The benefits of online user testing for small businesses
The benefits of online user testing for small businesses
3 reasons why you should get a levitating speaker

What RSS Feed Aggregator or Reader Can I Use?

By using an RSS feed aggregator, you can read news and weblogs in a quick and efficient way. A powerful aggregator allows you to get most out of newsfeeds, because you can search, categorize and organize the news items just like you would with emails. Although the best feed aggregator is a matter of preference, some are better than others. The list below will help you choose the one that is most suitable for you:

Desktop readers

Many people prefer desktop readers that couple an internal browser with feed management. This creates a reader-centric workspace that can be very powerful. Neveertheless, desktop readers can cause an unnecessary bandwidth burden on the site they’re downloading from and on the local client.

Web-based readers

A web-based RSS feed aggregator is the direct competitor of desktop feed readers. If you have a good one, it can produce a powerful workspace that gibes you better work flow than the desktop aggregator. Moreover, they are free and you can access them from any location, unlike the desktop apps. However, the majority can’t subscribe secure feeds, so if you have a number of password-protected feeds you need to keep track of, try using another tool.

Major browsers

All major browsers, including Opera and email clients such as Windows Live Mail and Thunderbird have the ability to read feeds. If you are looking for a more powerful RSS feed aggregator, you can install many extensions and add-ons that enhance their capacities.


Feedly is the RSS feed aggregator of the 21st century, available as an extension for all major browsers, but also on iOS, Blackberry and Android. They even developed a backed server to replace Google. Add it to your mobile device or browser in order to gain access to the latest news and best blogs. Moreover, you have a minimalist interface that allows you to focus on reading.

Google Reader

Google Reader is a very simple and reliable tool, because of its comprehensive web-based RSS feed reader and flexible labeling system. If you combine it with Google News, the result is a powerful RSS feed aggregator. While the reader allows you yo add many feeds and organize them, Google News agreggates thousand of newspapers, blogs and online magazines, delivering the content almost instantaneously.

Omea Reader

Omea Reader allows you to stay up to fate with RSS feeds, web pages and Usenet news. You can use flagging, annotations and search folders so you can stay organized. Although it finds items fast, Omea does not offer categories and learning filters. Moreover, you cannot synchronize multiple installations.


What is RSS Feed?

RSS or Rich Site Summary was originally called RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. It uses standard web feed formats to publish information that is frequently updated, including news headlines, blog entries, video and audio. An RSS feed document is also called a web feed, channel or simply feed contains full summarized text and metadata. If you want to know what is RSS feed, continue reading this article.

What is RSS feed?

An RSS feed allows publishers to syndicate data automatically. This way you can easily distribute update notices, a list of headlines and even content to a large number of people. Users can also benefit form RSS feeds if they want to aggregate data from many sites, or receive updated from their favorites. If they subscribe to a to a website, manually checking it is no longer necessary, because their browser constantly monitors the site and sends notifications of updates. Moreover, the browser can automatically download the new data, if the function is enabled. Users can subscribe to feeds by entering its URL into the RSS reader or by clicking the feed icon.

What problems does it solve?

RSS feed is a better way to be notified about changed or new content. Many people who don’t know what is RSS feed keep track of several websites the old fashioned way, and this can be difficult when the content changes on an uncertain schedule, as it does for news sites, medical websites, community and religious information pages, weblogs and product information pages. Having to check these pages over and over again can become annoying and tiring. An early solution was email notification, but receiving many disorganized emails is overwhelming and some of them are mistaken for spam. RSS feeds makes handling multiple websites easy, saving you time and ensuring your privacy, due to the fact that there is no need to join each site’s newsletter. Today, many websites offer RSS feeds, including Yahoo News, and their number is rapidly growing.

RSS Feed Readers and News Aggregators

News aggregators or feed readers software allows users to gather RSS feed from numerous websites and displays them for read and use. There are many RSS readers available for each platform. For example, Amphetadesk works on Mac, Windows and Linux, NewsGator can integrate Outlook and FeedReader is only for Windows. There are also web-based feed readers available, including Google Reader, My Yahoo and Bloglines. After you choose a RSS feed reader, you just have to find sites that syndicate content and add them to the list of feeds. The information is made up of a list of items arranged chronologically. Each item has a title, a description and a link to the web page. Sometimes the description is just a summary, while other times it is the full information you want to read.


