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Today SEO SpyGlass, the link and and competitor research software we gave a very favorable review earlier, is adding a new exciting feature and data source – the news is pretty huge, so we decided to announce it as a separate announcement post.
As you know, since there’s no telling how long Yahoo Site Explorer will last the eyes of the search community are set on Blekko as the new open source of backlink data. And it really is a great source. This week SEO SpyGlass is adding Blekko as additional backlink data source which makes the tool even more awesome!
Unlike other sarch engines that have a limit of 1k links per domain, Blekko shows all the backlinks it knows of. Although it has a relatively small index it does give a lot of backlink data. And hopefully, as its index grows so will the backlink data it shows.
Another cool thing is Blekko’s data is pretty fresh, so most of the links it shows are still live.
The problem is the data is presented in regular SERPs (20 results per page) so it’s not very actionable.
SEO SpyGlass enables you to easily drill down into the backlink data and analyze the backlinks, linking pages and domains according to over 40 SEO factors:
Google PageRank of the linking domain and the linking page
Anchor text (or alt text for image links)
Links from .edu, .org and dot-your-favorite-tld sites
Link value, cache data in Google, Yahoo and Bing that is
Alexa and Compete traffic ranks
Mentions of the page and domain on Twitter, StumbleUpon and other popular social media sites
You name it…
Here’s a screenshot of a sample SEO SpyGlass project:
With SEO SpyGlass you can sort and filter the backlink data by any of these factors or their combinations, which makes analysis a breeze and really saves time for acting on the data.
Blekko is available in the Free Edition of SEO SpyGlass which can be downloaded here.
The addition of Blekko brings the total number of backlink sources in SEO SpyGlass to 445, so even if Yahoo Site Explorer does go away SEO SpyGlass will still be able to offer a large pull of backlink data to fish in.
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Secondary research is a research method that uses data that was collected by someone else. In other words, whenever you conduct research using data that already exists, you are conducting secondary research. On the other hand, any type of research that you undertake yourself is called primary research.
Example: Secondary researchYou are interested in how the number and quality of vegan options offered at your campus dining hall have changed over time. You have a friend who graduated a few years ago who was also interested in this topic. You borrow her survey results and use them to conduct statistical analysis.
Secondary research can be qualitative or quantitative in nature. It often uses data gathered from published peer-reviewed papers, meta-analyses, or government or private sector databases and datasets.When to use secondary research
Secondary research is a very common research method, used in lieu of collecting your own primary data. It is often used in research designs or as a way to start your research process if you plan to conduct primary research later on.
Since it is often inexpensive or free to access, secondary research is a low-stakes way to determine if further primary research is needed, as gaps in secondary research are a strong indication that primary research is necessary. For this reason, while secondary research can theoretically be exploratory or explanatory in nature, it is usually explanatory: aiming to explain the causes and consequences of a well-defined problem.Types of secondary research
Secondary research can take many forms, but the most common types are:Statistical analysis
There is ample data available online from a variety of sources, often in the form of datasets. These datasets are often open-source or downloadable at a low cost, and are ideal for conducting statistical analyses such as hypothesis testing or regression analysis.
Credible sources for existing data include:
Businesses or consultancies
Libraries or archives
Newspapers, academic journals, or magazinesLiterature reviews
A literature review is a survey of preexisting scholarly sources on your topic. It provides an overview of current knowledge, allowing you to identify relevant themes, debates, and gaps in the research you analyze. You can later apply these to your own work, or use them as a jumping-off point to conduct primary research of your own.
Structured much like a regular academic paper (with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion), a literature review is a great way to evaluate the current state of research and demonstrate your knowledge of the scholarly debates around your topic.
TipA literature review is not a summary. Instead, it critically analyzes, synthesizes, and evaluates sources to give you and/or your audience a clear picture of the state of existing work on your research topic.Case studies
A case study is a detailed study of a specific subject. It is usually qualitative in nature and can focus on a person, group, place, event, organization, or phenomenon. A case study is a great way to utilize existing research to gain concrete, contextual, and in-depth knowledge about your real-world subject.
You can choose to focus on just one complex case, exploring a single subject in great detail, or examine multiple cases if you’d prefer to compare different aspects of your topic. Preexisting interviews, observational studies, or other sources of primary data make for great case studies.Content analysis
Content analysis is a research method that studies patterns in recorded communication by utilizing existing texts. It can be either quantitative or qualitative in nature, depending on whether you choose to analyze countable or measurable patterns, or more interpretive ones. Content analysis is popular in communication studies, but it is also widely used in historical analysis, anthropology, and psychology to make more semantic qualitative inferences.Here’s why students love Scribbr’s proofreading services
Discover proofreading & editingExamples of secondary research
Secondary research is a broad research approach that can be pursued any way you’d like. Here are a few examples of different ways you can use secondary research to explore your research topic.
