To the Jaded Millennial: How to Change Up Your Favorite Leisure Activities

To the Jaded Millennial: How to Change Up Your Favorite Leisure Activities

Adulting can be lonely as we strive to make sense of the world around us and our place in it. You are still learning to balance your time and energy between your responsibilities and relationships—including the one with yourself.

While you may have your go-to leisure activities to decompress, you often wish that you have more time to engage in other, more exciting activities. But you know that you don’t always have the bandwidth to engage in new experiences.

Here are three common ways you may spend your leisure time and how you can spice them up to truly enjoy your downtime:

TV Nights

Streaming movies never go wrong, huh? Nothing beats huddling in our blankets on Friday nights and winding down the long week with a movie or series. On these comfy nights, you would have your favorite snacks and genres that you reach out to without thinking twice.

Switch things up by trying snack recipes. Instead of purchasing new snacks, make them in your kitchen! Season your regular popcorn with caramel, herbs, and even truffle. Personalize your nachos bowl with your favorite chips and cheese. Taking the time and effort to prepare your TV time snacks can make these regular nights more exciting.

Pick a new genre. For instance, if you are a thriller junkie, watching a rom-com or action series can allow you to learn new things and experience different emotions and thoughts. You may even find that the genre that didn’t appeal to you previously can be your new favorite genre now, and you won’t have known without exploring beyond your go-to genres.

What’s your pick for the night? We may think of our stay-in movie or series nights as mindless entertainment to decompress. But there is often a deeper reason why we choose certain types of content over others. You have chosen a particular title to fill a knowledge gap, an emotional void, or escape from our stressful daily lives. Ask yourself: what does my movie pick reveal about my mental and emotional needs now?

Surf Social Media

Don’t be surprised if you spend two to three hours scrolling through Instagram and Facebook during your downtime. While we may feel more connected to our friends, acquaintances, and strangers, we may subconsciously compare our messy selves to their picture-perfect moments.

While there’s nothing wrong with spending time on social media, what we view on our feeds adversely affects us more than we expect. If going turkey on social media doesn’t work for you, try setting a time limit for your social media usage.

Also, consume social media content mindfully. Notice the comparisons that come to mind and tackle them immediately with these questions:

  • In what ways are you comparing yourself to this person? (E.g., relationships, looks, finances, etc.)
  • Our circumstances are different—is this comparison fair?
  • Can I change this factor? If I can, what is one thing I can do to improve? If I can’t, how can I change my perspective?

Others carefully curate their photographs and videos to portray their lives in the best possible way. As we navigate life as young adults, comparing ourselves to the perfect version of others fuels our insecurities and stress. Setting boundaries in our social media usage can help us stay connected and protect ourselves from unhealthy comparisons.

Socialize with Family and Friends

Spending quality time with the people we love helps us relieve stress, knowing that we can trust and rely on them whenever. But regardless of how long you have known your loved ones, you may not have seen certain sides to them and vice versa. After all, you are changing as you take on more responsibilities and experience more in life.

Level up your relationships by making new plans together. Instead of heading to a restaurant as you normally would, consider going over to each other’s homes to prepare dinner together. Playing games together can also reveal new sides to you and your loved ones. Working out together can also encourage you to stick to your fitness goals and keep each other accountable.

Growing up, we would have drifted or grown apart from family and friends we thought would be in our lives for a long time—treasure those you have with you now. Doing new activities with your loved ones helps prevent your relationships from going stale. While it may take more time and effort to execute these plans, it demonstrates your commitment to deepen these relationships and grow together meaningfully.

It’s Not About Doing New Things All The Time

Switching up your go-to leisure activities not only carves out novel experiences, but it can also recharge you significantly in your downtime. Making small changes to these activities also enhances your creativity, which will spill over to your work and other aspects of life. Most importantly, these seemingly inconsequential changes to the same activities can unleash new sides to you that you can learn to recognize and embrace.

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The Importance of Road Safety in the Logistics Sector

The Importance of Road Safety in the Logistics Sector

Unsafe road conditions are responsible for about half of the auto accidents in the US alone. And when the accident involves one or more trucks, we automatically lay the blame on the driver’s negligence. But in reality, it’s poor road conditions that are usually the real culprits.

Our roads are packed with vehicles of every type, size, and shape. But more than other drivers, truckers are the ones who have to deal with different road conditions on every trip they make. That has to do with the nature of their long trips that take them to unfamiliar roads.

Of course, professional small movers understand this and generally have excellent safety records. They handle small moves and shipping tasks efficiently whilst ensuring driver safety over long distances. But what about other drivers? Here are the top conditions they have to be wary of and how they are best dealt with.

