Everything You Know About SEO Is Wrong, Sage Lewis

April 28, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

In an energetic presentation titled “Everything You Know About SEO Is Wrong” by Sage Lewis, given at The Web Association on April 19, 2016 at COSE in Cleveland, we were introduced to Google’s new RankBrain algorithm and other recent changes.

Sage Lewis is author of bestseller “Link Building is Dead. Long Live Link Building” and president of Sagerock.com, a digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

According to Sage, the current most important factors for the ranking of Google’s search engine results are Content, and Links (link pointing), and now Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

RankBrain is Google’s new artificial intelligence machine that helps it process information to rank in search results. Previously at Google, humans taught machines how to interpret search data, but this machine teaches itself! It gives us the results it thinks humans want! Can this be entirely accurate?

Ultimately, he stressed, that the best way to be found online by Google and draw people in was to show love and passion for your business by expressing it through compelling content, such as relevant text, pictures, video, and use of social media like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Live, and others, which could help you to create a unique story.

Another change by Google, we were informed, is the elimination of side ads. This is for mobile device responsiveness. According to Sage, mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. All ads are now in the regular location which is at the top of the main search results (and the increased ad purchase price brings in more money for Google). This may make things more difficult for small businesses to promote their products or services.

It was mentioned that a good way to get a small business noticed online is to setup a local business at Google.com/business. Also, before optimizing your site for SEO check Google to see who the competition is. Maybe consider a different angle or emphasis on your goods in order to stand out in a less saturated arena.

Sage co-hosts a live web cast Thursday at 3:15 p.m. ET called “The Tools”  where many social media tools and ways to market your product or business are discussed. One recent tool he shared with us is the ability to now live stream on Facebook. This is a free way to draw in an audience and promote your business!

Sage Lewis of SageRock.com, digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

Sage Lewis of SageRock.com, digital marketing agency in Akron, Ohio.

Resource Links:

SageRock, Inc.
www.sagerock.com

The Tools
www.thetools.tv

The Web Association
www.webassociation.org

How do I share a live video on Facebook?
www.facebook.com/help/1636872026560015
To start a live broadcast from your personal Timeline.

Get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps — with Google My Business.
www.google.com/business

Sage Lewis engages the audience at The Web Association.

Sage Lewis engages the audience at The Web Association.

Sage Lewis discussed Google's RankBrain algorithm.

Sage Lewis discussed Google’s RankBrain algorithm.

Three most important things for Google search engine ranking.

Three most important things for Google search engine ranking.

COSE in Cleveland, Ohio.

COSE in Cleveland, Ohio.

Advertisements

Trashed is Graphic Novel by John Backderf “Derf”

January 22, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Cartoonist 'Derf' finds a pen to prepare for book signing. Behind him a drawing of garbage bags which appears in his graphic novel, Trashed.

Cartoonist ‘Derf’ finds a pen to prepare for book signing. Behind him a drawing of garbage bags which appears in his graphic novel, Trashed.

On January 10th, award-winning cartoonist, John Backderf (aka Derf), appeared at the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, where he discussed his latest graphic novel, Trashed.

Trashed, although fiction, is based on Derf’s brief experience as a garbageman in the 1970s in Bath, Ohio. He is known for his comic strip The City, which has appeared in more than 100 newspapers, and his last graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer, was an international best-seller.

Books were available for purchase by local Cleveland bookstore, Mac’s Backs-Books, and Derf signed and created drawings in patron’s books after the presentation.

The library has (non-renewable ‘sizzler’) copies of the 250-page new graphic novel, Trashed, available for loan as well. I borrowed a copy, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Derf meticulously drew and authored each page. He said on a good day he was able to create four pages, first in pencil, then in ink. The book took a couple years to produce and publish. Not only was the story funny and insightful on the life of a garbage collector, but facts about the world garbage situation from E.P.A. reports and Cornell studies were added to inform the reader. It was very eye-opening.

I highly recommend borrowing or purchasing (retail $18.95) a copy for the purpose of being entertained. The ‘garbage facts’ in the book find a way to almost encourage the reader to perhaps take a stand on the issues for a better future.

