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Tag: bitcoin

Bitcoin value rises over $1 billion as Japan, Russia move to legitimize cryptocurrency

Bitcoin value rises over $1 billion as Japan, Russia move to legitimize cryptocurrency

  • Bitcoin price has risen over 8 percent in the last week
  • Japan passed a law to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method
  • Russia is reportedly looking into ways to regulate bitcoin

  

A bitcoin token stands next to a collection of U.S. one dollar bills in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.
 

Bitcoin is up nearly $100 in the past week, hitting levels not seen since mid-March after Japan legalized the cryptocurrency as a payment method and Russia is seeking to regulate it too. The digital currency was trading at around $1,223.04 at the time of publication, up from highs of $1,124.88 on April 5, and hitting prices not seen since March 16, according to Coindesk data. Bitcoin's market capitalization has risen from $18.34 billion on April 5, to $19.5 billion on Wednesday, according to Coinmarketcap.com data. Bitcoin has suffered a recent dip in price thanks to a debate over the future of its underlying technology, but the recent support appears to have come from Japan.

Earlier this month, Japan began accepting bitcoin as legal currency with major retailers backing the new law. Consumer electronics retailing giant Bic Camera began accepting bitcoin last week. Bitcoin trading in Japanese yen is the second-most liquid market globally, according to data compiled by cryptocurrency trading platform Gatecoin. "The Japan virtual currency act has likely had a major impact, as there has been a lot of buzz in Japanese media over the ruling over the last few months," Aurélien Menant, founder, and CEO of Gatecoin, told CNBC by email.

At the same time, Russia, one of the strongest opponents of bitcoin is seeking to regulate the digital currency. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told Bloomberg in an interview this week that the authorities hope to recognize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a legal financial instrument in 2018 in a bid to tackle money laundering.

"The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain," Moiseev told Bloomberg."If there's a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations."Increasing state regulation around bitcoin could make the cryptocurrency an attractive investment for investors who previously shied away from it due to the high risk and price swings.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Washington Lawmakers Finalize New Bitcoin Business Rules

Washington Lawmakers Finalize New Bitcoin Business Rules

   Legislators in Washington state have put the finishing touches on new rules for businesses that offer digital currency services.

Senate Bill 5031, public records show, has cleared both chambers of the state's legislature, setting it up to be sent to the office of Governor Jay Inslee. The bill was first introduced in January, clearing its first vote the following month. While not guaranteed to be signed, the broad support the bill attracted signals that it may pass.

Still, its contents could lead some digital currency-focused startups to think twice about operating in the state — and in the past year, several firms have already pulled out, citing a difficult regulatory environment. The bill represents an update to the state's existing money transmission laws, in order to make them account for firms that handle digital currencies. According to the text of the measure, businesses would be required to maintain reserves — denominated in the relevant digital currency — equal to the funds they retain on behalf of their customers.

The bill states:

"A licensee transmitting virtual currencies must hold like-kind virtual currencies of the same volume as that held by the licensee but which is obligated to consumers in lieu of the permissible investments required in of this subsection."

Other requirements include mandatory third-party cybersecurity audits of "all electronic information and data systems", the text reads. Even absent the new legislation, the past months have shown that some startups working with the tech have moved to steer clear of the state. These include digital currency exchanges Bitfinex, Bitstamp and Poloniex, the latter of which moved to exit Washington just last week. According to an email circulating on social media and dated 8th April, Poloniex said that it would be suspending services to customers in the state after 21st April.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How To Invest In The Blockchain Without Buying Bitcoin

How To Invest In The Blockchain
Without Buying Bitcoin

    

Blockchain Technology’s potential to change the Status Quo

Not a day goes by without a media mention about blockchain technology’s potential to change the status quo of how data will be recorded, stored and transferred in the future. As blockchain is booming, investors are taking note and looking at opportunities where they could benefit. Investing in bitcoin, the digital currency built on the blockchain is considered too risky by many investors and, at the same time, doesn’t actually offer exposure to developments of new blockchain applications and the growth of this technology. Fortunately for investors, however, there are ways to invest in the blockchain boom don’t involve buying bitcoin.