Negative SEO Case Study

Just last year, Google revised its statement about Negative SEO, changing ‘there is nothing a competitor can do that will have sites removed from their index harm your ranking’ to ‘Google works hard in order to prevent other webmasters from having your site removed from our index or harm your rankings’. SEO’s and webmasters have tried for years to raise awareness with the Google spam team about the potential threat of Negative SEO via duplicate content, link bombing and others. Matt Cutts told that Google is focusing more on discounting questionable links than punishing entire websites, but someone forgot to inform the Penguins.

Penguin 2.1

Although the Penguin algorithm updates targeted those who deceived the system with blog comment spam, paid text links, forum spam, exact match anchor text, blogroll spam and directory spam, we wonder if actually this opened the door for Negative SEO and link bombing. According to the negative SEO theory, a site owner who wants to put down a competitor can link spam that site, causing a Google spam penalty and a drop in search rankings.

Maggie Sottero Case Study

Maggie Sottero, a major offline brand operating in the designer wedding dress industry, fell out of the SERPs for their brand name. Even if Penguin’s algorithm is punishing, in this situation a case a review was flagged, and as a result a manual penalty in Webmaster Tools for unnatural inbound links was activated. Because of this penalty, Maggie Sottero dropped off all organic rankings, along with the brand name. In spite of all this, Google gave them no specific information about the nature of the offending links.

Background on Maggie Sottero brand strength

Maggie Sottero Designs was created in 1997 and is one of the most recognized and popular bridal gown companies in the world. They were introduced into the DEBI (Distinctive Excellence in the Bridal Industry) in 2010 and received numerous awards, such as The UK Bridal Buyers Award, Wedding Idea’s Best Dress Designer Award, six DEBI awards and many more. The brands sells dresses in approximately 1,000 independent bridal salons in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Maggie Sottero has more than 600,000 total visits and 150,000 brand searches per month. They have 60,000 followers on Facebook.


If we evaluate the actions of Maggie Sottero over time, it becomes clear that the brand has invested more in winning awards than into SEO. Moreover, their site is non-transactional, meaning that the ranking for specific keywords is overshadowed by the ability to find the brand. Even if Maggie Sottero sent 2 reconsideration requests in Webmaster Tools and submitted a disavow file, Google’s response indicated that there is still a violation of webmaster quality guidelines, but no specifics were provided. In our opinion, a possible solution to Negative SEO is assigning no benefit or value to links deemed to be Spam, so that sites will not be affected is a positive or negative manner from such links.


Understanding URL Destination Goals

As a webmaster, you must know not only how to create a website but also how to maintain and improve it. In order to do this, you must use certain tools. One of these tools is Google Analytics, a service provided by Google, which allows you to access various statistics about your website’s traffic, traffic sources, sales and conversion measures. It is a great tool for an online business as it allows you to monitor the evolution of your online strategies. Today we are going to explain one of the most useful features of this service: URL Destination Goals.

  • What is a URL destination goal?

This Google Analytics feature allows you to measure the results of your online marketing strategies. The destination goal is but one of the many goals that you can track. Nevertheless, it is probably the most useful one. What it does is tell you when a person visits your site as well as what pages has that visitor browsed.

  • How to set up the URL destination goals?

The first step in setting a destination goal in Google Analytics is to go to your chosen website within the Analytics service and log in your admin account. Enter the description of your goal in order to be able to differentiate it from other goals that you may later set up. Once you do this, proceed to destination and the next step. The next option is setting the goal details. Here you have to choose the page where your users will land on after finishing a goal. For example, if the goal that you want to measure is a purchase, the landing page can be the Thank You Page which appears once a user makes a purchase. In the drop down menu you should choose the Equals option and if you don’t have an exact URL you can choose either the Begins With option or the Regular Expression option. When you finish setting up a goal you can also add some additional options. For example, you can turn the URL goals into funnels, an option very useful for websites which have more than two pages in the checkout process. Doing this can help you monitor whether the multi step process is responsible for loosing conversions. Another option which you can choose is the monetary value which shows you how much money you earn with each conversion.

