Google it - The Crippling Truth Engine

Google It

Source

A truth engine ? Well that’s what some people think. Google may be many things, but it doesn’t deserve that distinction.. no search engine does.

After reading an article a few days ago it got me thinking about the “truth” perception that people have about this massive search engine.

How often do you find yourself in a situation saying, well I’ll just Google it ?

Just Google It

As a matter of fact, I was in church last weekend and one of our pastors was talking about a ministry camp that he was a leader at. In a room full of middle schoolers who he was in charge of everyone got a little rowdy in response to something they saw on tv pertaining to a sporting event.

He immediately thought, hey I should know this (being a man amongst a bunch of other boys ya know and he didn’t want to be the “one guy” that didn’t know what they were getting all rowdy about) and you know what his first thought was ?

He thought to himself, I should Google this. Of course he was also thinking this to obviously help himself save face in a room of other guys as well.

Nevertheless, we have been conditioned basically to see that (e.g. Google) as our first response in many many similar situations. You know those situations where you discretely pull out your phone and find Google and type in that question that you are desperately hoping that Google can answer for you “quickly”.

How often have you and someone else been out somewhere and the term came up.. just Google it. Googling has become synonymous with finding out information that people ultimately deem to be accurate.

Truth Engine And Trust

But here’s the truth.. no pun intended. Google isn’t necessarily the source of truth and we have to be careful to unconsciously equate this engine with where we find truth.

If there’s one thing that we know about search engines.. we know that just as much as there certainly is accurate information, there’s a ton of misinformation out there too.

What this really highlights is our dependencies online and how normative this has become in our lives.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of instances where Google is entirely truthful and accurate and checks all the right boxes for us to develop a high degree of trust.

This is evident because we use it for reference in some of our most intimate, dire and important scenarios in our lives. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about finding pertinent information about what to do in regards to our children, medical needs, finances, spirituality, business and recreation.

However with such great usage in various areas of our lives, it creates a level of trust that can lead us down pathways that give us a false sense of truth or more plainly just blatant lies too.

Danny Sullivan, the founder of Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch explains it well when he plainly says that Google is basically an algorithm. That algorithm works in the same way that any other search engine does.

 

You give it a question or a query and it goes out on the web to find the answer for you and guess what..

Sometimes you get good answers and sometimes you get bad answers.

The engine doesn’t know whether it’s delivering the truth to you or not. This is true for any and all search engines that exist today.

At best, I think you can land in the arena of Google being a guide that leads us to an undetermined degree or percentage of accuracy with respect to information that we are seeking but even quantifying that changes depending on the query.

The Difference And The Search Engine Job

The difference between you and me and the search engine.. and yes even between the mighty Google is that while we can do the same research that Google does, we sort and sift through that information to find the accuracy and Google does not.

Now granted, Google does research on a much larger scale than you or I can or would or even have the time for but all the search engine is going to do is spit out the results for you, good, bad or indifferent. It’s done it’s job.

What job is it ?

The job of giving you results. It’s job is not to tell you whether it’s the truth, yet the common thing that we do is take those results and accept them as truth because those are the results the search engine gave us.

We don’t filter those results through the lens that Google is operating off a set of rules contained in the algorithm that determine the results that we are going to see.

We see this in action best by comparing search engines to each other. Even if we take for example queries that we put into Bing vs the same queries put into Google, we can at times get vastly different results.

Why ?

That’s an easy answer.. it’s because of the rules set forth and defined in their respective algorithms.

Going Beyond The Links And The Truth

Now years ago, Google had been working on trying to look beyond the “links”. To date, that interest has evolved into what’s called the Knowledge Graph. Even the purpose there was to make search results more relevant and place a greater focus on the content and not just the links.

Have they succeeded ? Well let’s just say that it’s an ongoing process. Relevancy doesn’t equate to truth and short of Google becoming a living, breathing person, it will always be a goal for the search engine to provide more truth but likely never getting there entirely.

It’s an engine and Google is a machine.

In seeking out truth through outlets like Google, it can be surmised that truth in this arena as it is currently constructed is highly unlikely to come from something that is engineered. In this case we're talking about a search engine called Google.

Thanks for reading this post !

