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  • SEO in 2014

    Best SEO Tips of 2014 – Comprehensive Guide

    Jun 13 • Quick Tips to Improve SEO, SEO Discussion Posts • 173 Views

    SEO in 2014

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in 2014 is becoming much more complex, so here we recommend some of the Best SEO Tips that will boost your website to better rankings in modern search engines.

    This guide is intended to be a starter guide, though it could be a good checklist for more experienced SEOs to see if they have missed anything that has become more important to SEO in 2014.

    So let’s get into it. Everything starts with keywords. Are you targeting the keywords that are going to give you the best return on investment?

    Using the right tools for keyword analysis

    The most valuable keyword research tool available is the Google Keyword Planner. You will have to sign up to AdWords to use it.

    Enter the search terms that you think your customers are looking for and Google will help out by making suggestions. If we were an SEO agency based in Sydney, we might see something like this.

    Keyword Research - Google Keyword Planner SEO Sydney

    But what do you do when you have this information? You can see there are a range of keywords that people are searching, how many views each are getting in a month, the level of competition and how much you would expect to pay to advertise for those terms using AdWords (ouch). Ad impression share is only  relevant if you are already running ads.

    Tips and Techniques for Keyword Analysis

    So what do we do with our keyword research? This list will help to improve our keyword analysis

    1. Find keywords with high volumes of traffic and those that might create the opportunity for a sale

    This is really simple. Looking at the table above, you can see what volume of searches are being performed in the first column. However, it takes some intuition to recognise which search terms are most likely to become a sale. I try to think about the customer a little here.

    2. Find less competitive keywords with high search volume

    I also know that ranking for longer search terms is easier, because other sites are less likely to focus on those keywords and to use those keywords in exactly that order.  If I had an SEO agency based in Sydney I would probably aim to rank for “SEO company Sydney” even though it gets less traffic than the general term “SEO Sydney.” Your clicks are likely to be much more targeted and more likely to convert into a sale. If I was an individual I would probably try to rank for “SEO consultant Sydney.”

    3. Choose your keyword phrases

    Rather than selecting a single keyword, you have more chance to obtain rankings if you focus on a group of keywords. So select key phrases that have a similar theme and group them together for comparison purposes. I find that it is really important not to try and rank for every possible term you see. If you imagine it from Google’s point of view, that is going to look incredibly spammy and low quality, instead you need to pick an area to focus on. Once you have achieve your ranking goals in one keyword group you can move into other niches or categories.

    Implementing your keywords in your website

    This is what’s called On-Page SEO and includes all the changes you make on your website to rank for your chosen search terms. You have to remember that you are trying to rank for people, not robots. So even if you have the most SEO-friendly content in the world, if it doesn’t make sense to users then you have failed!

    We wouldn’t be very helpful if we didn’t mention the range of tools out there to help you get this done. Since the majority of the blogging world uses WordPress, I recommend you check out a few different plugins. One of the top free plugins is Yoast’s Free WordPress SEO plugin (no affiliation), but we use the plugin ourselves.

    yoast

     

    Plugins like these don’t “do SEO for you,” but they do put all the essential SEO factors at your fingertips. When you create a new post you can set a range of keywords that you want to rank for and then ensure that those keywords are used in URLs, titles, heading tags, paragraph text, image alt tags and any other area that is valued by search engines. It will also help you set up authorship (the little profile picture that can appear beside your listing in a search engine result).

    So how do you write the perfect keyword-focused page? How do you create a page that will rank well, attracting a targeted prospect and create an opportunity to generate a sale?

    1. Your content must be interesting and descriptive to read

    Simple, if your content gets shared you get more visitors… it has to be interesting. Google places more emphasis on site usage now, so if your site visitors go back to click another search result instead, that page is never going to reach it’s ranking potential. Some sites resort to cheap tricks to create engagement, but we wouldn’t suggest that for most businesses. Controversial content can really polarise your readers and they may not agree with your point of view. Beyond engagement, your content should explain why you are an expert in your industry area and why customers should trust you.

    2. Short and sweet titles and headings

    The title must be relative to the key phrase – the keywords must be present. Keep your titles between 40 and 65 characters. Most content is scanned by readers, so it should be easy to follow, punctuated with headings and bullet points that also include your keyword phrase.

