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When it comes to targeting search engines to reach international markets, we’re going to have to do things a little differently. As we expand our horizons we begin to form connections with those who not only speak different language but bring a whole set of different cultural expectations to their business dealings online.

There are two broad approaches to meeting the needs of our international customers. The first option is to focus on languages. Alternatively, we can consider our foreign markets on a country by country basis.

Optimizing by Language

While getting the words right is key to international communication, the SEO strategies at your disposal will not vary widely from one language to another. Bear in mind, though, that when you switch language you also gain the attention of those search engines designed with speakers of that language in mind. It’s worth taking some time to get to know which search engines you need to optimize for.

Approaching your SEO on a language basis can be an affordable and time-efficient option. You can focus on finding the best possible keywords, which may not be the direct equivalents of those that perform well for you in English.

On the other hand, you might not want to optimize by language if you have an interest in promoting your business to certain countries only. For instance, Brazil could be a key market for you while your business is not well-placed to serve Portugal.

You will want to consider too whether some languages benefit from being delivered on a regional rather than global basis. If you are selling fine leather purses, your customers in the US will expect to see a selection of bags but your British customers will be looking for somewhere to store coins. Similar miscommunication can happen with any of the major world languages and can be frustrating for customers.

Optimizing by Country

Opting for your content to be visible to a specific country is known as geo-targeting. Although SEO targeting of this kind can initially seem daunting, the fact that it is more specific can make it a more effective marketing strategy. Use geo-targeting to deliver your online content to the markets that matter to you, without having to worry about those that don’t.

It also gives you the flexibility to deliver locally relevant content to different countries who share a common language, without having to mirror your content on more than one top-level domain. With different pages geotargeted for different countries, linguistic and cultural differences can be allowed for and you can confidently quote local times, currencies and holidays.

Carefully geo-targeted content can help you by reducing the number of visitors who don’t find what they need and hit the back button. This will in turn bring down your bounce rate. Your overall visitor numbers may not increase but you are more likely to see visits that convert.

There will be times when geo-targeting is worthwhile but it is not going to meet the needs of every business or situation. Customers will only be delivered geo-targeted content if they opt to search for local results. Also remember that marking content as relevant to one specific country will mean that potential customers speaking that language in other countries are unlikely to see it.

Another consideration is that many countries have more than one official language, for instance if you want to target Switzerland you would be ignoring around a third of the population if you opted for German-only content.

Get to Know Your Markets

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Optimizing Flash For Search Engines – Can It Be Done?

Optimizing Flash for Search Engines – Can it be Done?

Since the inception of Flash, it has been the programming medium of choice for many companies. Most professionals recognize the superior visual aspects that Flash has to offer. Unfortunately, Flash is also very hard to optimize. Many SEO firms would rather tell you Flash can’t be optimized than to try and optimize it. No, optimizing a Flash site is not simple by any means, but it is entirely possible. The absence of quality content that cannot be indexed is a huge factor regarding any flash presentation. You can add META and keyword tags. Unfortunately, many search engines such as Google do not use these tags.

Large companies shell out big bucks for Flash sites. They don’t want to hear that their site can’t be optimized because of the format. They love the effects of Flash, but more importantly require search engine optimization for their content. Here are some things you can do to increase a sites ranking when dealing with a flash format:

Ideally, you want to get in on the ground floor of a Flash site being developed. Try to persuade the client to have flash headers and the rest of the site HTML based. This would be the most cost effective option. The other option is to create a duplicated HTML. If neither of these is an option, move on to the next step.

Add your META, keyword and description tags to the opening page to be displayed while flash is running. While some may feel that it can clutter a page, the results are hard to argue with. Follow standard SEO protocol. Use keywords in your TITLE tag. Build your link popularity to boost your client in the search engines. Try to link with sites that are pr 4 or more. Never link to sites that have more than 100 links on their link pages. Also, link to sites that allow you to use descriptions. Use keywords in your description. Stay away from sites that only allow banners or no description in linking. Those types of links do not help at all. Remember, links pointing to your site are more important then links going out, so concentrate on those first and foremost.

and follow the directions. You will need to download the .htaccess file in the root directory of the location where all your web pages are stored.