#candidwriter #truth #google

GDPR - EPIC New Age Butt Kicking Data Protection

EU GDPR General Data Protection Regulation

Source

GDPR.. a new term that’s been emerging lately that means General Data Protection Regulation and it’s a big deal. While there have been many avenues talking about this lately, we’re going delve into some much needed insight that you may not be aware of just yet to answer the question: what is GDPR in this plain talk GDPR overview ?

Here's what we know.. EU GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation has been the law of the land for a little over a month now as of the time of writing this post and you may even think it really has nothing to do with you.

Eh, the jury is still out about that one… plenty of debate but the GDPR EU likely does apply to you in some way or another.  

With that said, ask yourself one question…

Do you process personal information from any visitors that visit your blog or website ?

Chances are good that you probably have some sort of “list” where you’re collecting email addresses or other user information. And, if that’s you, then GDPR regulation likely applies to you.

Another aspect of GDPR EU is that it originated as more of a European focused concept hence the EU.

GDPR The EU And Websites Like Yours

Your next question is likely to be, well if it’s focus is on Europe and I don’t live there, then what’s it got to do with me ?

Good question and here’s a good response to that question.

If you handle any information that personally identifies a person connected to your website and there’s plenty of information out there that would qualify then you are accountable for that information regardless of whether you live in Europe or not. Data protection within the details of GDPR regulation would suggest that this is not just about Europe.

Trust me.. EU General Data Protection Regulation may have started in Europe, but the law makes sense and you may as well get ahead of it and start being responsible with the user data you’re collecting.

Like any law, if you break the law, there’s the potential for painful penalties reaching into the “hundreds of thousands of dollars and more” if you don’t play by the rules and start being responsible with the data you’re collecting.

We all should care about what happens with our personal information and the reality of this has become more and more staggering, real and frightening for people with each passing day.

There may have been a time where people didn’t care that much or even gave it much thought, but the tide is changing. That reality in connection with a law like EU GDPR (and I’m sure there will be more to come) means that data privacy and data protection is getting to a level of seriousness that it should have always likely been at long before now.

At the core of what GDPR is comes down to for lack of a better way to say it.. “doing the right thing”.

EU GDPR Transparency And Honesty

Let’s be honest for a moment.

We are all people and we are bound by laws. Our lives are set by rules and parameters and we can’t just do whatever we want. We know there is no perfect way to live, but we know there’s a right way and a wrong way too.

We know there’s compliance and non-compliance.

These are all simple concepts that we are all aware of and we know that we don’t have to reside in a specific country to live by such principles either.

Simply put.. right is right and wrong is wrong and the same applies to our responsibility to doing the right thing and that’s what GDPR is about.

When a visitor comes to a blog or a website and provides their information for any specific reason, that blogger or site owner is in charge of that information and decides what to do with it.

Even simple activities like blog commenting fall within the scrutiny of GDPR regulation.

Why ?

Because even such an extremely common activity (think Wordpress or another CMS) typically require as part of leaving a comment that you leave a name and email address or allow you the opportunity to leave a website address.

With that said, there is a level of trust and transparency that the information provider has given to the owner of that content space.

Collection of information cannot be done so under general terms beyond what is reasonable. Collecting an email for an email list isn’t unusual or out of the ordinary when you’re specifying that you need their email for the email list and indicating what that email list is. If you are interested in asking for more personally identifiable information, then you have to clarify why you need each piece of that identifying information.

Sound like a big deal ?

Sound like a pain in the “you know what” ?

Maybe.. but it’s all in the goal of doing the right thing too and being responsible with the information that people are trusting you with. You’d have the same expectation of responsibility if it were you handing your information over to someone else.

Data Privacy And Protection Issues

If you think about all the trouble that Facebook has gotten into over the years, what has been the core of their issues ?

It’s been privacy and it’s been how they’ve handled user data and how transparent, truthful and trustworthy they have been with "you". Facebook has always had a history on this matter too. From the days of when Zuckerberg gloated about how stupid people were for trusting him with their information to their Facebook messenger which had the capability to send emails to your contact list without you even knowing it to the Cambridge Analytica catastrophe.

While I know this isn’t all about Facebook, I mention them because they may as well be one big rock in the water of what has contributed to the emergence of the general data protection regulation.

