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Why SEO Is Important For Businesses

Sourced SolVibrations | Guest Writer | December 6th 2014

If you are like many webmasters, you might think about advertising your website on social media profiles or with paid advertisements. Although both of these options can help you get the traffic that you want, you should also understand the importance of search engine optimization. By understanding why SEO is important, you can understand why it is something that you should do for your website.

It’s Affordable

To keep traffic coming in with paid advertisements, you have to pay for them on a regular basis. If you quit paying for them, chances are good that your traffic will go way down. With search engine optimization, however, you can enjoy a lot of traffic for free.

Search Engines are Immensely Popular

Nowadays, many people use popular search engines when seeking information about a business, products and services that might be available and information that they are interested in. If people can’t find your site easily through search engines, chances are good that they will go to another site for the products, services or information that they are interested in. Since search engines are so wildly popular with such a large audience, taking advantage of this popularity can really help you succeed.

You Can Get Help

If the idea of tackling a search engine optimization campaign on your own is enough to make you go crazy, you shouldn’t worry or give up on the idea of promoting your site on search engines. Instead, you can consider checking neueseomarketing.ca for help with SEO services. These companies generally don’t charge a lot for their services, but you might be surprised by the many benefits that you can enjoy after hiring one of these sites.

You Can Do it Yourself

If you don’t want to hire a professional SEO company, you can consider doing it yourself. Although it might take a while to learn the ropes, knowing how to optimize your own site can help you in the future and can help guarantee that you continue to bring in traffic.

It Works

The important thing to realize is that search engine optimization really does work. Although some people worry that it will be dead in a few years, this isn’t something that you should be worried about. As long as you can keep up with the changes and times in the search engine world, you can continue to see results well into the future. Since search engine optimization can work so well, it is definitely something that you should work on; otherwise, you could be missing out on a ton of traffic.

Many people don’t understand search engine optimization, but it is an essential thing to learn about if you are a website owner. By taking the time to learn more about SEO, you can make serious changes for your website and can bring in more traffic than you probably ever imagined, and you can enjoy benefits that you can’t really get from other forms of advertising, such as paying for pay-per-click or pay-per-view ads. Therefore, if you haven’t started an SEO campaign for your site yet, it is definitely something that you should consider in the near future; you might be surprised by all of the traffic that you can bring in if you do.

Role Of SEO In Digital Marketing

Sourced SolVibrations | Betty Elizabeth | March 24th 2015

SEO is the very important part of digital marketing. We cannot imagine digital marketing without SEO. It’s the only technique to gain maximum attention of customers for any product and services. Cost and time required for marketing in SEO is very less when compared to traditional marketing techniques. Online marketing is becoming so popular for people to purchase the gadgets or services. It’s became very important for every business to optimize their website and it can only done by SEO.

SEO is the strategy used by every business to gain a top position in search engine results. Search engines will place the website at the top position if that website has enough traffic, and if it provides people information they actually want. If we enter any query in the search engine it will give you relevant results at the first page. If we didn’t get the result at the top position, then we will try up to two pages to get that information. Because of Google updates we can be able to find relevant information in the first page itself. Google launching new updates to help online visitors to find their result at first page instead of some irrelevant information. If you enter the correct query in the search engine, you will definitely get your information at first page only.

There are many elements which we have to consider in SEO like keyword density, Meta tag titles, inbound and outbound links, content writing and many more. Because of updates it’s become very important to have quality content which will be informative, unique and should not be short. Writing content is not the main area to focus on, but should grab the sufficient audience to the website; otherwise, it’s of no use. Visitors become customers because you have good content on your website. In SEO, content plays a very vital role for promoting your business through social media. Many SEO services companies are following the same technique to optimize their website.

Another important area in SEO is keyword density – many content writers use too many keywords in the content, and it shows you’re writing content for promotion, so avoid using too many keywords and don’t add so many repetitive words in the content, as It will affect the quality of your content.

Inbound linking is the other area where SEO has to be focused. Inbound links are our links which we are placing on another’s website. Google will consider those links because we are placing our links in other websites. If traffic of that website is more, then it could be an advantage to our website because visitors may open our link and in this way you can get traffic to your websites.

Planning of titles also are important. If your content doesn’t match with the title, then your content will be considered as spam. The structure of your Url should not be lengthy and try to include keywords in your Url structures. Professional SEO companies will do the same for optimizing websites.