Blockchain Startup Stocks

Firstly, investors can purchase blockchain startup stocks. Currently, there are several publicly traded stocks in blockchain companies trading on global exchanges. The first blockchain stock that started trading in the U.S. is that of the company BTCS Inc., which provides an online bitcoin shop and a range of blockchain solutions, according to its website. Another prominent North American stock is the Vancouver-based blockchain consultancy service provider BTL Group, which has recently launched its own smart contract platform called interbit. Its stock is trading on the Toronto stock exchange.

Outside of North America, there are listed blockchain stocks in the U.K. and in Australia. In the U.K., the London-based blockchain technology investment and development company Coinsilium is listed on the ICAP Securities and Derivatives Exchange (ISDX) and was the world’s first initial public offering by a blockchain startup. On the Australian Stock Exchange, there is the blockchain startup DigitalX. DigitalX provides two blockchain-based services: a global peer-to-peer remittance service called Air Pocket and a software solution to provide bitcoin liquidity to institutional investors called DigitalX Direct.

Crowdfunding Platforms

Alternatively, investors can purchase shares in blockchain startups during early-stage funding rounds through online crowdfunding platforms. Young blockchain startups regularly choose the route of online crowdfunding to secure funds to develop their products or service. The crowdfunding platform BnkToTheFuture, for example, allows investors to place funds into a range of Bitcoin and blockchain startups. Notable blockchain startups that have raised funds through BnkToTheFuture’s platform have included the prominent African remittance startup BitPesa and the multi-currency mobile bitcoin wallet Shapeshift.

Invest in New Blockchain Projects’ Initial Coin Offerings

The third option for investors would be to invest in initial coin offerings (ICOs) of new blockchain projects. ICOs are a new, innovative way of raising capital that involves blockchain projects issuing their own digital currencies or tokens to early backers during a crowd sale. As this new form of crowdfunding is still entirely unregulated there is substantially more risk involved than investing in blockchain stocks or in traditional crowdfunding campaigns, but the returns of successful ICOs have been excellent.

When it comes to investing in ICOs, the key is to select blockchain projects that will have real-life applications and are managed by a team of experienced blockchain developers. Some projects may even have financial backing from leading Bitcoin investors. That is usually also a good sign. Unfortunately, the more the ICO market grows, the more fraudulent activity also occurs. Hence, it is vital to conduct thorough due diligence on each ICO before investing in the crowd sale to avoid falling victim to a scam.

As blockchain technology will likely become the standard to securely record, store and transfer data in many industries over the next ten years, it might be wise to start looking into the investment opportunities in this space, despite the potential risk involved in these investments.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How does the Blockchain Work (for Dummies) explained simply

How does the Blockchain Work (for Dummies) explained simply

How does the Blockchain Work?

Well here is a simple explanation that cuts through the hype.

Blockchain is a hot topic around the world these days, yet for many, the technology remains an elusive concept. Yet it shouldn’t, the concept is simple once you get your head around the architecture and theory of basic crypto economics. When you do have your “a Ha” moment, the world will never seem the same to you again.

This blockchain basics guide is designed to deliver a clear, non-technical introduction to one of the most transformational & misunderstood technologies of our time. If you want to know what blockchain technology is, how it works, and it’s potential impacts, without all the technical lingo, then this post is for you.

A short History of Transacting Money

Historically, when it comes to transacting money or anything of value, people and businesses have relied heavily on intermediaries like banks and governments to ensure trust and certainty. Middlemen perform a range of important tasks that help build trust into the transactional process like authentication & record keeping. The need for intermediaries is especially acute when making a digital transaction. Because digital assets like money, stocks & intellectual property, are essentially files, they are incredibly easy to reproduce. This creates what’s known as the double spending problem (the act of spending the same unit of value more than once) which until now has prevented the peer to peer transfer of digital assets.