Resource Links:

Derfcity Comics LLC www.derfcity.com

The library's event web page for Derf on Trashed.

The library’s event web page for Derf on Trashed.

 

 

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.


Joe Pulizzi On Latest Book, Content Inc.

December 24, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

The Web Association welcomed Joe Pulizzi, Founder and CEO Content Marketing Institute.

The Web Association welcomed Joe Pulizzi, Founder and CEO Content Marketing Institute.

Last month, I heard Joe Pulizzi (@CMIContent), Founder and CEO Content Marketing Institute, speak at The Web Association, held at COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises) in Cleveland, Ohio. He speaks on a regular basis (He noted that ours was his 71st presentation of 2015!), and has authored several books including bestselling Epic Content Marketing.

Joes Pulizzi points out ways to connect and engage on both a personal and professional level.

Joes Pulizzi points out ways to connect and engage on both a personal and professional level.

Joe discussed his newly published book, Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses, which is sold on Amazon.

Using the Content Inc. model, he reviewed the many forms of engaging through social media: social blogs, wikis, video, rating, social bookmarking, internet forums, pictures, microblogging, weblogs, and podcasts.

It was stated that the importance of communicating through the creation and distribution of your own information to build audiences is key.

A few highlights of his talk included these points:

  • Create your mission statement: have a defined audience, deliver, then measure the audience outcome.
  • Establish your content type and platform, deliver consistently over a long period of time, i.e. e-newsletter.
  • Loyal customers can mean increased product sales and revenue.

He pointed out ways to engage socially on both a personal and business level. Personal avenues include blogs, books and public speaking, whereas business methods could be digital media, print (yes, it still a valued form of communication), and in-person contact.

Takeaways:

-Find a niche and become a leading expert
-Develop your content mission
-Focus on content type, platform and delivery consistently
-Build an audience of opt-in subscribers
-Create an amazing e-newsletter and download
-Audience first, products second
-Be patient!

In his book, Content Inc., Joe breaks down the process to visualize, launch and monetize your own business, based on his own success and failures. This is explained through case studies.

Are you looking for a startup-business strategy? Perhaps kick-off the new year with his business-growing strategy. The Content Marketing Institute website is full of good information, plus there is an email news sign-up and podcast network. Also be sure to watch the 43-minute movie which explains how the marketing of the future is all about brands telling stories, in “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing.”

 

Me with Joe Pulizzi!

Me with Joe Pulizzi!

Joe Pilluzi's book, Content Inc. (Joe likes the color orange and orange shoes!).

Joe Pilluzi’s book, Content Inc. (Joe likes the color orange and orange shoes!).

"Janet, go out and be epic!" – Joe Pulizzi (signed in Joe's favorite color -- orange).

“Janet, go out and be epic!” – Joe Pulizzi (signed in Joe’s favorite color — orange).

A great feature for your business website is an email signup, like that on the Content Marketing Institute site.

A great feature for your business website is an email signup, like that on the Content Marketing Institute site.

COSE, Council of Smaller Enterprises, a division of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

COSE, Council of Smaller Enterprises, a division of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.


New Cuyahoga County Public Library South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch Opens

October 20, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

In line to receive limited edition commemorative library card.

In line to receive limited edition commemorative library card. (Photo: Karen Sandstrom)

The long-awaited new South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 1876 South Green Road, South Euclid, Ohio, 44121, had its grand opening on Sunday, October 18, 2015.

Prior to construction of the new building, there was much controversy surrounding the sale of the former building, the charming and historic William E. Telling mansion. It is claimed that the a private sale was made by library officials without the consensus of tax payers. The library claimed that the building was too expensive to maintain and did not lend itself for newer technology and accessibility. The Telling mansion was purchased by an individual who will convert the former library building into the American Porcelain Museum, due to open in spring of 2016.

The new 30,000+ square foot library is very impressive and offers state-of-the-art technology not available at the old library.

An expansive and interactive activity children’s area modeled after the book, Journey by author and illustrator Aaron Becker, has over-sized constructions, movable magnets, and hanging displays, all modeled after its book illustrations.

The youth area houses comic books which can be checked-out, a homework assistance center, and has an attached sound studio for audio recording.

South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library.

