Is Your Favorite Search Engine Your Add-On Memory?

Not long ago, I was talking to a few teachers at the local Starbucks and they had indicated to me that their requirements for rote memorization type teaching seemed to be having ill-effects, as students rejected these mandatory assignments. That didn’t surprise me because any 7th grader knows they can look up any fact anytime they want to on their smart phones, tablet, or laptop using Google. Okay so, let’s talk about this new “instant information age” and the positives and negatives of our Google Era, shall we?

The other day, I was listening to an older Science Journal – Online Magazine Podcast from July 15, 2011 titled; “The show includes the effects of Google on memory, the stressful lives of alpha male baboons, science in Egypt, and more,” and it was the Science Podcast of the day. In the podcast, first section, the scientific researchers explains how people are no longer attempting to memorize facts as much as categories of things, and where any particular piece of information might be.

She thinks that once you free your memory of endless facts, now you can think about how to best consider the implications of things and how those facts interact. She also discusses the reality of memorizing phone numbers, something no one does anymore due to the fact that all of the phone numbers are pre-programmed into your smart phone.

1. How Google Is Changing Your Brain – DM Wegner and AF Ward, 2013 Scientific America.
2. Searching for the Google Effect on People’s Memory – John Bohannon, Science, July 15, 2011.

Overall, the paper (2) above seems to indicate that this new use of the brain with the assistance of modern day internet search engines and personal tech devices is freeing the brain for other uses depending on the extra-curricular activities of its owner and their interests. Of course, there are still detractors of the “Google Era” as some might call it, for instance, an interesting book to read, one I am about 1/3 through is;

“Googled – The End of the World as We Know It,” by Ken Augletta, Penguin Press, New York, NY, 2009, 384 pages, ISBN: 978-1-59420-235-3.

In fact, the book even has a chapter titled; “The New Evil Empire 2004-2005” and complains of how Google is destroying the Old Media in another chapter and how Google competes against many of those companies listed in its search engine, albeit that criticism is somewhat ridiculous due to the fact that “every company” is listed in its search engine even MSN’s Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Yes, the (FTC Federal Trade Commission) did investigate this, come up with nothing more than a small fine and future stipulations even as the competitors complaining had maligned Google’s brand name.

A Brain In The Search Engine Life

It isn’t yet widely studied the effect of the new information technologies to the ability of young students to learn. Most existing studies indicate that technology helps the kids to absorb more and more information and that is indeed positive as it may be creating high-knowledge generation.

However there are also serious signs of concern about the so-called “Search Engine Effect” (or the branded “Google Effect”). So what is the “Search Engine Effect”?

Let me ask you a few questions: What is the Operation Barbarossa? How many square feet make a square meter? What is the capital of Eritrea? What’s the distance from the Earth to the Sun?

I’m pretty sure you’ve been able to answer all those questions in less than 10 seconds. That’s the “Search Engine Effect”, no one needs to know the answers, that hard thing that is now back in the past. Today all you need to do is to search the question on the internet and get the answer in a blink of an eye (well, that depends on the internet speed, but you get the point).

Kids start googling from very early age, and they are used to finding the information easily and quickly. In fact, it has been studied already that the kids nowadays are so much formatted to think as a Search Engine, that they are much faster in finding information on the web than their parents.

Is this effect good for them? There is a growing concern that the “Search Engine Effect”, or in other words, the effect of knowing the information is easily available whenever it’s needed, may seriously affect the capacity of the kids to memorize information, an ability which was crucial previously and part of the cognitive vitality.

A recent study developed by the Columbia University has tried to demonstrate that the level of recall of the people depends on whether they knew they could easily get the information later or not. In the specific case, the subjects have been asked to read and remember some statements, as well as remember in which computer folder they were filed. Then they were given opposite instructions: part of the group was informed that they could have access to the statements later, while the other group was told they wouldn’t have access to them.

The results were quite interesting for their clear differentiation: the people who though they wouldn’t have access to the information later were able to remember it much better than the others. This is exactly the consequence of the “Search Engine Effect” – knowing that the information is easily available whenever needed is an incentive not to make an effort to recall it, hence the brain gets lazy.

The “Search Engine Effect” is probably not going to disappear, if anything the trend will continue to grow. The real challenge for the society is to avoid losing collective cognitive abilities due to the technological incentives our brain has to be lazy. This is where Brain Training appears as a whole solution.

Pedro Teixeira is Commercial and SEO Manager at CogniFit, an innovative company which develops software for measuring and training the cognitive abilities – brain fitness.

SEO Services – Search Engine Optimisation Checklist 3 – Keyword Deployment Elements

Following on from the previous article that looked at initial keyword research then the preceding stage of deployment; this gives a detailed explanation of the Keyword Deployment Stage.

With the keyword list finalised, it’s time to sprinkle those keywords:

Title Tags

In the page code the title tag can be found within the < title > tag, this appears within the < head > section of the page.

The page title is one of the most important elements of on page optimisation. The page title will almost always appear within the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). The search engines will use the title to determine what the page contains and therefore how best to cache it.

Be sure to make sure all your titles are unique, keyword rich and the correct amount in length.

Try to stick to anything below 66 characters including spaces.

Meta Descriptions

You will find the Meta Description within the < head > tags in the page HTML

Most of the time this Meta description will be used by the search engines as the descriptive blurb that accompanies the page title within the search results. Try and ensure your Meta descriptions are the correct length. It is advised to keep the description below 150 characters including spaces. This should keep all major search engines happy and will mean that your descriptions don’t get get chopped up mid sentence or word.

Meta Keywords

Once again you will find the Meta Keyword location within the < head > section of the page HTML. These keywords will give the search engines information about the page content and be an aid to semantic indexing.

