What is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimisation, it is the process by which you get a website to appear near the top of the search results for the terms that you want to rank well for. The reason that you would want to do this is obvious, the site that is at the top of the search results will get the most visitors. A site that is on the tenth page of the search results however will likely get very few visitors. Therefore if your webpage is an important part of your business you have to make sure that it ranks well.

search-engine-optimisation

The search engines are supposed to provide the most relevant results for each search term and this is what they try to do. Therefore in theory you should be able to get your site to rank at the top of the search results simply by providing the best and most relevant content. In practice things don’t work out that way, most of the time you are going to have to take steps to help your site to rank well. How much work is required will depend on how much competition there is for that search term.

There are basically two parts to search engine optimisation, the first is known as on page optimisation. This involves making sure that it is clear what your site is about. The easier it is for the search engines to tell what your site is about the easier it will be for it to determine what it should rank for. That means that you are going to want to make sure that your content is tightly focused. You will also want to make sure that your site is laid out in a way that is easy to navigate and that related pages are linked together.

The other part of SEO is off page optimization, this is mainly about getting links. Since the search engines really can’t make judgments on things like quality it is necessary that there be another way to determine which sites are best. In large part this is done by looking at how many other sites link to your site. The theory is that the best sites will be linked to the most. This also makes it possible to get your site to rank well by creating the links yourself. Not all links count for the same value so it is important that you know which links are the most useful and that you go after them.

It is important to realise that SEO is not a onetime thing, if you stop doing it you can be sure that other sites will go past you in the rankings. That means that you will need to be constantly adding new links to your site. Once you have your site ranked at the top you can reduce the amount of time that you have to spend looking for links but you can’t stop entirely.

Taken from: http://www.gnctech.net/what-is-seo.php

Facebook denies plans to open up site to under-13s

Facebook has outright denied that it will change its rules and officially allow under-13s to join the social network, following a report claiming the opposite.

Simon Milner, head of policy in Britain for Facebook, had been quoted inThe Sunday Times as saying Facebook had plans to lift the ban.

He told the paper that the decision to allow children to create profiles was still a very early stage.

However, a Facebook spokesman has outright denied that there are any plans to allow children under the age of 13 to join the site.

They told The Telegraph: “We have no idea how The Sunday Times concluded that we are opening up to under-13s from the conversation Simon Milner had with them. All we have said is what we have been saying for months – that minors on Facebook and the internet is an important issue – and we want to work with the broader industry to look at ways of keeping minors safe. The headline …from the Times is no reflection of that conversation.”

This is in stark contrast to comments made by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief, last May, when he argued that children should be allowed to use the social network.

Speaking at a summit on innovation in schools and teaching in Newark, New Jersey, last May, Mr Zuckerberg said that the current age limit would be challenged “at some point”.

Claire Perry, Conservative MP for Devizes, who has campaigned for online safety, said at the time that she “would be very uncomfortable about extending this and I think it’s very, very irresponsible of Facebook to be suggesting it”.

“With close parental supervision all of these social networking sites can be interesting and enjoyable. But I know from my own experience it is all too easy for a young child to get involved in situations that I think are really uncomfortable,” she said.

Facebook’s usual 13-and over age limit elsewhere is dictated by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which became Federal Law in America in 1998. However, current UK legislation does not preclude Facebook from being used by under-13s – but the site’s own terms and conditions do. The US is currently reviewing its COPPA legislation. In Spain, only those children 14-and-over are permitted to use Facebook because of national legislation.

Mr Zuckerberg claimed last year that the educational benefits of using Facebook were so great that children should be allowed to use the site. The site currently closes the accounts of 20,000 underage users per day.

“My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “Because of the [legal] restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works.”

Mr Milner told The Sunday Times: “There is reputable evidence there are kids under 13 who are lying about their age to get on to Facebook.

“Some seem to be doing it with their parents’ permission and help.

“We have a strict under-13 rule because of legal issues in America and we apply the same rule all over the world.

“But a lot of parents are happy their kids are on it.”

Facebook has been criticised by a range of Government agencies in the past for failing to police its own policies that prevent children from using the site and for not preventing paedophiles from accessing the social network under an alias to groom children.

The NSPCC has emphasised the need for media literacy and online education. Claire Lilly, the charity’s sexual abuse policy advisor, has said: “There have been great benefits brought by the internet but there online bullying is particularly prevalent on social networks.

“The Information Commissioner has said it is about the age of 12 when a child can understand the risks of handing over personal data and we would agree with that. We would like to see safety tools as prominent as possible and social networks should be proactively trying to identify individuals who pose a risk, not just reacting to reports from children.”

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre revealed in 2010 that complaints about grooming and bullying on Facebook had quadrupled in the preceding twelve months.

Facebook’s $38-a-share flotation last week, values the company at $104bn – more than any other company in history has been worth on its market debut.

Taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/9279448/Facebook-denies-plans-to-open-up-site-to-under-13s.html