From the above mentioned information, it is clear how important SEO is in digital marketing.

What a Bad SEO Company Would Probably Tell You

Sourced Solvibrations | Janelle Yu | January 13th 2016

Doing a guaranteed SEO can be daunting and frustrating especially for most business start-ups. Agree? You have to think about effective strategies that can boost your website’s traffic, and how you can grab your audience’s attention immediately. Unfortunately, not all businesses can efficiently and successfully achieve the desired outcome. That is why most of them go for an alternative – hiring an SEO Company.

But before you decide to go off running to every SEO Company, knowing which of them can destroy your website is a MUST! Yes, some companies offer and promise you with great deals but leave you with nothing afterwards. In fact, a lot of you here are convinced and fall for such scams. And I’ll tell you, you don’t want to be tangled and be one of the victims!

Great offers are undeniably a temptation. But as a marketer, you have to be careful with every decision that you make to avoid unwanted results that can jeopardize your business. And to give you an idea, below are some lies most bad SEO Company’s would most likely tell you.

1. “You will get #1 ranking.”

Putting your website in the top rank of the search engine is one of the duties of an SEO Company. Of course, you hire them for that. But just because they promise you the first page of the Google ranking, it doesn’t mean they can also give you a 101% assurance that your website will rank. However, a good company won’t promise but will give you examples of success stories instead, where they made and got their other clients the #1 ranking. When it gets down to business, proving proofs beat promises.

2. “All we do is SEO; it’s our specialty.”

Whether you realize it or not, doing SEO is not just about ranking your website. In fact, it has become a multi-pronged approach that relies on all angles of internet marketing. A good company does not just specialize in doing SEO; they also know how to get people talking about you and your website. Moreover, coming up with creative and engaging ideas and a lot less technical is one of their fortes. They think out of the box, not just doing SEO per se.

3. “If you stop working with us, you will lose all your ranking.”

Unless you do something stupid such as violating Google’s policy, once you have your website on the #1 ranking, they tend to stay there. However, this statement is a blackmail. What else? A good SEO company would be happy when their client is also happy even if the contract is over. Moreover, having the right attitude towards your customer is a sign of professionalism.

4. “You will see results within the first month.”

How we wish this were true, but it is not the case. Doing SEO takes a lot of hard work, effort, and time to see the desired results. Of course, just consider the fact that there are thousands to millions of marketers who also want their website on the #1 ranking, competing with them requires effective strategies. However, companies who promise a one-month turnaround are more likely doing some hardcore and bad link-building. But this might get you into some trouble.

5. “In 1995 we…”

Ok, if you want to make your website rank on the search engine; do not base your opinions and hire companies who are talking about anything they did in the 90’s. Remember, it’s now 2016. And SEO in 1995 was way too different than 2016 SEO. Anything they did before is no longer valid and applicable in today’s ranking strategies.

6. “We know people at Google, so we can get you to the top of the list.”

SEO companies who promise you a #1-page rank since they know someone is working at Google deserve some shaming. Always remember that business is business, and there’s no secret to making your website skyrocket in no time. Again, it requires your effort and time to achieve the desired outcome. Moreover, the feeling is satisfying when you know that all of your hard work is paying off.

7. “You don’t need to be involved at all!”

There’s always something fishy going on if they don’t want you to get involved with the work. However, a good SEO company is open to every work they do. In fact, most of them will also need your full participation and cooperation to ensure an excellent outcome. Moreover, if you are also hands-on in doing SEO, you will understand the process and what it’s all about.

6 must things to have by 40

Sourced Rappler | MoneyMax.ph | June 12th 2014

Nearing 40 and have nothing yet to speak of? Put your finances in order—now

Twenty-somethings have the time and strength but not enough money to buy and do things they want. Retirees can have enough money, but have the least time and strength.

Thus they say “life begins at 40.” It is true in a sense that most people should be stable, ideally, in all aspects of their life when they turn 40—the “prime” stage in a person’s life.

It is when you are 40 when you can do and be in your greatest potential—and at least, have already achieved the following:

1. Property

When you reach 40, society expects you to be living on your own and having a family. If you get married at around 25, the first thing that you should consider before or right after your wedding is acquiring your own home. If you availed a home loan, you should be fully paid or nearing it by today.