Your Keywords make up the most important part of an SEO campaign. You already have you list in place with your ideal keywords. Now disperse them correctly to each page. By having a specific list for each page it will make it much easier in the future when linking a page to an online asset like a blog or article.

H1, H2, H3 tags

H1, H2 & H3 title tags will be used where necessary in order to demonstrate to Search Engines which parts of the code relate to product titles.

You should attempt to use all these elements of headings, especially make sure you use at least H1 and H2. H3 tags hold less weight but can still be an aid to SEO. The heading tags are an important part of on page optimisation. Keywords used with these tags should reuse keywords already used in titles and Meta descriptions for more SEO power. Be sure to make use of these key features of SEO.

Increase Search Engine Ranking Results

Thanks to the creation of the Internet which led to the development of search engines, information is easily accessible today. There is absolutely no other quick way to access information that through search tools. Some thirty to forty years ago, information is a scarce commodity, a vital weapon which has very limited sources. In the 1960’s until about halfway of the 1980’s; people, books, communication media and a few others were the only information carriers. But during the transition to the 90’s era, information – that is knowledge per se, has been widely accessible through the internet. The increase search engine ranking has made information just a type away.

Because of this, search engines dominated the World Wide Web access. You must pop up a search tool to draw access to any information on the net. It is the quickest way to access data, news, music, figures or whatever that we might need. And this has been very beneficial to all. The students depend on the search engines to provide instant reports and fill-ins for homework and projects. The professionals and the entirety of the business sector also rely on search engines to provide necessary research. The spread of in demand all over the globe can be attributed to the increase ranking.

This positive development however comes with a number of setbacks. Concerns and issues have been reported in the in the long run effect, misuse and abuse of these tools. Proving that using such tool of information involves a learning curve.

China resolved to put up a ceiling on what information can be accessed through search engines within its territory – a major move that can only be the result of the Chinese government’s adherence to national security. Unique limits to information were placed. Most search tool returns are blocked web pages and controlled sites. It is believed to counter cyber attacks, espionage, and theft and moreover threat to national security, though this effort was scrutinized as abnormally strange. What majority believes is that freedom to information is proportional to economic development.

However, the access to a surge of information hints that there might be false truths within the bulk. This was a major concern with increase search engine rankings, where you get even what you should not. Expect too many returns when searching for a keyword. Search results will provide you even with what you do not need. And due to the mass of information, you are caught between what to believe and what not to. The integrity of search returns has always been questioned.

But even though there are concerns with the increase search engine ranking, there is no doubt that this tool of information has been a positive product of the information age. It is an accepted truth that there will be pros and cons in every single development. There would be advantages as disadvantages. All that we should do is to make the most of it. And by that means to responsibly use it to serve what is good which has been the main idea of its creation in the first place.

Search Engine Marketing Book – How to Find the Best Information About Online Promotion

Online promotion can be a challenging and confusing task. There is so much information being given out in bits and pieces all over the internet it can be hard to find a coherent plan of how to market your products online. But if all this information were to be collected together into a search engine marketing book would this be helpful? I don’t want you to waste your time so I’m going to tell you right off that if this information were printed in a book it is likely it would be out of date before it hit the shelves.

It is true that the principles of marketing online are the same principles of marketing anywhere – you need to effectively get your message to your target market. However, the details of how this is achieved online changes regularly. What worked last year won’t necessarily work this year. The search engines are always fine tuning their algorithms and supporting websites regularly update their policies. These elements will influence your marketing efforts. This is information that you wouldn’t be able to find in a search engine marketing book until after it is too late.

If you are serious about success then the resource you need is an online repository of internet marketing information. A website that collects all the information together in one place and keeps it updated regularly. Since online marketing covers a vast array of subjects there is a lot of information that needs to be documented and kept up to date. Due to the volume of information it wouldn’t even fit into a single search engine marketing book.

For an internet marketing website to maintain its integrity it would have to be supported by a community of followers who are our there trying, testing, and evaluating the techniques. This feedback loop keeps the training resources up to date. Also, a forum where marketers share their experiences can help spread the latest knowledge around in the fastest way possible. No search engine marketing book would be able to provide this kind of community.

Due to the dynamic nature of internet marketing it is also necessary to have access to tools that help in the development and implementation of your marketing efforts as well as tools to help you perform proper keyword research that accesses the latest search engine information. I think we can all agree that a search engine marketing book, no matter how well written, can’t provide such tools.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you a search engine marketing book is not the ideal resource for leaning about online marketing. If you truly want to understand this topic you have to do your research and find the online resource that is the best fit for you. If you do your research taking into account all the factors I’ve outlined above you will have the ideal internet marketing resource.

People Search Engines – Information and Practical Tips

You may have heard of people search engines online: websites where you can search for many details about a person. You can look up their phone number, address, and email, and also have access to their public records. It is a great solution for those who need to look up old friends, relatives, or classmates. In some cases, it can even be used for tracking down your biological parents!

The practical uses for a people search engine are obvious. But it can also be a lot of fun. Ever try looking up yourself on one of these websites? Sometimes the results are very interesting, to say the least.

If you wish to conduct a people search, make sure that you know the full name of the person. The more details you have, the better. If you look up a “John Smith” but you have no additional details to add to your search, like location, you will find yourself up against a huge amount of search results. You need those extra details to figure out which “John Smith” is the one you are looking for.

It is also important to realize that not all search engines are created equal. Some databases store millions of records and documents, while others store only a limited amount. Some charge very expensive fees to look up their public records, while others are very reasonably priced, offer trial periods and even some search functions for free.