    3. SEO Friendly URL

    People like readable URL’s and so do search engines. If your page’s URL is not descriptive and including your key search terms then you are wasting a valuable opportunity. Does your web URL read like:

    www.example.com/page.php?id=357

    Or is it more like:

    www.example.com/seo-tips/keyword-planner/

    You should aim to keep your urls short and readable. But never short at the expense of readability. Having your keywords in your URL is very important for SEO.

    4. Optimal keyword density ratio

    You should use your keywords throughout your content in URLs, headings, titles and paragraphs but don’t overdo it. Making your content too repetitive, unreadable or spam-like will result in getting Google algorithm penalties. People used to talk about keyword density a lot, even becoming obsessed with putting their keywords into the first and last sentence of every paragraph. But, that’s just excessive! Google’s Matt Cutts has said that the more you use a keyword the less impact it is going to have on your relevance for that search term.

    5. Relative Meta Data

    The most common form of meta data is your meta description (the short 156 character description that sometimes gets shown below your link in the search results). However, if Google does not think your description is the best fit for the page or the current user’s search query they will pull content from the page itself instead. There are now a lot more opportunities with meta based SEO, involving special tags to indicate articles, products, videos, authors etc. which will allow your content, such as images, video thumbnails and reviews to be visible directly in the search results. This is a more complex area and will require some more research depending on the content you are trying to optimise.

    6. Original Content

    Google has the most advanced system in the world for finding duplicate content. So don’t risk it. You can get ideas and inspiration from elsewhere on the web, but copying content directly will result in harsh penalties for your web rankings.

    Once you have the perfect post for your key words you are ready to improve your off-page SEO.

    Tips to improve Off-Page SEO

    Some people think that in 2014 link building has become illegal!

    Link Building Matt Cutts

    This is not the case, however link building for the sake of building links is a bad practice. What’s the difference? Well when you provide someone with a link it should be for a good reason. And there are still a million good reasons for sites to link to each other! You might be aiming to direct users to a valuable resource that they would be interested in, to engage in a discussion via comments or even to give your business a plug on a related page. Google can’t say there is anything wrong with advertising your business on another website… their entire business model relies on it!

    Recently Google announced that they were cracking down on paid links. It’s a little bit unfair of them to say, because they take millions of dollars a day in ad revenue from essentially paid links in banner ads on websites all over the net. I believe that Google is not trying to say that all paid links are bad. But, paid links entirely for SEO purposes ARE bad. It’s bad for small site owners that don’t have the budget to buy high PR backlinks and in effect it’s bad for the quality of content that users see in search engines.

    So don’t give up on building good quality backlinks. Build relevant links by interacting with site owners and individuals that are in your industry circles. Web authority is starting to reflect real life authority, so build relationships if you want to build links.

    1. Quality link building

    In years gone past there was a huge number of automated tools that were used to create low quality backlinks through methods like comment spam. In 2014 you must emphasise quality over quantity. A link from 1 high quality site will always trump links from thousands of low quality sites. Write good, interesting articles and the back links will flow automatically to your content. That brings us to point 2:

    2. Use of social media

    Social media won’t help you create “follow” backlinks or links that are highly valued for page authority, however it is an important source of traffic and traffic leads to mentions on other related blogs and websites. We believe that social traffic signals are becoming more important in Google’s algorithm, particularly with the inclusion of personalised Google Plus pages and content in search results.

    So that’s it

    If there’s one thing to take from this, it’s that the internet is no longer just a toy for geeks. The internet is everywhere and it is being used by serious businesses with serious agendas for serious profit. So you must be more dedicated than ever if you want a slice. You really need to put the time into creating quality content if you want to succeed. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, hire someone.

    Hope these SEO tips of 2014 will helps to boost your rank in Google this year.

    Leave a comment with any tips that you have found to be successful!

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  • social-media-drives

    Social Media Driving People Apart

    Jun 8 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 105 Views

    social-media-drives

    Many say that social media helps us keep in touch… Sarah Tanning, 27, says that social media has helped her keep in contact with friends she made throughout school and friends she met during a year living overseas.

    But how does social media affect those closest to us?

    IT’S official; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are taking over our relationships.

    Young people (aged between 18 and 34) now spend more time “interacting” with family on friends via social media than they do in person.

    And that doesn’t necessarily mean we are being brought closer together. The time spent on social media is peppered with ads, memes and non personal content. Social media effectively reduces the need to catch up in person, because over two thirds of the same age group said they would be more inclined to catch up in person if social media did not exist.

