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Top SEO Tools I Use: MonitorBacklinks.com

Series of posts over the next few months to say what I’ve found works and what doesn’t in SEO.  So this is installment 1 in Top SEO Tools I Use.

So this is somewhat of a product endorsement piece but its also worth sharing with others what you’ve found useful and hopefully they’ll let you know what they have found useful. So Tools I use and even a few I don’t and why.

monitor backlinksMonitorBacklinks.com

No the first tool has NOTHING to do with keywords but more importantly everything to do with deciding what your keywords are … if you think my life revolves around keywords you really need to catch up.  Backlinks and anchor text are the hardest things to control and often the most impactful.  Consider….back in the 2000s Miserable Failure was backlinked to George W Bush’s White House biography page by so many websites that he ranked number one on Google for Miserable Failure.  Now I guarantee his site had NO SEO or optimization for Miserable Failure but he held that spot until a counter wave of links went to Jimmy Carter.   Then Google manually shut the term war off.  Its backlinks that make or break a sites ranking.

You can optimize all day long on content choices and keywords but if the rest of the world doesn’t think you are that in their links neither will Google.  So the product is essential.  It trends your links and competitors and its just $25 a month.  Here are screenshots I have taken from time to time to include in reports to clients.monitorbacklinks.com

Notice the colored circles at the top break down the links and provide you with metric like CF TF and DA.  Below that image you can see link by link and the strength of each link as well as no follow or follow status.

Below are more links since the site added more features.  Under the status column the G shows if its indexed by Google with green as good and indexed, yellow as not indexed but not out right banned and finally red … the worst link and honestly its like being caught hanging out with the wrong crowd.  Google even allows you to “disavow” the red Gs.

 

Backlinks ranked

Backlinks Ranking and Traffic

Image above trends you backlinks, your traffic and your keywords.  This graph is also why I dont mind nofollow links and I believe they do affect ranking.  Notice the tower of purple nofollow domains that linked to us when I released a news story.  The orange keyword position swings up from 90 to 50 as the new position.

 

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SoftBank’s Vision Fund says portfolio reached 65 companies so far

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Speculators pare U.S. 10-year T-note net shorts before Fed minutes

(Reuters) – Speculators’ net bearish bets on U.S. 10-year Treasury note futures fell a tad earlier this week before Federal Reserve’s release of minutes from its policy meeting last month, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

The Treasuries market had stabilized earlier this week from heavy losses in the previous two weeks due to jitters about rising inflation and a faster pace of interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

The Fed’s record of its Sept. 25-26 meeting suggested a few policymakers are open to raising short-term interest rates above a “neutral” level as the economy has been growing faster than their forecast.

The latest minutes sparked a dramatic selloff in the money markets that caused a sharp spike in key short-term rates on Thursday. Bond yields however were buffered by safe-haven demand from losses on Wall Street.

The amount of speculators’ bearish, or short, positions in 10-year Treasury futures exceeded bullish, or long, positions by 615,970 contracts on Oct. 16, according to the CFTC’s latest Commitments of Traders data.

A week earlier, speculators held 622,422 net short positions in 10-year T-note futures.

In addition to the FOMC minutes, big swings in global equity prices and worries about Italy’s budget, Brexit negotiations and strained relations between United States and Saudi Arabia have stoked volatility in the bond market the latter part of this week, analysts said.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year Treasury yield ended up 2 basis points at 3.196 percent, holding below the 7-1/2 year high of 3.261 percent reached last week.

By investor groups, asset managers increased their net longs in 10-year T-notes to 987,547 contracts, while hedge funds raised their net 10-year T-note shorts to 833,471 contracts.

Bond dealers’ 10-year net shorts slipped to 231,145 from prior week’s 232,818, which was the highest level since late August, CFTC data showed.

Among other bond contracts, speculative net shorts in ultra bonds reached a record peak of 244,975 contracts on Tuesday.

On the other hand, speculators pared their T-bond net shorts to 103,937 contracts from previous week’s 138,382, which was the highest since June 2007.

Among interest rate futures, speculators rebuilt their net shorts in Eurodollar to 2.59 million contracts from 2.47 million contracts which were the fewest since late December.

They increased their net shorts in federal funds for first time in four weeks to 30,038 contracts.

Reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis

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ZF takes 35 percent stake in autonomous driving specialist ASAP

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen said on Friday it acquired a 35 percent stake in ASAP, a Germany-based maker of software and testing systems for autonomous driving applications and electric vehicles.

ASAP specializes in car-to-x communication, human-machine interfaces and electronic architecture and last year generated sales of 84 million euros. It employs 1,100 staff.

ZF’s Chief Executive Officer Wolf-Henning Scheider recently said ZF will invest about 12 billion euros in electromobility and autonomous driving over the next five years.

A purchase price for the ASAP stake was not disclosed.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze, editing by Riham Alkousaa

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Comcast says its fastest internet reaches more U.S. homes than any other provider

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp said on Thursday that its fastest-speed gigabit internet service now reaches more homes than any other provider in the United States after it completed rollout to nearly all 58 million homes and businesses it serves.