But what if there was a way of conducting digital transactions without a third party intermediary? Well, a new technology exists today that makes this possible. But before we dive into the mechanics of this revolutionary technology, it’s important to provide a little context.

Blockchain Vs Bitcoin — What’s the connection?

Bitcoin first appeared in a 2008 white paper authored by a person, or persons using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The white paper detailed an innovative peer to peer electronic cash system called Bitcoin that enabled online payments to be transferred directly, without an intermediary.

How the Blockchain Transfers Value

While the proposed bitcoin payment system was exciting and innovative, it was the mechanics of how it worked that was truly revolutionary. Shortly after the white paper’s release, it became evident that the main technical innovation was not the digital currency itself but the technology that lay behind it, known today as blockchain. Although commonly associated with Bitcoin, blockchain technology has many other applications. Bitcoin is merely the first and most well-known uses. In fact, Bitcoin is only one of about seven hundred applications that use the blockchain operating system today.

“[Blockchain] is to Bitcoin, what the internet is to email. A big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications. Currency is just one.” — Sally Davies, FT Technology Reporter

One example of the evolution and broad application of blockchain, beyond digital currency, is the development of the Ethereum public blockchain, which is providing a way to execute peer to peer contracts.

What’s under the blockchain hood?

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger or decentralized database that keeps records of digital transactions. Rather than having a central administrator like a traditional database, (think banks, governments & accountants), a distributed ledger has a network of replicated databases, synchronized via the internet and visible to anyone within the network. Blockchain networks can be private with restricted membership similar to an intranet, or public, like the Internet, accessible to any person in the world.

When a digital transaction is carried out, it is grouped together in a cryptographically protected block with other transactions that have occurred in the last 10 minutes and sent out to the entire network. Miners (members in the network with high levels of computing power) then compete to validate the transactions by solving coded complex problems. The first miner to solve the problems and validate the block receives a reward. (In the Bitcoin Blockchain network, for example, a miner would receive Bitcoins).

The validated block of transactions is then timestamped and added to a chain in a linear, chronological order. New blocks of validated transactions are linked to older blocks, making a chain of blocks that show every transaction made in the history of that blockchain. The entire chain is continually updated so that every ledger in the network is the same, giving each member the ability to prove who owns what at any given time.

“A blockchain is a magic computer that anyone can upload programs to and leave the programs to self-execute, where the current and all previous states of every program are always publicly visible, and which carries a very strong crypto economically secured guarantee that programs running on the chain will continue to execute in exactly the way that the blockchain protocol specifies.” — Vitalik Buterin

Blockchain’s decentralized, open & cryptographic nature allow people to trust each other and transact peer to peer, making the need for intermediaries obsolete. This also brings unprecedented security benefits. Hacking attacks that commonly impact large centralized intermediaries like banks would be virtually impossible to pull off on the blockchain. For example — if someone wanted to hack into a particular block in a blockchain, a hacker would not only need to hack into that specific block, but all of the proceeding blocks going back the entire history of that blockchain. And they would need to do it on every ledger in the network, which could be millions, simultaneously.

Will the blockchain transform the Internet & the global economy?

Make no mistake about it. Blockchain is a highly disruptive technology that promises to change the world as we know it. The technology is not only shifting the way we use the Internet, but it is also revolutionizing the global economy. By enabling the digitization of assets, blockchain is driving a fundamental shift from the Internet of information, where we can instantly view, exchange and communicate information to the Internet of value, where we can instantly exchange assets. A new global economy of immediate value transfer is on its way, where big intermediaries no longer play a major role. An economy where trust is established not by central intermediaries but through consensus and complex computer code.