    The research shows that people who are heavy social media users are the most likely to experience a greater sense of social disconnection.

    It’s clear that most people are even quite aware of the divide caused by social media. 73 per cent of adults aged 18-34 admitted that they suspect social media is driving people apart, not bringing them together.

    Ebony Bennett, a senior executive with Lonergan Research, who conducted the study, said the results indicated social media only brought people closer together on a relatively superficial level.

    “Young people in particular were very likely to agree that although they have hundreds of friends on social media they feel more disconnected than ever before,” Ms Bennett said.

    “There is a lot of ambivalence and a feeling that not everything is positive about that experience with social media, particularly for young people.”

    Clinical psychologist with the Happiness Institute Paula Watkins said social media is “still a relatively recent human experiment, and can have significant impacts on its users.”

    “Only two in five Australians feel that social media has revolutionised their relationships in a meaningful and positive way,” Dr Watkins said.

    “I think it is really important for us not to get all puritan here, or anti-technology — which would be a losing battle to begin with, but the real challenge is to engage with social media consciously and to work out when it will stop contributing to our happiness.”

    The Happiness report found that 64 per cent of 18-24 year olds used social media to connect with friends and family in the immediate 24 hours before being surveyed.

    But only half that number — 32 per cent — chatted to family or friends over the phone in that same 24 hour period.

    And just 15 per cent caught up with family and friends for a coffee or dinner.

    Related: A spoken word film by Gary Turk went viral in April when it asked users to “Look Up” and put down their phone in order to actually spend more time with people.

    ‘Look Up’ is a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone.

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  • Snapchat founders

    Snapchat Settles For Deception Charges

    May 9 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 178 Views

    Snapchat founders

    Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy attends the Time 100 Gala celebrating the Time 100 issue of the Most Influential People In The World. Source: AFP

    Snapchat has made an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it deceived customers about the disappearing nature of messages and that it collected users’ contacts without permission.
    Snapchat allows users to send photos to each other that disappear after a set number of seconds.
    The FTC says Snapchat misled users by failing to tell them that others could save their messages without their knowledge. The Snapchat app sends a notification back to the user if the recipient has taken a screenshot of the photo.
    However, a device running on an operating system that predates iOS7 does not produce the warning notice. The FTC based it’s case on this and the fact that user details were being captured without sufficient disclaimers.
    The FTC says Snapchat’s app stored video snaps that were not encrypted and that Snapchat failed to secure its “find friends” feature. In January, hackers were able to collect the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchat users.
    Snapchat later issued an update to its app that fixed the issue and allowed users to opt out of the “find friends” feature.
    The settlement doesn’t have a financial component, but if Snapchat is found to violate the agreement, the company could end up paying a civil penalty of up to $ US16,000 ($ 17,000) for each violation.

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  • online-reputation-management

    Managing Your Online Reputation

    Apr 11 • SEO Discussion Posts • 540 Views

    Online Reputation Management

    With an increasing number of review sites and blogs online it is more important than ever to manage your online reputation or at least have an idea of how you look online. It’s one thing to reply to negative reviews or comments and offer to improve your customer service, but how do you find those comments? How do you manage your reputation professionally?

    Most companies spend thousands marketing themselves online, especially in competitive industries, but they never consider how they might look to a potential customer who wants to do a little more research. All a customer has to do is stop for one second before they hit that big “BUY” button and search “Your Brand Review” and all of your online marketing efforts might go down the toilet. You simply must put some effort into managing your online reputation. The whole idea of online reputation often gets glossed over because “people are always going to say good and bad things” or “most people that post reviews are the unhappy ones.” But this doesn’t have to be the case. When you make it easy for customers to review your service as they deal with you you will gain a huge business advantage over those online who don’t simply stop and ask their customers “Are you happy with our service? Please post your feedback here.” or “If you like us, like us on Facebook and post a review here.” These little prompts go a long way to improving your brand image. Using these methods means that you know where the majority of people are going to post their reviews. And that is a huge advantage when it comes to replying to them promptly and effectively. But what do you do if you don’t know where your reviews are being posted?

    How do you Find what People are Saying about You?

    Thankfully, there are a huge number an options for managing your reputation online. Usually they have a tutorial or a simple series of forms and you can have an active reputation management campaign running within a few hours. Here’s where we suggest you get started:

    • Use a various tracking tools.