The milestone widens its greater coverage over telecoms rivals. Competitor Verizon Communications Inc races to deploy its next-generation 5G wireless service on mobile phones and in the home with speeds theoretically rivaling cable company products. Verizon launched its home internet 5G service in October, the first commercial offering of its kind in the United States.

Comcast’s high-speed internet business is one of its biggest contributors to revenue and profit as customers for its video services decline. The segment has helped prop up the media and communications conglomerate’s finances.

So-called cord cutters, many of whom continue to rely on broadband providers such as Comcast for internet services, have started defecting to video-streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Youtube TV for television programming.

That trend sparked a wave of media company mergers. Walt Disney Co struck a deal to buy 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion and AT&T Inc bought Time Warner for $85 billion, and both have vowed to build streaming video services for consumers looking for a lower-cost alternative to traditional pay television services.

Comcast lost to Disney on a bid to buy Fox this year but prevailed against Disney in an auction to buy satellite television broadcaster and media company Sky.

Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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Robot market growth slows as trade war hits industrial spending: robot industry chief

TOKYO (Reuters) – An escalating trade war between the United States and China has dampened manufacturers’ appetite for investment in equipment, causing growth in the industrial robot market to slow, the chief of the global robot industry group said.

Many global manufacturers “are now in a wait-and-see mode, wondering whether to shift production (away from China) to, let’s say, Vietnam or the United States,” said Junji Tsuda, chief of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in an interview on Thursday.

IFR, which brings together nearly 60 global robot suppliers and integrators, predicts worldwide industrial robot sales this year to grow 10 percent compared to last year’s 30 percent jump.

China is the world’s largest robots market with a 36 percent global share, with its sales volume exceeding the total of Europe and the Americas combined.

Tsuda, also the chairman of Japan’s Yaskawa Electric Corp, said the manufacturers would move out of the wait-and-see mode by the end of this year.

It will take a while for the direction of the trade war to be clear, Tsuda said. “But global demand for smartphones, semiconductors and autos have been solid, and the time will eventually come that they can wait no longer and will resume investment to meet the demand.”

Yaskawa, one of the world’s top robot manufacturers, last week cut its annual operating profit forecast to 59 billion yen ($524.40 million) from 65.5 billion yen, citing a slowdown in smartphone-related demand in China and growing caution over the trade dispute.

From next year onwards, however, IFR expects the robot market growth to pick up again, forecasting an average 14 percent increase per year through 2021.

($1 = 112.5100 yen)

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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Insurers call for delay in prising open ‘black box’ accounts

LONDON (Reuters) – Insurers from across the world have called for amendments and a two-year delay to a change in accounting rules aimed at increasing visibility of how they earn their money.

Nine national and regional insurance industry bodies from Europe, Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa want the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to amend and delay its “IFRS 17” book-keeping rule by two years to January 2023.

Twenty years in the making, the rule seeks to make it easier for investors to compare how much insurers earn from policies by prising open a “black box” of opaque national practices. IASB rules are used in over 100 countries, though the United States has its own accounting standards.

The industry bodies said in a letter to the IASB that preparatory work has confirmed that a number of important issues need to be resolved to make the new rule practical.

“As a result, we strongly believe a two-year delay in the effective date of the standard is required,” the letter to IASB chair Hans Hoogervorst said.

“There is no expectation that a delay will result in insurers stopping or slowing their implementation project.”

The CFO Forum of chief financial officers from major European insurers like Allianz, Aviva, Generali and Axa has said the new rule leads to inconsistent reporting, and requirements that are unnecessarily complex.

Implementation costs range from 50 million euros to 320 million euros per CFO Forum member, it said, with ongoing operational costs expected to be significantly greater than for applying existing insurance book-keeping rules.

The IASB board will discuss staff reports about a potential delay and amendments next week, but no decision is expected at that time.

“In determining what amendments, if any, to make to IFRS 17, the board will need to balance the potential benefit of any amendments against the effect of an undue delay to a standard that is needed to address many inadequacies in the existing wide range of insurance accounting practices,” an IASB staff paper for the meeting said.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Jan Harvey

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Selling Or Buying A Home? You’ll Know What Comps Are Soon.

It’s all about Location, Location, Location they say in real estate, but to a buyer or a seller it may be Price, Price, Price.  You may be buying your first starter home or selling the family home to move into retirement in Florida either way you’ll need to know “How much is it actually worth?”  In real estate lingo “Comps” is a second word that comes with little ambiguity, but to the laymen that same word could leave you wondering.  Comparables are reports on similar houses in the area and how much they went for when they were recently sold.  These reports give insight into the value of the home you wish to sell or buy and allow you to determine if it is really a dream home or it is actually a home you can afford.

Sites like Zillow.com attempt to determine a comparable price for a home through open records and information about a home provided over the years in these open records. Ask any realtor and they’ll tell you they hate Zillow.  Not because it takes their clients, the site doesn’t facilitate home sales but due to the inaccuracies made when determining a home’s value without firsthand knowledge of the area or the home.