It is scary stuff when you consider just how integrated we are to all things we do online. Whether we’re talking about our activities with online retailers or in various content spaces that ask to develop relationships with us through mailing lists, contests, subscriptions, webinars and more and this blog is no exception.

Online spaces need to form relationships and so much of that is about trust, transparency and responsibility. It doesn’t matter whether you are a site that sees 50 people a month or 5 million per month… whether you’re in the EU or the US.. these principles apply to everyone.

GDPR EU and other additions to it or iterations of it are going to come along. Don’t just hand out your data willy nilly and recklessly and trust carelessly. Your personally identifiable information is attached to you and we should all exercise the same care that we take to that information “offline” and apply the same level of care to it in our online activities and relationships with content and other online spaces too.

Thanks for reading this post !

#candidwriter #gdpr

Surging Insights To Human Psychology In Affiliate Marketing

Human Affiliate Marketing Psychology

Source

Affiliate marketers often forget they’re promoting products and services to real people and not just numbers on a screen. This can be hard to remember when all they see are traffic numbers, click through rates and conversion rates. However, if you really want to increase your revenue, you need to learn and understand human psychology.

The human mind is an incredibly miraculous thing. The brain has approximately 100 billion neurons and each one fires 200 times per second. This basically means that your brain moves 20 million pieces of information, every second.

Since everyone’s brain is moving so fast and constantly processing information, you need to understand what makes people buy and what you can do to increase your own conversion rates. Thankfully, we have it all figured out and will now look at exactly how you can use human psychology for your affiliate business.

1. Offer Fewer Products

This may seem to go against common logic, but if you present your customer with more options, it will increase the likelihood that they’ll buy ? right ?

Wrong!

In actuality, when you present people with more choices, this ultimately results in a feeling of being overwhelmed which reduces their chances of purchasing. This is a very well documented phenomenon in human psychology and you should definitely pay attention to it.

As a result, you should stick to offering one or two different products to your audience and this will increase your conversions. It will greatly reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed and help the purchaser to make a decision quickly as opposed to pondering a wide array of possibilities.

2. Use Emotion

It’s no secret that we’re all emotional beings.. it's a part of what makes us human. However, when it comes to marketing, you need to tell a story that engages people with your brand. The worst thing you can do is just spout out facts, features and benefits and expect high conversion rates.

Even if you’re promoting the best affiliate product in your niche and it's the most affordable or has the most benefits, you need to market with emotion. Tell a story and get people interested and connected with you. That is what separates the beginners from the advanced marketers.

3. Use The Law Of Reciprocity

According to psychologists, the law of reciprocity is when someone does something for you. You have a deep urge to do something for them in return. In some cases, the way you reciprocate may be far more generous than what the person initially did for you.

So, how can this be applied to affiliate marketing?

If you offer something valuable for free to your visitors, then they are more likely to purchase your affiliate product.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a course on how to train your Golden Retriever, then you can offer a smaller course on how to potty train your Golden Retriever puppy, for free.

If you take your time to create a free course that is valuable to your visitors, then they will feel a deep psychological urge to purchase your paid course immediately or later.

This is the reason why many marketers urge you to create some sort of free offer. Simply put.. it works!

It is quite effective whether you’re trying to build an audience, get people to subscribe to your email list or get them to buy your affiliate products.

4. Anticipate Doubts & Provide Reassurance

Most people are naturally doubtful and suspicious. For good reason as well! These feelings are a result of natural selection and the humans that were more careful and doubtful in our past often ended up surviving where the more naive ones did not.

With respect to affiliate marketing, you need to think about all the reasons a person may have in regards to not purchasing your product. You should try to predict any potential issues or doubts they may have and seek to provide reassurances for each one of them.

There are lots of different ways that you can provide reassurance such as:

1. Show support from authoritative sources

2. Provide reviews from past customers

3. Offer a 30 day or your money back guarantee

4. Show that your website is safe to use and their financial information is safe

5. Create A Sense Of Urgency & Scarcity

Humans automatically fear scarcity. We are all wired to respond to scarcity and automatically respond to ensure we don’t have to do without. One of the best ways you can recreate this as an affiliate marketer is to have a countdown timer on your product, and once the countdown hits zero, the product is no longer available.