 

2. Good credit score

Your life will be stressful when you are still paying debt at 40. Considering that as you age, more responsibilities are coming your way—wedding bills, birth, education, emergency fund, and so on. If you do not pay your debts early on, it will be harder for you to pay for it as you go along with your life.

 

3. Stable cash flow

By the time you’re 40, you should not be in a situation wherein you are clueless on where to get money for what. You should have the budget for everything and it is clear to you where will you get it. Proper financial management takes time and discipline to master, and by this time, you should have mastered it after years.

 

4. Investment

Following stable cash flow is your financial ability to invest. Investing is great because you let your money work for you instead of putting it in your bank, which only earns little in interest. Stocks, mutual fund, and bonds are some investment options available.

 

 

5. Insurance

Life is unpredictable. You get sick, you get hospitalized, and you die.  You do not want to stress yourself further on collecting money for such unfortunate incidents. If you are insured, you can save time and money while saving you from unnecessary stress.

 

 

6. Retirement fund

The misconception about retirement fund is that you should have it when you are old. But there is a difference when you want it that way or you really need to work as long as you have the strength to do so. If you build your retirement fund early, you will have that freedom to stop when you want to.

 

Do not wait until you are 40 before considering to prepare for these things. While you still have the time, strength, and opportunity to work on building the life you want for you and your loved ones, maximize what you have today so you will have a comfortable life after 40 and beyond. – Rappler.com

WordPress Will Require Users to Have HTTPS This Year

Sourced Arnaud Broes | Semper Plugins | June 6th 2017

WordPress Will Require Users to Have HTTPS This Year

WordPress recently announced that it will require all hosts to have HTTPS and restrict certain WordPress features to sites that have a valid SSL certificate.

Don’t panic just yet. If you already have HTTPS, this shouldn’t affect you. But if you’re still using HTTP, you’ll need to upgrade soon. The good news is that the transition is not as difficult as you think it is and the benefits outweigh the assumed disadvantages.

This article will go over what the WordPress HTTPS mandate means for you as a site owner; the advantages; as well as how to upgrade to HTTPS if you haven’t already done so.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS adds a security layer to HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTPS essentially encrypts data (using SSL or TSL) that is communicated between servers and clients until it reaches the intended recipient.

This prevents cybercriminals from accessing sensitive user information and also reduces the risk of tapping and modification of sensitive data. Although HTTPS is not completely foolproof, it undoubtedly has major security advantages.

HTTPS sites can be easily identified, as they have a locked padlock icon located on the link bar in most common browsers.

Why is WordPress Pushing HTTPS?

There’s mainly two reasons for this, so let’s quickly dive into them.

Google Prefers It

It is no secret that greater encryption and cyber security has made the Internet a safer place for users. As usual, a Google update signaled the necessity of HTTPS for user experience, SEO and internet security.

In 2014, Google suggested that enabling HTTPS on your site could result in higher search rankings. Although it still isn’t the only important factor in raising your site rankings, you shouldn’t underestimate its value. For example, if two sites are equal in all ways, but one site has HTTPS, that site would get a boost in rankings.

https green padlock image

Chrome will display a green padlock in the link bar when a site is using HTTPS, assuring users it’s using the latest security protocol.

In January of this year, Google released version 56 of Google Chrome. This new release brought about some changes, notably with how Google Chrome treats HTTPS vs. HTTP sites. The browser now clearly identifies sites that are not operating HTTPS on their systems. For example, a “Not Secure” message now appears on pages without HTTPS that try to collect passwords or sensitive information. You can expect that, eventually, all pages not using HTTPS will clearly be labeled as having insecure connections.

We can reasonably assume that Google’s preference for HTTPS has been a contributing factor for the changes implemented by WordPress.

Users Prefer HTTPS Too

A secure connection can make all the difference from a user’s perspective. Users see HTTPS as a positive signal that you are taking your site security seriously, for their benefit. So, having HTTPS could mean more traffic and longer usage times on your site.

HTTPS is particularly important if you are operating an e-commerce site. Simply seeing the padlock icon could make users more comfortable in entering their payment details and other personal information. Particularly with the new Chrome update (mentioned earlier) which shows a “Not Secure” label on e-commerce sites or sites that require a user login or credit card information, but don’t have HTTPS.