“The technology likely to have the greatest impact on the next few decades has arrived. And it’s not social media. It’s not big data. It’s not robotics. It’s not even AI. You’ll be surprised to learn that it’s the underlying technology of digital currencies like Bitcoin. It’s called the blockchain.” — Don Tapscott

Blockchain has applications that go way beyond obvious things like digital currencies and money transfers. From electronic voting, smart contracts & digitally recorded property assets to patient health records management and proof of ownership for digital content.

Blockchain will profoundly disrupt hundreds of industries that rely on intermediaries, including banking, finance, academia, real estate, insurance, legal, health care, and the public sector — amongst many others. This will result in job losses and the complete transformation of entire industries. But overall, the elimination of intermediaries brings mostly positive benefits. Banks & governments for example, often impede the free flow of business because of the time it takes to process transactions and regulatory requirements. The blockchain will enable an increased amount of people and businesses to trade much more frequently and efficiently, significantly boosting local and international trade. Blockchain technology would also eliminate expensive intermediary fees that have become a burden on individuals and businesses, especially in the remittances space.

Perhaps most profoundly, blockchain promises to democratize & expand the global financial system. Giving people who have limited exposure to the global economy, better access to financial and payment systems and stronger protection against corruption and exploitation.

“Every human being on the planet with a phone, will have equal access. Expanding the total addressable market by 4X” — Brock Pierce

The potential impacts of blockchain technology on society and the global economy are hugely significant. With an ever growing list of real-world uses, blockchain technology promises to have a massive impact. This is just the beginning. Many of the most exciting applications and platforms haven’t even been invented yet!

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Coalition Launches to Promote Blockchain in the Netherlands

Coalition Launches to Promote Blockchain in the Netherlands

  

A blockchain consortium in the Netherlands has published a new roadmap.

First revealed on 20th March, the so-called National Blockchain Coalition was established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' information technology team. Overall, the initiative aims to unite more than 20 public and private organizations including the government agencies, universities and private companies from financial, logistics and energy sectors, with the goal of turning the country into a leader of a blockchain tech.

Major supporters include ABN Amro, ING, and Nationale-Nederlanden, one of the region's largest insurance companies. In statements, Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp stressed his optimism that blockchain technology would help make digital payments and data exchange easier and safer for global users while improving the economic outlook of the Netherlands.

Kamp said:

"By keeping the Netherlands at the forefront of the application of innovative technologies, our knowledge base remains progressive and world-class. That creates jobs and income."

The combined initial funding of the founding partners amounts to €700,000 by the end of March. Each member will invest €200,000 and €500,000 will come from available government capita.

High priorities

The statements coincided with the release of the National Blockchain Coalition's full agenda, of which identity was high on the list of the priorities. The agenda went on to explain how the group would now need to work with leading legal entities and other objects on standardization and interoperability challenges in 2017 on this goal and others.

Overall, the coalition aims to speed up the pace of rollout of blockchain technology within the government and use more government records such as data from the National Office of Identity Data, Chamber of Commerce, and registration records from the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

UK Research Council to Award £3.6 Million in Blockchain Grants

UK Research Council to Award £3.6 Million in Blockchain Grants

  

British, UK, money

A UK-based research agency charged with distributing government grants has announced that £3.6m ($4.5m) will be made available to seven blockchain projects.Revealed yesterday, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said the grants will range from £420,000 ($525,000) to £617,000 ($772,000). The funds will be issued under its "Digital Economy Theme", an effort aimed at supporting research around digital technologies that could have a positive impact on daily life.

The EPSRC is the main funding agency for science and research initiatives in the UK, investing approximately £800m ($100m) annually for research and postgraduate training. According to EPSRC chief executive Philip Nelson, the decision to award the blockchain grants was made due to the apparent maturation of the industry beyond financial use cases.

He said in a statement:

"Distributed Ledger Technology may be synonymous with bitcoin to many, but as these projects show it has disruptive potential across a wide range of products and services. If it delivers on its radical promise, it could make a significant impact on the economy and society."