Human Affiliate Marketing Psychology Urgency

Source

Alternatively, at the end of the countdown timer, the price of the product could significantly increase. This is particularly applicable to digital products since they don’t typically “run out.”

Another way you can appeal to a person’s sense of urgency is to only offer the product at certain times during the year. You can also offer a significant discount on the product, with a limited time offer.

It is important that you don’t overdo this tactic or else you may negatively affect your brand and make it seem unauthentic.

6. Get Reviews & Testimonials

Before a person buys a product, they want to know if it will work for them.

If they are unsure then they probably won’t purchase it. As a smart affiliate marketer, you know that in order to persuade that person to buy you need to show them how other people have successfully used the product and benefited.

Reviews and testimonials should never be overlooked.

Testimonials help people to identify with your product and show that it is actually worth buying. Getting reviews that are particularly emotional and show how your product changed that person’s life are priceless.

These types of reviews, will sky rocket your conversions. However, you should never create fake reviews or testimonials since these will endanger your affiliate business.

7. Going Along With The Crowd

Crowd mentality is quite common and its basically when you literally “go along with the crowd” simply because we are all psychologically wired to want to feel like we belong. This includes buying products.

Have you ever noticed that you suddenly want the latest iPhone once most of your friends have one?

As a result, marketers can take advantage of this by showing how many other people like and buy their products. This can be done by showing how many people have purchased it, showing how many people have liked or shared it on social media etc.

Of course.. for this to work, the product needs to have a significant number of sales, likes and shares.

Closing Thoughts:

As you can see, understanding human psychology can help you to become a much better affiliate marketer. However, even though it may be tempting to take advantage of this knowledge you should alternatively strive to use it to actually promote products that add value to your customers lives. After all, once you keep adding value you will earn more than just one-off customers, but happy customers and fans for life.

Author Bio:

Cindy Sha is an entrepreneur, writer and internet marketer with a passion for SEO and affiliate marketing. When she’s not building authority sites, she can be found writing for NoHatDigital and enjoying the digital nomad lifestyle.

Uncovering Curlie.org - Best New Alltop & DMOZ Blog Directory Alternative

Curlie Org Alltop DMOZ Best Of The Web Alternative Website Directory

Source

Have you ever heard of human edited directories ? Curlie.org maybe ? What about Dmoz ?

Chances are good that if you’ve ever looked into how to get your blog or website out there for the world to see, you’ve probably stumbled across a website directory like Alltop, Best of the Web or even the lesser known but well trafficked Ezilon or other human edited directory.. and particularly several years ago there was the top dog.. Dmoz.  

Dmoz was held as “the place to be” if you wanted to get a powerful link online. It was a highly sought after directory link.

Even today (e.g. 2017) though the official DMOZ website is dead (closed by AOL, a couple mirrors still exist for it though) .. searches for Dmoz still yield nearly 4500 searches a month !

Nowadays, there is speculation as to the power and necessity of these kinds of links, but what I can tell you is that I wouldn’t turn my head away from links like this.

Now I don’t want you thinking this post is simply an overview about going after directory links, but moreso to understand that this post is about “one directory link”. The successor of Dmoz..

Did you even know that there was a successor to it in the first place ?

Probably not, but I can tell you that the guys from Dmoz have been hard at work reworking the coveted directory and now have rebuilt it and it’s called…

Curlie.

A cute little name, but if it’s anything like what Dmoz used to be.. this is going to be a blog and website directory to be reckoned with I assure you.

It’s still in development but the doors are going to open in the near future and when they do.. oh man.. I can only imagine that the best is yet to come.

A Peek Inside Curlie.org

So let’s have a look at this new web directory.

Curlie Org Alltop DMOZ Best Of The Web Alternative Website Directory Homepage

Source

As you can see in the image there are a couple of links. Both links are specifically for the editors.

Interestingly enough there is a forum designated primarily for editors and then the login link is another link that appears to be associated with the editor forum as well.

At this time, I can’t differentiate between the two links because I do not have access, but if a Curlie moderator comes across this post, maybe they’ll be able to provide some insight for us all that are wondering just what kind of additional features and access the editors have in this section too.