South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library.

3-D printers will travel from library to library within the Cuyahoga County Public Libraries.

A much improved larger DVD browsing area with plenty of room to walk through multiple movie racks.

Skylights and a sense of openness in the large main room, which houses the main information desk, books racks and public computer terminals. All computers have been upgraded.

I was personally impressed with the new technology training room which will offer free technology classes, and the computers are open to the public in-between classes.

Two double-sided fireplaces and all new contemporary furniture, coupled with tasteful fixtures from the previous building, like table lamps, add style and atmosphere, with designated quiet areas. A writer’s center, and individual meeting rooms with sizes for small business meetings to larger capacity conference rooms are available for reserve in at least 2-hour increments.

The natural light is wonderful, and there is a real sense of unique spaces there.

Limited edition library card, artwork by Janet Dodrill.

Limited edition library card, artwork by Janet Dodrill.

I was honored to provide the artwork for the limited edition library card, available through October 25th.

Despite missing the much-loved and unique former location and historic Telling mansion, I am very impressed with the accommodations, technological updates, and comfort the new library brings. Below are a few recent photos.

Resource Links:

Cuyahoga County Public Library

Cuyahoga County Public Library, South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch

3,600 celebrate opening of new South Euclid-Lyndhurst library, Cleveland Jewish News, October 20, 2015

South Euclid-Lyndhurst Library branch opening Sunday draws hundreds, Sun News, October 18, 2015

(Text and photos copyright Janet Dodrill. Not to be used without prior permission.)

 

South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, grand opening.

South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, grand opening.

 

New Cuyahoga County Public Library South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch.

New Cuyahoga County Public Library South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch.

 

Library grand opening crowd.

Library grand opening crowd.

 

Main library lounge area with fireplace.

Main library lounge area with fireplace.

 

Main library quiet area with fireplace.

Main library quiet area with fireplace.

 

Kiosk at new library.

Kiosk at new library.

 

Library staff Dianne Rose on left.

Library staff Dianne Rose on left. (Photo: Stuart Smith)

 

Library grand opening dedication plaque.

Library grand opening dedication plaque.

 

Main library area and information desk.

Main library area and information desk.

 

Main library area.

Main library area.

 

Reserved parking for fuel efficient vehicles.

Reserved parking for fuel efficient vehicles.

 

Writer's center area.

Writer’s center area.

 

Magnet poem activity in writer's center.

Magnet poem activity in writer’s center.

 

Technology learning center.

Technology learning center.

 

Sound studio for audio recording.

Sound studio for audio recording.

 

Youth area.

Youth area.

 

Children's area.

Children’s area.

 

"Journey" by Aaron Becker.

“Journey” by Aaron Becker.

 

Children's area, decorated with inspiration from the book "Journey" by Aaron Becker.

Children’s area, decorated with inspiration from the book “Journey” by Aaron Becker.

 

Children's area castle display, based on the book "Journey" by Aaron Becker.

Children’s area castle display, based on the book “Journey” by Aaron Becker.

 

Children's area magnet board activity.

Children’s area magnet board activity.

 

Children's area lounge.

Children’s area lounge.

 

Motion sensor activity, children's area.

Motion sensor activity, children’s area.

 

Free donuts for the grand opening from DonutLab.

Free donuts for the grand opening from DonutLab.

 

Free donuts for the grand opening from DonutLab.

Free donuts for the grand opening from DonutLab.


Schmitz-Horning Co. Catalogs, Lithos Digitized at Cleveland Public Library and CleDPL

August 15, 2015

By Janet Dodrill

CleDPL library assistant Ray Rozman scans an original Schmitz-Horning Co. wall mural design.

CleDPL library assistant Ray Rozman scans an original Schmitz-Horning Co. wall mural design.

In going through the family house a few years ago, I discovered catalogs and samples from my great-grandfather’s former Cleveland-based business, the Schmitz-Horning Company. Since then, I have been researching and learning about the company, and our family’s role in the company.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, which specialized in high quality washable color wallpaper, artistic murals and scenic panoramic wall coverings, was founded around 1905 by Hugo M. Schmitz I, an artist and my great-grandfather, and William (Bill) Horning, a lithographer. Mr. Horning left the partnership around 1920. My grandfather (Hugo’s son), Warren R. Schmitz, acted as vice president of the company starting in the late 1920s. After the tragic automobile-related death of Hugo Schmitz in 1938, Warren Schmitz served as president of the company.