That is all you need to do. Save the file and upload it. Typically you would type in the old url (old domain name) and it would take you to the new url (new domain name). But, in this case we will change the old index file to another name. Create a new optimized HTML page. Then, name it as the old index page. Google will index the new page that is redirected to the flash page. It will look like this

redirect 301 (the instruction that the page has moved)

/old/old.htm (the original folder path and file name)

Basically, we are just forwarding one page directly to another. Not to another domain name. This sounds more complicated than it actually is. This is usually the best way to utilize a redirect. You could also use a java script redirect.

Never use the META tag redirect. Those have already been recognized as a blacklisted move.

I cannot guarantee that these will not get you banned. But, from my research, the 301 re-direct is the best bet. If your site is 100% Flash and you need to rank higher, this will get you results. These are your SEO options for clients with Flash sites.

Drop Columns In Dataframe By Label Names Or By Index Positions

A pandas data frame is a 2D data structure consisting of a series of entities. It is very useful in the analysis of mathematical data. The data is arranged in a tabular manner with each row behaving as an instance of the data.

A Pandas data frame is special because it is empowered with numerous functions making it a very powerful programming asset. Each column in a data frame represents a series of information which is labelled. In this article, we will operate on these columns and discuss the various methods to drop columns in a pandas data frame.

Dropping of a single or multiple columns can be achieved by either specifying the column name or with the help of their index value. We will understand both of these method but firstly we have to prepare a dataset and generate a data frame.

Creating The Data Frame

While creating a data frame we can assign column names and row names to our table. This procedure is important as it specify the “label names” and “index values”.

Here, we imported the pandas library as “pd” and then passed the dataset using a dictionary of lists. Each key represents a column data and the value associated with it is passed in the form of a list. We created the data frame using pandas “DataFrame()” function. We assigned the row labels to the data frame with the help of “index” parameter. Now let’s drop the columns using column names.


import pandas as pd dataset = {"Employee ID":["CIR45", "CIR12", "CIR18", "CIR50", "CIR28"], "Age":[25, 28, 27, 26, 25], "Salary":[200000, 250000, 180000, 300000, 280000], "Role":["Junior Developer", "Analyst", "Programmer", "Senior Developer", "HR"]} dataframe = pd.DataFrame(dataset, index=["Nimesh", "Arjun", "Mohan", "Ritesh", "Raghav"]) print(dataframe) Output Employee ID Age Salary Role Nimesh CIR45 25 200000 Junior Developer Arjun CIR12 28 250000 Analyst Mohan CIR18 27 180000 Programmer Ritesh CIR50 26 300000 Senior Developer Raghav CIR28 25 280000 HR Using Column Names and Drop() Method

After generating the data frame, we used the “dataframe.drop” method to remove the “Salary” and “Role” columns from the data frame. We passed these column names in a list.

We specified the “axis” value as 1 because we are operating on the column axis. At last, we stored this new data frame in a variable “colDrop” and printed it.


import pandas as pd dataset = {"Employee ID":["CIR45", "CIR12", "CIR18", "CIR50", "CIR28"], "Age":[25, 28, 27, 26, 25], "Salary":[200000, 250000, 180000, 300000, 280000], "Role":["Junior Developer", "Analyst", "Programmer", "Senior Developer", "HR"]} dataframe = pd.DataFrame(dataset, index=["Nimesh", "Arjun", "Mohan", "Ritesh", "Raghav"]) print(dataframe) colDrop = dataframe.drop(["Role", "Salary"], axis=1) print("After dropping the Role and salary column:") print(colDrop) Output Employee ID Age Salary Role Nimesh CIR45 25 200000 Junior Developer Arjun CIR12 28 250000 Analyst Mohan CIR18 27 180000 Programmer Ritesh CIR50 26 300000 Senior Developer Raghav CIR28 25 280000 HR After dropping the Role and salary column: Employee ID Age Nimesh CIR45 25 Arjun CIR12 28 Mohan CIR18 27 Ritesh CIR50 26 Raghav CIR28 25 Using Index Values and Drop() Method

We can use the index positions to lock the columns that we want to remove.


Here, we simply used the “dataframe.columns” method along with “dataframe.drop()” to specify the index positions of the columns to be dropped. We passed the “[[2,3]]” argument to drop the “Salary” and “role” columns.