For all I know at this point, it’s still under development but that’s pure speculation on my part.

Aside from that, the reminder of the front page is pretty standard as far as what you’d expect to see upon visiting a directory page.

Current category listings include:

Note: additional sub categories do exist but have been listed here in this post.

  • Arts (subs: movies, television, music)
  • Business (subs: jobs, real estate, investing)
  • Computers (subs: internet, software, hardware)
  • Games (subs: video games, rpg’s, gambling)
  • Health (subs: fitness, medicine, alternative)
  • Home (subs: family, consumers, cooking)
  • News (subs: media, newspapers, weather)
  • Recreation (subs: travel, food, outdoors, humor)
  • Reference (subs: maps, education, libraries)
  • Regional (subs: US, Canada, UK, Europe)
  • Science (subs: biology, psychology, physics)
  • Shopping (subs: clothing, food, gifts)
  • Society (subs: people, religion, issues)
  • Sports (subs: baseball, soccer, basketball)
  • Kids & Teens Directory (subs: arts, school, teen life)
  • Curlie around the World (in this section there are different languages that are listed)

Below the categories, Curlie also lists the number of current editors, categories, sites and languages.

Curlie Forums

Believe it or not there is a way to keep up with what’s going on with Curlie. The easiest way to do that is via the forum.

Now you may be thinking… wait a minute.. didn’t you mention forums earlier and wasn’t that just for the editors ?

You’d be right and I did, but there is indeed a forum for everyone else and it’s called their Resource Zone.

You can access to the resource zone here: http://www.resource-zone.com and once you’re there you’ll be greeted with this page.

Curlie Org Alltop DMOZ Best Of The Web Alternative Website Directory Resource Zone

Source

Once you’ve registered with Curlie’s resource zone, you’ll be able to participate in discussions and post to the forum.

Some of the general discussion sections include:

  • Announcements
  • Inside the Directory
  • General DMOZ Issues
  • Suggesting a site (important section that gives you insight into how to suggest a site for evaluation)
  • Becoming an editor
  • Kids and Teens
  • Quality Control Feedback
  • And more…

At the time of this post, the suggest a site section was newly added and it’s there just to be there for now because they haven’t really provided guidelines in this section for suggesting a site. So in all reality you can’t suggest a site yet, but guidelines to do will be released in the future, however it’s still a thread to watch.

The same would apply to the “becoming an editor” thread.

Interestingly enough if you were an editor for DMOZ you may be able to apply for reinstatement as an editor for Curlie.org

Currently they are not accepting new applications but they are processing the applications that were received when the window was open to apply and are processing the reinstatement applications that they received too.

The Curlie Web Directory Process & Future

I’ve been keeping an eye on Curlie for months and they have been making steady progress to opening the doors.

As mentioned briefly before.. when you think about some of the most popular or high trafficked website directories... names like the following may come to mind:

Directories are still a big deal even though there are plenty of people that argue for them and large followings that say don’t worry about them too.

What I can tell you is that directories, like anything else online can be placed in two distinct categories… Quality vs Garbage

Quality links are all that matter and that’s why Curlie is so important. It can’t be stressed enough that this is the successor DMOZ.. arguably the most successful human edited directory in the existence of the internet.

Remember, as I mentioned before that the directory doesn’t even exist anymore and it still receives nearly 4500 unique searches per month.

With that said, it makes it hard not to make a case that leans towards directories being a thing of the past and not relevant to today’s world of SEO and for a blog or websites traffic and online presence.

A hard cold reality is that people still believe in submitting a link to a quality directory and Curlie is going to be the new big deal in directories “very soon”.

We may genuinely miss DMOZ, but I have a feeling we’re going to fall in love with Curlie.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #website #blog #directory

Happy Insights Test Truth In Color Psychology

Color Psychology Testing Blogging Insights

Source

On the subject of blogging color psychology, the different colors and shades you use in your blog's web design, the infographics, photos or images count a lot in influencing your readers' behavior. When designing a website, it is never about yourself but how well you understand the tastes and preferences of your audience.

Choice of color is one of the things used by website and/or blog owners to encourage, sway and entice people to visit their sites.