Dangerous Road Conditions

A truck driver, more than any other driver, cannot let their guard down while on the road. It’s not just the other vehicles and the load they carry that they have to watch out for, but also the type of terrain they’re crossing. A small lapse of judgment when manoeuvring unfamiliar roads can lead to an accident. This is especially true of highways and byways that connect our cities and towns in a complex network. While these roads should always be maintained with road signs and guardrails in place, the reality is usually different. Some roads are in bad repair while others are missing parts or all of their guardrails altogether.

Ironically, not all poor road conditions are man-made. The elements battering the road with heavy rain, hail, and snow take their toll on the blacktop and cause holes to appear that can be a serious hazard when combined with poor visibility. Generally speaking, we can sum up the main road conditions as follows.

Potholes are probably the most common adverse conditions that drivers meet on the road. Even city roads suffer from surface erosion due to the heavy traffic and lack of maintenance work. When the blacktop layer wears off, the loose dirt underneath shifts and reveals holes of different sizes and depths. Some of these potholes are easy to avoid when driving at a normal speed, but when they’re covered with water or snow, they become hard to detect and avoid.

Road signs are also important in unfamiliar territories. When the driver comes through an intersection where one or more road signs are missing, even a good GPS system cannot help them navigate the maze of roads and get them to their destination safely and without delay. And then you have undeclared road changes and renovations. Most navigation systems would alert the driver in advance about temporarily closed roads. But that only works when the road closures have been planned and announced in advance. On-the-spot changes to the routes can confuse GPS systems and cause havoc and unforeseen delays.

Another road hazard that cannot be underestimated is faded lanes or elements and debris covering the road markings. Whether it’s heavy debris or the lanes themselves have deteriorated with time, such a road becomes an unsolvable riddle for a trucker who’s from out of town. Flying debris in particular can become a dangerous risk both for the truck and other vehicles nearby.

Safe Driving in All Road Conditions

With all these road dangers that truckers face on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that safety while driving has become such a paramount topic. That’s because the driver’s skill and experience are simply no match to wrestling with potholes and missing guardrails. When the truck is hurtling down the freeway at top legal speed and a piece of fallen debris forces it to swerve, no matter how skilled the driver is, there’s little they can do to avoid a major accident.

A distracted driver can also put themselves and other vehicles on the road in unnecessary danger. This is why drivers have to keep an eye on the road and the other eye on the cars around them at all times. Certain drivers with aggressive driving patterns are a hazard both to themselves and other drivers. Even tight deadlines and heavy schedules should not be an excuse to take unnecessary risks or try to cut other vehicles on the road.

With the human element out of the way, it becomes clear that the roads themselves need to be improved and maintained regularly to minimize road traffic accidents. Road rules and traffic regulations have to be clear and the road signs in place. A driver going down an unfamiliar complex network of roads could end up taking a wrong turn and causing traffic deadlock that could extend for miles and take hours to clear out.

And last but not least, the truck driver needs to be alert at all times and be ready to respond to any unexpected event in a split second. It’s one thing that the trucker has a few years of driving experience under their belt, but it would be perilous on their side to assume that all other drivers on the road have the same experience or even inclination to follow the rules. One rule of thumb is to always assume that you’re the best driver sitting behind a wheel and that every other driver is prone to making the most rookie mistakes. While ego-boosting, this rule keeps every driver on their toes until they have reached their destination safely and on time.

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Why Does Student Life Matter When Searching for a College?

Why Does Student Life Matter When Searching for a College?

If you’re on the lookout for a college, you’ll have seen the term ‘student life’ referenced time and again. But what is student life, and why is it such an important aspect of your college experience?

Most colleges and universities will be rated for student life, or provide information about the so-called ‘student experience’. To outsiders, this can sound a little like a professional way of saying ‘social life’. And while socializing is important to many students, it should not be the basis of choosing your university or college, should it?

In fact, student life is more important than you might think. Colleges and universities place an increasing importance on developing students as a whole, and not just providing them with teaching and education. The idea is that without taking a rounded approach to personal development, academic knowledge and understanding won’t get you very far. Student life covers a whole range of things. Yes, it includes local entertainment and social activities students can get involved in. But it also covers things like work experience, volunteering and other ways to gain a diversity of transferable skills.

Student life is actually crucial to your future success, so it’s important to look at what kind of student life a college or university offers as part of the overall picture. Searching on websites such as authority.org is helpful, as it has ratings for colleges with the best student life.

Here’s more about why student life is so important.

Likeminded People

Everyone who goes to college wants to make friends almost as much as they want to gain an education. Attending open days at colleges can help you get a feel for the place, to see if you could imagine yourself there. If you meet some existing students, you will get an idea of the college culture and whether you like the kind of people you meet there. Making friends at college might sound like a ‘nice to have’ part of college life; research also shows it positively impacts cognitive development. If you find it difficult to make friends, look for a college that has some clubs or extracurricular activities you would like to get involved in, as this can be a great way to make friends without feeling so pressurized to do so.