Now that we have discussed both the basic methods for dropping columns, let’s discuss some extended concepts.

colDrop = dataframe.drop(dataframe.columns[[2, 3]], axis=1) print("After dropping salary and role: -") print(colDrop) Output After dropping salary and role: - Employee ID Age Nimesh CIR45 25 Arjun CIR12 28 Mohan CIR18 27 Ritesh CIR50 26 Raghav CIR28 25 Dropping a Range of Columns from the Data Frame

In the above discussed examples, we only dropped specific columns (Salary& Role) but as we all know pandas offers numerous facilities to the programmer and therefore we can use it to create a range of columns to be dropped. Let’s implement this logic.

Using iloc() Function

After generating the data frame, we used the “iloc() function” to select a range of columns and remove it from the data frame. The “iloc()” function takes an index range for both rows and columns. The range for rows was set to “[0:0]” and for columns it was “[1:4]”. Finally we use “dataframe.drop()” method to drop these columns.


import pandas as pd dataset = {"Employee ID":["CIR45", "CIR12", "CIR18", "CIR50", "CIR28"], "Age":[25, 28, 27, 26, 25], "Salary":[200000, 250000, 180000, 300000, 280000], "Role":["Junior Developer", "Analyst", "Programmer", "Senior Developer", "HR"]} dataframe = pd.DataFrame(dataset, index=["Nimesh", "Arjun", "Mohan", "Ritesh", "Raghav"]) print(dataframe) colDrop = dataframe.drop(dataframe.iloc[0:0, 1:4],axis=1) print("Dropping a range of columns from 'Age' to 'Role' using iloc() function") print(colDrop) Output

Employee ID Age Salary Role Nimesh CIR45 25 200000 Junior Developer Arjun CIR12 28 250000 Analyst Mohan CIR18 27 180000 Programmer Ritesh CIR50 26 300000 Senior Developer Raghav CIR28 25 280000 HR Dropping a range of columns from 'Age' to 'Role' using iloc() function Employee ID Nimesh CIR45 Arjun CIR12 Mohan CIR18 Ritesh CIR50 Raghav CIR28 Using loc() Function

If we want to use labels instead of indices for creating a range, we use “loc() function”.


We created a range with the help of “loc()” function. Unlike iloc(), it includes the last column. The “loc()” function selects the columns by taking the column names as the argument. At last, we printed the new data frame with the remaining columns.

colDrop = dataframe.drop(dataframe.loc[:, "Age": "Role"].columns, axis=1) print("Dropping a range of columns from Age to Role using loc() fucntion") print(colDrop) Output

Employee ID Age Salary Role Nimesh CIR45 25 200000 Junior Developer Arjun CIR12 28 250000 Analyst Mohan CIR18 27 180000 Programmer Ritesh CIR50 26 300000 Senior Developer Raghav CIR28 25 280000 HR Dropping a range of columns from Age to Role using loc() fucntion Employee ID Nimesh CIR45 Arjun CIR12 Mohan CIR18 Ritesh CIR50 Raghav CIR28 Conclusion

This article focuses on the simple operation of dropping columns from a pandas data frame. We discussed the two techniques i.e., “dropping by label names” and “dropping by index values”. We also used “loc()” and “iloc()” functions and acknowledged their application on a pandas data frame.

Search Engine Results Protected By First Amendment

Although Google has been the subject of multiple antitrust investigations related to how they arrange search results and rank Web sites, a new 27-page report suggests that Google should be offered the same First Amendment rights as a newspaper. The report, which was commissioned by Google, makes a strong case that search engines are protected by the First Amendment and that the government cannot attempt to control the search results in any way.

Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor, First Amendment expert, and the author of the “First Amendment Protection for Search Engine Results” report said the following:

“Google, Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo! Search and other search engine companies are rightly seen as media enterprises, much as the New York Times Company or CNN are media enterprises.”

Since Google and the other search engines are media enterprises, the report argues that they have a constitutional right to exclude or include certain Web sites and information from their results. In the report, Volokh also indicated that the search results are a direct product of an algorithmic “opinion” based on what is best for the end-user.  The report claimed that the same laws that protect news aggregators, such as the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post, will protect Google from antitrust legal action.

When Paid Content asked Google why they commissioned the report, the search engine stated, “we thought these issues were worth exploring in more depth by a noted First Amendment scholar.” However, with multiple antitrust investigations by the U.S. government, the European Union, and other foreign governments, Google is probably planning to use this report to bolster its legal positions.