Real estate agents usually determine these with local knowledge and understanding of the area.  These are performed though after a home buyer or seller has contacted a real estate agent.  Sometimes you’d just like to know without beginning a search with someone who’s commission based.  The perceived pressure that comes with a real estate agent may make Zillow more attractive than an accurate price or at least get you by until you absolutely have to contact an agent.

Other sites are now offering a blended opportunity that borrows the best of both previous options and provide accurate real estate comps but free of the pressure of working with an agent.  RealEstateCompsToday.com is one of these services that offers national coverage but contracts with local agents to provide investors, sellers and buyers with the best possible comparable home price reports.

Too often in life we see black and white or right and wrong and forget that life choices don’t have to be bilateral.  More often a third method is available that includes the best of both original options and today it seems there is a third option in real estate comps.  Consider this next time you search for comps in my area.

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Europe’s sprawling new financial law enters into force

A disaster-free launch of MiFID 2 is not the end of the worries

AFTER years of rule-drafting, industry lobbying and plenty of last-minute wrangling, Europe’s massive new financial regulation, MiFID 2, was rolled out on January 3rd. Firms had spent months dreading (in some cases) or eagerly awaiting (in others) the “day of the MiFID” when the law’s new reporting requirements would enter into force. One electronic-trading platform, Tradeweb, even gave its clients a “MiFID clock” to count down to it.

Apprehension was understandable. The new EU law, the second iteration of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (its full, unwieldy name), affects markets in everything from shares to bonds to derivatives. It seeks to open up opaque markets by forcing brokers and trading venues to report prices publicly, in close to real time for those assets deemed liquid. It also requires them to report to regulators up to 65 separate data points on every trade, with the aim of avoiding market abuse.

Title: Europe’s sprawling new financial law enters into force
Publication: The Economist
Publisher: The Economist Group Limited
Date: Dec 31, 1969
© The Economist Group Limited, London 1969
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What To Do With Your Political Site After The Election

Don’t Take Down Your Site After The Election

 

Its something farthest from your mind, I’m sure.  If you’re working for a political campaign you’re pushing forward and the next 5 weeks are all out war ahead.  What to do with your campaign site after the election?  Heck I suspect some of you are just now getting around to your website, or many feel it hasn’t helped in the past so no need to worry.  You’d be wrong if you fall into either of those mindsets, if you’re the diligent one you’ll find the rewards are like a garden.

I started renting a house in my hometown after returning from Chicago and suddenly I found I had room to grow things. I wanted hydrangeas so I planted 14 or so … it took a lot of them to make a show at a gallon a plant. We also planted a grapevine.  Not much happened though, and I could have easily given up after the summer, just ignore them…but they were never going to be mature in one season.  A grapevine takes 3 years before it produces grapes, I learned hydrangeas were “old” wood and new growth wouldn’t come from new plant life.  If you get where I’m going, I’ll stop with the gardening story.  You’re website will not produce fruit in its first couple months.

Domain age actually has both a direct and indirect effect on your ranking.  For one, a website thats been up and running since the last election has had links from other sites organically made, not a ton if you just leave it sitting there but definitely more than if you take it down and just hold on to the domain.  In a previous post I mentioned it takes 3 to 6 months to rank a site, you’ll be a step further if you just leave it up and alone.  (Best not alone, maybe post a new article every couple months.)

Domain Age directly affects your Trust Factor/Citation Factor and your Domain Authority which in turn suggest that your Google standing next election cycle is going to be improved as well.  And stop thinking your target keyword is your name, if someone is Googling your name they’ve already heard of you. Take the big terms like election results, voter guide or the other candidate’s name.

Take seandelahanty.com and judgeseandelahanty.com the first is younger but it has 70 times the backlinks and its been updated religiously, has the social media mentions, it has the content.  The first address is a Domain Authority 23 and the older one is a Domain Authority 2! Its still neck and neck in some searches.  Just today I Googled the candidates name the older one comes up 3rd and the real site thats 2 months old, has 10+ times the domain authority that site is 6th. Here is a representation of how much weight domain age may have, I link to the case study below.  Oh and BTW the new site is actually doing pretty good I think. Page 1 ranking on 45 keywords on Google…100 ranked keywords altogether. But back to the point…

what goes into a ranking

Now let me clear the air though, no matter how old your domain is and consistently you’ve had a site up…if the content isn’t any good its a lost opportunity.  So do make an effort to convey your continued message through your site and when you run for the next office you’re site will be that much more ready.  Final note here, there are a ton of opinions out there on domain age, but no one would disagree a site thats up and updated periodically is more likely to gain backlinks.

SO Just get a cheap web hosting plan and post every few months, don’t just take it down and box it up till a month before the next election.  For further reading on domain authority a case study.  Id recommend that article, it goes over several factors.

And I can tell you one person who’s still got her site up…signs of the times.

clinton

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