Team Work

Colleges and universities that rate higher in student life ratings tend to offer a varied teaching curriculum. This means that while some classroom learning takes place, students are given a lot of autonomy to work on challenges and projects with groups of their peers. The type of teaching method is shown to be highly effective, as it mirrors real world scenarios and trains students to develop other skills as well as academic ones. Through team work, students gain an incredible amount, including leadership and negotiation skills, communications skills, and even managing conflict from time to time. It also develops critical thinking skills, self-confidence, time management and social skills.

Career Development

While it’s great if a college offers a varied teaching style that incorporates plenty of team work, great student life is also defined by a college that offers other career development opportunities. This could be through an array of extracurricular clubs, teams and activities, as well as opportunities to volunteer in the community or with different organizations. A well-developed careers advisory service with plenty of strong links with different businesses and sectors is also something students should look out for. All of these aspects of a college offering signal opportunities for students to get themselves and their resumes ready for job applications at the end of college. Volunteering is an especially good thing to do to enjoy a well-rounded student experience, as it makes you part of something bigger than yourself, and helps you get to know other people from different walks of life.

Educational Achievement

It is common for students to worry that getting involved in a range of extracurricular activities at college will distract them from getting their education. Parents and care givers in particular can have a tendency to warn about this as a potential problem, particularly in terms of socializing with friends for pure fun. Of course it’s prudent to be careful that you do not take on too much, research actually shows that taking part in different activities at college improves educational outcomes overall. After all, attending classes, getting assignments in and participating in different social and developmental activities mirrors most adult lives. Students gain a lot in terms of personal and social development when getting involved in additional activities, and it prepares them for real life a lot better too.

Sense Of Community

A powerful knock-on effect of having a good overall student experience is that you get the feeling of being part of a community. College is a time when students are becoming independent and autonomous – perhaps for the first time. Going to a college that offers a diverse range of extracurricular activities – and embracing the opportunity to get involved in something – will bring many rewards you can’t even imagine. The effect is being part of a community, thinking about things that are larger than yourself, and gaining a powerful sense of being able to bring about change as a collective – is a tremendous feeling to have. It will set you up for grabbing hold of other opportunities life will offer you, and enjoying every moment.

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Domain Authority Explained

Domain Authority Explained

Not all things on the internet were created equal. All elements on the web are rated by the search algorithms which crawl them, and things like links are weighted differently by those algorithms. Some links are temporary; only good for each month you pay for them to be there. Some links are permanent, and gain in value over the months. Ideally, your website would have a slew of permanent edu backlinks, but these are hard to come by.

When you own a business, you might want to invest in a digital marketing strategy which includes buying backlinks to your site. You will need to be able to judge for yourself if what you are buying is worth the money you are paying. This article explains how the search algorithms determine which links are worthy, and which are not.

Domain Authority (DA)

This is the unit of measurement developed to express the value of a link or website as a score of 100. It is related to the level of trust the search engine has in the content on the site. So, if you have a website with a score of DA10, it means it has scored 10%, and has been given a lower trust rating. Websites of DA40+ are the higher ranked sites, which are weighted more heavily, and therefore are more trustworthy. Similarly, each backlink you have to your site will carry a score, based on the site from which it originates. So your backlinks need to come from websites with a higher DA. Each backlink confers value to and from sites. The way that value is conferred from one site to another is called link juice.

Link Juice

Link juice is the term used in digital marketing to describe how value is passed on from one site to another through links. Much like juice that you drink, the effect on the drinker is determined by the quality of the fruit. If it is rotten, the effect will be poor. If it is fresh and sweet, the effect will be good. Also, you cannot drink all of the juice at once; it takes time to be transferred, sip by sip. Similarly, link juice doesn’t confer value to a site all at once. It takes months for the full value of the link to be assigned to the site. This is how the crawlers work.

This means that if you have a few backlinks on your site that you have bought for three months, you will not be gaining the full Domain Authority rating from those links. This is because the search engine algorithms take time to recognize or index a backlink. Once it has been indexed, it can take eight or nine weeks for the juice to start flowing, and for the search engines to start bumping up the page on the results. This also depends on the DA rating of the link. One highly-rated backlink will work better than several low-rated backlinks.

Link Profile

Your link profile is the overall picture of your sites, in terms of internal and external link structures, their values, and how they affect the ranking of the site. A good link profile builds a structure of links carefully, accounting for the flow of link juice between sites and pages, and the value it creates.