  • Benefits of the URL destination goals

There are many benefits of the destination goals and they can be very useful in helping you improve an online business. You can track the benefits of your free offers or discounts, your overall sales, the content form fill-outs, your mailing list, how many of your users register to your website, how many of them comment on your products or your articles. Google Analytics is basically a statistical generator which gathers your chosen data and organizes it for you in clear categories.


How to Use the New Keyword Planner Tool

Because Google’s keyword tool was free and gave users all the necessary information to conduct a keyword research, it became the foundation of SEO campaigns. However, as of August 28th, 2013, a new Keyword Planner replaced the Keyword Tool. The planner has both the functionality of Traffic Estimator and Keyword Tool, making it easier to plan search campaigns.

How to use the Keyword Planner

When you enter your keyword into the Keyword Planner, two tabs appear. The first one, Ad group ideas is the default tab that shows keywords grouped by Ad groups or categories. People who use the tool for AdWords campaigns will find this feature very useful. The second tab, Keyword ideas is more suitable for keyword research for a SEO campaign. Before you can use the planner, you must log in with your Google account and go to the Keyword Planner section. If you are not there, select the Keyword Planner from the top menu. Click on Search for keyword and ad group ideas and from there you can research keyword based on your landing page, a product or service or your product category. After you enter the data to research, click the Get ideas button. The two tabs mentioned earlier will appear and all you have to do is click on the keyword ideas tab and get started.

How to analyze results

You will probably notice that the Global and Local monthly searches are not available in the new Keyword Planner, due to the fact that they are combined into the Avg. monthly searches column. Next, go to the Targeting section on the top left part of the screen. From there, you can change the basis for your research, the geographic location, negative keywords and the language. On the bottom side left side you will see the Customize your search section which will help you target the research. Use the filters to set a minimum for the Avg. monthly searches and then go to keyword option if you want to include adult themed keywords or to filter the keywords you have found.

Setting keyword match types

Although the ability to set keyword match types to exact, phrase matches and broad is still available, it was relocated on the other side of the page. On the far right side of the column headers, you will see a pencil icon with an arrow. If you click, it, the match options for your keywords will appear. The recommended preference for SEO keyword research is Exact. If you change it, you will see a message that says that next time you save a keyword it will be added as exact match or whatever you choose. It will also ask you if you want the rest of the keywords in your Keyword Planner to have the match type, just click yes or no, based on your needs.


What is Semantic Search and How Can It Improve Your Website?

Search engines are aimed at one of the most important benefits of the internet: providing answers to queries. They usually rely on websites to provide information. In order for the information to be accurate and relevant to the users, the search engines use semantic search in order to scan the websites and lead the users to the most relevant answers. The accuracy of the search is improved by certain tools which are trying to understand the intent of the search as well as the contextual meaning.

  • How can you use search engines to your advantage

In order to be visible on a search engine you need to meet two conditions: the content of your website must adhere to microdata and you must use Using microdata means that you are adding content in a way which is relevant to both humans and machines. When content is addressed solely to humans, without taking into account how the internet technology views that information, you are running the risk of having little to no visibility on the search engines.

  • Semantic search

Semantic optimization is a tool which webmasters can use in order to markup their pages so that they are recognized by search engines. The most well known search engines in the world, including Google, have all agreed to use a universal tool in order to optimize their queries answers. If you want to semantically optimize your website, you need to use This website provides a vocabulary shared by the major search engines. By using this vocabulary, a webmaster can optimize a website according to the chosen domain in order for search engines to direct relevant users to his/her website. This vocabulary works in a simple manner. It is attached to HTML tags using microdata format in order to tell a search engine about an item found in your content.