Each of the seven EPSRC-funded projects will bring together universities and private-sector companies, with projects being led by professors from British colleges and universities. Receiving the most funding, at £617,000, will be an initiative focused on regulation and compliance models.

The project is being led by Professor Tomaso Aste of University College London and will gain insight from blockchain consortium R3, as well as public institutions like the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission, the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the London School of Economics. The second most highly financed project seeks to develop trusted and transparent voting systems, using distributed ledger tech.

Perhaps unsurprising given the increasing interest in central bank-backed digital currencies, the EPSRC will also fund an initiative that will use data analytics to steer monetary policy decisions regarding the money supply.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Russian Plans to Legitimise cryptocurrency by 2018

russia plans to legistimise cryptocurrency by 2018

Russia Plans To Legitimize Cryptocurrency By 2018

Russia is a country has never seen eye-to-eye with bitcoin up until now. Several legal proposals have been drafted which could have lead to jail time. Thankfully, it appears regulators have come to their senses, as bitcoin users in Russia no longer need to fear jail time. In fact, the country may turn bitcoin into a legitimate financial instrument as early as next year.

This U-turn by Russian legislators has quite a lot of people stunned in disbelief. Just a year ago, it seemed using cryptocurrency in the country would lead to jail time. While that is still a distinct possibility right now, things are going to change very soon. The Russian Finance Ministry wants to accept bitcoin as a way to fight money laundering. An interesting stance, as most countries feel bitcoin facilitates money laundering, even though there is no evidence.

If all things go according to plan, bitcoin will become a legal instrument in Russia as soon as 2018. Government officials want to combat illegal money transfer. As a result, the Russian central bank and government are working together on getting this new legislation approved as soon as possible. A positive stance towards digital currencies can benefit the country, that much is evident.

Russia Looks Differently At Bitcoin All of a Sudden

One thing bitcoin provides is absolute transparency regarding transaction participants. To be more specific, transactions can be seen by the public in real-time. Through the banking or other financial systems, there is little to no transparency. This effectively facilitates money laundering, costing the Russian government millions every year. Bitcoin transfers show which address is the sender and the recipient. It is anything but an anonymous payment method.

Do not be mistaken in thinking Russia will effectively regulate bitcoin, though. Despite what governments may think, it is impossible to regulate cryptocurrency in any way or shape. Legalizing bitcoin will force companies dealing with cryptocurrency to conduct additional AML checks. A similar scenario is playing out in China right now, with exchanges introducing additional verification requirements.

Russia has been battling money laundering for quite some time now. Hundreds of lenders lost their banking license in the past few years. Legalizing bitcoin is a direct result of investors looking for alternative solutions. Additionally, it will also help give bitcoin a better publish image moving forward. After all, once bitcoin is a legal currency, activity will be monitored even further. That is not necessarily a bad thing as long as people use it for legal purposes. Anyone conducting illegal activity with cryptocurrency will have to find other solutions, though.

For the time being, the first deadline to mark on the calendar is mid-2017. Around that time, legislators will decide if digital currencies are an asset in Russia. This will be an important day in the history of bitcoin, that much is certain. After Japan legalizing bitcoin, it appears other countries are scrambling to do the same. An interesting development, yet it shows how mature bitcoin has become over the past few years.

David Ogden
Entreperenuer

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial

IBM Ramps Up China Blockchain Work With Supply Chain Trial

ibm in China

IBM advanced its status as a blockchain leader Tuesday with the launch of a supply chain platform designed to streamline flows among buyers, sellers, and financiers in the pharmaceuticals space. The Yijian Blockchain Technology Application System — built in a partnership between IBM and Hejia, a Chinese supply chain management company — seeks to eliminate some of the financing problems faced by the country's pharmaceutical retailers. Specifically, it targets the country's underdeveloped credit evaluation system, which it argues can make it difficult to raise short-term working capital.