This is why it is important to ensure on a regular basis that all of your links are working properly. Broken links have the opposite effect. They reduce your page ranking, as the link juice has no place to flow.

You should also know that search engines actively reject some types of content, and this can also affect your page ranking. It is useful to be aware of these guidelines.

How To

One way to analyze your link profile is to employ a software solution, which is designed to look at your site’s link profile and report on which links are working to your best advantage, which ones are not, and which are broken or negatively impacting your page ranking. This kind of solution is easy, as the analytical processes are already coded into the software with the relevant values and parameters, which can change.

SEO agencies will use their chosen software for this purpose, and it should be one of the first steps you take together, in deciding how to improve your page ranking. A good link profile analysis will provide the foundation on which to build or improve. From there, your agency can recommend a linkbuilding strategy which may include buying some permanent backlinks, and restructuring your internal links. Of course, this process will take time, so you should not expect immediate results, but in the longterm, a solid link profile will certainly benefit your business, particularly if it operates primarily on a digital platform.

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Writing to Win

Writing to Win

Academic essays can seem a little daunting at first. This is because academic writing requires a certain style and follows a set of accepted protocols that vary between institutions, and each lecturer will have a different expectation of how the brief should be approached. You are probably aware of the basics (make use of grammar check software, check your spelling, and structure your writing appropriately), but there are other specific details which will help you to create a technically acceptable essay, regardless of the preferences of your lecturers. What follows is a list of five ways that you can ensure that you present an academically sound essay.

Understand Your Brief

On receiving the brief, you must read it for comprehension, at least three times. The goal of this exercise is to ensure that you have noted and understood all nuances of the phrasing of the topic.

Essay brief topics will include different directives on how to answer. These often make use of words like “analyze,” “compare,” “contrast,” and “discuss,” to list the most common ones. It is crucial to highlight the directive words, and then identify the theoretical concepts to which they refer.

There is usually a third component included in an essay brief, which brings in the context. This may be a text or a framework, or you may be asked to provide a real-world example and apply the theory to that example.

All of these components must be understood in relation to each other, and you must have a comprehensive picture of what is required before attempting to proceed with any research or drafts.

Know Your Referencing Style

This is not to say that you must choose a style. Each institution has its own accepted and standardized referencing protocol. Some institutions may use the Harvard referencing system, whilst others may use the APA (American Psychological Association) system. There are a number of other referencing systems as well, and although you will be expected to work within any given referencing structure, as you progress further in your studies, you should first know how to use your institution’s preferred referencing system.

Some academics claim that referencing is a skill, and with time and practice you can become more eloquent and artful in how you reference sources. At first, though, you might reference clumsily and with a churlishness born of obligation, because you do not fully understand the purpose of the exercise. This is acceptable for first-year students, as long as all of the elements of referencing are present, accurate, and consistent. As you grasp the importance of referencing more fully, you will find more discreet and elegant ways to include your references.

It is crucial, though, to be conversant in the formatting of the in-text reference, as well as the format of the list of references, and be consistent in this formatting throughout your essay.

Use Recognized Sources

It may be tempting to quote Lady Gaga’s Twitter post to make a point, but you should strenuously avoid referencing anyone or any site which is not a credible academic source. The way to determine this is by looking at who has published the information, to examine their credentials and identify their experience and qualifications in the relevant field. It is not enough for a social influencer to make a comment on climate change, if said social influencer does not have a PhD in any related field.

Similarly, you should avoid using sites like Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary. Although Wikipedia looks official and has an extensive database of information, it is edited by the general public, who are required to back up their claims with sources. This makes it a good place to look for credible sources, but not a credible academic source in its own right.

Urban Dictionary may have “dictionary” in the title, but it does not actually offer an accepted, standardized definition for words. It is created and edited by teenagers (for the most part), and is a reflection of the colloquialisms of the day, but is not an actual dictionary. It can be used as a case study in cultural studies, but not as a direct source.

When you look for credible sources, it is best to look for journal articles or other academically-published and peer-reviewed papers. Blogs, Facebook and Instagram posts, and even news sites are not reliable sources.

Use Appropriate Language

All academic essays (with the possible exception of ethnographies) are written in the third person, and use a formal register. This means that you may not refer to “I,” “me,” “we,” “our,” or “us;” nor may you refer to “you,” speaking directly to the reader. You must use third-person pronouns such as “he,” “she,” “their,” and related nouns.

Your language may not include Arabic numerals such as “2” or “4” as a substitute for words. You must use the words “one” to “nine” to describe quantities; thereafter, you may use digits. Do not include slang. “Beef” is a type of meat, whereas a “feud” refers to an ongoing disagreement between two parties.

You must also confirm whether your institution prefers US English or British English.