Example: Statistical analysisYou are interested in the characteristics of Americans enrolled in Affordable Care Act coverage. You utilize enrollment data from the US government’s Department of Health and Human Resources to observe how these characteristics change over time. Example: Literature reviewYou are interested in the reactions of campus police to student protest movements on campus. You decide to conduct a literature review of scholarly works about student protest movements in the last 100 years. Example: Case studyYou are interested in the acclimatization process of formerly incarcerated individuals. You decide to compile data from structured interviews with those recently released from a prison facility in your hometown into a case study. Example: Content analysisYou are interested in how often employment issues came up in political campaigns during the Great Depression. You choose to analyze campaign speeches for the frequency of terms such as “unemployment,” “jobs,” and “work.”Advantages of secondary research
Secondary data is very easy to source and readily available.
It is also often free or accessible through your educational institution’s library or network, making it much cheaper to conduct than primary research.
As you are relying on research that already exists, conducting secondary research is much less time consuming than primary research. Since your timeline is so much shorter, your research can be ready to publish sooner.
Using data from others allows you to show reproducibility and replicability, bolstering prior research and situating your own work within your field.
Ease of access does not signify credibility. It’s important to be aware that secondary research is not always reliable, and can often be out of date. It’s critical to analyze any data you’re thinking of using prior to getting started, using a method like the CRAAP test.
Secondary research often relies on primary research already conducted. If this original research is biased in any way, those research biases could creep into the secondary results.
Many researchers using the same secondary research to form similar conclusions can also take away from the uniqueness and reliability of your research. Many datasets become “kitchen-sink” models, where too many variables are added in an attempt to draw increasingly niche conclusions from overused data. Data cleansing may be necessary to test the quality of the research.Other interesting articles
If you want to know more about statistics, methodology, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.Frequently asked questions Sources in this article
We strongly encourage students to use sources in their work. You can cite our article (APA Style) or take a deep dive into the articles below.
This Scribbr article
George, T. Retrieved July 19, 2023,
Cite this article
Largan, C., & Morris, T. M. (2023). Qualitative Secondary Research: A Step-By-Step Guide (1st ed.). SAGE Publications Ltd.
Snapchat has announced a number of updates coming soon to its iPhone app. As part of its Snap Summit event today, the company revealed that it will roll out its “My AI” chatbot to all users, add new features to Snapchat Stories, and much more.My AI expands to all Snapchat users
Snapchat first launched its “My AI” chatbot feature back in February, but it was exclusive to Snapchat Plus subscribers at the time. The feature is powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology and can be used to access a number of chatbot features from directly within the Snapchat app.
In a press release, Snapchat explained that “My AI” has the ability to do a number of different things and is highly customizable:
1. Personalize My AI: Your AI comes with one of thousands of unique Bitmoji variations and can be easily customized to make it truly your own. Design a custom Bitmoji for your AI, give it a name, and start chatting.
2. Bring My AI into Conversations with Friends: It’s easy to bring My AI into any of your conversations with friends. Simply @ mention My AI and ask a question on behalf of the group. It will be clear when an AI has entered the chat and includes a sparkle next to its name.
3. Snapchat Recommendations: My AI surfaces place recommendations from the Snap Map and suggests relevant Lenses. For example, you can ask My AI to suggest weekend activities for your family or get the perfect Lens recommendation to wish a friend a happy birthday.
4. Share Snaps with My AI: Our community can send Snaps to My AI and receive a chat reply.
While “My AI” is expanding to all Snapchat users, there is one feature that is going to be exclusive to Snapchat+ subscribers. “Soon Snapchat+ subscribers will be able to Snap My AI and get a unique generative Snap back that keeps the visual conversation going,” the company says.New features for Snapchat Stories
Snapchat has also announced a number of new features coming to its Stories platform. These updates include a new “After Dark” option, support for public “Flashback” posts, and Communities.
Since 2013, you’ve shared your life with friends through Stories, and now there are two new ways to show what you’re up to. The first is a new type of Story called ‘After Dark.’ Next time you’re up late studying or hanging out, add to the After Dark Story. Come morning, see the Story unfold to debrief on the night. The second is Communities, a feature that lets you share your perspective with classmates. Throughout the month, Communities will be rolling to additional schools.
While Snaps and Chats are designed to delete by default, some Snaps are too good not to save. In fact, flashbacks made from Snapchat Memories are viewed over one billion times each day, and now, we’re bringing these throwbacks right into your conversations with friends, so you can relive the moments made up of your favorite Snaps you’ve saved together.
Snap Map, Snapchat’s incredibly popular location sharing feature, is also getting a boost with support for sharing “Live Location” with friends. This is a clear competitor to Apple’s Find My platform, which also allows friends and family to share real-time location with each other.