The platform is designed to bring greater transparency into supply chain networks by tracking the flow of drugs, encrypting trading records and offering an easier means of authenticating transactions. The end goal is to reduce the time small retailers must wait to be paid after delivering medicine to hospitals — which currently can be as high as 60 to 90 days. Overall, Ramesh Gopinath, vice president of Blockchain Solutions at IBM, said that the use case offers an ideal example of how the company's enterprise blockchain platform can smooth multi-party transaction processes.

He told CoinDesk:

"Blockchain is perfect for the kind of flow that happens between three parties. It's not a random thing, we see a pattern of this appearing again and again."

Initially, the Yijian system will be implemented on a test basis by one pharmaceutical retailer, one hospital, and one bank, but plans are in place to expand in July to create a farther-reaching network. Leng Tianhui, board chairman of Hejia, emphasized in statements that he expects the platform to be adopted far beyond just the pharmaceuticals sector in China.

Eyes on China

Yet, the Yijian platform's launch also strengthens IBM's positioning in China — it has now rolled out five different solutions in the world's second-largest economy in the last 12 months. In March, the technology giant announced the creation of a green asset management platform designed to help companies develop, manage and trade carbon assets more efficiently under China’s carbon emissions quota scheme. Further, in January, it teamed up with the Postal Savings Bank of China to launch a blockchain asset custody system.

As far back as 2016, this strategy could already be observed, as IBM partnered with UnionPay — China's largest payment credit card processor — to roll out a blockchain platform facilitating the exchange of user loyalty points in September. It also launched a pilot in conjunction Walmart to move China’s pork industry supply chain on to a blockchain in October. Still, Gopinath said that IBM's focus on China is a function of the availability of pertinent use cases and local partners.

"I wouldn’t calculate this as 'OK, we have a concerted effort to do something in China'," he said, adding:

"It's more like there are all these classic, what I would call, great uses cases starting up in different places."

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Quick Ways to Improve SEO to Increase Brand Visibility

Quick Ways to Improve SEO to Increase Brand Visibility

Optimising your Website

It’s safe to say that optimizing your website and blog content for the search engines continues to be vital in 2017. With search being one of the top tools consumers use to shop, locate information, get answers to their questions, and find solutions, it’s imperative that your brand “shows up” when your audience is looking for you. Amplifying your search engine optimization techniques will help to boost your visibility and get in front of your ideal customers.

The good news is, improving SEO in your digital marketing is not a complicated feat. In fact, there are several simple steps that you can take today to better your presence tomorrow. We’ve outlined five quick ways to bolster SEO to help you build brand awareness, drive traffic, and achieve other marketing goals like increased leads and sales.

Increase Page Load Speeds

Did you know a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load (Source: Kissmetrics)? The time it takes for your content to appear greatly influences SEO…for better or worse. If your visitors have to wait, you may lose them. You’ll suffer because few readers will remain on your site long enough to impact SEO or engage in your other content pieces like your webforms (for leads) or sales pages.

With that said, here are a few tips that you can implement now to increase your page load speeds:

  • Use a caching plugin to help improve your speeds
  • Make sure the code is clean and streamlined
  • Since visuals tend to bog down websites, optimize images prior to uploading them onto your site. Either “save them for web” when using an image editing tool or install a plugin like WP Smush.it (WordPress) that optimizes JPEG images
  • Seek out a new web hosting provider that utilizutilises caching and bandwidth optimisation tools
  • Reduce the number of plugins you have, especially those you’re not using
  • Minimize redirects

Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

This is a big one. More consumers are accessing search engines and websites from their mobile device than desktops. If your site is not mobile-ready, you are missing out on a lot of traffic as your content may not load correctly where it’s legible on smartphones. In 2017, it’s crucial that your website is set up to capitalise on mobile traffic.