Both Google and user preference should be enough reason for you to upgrade your site to HTTPS. It is simply necessary to ensure watertight security for your users and to protect your online business reputation.

Remember when JavaScript was first introduced and quickly embraced by users and webmasters? Looking back, we can see now that JavaScript was essential for smoother and better user experience. HTTPS similarly, presents a number of unique advantages for user experience and security that we should all quickly embrace.

We know that you may be overwhelmed switching from HTTP to HTTPS. After all, change does takes time to get used to, but in this instance, you may need to quickly get on board. At this point, the advantages of HTTPS have greatly outnumbered the disadvantages. Plus, upgrading to HTTPS is no longer the costly, time consuming, and difficult process that it once was. In fact, getting an SSL certificate in 2017 is fast, sometimes free, and quite easy to implement.

How to Get HTTPS

WordPress hosting partners should now provide an SSL certificate for all accounts. (It is required that they all do so as early as the first quarter of this year.)

Your hosting provider may already provide a free SSL certificate, so check with them first before you make any third-party purchase. If they do not offer a free one, you could ask them if they sell third party SSL certificates. Once purchased, you can ask your provider to install the certificate for you on your server.

Another option is to explore the free alternatives, independent of your hosting provider. There are projects such as “Let’s Encrypt” which have now made it easy and quick to secure a free HTTPS certificate for your website.

Let’s Encrypt is an authorized open Certificate Authority with millions of active certificates in place. There are other comparable projects out there that can help by guiding you step-by-step through the installation process or who have been authorized to deliver certificates.

Remember that SSL certificates upgrade the website, but not the content itself. That means that the content on your page will also need to be updated so as to avoid 404 errors. Google may interpret the error as a mismatch in the security level of your site. The only way to avoid this is by encrypting the content of your website to match your SSL certificate.

To track and resolve any 404 errors on your site, you may want to use a specialised plugin such as Redirection to do so.

What if You Just Don’t Want to Upgrade to HTTPS?

You could see a number of things happening to your site over time if you do not upgrade to HTTPS. The first may be facing the consequences set out by Google, i.e: lower rankings and having your users staring at a “Not Secure” warning when they try to access your site via Google Chrome.

The second is that you could struggle with WordPress updates and lose some or all functionality on specific WordPress plugins.

Third, your site may be an easier target for hacking.

Those are three consequences that require you to seriously reconsider if you really want to take the risk of not upgrading to HTTPS.

Wrapping Up

Let’s put it this way: you will simply have nothing to lose by adopting HTTPS. Yet, if you do not use HTTPS, you could risk leaving your site in the “dark ages” of the Internet.

But then again, if you’re a WordPress site owner, you have no choice. Take the plunge and let us know how it worked out for you!

20 Tips To Use Google Search Efficiently

Sourced Joseph Hindy  | April 1st 2015

Google Search tips

Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. Did you know that you may not be using Google search to its full potential? Here are 20 tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency.

1. Use the tabs

The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.

2. Use quotes

When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

3. Use a hyphen to exclude words

Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.

  • Mustang -cars

This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

4. Use a colon to search specific sites

There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

  • Sidney Crosby site:nhl.com

This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on NHL.com. All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.

5. Find a page that links to another page

This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page. Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below.

  • link:nytimes.com

That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.

6. Use the asterisk wildcard

The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.

  • “Come * right now * me”

To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

7. Find sites that are similar to other sites

This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.

  • related:amazon.com

If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

8. Use Google search to do math

As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.

  • 8 * 5 + 5
  • Planck’s Consant

If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant. So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.

9. Search for multiple words at once

Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.

  • “Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”

By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below.

  • chocolate OR white chocolate

This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!

10. Search a range of numbers

Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit. People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below.

  • What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
  • 41..43

In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results. In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

11. Keep it simple

Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

  • Pizza places nearby

Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

12. Gradually add search terms

There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option. As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below.

  • First try: job interviews
  • Second try: prepare for job interviews
  • Third try: how to prepare for a job interview

This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step. Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

13. Use words that websites would use

This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples.

  • “I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
  • “My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”

The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

14. Use important words only

The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example.

  • Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
  • Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
  • Or: Chinese restaurants near me.

Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

15. Google search has shortcuts

A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.

  • Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
  • What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
  • The math example posted above is another one.
  • What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
  • Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
  • You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.

These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

16. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter

Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples.

  • If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

17. Use descriptive words

Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

  • You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
  • When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”

There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

18. Find a specific file

An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple.

  • *Search term here* filetype:pdf

In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

19. Money and unit conversions

Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies. If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it.

  • miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
  • USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.

It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

20. Track your packages

Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there. No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

Google Search wrap-up

Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web. Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.

6 habits that will keep you poor for the rest of your life

Sourced Kuza Blog  | April 1st 2015

Poverty ball

You were born poor, but if you die poor you have yourself to blame. Before you finish reading this article, at least 8 out of 10 people will have done something that contributes to their future poverty. Only 2 out of 10 will have done what is required to remain prosperous in the future. The question you need to ask yourself today is, “I’m I among the lucky 2 or the not-so-lucky 8?”
Here are 6 habits that could easily draw your route-map to a life of perpetual poverty.

1.You focus on linear income instead of passive income

 Most people focus on linear income in the name of salary, allowances and one-off payments. Wise men on the other hand focus on passive income in the name of royalties, interest rates, value addition and profit.
Relying on linear income is similar to using buckets to fetch water from the river. With time, you’ll get too old and too tired to transport them to and fro and that means you’ll have to starve for as long as you don’t go to the river.
buckets
Relying on passive income on the other hand is similar to building a pipeline. It may require a lot of work at the beginning but with time, you’ll no longer have to go to the river to get water – the river will come to you and you’ll not starve.
This is the most fundamental principal of wealth creation that most (including you) are oblivious about.
2.You’re still waiting to start your journey of success
Everyone wants to succeed but very few people are willing to step into the cold waters. Do you see the problem here? In the history of the world, no marathon race has ever been won (or even finished) by someone who never left the starting line.
As you’re stuck saying that you have no enough capital to start, someone else is busy making good use of whatever little they have.
As you’re busy lamenting that there are no business ideas, someone else is busy sharpening his innovation claws.
When you’re busy complaining about a problem in your society, someone else is busy thinking how to start a business that solves that problem.
Continue waiting at the starting line and poverty will soon find you there to keep you company.
3.When you earn more you spend more
money-money
Consistently raising your expenditure is a good way to accumulate debt and to remain stuck in the echelons of poverty. To stay out of bad debt, you will either need to find a way to earn more or spend less. The first and best option is to find ways to earn more and keep your expenditure constant.
As you know this can only be done by creating multiple streams of income and lot’s of thinking is necessary in that case.
The second option is to simply cut on unnecessary expenses. The money that is saved from these budget cuts could be used for embarking on future investment programs.
4.You complain instead of committing
“Life is too expensive”; “It’s hopeless; I’ll never get out of debt”; “I don’t earn enough money.” Have you ever uttered any of these statements before, or perhaps all of them? Old habits die hard; however, as long as you do nothing to change; then you and your coming generation have a direct ticket to the land of poverty.
Stop complaining and making lame excuses. Instead, take responsibility for your non-productive habits and focus on changing them – then do it!
5.You live for today, hoping tomorrow will care about its worries
In the 1950s a scientist from Harvard University studied the reasons for upward socio-economic mobility. He wanted to know how comes some generations get wealthier while others get poorer. All his research brought him to a single factor that he concluded was more accurate than any other thing in predicting success – he called it “The Time Pespective”.
clock
Time perspective is basically how far you project into the future when you make a decision today. An example of a long-term perspective is when a wise family man buys land or insurance for their child, even though he or she will not need it for the next eighteen years. This is a long-term approach that involves sacrificing in the short term to assure better outcomes in the long-term.
Most people remain poor because their “time perspective” is focused on short-term goals such as meeting basic lifestyle needs, buying luxury items, paying rent etc…are you one of them?
6.You just don’t get it!
The problem is that you keep learning but you don’t get it. You’re educated but you’ve never internalized what your teachers told you. You have knowledge but you don’t want to think too hard how to use it. You’re still stuck at the starting line all along because you don’t want to start small and grow bit by bit from there. You’re still stuck in the lottery mentality hoping that one day you’ll wake up and voila! discover “the newest, incredibly easiest way to get wealth.”
Final Word
Most people remain poor, not because they don’t have the knowledge. Not because they don’t read PNGS Blog and other business-related articles. But because they don’t LEARN BY DOING. They just don’t get it!
Being wealthy and prosperous requires more than just physical ownership. It is a state of happiness, well-being while wishing the same for others. So while you are working to escape from poverty, remember to be happy along the way!