While Snap Map has existed for years, it previously only allowed you to share your live location with a friend for a set period of time. This update expands on that with indefinite, background live location sharing.
Snap Map is also adding new 3D elements for the actual map interface, as well as improvements to suggested places to visit and additional Bitmoji customization options.
You can find more information on Snapchat’s announcements on its website.
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Congress Cuts Political Science Research Grants BU study may be affected
John Gerring’s research into creating an archive of global data may be imperiled by federal budget cuts. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky
With global history too vast for any single reference source to cover, John Gerring was helping to build a researcher’s Shangri La: an online storehouse of world political, economic, educational, and demographic data, spanning millennia. Then the project ran into the buzz saw of a senator determined to cut federal money for political science research. Now Gerring’s not sure if he’s still in business.
Last month, President Obama signed 600 pages of legislation to keep the government from shutting down, while shutting down much of the nation’s poli sci studies. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) secured Democrats’ approval for an amendment to the bill that eliminates the National Science Foundation’s political science studies, except those the NSF director deems relevant to national security or U.S. economic interests.
“I have no idea how my project will be affected by the Coburn amendment,” says Gerring, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of political science. “I guess I’ll have to start worrying about it.”
His part of the project—CLIO World Tables, a four-university collaboration—was supposed to receive $87,000 in 2014. Colleague Dino Christenson, a CAS assistant professor of political science, has been using NSF money to study interest groups’ strategies and their influence with the Supreme Court.
The amendment and the full bill—a “continuing resolution” financing the government in the absence of an approved budget—cover the rest of the government’s fiscal year, which ends September 30.
Some analysts suggest that the security/economy exception is a large enough loophole that most projects will survive. But “until NSF releases guidance, we don’t know for certain how the law will be implemented,” says Jennifer Grodsky, the University’s vice president for federal relations.
Gerring thinks it’s unlikely he’ll be able to find an alternative financial angel for his project. Christenson got his grant three years ago and doesn’t expect it to be retracted, but the amendment “will affect future research in political science” and “impede research on Congress, interest groups, the courts, the presidency, public opinion, and political behavior,” he fears.
Department chairman Graham Wilson calls the amendment “a bigoted, politically motivated attack on scholarship.” Dean of Arts & Sciences Virginia Sapiro, who is also a political scientist, says the new law means that “we will now be the only democracy in the world that effectively refuses to support systematic, nonbiased research that can illuminate the dynamics of government and politics. How embarrassing.”
Coburn, who has pushed his amendment for years, says it will “better focus scarce basic research dollars on the important scientific endeavors that can expand our knowledge of true science and yield breakthroughs and discoveries that can improve the human condition.”
That argument has drawn objections from journalists on both the left and right. Two years ago, New York Times conservative David Brooks denounced an earlier attempt as “exactly how budgets should not be balanced—by cutting cheap things that produce enormous future benefits.” (At $13 million, the grants are “a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of government spending,” one political scientist wrote last month.)
The liberal American Prospect, meanwhile, reported that even though these grants constitute a tiny portion of the federal budget, they finance most research in the field of political science.
Coburn argues that those who need political data can get it from the media and the internet (although he himself once cited NSF-financed research during a congressional debate). Opponents counter that the media rely on much NSF research—for example, its decades-old National Election Studies tracking evolving public political opinions, partisan identification, and other matters. The Association of American Universities, a consortium of research universities that BU joined last year, unsuccessfully lobbied Congress to discard the Coburn amendment.
The enactment of Coburn’s long-sought restriction coincides with a broader discussion about how helpful a liberal arts education is when looking for a job. Microsoft’s Bill Gates suggested two years ago that state universities focus their money on fields producing future jobs. Ironically, a 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) shows that social sciences majors were among those most likely to get a job, along with business, accounting, computer science, and engineering majors.
A handful of governors have grabbed Gates’ baton. A Florida task force and Governor Rick Scott have proposed a tuition freeze for students in “high-skill, high-wage, high-demand” majors, while hiking charges to students in fields deemed less essential to the state. (Scott cited anthropologists as among the less essential.) Governors in Wisconsin and North Carolina are mulling similar proposals linking education funding to the number of jobs alumni procure.
The NACE survey shows that businesses are looking to hire people with the skills conveyed by liberal arts study, particularly communication and the ability to work with a team.
“We’re seeing increased numbers of employers seeking students of any major,” says Eleanor Cartelli, associate director of marketing and communications at the University’s Center for Career Development.
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Yahoo! Maps Adds Satellite & Aerial Photography
After some careful watching and waiting, Yahoo! has decided to match Google and Microsoft/Windows Live Local, adding satellite and aerial imagery to its mapping product (although it doesn’t quite have the “wow” factor of WLL’s “BirdsEye” photography, which is itself imperfect). The addition of aerial photography fills in a missing piece in Yahoo!’s otherwise very strong mapping application.