If you elevate your standard of language, your lecturer, or the person who marks your essay, will take you seriously and will be more receptive to your arguments.

Proofread Your Work

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, proofing is a crucial part of the writing process. You need to check for errors in technical areas (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax), and also for errors in content and structure. The more logically and clearly you structure your argument, the easier it will be for your lecturer or marker to understand and appreciate your argument.

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How Online Shopping Has Affected Fashion

How Online Shopping Has Affected Fashion

It is quite likely that most of us have had some experience with online shopping. After all, it is difficult to resist the seemingly endless stream of sales and seasonal bargains, not to mention the fact that it’s all too easy to dedicate an afternoon just scrolling and adding items to your cart from the comfort of your bed or couch. Online shopping has doubtlessly radically changed the way that consumers partake in the market.

Not only does it offer us a variety of goods with everything from фенди to household brands but the goods are usually offered at reduced prices which bring a smile to the face of the budget conscious. Online shopping platforms have become the norm for many people to frequent for their shopping sprees rather than brick-and-mortar stores. This is understandable due to the convenience offered by many online shopping platforms such as delivery straight to your doorstep as well as the lack of effort needed by the consumer to pick and choose between a wide variety of goods. Online shopping intersects across a wide range of industries and unsurprisingly, one of those industries would be the fashion industry.

Cost-effectiveness

There’s a number of reasons as to why people prefer shopping online but one of the overarching reasons is simply that it’s cheaper. This is fairly understandable since most people do enjoy finding a good bargain and generally prefer to save their hard earned money whenever possible. There’s a variety of reasons why shopping online leads to lower prices but generally it boils down to the fact that the cost of operating a break and mortar store is far more expensive than operating an online store. Online stores generally need less staff and can even be operated out of a small space whereas physical stores have to account for additional expenses such as utilities, rent and waste disposal.

These cost saving features have a tendency to be passed down to consumers since companies generally recognize that cheaper prices make their goods more appealing to customers. This allows goods to be sold at a cheaper price compared to competitors in physical stores. For consumers, this is good news for shoppers since there’s also far less cost for them to do their shopping online compared to going to a physical store. They can save money on traveling expenses and they generally need to exert less effort and energy in order to gain the same amount of satisfaction.

The world of fashion is, of course, not exempt from these rules. A quick search for any fashion item is likely to produce pages worth of results on any online shopping platform, each with a price seemingly lower than the next. Whether it’s a small indie brand or a household name, many brands have some type of online platform which people can shop at. While this does make for some stiff competition between brands, it is honestly a rather large perk for the consumer.

Wider Range Of Goods

One of the biggest features of the internet that has arguably helped shape society as we know it today is the fact that it often provides a space for people in subcultures to come together and form a community. In such communities, fashion was not just a form of self expression but was often also a marker of group identity and people would come together not just to show off their outfits but also to take a look at what the latest trends in their subcultures were.

These internet spaces have thrived and have since evolved from the small chatrooms of the 90s to the boom in hashtags on multiple social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. As such, while barely two decades ago you would likely have had to either shop at a specialty store or have accessories custom made if you were part of an alternative fashion culture such as those into goth fashion, now because of the boom in popularity in such fashion subcultures, more companies are willing to mass produce such accessories.

As such, it is possible to find a huge range of fashion items as long as you choose to use a relatively large shopping platform. Even if you can’t find it on one platform it is possible to just hop over to a different one in order to find the item that you are looking for. With a little creativity and if you know the right keywords, it is quite likely that no matter how obscure an item is, there’s a decent chance that you’ll be able to find it. Even if you can’t find it, it is quite likely that you can even visit an online chat room or forum and ask for help with finding it. Doing so will usually lead to a helpful stranger redirecting you to an online store where you can buy the item.

Online shopping has played a large role in how we consume fashion and has doubtlessly changed the way that consumers interact with it. Considering how integrated online shopping has become as part of our society, it is likely that it is here to stay. It will be exciting to see how else the world of fashion interacts with online shopping in the future.

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Is Pay-Per-Click Still Worth It in 2022?

Is Pay-Per-Click Still Worth It in 2022?

Some people say that digital marketing is all about SEO and organic traffic these days. ‘Ads are so last year,’ and so on. The truth is, various digital marketing strategies are useful for different reasons. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising may not be great at increasing long-term traffic but it can have a host of advantages over organic-focused strategies.

1. Immediate Results

The most significant advantage that PPC has over SEO (search engine optimization) is the time that it takes to produce results. It can take months before SEO delivers increased traffic while Google Ads can start sending you new clicks within minutes of your ad submission. If you have limited edition promotions or just want results fast, PPC is the best choice.