Preparing your family for an earthquake

Sourced Rappler  | March 29th 2015

Preparing your family for an earthquake

“Safety must start from homes” .

MANILA, Philippines – Is the Philippines ready for a big earthquake?

With the country surrounded by various active faults and trenches, earthquakes – whether weak or strong – are expected to occur. (READ: Strongest earthquakes in the Philippines)

In fact, a 2004 study conducted by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the Metropolitan Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) found out that a magnitude 7.2 earthquake could destroy 40% of the buildings and could kill about 30,000 – 40,000 people in Metro Manila – the country’s business hub and where government agencies are located.

While schools and offices in different parts of the country conduct earthquake drills regularly, these are focused on what the public and the government should do during and after an earthquake. (WATCH: LIVE: #OplanPagyanig: National Earthquake Drill)

But what are the ways to prepare for it?

On Thursday, March 26, MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, held a #ZeroCasualty conversation on Facebook to discuss earthquake preparedness and safety with guests from Phivolcs and Red Cross.

In a country prone to geological hazards, Phivolcs stressed the importance of preparedness, which should start within the family.

“Safety must start from homes. A family should discuss and have a plan as to what they should do in case of an earthquake,” the agency said.

Here are some ways on how families can be prepared for the “big one.”

  • Know the earthquake hazards in the area
  • Be conscious of the structural integrity of the house
  • Set up furniture and appliances in a way that they will not topple when there is a strong ground shaking
  • Prepare emergency bag/kit for each member of the family

Below is a Phivolcs infographic on what to do before, during and after an earthquake strikes

Earthquake awareness infographic

While earthquakes in general, cannot really be predicted, the risks it poses can be reduced by avoidance through proper planning, according to Phivolcs.

The Key Differences Between a Commercial Bank, SSS, and Pag-IBIG Housing Loans

Sourced imoney.ph  | March 3rd 2017

The Key Differences Between a Commercial Bank, SSS, and Pag-IBIG Housing Loans

For many of us, our ultimate dream is to stop renting and purchase our own home. Unfortunately, the majority of us do not have enough money to pay for our entire house in cash. That’s where a home loan comes in. Buying your first home is a major investment, and applying for a housing loan is something that you should approach with care and thought.

The first step in your home buying journey is to use a mortgage calculator. It’s usually a free, online tool that will help you determine how much financing you could qualify for. After you have an idea of how much financing you will need, it’s time to pick a lender.

When we think of a housing loan three products come to mind: a Pag-IBIG housing loan, a SSS housing loan, and a commercial bank housing loan. Since your home is one of the largest purchases you will make during your lifetime, it’s important to pick a financing option that best suits your current lifestyle. Deciding which financing option to choose from may seem like a daunting task, but we’re here to help. Below is an in-depth description of each housing loan option, as well as a comparison chart to help you pick the home loan option that is best for you.

Pag-IBIG Housing Loan

The Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), or the Pag-IBIG Fund is a national savings program that was created to provide affordable home loans for Filipinos. A Pag-IBIG house loan can be used to purchase a brand-new property, fully developed or adjoining lots that do not exceed 1,000 square meters, a residential house and lot, condominium, or townhouse. You can also use a Pag-IBIG house loan to complete construction, or refinance your current home.

With a Pag-IBIG housing loan you can obtain financing up to ₱6,000,000.00, and get a maximum repayment term of 30 years. The amount you are approved for will depend on your need, capacity to pay, and loan-to-appraisal value ratio.

The Pag-IBIG loan-to-appraisal value ratio is as follows:

Loan Amount Appraised Value
Up to ₱400,000.00 100% of the home amount can be financed through Pag-IBIG
From ₱400,000.00 – ₱1,250,000.00 90% of the home amount can be financed through Pag-IBIG
From ₱1,250,000.00 – ₱6,000,000.00 80% of the home amount can be financed through Pag-IBIG

Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of a Pag-IBIG loan is the affordability of the program when compared to other products on the market. You can use this Pag-IBIG Fund Housing Loan Affordability Calculator to get an idea of how much you will be able to borrow based on your income, repayment term, fixed pricing period, and the estimated value of the property you are interested in.