      At the least you should use Google Alerts so that you have regular reports sent to your email that tell you where your brand is mentioned. But you might like to try other providers and trackers that have additional benefits, such as Rankur, Brandseye and SocialMention.

    • Be dedicated to social media.

      Depending on your business size, that might mean you have a team dedicated to it or it might just be something that you keep an eye on once a day. You want to keep up with social media so that you can not only post regular updates and keep your audience involved, but to monitor what people are saying. It’s very important for small businesses to take advantage of “free media” opportunities. Not every social media format works for every business. Sometimes it is better to pick your choice of social media more selectively and focus more effort on the one that generates sales and profit.

    • Personally own your domain name (and similar domains).

      Particularly for big businesses, it can be important to buy domains that competitors could use for smear campaign purposes. Similar domains can be used to drive traffic (where the user might mis-spell your domain) to competitors and it takes away from the visibility and professionalism of your brand.

    • Start working on your PR.

      A lot of businesses spend their time putting out fires, but is there something you can do to prevent them in the first place? Are there positive events or charities you believe in. Are there scholarship programs you can be part of? You should always seek out chances for good PR that you can share socially.

    What’s the Next Step?

    Once you have taken the above steps to get yourself looking good online, you may need some more advanced tools and suggestions to improve your online reputation.

    • Verify your users.

      If you manage blogs or comments, you should always verify your users to ensure that they are real and the reviews they are giving are real. It’s not an easy task. You should also make effort to ensure their details and privacy is respected and that they know this.

    • Register your brand and protect it!

      In our earlier example we mentioned that a customer might stop mid purchase funnel and in another tab do a Google search on your company. You will hopefully rank first if your SEO is in order (if not, that is first priority!), but what do we do about the 8 other companies jumping in on your business buying AdWords? Simple, register your business name as a Trade Mark and register it with Google so that other companies can not bid on your keywords or even use your business name in their Google ads.

    • Find Industry associations, ensure your brand is trusted.

      If you have industry associations you should make that known to your customers. When they purchase from you online they place a huge amount of trust in you to protect their privacy and even finances if they are making a purchase.

    • Social verification.

      Social verification is another higher-quality trust signal, so you should use testimonials and social plugins that show how many people know and trust your brand.

    Above all it is important that you actually do offer good service, otherwise your business is not going to last long. It is impossible to overcome severely bad products or service for any extended period of time. So, you should at least consider all feedback and whether something can be done to improve your service or product offering. If you consistently get the same feedback, it is time to adapt or die (in a fiery review and comment fueled death).

    What are your tips for managing your online reputation? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  • Nokia and Mercedes-Benz Collaboration

    Nokia-Mercedes: Self Driving Cars

    Sep 11 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 328 Views

    Nokia and Mercedes-Benz Collaboration
    Nokia’s Here business is partnering with Mercedes-Benz to design completely autonomous vehicles. Mercedes’ parent company Daimler wants self-driving cars on the road by 2020.

    Now that Nokia has announced it’s $US 6 billion sale of their mobile phone department to Microsoft it begs the question of what is left? Certainly on the location side it seems that Nokia is targeting Google’s robust mapping business with their Here subsidiary. Both companies have made substantial investments into location and autonomous driving tech. Google has auto-makers Kia and Hyundai on board and Nokia has now revealed it’s working with Mercedes-Benz. Nokia have announced that they are working on “smart apps” – initially to connect cars but ultimately for entirely autonomous vehicles.

    Nokia will have to cover much of the same ground that Google is traversing in its own quest to design the self-driving car, although from Nokia’s perspecitve with a more limited scope. Google is currently testing vehicles across California. Here and Mercedes-Benz have started off by building a 3D map of the route taken by the first ever automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which traveled between Mannheim and Pforzheim in southern Germany on it’s maiden route.

    According to a statement:

    “Based on the particular requirements of autonomous vehicles, this map includes precise road data that go beyond traditional maps, including the number and direction of lanes, traffic signs along the route and even exact coordinates of traffic lights.”

    Naturally, we are still in the early stages of autonomous vehicles, despite various models on the market already offering assisted steering and braking, there is a huge gap between that and entirely autonomous driving vehicles.

    It seems that now is the time for tech-location firms and car manufacturers to stake their claim at the future of the world’s automotive market. Market leaders see the growing integration of cars with new technology as key to market share growth.