2. Level the Playing Field

Your competitors may be much more established than you in the digital realm. They may have already spent a lot of time and money improving their SEO and edging towards the top spot on Google’s search engine result pages. By purchasing PPC ad space, you can appear above their listings in a matter of seconds and get the visibility you need to succeed.

3. A Clear Budget

Google PPC is a cost-effective advertising model. Regardless of how much you bid, you only need to pay if a user clicks on the ad. Therefore, you are in control of how much value to attribute to each new lead. If you think that a click is worth $10, simply set a corresponding price on your ad bid, and rest assured that your PPC campaign cost-per-click will never exceed its budget.

4. Audience Targeting

Unlike SEO, Google Ads allow you to have targeted control over your advertising audience. From age and location to interests and hobbies, you can laser focus your advertising on people who are most likely to spend on your products or services. Knowing your ideal audience will also help you to write the perfect copy that will encourage them to click and convert.

5. Insightful Analytics

The Google Ads system is built on a robust foundation of data and insights. You can easily analyze your keyword search volume, click-through rate, ad position ranking, viewer demographics, and more. You can even do A/B testing to see which ad format works better. This insight allows you to keep finetuning your campaign to improve results and achieve maximum ROI.

6. Scale Anytime

As your brand grows, you want your digital marketing strategy to scale up with it. With PPC ads, your marketing potential is virtually unlimited. If you are ready for more customers, you can simply add a new keyword campaign or increase your daily budget. The same goes for scaling down. To cut back on advertising, you just have to adjust your PPC budget.

Google PPC: How It Works

So how does PPC work exactly? The process begins with a user starting a search on Google. Google checks its advertiser database for ads that target those specific keywords. If there is only one advertiser for the given keywords, Google will display their ad on top of the search results.

More often than not, there will be multiple advertisers bidding for the same keywords. In this case, Google will try to figure out which ads are most relevant for its search user. The more relevant the ad, the higher its placement. This decision may seem complex but it is made in a nanosecond.

When you set up your Google ad, you can input a maximum bid for your ad. This is the highest price that you will pay to have your ad displayed during a single search. When deciding on ad placement, Google considers your maximum bid. However, price is not the only determining factor.

Your quality score is another important factor in how high your ads place. Google rates your ad on a scale of 1 to 10 based on your keyword relevancy, ad text relevancy, landing page quality, click-through rate, and more. This ensures that their users get the most valuable results.

You may think that paying more will guarantee you a better spot, but Google will often choose a quality ad over a pricy one. Therefore, you must focus on coming up with great ad copy and creating a landing page that will give search users—who are your potential clients—what they seek.

Better yet, hire an agency that specializes in PPC management services to help you to design a winning strategy from start to finish. Professional digital marketing agencies can help you to research winning keywords, write compelling ad copy, and make landing pages that convert like crazy.

Billions of people use Google to search for products and services daily. With so many benefits to PPC advertising, can your brand afford to give it a miss? PPC is more than just paying for ads. A powerful digital marketing agency will be able to supercharge your PPC advertising campaigns to not only maximize lead generation but also to convert leads into paying customers.

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White Hat vs Black Hat SEO: What Are The Differences?

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO: What Are The Differences?

The way that SEO agencies go about getting better page rankings for their clients can broadly be described as either white or black hat. For example, an edu guest post on a well-respected website would be considered a white hat method, if it was achieved according to the search engine guidelines. White and black hat techniques can be distinguished by the methods they employ to achieve their ends. Methods that try to trick the search engines or undermine their authority in the virtual world are viewed as black hat, whilst those that use the rules and standards set out by the search engines are considered white hat.

In the past two decades, or so, search engine rankings have been recognized as a crucial part of successful online business practice. Consultants found ways to fool the search engines into ranking their pages higher, taking short cuts. These kinds of methods were easy and paid off quicker. In response, search engines adjusted their algorithms to look for those cheats, and in a short time, it became easier and more productive simply to play by the rules, as laid out by the search engines.

Here are five white hat practices that your SEO consultant should be doing, followed by five black hat practices that you should avoid including in your SEO strategy.

White Hat

1. Good quality content – your website should be full of well-written, relevant and engaging content. There is no rule against hiring someone to write it for you, if don’t have the skills or the time to do it yourself. Sometimes, the fresh perspective of someone outside your organization might also add another dimension of value and audience interest to your site.

2. Focus on what the user wants – remember that when you create content for your website to attract viewers and improve page ranking, it needs to fulfil the users’ need for a specific type of information. Writing for the sake of adding content, and using keywords in strategic places does not work if the user does not get what he or she needs from the page. Try to anticipate your users’ expectations and cater to them.

3. Remember the cellphones – so many people access the internet on their mobile devices, so you need to ensure that your website is functional for Android and iPhone operating systems. This way you can reach a much wider audience, and the added functionality will work in your favor when it comes to page rankings.