Include Authoritative Links

Studies illustrate time and time again that including outgoing links within your blog post has a positive effect on SEO ranking. Content that adds these authoritative links to their content experience higher ranking than those that do not. You see, it builds trust with Google, showing that your article is indeed valuable and relevant to your respective industry. Outgoing links also provides visitors with additional resources to read, thus improving user experience, enhancing your message, and further proving your own credibility in your space. When linking other sources to your content, don’t overdo it. Have just enough where it enriches your content yet doesn’t distract people from easily flowing through your post.

Improve Website Experience

Speaking of user-experience, when you add interactive content pieces to your site's infographics, videos, surveys and polls, calculators and audios, you greatly improve the time people spend on your website, significantly boosting SEO status. The higher the dwell time, the better signals are sent to Google showing that your content is worthy to be ranked accordingly because of the apparent value you’re sharing.

Including various multimedia types within your post also helps you to expand your reach and influence. You’ll appeal to different learning styles, keep your content fresh and engaging, and compel people to return. All these are key ingredients to bolstering your SEO ranking.

Move Website to HTTPS

In 2014, Google announced they were giving “extra credit” to websites that were secure or have the URL that leads with HTTPS (https://example.com). Therefore, these sites would receive a boost in ranking simply by having the “S” in their web address which stands for security. Yet many websites have not jumped on the bandwagon, failing to incorporate this added safeguard to their websites. The point here is that every little bit helps with improving search engine optimisation. If Google will give you a little push in their search results, you want to take them up on their offer!

Conclusion

One last thing to mention is to maintain a consistent blogging schedule. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. You have more opportunities to use keyword phrases your audience is actively using to rank organically in search and more content to share with your audience on social media. Leverage an editorial calendar to help you plan, organise and schedule blog content to solidify your expertise in your industry while bringing more exposure to your brand. Get ready to enhance your website and better position your content to be found by your ideal customer upon implementing these tips! Make a plan to execute them one-by-one in your digital marketing to create success. Stay engaged with your audience to continue delivering experiences that best resonate with their interests.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Many Small Businesses Lack SEO Knowledge

Many Small Businesses Lack SEO Knowledge

   

Common SEO Mistakes

Most small business owners have come across the term search engine optimisation (SEO). Many of them know it is critical to their business online. But prod them a bit more and it becomes clear many don’t know what it really means.

According to a new survey by Memphis, Tennessee-based marketing agency HigherVisibility, 20 percent of small businesses still don’t have a website. What’s more, 54 percent of the surveyed respondents said they don’t have a budget for SEO.

Small Businesses Making Some Common SEO Mistakes

For a small business, SEO is essential because it helps drive more people to their website. But as the survey reveals, businesses are making some common mistakes that have an adverse effect on their website’s SEO. For example, 38 percent of surveyed respondents wrongly believe keyword stuffing is a good thing. Twelve percent incorrectly think it’s okay to publish duplicate content that has been copied and pasted from another website or page.

Many Small Businesses Lack SEO Knowledge

Further, the survey highlights examples of how small businesses lack SEO knowledge they need. To give an example, 26 percent are unaware of the importance of onsite optimisation SEO. Likewise, 21 percent of respondents don’t know how important blogging and content creation is to SEO. It goes without saying these lapses may have a serious impact on a small business’ SEO initiatives.

What Businesses Need to Do Differently

This is not the first time a report has highlighted the problems with how small businesses are approaching SEO. The Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Report published earlier found that 43 percent of businesses have no plans to change or improve their online presence in 2017. In 2017, no small business owner can afford to take SEO lightly. Otherwise, there’s a risk of losing customers to a competition.

That’s why it’s essential for small businesses to pay special attention to their SEO activities. A well-planned SEO strategy can go a long way in making a significant difference. A long-term strategy can help make the most of the SEO trends in 2017 and will have an impact on how these businesses connect with customers.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member