  • Tips for using semantic search

The great thing about is that it is working for both search engines and webmasters. Search engines use it in order to make their queries more accurate and the webmasters use it in order to be visible on the right market. On this website you can find markup schemes which work for various fields of interest such as finance, retail, architecture, history and so on. If you are a local business, you absolutely must mark your contact information in order to use the search engines as your content distributors.



Introduction to Google Webmaster Tools

Search engines rely on websites in order to provide relevant answers to their users. In order for the answers to be as relevant and accurate as possible, the search engines must be able to read the websites. This means that both the search engines and the webmasters must use a common language. In other words, it is in the interest of the search engines to teach webmasters how to make their websites stand out. This is why the Google Webmaster Tools was invented. This software is the major instrument through which Google communicates with the webmasters.

  • Why use Google Webmaster Tools?

This software is very useful for keeping a close eye on your website and for detecting problems which you may not have encountered in the programming process. It can even detect the annoying Malware infection. As we mentioned above, it is in Google’s interest to help the webmasters optimize their websites which is why this software is absolutely free.

  • How to verify your website with the GWT?

If you have a basic understanding of websites, you will be able to use Google Webmaster Tools without any problems. For starters, you are given a blank file which you must drop in the root directory of your website. You then click on the verify button and you can use all the tools of the GWT. Another verification method is to click on the HTML tag in order to get a metatag which you can put into the head of your website’s home page. You can also use the Domain Name Provider in order to have a safer verification with a personal security token. The Google Analytics account (if you have one) can also be used to verify your website by using the asynchronous tracking code in the head of your home page. Last but not least, you can verify your website with the Google Tag Manager.

  • Dashboard

Once you verify your website, you will be able to see the Google Webmaster Tools Dashboard. All the information sent by Google can be found in the site messages box. The dashboard also contains settings, preferences, site settings, Google Analytics Property, change of address, verification details, users and site owners, associates and many more useful features.

  • Features

GWT has many features to offer and they can all help you keep your website under control and improve it in the same time. Among the most popular features are HTML improvements, Penguin & Webmaster Tools, site profiles, authorship and so on. If you are taking care of more than one website, you may want to switch to a power user account in order to simplify the maintenance process.


How to Use the Authorship Snippet on Search Engines?

Search engines are a very important part of our lives. They are our GPS through the wide variety of information found on the internet. The problem is that in order to get what we want, we must learn how to use this GPS; otherwise we will be mislead by the numerous links who all promise to provide the right answer. In order for webmasters to make their link more appealing than the rest of the links, they must make their result description stand out. And this is where the authorship snippet comes in handy.

  • What is a snippet?

When you use a search engine, it generates countless results from various websites which the search engine considers to be relevant to your search. The answers come in the shape of a title, a link and a short snippet. The snippet is usually a meta description of an article containing the answer to your query. However, there are also certain results which contain a lot more information such as a picture or video snippets. Search engines refer to this extra information as rich snippets and they strongly advice webmasters to use them in order to direct more relevant users to their websites.

  • Understanding the authorship snippet

An author rich snippet is an improved search engine result which includes a person’s photo, byline and link to Google+ profile. One may wonder why a person would be interested in this additional information. The answer is very simple. People usually tend to trust information which comes from real people. Although most information found online is written by real people, adding some information on the author of an article, adds a personal touch to the content, making it more believable.

  • Why use an authorship snippet?

As a webmaster, using an author rich snippet can bring you a lot of advantages. For starters, this snippet draws more attention to your website. It is even more efficient than paid ads. Furthermore, it leads to qualified traffic since the users will have a better idea of what to expect, before clicking on the result. Last but not least, this snippet will establish an author rank, thus making your website more trustworthy. This will also help your readers get to know you better and trust the information which you are providing.

  • How to use the author rich snippet?

The first thing that you need to do is create a Google+ profile which includes a clear and relevant head shot. Next, you need to check if your websites includes a byline containing your name on each page that you are publishing. The authorship can be verified either by e-mail or by linking your Google+ profile to the website. If you are using the e-mail, it must have the same domain as your content.