parallels into how shopping is changing today. People like Phil Knight are pioneers who broke down lots of barriers in the market to rise to success, but it’s interesting to dig into how much of his success was based on societal changes at the time – and how societal changes today might reflect market changes to come. 

Categorized in Online Research
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