When an Oklahoma ad agency sued Google in 2003 for decreased rankings, the federal judge ruled that the search engine’s actions were protected by free speech. In 2007, a California court ruled that Google’s rankings were private property and that they had the right to choose the businesses they feature in the search results.

While this report and the legal precedent related to free speech may further Google’s case in the U.S. court system, the prominent search engine is unlikely to find success with the First Amendment argument in Europe, South Korea, and other foreign countries.

Do you think that search engine results should be protected by the First Amendment or could this result in monopolistic control of information?

Twitter Dm Search Lets You Find Messages By Keyword

Twitter is upgrading the direct message search bar, adding the much requested ability to search for DMs by entering keywords.

This update to Twitter DM search is rolling out to the iOS and Android apps, and will also be available on web browsers.

If you’re thinking searching by keyword is how a search bar is supposed to work, it’s likely you’ll find anyone who will disagree.

However, since Twitter DM search was introduced in 2023, it has lacked the basic functionality of searching by keyword.

Until now, Twitter users have only been able to search for DMs by name, which isn’t particularly useful if you have a long DM thread going with someone.

As I noted when Twitter DM search was first announced, the ability to search for messages containing specific keywords would have been more valuable.

Now, nearly three years after launching the first iteration of DM search, Twitter is giving users the functionality they really wanted.

We know you’ve been waiting for the option to search your DMs…

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 23, 2023

Searching For Twitter DMs By Keyword

Twitter DM search now works as you’d expect it to.

Simply navigate to your DM inbox using a mobile app or web browser, and start typing in a keyword.

Results will populate as you type, displaying messages containing the word or phrase you’ve entered.

You can see this demonstrated in Twitter’s example below:

— Twitter (@Twitter) March 23, 2023

While this is certainly an improvement over Twitter’s previously limited DM search functionality, it still lacks the ability to search for historical DMs.

Search results only go as far back as messages sent and received in 2023.

If you want to quickly find a DM from your earlier years on Twitter you won’t be able to accomplish that with the built-in search bar.

For finding Twitter messages sent within the past couple of years, this update should serve your needs.

Featured Image: FP Creative/Shutterstock

Optimizing For Voice Search With Siri, Google Now, And Cortana

Just when you thought optimizing your website for search on desktop browsers was becoming tough, then comes optimizing your website for mobile search. Once you were almost at peace with the fact that you might have mobile search engine optimization down, then along comes optimizing your website for voice search. Siri, Google Now, and Cortana are just the start.

In this post, I am going to look at how you can optimize your website for voice search. Because, as of 2014, over half of teens, and over 40% of adults were using it on a daily basis. Or more importantly, we’re going to look at the differences between preparing to optimize for search engines that let users search via the spoken word versus the typed word.

Know Which Search Engine You are Optimizing For

While Google may dominate the desktop and mobile search world, could Bing take over voice search? When iOS 7 arrived, Siri began using Bing as its default search engine, meaning that all iPhone and iPad users have to specifically ask to search Google. Otherwise, their queries will go to Bing. And Cortana, obviously, will use Bing by default since it’s Windows.

You might think this means Bing is the winner of voice search. But even though it feels like everyone is an iPhone user in certain circles, the data speaks for itself.

According to the IDC’s latest findings, the 2023 Android market share (world-wide shipments) equals 83.7%, while the iOS share is only 15.3%.

Thus, Android devices – powered by Google – are still winning. The percentage is significantly higher than iOS users, likely due to the high cost of an iPhone or iPad. Hence, Google still likely wins in the voice search world as it does in the desktop and mobile search world.

Read the Official User Guides on How to Use Voice Search

It may sound a bit silly, but start at the ground floor (user-level) of voice search. Pretend like you have just bought your first iPhone, Android, or Windows mobile device. Read guides that an average smart phone user would on how to get the most out of voice search for the first time.

Yes I know, you’re not your average smart phone user or your average searcher. But for just a moment, pretend to be. Because that’s who you are optimizing your website for – the average voice search users.

For example, Apple has a great guide on ways users can use Siri to guide them to personal information on their phone to general information on the internet. It’s quite visual and fun to go through. Even as an experienced iPhone user, you still might learn a thing or two from it.

Overall, the goal is to give you an idea of how each brand behind voice search teaches their users to use voice search. You can use these voice search-specific questions and phrases when you start optimizing your website for voice search, or specific pages for voice search.