Yahoo!’s US mapping product is the second most popular after MapQuest, according to the most recent data from comScore. Here’s an overhead shot of San Francisco on the new satellite view, as an example. Yahoo! says it has high-resolution imagery across the US and the most complete coverage of any mapping provider in the US market. (Yahoo! also says it is considering adding adding ultra-high resolution imagery to US urban areas in the not-too-distant future.)
This development further ups the stakes for MapQuest, the category leader, which has gone on record saying it will be adding aerial imagery in the near term. (MapQuest had satellite imagery years ago but abandoned it — the company was years ahead of consumers with that offering.)
Visual imagery will be extremely important going forward — the Internet in general is becoming more and more a visual medium — but a winning mapping site will require more than good visuals. It will need to have a combination of features and functionality, data/content, personalization and imagery. In the latter case, it means going beyond just satellite imagery and getting down to the street level (whether through 3-D or actual photography) as well. Showing me the site I’m seeking in context (whether a local business in Detroit or a hotel in Delhi) is what visual mapping is all about.
There’s so much going on in the mapping space that this material requires a much longer treatment, which I intend to give it — just not at this moment.
Here are the official specs from Yahoo!:
* Comprehensive Nationwide Satellite Imagery Coverage : Wall-to-wall coverage within the lower 48 states in the US. We are going for the best coverage nationwide, from the streets of New York to every inch of Redding, CA.
* Global Satellite Imagery : The product features global images at 15 meters per pixel (zoom level 5, medium resolution), which basically lets you find and see every city, town, and major land feature in the world at medium resolution.
* Global Maps : We’re releasing maps and overlays at medium resolution for the whole world as well. This should help you view not only the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand, but also help see the context of the imagery in hybrid mode.
* APIs : The new imagery and global maps are available for API developers on the Yahoo! Developer Network. So whether you’re new to the world of mashups or an experienced hacker, there is no better time to show off what you can do.
* Better Views : In addition to getting all the data we can, we’re processing the satellite imagery to make the visuals more aesthetically pleasing for users. We’re blending away seam lines and normalizing the color pallet to create a continuous plane of imagery.
Google is rolling out four new attributes that businesses can use to make their Google My Business listing stand out in search results.
Carrie Hill, a local search analyst with Sterling Sky, Inc., reports the following four attributes have started appearing in business’s knowledge panels:
Businesses can add these, and any other existing attributes, to their GMB profile and Google may show them in search results for relevant queries.
Here’s an example of what the new “Online Care” attribute looks like in search result.
— Tom Waddington (@tomwaddington8) June 15, 2023
Attributes in a Google My Business profile are designed to grab searchers’ attention by highlighting important service offerings.
Searchers can use attributes to make more informed decisions about where to visit.
Attributes have traditionally been tailored toward people visiting the location in person, such as “WiFi,” “outdoor seating,” and things of that nature.
With many businesses still being forced to remain closed, there’s been a shift toward offering online services. In some cases, businesses are serving clients online for the first time ever.
Similarly, people are seeking online alternatives to services they can no longer access in person. This may include doctors, fitness instructors, therapists, and others.
Given the sudden change in services businesses are offering, and the change in services people are looking for, it’s time for Google My Business to be updated accordingly.
Related: How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business ListingHow to Add Attributes to Your Google My Business Listing
Businesses can the new attributes, or existing attributes, to their Google My Business listing by following the steps below:
Sign in to Google My Business.
Open the location you’d like to manage.
You can search for the attribute you want to add, or scroll through all the available options for your business.
Note that all businesses do not have access to all attributes. Available attributes vary according to the category of business.
For example, a pizza delivery place is unlikely to be able to add attributes such as “online care” and “online classes” to their GMB listing.
If your business is one that would have any of the four new attributes as service offerings, then it’s likely you’ll have access to them in GMB.
Google has been rolling out a steady stream of updates to its GMB platform ever since the pandemic hit. This is the second time new attributes have been added in less than a month.
Back in May, Google My Business added three new attributes to help restaurants highlight whether they’re offering dine-in, takeout, or delivery services.
As businesses start to re-open now, I predict the next wave of attributes will be related to businesses’ safety measures.
In the future, businesses may be able to highlight whether masks are mandatory optional, for example.
It may become important for businesses to highlight their maximum capacity as well. Then, searchers can use the in-store traffic estimates to gauge whether it’s a good time time to visit.
That’s just me brainstorming–though I imagine it won’t be long before we see more GMB updates as businesses adjust to the “new normal.”
Source: Local University
Related: How to Get More from Your Google My Business Listing
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