    Whilst it can be said that Google is certainly working on a greater variety of technologies for this space and has the lions-share of the location-tech market, the mapping component is crucial and Here seems to be making very solid strides and partnerships.

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  • facebook-stock-lawsuit

    Facebook owes $20m for Like-jacking

    Aug 28 • Bizarre, SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 317 Views

    facebook-stock-lawsuitA judge has approved ordered Facebook to pay $AU 22.27 million for using members “likes” as endorsements for ads without their permission.

    In related stories Facebook:

    • Used members’ “Likes” as endorsements for ads
    • Facebook aims to get more people online
    • Facebook unveils global net access plan

    A US judge has approved ordered Facebook to pay $US 20 million ($AU 22.27 million) for using members’ “Likes” as endorsements for ads without their permission.

    But can you expect to get a cent if you are just 1 of the 1.11 billion claimed Facebook users? Well not only is $US 20 million only 1.8 cents per user worldwide, the pot of money is only going to be divvied up amongst the lawyers, internet privacy rights groups and the Facebook users who filed claims in the class-action lawsuit.

    US District Judge Richard Seeborg reasoned that the sum, a small fraction of the billions being sought in the case, was fair given the challenges of proving Facebook members were financially harmed or that signalling “likes” for products didn’t imply some form of consent. The decision is more of a slap on the wrist to the social media giant than a reward for the public who took part in the case.

    Facebook’s Sponsored Stories program used members’ names or likenesses to endorse ads without getting their permission, according to the legal filing.

    Seeborg estimated the size of the class represented in the suit as 150 million people, but noted that so few had filed claims that there was ample money in the settlement fund.

    “The settlement as a whole provides fair, reasonable, and adequate relief to the class, in light of all the circumstances, including the low probability that a substantially better result would be obtained through continued litigation,” the judge wrote in a ruling endorsing the deal.

    The settlement calls for Facebook to modify its rules to give members greater control when it comes to how their information is used regarding Sponsored Stories.

    “Sponsored Stories, in Facebook’s view, does nothing more than take information users have already voluntarily disclosed to their “friends”, and sometimes redisplays it to the same persons, in a column that also contains more traditional paid advertising,” the judge wrote while detailing his decision.

    “Plaintiffs faced a substantial burden in showing they were injured by the Sponsored Stories.”

    In the end, so few Facebook members have filed claims that it may equate to $US 15 per person negotiating the settlement and have enough cash left over for lawyers’ fees and routing funds to internet privacy groups, according to the ruling.

    An original settlement rejected by the judge recommended the same pool of money, but allocated none of it to Facebook members. The lawsuit was filed in early 2011 after Facebook launched its Sponsored Stories advertising program.

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  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivers a keynote address

    Microsoft CEO Ballmer to retire

    Aug 24 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 290 Views

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivers a keynote address

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivers a keynote address

    Microsoft has announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will step down within the next 12 months. Source: AFP

    MICROSOFT CEO Steve Ballmer, took over the helm of the world’s largest software company from founder Bill Gates 13 years ago. He has announced to key stakeholders that he will retire within the next 12 months.

    Microsoft has not named a successor. The company said it is forming a search committee and Mr Ballmer will stay on until a suitable replacement is found.

    Microsoft shares shot up 9 per cent in pre-market trading following the news. Shareholders seem interested in the possibilities brought by change and it has been said that many were unimpressed with Microsoft’s recent track record, including the limited success of Windows 8.

    Mr Ballmer, 57, first met Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 1973 while they were living down a dormitory hall from each other at Harvard University. He joined Microsoft in 1980 to bring some business discipline and salesmanship to a company that had just landed a contract to supply an operating system for a personal computer that IBM would release in 1981.

    Steve Ballmer Microsoft CEO

    Mr Ballmer, a zealous executive prone to arm-waving and hollering, did the job so well that he would become Gates’ sounding board and succeed him as CEO in 2000.

    “It’s a tad surprising, but every other business head has been rotated out,” said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis.

    “They swapped out all their segment heads over the past few years. The only one they haven’t changed is the CEO.”

    Though investors cheered the news on Friday, Mr Gillis cautioned that it could be a “tough 12 months” for the company.

    “The obvious successor, former Windows head Steven Sinofsky, got booted by Mr Ballmer,” he said. Mr Sinofsky left the company shortly after the launch of Windows 8 last year.