Understand the Funny Ways People Play with Voice Search

Some people might think you’re goofing off in your office if they catch you reading articles like 60 Funny Things to Ask Siri, 140 Questions Siri Has Hilarious Answers For, 70+ Awesome Ok Google Voice Commands, and 131 Questions to Ask Cortana. But these are the exact articles you should be reading next, after the general user guides to voice search engines. Here’s why.

You should read them because they are funny, and funny lists like these are ones that people will share with their friends. One of those was shared over 34 thousand times, to give you an example. And because they are funny and shared so often, there are likely a lot of voice search users who learned their voice search tactics from one of these lists, or ones like them.

Hence, you will likely learn more about the ways that people talk to Siri, Google, and Cortana. While some things you read will be irrelevant to your business, other things might be useful regarding questions and phrases that could be applied to optimizing your web pages for voice search. You may even find a way to inject some humor into your business content that could attract your customers and engage them in all new ways!

Listen to the Way People Reference You When Speaking

When optimizing your website for Google search, people typically go to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find out what keyword is typed into search engines most. But when you think about it, most people don’t say things the same way they would write them. The same is likely to occur when they search for things verbally via voice search.

This is why you need to listen to the way people reference you, your business, your products, and your services when you are talking to prospects, customers, vendors, friends, family, or anyone else who might inquire about your business. Listen to the words they use.

These might very likely be the words that people use when searching for you via voice search. Think about your keyword phrases in a more conversational context than a written one. Where someone might type Chinese takeout near me into Google, they would say where is the closest Chinese takeout to me in voice search.

If you don’t normally talk to your customers on the phone or in person, try attending a local business networking event. This will give you a chance to explain your business in person with others who will ask questions and paraphrase what you say in terms they understand. Or terms that people outside your industry would potential use in a voice search query.

Get Mobile-Friendly

Since most voice search is happening on a mobile device, it should be pretty obvious that if you want your website to be found by voice search, it should be mobile friendly for the voice search user. As always, remember that Google, in particular, is a fan of responsive web design, so that should be your first choice.

Also, remember mobile-friendly is not just about design. It’s also about speed. You need your page to load as quickly as possible. Thanks to technologies like Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP, and others, mobile users are becoming accustomed to websites loading faster and faster. Therefore, if you want to win in voice and mobile search, your website needs to fast and mobile friendly.

Get Local-Friendly

Similar to being mobile friendly, it’s important to be local friendly, considering that a lot of people will be using voice search while driving, particular to find local businesses, get directions, or find phone numbers. Hence, you’ll want to make sure your mobile-friendly website also follows the basic local optimization rules of having all of your basic information in text format as opposed to having it in image format.

This includes the following:

Your business name

Your physical address

Your local phone number

Directions from popular interstates / roadways

Help voice search guide people to you. If regular Google search can’t crawl an image, you can rest assured that voice search isn’t going to be able to display an image of your address and phone number to someone driving in their car either.

Test, Test, and Test

As you start to optimize your website or specific web pages for voice search, be sure to test the queries you are optimizing for on each voice search platform. Yes, you might have to invest in an extra, no contract device to get Siri and Cortana, depending on what you own now. But usually they are cheap, and they’re always worth it.

Then start testing your queries just like you were an average person and see what happens. You may find that your website starts to rank in voice search, or you may find the following happens instead.

Be on the Top Networks Voice Search Directs Users To

While we’d love to believe that we can get visitors directly to our website from search engines, that’s not always the case. If you test out voice search for your top queries and find that they lead to networks like Yelp, Facebook, or others, then it’s your job to ensure your business is on those networks.

In some cases, thanks to personalization, you may not have very much control over the situation, like a search for what restaurant do my Facebook friends like the most (if that’s even a search). But if your queries lead you to specific categories on local review directories, then try to get to the first page of those categories and, if possible, the top of the first page.

In Conclusion

As the world of technology evolves, marketers must learn new strategies to keep up with the changes. The same goes for search marketers and the world of voice search. If you follow the tips in this post, you should be a step ahead of your competitors who might not even be paying attention to the growth in voice search and the potential it has to be a game changer.

Image Credits

Featured image: Image by Aleh Barysevich

In-post images: screenshots by Aleh Barysevich. Taken June 2023.

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