Through Google, Cleveland’s newspaper The Plain Dealer archives through the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s website, and family materials, I have started my journey of piecing together a historical footprint of the company and some of the people that worked at the company.

CPL Map/GIS librarian Tom Edwards scans a Schmitz-Horning scenic wallpaper design.

CPL Map/GIS librarian Tom Edwards scans a Schmitz-Horning scenic wallpaper design.

Recently, I discovered the public resources available at Cleveland Public Library in downtown Cleveland. Over several trips there, I visited the Cleveland Digital Public Library (CleDPL) (under the direction of Chatham Ewing, Digital Library Strategist), at 325 Superior Avenue, 3rd floor, the map department and the history department at 525 Superior Avenue, 6th floor, the business department on the 2nd floor, and the photograph collection on the 4th floor, and as a patron received assistance in researching and in documentation of our family’s materials.

Additionally, I was made aware of the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery, the library’s public online digital gallery.

Panoramic Friezes catalog, 1909-1910, the Schmitz-Horning Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

Panoramic Friezes catalog, 1909-1910, the Schmitz-Horning Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

A dedicated library staff assisted and enabled me to do extensive high resolution and large-scale scanning of our deteriorating Schmitz-Horning original wallpaper designs and mural lithographs, and multiple company catalogs, with an early one dating back to 1909, and most being the only known catalogs in existence. The Cleveland Digital Public Library, a new department since spring of this year, accommodated me for many hours spread over several weeks by assisting me with scans on an i2s SupraScan Quartz overhead scanner, synced to a pc, with size capabilities up to 33″ x 46″. They suggested methods regarding the preservation and storing of the materials. Other equipment available included an Epson Expression 10000 XL for photographs, and several book scanners, one high-speed ATIZ scanner, and one a versatile and user-friendly Knowledge Imaging Center (KIC) scanner. The map department had a large-scale feed-through type scanner (plus printer), a Hewlett Packer Designjet T1200 HD MFP, which scans up to 41″ wide by any length, which enabled me to scan one-of-a-kind lithographic wallpaper rolls, some over 100 inches long.

A selection of the materials scanned will be available on the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery, making documentation on this historic Cleveland business available to the public. Individuals researching companies in the wallpaper industry may also find it useful.

Other Schmitz-Horning blog posts by Janet Dodrill:

Schmitz-Horning Co. Artists Created Impressive Lithographic Murals and Scenic Wallpaper

Google Cultural Institute

Schmitz-Horning Co. Ming Floral Scenic Wallpaper Pattern

Schmitz-Horning Company Created Wallpaper Murals and Art

Articles about Cleveland Digital Public Library:

Cleveland Digital Public Library Will Offer High-Tech Scanning For The Masses

Ohio: Grand Opening of Cleveland Digital Public Library (ClevDPL) Taking Place Today

Ohio Public Libraries Receive Grant Funding To Create Network Of Coordinated Digitization Hubs

Curtis Flowers scans a Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph on CleDPL's large overhead scanner.

Curtis Flowers scans a Schmitz-Horning Co. lithograph on CleDPL’s large overhead scanner.

The Cleveland Digital Public Library (CleDPL) department of Cleveland Public Library

The Cleveland Digital Public Library (CleDPL) department of Cleveland Public Library.

Book Scanner at Cleveland Digital Public Library

Book Scanner at Cleveland Digital Public Library.

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.


Blue Dog by George Rodrigue

July 20, 2013

By Janet Dodrill

George Rodrigue's Blue Dog painting

George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog painting at Rodrigue Studio in Carmel, California.

On a recent trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, I found the art gallery Rodrigue Studio gallery, exclusively of the work of George Rodrigue.

Known primarily for his ‘Blue Dog’ paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolors; also drawings and mixed media) and limited edition prints (lithography, silkscreen, and serigraph), the George Rodrigue web site has a timeline, indicating that the first Blue Dog was painted in 1984, but prior to that the artist originally painted Cajun culture-themed works and Louisiana landscapes.

Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Initially, he used a photograph of his own deceased dog as reference, and since then, sometimes incorporates figures and landscapes with the dogs into the work. Early blue dog paintings were not yet called Blue Dog until they became more popular in the early 1990s.

George Rodrigue's Blue Dog mixed media artwork at Rodrigue

George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog mixed media artwork at Rodrigue Studio in Carmel, California.

Where else do you expect to see a painting of Clint Eastwood but in Carmel, California, at the Rodrigue Studio, in the city where he used to be mayor? Believed to be from his 2013 Hollywood Stars series, it is done in archival ink on metal, at 41 x 62 inches.

The gallery representative was friendly and outgoing, and allowed me to enjoy the whimsical work without pressure, making the experience fun and memorable – even allowing me to take photographs and offering to take one of me next to a painting.

Blue Dog books that have sold by the hundreds of thousands, calendars, and notecards are available on Amazon.com.

George Rodrigue Blue Dog painting.

George Rodrigue Blue Dog painting.

What is the attraction to these paintings? They are unique and spark the imagination. Rodrigue painting reap high prices. Two sold recently at New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc. – the  36″ x 48″ oil on canvas “My Yellow  Oak” had a hammer price of $80,000, and the 14″ x 18″ acrylic on canvas “Blue Dog and Cypress” had a hammer price of $22,000, which doesn’t include the 23% buyer’s premium. Aside from inquiring about these works directly from Rodrigue Studio galleries (Carmel, CA, Lafayette, LA, and New Orleans, LA) and possibly at other art galleries, they are available on upcoming auctions at Liveauctioneers.com. Additionally, I found several of his paintings and prints for sale at Artbrokerage.com.

Next time I am in Layfatte, I would like to sit and eat Cajun cuisine at Blue Dog Café, which George has visited, surrounded by walls of a private collection of Blue Dog Art!

Business card from Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Business card from Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.


Book: Don’t Fear The Forward by Marc Majers

December 3, 2011

By Janet Dodrill

Don't Fear The Forward, book by Marc A. Majers

Don't Fear The Forward, book by Marc A. Majers

Marc Majers has published a book on a simple step-by-step process for building and launching websites, called Don’t Fear The Forward.

He recently presented his perspective on the subject at CDPUG/GCPCUG Web SIG, which I attended. Marc used music (he also works as a music emcee), humor, and actual statistical data to back his information on usability and other measurable website criteria. Those who attended were lucky enough to receive a free ‘checklist’ which Marc stated is in the book, and is also a free download online.

“It is important”, Marc said, “to show people thoughts, ideas, and the (proposed) process, early on, and to get feedback.” In his overview he pulled stat reports from eMarketer, PEW Internet’s research on desktop to tablet to mobile browser comparisons, and offered resource links to information by web champions like Jakob Nielson, and other industry-relevant educational and government sites on usability, CSS, and HTML 5, and recommended the use of surveys, which are all important for support in building a website.

The checklist had steps for planning a website project, and each step was a separate category with tasks to do. Necessaries covered included defining your site goals and determining your audience, mapping out your site in a wireframe and finding logical places for things on the site and a way to navigate to them.

It is a good idea to put together a web committee to assist in the process from concept to completion. The content for the site comes later on in the process. How are you going to engage your users once they reach your site?

Marc spoke from a wealth of experience, with expertise in usability testing, working within the high selling environment of an online insurance company, and in a creatively-demanding arts institution with a diverse audience.

As with most web related topics presented today, he touched upon the use of focused searched engine keywords, SEO (optimization), SEM (marketing), SMS (messaging). Have you thought of acquiring an email source provider for managing and sending professional, scheduled email campaigns, as a next phase?

It is key that once a site is built following guidelines, like those outlined in Marc Majer’s book, it must be continually optimized for relevance and performance. This may be the website building manual you have been waiting for.

The book is available at:

Don’t Fear The Forward
http://www.dontfeartheforward.com

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Fear-Forward-Building-Successful/dp/1257087711/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322954267&sr=8-1

Book image source: Dontfeartheforward.com