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  • SEO Tool from SEO Chat

    Try This Smart Page-Keyword Density Tool

    Aug 8 • Quick Tips to Improve SEO, SEO Discussion Posts • 348 Views

    Today we’re looking at a smart keyword density analysis tool that you can use on your sites to analyze your keyword choices and appearance in SERPs (search engine results pages):

    Page Keyword Density Analysis

    Following these steps:

    • Perform a search on Google and copy-paste the resulting URL
    • Remove s from https of the URL (to make sure the tool can access it)
    • Add &num=100 to the results to make sure the tool has a ton of text to analyze (the top 100 results)
    • Run the URL through our tool

    Suddenly you have the whole list of keyword suggestions to work with:

    Google SERPs analysis

    Google SERPs analysis

    Mind that the tool takes all on-page content and analyzes keyword co-occurrence – which means you get a good glance of your core-term keyword context.

    If you scroll a bit, you’ll see further analysis of non-linked content (which in this case means analysis of meta-descriptions and parts of the text Google thought was closest-related to your search term):

    Analysis of non-linked part of Google SERPs

    Awesome use of a classic SEO tool. Can you think of any more?

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  • Michael Dell

    Dell founder makes his final offer

    Jul 25 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 254 Views

    Michael Dell

    The buyout offer for Dell led by company founder Michael Dell has been raised slightly. Picture: Kimihiro Hoshino

    DELL’S founder is boosting his offer to buy the struggling computer maker. His offer is up 10 cents to $ US13.75 ($ 14.85) per share in hopes of attracting shareholder support for his plan to buy the company and take it private.

    The from Michael Dell came just hours before Dell’s shareholders were scheduled to vote on his previous offer, which is in conjunction with the investment firm Silver Lake Partners.

    The Round Rock, Texas, company said it was delaying its shareholder meeting for a second time, moving it to August 2 to give its board time to consider the offer. The meeting had been set for later today, after being delayed the week before in a sign that the offer didn’t have enough shareholder support.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake said the new offer increases the total amount paid to shareholders by about $150 million US to more than $24 billion US. They say it’s their best and final offer.

    As part of the new offer, the group also wants to change the conditions for approval to require that a majority of the shares voted, excluding Michael Dell’s stake, be in favour of the proposal. Under the current terms, the group needs a majority of all the company’s outstanding shares, whether they are voted or not, excluding Michael Dell’s stake, to vote in favour of it.

    Dell shares slipped 5 cents to $ US12.83 in morning trading despite the higher offer.

    In their letter to dell shareholders, Michael Dell and Silver Lake said they believe the change is “fair and reasonable” to the company’s other shareholders, especially given the new offer’s additional 10 cents per share for the stakeholders.

    “There is simply no rational basis for shares that are not voted to count as votes against the merger agreement,” the group wrote in their letter.

    Two major Dell Inc. shareholders, billionaire Carl Icahn and investment firm Southeastern Asset Management, have been spearheading an effort to defeat the deal. They depict the proposal as an attempt by Michael Dell to seize control of the company at a sharp discount to its long-term value.

    Mr Icahn and Southeastern have offered a more complicated alternative, but they first need to block the deal with Michael Dell and then replace the company’s board in a follow-up battle.

    A spokesman for Mr Icahn didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

    In a letter yesterday, Mr Icahn and Southeastern ridiculed the four-member special committee for its stalling tactics. “Do not move election day again,” they wrote. “This is not a banana republic.”

    Michael Dell believes he can turn around the company by spending heavily to build better tablets while also diversifying into more profitable areas of technology, such as business software, data storage and consulting. But making those changes are likely to be tumultuous and temporarily lower Dell’s earnings, an upheaval that Michael Dell contends will be more tolerable if the company no longer has to answer to other shareholders.

    Dell’s board says it want to sell to Michael Dell because it believes waiting for an uncertain turnaround is too risky. If the current deal unravels, analysts believe Dell’s stock could plunge below $9, reverting back to levels that have not been seen since late last year.

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  • Merkel

    Merkel Urges Global Data Protection Deal

    Jul 21 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 284 Views

    Merkel

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for an international pact to protect electronic data in response to revelation’s about America’s widespread spy program.Source: Getty Images

    GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has come out strongly in favour of an international agreement to protect electronic data, following revelations by fugitive former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden about the US surveillance program PRISM.