4. User experience is important – if you add extra pop-up windows with adverts or other animated elements, you should do it in a way that does not cause your page to load very slowly. Also consider whether your user will find it annoying or distracting, rather than helpful. A clean site that is easy to navigate often offers a better user experience, and this is an increasingly important factor in digital marketing.

5. Content placement – The right audience needs to see your content, so you will need to put in some work to expose your content in the most appropriate places outside of your website. This usually involves guest posts and making use of social media to allow for the right people to access and share content.

Black Hat

1. Keyword stuffing – when SEO first became en vogue, agencies would stuff a web page full of keywords to trick the search engine algorithms into thinking that the page was more relevant. This resulted in lots of websites full of incomprehensible copy with no purpose or meaning, except to bring the website to the top of the search results. Search engine algorithms have been adjusted to detect and compensate for this, and so now, keyword stuffing only works against a website.

2. Cloaking – this is considered an unethical SEO technique because the website shown to the web crawlers is not the same as that shown to the human viewers. It may have achieved great results in the past, but your website will be heavily penalized for this if the search engines discover it.

3. Hidden text – instead of sacrificing readability on your website, some web admins will try to improve rankings by adding in keywords in text the same color as the background of the page, so the user does not see it, but the web crawlers do. This is a form of keyword stuffing which is less obvious, but still off sides.

4. Buying links – you can buy hundreds of links from companies, but you cannot ensure that they are good quality links with a high domain authority, or that they will be permanent. This means that bought links have the same chance of working against your website rankings as for it. It is better to put in the work and build a backlink profile which has fewer links, but which are of better ranking.

5. Comment spam – if your web admin tries to improve your rankings by adding your website url to the comments section of another website, put a stop to it. Not only will you gain a bad reputation with the owners of the websites you have spammed and annoyed, but your website rankings will suffer in the long term when the search engines discover this.

Gambling Addiction: A Growing Problem

Gambling Addiction: A Growing Problem

The problem of gambling addiction in the United States is as old as the country itself. But Americans have experienced a sharp increase in the prevalence of gambling-related problems in recent years. Online gambling has exploded in popularity, and companies face little to no restrictions in promoting and advertising their sports-betting platforms.

Whether or not we should blame this leisure activity itself is up for debate, but the increased availability of gambling opportunities 24/7—especially for children and adolescents—seems to have expanded and exacerbated its problems. If you regularly partake in gambling activities or know someone who does, this article can help you look for signs indicating a present addiction.

What Is Gambling?

Gambling is defined as risking something of value on an activity with an uncertain outcome in an attempt to win a reward. Skill may be involved in gambling activity, in which case it may reduce uncertainty to some degree, but it does not eliminate it.

What Are the Different Types of Gambling?

There are no universally accepted categories of gambling activities, but some of the most recognized types are binge gambling, social gambling, and professional gambling.

A binge gambler typically has less frequent gambling episodes, does not participate in gambling behaviors regularly, and may not be necessarily preoccupied with or have obsessive thinking about it when not engaged in it. A typical binge gambler would be someone who goes to Las Vegas once a year but never thinks of gambling outside of the vacation. However, once they start gambling, they may take it to the extreme and cause long-lasting problems within a short period of time.

A social gambler is commonly referred to as a responsible gambler who views gambling as a recreational activity and participates in it for its social experience. These types of gamblers don’t risk more than they can afford and have complete control over what they spend, be it money, energy, or time. So, gambling doesn’t interfere with their life. Social gamblers also accept their losses and don’t try to chase them.

Professional gamblers don’t partake in gambling activities for their excitement but rather make money and hone their skills. These gamblers are very disciplined, don’t take unnecessary risks, and quit when they are ahead. Interestingly, problem gamblers often view themselves as professional gamblers.

What Constitutes Problem Gambling?

When the gambling behavior starts to become disruptive or damaging to an individual and interferes with their everyday life, problem gambling has occurred. Problem gambler uses their valuable possessions, including time and money, in a harmful way, and their behavior becomes more compulsive as the problem escalates.

What Are the Signs of Problem Gambling?

When someone crosses the line from gambling as a leisure pursuit to gambling due to an addictive compulsion, they begin to show signs in their behavior. However, unlike alcohol and drug addictions, where signs and symptoms become very evident, signs of gambling addiction may be subtle, at least in the short term.

Similar to those with substance abuse issues, problem gamblers develop a tolerance to gambling. Over time, they need to take greater risks to sustain the same desired level of excitement. They also feel an increased urge to seek a win after a loss— the “one more bet” feeling that is also referred to as chasing.