To qualify for a Pag-IBIG house loan you must be a Pag-IBIG member, and must have 24 monthly contributions under the “Pag-IBIG Membership Program.” If you have not made 24 contributions, you have an option to pay 24 months as a lump sum to qualify for the program. In addition, you must not be over the age of 65, cannot have any existing Pag-IBIG housing loan, and cannot have any outstanding multi-purpose loans. You also must not have any previous Pag-IBIG loans that were foreclosed on, cancelled, or bought back due to default. You can get approved for your Pag-IBIG housing loan in as little as 16 working days, if you submit all of the necessary paperwork.

Related Article:How to process a PAG-IBIG loan the step-by-step guide?

SSS Housing Loan

The Social Security System (SSS) Housing Loan, was built to provide working Filipinos with low-cost housing, home loan assumption, and home improvements. An SSS Housing Loan is issued by the Social Security System, a state-run social insurance program. SSS Housing Loans are not as common as Pag-IBIG Housing loans, but still carry many benefits.

You can use a SSS Housing Loan to purchase a lot and construct a new house; purchase an existing residential unit such as a house and lot, condominium, or townhouse; or to construct a new house on a lot that you own which is free from encumbrances and liens.

With an SSS Housing Loan you can borrow up to ₱2,000,000.00, but the actual amount you are granted is based on the lowest of the following:

  • Appraised value of collateral totaling at least 70% but not over 90%.
  • Your capacity to pay.
  • Your need based on the type of work you wish to complete and materials evaluated by the SSS.

Your loan repayment term can be repaid in multiples of five years, with a maximum repayment term of 30 years. Interest rates vary with an SSS Housing loan between 8.0% per annum and 11% per annum as outlined below.

Loan Amount Interest Rate
Up to ₱450,000.000 8.0% per annum
From ₱450,000.00 – ₱1,000,000.00 9.0% per annum
From ₱1,000,000.00 – ₱1,500,000.00 10.0% per annum
From ₱1,500,000.00 – ₱2,000,000.00 11.0% per annum

To qualify for a SSS Housing Loan you must be a member of the SSS, be a member of a registered workers’ organization, have at least 36 months’ premium contribution and 24 continuous contributions before the time of your application, cannot be more than 60 years old at the time of your application, cannot have previously been granted an SSS housing loan, and cannot have previously been granted final SSS benefits.

Related Article:When does buying a home make more sense than renting?

house model and documents

Bank Housing Loans

There are many banks to choose from when it comes to home loan financing. One of the best ways to get started with deciding where to get a bank loan is to do research on various financial institutions that interest you or with the ones you’re currently using. Utilize a tool such as a home loan calculator to get an estimate of how much you could finance with a bank.

Banks differ in terms of rates of interest and loan terms. Overall, here is what you can expect from a bank. First, you can use a bank loan to: purchase a townhouse, condominium, vacant lot or house and lot. You can also use a bank home loan to complete construction and home renovations, or to refinance your current home loan. The amount of money you can borrow from a bank for your home loan will vary, and will be dependent upon your capacity to pay. Repayment terms are also variable depending on which bank you decide to get your home loan from. Since banks can provide you with so much flexibility in terms of financing options, doing thorough research before signing any loan document is of utmost importance. Like any loan amount, banks vary in the amount they are willing to finance. Some banks offer 80% to 90% financing, while some offer as low as 70% total financing. Interest rates also vary depending on the bank, the total loan amount, and the loan tenure you decide on.

The qualifications for a bank loan are a little less strict. In most instances, a bank membership is not needed, there are no contribution requirements, and you do not have to have a savings account. You must be a Filipino citizen, or have a Visa if you are a foreigner. Banks traditionally have quicker approval times than other home loan options. If you decide to go with a bank for your home loan financing needs, the best way to ensure fast approval is to fully complete your online home loan application.

In order to be approved for a home loan from a bank, you must have a steady monthly family income. The amount you qualify for, and the rate you receive will be largely dependent on your capacity to pay. Online tools such as a BDO Home Loan Calculator can provide you with an idea of the type of financing you could receive from a bank as compared to a Pag-IBIG Housing loan or SSS Housing Loan.