    Ms Merkel told the weekly Welt am Sonntag newspaper that if digital communication raises new questions worldwide, then we should take up the challenge.

    Ms Merkel, who faces re-election in September 22 elections, has been under pressure for weeks to come clean with voters on what she knew about the US online surveillance.

    She remains the frontrunner for the upcoming election, and a new poll suggests the snooping affair is not yet a major election issue – but the opposition hopes this will change while the media is turning increasingly hostile.

    The issue is sensitive for Merkel, who said last week she had only just learnt about the scope of the US National Security Agency (NSA) snooping through media reports.

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  • Duplan

    $25 million for an app that doesn’t exist yet

    Jun 28 • SEO, Tech and Social Media News • 268 Views

    Duplan

    Lucas Duplan has just received $25 million in funding for his mobile payment app. The only thing is it hasn’t even launched yet!

    A TWENTY-one-year-old university graduate has become the recipient of the world’s largest early investment funding, all for a mobile payment app that isn’t yet publicly available.

    Lucas Duplan, a Stanford Graduate, raised $25 million in funding for his app, Clinkle. What the app actually does, nobody really knows for sure. It’s all held under wraps as it hasn’t launched yet.

    The Clinkle website says that it is “rebuilding your analog wallet from the ground up to bring you the future of payment.”

    Duplan is keeping quiet about what it actually does.

    “Our goal is to completely modernise how mobile payments work,” Duplan told Business Insider. “What we’re trying to do is basically take your phone and have it for the first time be able to rival cash and credit cards. We’ve developed a way for consumers to download an app, no hardware needed, and achieve scale from a software point of view.”

    Duplan grew up in California and it seems he has always had a knack for business. He first started making money as a teenager by selling iPod cases on eBay. He also rented out his parents’ wireless internet connection in Croatia – where they are originally from.

    In 2010 at the tender age of 19, Duplan enrolled in a study abroad program between his freshman and sophomore year at Stanford University.

    He said he was inspired to create his app “Clinkle”, after having to carry around piles of coins instead of the notes he was used to using in the US. In fact the app is named after the “clinking” sound the coins made, he told the Wall Street Journal.

    He said he was annoyed that he could use a mobile phone or computer to post a comment on Facebook or send an email free of charge, but that trying to do it with money – which he said was “just another form of data” – was much more difficult.

    A virtual wallet would mitigate the need to even carry around credit cards, let alone cash.

    Duplan has a huge challenge ahead of him, when his app eventually launches for Apple and Android devices later in the year he will be taking on the likes of Google and PayPal who both have huge and well established online payment services.

    Still, he must be doing something right, because companies like Intel, former Facebook COO, Owen Van Natta and wireless technology company Qualcomm (among many others) have all invested their money and faith in him.

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  • Edward Snowden

    Hong Kong Fighting Extradition

    Jun 17 • Bizarre • 210 Views

    Edward Snowden

    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Picture credit: The Guardian.

    HALF of Hong Kong believes their government should not extradite former US spy Edward Snowden, according to a poll which was published a day after hundreds protested in his support.

    The Sunday Morning Post ran the poll, which found that 49.9 percent of respondents thought Mr Snowden, who has dropped out of sight in the city after exposing the vast US surveillance program, PRISM, should not be sent back to the US if Washington files for his extradition.

    A separate survey, which was carried out by the Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey at Chinese University, found that only 17.6 percent of 509 respondents favoured the move, while 32.4 percent were undecided.

    The poll results came quickly after Hong Kong’s first major demonstration on the issue. It saw hundreds turn out in wet weather on Saturday to rally in support of 29-year-old Mr Snowden outside the US consulate and government headquarters.

    Hong Kong has a long-standing extradition treaty with the US, but Beijing still has the potential to veto any ruling.

    Analyst Sonny Lo, of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, said that “Public opinion in Hong Kong seems to be against the American government because of Snowden’s revelation of possible American intrusion into the computers of some Hong Kong people.”

    To show their support for former CIA agent Edward Snowden, demonstrators have marched through the streets of Hong Kong.

    Mr Snowden told the South China Morning Post last week that more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations have taken place globally, targeting powerful “network backbones” that can yield access to millions of individual computers.

    The NSA has targeted hundreds of networks in mainland China and Hong Kong, he was quoted as saying.

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