Color plays a very big part in influencing our emotions and attitudes. When your eye takes in color, it communicates with the hypothalamus part of the brain responsible for sending signals that affect changes in emotion, mood and the resulting mannerisms.

It is for this reason that most of all assessments conducted in products have something to do with color.

It is now proven that the color contained in any website is useful in determining the rate of conversions of visitors to the site.

In that case, it is important for bloggers and website owners to use the appropriate colors in order to win their audience. Along with the great content written in the site, the appealing nature of the colors in it will go a long way in determining your success rate.

Understanding color Psychology

Before we can learn together on how color psychology is used, it is important to understand what it is. In this sense, color psychology is the art and science of the way color helps to influence the behavior and mannerisms of human beings. Color psychology is deeply rooted in the study of behavioral psychology.

Sometimes, color psychology can get complicated and some people tend to be dismissive about the subject due to the complexity of the underlying theories. Despite the position held by such people, there are important color theory facts that cannot be disputed. Customers take a very short time to form their opinion concerning a given product and a good percentage of that interaction prior to the opinion is basically due to the color of the product and success on your blog is affected by your use color.

Using color

Where do you use color?

Essentially, color is ubiquitous and it is vital to understand what tips to apply when using it. Those designing websites will always ask about colors to use on the site. Particularly, this is about the color scheme that the owner wants to use, commonly known as corporate colors in large business organizations.

With making a choice for the color of your site come such things like the hero graphics tint, the backgrounds, the pop-ups, borders and the headline type. Use the right color choice in the right manner.  Working with colors can be challenging at times because their effective use is defined by how well they have been used and whether it is the correct timing in the content and flow of the page and directed towards the right audience.

The Correct Use of Color

For what purpose are you using color on your website? For example, it would be inappropriate to use black color for a children’s website. Children love bright and shining colors, something that will not be welcome by a younger generation of people (e.g. kids).

Always remember these four things when using color: use it the right way, correct timing, suitable audience and the right purpose. These are the most basic aspects that should guide you through your choice of the color to use for your site. You need to get them right to have meaningful color impact on your website.

Using Color Psychology to Enhance Conversions

  • Color Choice for Women

If your target audience is women, forget about such colors as orange, brown and grey. All you need to win the heart of women are green, purple and blue colors. The sociological disparities between colors preferences is something that you would want to study carefully.

The two genders have a color preference of their own. There are those they like and those that they don’t like. With women, you will be headed in the right direction when you go for earthy tones or choosing tinted primary colors. These are the colors you will find in almost every e-commerce site with a female audience as the target.

Colors are very inviting especially if they are the right choice for your audience. If many people are asked today, they would unanimously agree that female audience likes pink color. Actually, it is not and you will be surprised that only a small percentage of women pick pink as their most favorite color.

Pink suggests femininity in the study of color psychology. However, don’t be left to believe that pink will be fine with every woman and that it will help you make many women sign up for your website or blog. Therefore, listed here are several other colors to use other than pink alone.

  • Color Choice for Men

When targeting men as the audience for your blog, don’t choose there are colors that should not cross your mind: brown, orange or purple colors should not be in your design. Instead, green, black and blue will work for them. These are the colors that have been conventionally used to define maleness. Again people would expect that brown works well for men but that’s not true.

  • Why Most Sites Use Blue Color

Online information needs to be trusted and amazingly, blue has been used to cultivate this among visitors. Blue is considered a color of loyalty, peace and trust and also considered America’s corporate color. It is also said that blue brings serenity and calmness and is often times described as orderly, tranquil and secure.

The Bottom Line

There is a lot of agreement in the role played by color in the design of websites having its background in the area of behavioral psychology. When the color of something proves to be appealing to the eye of the targeted audience, they are most likely to develop a liking for it. For instance, it is not a coincidence that the world’s largest social website is blue in color. This is because blue is believed to have a subtle message of serenity and trustworthiness.

Color psychology is indeed useful in defining what different bloggers and website owners use on their sites. Everyone wants to attract a following and develop trust that will carry them through in the online platform. The choice of colors has therefore been useful in advancing visions and missions for different people and organizations.

About The Author

Amber Wilson is an editor and a content writer at ThesisRush fond of blogging and arts. Being a college teacher, she is also interested in psychology and arts.