Those who struggle with compulsive gambling show an inability to stop despite having had repeated attempts. And this lack of control not only applies to stopping the behavior altogether but also manifests itself during the gambling episodes regardless of winning or losing.

This lack of success, however, is not due to failure of willpower. Problem gambling results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and biological factors, and without addressing the underlying issues, recovery would be extremely difficult.

A significant portion of problem gambling signs pertains to the interference of the behavior with the person’s relationships and daily life. These signs include lying to friends and family, missing work or other commitments, difficulty in maintaining relationships, and prioritizing gambling over favorite hobbies and activities.

Treatment and Recovery

Getting out of the vicious gambling addiction cycle can be challenging but not impossible. Unfortunately, families generally don’t see problem gambling as an addiction due to a lack of awareness. They see their affected family member as a weak-willed and out-of-control person who just needs to stop it. Providing a supportive environment is the affected is the first step toward their recovery.

Because those who seek treatment often do so after there have been severe financial consequences, treating gambling addiction Columbus usually involves therapeutic programs as well as money management support which are equally important.

As with other forms of addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy has shown promising results in treating gambling addiction. Other widely used methods of treatment include family therapy and group-based recovery, with the latter being most useful for relapse prevention.

Patients with co-occurring disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also be prescribed antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

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How to Get the Street Style Look

How to Get the Street Style Look

A look crafted on the streets rather than in fashion studios, street style is all about individualism, comfort and looking fantastic. While the street styles that are trending at any one moment in time change and evolve, there are certain hallmarks of street style that remain the same. Here’s how to get the street style look.

While many people love to see the catwalk shows and the latest inventions of the greatest minds in fashion, that is not all there is to the fashion world. Part of the very essence of fashion is wearing clothes in an individual way, and being the master of your own look. This is how street styles emerged. Rather than dutifully wearing the latest clothes on the racks in the stores, people craft and curate their own specific style.

Since personally curated fashion is usually seen on people as they walk along the street, this is how the term ‘street style’ emerged. Some call it ‘grassroots streetwear’, and some also say that it is based on youth culture. That’s not to say that street style is just for young people. One of the wonderful things about the idea of street style is that it can be interpreted by individuals of any age.

Street styles are also different depending on the country of the world you are looking at. This adds another layer of interest, as individuals gain inspiration from various countries, creating constantly evolving street styles everywhere in the world. Many big designers actually look towards these trends from the streets to feed into their new collections and catwalk shows.

So how can you create your own street style look? Here are some of the building blocks of street style you need to know about.

Sport Clothing

What people wear when they are out on the streets is at least partially driven by comfort. Although people can and do go for a dressier look on the streets, the heart of street style is more about how you look when you are going about your everyday business. This is where the use of sports wear has expanded well beyond being used solely in sports. Thus incorporating some items of sport clothing into your street style look is a must.

The first item of clothing in this theme is a pair of sneakers. Since sneakers come in so many forms, there is a pair to suit any style. For street style with a little wow factor, it is often a good idea to look for international inspiration and ideas from fashion designers, such as Balenciaga sneakers (кроссовки balenciaga). This can create both comfort and a stylish look. Other useful items of sport clothing for a street style look can be tank t-shirts, sport jackets and leggings by brands that cross the sport-fashion boundaries.

Accessories

Since street style often means including at least some elements of practical and comfortable clothing, accessories become important to help make an outfit a little more striking. Oversized sunglasses, bold headbands and a good-looking bag can all fit into a good street style category. This is because they are all practical, but have the ability to incorporate different styles and interpretations of high fashion, if that is the look you want to go for. A hat is another great street style accessory – and a timeless one at that. Whether it’s a baseball cap, a bobble hat or something a little more unusual, this is something that will give you a particular image on the street that will help you stand out.

Get A Jacket

Since the definition of street wear is what you wear when you are out and about, you will usually need a jacket or coat with you, depending on the weather and climate you are in. A jacket is an opportunity to make a statement and dress up otherwise nondescript clothing. A colorful jacket, or something that is unconventional or surprising against what you are wearing underneath is a good way to capture the spirit of street style. Denim jackets are often popular in street style looks, so another option is to find your idea of a perfect denim jacket. You could even consider personalizing it with some patchwork, embroidery or iron-on logos. Try out different jackets with various combinations of clothing to see just how different a jacket can make a whole outfit look.

One Focal Point

A key way to transform your street wear into an outfit that embodies street style is to think about a focal point for your outfit. This is what changes it from everyday clothing into something the fashion community appreciates. Accessories are a great way to do this, but also think about the individual items of clothing that make up your outfit. Perhaps a pair of checked trousers should replace your denim jeans, or alternatively, a statement-making sweater could give your entire outfit a street style makeover.

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