Related Article: Figuring out how much of a house / condo you can afford?

Which Home Loan Option Is Best For Me?

Buying a home is a major milestone, and you want this time to be memorable, not stressful. That’s why it’s important to pick a home loan that suits your individual needs.

  • Pag-IBIG Housing Loan: If you are looking for a straight forward home loan with a low interest rate and flexible payment terms, a Pag-IBIG house loan would be a great financing option for you.
  • SSS Housing Loan: If you are a Filipino worker who is part of a registered worker’s organization you could greatly benefit from the low-cost housing options offered by an SSS Housing Loan.
  • Bank Loan: If you want a bit more flexibility with your home loan in regards to rate of interest, payment term, and financing amount, a bank home loan may be the way to go.

Above all, remember to utilize a mortgage calculator while doing your research to help you determine how much financing you could quality for, before you start looking for a house. Doing this will help set up expectations, and help you determine what type of financing would be best for you.

Related Article: Are you mature enough to buy a home?

How to get a Driver’s License in the Philippines?

Sourced MoneyMax.ph  | January 13th 2015

MM_DriversLicense_100314

There’s this indescribable mix of excitement and anxiety for first-time drivers and first-time car owners. But to take things on a legal point, you definitely need a driver’s license before you bring your wheels on the major roads. Spare yourself from spending your first thousand of pesos to the MMDA for driving without license.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), is responsible in drivers licensing and motor vehicle registrations. According to the Official Gazette (gov.ph), a driver’s license is “an official document authorizing an individual to drive a motorized vehicle in the Philippines.

read more: List of LTO Branches

LTO has three classifications of drivers licensing: student permit, non-professional driver’s license, and professional driver’s license. Before going to any branch, you have to decide what kind of license you will get. As the name implies, a Professional Driver’s License entitles you to drive a vehicle for a living. Apply for Professional license if you will drive any public utility vehicles (PUVs) such as jeepneys, tricycles, taxi, etc. On the other hand, a Non-Professional Driver’s License allows you to drive private vehicles. In both licenses, a prerequisite is a valid student’s permit, which is “an official document authorizing a person to operate a motorized vehicle in the presence of a duly licensed driver.”

Eligibility for Drivers Licensing:

  1. You must be at least seventeen (17) years old.
  2. You must be physically and mentally fit to operate a motor vehicle.
  3. You must not be a drug user or alcoholic.
  4. You must be able to read and write in Filipino or English.
  5. You must be clean, neat and presentable.

For Non-Pro driver’s license, take note of these steps:

List of Driver’s License Requirements

  1. Duly accomplished Application form for Driver’s License (ADL).
  2. Valid Student Permit (at least 1 month old)
  3. Medical Certificate with Official Receipt (from LTO accredited or Government physician)
  4. Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) if employed
  5. Passing score in the written and practical examinations

 

1. Get a Student Permit

Before applying, you should accomplish a Student Permit also from LTO. When testing your driving skills on the road on your first few tries, you’ll need to present this permit to authorities who might issue you a ticket. A student permit will cost you around PHP 300 for 2-3 hours of processing. The one-month-old student permit is your time to really practice your driving.

2. Medical Examination

Before filing your application for a driver’s license on the same day, you will be required to get a medical examination which will cost around PHP500. Make sure that you only deal with LTO-accredited clinics, usually near the LTO branch.

3. Road Signs and Major Traffic Rules

As early as the thought of driving pops in your head, be wary of the road signs. In your exam, you will be asked for around 50 questions of road signs. If you pass the exam, you will get in to the next step.

4. Practice driving

When you apply for any of the two driver’s license, your skills will be test through a practical exam facilitated by an LTO officer and gauge if you’re capable of driving. It is notable though that a lot of people brags about getting a license without undergoing this process. But in reality, these people are the ones who get caught in vehicular mishaps because of foolish risks. No one is worthy to be on the road without any driving knowledge.

Here’s a run-through of your expense for that day:

Transaction Cost
Medical Examination Php 100.00
Application Fee + Computer Fee Php 167.63
Driving Test Fee Php 400.00
License Fee + Computer Fee Php 417.63
TOTAL COST Php 1,085.26

Source: http://www.lto.gov.ph/index.php/services/drivers-licensing/115-summary-of-drivers-license-and-permits-fees-and-charges